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.

Love the idea of getting more exercise outside, but not sure where to start?  Exercising outside benefits us in more ways than one. The sunlight can help regulate your circadian rhythm, making waking up in the morning and falling asleep at night easier. The sights, sounds and smells of nature can calm our bodies and even provide health benefits like lower blood pressure. Before your step onto a trail or pedal into a bike lane, it’s crucial to know the basics of staying safe. We’ve rounded up apps and guides to help you whether you want to go hiking, biking…

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Angela Ridgel, PhD, an exercise physiologist at Kent State University, usually helps patients exercise at the gym, while studying how it might improve their cognition and brain health. But many exercise routines on land, such as aerobic or stretching ones, for example, can be challenging for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), she says. “When you’re doing exercise [on] land, which is what we mostly do in my lab, that would have a tendency to make MS patients overheat and then exacerbate their symptoms,” she adds. So she teamed up with a doctor who specializes in working with MS patients to…

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Missing out on sleep can dampen your mood and make you less focused and more prone to overeating. It can increase your risk of both depression and cancer and leave your body more vulnerable to infections. Still, some of the drugs you are prescribed can make it harder to get the all-important shut-eye you need. Below are the four types of drugs that can cause insomnia as a side effect as well as tips to help you get to sleep. 1 Oxycontin and Other Opioids A 2019 meta-analysis suggested that while opioids may reduce activity and restlessness while sleeping, they…

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The incidence of depression and anxiety has surged among adults in the United States over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC survey suggested that from 2019 to 2020, symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression have tripled and quadrupled, respectively. As you might expect, prescriptions for antidepressant and antianxiety drugs also have spiked, according to the telehealth platform iPrescribe. While many patients with severe or chronic depression or anxiety may need to continue using these medications long term, you may think that, given the return of opportunities for working…

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✅ This article was reviewed and approved by George Grossberg, MD, member of our MedShadow Medical Advisory Board. As a teenager tackling depression, Breanna Hushaw was prescribed more than 15 different antidepressant medications, which “caused a ton of side effects.” Her doctor knew she was struggling and suggested Hushaw might be a good candidate for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Once she started the treatment, Hushaw had one 20-minute session a day for 36 days. By Day 16, she says, “I realized I [was] starting to feel better.” The treatment allowed her to focus better and make progress in therapy.  Today,…

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We all know exercising regularly is one of the best things we can do to maintain health and ward off disease. But, let’s be honest, sometimes exercise is boring and, ouch!, it hurts to strengthen those muscles, especially the core.  You can spice up your routine and forget the pain using the TikTok challenges, below.  Some ways are to add one to the end of your usual workout, do as many as you can one after another or build up to the more taxing routines.  Note: the videos featured below aren’t necessarily by the creators of the original challenges.  …

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Lack of sleep can do more than make you a little drowsy the next day. Think fatigue, irritability, lack of focus and hunger pangs on one end to health risks ranging from depression to cancer on the other. If you opt for sleeping pills to help you sleep, you could be left feeling just as groggy as if you hadn’t slept at all and  end up with other side effects link dry mouth or even drug dependence. Lack of sleep is a very big problem. Sometimes it’s due to factors we can’t control, like working long hours or being woken…

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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…

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