If cannabis becomes a problem: How to manage withdrawal
Proponents of cannabis generally dismiss the idea that there is a cannabis withdrawal syndrome. One routinely hears statements such as, “I smoked weed every day for 30 years and then just walked away from it without any problems. It’s not addictive.” Some cannabis researchers, on the other hand, describe serious withdrawal symptoms that can […]
Year three of the pandemic is underway: Now what?
Let’s not kid ourselves: the pandemic is still with us, despite how it may sometimes seem. Increasingly, people are going back to work in person. Schools reopened this spring. And mask mandates are history in most parts of the US. In many places, case rates are falling and deaths due to COVID-19 have become uncommon. […]
Struggling with migraine hangovers? Read this
When the trademark throbbing from a migraine finally lifts, the relief is profound. But for many people regularly stricken with these potentially debilitating headaches, their distress isn’t over just because the pain ends. Instead, a distinct phase of migraine called the postdrome leaves them feeling achy, weary, dazed, and confused — symptoms eerily similar to […]
Poliovirus in wastewater: Should we be concerned?
Polio is a potentially life-threatening or disabling illness that spreads from person to person. Thanks to vaccination, the United States has been polio-free since 1979, and the spread of this highly contagious disease has been interrupted in most countries. Yet on June 22, the United Kingdom Health Security Agency announced that it had detected poliovirus […]
Colon cancer screening decisions: What’s the best option and when?
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and rates are rising, particularly in adults ages 20 to 49. Unfortunately, approximately 30% of eligible people in the US still have not been screened for CRC. Colon cancer may be prevented with screening tests that look for cancer or […]
An emerging treatment option for men on active surveillance
Active surveillance for prostate cancer has its tradeoffs. Available to men with low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer, the process entails monitoring a man’s tumor with periodic biopsies and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests, and treating only when — or if — the disease shows signs of progression. Active surveillance allows men to avoid (at least for […]
Gun violence: A long-lasting toll on children and teens
In the aftermath of the killing of 19 children and two adults in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, there is a lot of discussion — and argument — about what we should do to prevent shootings like this from happening. In the midst of all the back and forth between banning guns and arming […]
Untangling grief: Living beyond a great loss
“The horse has left the barn.” Those six words, said by my husband’s oncologist, changed our lives forever, although the sense of impending loss had begun weeks earlier with a blood test. There would be more tests, exams, and visits to specialists. As George and I waited for a definitive diagnosis, we bargained with ourselves […]
Weight stigma: As harmful as obesity itself?
Weight stigma, as defined in a recent BioMed Central article, is the “social rejection and devaluation that accrues to those who do not comply with prevailing social norms of adequate body weight and shape.” Put simply, weight stigma is a form of discrimination based on a person’s body weight. The authors of this article assert […]
Back pain: Will treatment for the mind, body—or both—help?
If you’ve ever struggled with low back pain, you know that it can be surprisingly debilitating, even if the discomfort is short-term. You may find it difficult to grocery shop, do housework, play sports, or even tie your shoelaces. When back pain is chronic, lasting 12 weeks or longer, it can impair quality of life […]