One-in-five insured adults are now taking mental health drugs, mostly antidepressants, despite the fact that many people popping the pills aren't even clinically depressed. In 2010, 15 percent of men and 26 percent of women took prescription drugs for psychological or behavioral problems, according to new data released in Medco Health Solutions' "America's State of Mind" report. The number of people reaching for psych drugs is on the rise over the last decade, too. Researchers saw a 5-percent increase in women taking the mental and behavioral health meds (they're also twice as likely to take antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds compared to men), and a 3-percent jump in use for men compared to 2001 statistics. Your address and lifestyle might have something to do with it, too. Analysts found the highest prevalence of medication use took place in the east south central region of the country, an area known as the Diabetes Belt for higher-than-average risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released figures showing that this year's West Nile virus outbreak is the largest ever seen in the United States. Is it a coincidence that we're also experiencing the worst drought in more than 50 years? No, say epidemiologists, who have found that droughts can lead to an overabundance of mosquitoes, insects, parasites and other disease-causing organisms. Here are the diseases that you should worry about most—and how to protect yourself.
Men are notorious for ignoring health symptoms and avoiding the doctor's office. Broken pinky? Just use duct tape. But not all medical issues can be fixed so easily. What may be a pesky problem to a man could be erectile dysfunction, sleep apnea, prostate cancer and more. Here are 10 health symptoms your guy – and you – should take seriously...
"From light bulbs, dental fillings and mascara to toxic toys, we all suffer from everyday exposure to dangerous toxic metals," said Isaac Eliaz, M.D., L.Ac., M.S. and the lead researcher of the study. "This report of five case studies confirms that Modified Citrus Pectin combined with alginates is both safe and effective and has been proven to significantly address toxic heavy metal burden in patients with a number of different health conditions. The new clinical results can truly impact what is believed to be an epidemic of toxic pollution of the body with heavy metals."
Doctors are handing out more pharmaceutical drug prescriptions than ever, a practice that has prompted new drug-issuing guidelines and a call for more conservative prescribing. The new guidelines, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, call for physicians to think beyond drugs, treat underlying causes, and focus on prevention instead of reaching for the prescription pad right away. In addition, the recommendations ask doctors to only prescribe one new drug at a time, to monitor the patient closely for harmful side effects and to be generally skeptical of new drugs. "Avoid seduction by elegant molecular pharmacology; beware of selective drug trial reporting," the guidelines warn. In other words, be an old-school doc. We're not saying all pharmaceutical drugs are bad. In fact, many are lifesavers. But doctors could also ease many patient ailments by suggesting natural remedies that have been used for centuries with fewer side effects.
When it comes to stress relief, most of us need a little help. Whether you practice daily meditation, take brisk walks or engage in a friendly chat, there are many forms of relief that don’t require a pharmaceutical drug or a trip to a psychiatrist’s office.
A recent study from Harvard University shows the health benefits of tai chi, especially for those with heart conditions that prevent them from engaging in rigorous physical exercise. Tai chi is a Chinese form of martial arts that focuses on soft, slow movements and requires concentration on poses, physical posture and alignment.
With all of the stresses of today’s modern world, depression is unfortunately becoming a common household word for many people in this country and abroad. During the cold winter months, many also struggle with seasonal depression or “winter blues,” known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Depression can be caused by any number of factors, such as chronic stress, inactivity, hormone or neurotransmitter imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, medication side effects, chronic inflammation, or lack of adequate sunshine exposure, among others.