Health

  • Toxic (Over) Load

    Each morning I take a hot shower, shampoo, and shave. I may stop at the gas station while I’m out and about, and in the evening, I enjoy grilling fish and relaxing on the couch with the Discovery Channel.

    Minimize your exposure to everyday pollutants.
    By Matthew Solan
  • Ask The Doctor: End Springtime Allergies

    It sounds as though you have a condition known as rhinitis—inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nose. This inflammation leads to a runny nose, sneezing, and a feeling of being stuffed up. Rhinitis may result from a cold, allergies, or nonallergenic irritants in the environment, such as dust, cigarette smoke, or pollution.

    I always have a runny nose, but every spring it gets worse, and my eyes water and itch. Is this just allergies or something else?
    By Jane Hart, MD
  • Cool the Fires of Heartburn

    Just about everyone experiences heartburn at some point in their lives, after a stop at the Rib Shack, say, or too many mochas. For most folks it’s a passing problem. But roughly 60 million Americans suffer that burning sensation in their esophagus once a month, and some 15 million experience heartburn every day. They suffer from GERD—gastroesophageal reflux disorder.

    Your stomach can rest easy with these three approaches.
    By James Keough
  • New Hope for Parkinson's

    At first, Sally Sweeney’s hands trembled just enough to make holding the morning newspaper tough. Then, on long walks, her right arm would stop its natural swinging. Her always-precise handwriting suddenly looked a little off. The active, 52-year-old mother of four figured she had a pinched nerve or something.

    This disease strikes people at younger ages than ever before, but powerful treatments are on the horizon.
    By Jennie Lay
  • Body Language

    You know the feeling all too well : You’re working at your desk, trying to meet a deadline, and tension creeps between your shoulder blades and starts to move up your neck. Or you’re sitting in traffic, late for a coffee date, when a dull ache starts to form in your lower back.

    Stiff muscles speak to the tension in our lives. Here's how to get them to whisper sweet nothings all day long.
    By Meghan Rabbitt
  • Nontoxic Noshing

    We have a dream: happy dogs frolicking with PVC- and phthalate-free plastic, organic cotton, sustainable hemp, and recycled dog toys. Only a few companies are helping this dream become reality, so we rounded up the best of what the natural world has to offer and then turned the eco-toys over to our four-legged editorial advisors for testing.

    The Dogs:

    Nontoxic toys for dogs
  • What's My Alternative: Urinary Incontinence

    After giving birth to her first child, Dawn Kramer, 42, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, lived with mild to moderate urinary incontinence for 10 years. “I thought having a little leakage when I laughed or coughed was just a result of becoming a mom,” Kramer says.

    By Gina Roberts-Grey
  • Help! My Cat Has Stopped Using Her Litter Box!

    First off, don’t take it personally. Ten percent of cats develop a litter-box problem, and the sooner you address this messy issue the better your chances of resolving it, says Helena Kokes, animal behavior education coordinator at the Denver Dumb Friends League. The bad news? There’s no surefire path to success.

  • The Perils of Plastic

    Halfway between California and Hawaii floats the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—3.5 million tons of plastic trash, roughly twice the size of Texas. Known as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, this 10 million-square-mile vortex of water bottles, plastic bags, and Styrofoam has grown tenfold every decade since the post-WWII plastics boom.

    By Nicole Duncan
  • Lose Weight With Cactus?

    Who wouldn’t lose weight if forced to eat cactus, I hear you say, but suspend your disbelief. The cactus Caralluma fimbriata has a long pedigree as an appetite and hunger suppressant. Eaten like a vegetable in India, it appears to block enzymes involved in fat production and to help regulate appetite.

    By James Keough