Do you have a personal story about side effects or alternatives? Are you an expert on an alternative to drugs? Would you like to place a guest post or contribute an article to MedShadow? Do you love one of our stories so much that you’d like to share it or republish it on your site? Great! We love to share. But we have a few guidelines. Your story on MedShadow We would love to receive your personal "First Person" story. Send us a brief outline of your story. These stories should be in the first person, using "I" and "me."…

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MADERA, Calif. — Growing up amid the dusty agricultural fields of the Central Valley, Ruby Marentes-Cabrera can’t recall a time when it wasn’t difficult to breathe. Diagnosed with asthma early in childhood, the ninth grader has come to detest the pistachio trees that surround her home because the dust, pesticides and other allergens that blow off the orchards often trigger an asthma attack — even infiltrating her home so that simple chores like vacuuming can be dangerous. “We live so close to the fields — I breathe the dust and chemicals in,” said Ruby, 14, describing coughing and wheezing fits…

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With the flurry of shopping, spending money and traveling to see family, stress can feel inevitable during the holidays. You might already know stress can affect your own health, but what you may not realize is that your stress – and how you manage it – is catching. Your stress can spread around, particularly to your loved ones. As a social-health psychologist, I have developed a model on how partners and their stress influence each other’s psychological and biological health. Through that and my other research, I’ve learned that the quality of intimate relationships is crucial to people’s health. Here’s…

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Kids ages 5 to 11 can now be vaccinated against COVID-19 following the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization of the Pfizer Bio-NTech vaccine for this age group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s endorsement in early November 2021. Some parents remain hesitant about vaccinating their kids. But many around the country are enthusiastically signing up and lining up to get their elementary schoolers vaccinated. Yet parents of children under 5 are still left wondering when their children will be vaccinated. Experts suggest it may not be before next year. This wait could prompt parents and doctors…

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December 1, 2021 by Paul Tullis Erin Bascom’s job in HIV prevention training shifted to work-from-home in mid-March 2020, around the same time that she and her husband decided to keep their daughter, then 2, home from daycare out of concern over Covid-19. Initially, the plan was for the parents to take turns, one caring for the toddler while the other worked. But then Bascom’s husband, who serves in Maryland’s National Guard, was called to active duty for pandemic response. He was gone 12 hours a day at first. Then, to prevent disease transmission between soldiers and their families, his…

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August 11, 2021 by Teresa Carr In the fall of 2016, sex therapist and researcher Leonore Tiefer shuttered the New View Campaign, an organization she had founded to combat what she refers to as “the medicalization of sex” — essentially, the pharmaceutical industry’s efforts to define variations in sexuality and sexual problems as medical issues requiring a drug fix. For 16 years, the group had fought against industry’s involvement in sex research, including its push for a drug to boost women’s sex drives. New View hosted conferences and its members penned papers and testified before the United States Food and…

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Here at MedShadow, we pride ourselves on giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about your health to balance the risks and benefits of illnesses, medicines, alternative treatments, and lifestyle. The convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Thanksgiving holiday gives us the rare opportunity to provide insight into how each of us has evaluated the risks and benefits — to ourselves and to our loved ones — of gathering with family and friends in these unusual times. Below, each staff member walks you through how they reached their decision on holiday plans this year. Denavi Every…

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If you’re not an aromatherapy enthusiast, you may not have peppermint oil lying around your home. But if you struggle with chest pain after eating — and it doesn’t stem from cardiac causes — there may be good reason to stock up on the essential oil. This is according to a new pilot study on 38 patients from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). The research, published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences earlier this year, found that 63% of patients with disorders of the esophagus that resulted in difficulty swallowing and non-cardiac chest pain felt better after using the…

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Prescription drug abuse is a massive issue in our country, with an estimated 18 million people misusing these medications, according to 2017 research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Could a so-called “smart” pill bottle make a dent in that harrowing statistic? Scientists at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia hope so. There, researchers are creating a sophisticated yet affordable-to-produce pill bottle that can recognize when someone is tampering with or overdosing on a drug. When it senses such misuse, the smart pill bottle will send wireless alerts. The smart pill bottle can also detect…

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Suffering from pain? In the near future, your doctor may prescribe hypnosis for you. Yes, as in the trance-like state where you have heightened focus and are more apt to respond to suggestion. Last month, a meta-analysis (a statistical procedure for combining data from multiple studies) published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews found that hypnosis resulted in “clinically meaningful reductions in pain.” To establish their conclusions, researchers reviewed 85 controlled experimental pain trials. Commonly, both over-the-counter and prescription drugs are used to help treat pain, but the new meta-analysis leaves scientists with promising evidence that hypnosis may deserve a spot…

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