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What Is an ESR?

An erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), commonly referred to as a "sed" rate, is a blood test that measures the rate at which red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle in a tube of unclotted blood. More...
Posted in Arthritis on April 14, 2014

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Extra Pounds and a Pain in the Back

Healthcare professionals have long known there's a connection between weight and low back pain. Until recently, though, the nature of that connection wasn't clear. Not enough data were available to show whether there was a causal relationship or some other factor influencing the likelihood of obesity and low back pain occurring together. More...
Posted in Back Pain on March 28, 2014

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Exercise Relieves Major Depression: How Much Is Enough?

Used in conjunction with other traditional treatments such as medication or psychotherapy, or on its own, exercise is a viable way to reduce the symptoms of depression -- so much so that it's included in the American Psychiatric Association's treatment recommendations. More...
Posted in Depression and Anxiety on April 15, 2014

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Another Important Reason to Stay in Good Control

Cognitive function and decline may be worse in adults with diabetes when compared with their nondiabetic peers, and poor glucose control could be a contributing factor. More...
Posted in Diabetes on April 17, 2014

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Exercise Your Way to a Healthy Gut

The payoffs of regular physical activity in preventing digestive disorders are impressive. The strongest evidence so far exists for colon cancer. One study involving more than 400,000 people concluded that engaging in two hours of moderate physical activity per day -- or one hour of vigorous activity -- was associated with a risk reduction for colon cancer of 20 to 25 percent. More...
Posted in Digestive Health on April 21, 2014

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Are Prostatitis Symptoms "All in Your Head"?

The pain and discomfort of prostatitis are very real. However, several studies have found that prostatitis is unusually common in people who have a history of certain psychological conditions, particularly anxiety disorders and panic disorder. More...
Posted in Enlarged Prostate on April 22, 2014

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Drug Expiration Dates: How Seriously Should You Take Them?

Are drugs that have passed their expiration dates OK to use, or should they be discarded? Here’s our advice. More...
Posted in Healthy Living on April 23, 2014

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Gentle Yoga May Reduce Atrial Fibrillation Episodes

Yoga is an increasingly popular form of exercise, and now a small clinical trial suggests that slow-paced classes may help curb atrial fibrillation (AF) symptoms. More...
Posted in Heart Health on April 4, 2014

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White-Coat Hypertension – Not So Harmless After All

People diagnosed with “white-coat hypertension” (WCH) are often told by their healthcare providers that they don't need treatment. That's because their blood pressure is high only when it's measured during a visit with the doctor and appears normal when measured at home. The phenomenon of white-coat hypertension is thought to result from tension or anxiety about seeing the doctor. More...
Posted in Hypertension and Stroke on April 8, 2014

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Can a Pill Prevent Lung Cancer?

Chemoprevention -- the use of certain agents to reverse, suppress or prevent a disease -- has not been a successful strategy for lung cancer. Now, however, results from a small new study show a bit of progress. More...
Posted in Lung Disorders on April 4, 2014

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For Caregivers: Your Home Emergency Kit

Preparing for a disaster around a loved one who's prone to wandering, becoming easily confused or agitated -- who may not fully understand what's happening -- can present a unique set of challenges. Alzheimer's patients are particularly vulnerable in a storm or other disaster. More...
Posted in Memory on April 21, 2014

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Looking at Cholesterol-Busting Foods

When people need to reduce their cholesterol, they often think about eliminating some foods from their diet. But research increasingly shows that adding certain foods can also lower cholesterol levels significantly. More...
Posted in Nutrition and Weight Control on April 9, 2014

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Major Minerals for Bone Health

When it comes to building and maintaining bone health, the standard nutritional advice is to consume plenty of calcium and vitamin D. That means 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium per day and 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day. It's certainly good advice, since calcium is essential for building bones, and your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium effectively. More...
Posted in Osteoporosis on April 18, 2014

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Treatment Side Effects of Early-Stage Prostate Cancer

If you or a loved one is considering treatment for early-stage prostate cancer, you may wonder about long-term side effects. Here are the latest research findings. Until recently, most studies of side effects experienced by patients treated for localized prostate cancer have only lasted a few years. Fortunately, that has begun to change. The longest follow-up to date comes from a 2013 study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. … More...
Posted in Prostate Disorders on April 16, 2014

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Cataract Surgery: One Eye or Two?

For people with cataracts in both eyes, unilateral cataract surgery (surgery in one eye) improves visual functioning. However, the greatest improvement is found in those who undergo second-eye cataract surgery, according to a recent study published in the journal Ophthalmology (Volume 120(5), page 949). More...
Posted in Vision on April 11, 2014

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