Health studies often range from controversial to uninformative (and are often misinterpreted by the media), but every once in awhile researchers come along with new discoveries that are just kind of interesting to read about. In today’s benign-but-cool news: A University of Cincinatti professor and his son (a med student) found that lightning could be a cause of migraines and headaches; in a small-scale experiment, they found that subjects who lived within a 25 mile radius of a lightning bolt were 24% more likely to experience migraines (and 23% more likely to get a headache) on the day when it hit. More
Having a severe headache is a horrible feeling: you can’t bandage it up or put pressure on the wound or inject some novocaine to help yourself sleep. Migraines can affect your work, social life, mental health and several other aspects … More
As a kid, I could always tell when my father was having a migraine. He would get this horribly pained expression on his face, take a couple giant Ibuprofen, start dimming or turning off all the lights in whatever room he sat it and get extremely quiet, putting his fingers up to his forehead just like the woman above. It always made all of us sad, but there was really nothing that could be done; unfortunately, when it comes to migraines, most people afflicted wind up just waiting them out. More
A debilitating headache or migraine will not only put a damper on your day, it will stop you in your tracks and have you running for a dark room and cool head cloth. If you find yourself regularly reaching for pain relievers, you may want to implement these natural headache treatments and migraine remedies for taking the edge off More
If you suffer from migraines triggered by fragrances, loud noises, or bright lights, a trip to the gym may sound like the worst kind of torture. But according to a study by scientists at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, regular exercise can actually offer powerful migraine prevention. More
It’s not uncommon this time of year to hear someone say they’re suffering from a “sinus headache.” I’ve said this myself, oh, approximately 3,000 times. But they’re wrong (and so was I). Because sinus headaches, apparently, don’t exist. More
Get this: According to a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 25% of Americans taking an antidepressant have not received any clinical diagnosis. More and more, people are getting treated for a mental health problem that may not exactly exist, or more likely, are receiving medication for the wrong condition.
Over the last few decades, the booming pharma industry has given us a myriad of pills to choose from in order to chase the blues. For those trying to decide on which one, it’s important to see a psychiatrist — the doctor who traditionally prescribes psychotropic medications — because other doctors may not be quite up to speed on the nuances of the various meds currently on the market.
“There’s a movement among primary care physicians to do more screening for depression,” says Dr. Gerald Hurowitz, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Medicine, who runs a psychopharmacology and neuropsychiatry private practice in New York City. “But sometimes the diagnosis is not accurate.” Dr. Hurowitz says that oftentimes, clinical depression may actually be bipolar depression, which may require a different kind of medication all together. More
Los Angeles residents who tuned into their local CBS news after last Sunday’s Grammy Awards found themselves watching what appeared to be news correspondent Serene Branson having an on-air stroke. Seconds after picking up a live shot from the red carpet, Branson’s speech became garbled and slurred. Producers quickly cut away from the clearly scared and disoriented reporter to a pre-taped segment, leaving viewers to wonder – what the hell had just happened?
Yesterday, doctors announced that Branson had suffered a migraine aura, not a stroke. UCLA’s Dr. Andrew Charles told the Los Angeles Times that Branson showed signs of dysphasic language dysfunction – “[t]he victim knows what she or he wants to say, ‘but can’t come up with the words’” – as well as blurred vision and numbness of the face. More
A reader named Christi sent me the following thought-provoking question about this recent Blisstree post: 10 Foods You Think Are Healthy and Nutritious But Aren’t:
I read your post about several foods that we commonly mistake for being healthy. I saw the image of the fat-free, sugar-free pudding and read the description. I understand that this food probably has little to no nutritional value, but I’m curious why you think sugar substitutes are unhealthy? I’ve always tried to stay away from sugar substitutes, and also do without sugar when possible. (I stopped putting sugar in my coffee a few years ago.) But I never really understood why it would be unhealthy to have sugar substitutes.
Great question, Christi. When I was studying for my R.D. exam many moons ago, I memorized a lot of information and random facts – much of which I’ve since forgotten. But one of the things I retained is the knowledge of an eating disorder known as pica. Those who suffer from pica eat non-food substances such as dirt, soap, or chalk; it’s quite serious. I’ve always likened eating fake foods such as sweeteners (saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose), with “no nutritional value” to this disorder. So if we don’t suffer from pica, what’s the appeal of food impersonators? More
Vanessa Giacoppo was completing her final year of college when her health took a nosedive. The once vibrant and slim 26-year-old now barely recognized herself.
“I felt like I had mono. I was sleeping all the time,” says Giacoppo. “At one point, my mother wondered if I was pregnant because I’d gained so much weight.” There were other problems, too. She was eating more than usual; her skin was very dry; and her hair and nails were brittle.
So Vanessa went to the doctor and had the full battery of tests. The blood work revealed that while she wasn’t producing enough thyroid hormones (known as T3 and T4), her thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was elevated.
The labs pointed to a disease known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition in which antibodies attack the gland as if it’s a foreign object, thus causing inflammation. The inflammation makes it difficult for the thyroid to produce sufficient amounts of hormones that are vital to the body’s ability to function properly. Hashimoto’s Disease is the leading cause of hypothyroidism.
It’s believed that as many as 10% of American women suffer from a thyroid hormone deficiency. Vanessa’s blood work was a no-brainer, but hypothyroidism still goes undetected for many more women. More
No Pain, Just Gain – Scientists from New York’s Stony Brook University are developing a hardcore painkiller (a la morphine) – with no side effects or addictive properties – that may be on the market next year. (ScienceDaily)