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Natural COVID immunity does not outshine vaccination benefits

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am told by doctors that the natural immunity your body develops by having had the COVID-19-19 virus is just as, or even more, effective at protecting you as one of the three vaccines that you are pushing people to get. Like I've read up on, natural immunity is science also. Will you please confirm or deny that statement? -- J.B...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Doctor's program aims to boost minority representation in medicine

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

TAMPA, Fla. — Dexter Frederick stood inside an administrative office at Tampa’s Grace Community Health Center recently, a poster of the periodic table of elements hovering above his shoulders.

Morgan Butts, a University of South Florida doctorate student, stood in the doorway with a clipboard in hand.

“How many days do you want to treat ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Mental health and the holidays: Holiday stress

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Q: Those who are vaccinated for COVID-19 may be planning family gatherings, gift exchanges and big meals this year. After last year, a lot of people are feeling more pressure to make this holiday season even better for their loved ones. Do you have any tips for coping with the stress of it all?

A: Whenever something is important to those we ...Read more

Martin Allinger/Dreamstime/TNS

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Shoulder injuries and winter weather safety tips

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Our family recently moved to a state that has plenty of cold, ice and snow during the winter. While my children are excited, I have heard stories about how common shoulder injuries are during the winter due to shoveling snow and other activities. I have arthritis in one of my shoulders. What advice do you have for how to avoid ...Read more

Chronic stress and your cancer risk

Chronic stress makes for complex plot lines and great acting. Take Jack Lemmon in 1973's "Save the Tiger" or Anne Hathaway in "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006). Their stress-plagued lives and resulting meltdowns made cinematic history. But off the screen, that kind of relentless tension makes trouble, not careers.

It's long been known that chronic...Read more

Diabetes complicates COVID risks with or without vaccine

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 67-year-old male who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. I have had both Moderna doses for COVID-19. I have read all along that people with diabetes are at a much higher risk for complications with COVID-19, and I've read that the breakthrough infections, for the most part, are not nearly as severe as those for ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Flu, COVID-19 and seasonal allergies

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My 14-year-old daughter has seasonal allergies that usually spike in the fall, as well as a love of the outdoors, so it is not uncommon for her to be congested and coughing. Last year, we home-schooled her, but now she is back in school in person. As we move from the fall into winter, how can I tell the differences between her ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Teen anxiety

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My 15-year-old daughter has always been anxious, but her anxiety seems to be worsening by the day. She is worried about everything from COVID-19, even though she is vaccinated, to getting accepted into a good college. There are days when she doesn't want to get out of bed and go to school. Other days, she voices worry about ...Read more

Eat to sleep, perchance to dream

In "Heartburn," Meryl Streep (Rachel) and Jack Nicholson (Mark) eat spaghetti carbonara in bed -- and they're headed for a breakup. In "Bridget Jones's Diary," Renee Zellweger (Bridget) snuggles under the covers for a rendezvous with excessive amounts of comfort food. Neither is a formula for a good night's sleep. But there are foods that can ...Read more

Too many bathroom trips overnight is a quality-of-life issue

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old woman in good health. For a couple of years, I have had increasing trouble sleeping because of having to get up during the night to urinate. It is now four to eight times per night. I am careful not to drink much after early afternoon. I have a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. My primary physician ...Read more

Bone Health Basics

Health Advice / Nutrition News /

Most of us don't give much thought to osteoporosis because we're healthy, strong and can do what we set out to do. But an estimated 10 million Americans have this bone disease that occurs when the body loses calcium from bone faster than it builds new bone. That results in low bone density, which increases the risk of a broken bone. That happens...Read more

Cartilage inflammation is one source of ear pain

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: The rims of my ears both get so sore I can't even sleep on them. What can I do? -- W.W.

ANSWER: There are many causes for pain in the cartilage of the ear, including trauma and infection. However, when both ears are involved, it raises the concern for a rare but serious disease called relapsing polychondritis. This is an ...Read more

Reimagining Thanksgiving sugar traps

During Thanksgiving week, Americans spend around $90 million on pies! And most folks eat around 30 grams of added sugar (far beyond what you should have in a day) in their Thanksgiving dinner -- before they even get to dessert!

But you don't have to give up your favorite Turkey Day ingredients to eat healthfully. The trick is to prepare them so...Read more

7 essential amino acids build proteins, protect your brain

Psychologist and writer Timothy Leary almost got it right. Turn on (the stove); tune in (to amino acids); and drop out (of the 20% to 25% of folks 65 and older who have mild cognitive impairment and the 10% with outright dementia). A new lab study in Science Advances has identified the specific essential amino acids that protect the brain from ...Read more

The complicated relationship between pain and blood pressure

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have sciatic pain. I do my best to mitigate the pain with exercise. The only painkiller I can tolerate is aspirin. I have been approved for physical therapy, but that doesn't start for another six weeks. When I stand up, the pain is intense, and I just force myself to walk, because then it goes away. My blood pressure is now ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: 5 elements of a balanced fitness routine

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My New Year’s resolution was to focus on fitness. I have never had a formal plan before, but I joined a gym. Do you have any advice on a variety of exercises or workouts a beginner like me can focus on, so I don’t get bored immediately?

ANSWER: A well-balanced fitness training routine is essential for good health. For ...Read more

Can your diet be too clean?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

We’ve all heard the term “clean eating,” and how it’s supposed to give us picture-perfect health. For good health, there is obviously nothing wrong with striving to eat mostly lesser processed foods and cooking from scratch more often. But for some people, the quest to clean up their diet can veer into a problematic preoccupation with ...Read more

Sleep, stress or hormones? Brain fog during perimenopause

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Often when people think of perimenopause, irregular periods and hot flashes come to mind. But some women may notice another symptom: brain fog.

You’re reading a letter and suddenly realize your thoughts have drifted off and you need to start again. Or you draw a blank when you’re trying to remember someone’s name, or find yourself ...Read more

7 health benefits of sweet potatoes

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Many people wonder if sweet potatoes are actually that good for you, which isn’t surprising considering their very name suggests they’re sugar-and-starch bombs! But this root veggie is actually super good for you. Sweet potatoes are particularly appealing in the fall — as a hearty side dish and as an ingredient in everything from soups and...Read more

Which Came First: Migraine or Sleepless Night?

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

People who suffer from migraines often have trouble getting a good night's sleep, but it's not clear whether migraines cause poor sleep quality or poor sleep quality causes migraines.

A new meta-analysis of 32 studies involving more than 10,000 people doesn't answer the question but it did identify two key factors. First, adults and children ...Read more