Author: Emma Yasinski

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.

✅ This article was reviewed and approved by Terry Graedon, member of our MedShadow Medical Advisory Board. When Ron Carlson died on his motorcycle at 66, it wasn’t a slippery road or a distracted driver that led to his demise. It was hypoglycemia, according to the medical examiner who reviewed his death. Carlson, a diabetic, had been prescribed medication to lower his blood sugar, a job the drugs did too well. In Carlson’s case, it led to hypoglycemia that caused him to stumble, clutch the bike’s throttle for balance and then be flung across a restaurant parking lot. The fact…

Read More

When viruses, bacteria and other foreign pathogens enter our bodies, our immune system fights back with inflammation — changes in blood flow and a rush of immune cells that allow it to locate and destroy the intruders. As long as the inflammation quickly retreats when it’s no longer needed, this natural process is paramount, and healthful.  However, sometimes inflammation sticks around. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of diseases, including some cancers and Alzheimer’s. It’s also a driving force in autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes and lupus. Such foods as sodas, sugars, highly processed carbohydrates and red…

Read More

Two patients have reportedly been cured of the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) through bone marrow transplants intended to treat their cancer. A third was cured without the transplant. For most people, however, the disease still requires lifelong treatment, often with a combination of multiple drugs, which can lead to multiple HIV drug side effects. The first drugs for HIV didn’t do much to prolong people’s lives, says Edwin Bosa-Osorio, MD, a family physician at Community Health of South Florida. Over time, though, researchers learned that the most effective approach to managing the disease was for patients to take an amalgam…

Read More

Your doctor has just prescribed you a diabetes medication. Here’s how they work to reduce blood glucose levels and what to be aware of while taking them. At a recent visit to the doctor’s office, I had blood drawn for a number of lab tests, including ones to detect diabetes. If you’re over 45 — like I am — you’ll probably be tested for diabetes at some point in time as well. Our risk factors for adult onset diabetes increase as we age. These risks include weight gain, poor eating habits, less active lifestyle and a family history of diabetes.…

Read More

In late fall 2015, Norma Leigh Perry, a teacher in Tunica, Miss., had been on a combination of new cancer drugs for recurrent melanoma for months without a problem. Compared to previous drugs she had taken throughout her treatment, which dated back more than 2 decades, these new drugs, a type of immunotherapy known as checkpoint inhibitors, were easy to tolerate. “I was fatigued for a couple of days, but other than that it was fine,” she said. Later, she was put on a MEK inhibitor, another common treatment for melanoma but one that falls into a class of drugs…

Read More

If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, losing weight, exercising and changes in diet could be enough to keep your blood sugar in check. A combination of diet and exercise has the ability to reverse diabetes in many diabetics and pre-diabetics who are not insulin dependent — meaning if your pancreas is still producing any insulin. Since most diabetic medicines are taken for the rest of your life, it makes sense to delay taking them as long as healthfully possible. All medicines have side effects that might impair your life and taking drugs regularly adds a strain on your…

Read More

In the latest study, researchers at McGill University in Montreal found that Metformin, a commonly used drug to treat type-2 diabetes, increases the risk of low thyroid-stimulating hormone level in patients with underactive thyroids. In this study, 74,300 patients were given either Metformin or sulfonylurea, over a 25-year study period. In patients with treated hypothyroidism, Metformin monotherapy was linked with 55% increased risk of low TSH levels as compared to the use of sulfonuylurea. Via Science World Report. Posted September 26, 2014.

Read More