Public policies to stop kids from drinking sugary drinks – Harvard Health Blog

Added sugar is bad for kids. It can lead to cavities, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. That’s why it’s recommended that children get no more than 10% of their daily calories from added sugar. The problem is that according to recent data, added sugar makes up 17% of the daily calories of the average child […]

What causes kidney stones (and what to do) – Harvard Health Blog

Stone disease has plagued humanity since ancient times. Kidney stones have been identified in Egyptian mummies. The Hippocratic oath describes their treatment: “I will not use the knife, not even verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.” Who gets kidney stones and why? The lifetime risk […]

Treating constipation with biofeedback for the pelvic floor – Harvard Health Blog

Constipation is often clinically defined as having three or fewer bowel movements a week. Sometimes this is about expectations; people generally feel like they’re not “healthy” if they don’t have a bowel movement every day. But three bowel movements a week can be normal for some people, especially if that has been their pattern for […]

Microbiome: The first 1,000 days – Harvard Health Blog

In the United States and other developed countries, we have seen a shift over the past several decades in the types of illness people struggle with. Public health campaigns around vaccination, sanitation, and judicious use of antibiotics have largely eradicated many infectious illnesses. As the nature of disease has shifted to inflammatory conditions, we’ve seen […]

Young children are swallowing objects twice as often as before – Harvard Health Blog

When my oldest daughter was 3 and my older son was 18 months old, I once entered the living room to find my daughter feeding my son quarters. She had found them between the cushions of the couch, where they had presumably fallen from my husband’s pants pockets. Luckily I intervened before any were swallowed, […]

Big problems for big toe joints – Harvard Health Blog

Big toe joint problems aren’t fun, as many people know from personal experience. Red, swollen, or misshapen joints can be unsightly. Still worse, though, is the pain –– and sometimes the risk of immobility –– that accompanies big toe joint problems. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to help relieve pain and keep you […]

Undoing the harm: Tapering down from high-dose opioids – Harvard Health Blog

For many years, health care providers like me were told that we were undertreating pain and that pain was a vital sign that needed to be measured. Concurrently, we were reassured that opioids were a safe and effective way to treat pain, with very little potential for development of abuse. As a result, opioid prescriptions […]

Stool transplants are now standard of care for recurrent C. difficile infections – Harvard Health Blog

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), also known as stool transplantation, is a procedure in which stool from a healthy donor is placed into the gut of a patient in order to treat a certain disease. FMT is not a new concept, but in the last six years it has become a standard-of-care therapy for the treatment […]

The latest deadly superbug — and why it’s not time to panic – Harvard Health Blog

I have to admit it: recent news reports about a newly described “superbug” are worrisome and at least a little bit terrifying. This time, it’s not a flesh-eating bacterium or drug-resistant tuberculosis — in fact, it’s not a bacterial infection at all. It’s a fungus called Candida auris (C. auris). If the first part of […]