Health and Living

Can I drink alcohol while taking antibiotics?

With some antibiotics, the answer is a definite no. With most, however, the answer may be a cautious yes. A few antibiotics have been reported to cause reactions with alcohol. Most of these are cephalosporins, a class of broad-spectrum antibiotics that are used to treat a variety of infections. Yet, while there are many cephalosporins, only a handful have been reported to cause this reaction.

Jun 21 2018

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16:8 fasting diet actually works

A form of intermittent fasting known as the 16:8 diet helps obese individuals to lose weight and lower their blood pressure, according to a new study. More and more people now turn to intermittent fasting as a fast and effective way to lose weight. There are different forms of this diet, depending on the time intervals of “fasting” and “feasting.” In daily fasting, or the 16:8 diet, people eat whatever they like for eight hours and fast for the remaining 16.

Jun 21 2018

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Emotional eating ‘learnt by children’

Children who eat more or less when stressed or upset have learned the behaviour rather than inherited it, a study suggests. A study by University College London found home environment was the main cause of emotional eating.

Jun 21 2018

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Seven ways to improve your memory

Sleeping well helps reinforce episodic memories—those associated with time and place. There is also substantial evidence that REM sleep plays a vital role in the consolidation of memories relating to learning motor skills, such as learning to play a musical instrument or ride a bike. Having a full night’s sleep soon after gaining a new skill helps consolidate the processes involved so they can later be performed“on autopilot”.

Nic Fleming, Jun 21 2018

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Unfit in middle age: Are you doomed?

Are you someone in middle age who keeps putting off that planned health kick for another day?If so, a couple of new studies may give you a sense of urgency.

Alex Therrien, Jun 21 2018

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Should doctors consider body size when prescribing drugs?

A one-size-fits-all dosing strategy is reasonable for many drugs. While doctors consider a patient’s weight in some cases, weight is generally subsumed into larger considerations of therapeutic index and titration when determining the right dose for a patient.

Jun 14 2018

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Sleep cycles linked with mood disorders

People who have disrupted sleep cycles or less variation in their activity levels around the clock may be more likely to have depression, bipolar disorders and other mental health issues, a study suggests. People with a circadian rhythm, or biological clock, that’s out of step with their daily routines—like split shift or night shift workers—can have an increased risk of emotional, behavioural and psychological problems.

Jun 14 2018

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Premature birth risk measured by blood test

A study found that both the age of a developing foetus, and whether a woman was at risk of giving birth early, could be worked out using a test that picks up free-floating RNA, DNA’s single-stranded cousin, in the mother’s blood. Although researchers behind the study warn that the research is based on only a small number of participants, and has not yet been used in clinical trials, the findings offer hope because current tests to identify a risk of preterm birth are invasive and expensive.

Jun 14 2018

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Seven ways to minimise the risk of having a stroke

A stroke is the damage caused by a clot or a bleed in the brain. It is the major cause of serious long-term disability. A quarter of strokes occur in people under 65, and the damage caused ranges from minimal changes picked up on a scan, through to loss of speech, difficulty finding words and loss of power down one side of the body or face.

Jun 14 2018

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What to do when a loved one is severely depressed

Reports of Kate Spade’s suicide and struggle with depression instantly transformed her from symbol of polished prep to a blunt reminder that suffering affects all types. Three days later we woke to the news that another beloved figure, Anthony Bourdain, had taken his life.

Heather Murphy, Jun 14 2018

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Is shingles contagious?

Shingles, the painful and blistery rash that arises when the chickenpox virus becomes reactivated, can be contagious, but only for people who are not already immune to chickenpox. Those who have never had chickenpox or been vaccinated against it are at risk for developing chickenpox—not shingles—if they come in contact with fluid from the blisters of a shingles patient. The blisters are contagious until they crust over, “and people should keep them covered,” said Dr Pritish K Tosh, an infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Jun 07 2018

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Physically demanding jobs shorten men’s lives

Despite much evidence that getting lots of physical activity bodes well for long-term health, when it’s physical labour on the job, the opposite might be true. Researchers found that men whose jobs involve a lot of physical labour are 18 percent more likely to die prematurely than workers who sit at desks most of the day.

Jun 07 2018

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Trauma from parents leads to poor health

Trauma experienced by a parent during childhood has long-reaching consequences—maybe even to the point of negatively impacting their own children’s health, a new study found. “It is well known that adverse childhood experiences can lead to serious and wide-ranging effects on the health of the people who go through them,” said FéliceLê-Scherban, PhD, the study’s lead researcher and an assistant professor in Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health.

Jun 07 2018

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Remarkable therapy beats terminal breast cancer

The life of a woman with terminal breast cancer has been saved by a pioneering new therapy, say US researchers. It involved pumping 90 billion cancer-killing immune cells into her body. Judy Perkins had been given three months to live, but two years later there is no sign of cancer in her body. The team at the US National Cancer Institute says the therapy is still experimental, but could transform the treatment of all cancer.

James Gallagher, Jun 07 2018

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Are you eating too much protein?

For the past two decades, the benefits of high-protein nutritional regimes have been relentlessly marketed to the general public, largely through the booming diet, fitness and protein supplement industries. However, while this has lined corporate pockets—the whey protein supplement industry alone was worth $9.2bn in 2015—scientific research has suggested time and again that it may be harming our health.

DAVID COX, Jun 07 2018

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