Gift giving for family or friends in assisted living

Have family or friends in assisted living facilities? Finding the right gift can be complicated. Health issues may rule out some gifts: cross off sweets or chocolates for those who need to keep blood sugar under control. There isn’t much space for extra belongings in the apartment or room. In some cases, your giftee’s physical …

Are poinsettias, mistletoe, or holly plants dangerous?

Last winter, my wife shooed the dog and visiting toddlers away from our poinsettia plants, saying "they’re poisonous, you know." I did not know. But it turns out that the belief that poinsettias are deadly is widespread. The same could be said for mistletoe and holly. But are their reputations for danger well-deserved? Since these …

Navigating a chronic illness during the holidays

As a doctor, I am constantly advising my patients to prioritize their own mental and physical health. Get adequate sleep. Eat healthy. Learn how to say no so you don’t collapse from exhaustion. Love and care for yourself like you do others. I talk the talk but don’t always walk the walk — even though …

Exercise, metabolism, and weight: New research from The Biggest Loser

The Biggest Loser was a popular reality television show that ran on NBC for over a decade starting in 2004. In it, participants with obesity competed with each other through intense physical challenges and ate a reduced-calorie diet to see who could lose the highest percentage of body weight. Prior findings from studies of The …

Thinking of trying Dry January? Steps for success

Let’s file this under unsurprising news: many American adults report drinking more since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to a survey on alcohol use in the time of COVID-19. If you’re among them, you might want to start 2022 on a healthy note by joining the millions who abstain from alcohol during Dry …

5 skills teens need in life — and how to encourage them

All parents want their children to be successful in life — and by successful, we mean not just having a good job and a good income, but also being happy. And all parents wonder how they can make that happen. According to Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child, it’s less about grades and extracurricular activities, …

How to address opposition in young children

"No!" It might have been endearing as your child’s first word, but dread often kicks in when that word starts to follow parental requests. Experiencing resistance to small or big asks? Stuck in arguments that seem to go in circles and leave you exasperated with unmet requests? The good news is that this pattern can …

New study investigates treatment-associated regrets in prostate cancer

Men who are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer have difficult choices to make about medical therapy, and the last thing any of them want is to regret their treatment decisions later. But unfortunately, treatment-related regrets are quite common, according to a new study. After looking into the experiences of 2,072 men diagnosed with prostate cancer …

Why are women more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease?

Did you know that of the 6.2 million people with Alzheimer’s disease who are age 65 or older in this country, almost two-thirds are women? This means that Alzheimer’s disease is almost twice as common in women compared to men. Why is Alzheimer’s disease more common in women? Women live longer The first and most …

4 immune-boosting strategies that count right now

It’s winter, as a glance outside your window may tell you. COVID-19 is circulating at record levels across much of the country. Keeping our immune systems healthy has taken on new importance, as many of us hope to ward off flu and winter colds as well as worrisome variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, …