The Doctors and USA Weekend

The Doctors have partnered withUSA Weekend magazine as exclusive medical contributors. Check out their HealthSmart column!

 

The Nine Best Tips to Finally Quit Smoking
It harms every organ in your body. That’s one reason to quit. Smoking also causes nearly one-third of all cancers, leads to heart and respiratory diseases and kills an estimated 443,000 Americans every year — those are some others. To help you kick the habit, we asked The Doctors’ Facebook followers how they quit, and quit for good. Hundreds of former smokers responded: They told us it’s tough, they said you have to be committed, but they showed us it’s possible. Here is some of their best advice. ... READ MORE

Five Key Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
The numbers are nuts: More than 25 million people in the United States have diabetes — and that’s almost 10% of the population.Here’s what’s even crazier: Making just one key lifestyle change can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by roughly one-third, suggests a new government study that collected data on more than 200,000 adults. ... READ MORE

A Helpful Health Guide for Every Parent
You always double-check their seat belts before pulling out of the driveway, take them to the doctor when they’re under the weather, force them to wear that helmet when they ride their bikes, and you’ll no doubt make a valiant effort to ration the candy they will soon collect. As a parent, keeping your little (and big) kids safe and healthy is your top priority. Here are nine strategies to help you do your job — and do it well — based on the latest science and research. ... READ MORE

When Should You Get a Mammogram?
The controversy over mammograms continues: This past summer, results of a nearly 30-year Swedish study found that 30% fewer women die from breast cancer if screened regularly. ... READ MORE

Asthma: It's Not Just For Kids
You can’t shake that cough, maybe you’re having a tougher time breathing, or you feel a little pressure in your chest. It could be a bunch of things: bronchitis, the start of pneumonia, a sign of emphysema ... or it could be asthma. ... READ MORE

Get a Good Night's Sleep
You need more sleep. Most of us do. Seven to nine solid hours is what experts recommend, yet about 60% of Americans report having sleep troubles almost every night, according to this year’s National Sleep Foundation poll. The right amount of rest gives you more energy, better immunity and reduced risks of heart disease, diabetes and, studies show, obesity and dementia. Here are three more reasons to aim for seven to nine hours. ... READ MORE

Get Thin, Get Rich, Get Pretty
In April, The Doctors received a cry for help from Kim and Butch, who were concerned about the welfare of their son, Devon’s, weight. At 29 years old, he weighed 470 pounds, and said he would go to sleep wondering if he’d wake up in the morning. ... READ MORE

How to Fight Fall Allergies
You thought they would be gone by now, right? But those allergies that have been torturing you since the end of summer are still around. Recently, a USDA-led study found that ragweed pollen is lingering up to 27 days longer than it did in the mid-1990s. ... READ MORE

Women, Make Your Move Now
What is one of the most, if not the most, important things a woman can do for her health? Stop smoking. That's because smoking raises the risk of cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Alzheimer's — those are Nos. .... READ MORE

Arthritis: What's Truth and What's Myth?
Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis — you probably know that’s an old wives’ tale. Though it could injure ligaments around the joints and lead to weaker grips, there’s no proof every pop puts you one step closer to arthritis — specifically osteoarthritis .... READ MORE

The Battle of Good vs. Bad Cholesterol
Having too much "bad" LDL cholesterol — the kind that clogs arteries — in your blood and not enough "good" HDL cholesterol can raise your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke .... READ MORE

Alternative Medicine that Works
You opt to pop echinacea pills when you have a cold, but will it really help? Many Americans think so. Surveys show that almost 40% of adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine .... READ MORE

The Latest Findings on ADHD
Every kid has a hard time sitting still, and it's not out of the ordinary for a child to drop a crayon midcolor when the opening music of her favorite cartoon beckons..... READ MORE

What You may Not Know about Birth Control
What you do know about birth control: Abstinence is the only surefire way to prevent pregnancy (and protect you from STDs); smoking while on the pill may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke; as long as you are still getting a period, you can get.... READ MORE

What Science Knows about Muscle Cramps
It comes out of nowhere — while you're playing tennis, gardening, sitting on the couch or even when you're fast asleep. Suddenly a muscle gets locked in spasm, it's hard as a rock, and the pain borders on unbearable.... READ MORE

Adults Need Vaccines, Too
We're good about keeping our children's shots up to date, but we're not so good at protecting ourselves: Government reports show fewer than 6% of adults received the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in 2009 ... READ MORE

Five Ways to Spot a Bogus Diet
From eating cookies, cabbage soup and baby food to drinking lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne concoctions, dieters have tried their fair share of wacky weight-loss plans ... READ MORE

Which Vitamins are Worth Your Money?
Can taking extra vitamins, minerals or herbs make you healthier? Many of us think so: More than half of adults in the USA take one or more dietary supplements every day. Multivitamins are most popular ... READ MORE

Important Tips to Manage Your Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be debilitating, all-consuming and even frustrating — especially when you've taken every test and tried every medication and you still hurt ... READ MORE

New Strategies to Manage Diabetes
The numbers are alarming: More than 25 million people in the United States have diabetes—that's about one in 10 Americans. ... READ MORE

Summer Vs. Your Skin
Summer is the time when we show a little more skin. These tips from The Doctors will make sure your skin is protected ... READ MORE

