Arthroscopic surgery may have no benefit for osteoarthritis of the knees

If you have osteoarthritis, you know the pain that accompanies simple tasks like standing up or walking. So naturally, you want to do whatever you can to get some relief and get back to enjoying your life, pain-free. You talk to your doctor about treatment options, and perhaps you've been offered the option of arthroscopic knee surgery. Let’s review what this procedure is, its effectiveness, and what other options you can consider.

Statin controversy: Lowering cholesterol at the expense of antioxidants?

Statins are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America, because heart disease and stroke are some of the most commonly diagnosed diseases. Although they have saved many lives, controversy about their use still exists. Earlier this year, an abstract from a pharmacology journal (of a clinical hypothesis, not a research study) created some buzz among patients active on disease message boards. The authors of the piece think that because statins reduce levels of the potent antioxidant glutathione, the resulting lack of antioxidants could trigger bad outcomes like heart disease.

Sick and tired of migraines? Test for nutritional deficiencies

A migraine isn't just any headache. A migraine is a severe type of headache with an intense throbbing, often accompanied by nausea and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Anyone who has experienced this knows a migraine is debilitating. Sometimes medications work, and sometimes they don't – it depends on the person and the cause of the migraine. So what can a migraine-sufferer do?

WrestleMania deaths and dangers lurking in the gym

A recent article reported the premature death of another former WrestleMania participant and a pattern of early deaths among other participants. Compared to statistics for the general population, death rates seem to be much higher among this group. So what is going on? It’s no secret that gym users typically care about their body shape and weight. But some go too far for the physique they want and actually risk their health.

Be proactive and know the signs of a bile duct blockage

When we talk, read or think about our health, how often do “bile ducts” come up? Probably not often, if ever. We're so used to seeing PSAs, pretty posters, tote bags and keychains for heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer, but we don't hear that much about the bile ducts. However, a bile duct blockage can be painful and life-threatening!

Be proactive about your joint pain

Joint pain occurs inside or around a single joint connecting two bones, and it can have a multitude of causes. For kids and young adults, joint pain typically comes from injuries (such as falls, sports trauma or accidents), which usually heal after a few weeks. However, joint pain in the middle and later years of life is often related to wear and tear or inflammation, and tends to be more chronic. Statistically, 1/3 of the population has arthritis in one or more joints by the age of 65. With age, joint pain tends to increase, but it does not have to be inevitable.

Reasons why you can’t lose weight

Many people are convinced that they are doing the “right stuff,” like eating salad and exercising, but they're still not getting rid of that extra weight. If this sounds like you, you're probably on the right track but you're just missing that one key element that will unlock your weight loss potential. There may be something holding you back, whether mentally or physically.

Too much radiation from CT scans?

CT scans and X-rays expose patients to radiation every day. But how much is too much? Should patients be worried about how quickly they get referred to the scanner during an office or urgent care visit? Most radiation exposure occurs from CT scans. One abdominal CT equals 400 X-rays when it comes to radiation. Since the rate of CT scan ordering has grown by 50-600 percent over the last few years, some researchers estimate that 2 percent of all future cancers in the U.S. will be attributable to CTs.

Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week!

Did you know California has the highest rate of breastfeeding in the entire country? This is great news for us here in the Golden State, with 92.8 percent of babies having been breastfed in 2014. But why aren't all babies being breastfed? Science has shown there are so many benefits to breastfeeding (and downsides to formula) that breast is nearly always best.

Your Summer Heart Check-Up: Catch early warning signs before they become serious problems

Summer is a good time to think about heart health. Fresh produce is abundant, providing a bounty of antioxidants. And you can enjoy more time outdoors, soaking up some vitamin D from the sun. Perhaps you're more active, taking advantage of the weather and going for a nice bike ride. Or you just got back from a family vacation, where you finally got that much needed rest and relaxation.

The Kale Controversy!

No less a magazine than Mother Jones recently published an account of an alternative medicine researcher claiming the truly horrifying: kale might be bad for you. His patients, otherwise healthy, started presenting with digestive problems, fatigue, and skin and hair problems. He found that a lot of them had elevated thallium levels — and that a lot of them ate significant amounts of brassicas, the plant family that includes kale and cabbage. When he had some patients remove these foods from their diet, their thallium levels dropped and their symptoms improved.

Get your beauty sleep or you may be upping your risk for hypertension, diabetes, premature aging & more

Sleep deficiency and poor sleep quality are widely underestimated as major causes of health problems and mortality. They are not only related to daytime sleepiness, poor memory and decreased ability to concentrate, but to more serious outcomes as well, such as increased car crashes (1.2 million car crashes in the U.S. each year are related to drowsiness), and a multitude of permanent adverse health effects such as increased heart problems, degenerative effects on brain function, premature aging and weight gain. Statistics show that at least 50-70 million people in the U.S. have a sleep disorder. A Gallup poll suggests that as much as 40 percent of Americans get less than the recommended sleep time. Sleep times averaged 7.9 hours in 1942. This number has steadily decreased to 6.8 hours in the 1990s and 2000s.

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