Topic 2

  1. Wash your hands the right way

    How do you wash your hands?

    You usually learn how to wash your hands in preschool -- and it looks like most of us have been getting it wrong ever since.

    I know, I know. How could you possibly wash your hands wrong? Turn on the sink, rinse, grab some soap, rinse again, dry, and you're done.

    Well, yes and no.

    That's about the order of things, but a new study shows that nearly everyone manages to botch it anyway. In this one, Michigan State

    University researchers hung around the sinks in 12 public restrooms, watching some 3,700 people wash (or not wash).

    They found that:

    • 95 percent wash their hands wrong;
    • 33 percent don't bother with soap, including 50 percent of men and 21 percent of women;
    • 10 percent don't even wash at all (yuck!), including 15 percent of men and 7 percent of women; and
    • Those "wash your hand signs" we like to joke about actually work, as people are more likely to wash when they're there.

    The most common mistake is a matter of timing, as most people spend just 6 seconds washing up, according to the study in the Journal of Environmental Health.

    Can you really call that washing? That's more like just getting your hands wet and spreading the germs around.

    Instead, make sure you suds up and wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. The CDC says washing for at least 20 seconds can kill germs, including the flu virus, and suggests singing the "Happy Birthday" song twice (preferably in your head, especially in public restrooms).

    I've heard other people suggest the alphabet song. But you don't have to sing a song -- all you have to do is get back to the basics you learned in preschool.

    Get your hands wet, add some soap and then count to 20 -- slowly -- as you lather and wash your hands. Be sure to cover all the surfaces of your hands, including the backs, across your fingertips and under your fingernails.

    Rinse carefully, dry thoroughly, and -- considering how many people don't wash at all -- use a paper towel to grab the doorknob, lest you contaminate your hands all over again.

  2. Lack of sleep can increase heart risk

    Poor sleep raises inflammation in women

    Ladies, if you're battling heart disease, make sure you're not battling your pillow at the same time -- because lack of sleep can speed the progression of the disease, worsen the condition, and even put your life on the line.

    The key here is inflammation; The higher your inflammation, the higher your heart risk (and other risks), especially if you already have heart disease. And if you already have the disease yourself, lack of sleep habits can send your inflammation levels soaring, according to a new study of more than 700 older men and women with heart disease.

    The study didn't find the same effect on men, and the reason may be due to hormonal differences.

    Older women see their estrogen levels plunge after menopause. Men, on the other hand, see a much more gradual decline in testosterone -- and while those testosterone levels aren't what they used to be, it could be just enough to help provide some protection here.

    But whether you're a man or woman, young or old, facing disease or just hoping to avoid it, don't let lack of sleep habits linger -- because insomnia and other sleep disorders are a major risk factor for everything from cancer to dementia.

    The answer here isn't a sleep drug. These meds do nothing about the actual cause of poor sleep -- and most don't increase the amount of quality sleep each night.

    They also come with plenty of risks of their own -- including a risk of death, even with occasional use.

    (Did you know than many over-the-counter drugs that are used for sleep, like Tylenol PM and Benadryl, could boost your risk for cognitive decline or dementia in as little as two months? If you've ever popped one of these pills you NEED to read this.)

    Instead, work with your doctor to find and correct the true cause of your sleep problems.

    In older patients, it's often those very same hormonal imbalances I just mentioned -- and those can be corrected with natural hormone supplementation. In other cases, however, lack of sleep can be caused by any combination of other conditions, including nutrition, lifestyle, stress, caffeine, and more.

    A holistic doctor can run some tests that should uncover the answer and help you solve your sleep problems for good.

  3. Psychotherapy as good as antidepressant drugs

    Psychotherapy works about as well as antidepressant drugs, according to new research -- but even that's not the best way to cure the condition.
  4. Walking after eating meals can control blood sugar

    Going for a short walk after meals can help the body to control blood sugar levels, according to new research.
  5. Control blood sugar with the benefits of fish oil

    Fish oil can help produce a hormone that controls blood sugar --in theory slashing your risk of diabetes.
  6. Different brands have different health benefits of green tea

    A series of tests have determined that certain brands of green tea contain very little...or in some cases practically none...of the dementia and cancer fighting properties typically found in the tea.
  7. Depression increases signs of hypoglycemia

    A new study finds a link between depression and increased blood sugar control issues that could land you in the hospital.
  8. Statins don’t improve physical fitness levels

    A new study finds that adding statins to an exercise program provides virtually no improvements in fitness levels and in some cases makes them worse.
  9. Anger issues can cause your heart attack risk to skyrocket

    A new study finds that angry outbursts may send your heart risk skyrocketing by an astounding 230 percent. More severe rage episodes could almost double that jump in risk to 450 percent.
  10. Fast colonoscopies miss more precancerous cells

    Some doctors are moving too fast when performing colonoscopies and those lost couple of minutes of scope time could turn out to be deadly when they miss polyps and precancerous growthsthat could eventually become killer cancer.
  11. Electronic devices disrupt sleep cycles

    The artificial LED light from electronic devices like iPads fool your body into thinking it's daytime disrupting melatonin production, leading to sleep issues, immunity problems, and reducing your protection against diseases like cancer.
  12. Eating bugs? There are better ways to lose weight

    A U.N. agency wants people to eat more bugs to fight obesity -- but there are much better ways to lose weight.
  13. Lead exposure blocks learning in kids

    Low levels of exposure to lead can block development in childhood and slow learning -- and a new study shows how it can delay reading skills.
  14. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry

    Hungry? Don't go shopping! When people shop hungry, they buy 18 percent more food and 31 percent more high-calorie junk food, according to a new study.
  15. Obesity linked to causes of sleep apnea

    New numbers show sleep apnea has increased by as much as 55 percent -- with obesity accounting for up to 90 percent of those new cases.
  16. Heart healthy benefits of having a pet

    Pet ownership is good for your heart, especially if you have a dog. Dog owners are 54 percent likely to get recommended levels of daily activity.
  17. Walking exercise can help beat arthritis pain

    Walking can ease arthritis pain and restore function -- but two-thirds of senior with arthritis do little to no walking.
  18. Why migraine meds don't work

    Up to 80 percent of all migraine patients get little to no relief from medication.
  19. Breast implants make breast lump hard to find

    Breast implants can block imaging tests, making it difficult to spot tumors until it's too late.
  20. Vitamin E can undo the effects of tobacco

    Smokers who quit and take vitamin E supplements see bigger improvements in heart health than smokers who quit without taking the nutrient.

Items 141 to 160 of 441 total