What You Need to Know About Acetaminophen — for Yourself and Your Children

Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States. It is used as a fever-reducer and as a pain reliever, and can be found in many common over-the-counter (OTC) products, including Tylenol, Alka-seltzer, Nyquil, and many cold and flu medicines. When used as directed, there is little danger. However, taking too much can have serious health consequences, and children in particular are at high risk. Continue reading

Is When You Eat Just as Important as What You Eat?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple way to lose weight? Instead of counting calories or cutting carbs, what if you could just avoid eating during certain times? A study in 2012 showed that mice who were restricted to only eating at regular times throughout an eight hour period weighed 28% less than mice who consumed the same number of calories but ate frequently throughout the entire day Continue reading

A Cure for Peanut Allergies?

Food allergies are on the rise, making school, traveling, and even birthday parties risky business for many children. However, there might be a cure: in a 2014 study of Oral Immunotherapy treatment (OIT), over 80% of participants were able to eat the equivalent of about five peanuts after OIT. Continue reading

Breastfeeding or formula: New evidence or just the media crying wolf?

Deciding whether to breastfeed or formula-feed is probably one of the first choices expectant parents have to make and has led to a heated debate between supporters of each side. Contrary to conventional wisdom about breastfeeding, in March 2014, a study was published finding little or no difference between siblings who were breast or formula-fed. Here’s a closer look at what the study really says Continue reading

Barefoot and Minimalist Running: What you need to know

Barefoot and minimalist running are the new crazes in the running world, but can you really run faster, longer, and with fewer injuries by shedding your shoes? Find out the benefits and risks of barefoot running to see if it is really a good option for your workout. Continue reading

6 Things You Need to Know About Juicing Your Veggies

There is no question that eating your vegetables is good for your health, but what about drinking them? Juicing vegetables is one of the latest health trends, so here’s what you need to know about adding fresh juices to your diet. Continue reading

Which medications, tests, and treatments should you really get? Recommendations for “Choosing Wisely”

When it comes to our health we often want to know as much as possible. But sometimes there is just too much information on what to do to stay healthy. Continue reading

How Do You Recover From Rape?

After being sexually assaulted, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Several studies suggest that group therapy is more effective at reducing PTSD, anxiety, and depression than individual therapy. However, group therapy may not be the best choice for everyone. Find out what other forms of therapy are available so you can decide what is right for you or a loved one. Continue reading

“Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?” Barriers to Getting Out of Abusive Relationships

Domestic violence is a fact of life in the U.S. for approximately 35% of women and 28% of men. When we learn someone is in an abusive relationship, the first question many people ask is “Well, why doesn’t she just leave?” However, getting out of the situation is not as easy as people like to think. Continue reading

Adolescents, Celebrity Worship, and Cosmetic Surgery

A new study shows that media portrayals of celebrities influence how adolescents feel about their looks and influence their decisions to undergo cosmetic surgery. Young adults are not just mimicking the clothing and hairstyles of their favorite celebrities, but rather undergoing invasive procedures to feel better about how they look. Continue reading

Are Bisphenol A (BPA) Plastic Products Safe?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to make plastics. It is frequently used in sports equipment, water bottles, medical devices, as a coating or lining in food and beverage cans, and in credit card receipts. It leaches out of plastic into liquids and foods, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found measurable amounts of BPA in the bodies of 93% of the U.S. population studied. While early concerns about BPA’s health effects were based primarily on animal studies and research on cells, there is increasing evidence from studies in humans that BPA can cause serious harm, such as increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and sexual dysfunction. Continue reading

Aspirin: Could It Reduce Your Risk for Cancer?

