This holiday season, many of us would probably like to avoid discussing politics at family gatherings. So here’s an idea: Talk family health history instead.
Since many health problems run in families, a holiday gathering is a good time to delve into a discussion about the health of your blood relatives, both living and deceased. This exercise can offer a glimpse of any conditions or illnesses to which you and your family may be predisposed, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, certain cancers (including breast, ovarian, and colorectal), osteoporosis, and asthma.
Having a family history of a disease doesn’t mean you’ll also develop the same condition. But, since some diseases do run in families, you can share your genetic background with your doctor, who can advise you of any measures that could prevent or decrease the risk of a particular disease or detect it at an…
View original post 722 more words
BBB: Why many ‘risk-free’ trials are anything but free
We get it: On the surface, doing a risk-free trial looks like it will save us money, allowing us to test a product or service before purchasing it fully. But the BBB says buyer beware.
The agency’s investigation unveiled that in many cases, offers for free product samples are outright lies and that many companies bury the stringent conditions in fine print.
“The study found that many of the celebrity endorsements are fake,” the BBB says. “Dozens of celebrity names are used by these frauds without their knowledge or permission, ranging from Oprah Winfrey, Chrissy Teigen and Ellen Degeneres to Mike Rowe, Tim Allen and Sally Field. Sometimes the fine print even admits these endorsements are not real.”
“You only have to pay $1.95 for shipping and handling. The claims look plausible, and celebrities would not endorse a product unless…
View original post 214 more words
Something unprecedented is about to happen on your phone soon. Here’s what you need to know…
You’re probably familiar with Amber Alerts about missing children on your phone, but have you ever heard of WEA alerts?
What does WEA stand for?
WEA stands for Wireless Emergency Alert and it’s part of our nation’s broader Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), which also includes the familiar Emergency Alert System (EAS).
The EAS is what you see and experience when your TV or radio broadcast is interrupted for about a minute with a monthly test.
What distinguishes a WEA alert from the EAS alert? Read the rest of this entry »
According to a recent survey, 72% of Americans classify coconut oil as a “healthy food.”
Here’s what the science says.
What you need to know about coconut oil.
A 2017 American Heart Association panel reviewed the evidence on which fats in foods raise—and which lower—the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The experts’ findings: “We conclude strongly that lowering intake of saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, will lower the incidence of CVD.” Yet many people have heard that saturated fats are harmless. Read the rest of this entry »
Is your seltzer habit harming your teeth?
Sparkling water has all the bubbly and none of the sugar of soda. But is there a downside?
“Sparkling water is made by pumping carbon dioxide into water,” explains John Ruby, a retired professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. “The CO2turns into carbonic acid, and the pH drops.”
A lower pH means that the liquid has become more acidic. (Pure water has a neutral pH of 7 on the 0-to-14 pH scale.)
Acids can erode tooth enamel. And “once you lose enamel, you never get it back,” says Ruby. That can lead to sensitivity, discoloration, and loss of tooth structure. Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone agrees that drug names are becoming ever more crazy. For instance, why all those X’s and Z’s in brand names (Pradaxa, Xarelto, Xeljanz, Zyprexa)?
Generic names can be even more mouth-boggling. Can you remember that acetaminophen is the generic name for Tylenol, and can you pronounce it? If you want to get it when visiting Europe, however, you’ll have to ask for paracetamol. Both of those names get their syllables from a chemical name of the compound: para-acetylaminophenol.
But the names of most generics (like brand names) are largely or completely made up and illogical, except that some related drugs share a suffix, such as “-statin” at the end of cholesterol-lowering drugs like simvastatin (Lipitor) or rosuvastatin (Crestor), and “-azepam” for tranquilizers like lorazepam (Ativan) or temazepam (Restoril).
Tongue-twisting generic names are a big problem since the vast majority of drugs are now dispensed as generics, leading to growing concerns that if names are mispronounced or misread and drugs misidentified, patients could be harmed. Avoiding such confusions is one of the rationales for electronic prescriptions. Read the rest of this entry »