Health

  • 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 Fibromyalgia Fix

    Relieving the chronic pain of fibromyalgia may have gotten a little easier, thanks to a study comparing the efficacy of four common self-help approaches: aerobic and flexibility exercises; strength training along with aerobics and stretching; the Fibromyalgia Self-Help Course (topics include managing fatigue, pain, sleep, stress, and emotional issues such as worry, frustration, depression, and

    By James Keough
  • 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
  • Keep An Eye on MS

    With multiple sclerosis, you want to halt the deterioration of nerves and brain cells as soon as possible. But often doctors can’t detect that deterioration until late in the game—when the damage already has permanently affected the brain.

    By Gina Roberts-Grey
  • 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
  • Take a Bite Out of Plaque

    Does your dog’s breath make you cringe every time he comes in for a cuddle? Love those big, sloppy kisses—but need to wash your face immediately after? Just because bad breath is common in dogs doesn’t mean it’s normal, says Larry Bernstein, VMD, a holistic veterinarian in North Miami Beach, Florida, and president of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy.

    Eighty percent of dogs have some form of dental disease by the time they’re 3. But proper care can turn your pet’s mouth—and health—around.
  • Healing Houseplants

    Sprucing up your home or office with a touch of Mother Nature can do more than just brighten the space. These three plants can also do wonders for your body and mind, says Shelley Torgrove, certified clinical herbalist in Denver:

    Rosemary ... for mental clarity and memory

    By Nicole Duncan
  • Quick Cold Sore Remedy

    Wear a high-SPF lip gloss or balm. According to Seattle naturopath Tamara Cullen, prolonged sun exposure can trigger flare-ups.

    Lay off the chocolate and nuts. Foods high in arginine disrupt the amino acid balance in your body, which can aggravate the herpes-simplex virus (HSV-1), says Cullen. Cut back as soon as a sore appears.

    The next time you feel that telltale tingling, take charge with these tips.
    By Shanon Lyon
  • Look Before You Hop

    Including a real bunny in your child’s Easter basket may seem like a great gift idea. But each year, far too many bunnies end up in animal shelters when families realize that little Peter Cottontail is pretty high maintenance. According to the House Rabbit Society, a national nonprofit rescue and education group, rabbits are not ideal pets for children.

    by O'Rya Hyde-Keller
  • Ask The Doctor: Mercury Exposure

    You bring up an excellent question, and I hear it at my clinic almost weekly. Your experience at the doctor’s office mirrors the typical approach to heavy-metal testing—if the physician tests you at all.

    My family doctor tested my blood for heavy-metal poisoning and told me he saw no sign of lead or mercury. I’ve since heard that the test he used may not be very accurate. Should I get retested?
    By Paul S. Anderson, ND