Health Advice



Louis Pasteur's scientific discoveries in the 19th century revolutionized medicine and continue to save the lives of millions today

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Some of the greatest scientific discoveries haven’t resulted in Nobel Prizes.

Louis Pasteur, who lived from 1822 to 1895, is arguably the world’s best-known microbiologist. He is widely credited for the germ theory of disease and for inventing the process of pasteurization – which is named after him – to preserve foods. ...Read more

Deep brain stimulation can be life-altering for OCD sufferers when other treatment options fall short

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Imagine growing up tormented by fears and life-consuming rituals that make no sense to you or those around you. Then imagine the shame of being told by mental health providers that, because you understand that your behaviors are illogical but keep doing them anyway, you must want to stay sick.

One of my patients, Moksha Patel, who is ...Read more

Environmental Nutrition: Pump up the iron

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Why is iron so crucial to our bodies? “We need adequate iron to produce hemoglobin and myoglobin, an essential part of red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body,” says Julie Stefanski, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

Stefanski says low levels of the mineral can ...Read more

Eating Well: 5 things dietitians eat when they want to boost their mood

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

You probably already know that what you eat and drink can influence your mental wellness. From daily stressors to anxiety, depression, ADHD and chronic stress, the nutrients you put into your body have the potential to help, or hinder, how you feel and think.

With this in mind we asked a handful of dietitians what they rely on for a mood boost....Read more

Take the lead on lead poisoning

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Through much of the 20th century, lead was a common part of American life. It was used in paints, plumbing fixtures, water pipes, and many consumer goods. Automobiles guzzled leaded gasoline to improve engine performance. Meanwhile, the medical community increasingly recognized the toxic effects of lead on the body, particularly in children. ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: What is pharmacogenomics?

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DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I’ve been hearing a lot about lab tests that can look at my genetics to see how I metabolize medications. How does this work and why is it important for me to know how my body metabolizes medicine?

ANSWER: Testing for how a person metabolizes medications is called pharmacogenomics testing, or PGx testing for short. This is a...Read more


Mayo Clinic Minute: What is atrial fibrillation?

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Nearly 3 million Americans are living with a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, according to the American Heart Association. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that number could be as high as 12 million by the start of the next decade.

September is National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month. But what is atrial ...Read more


Consumer Health: Addiction and recovery

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September is National Recovery Month, a national observation in partnership between the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Faces & Voices of Recovery.

This is a good time to learn more about addiction and recovery.

Drug addiction

Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person...Read more


Polio-like viral infection in children is flagged by CDC

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Doctors should be on the lookout for cases of a respiratory virus that can sometimes cause polio-like muscle weakness and paralysis in children, U.S. health officials said.

Young children with respiratory illnesses and muscle weakness may be infected with enterovirus D68, a lung virus strain that’s been linked to rare, serious cases acute ...Read more

Hurricane Ian: Older adults have many reasons for not evacuating – here's why it's important to check on aging neighbors

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

As mandatory evacuations for Hurricane Ian began in Florida and the warnings about damaging wind and flooding intensified, I called my aging parents to check in.

Being a disaster researcher, my concern for them was already in high gear, even though they weren’t directly in an evacuation zone. My dad takes medications that require ...Read more

Jiri Hera/Dreamstime/TNS

Genetic tests create treatment opportunities and confusion for breast cancer patients

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The past decade has witnessed a rapid expansion of genetic tests, including new instruments to inform patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer about the risk of recurrence and to guide their treatment.

But the clinical significance of many of the inherited mutations that can now be identified remains unclear, and experts are torn on ...Read more


Kids are suffering from toxic stress. Here's some advice on how we can help them heal

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Stress and upheaval are harmful at any time, but the pandemic has forced many families onto a roller coaster ride that seems unending. Families and caregivers are concerned about what this period of great instability means for their children, so we turned to psychologist Jennifer Vargas Pemberton, who has worked with children and teenagers for ...Read more


Bladder issues common for women of all ages

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

For many women, especially those who have had children, leakage of urine is a common complaint. So, too, is an urgency to use the bathroom.

These conditions are among the most common pelvic floor issues affecting women, according to Dr. Olivia Cardenas-Trowers, a Mayo Clinic urogynecologist. Pelvic floor disorders vary, but they are more common...Read more


Mayo Clinic Minute: Transforming snack time with healthy options

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

A healthy lifestyle and reducing the risk of childhood obesity involves getting enough exercise, limiting processed and sugary treats, as well as getting the right amount of sleep. Dr. Tina Ardon, a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician, says promoting healthy choices start at snack time.

Whether in the classroom or on the playground, children ...Read more


Mayo Clinic Q and A: Probiotics, gut bacteria and weight <em>--</em> what's the connection?

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DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My friend insists that taking a probiotic supplement has helped her lose 50 pounds by keeping her gut bacteria in check. Will taking a probiotic in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise help me lose weight?

ANSWER: It is true that the gut bacterial population in people who are obese differs from the population in ...Read more


Texas, battling teen pregnancy, recasts sex education standards

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DALLAS — J.R. Chester got pregnant the summer before her senior year of high school. A bright student with good grades, she gave birth, graduated, and was pregnant again when she arrived at college that fall.

She was a teen mom — like her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother. Her school did not teach sexual health education, ...Read more

Transgender men and nonbinary people are asked to stop testosterone therapy during pregnancy – but the evidence for this guidance is still murky

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

When I talk about our research team’s work on pregnancy in transgender people, people often recall Thomas Beatie, a pregnant man who appeared on “Oprah” and in People magazine in 2008. The media focus on Beatie and his pregnancy provoked public fascination that tended to overshadow the everyday lived realities of being pregnant as a ...Read more


How does 988 work?

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Help for a mental health crisis is now just three digits away: 9-8-8.

Early data show that people are increasingly reaching out to a national mental health hotline launched July 16 as an easy-to-remember alternative to 911. But how does it work? And is it "friendly"?

The basics

Instead of being directed to police, callers (or texters) are ...Read more

Emily Kask/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

People hospitalized with COVID-19 may have higher heart failure risk, study says

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

People hospitalized for COVID-19 were more likely to have heart failure after their discharge than those hospitalized for another reason, a Duke University study published this month found.

The study’s findings, published in Nature Communications, support a growing body of research that suggests some people infected with COVID-19 go on to ...Read more


Ask the Pediatrician: Are there ways to avoid heavy metals in baby food?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Q: How do I avoid heavy metals in the food I feed my baby?

A: News about heavy metals found in baby food has left parents with a lot of questions.

The low levels of heavy metals found in baby foods likely are a relatively small part of a child's overall toxic metal exposure risk. However, exposure from all sources should be minimized. Toxic ...Read more