Often called a “wonder drug,” aspirin reduces aches and pains, fever, and swelling, and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. Low dose aspirin is used as an inexpensive drug to prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients that have had previous attacks or have coronary artery disease. More recent research suggests it might also lower our chances of developing several types of cancer, and help keep cancer from spreading. Continue reading

Statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) and the New Safety Warnings: What It Means for You

The FDA issued new safety warnings for statins in February 2012 about the increased risk for diabetes, memory loss and muscle pain, symptoms that we have been warning patients about for some time. Continue reading

Social Networking Sites: Benefits, Problems, and “Facebook Depression”

For better or worse, social networking is an almost unavoidable part of everyday life. The number of people joining social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus is growing exponentially, especially among youth. Due to the prevalence of social media usage among youths, many parents wonder if it is having beneficial or negative effects on their children. Like many things in life, the answer is not so clear-cut: it’s yes and no. Facebook both promotes mental well-being and undermines it. Continue reading

The Failed Promise of Gene Based Tests for Diagnosing and Treating Cancer

When the Human Genome Project released its first “draft” in 2000, many scientists believed it would revolutionize medical research. President Bill Clinton claimed that genetic diagnosis (the ability to tell who has a disease after looking at the genes) would “revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.”Although the ability to map the human genome has great promise, a decade later it still hasn’t yielded good methods for diagnosing cancer. Even more disappointing: recent scandals and severe product flaws have cast doubt on gene-based research as a whole Continue reading

Procrit, Aranesp, and Epogen–All Risk and No Benefits for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease?

Anemia drugs are widely used by patients on chemotherapy and patients with chronic kidney disease, but there is growing evidence that the misuse of these drugs is harming many patients. The FDA issued a “safety communication” on June 24, 2011 recommending lower doses of anemia drugs for patients with chronic kidney disease. This warning was based on studies showing increased risk of stroke, blood clots, other cardiac problems, and death for patients with chronic kidney disease Continue reading

My Plate: A New Alternative to the Food Pyramid

The new USDA model, MyPlate, replaces the familiar “food pyramid” diagram that underwent several changes in the 19 years since it was first introduced. The MyPlate model shows the five food groups (fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy) in a place setting. It is designed to be easier to understand in the context of a single meal than the more confusing pyramid. Continue reading

Taking Medications While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Some medications can cause harmful side effects to you or your baby if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Sometimes doctors don’t realize how a medicine can be harmful to a baby in the womb until after many babies have been born with problems. While that sounds frightening, it’s important to remember that many pregnant or breastfeeding moms take medications for a wide range of health conditions. It is important to learn more about the possible risks of taking medications while pregnant or breastfeeding and to discuss any potential side effects with your health provider. Continue reading

Getting Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed: Sleepiness, Behavior Problems, and Obesity in Children and Teens

Sleep is essential for the renewal and restoration of the body. But is your child getting enough? Research indicates that children who do not get the recommended 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night may be more likely to have conduct problems at home and in the classroom, as well as suffer from many health problems now and in the future. Continue reading

How Do I Get My Child to Eat Healthier Foods?

Between parents’ work schedules, after school activities, homework, and chores, you may find it impossible to make time for healthy meals that your kids actually want to eat. The challenge is even greater when kids get hooked on the pizza, soda, and chips provided at friends’ houses, activities, and parties. Even the most conscientious parent may find it hard to avoid the temptation of fast food and favorite snacks. But there are solutions! Continue reading

Can Cleanliness Increase The Risk of Allergies and Asthma?

Is being too clean bad for your health? Research indicates that some of the products we use to avoid germs may contribute to the development of conditions like asthma and allergies. Continue reading

Danger at the Dentist’s (and Orthodontist’s) Office: Children Exposed to Radiation

Has your child been to the orthodontist this year? Was he or she exposed to dangerous levels of radiation? More and more dentists and orthodontists are using an imaging device that delivers significantly higher doses of radiation than regular X-rays. While the machine’s promoters claim that this technology is a safe way to obtain highly detailed images of a patient’s mouth and skull, other health experts are concerned about the cumulative effects of radiation from these scans, and think they shouldn’t be used routinely. Continue reading

Infant Sleep Positioners are Dangerous

Two government agencies and the American Academy of Pediatrics are warning parents and other caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioning products as two recent deaths underscore concerns about suffocation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the warning after reviewing reports of 12 known infant deaths associated with the products.
Continue reading

