Emma Yasinski

I am a freelance science and medical journalist, fascinated by how the scientific process leads to incredible discoveries, but also can lead to publication bias leaning toward positive findings and minimizing negatives. With a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Lafayette College and a Master’s in Science and Medical Journalism from Boston University, I’ve written about clinical trial transparency, organ donation, and basic molecular biology for publications like The Scientist, The Atlantic, Undark.org, Kaiser Health News, and more. At MedShadow, I research and write about the sometimes unexpected ways that medicines can affect us, and what we can do if and when it does.

Two years ago, a researcher who specializes in the safety of breast milk was in the midst of breastfeeding her own child when she experienced a serious bout of postpartum depression. She had a televisit with her doctor, who refused to write her a prescription for antidepressant medications as long as she was still breastfeeding, even though the drugs are considered safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  “A lot of times, [the] health [of the new mother] isn’t prioritized as much as that of the infant. And that’s something that we really worry about,” says Kaytlin Krutsch, PharmD, a…

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You’ve heard the words macular degeneration, but what do you know about the disease and its recommended treatments? What can you do to lessen its effects? Read on to find out more. Only one treatment exists for what’s called wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive disease that causes blindness emanating from the center of the eye. To treat it, your doctor gives you direct injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) into the affected eye. For the more common dry AMD, there aren’t any approved treatments. But there are two well-known ways to reduce your risk of getting AMD:…

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✅ This article was reviewed and approved by Shamard Charles, member of our MedShadow Medical Advisory Board. Vickie Hadge wasn’t diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) until more than 10 years after her first symptoms appeared. For that first decade, when she knew something was wrong and she didn’t know what, she took her health into her own hands, adopted a vegetarian diet and took up yoga and meditation. When she was finally diagnosed with MS in 2017, she was prescribed a disease-modifying medication, Copaxone (glatiramer acetate). Since the diagnosis, she says, she has remained relapse-free. For that, she credits both…

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A cup or two of caffeine is unlikely to be dangerous Larger servings can interact with many common medications, like antidepressants and antibiotics Some drugs can enhance the effects of caffeine You’ve probably seen someone holding a mug or wearing a T-shirt that reads “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.” Though lighthearted, the statement refers to something that many of us may forget: caffeine, an active ingredient in coffee, tea, chocolate and other foods and drinks is, in fact, a psychoactive stimulant drug. Unless you’re consuming exceptionally large servings of caffeine (upwards of 5 to 10 cups…

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The holiday season is upon us, a time when comfort food abounds. These foods need not derail your health to taste yummy. MedShadow scoured TikTok for some of the most festive, but healthy recipes to add to your holiday spreads. Below, find recipes for  vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto and Whole30 diets. Cucumber-Cream Cheese Bites Cooling cucumber and cream cheese make a low-carb treat that tastes indulgent. Pump up the protein and healthy fats by topping it with small slices of smoked salmon. Can’t find cream cheese or want a healthy alternative? Try Greek yogurt. Classic @_fingerfood#fy #foryou #foryoupage #healthy #healthyrecipes…

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In the last week of September 2021, a group of more than 90 doctors and researchers published a call to action, cautioning against the liberal use of Tylenol (acetaminophen) during pregnancy. The studies suggested that exposure to the drug could increase the risk of a baby having neurodevelopmental, reproductive and urogenital disorders. The authors added, however, that Tylenol has long been considered one of the few safer options to treat pain in pregnancy, since Advil (ibuprofen) and opioids are considered riskier. They pointed out that, in some cases, a woman’s condition (fever and pain, for example) could be worse for…

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✅ This article was reviewed and approved by Alison Acerra, MS, RDN, member of our MedShadow Medical Advisory Board. There’s a lot of money in protein. In 2020, the protein supplement market was valued at $18.9 billion, with a projected yearly growth rate of 8.4 percent. This protein-mania isn’t a fly-by-night trend, either. People buy protein supplements — in the form of protein powders, chips, and bars — because it’s a vital supplement for health and fitness.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein which your body requires to build and repair muscle, produce hormones and enzymes.  Protein…

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Lisa Torelli-Sauer, a 39-year-old vegetarian, used to be one tired woman. She put her two young sons to bed at 7:30pm, and says, “I could barely stay awake long enough to say goodnight to them.” Her most recent blood tests from her annual checkup had been normal, so her doctor hadn’t recommended she take any vitamins or supplements. Yet, as her exhaustion persisted, she started taking a vitamin supplement that contains iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and B vitamins. “I’m amazed at how much better I feel,” she says. “I’m able to stay up hours longer in the evening and no…

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Dietary supplements — vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, and a growing list of other “natural” substances — have migrated from health food stores to supermarkets and into mainstream medicine over the past 25 years. They are widely touted and often hyped, taken regularly by some 100 million Americans — half the adult population — and now “prescribed” and even sold by some doctors. See Also: • Popular Supplements, Claims for Them, and Alternative Approaches • 15 Supplement Ingredients to Always Avoid• What’s In My Supplement But there’s a big problem: Supplements are not medicines. Scientific evidence of their claimed health and…

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