Be proactive to prevent opioid addiction

Addiction to opioids such as morphine, heroin and prescription painkillers is a growing global problem. Generally, opioids have an important role in the treatment of certain types of pain, but they have inherent risks and side effects, including being highly addictive. Even infrequent use can lead to dependence.

Understand how marijuana can affect your teen’s health

Marijuana use is widespread and very popular for recreational use among teens and young adults. As you know, here in California, medical marijuana use is permitted to people with certain health conditions. For young people under 18, if they are not an emancipated minor, they would need parental/guardian consent. So let’s examine the effects marijuana can have on teenagers.

Is your family’s medical history writing your future?

You are the product of your mother and father. That fact becomes clearer with each new genetic discovery. Very specific genetic testing can determine whether your blood is likely to clot and cause a heart attack, whether you are likely to have diabetes, and whether you are at risk for dementia or schizophrenia.

Proactive employers can lower health care costs, boost productivity

Americans are more likely to be overweight than not! That sobering conclusion from the latest analysis of the NHANES study, which stands for National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, has major implications for our nation’s health. Employers should pay attention, as rising insured employee health care costs can put a squeeze on businesses financially.

Fluid retention: Swollen ankles a sign of something more?

Humans – we're made of water, right? So why is fluid retention a problem? Generally speaking, the normal water content in a female body is between 45-60 percent and 50-65 percent in a male body, and these percentages tend to decrease with age. So for example, a 160-pound person may contain just under 100 pounds of water. But sometimes water pools where it shouldn’t, such as in the lower legs and ankles, the abdomen, the fingers or the face.

Two birds, one stone: Fight obesity and diabetes together

Type 2 diabetes has been on the rise in the U.S. Of the people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, about 80 to 90 percent are also diagnosed as obese. This provides an interesting clue to the link between diabetes and obesity. So, how exactly can obesity cause Type 2 diabetes? Read on to find out.

What is oleic acid and how much do you need?

Most people are familiar with the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but what is oleic acid, and why is it important? Oleic acid is a naturally occurring, odorless, colorless oil. Oleic acid is found in flaxseed oil, borage (a Mediterranean herb) oil, evening primrose oil, olive oil (less in virgin olive oil), pecan oil, canola oil, peanut oil, macadamia oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil, sea buckthorn oil and sesame oil. You can also find it in animal fat. Oleic acid at appropriate levels has been implicated in cancer prevention in some (but not all studies), and reduces cholesterol levels.

Is your doctor giving you the time, attention and care you need at your age?

You don't get much time with your doctor, and your doctor doesn’t have much time to think about you. This can lead to problems. For example, doctors might be in such a rush to get to the next patient that they can’t take the time to pick the best medication regimen for their patients. Less-than-ideal meds can lead to side effects and drug interactions. This is especially concerning for older patients.

Hitting your peaks in life

Many people think they know when they hit their peak in life. But you may be wrong. Perhaps the best is yet to come. A recent article in BBC news titled “What is the prime of your life?” examined research by Harvard scientist Josh Hartshorne, which was recently published in Psychology Science. The findings are that life has many peaks, whether it is in regards to fitness, brain function, social skills, knowledge and reasoning, sex life or life satisfaction. For example, you may peak in athletics in your 20s but be happiest in your 60s. It’s not “all downhill from here!”

3, 6, 9: What are the different omega fatty acids?

Essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) are indeed essential for your health, but they cannot be produced in the body, so you need to get them from foods or supplements. Ideally, your diet would have a healthy balance of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but the modern American diet tends to be richer in omega-6. Unless you are following a Mediterranean diet, you could probably use some more omega-3! Let’s take a look at what the different “omegas” do.

Why are bioidentical hormones controversial?

Have you ever taken female hormones to regulate your menstrual cycle or to improve your mood or energy? While synthetic hormones (made in a lab) have long been available as prescription medications, pharmacists have also created “bioidentical” hormones for decades. Bioidentical hormones are derived from plant extracts, such as soy or yams. They are modified so that their molecular structure is identical to the hormones your body produces.

What’s the big deal about pesticides?

Pesticides have a bad name among health-conscious consumers. Many are concerned about the health implications of pesticide exposure, especially among children, pets and the shrinking honeybee population. But farmers who use them might say that pesticides are necessary chemicals for protecting their crops from parasitic insects and a multitude of plant diseases. Farmers constantly face the challenge of new and old crop diseases, and they have to make sure their crops aren’t responsible for spreading any illnesses among consumers. Let’s be proactive and understand how pesticides may be affecting your health.

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