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Is your cell phone dangerous to your health? - harvard

Is your cell phone dangerous to your health?

Plenty of us use our phones in situations when we probably should be paying more attention. But how often does this behavior lead to actual injury? A data analysis offers some answers. The post Is your cell phone dangerous to your health? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 23 hours ago
Saying Goodbye to One-Sided Relationships - positively positive

Saying Goodbye to One-Sided Relationships

The problem is, it’s not that easy to call someone out or tell them you’re no longer going to stick around while they continue their selfish ways. We like to tell ourselves we’re strong enough to walk away, but it takes time, courage, and a lot of confidence to accept you’re not loving yourself by keeping this person in your life. It takes lots of self-love to walk away from a friend you’ve known all your life or a partner who you love because you know you’re hurting yourself by keeping them around. The post Saying Goodbye to One-Sided Relationships appeared first on Positively Positive.
positively positive - 1 day ago
LDL cholesterol: How low can you (safely) go? - harvard

LDL cholesterol: How low can you (safely) go?

Lowering LDL cholesterol has been shown to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have suggested that more aggressive goals for LDL levels in people who already have CVD can decrease risk even further. The post LDL cholesterol: How low can you (safely) go? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 day ago
Menopause and insomnia: Could a low-GI diet help? - harvard

Menopause and insomnia: Could a low-GI diet help?

Researchers examining dietary data from over 50,000 postmenopausal women found that women who ate foods with a higher glycemic index, and foods with more added sugars, were more likely to have insomnia. The post Menopause and insomnia: Could a low-GI diet help? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 5 days ago
Diabetic retinopathy: Understanding diabetes-related eye disease and vision loss - harvard

Diabetic retinopathy: Understanding diabetes-related eye disease and vision loss

Over 7 million people have diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of vision loss in working-age adults with diabetes. It’s recommended that people with diabetes should work to keep blood pressure in the normal range and their A1c level below 7% to avoid complications such as diabetic retinopathy. The post Diabetic retinopathy: Understanding diabetes-related eye disease and vision loss appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 5 days ago
Coming clean: Your anesthesiologist needs to know about marijuana use before surgery - harvard

Coming clean: Your anesthesiologist needs to know about marijuana use before surgery

Regular marijuana users who need surgery should disclose their use ahead of the procedure, because of its effects on the body and on the anesthesia medications required for sedation. The post Coming clean: Your anesthesiologist needs to know about marijuana use before surgery appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 6 days ago
What to do when your child swears - harvard

What to do when your child swears

Even young children can surprise a parent with salty language. Regardless of where they first heard it, use the occasion to help your child learn appropriate behavior in and outside the home. The post What to do when your child swears appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Are polypills and population-based treatment the next big things? - harvard

Are polypills and population-based treatment the next big things?

Combining multiple medications into a single pill, or polypill, is one approach to improving adherence (taking medication as prescribed). Depending on the conditions being treated, it may be easier for people to take a single pill, but there are also downsides to this approach. The post Are polypills and population-based treatment the next big things? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Targeted Ultrasound Destroys Cancer Cells: Study  - web md

Targeted Ultrasound Destroys Cancer Cells: Study

Focused ultrasound is already used to destroy tumors, with most approaches using either high-intensity beams to heat and destroy cells or injected contrast dyes. But both approaches can harm healthy cells and contrast dyes work only for a minority of tumors.
web md - 1 week ago
What are ultra-processed foods and are they bad for our health? - harvard

What are ultra-processed foods and are they bad for our health?

Health advice tells us to eat less processed food, but what does that mean? Researchers compared diets with most of the calories from unprocessed foods and from ultra-processed foods, to see how the subjects were affected. The post What are ultra-processed foods and are they bad for our health? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Harvard Health Ad Watch: When marketing puts your health at risk - harvard

Harvard Health Ad Watch: When marketing puts your health at risk

Can health marketing be harmful? Watch out for health ads that make misleading or even dangerous claims that an unproven product or treatment is better than a proven one. The post Harvard Health Ad Watch: When marketing puts your health at risk appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 1 week ago
Study: Young Women Getting Pelvic Exams They Don’t Need  - web md

Study: Young Women Getting Pelvic Exams They Don’t Need

The authors estimate that nearly one-quarter of young women aged 15-20 have received a pelvic exam in the last year. That’s 2.6 million girls. More than half of the exams -- 1.4 million -- may not have been needed.
web md - 2 weeks ago
What parents need to know about a vegan diet - harvard

What parents need to know about a vegan diet

If your family follows a vegan diet––or your child expresses the desire to do so on their own––it's important for parents to be aware of the nutritional challenges of vegan eating, and how to meet them. The post What parents need to know about a vegan diet appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Vestibular migraine: Progress in the search for treatments - harvard

Vestibular migraine: Progress in the search for treatments

A sense of dizziness or spinning associated with migraine headache is called vestibular migraine. A small study found that a type of nerve stimulation treatment improved symptoms of vestibular migraine in study participants. The post Vestibular migraine: Progress in the search for treatments appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Hiatus - positively psychological

Hiatus

Hello Everybody! It is good to take a minute to write again. It has been too long since I have posted on this blog. When I started the blog over the summer, I was feeling very inspired to read as much psychological research as possible in an effort to share it with you guys. This … Continue reading Hiatus →
positively psychological - 2 weeks ago
Why medical research keeps changing its mind - harvard

Why medical research keeps changing its mind

When a medical study announces findings that seem to say the opposite of what’s been understood and accepted about a particular condition or treatment, it can make you question all medical news. A study aimed to determine just how frequently this happens, and with which conditions. The post Why medical research keeps changing its mind appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
New Food Labels Help for Counting Calories, Sugar  - web md

New Food Labels Help for Counting Calories, Sugar

Foods with multiple servings in a single package -- like a big bag of potato chips -- will now have a two-column label that will list the nutrition information in a single serving alongside the calories, fat, cholesterol, protein, sugar, and sodium in the entire package.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Congenital heart disease and autism: A possible link? - harvard

Congenital heart disease and autism: A possible link?

