Birth control and high blood pressure: Which methods are safe for you?

Three effective forms of birth control contain the hormone estrogen: the birth control patch, combined hormonal birth control pills, and a vaginal ring. Doctors have typically recommended that women avoid birth control with estrogen if they have high blood pressure, which current US guidelines define as 130 mm Hg systolic pressure and 80 mm Hg […]

Quarantine snacking fixer-upper

The “battle of the bulge” gained a new foe this year: quarantine snacking. Sales of snack foods like cookies and crackers shot up in the early days of lockdowns, and recent consumer surveys are finding that people have changed their eating habits and are snacking more. We don’t yet have solid evidence that more snacking […]

A new Alzheimer’s drug: From advisory panel to FDA — what’s at stake here?

It’s been more than 17 years since the FDA last approved an Alzheimer’s drug. Will Biogen’s drug, called aducanumab, end this drought? The FDA will decide by March 2021, based on its own analysis of clinical trial data and an advisory panel’s review of the evidence. How does the drug work? Aducanumab is a monoclonal […]

Drugstore skincare: Science-backed anti-aging ingredients that don’t break the bank

With a sharp increase in working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are noticing age-related skin changes up close on their videoconference calls. The good news? You don’t need to rush to the dermatologist for your anti-aging needs. The best skincare regimens to combat the cardinal signs of aging, which include uneven skin […]

How to recognize a ministroke or stroke — and what to do

If you suddenly experience a strange but fleeting symptom — your arm or face suddenly feels weak or numb — you might be tempted to brush it off, especially if it’s short-lived. But if those odd, unexplained symptoms last more than a few seconds, they could signal a transient ischemic attack, or TIA. Commonly referred […]

Does lupus or arthritis affect your prognosis if you get COVID-19?

Soon after the coronavirus pandemic began, we learned that older adults and people with certain chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, are at increased risk for severe COVID-19. One condition on that list is an immunocompromised state (a weakened immune system). This can be due to a number of conditions, including having […]

Early birds may be more active, but night owls can catch up

Being an early bird has long been associated with a go-getter attitude. Early birds, or those who tend to wake early and go to bed early, are people who naturally feel sleepy earlier in the evening and naturally wake early in the morning. For an early bird type, a 9 pm bedtime may be the […]

Type 2 diabetes: Which medication is best for me?

If you are living with type 2 diabetes, you certainly are not alone. One in 10 people in the US has diabetes, according to the CDC. However, despite considerable progress in diabetes treatment over the past 20 years, fewer than half of those with diabetes actually reach their target blood sugar goal. In part, this […]

It’s still true: Not all the news about COVID-19 is bad

I thought the pandemic would be over by now. And I’m not alone; there were sophisticated models predicting a dramatic drop in the number of infections by the summer. And while there was understandable worry about the second wave, re-infection, and the coming flu season, there was good reason to believe we’d have the worst […]

Coping With IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be painful, annoying, and embarrassing. There is currently no cure for this complex condition, and managing its symptoms and flare-ups is tricky. So, coping mechanisms are a constant need. What are the symptoms of IBS? IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder in which your gut becomes more sensitive, and the muscles […]