Recognizing and preventing sun allergies

No one is truly allergic to the sun, but some people are quite sensitive to different types of sun rays and may develop mild to serious reactions after spending time in the sun. There are several types of “sun allergies,” but polymorphous light eruption (PMLE), an autoimmune condition in the skin that occurs after sun […]

Can an implanted tongue-stimulating device curb your sleep apnea?

Loud snoring, grunts, and gasps can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious disorder that causes repeated, brief pauses in breathing (apneas) throughout the night. It can leave people drowsy and depressed, and put them at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems. If this sounds like you or […]

Corneal transplants becoming more common

At one time, replacement parts for the eyes must have seemed unimaginable. Nowadays, if the inner lens of the eye becomes clouded by a cataract, a routine surgery to swap it out with a new artificial lens restores vision. But what happens if the outer lens of the eye (the cornea) becomes damaged or diseased? […]

Preventing C. diff in and out of the hospital

Many people seek medical attention when they have diarrhea, usually when it is severe or is not improving. Doctors like myself ask questions to see what could be causing the problem: Food poisoning? Irritable bowel syndrome? Medication side effects? We also consider that diarrhea may be due to Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). What is C. […]

A refresher on childhood asthma: What families should know and do

Asthma is the most common chronic lung disease in children. In the US, it affects about 6 million children, or about one in every 12 children. Breathing is key to life, obviously, so asthma can make life very hard. It can make going for a walk outside feel very hard. It leads not just to […]

If cannabis becomes a problem: How to manage withdrawal

  Proponents of cannabis generally dismiss the idea that there is a cannabis withdrawal syndrome. One routinely hears statements such as, “I smoked weed every day for 30 years and then just walked away from it without any problems. It’s not addictive.” Some cannabis researchers, on the other hand, describe serious withdrawal symptoms that can […]

Back pain: Will treatment for the mind, body—or both—help?

If you’ve ever struggled with low back pain, you know that it can be surprisingly debilitating, even if the discomfort is short-term. You may find it difficult to grocery shop, do housework, play sports, or even tie your shoelaces. When back pain is chronic, lasting 12 weeks or longer, it can impair quality of life […]

Waist trainers: What happens when you uncinch?

You may have noticed nipped-in, hourglass waists among women wearing the celebrity trend du jour: so-called waist trainers. This tummy-tucking shapewear evokes images of buttoned-up corsets and too-tight girdles from a dim past. But does it live up to the hype? Splashy advertisements suggest these compression devices can help you selectively sculpt inches off your […]

Period equity: What it is and why it matters

It’s happened to so many people who menstruate: you’re going about your life until you realize that you just got your period. The ungainly scramble to find a restroom and the fervent prayer that you packed a menstrual product leaves you feeling anxious, vulnerable, and exposed. This is compounded by the fact that our society […]

Struggling to sleep? Your heart may pay the price

Growing evidence suggests that poor sleep is linked to a host of health problems, including a higher risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Now, a recent study on people in midlife finds that having a combination of sleep problems — such as trouble falling asleep, waking up in the wee hours, […]