A recent study confirms that people born with congenital heart disease have a significantly greater risk of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The research highlights the need for autism screening in children with CHD as early as possible. The post Congenital heart disease and autism: A possible link? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 weeks ago
Breast Density Alerts Might Not Be Helping Women  - web md

Breast Density Alerts Might Not Be Helping Women

The goal of dense breast notifications is to spur a conversation between a woman and her health care provider. The provider can let a woman know how having dense breast tissue affects her personal risk of breast cancer or detecting it.
web md - 3 weeks ago
Getting sleep in the hospital - harvard

Getting sleep in the hospital

There are many things about hospital routines that make it difficult for patients to sleep well. If you find yourself hospitalized, there are things you can do to improve the chances that you will get a better nights sleep. The post Getting sleep in the hospital appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 weeks ago
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harvard
Eosinophilic esophagitis: A new food-related allergic condition on the rise?

Eosinophilic esophagitis: A new food-related allergic condition on the rise?

harvard - 3 weeks ago

In the early 1990s, doctors began describing a new condition affecting the esophagus of patients who were predisposed to allergies including food allergy, asthma, and eczema, and who were having trouble swallowing. Today, we call this condition eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).

What is EoE?

EoE is an allergic inflammation of the esophagus that causes a range of symptoms. Adolescents and adults most often experience it as difficulty swallowing, sometimes feeling like food moves too slowly through the esophagus and into the stomach. In some cases, food actually gets stuck (and may require urgent removal). Children and some adults primarily experience reflux symptoms and abdominal pain rather than difficulty swallowing.

In most cases, EoE develops as an allergic response to certain foods including wheat, milk, egg, soy, nuts, and seafood. If it is not properly diagnosed and treated, EoE may lead to permanent scarring or strictures (narrowing of the esophagus).

How is EoE diagnosed?

When EoE is suspected, generally the first test is an upper endoscopy, in which a flexible tube with a small camera and a light on one end is used examine the esophagus. The endoscopy usually reveals characteristic features of EoE, such as concentric rings and linear furrows or vertical lines, as well as small white spots or plaques.

The diagnosis is confirmed if biopsies from the esophagus reveal the hallmark increase in eosinophils. Eosinophils are a relatively rare type of immune cell that play a prominent role in allergic disorders including EoE and asthma.

How common is EoE?

EoE can affect both men and woman of any age, but it appears to be most common in men in their 30s and 40s. It is currently estimated that EoE may affect up to one in 2,000 adults in the US, and evidence suggests that the numbers have been growing. A recent review of nearly 30 studies in Europe and North America found that there has been a progressive increase in the number of new EoE cases, especially since the early 2000s.

The rise in EoE cases may be partly due to greater awareness of the condition and more widespread use of endoscopy. But a number of studies have confirmed a true rise in the incidence of the disease.

Why might EoE be on the rise?

The exact reasons for the rise of EoE are unknown, and it is especially puzzling that in many cases EoE results from an allergic sensitivity to a food that has been well tolerated up to that point.

There are several hypotheses about why EoE is increasing. Many of them relate back to the idea that EoE, and other allergic and autoimmune diseases, seem to correlate with decreased exposure to microbes and infections. Possible explanations that have been explored include:

  • The hygiene hypothesis: do fewer childhood infections equal more allergic diseases?
  • Microbial dysbiosis: has the modern/Western diet and lifestyle changed our microbiome?
  • Environmental factors: might changes in food production, genetic modification of crops, chemical additives, food processing, and pollutants play a role?
  • Declining frequency of H. pylori infection: might this common stomach bacteria (a common cause of peptic ulcers) be protective against some allergic diseases?
  • Increasing frequency of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): could acid reflux break the barrier of the esophagus and allow food allergens to stimulate the immune system?
  • Increasing use of acid-suppressing medications: does the use of antacids, especially early in life, change the microbes in the esophagus or somehow otherwise alter the risk of later food allergy?

How is EoE treated?

There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for EoE. Most people are initially treated with a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) antacid, which resolves EoE in up to half of cases. If this does not work, either a mild topical steroid or identification and elimination of specific dietary triggers is attempted.

When steroids are used to treat EoE, these are generally in a liquid formulation that is swallowed, rather than inhaled as they would be for asthma. Swallowed steroids act locally on the esophagus and are minimally absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. Although steroids for EoE are generally safe and effective, they do not lead to a long-term cure because the disease tends to come back as long as patients continue to eat foods that trigger the underlying allergic response.

Patients may also opt to identify their food trigger and eliminate it from the diet, and this represents a more definitive treatment approach. Unfortunately, currently available allergy testing does not accurately predict the foods that cause EoE. Trigger foods generally need to be identified using a process of food elimination and reintroduction. Wheat and dairy are the two most common triggers for EoE, and patients will often start by eliminating these two foods for about eight weeks. At that point, their symptoms are reassessed, and they also undergo a repeat endoscopy with biopsies to determine if the eosinophils have disappeared in response to the dietary changes.

Several medication therapies are on the horizon. These include better formulations of steroids and biologic medications that reduce the activity of eosinophils.

Summary

If you are having trouble swallowing or have experienced episodes of food getting stuck in the esophagus, particularly if you have other allergic conditions, discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Unrecognized or untreated EoE can lead to permanent damage to your esophagus.

For more information or to learn about strategies for living with EoE, visit the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders.

The post Eosinophilic esophagitis: A new food-related allergic condition on the rise? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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