Early Morning Classes, Sleepy Students, and Risky Behaviors

In the 1950′s and 1960′s, most schools started between 8:30-9:00 and many students barely stayed awake all day. Today, many high schools start at 7:30 or earlier, and a growing number of studies show that these early school schedules can undermine teenagers’ ability to learn, to drive safely, and to get along with others. They can even increase the likelihood of smoking, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy. Continue reading

Toys-R-Dangerous? What You Need to Know about Children’s Products and Recalls

In recent years, an increasing number of toys and products have been pulled off the shelves because they were found to be harmful to children. According to Consumers Union, toy recall levels reached a record high in 2007, with over 20 million toys recalled for having lead or other hazards. In fact, 2007 was often referred to as “the year of the recall.” Continue reading

What You Need to Know About the Flu (including H1N1 or “Swine Flu”)

News about the flu is everywhere. First it was “avian flu” or “bird flu,” and now it’s the H1N1 virus, originally called “swine flu.” When flu spreads, infecting people all over the world, it is called a pandemic. The World Health Organization has declared the H1N1 flu a pandemic. Pandemic flu can be frightening. Here are the facts. Continue reading

The Vaccines for Children Program (VFC)

Vaccines help keep our children healthy. However, vaccines can be very expensive and many parents cannot afford to pay for vaccines on their own. To address this problem, the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) is a federally funded program that provides vaccines free of charge to children who otherwise may not have been able to afford the vaccines. Your child may be eligible! Continue reading

Girls and Sports

The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness recently published a review of the research and information about female athletes. The article summarizes information about eating disorders, menstrual problems, and bone mineral density. Continue reading

Examining the Safety of Natural Supplements

In their quest for health and beauty, half of all American adults take natural supplements to solve all sorts of problems. But do these products really work, and how much do Americans know about their safety? Not as well as one may think, and not nearly enough.
Ultimately, it is unwise to trust the claims that manufacturers of dietary supplements make about either the effectiveness or safety of their products. Let the buyer beware. Continue reading

Cold and Flu: Do Natural Health Products Work?

Cold and flu are two of the most common illnesses and there is no “cure” for either. Because antibiotics do not treat symptoms or cure either cold or flu, many people turn to natural products in an effort to prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms. But, do these products work, and are they safe? Here, a range of these products are compared, examining their safety and effectiveness. Continue reading

Are Bisphenol A (BPA) Plastic Products Safe for Infants and Children?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to make plastics, and is frequently used in baby bottles, sports equipment, water bottles, medical devices, and as a coating in food and beverage cans. Continue reading

Phthalates and Children’s Products

The ban on phthalates is the result of a law passed in 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The law permanently bans BBP, DBP and DEHP from toys and child care products, and temporarily bans DIDP, DINP and DnOP until a scientific board (the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel) determines for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) whether or not they are safe. A few months before the bill passed, major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Babies “R” Us promised to remove or severely restrict children’s products containing phthalates by the end of 2008. But children and adults in the U.S. are STILL EXPOSED to phthalates in many other products, including shampoo, soap, lotions, food packaging, Continue reading

Seroquel, Abilify, Zyprexa, and Risperdal are Widely Used But With Dangerous Side Effects

For patients who suffer from depression or anxiety, it’s hard to know which medication is best. It seems everyday a new “wonder drug” is introduced, often costing 10 or 20 times as much as older medications. Things become even more confusing when doctors prescribe medications “off label.” One example is Seroquel. Not approved to specifically treat depression or anxiety, of what kinds of dangers should one be aware? Continue reading

Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery: Focus on Breast Augmentation and Liposuction

Two of the most popular and controversial cosmetic procedures for adolescents are liposuction and breast implants. It this review article, the procedures are discussed. In addition, the physiological and psychological reasons to delay these procedures, including concerns about body dysmorphic disorder and research findings regarding changes in teenagers’ body image as they mature, are described. Continue reading