Cool the Hot Flashes
They come and go at their whim, leaving you sweaty and red-faced in their wake. Some pass quickly, and others linger for as long as 30 minutes; they can occur several times a day, and even wake you up at night ... READ MORE

Quick Fixes for Summer's First Aid Challenges
At the beach, in the park or even just hanging out in your backyard, warm weather is all about fun in the sun — that is, until someone gets hurt ...
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Men's Health Report: Keep Him Fit
Men live a lot longer than they used to: About 40 years ago, average life expectancy was 67 years; today it's almost 76 ...
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Be Kind to Your Feet this Summer
It's finally time to break out the sandals, but sometimes the combination of heat, sun and sweaty shoes can be tough on your toes ...
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Why Cancer Patients are Living Longer
According to a new government report, the number of cancer survivors in the USA is close to 12 million, in part because of earlier detection, better diagnoses ...
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Four Ways to Prevent a Stroke
Every 40 seconds, someone in the USA has a stroke; about every four minutes, someone dies from one. If you stop smoking, cut your sodium intake and keep your weight, blood pressure and blood sugar in check ...
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Four Essential Steps to Avoid Sports Injuries
It's a nice day and you can't wait to hit the links for 36 holes, play a game of pickup basketball or go running. Exercise has endless benefits, but if you spent the better part of the winter planted on the couch, the kamikaze approach can put you on the fast track to ...
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New Thinking on Infertility
If you are among the more than 7 million women in the USA having a hard time getting or staying pregnant, you've probably gotten lots of advice. Some is true — age does have an effect on fertility, as do smoking and obesity — but other suggestions may not ...
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Tips to Lower Your Chances of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak — so much so that a small slip-and-fall or robust sneeze can cause a fracture. Women are affected more than men, and age and family history increase the risk, as does body size: People who have small frames are more likely to develop the disease. Still, there are steps you can take to protect your bones and lower your risk ... READ MORE

Five Tips to Breathe Easier
COPD is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. There's no cure for COPD, and you can't undo damage to your lungs. If you are one of the 12 million people diagnosed with it, here are some steps to help you breathe easier, stay active and feel better ... READ MORE

Not True. Not True. Not True. Three Myths About Back Pain

Back pain afflicts eight out of 10 Americans at some point in their lives, yet surveys show most people are misinformed about pain and its treatment. Here we set the record straight
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4 Energy Tips to Put Spring in Your Step
Feel as if you're dragging yourself through the day? Exercise can help keep you energized, and so does getting enough sleep. But if you need a quick boost, these fast energy fixes can ... READ MORE

Allergies: Not Just For Kids
Allergies are a kid's thing, right? Not necessarily. New research suggests more older people will be developing allergies than ever before.But how can you suddenly become allergic to grass or a cat? Your body may have a ... READ MORE

Can Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?
The short answer: We don't know yet. Many experts agree that to date, there is no conclusive evidence that links cell-phone use to brain cancer, but that more research ...
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Lower Your Child's Risk of Obesity
You've heard the reports: Childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years, putting kids at risk for weight-related diabetes, heart disease and other health problems. Last year, President Obama established a federal task force that set a goal of reducing the rate of childhood obesity to 5 percent by 2030; right now, we are at about 17 percent ... READ MORE

Increase Your Chances for Having a Healthy Heart
Fact: Making a few lifestyle changes can prevent heart disease, and yet it remains the No. 1 killer in the United States. The American Heart Association wants to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent as well as reduce heart-related deaths and stroke by 20 percent — all by 2020. It's possible, they say, if adults don't smoke, maintain a healthy weight, eat right, work out and keep cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar in check ... READ MORE

Heart Attack: Know the Signs
You're a little nauseated and lightheaded. Your back hurts. What do you think? You're coming down with something, what you ate for breakfast didn't settle, you carried too much laundry up the stairs? All plausible explanations. Here's another: You're having a heart attack ... READ MORE

What You Need to Know about Irregular Heartbeats
Your heart may flutter at the sight of an old boyfriend or go into overdrive before you step up for a presentation. That's normal, and nothing to worry about. But if these irregular beats occur more often or are accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness, that may be a sign of an arrhythmia, or heart rhythm problem. Here are answers to common questions ... READ MORE

Latest on Your Heart: Key Risk Factors and Methods of Detection

An estimated 81 million Americans — more than one in three adults — have some form of cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease or stroke ... READ MORE

Banish the Winter Blues
Lots of people get a touch of the winter blues, but for some, the mood changes are way beyond a seasonal funk. They get super-cranky and anxious, feel exhausted and sleepy all the time; they eat more sweets, can't concentrate and stop hanging out with friends — all signs of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression ... READ MORE

Don't Let Arthritis Slow You Down
For the first time in 40 years, the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is on the rise, researchers at the Mayo Clinic say. An estimated 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with it. RA is a form of arthritis that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks the membrane lining your joints (often in the hands, wrists and feet), causing pain, swelling and stiffness ... READ MORE

New Year, New You
So what made your list of resolutions this year? If you're like most Americans, "weigh less and exercise more" is probably somewhere near the top. Setting goals is a good first step; figuring out how to meet them, though, is another story — one that often ends in frustration and procrastination. But that's where The Doctors can help ... READ MORE

Want to Stay Well? Wash Your Hands
We're getting better about it, but we're not great yet: A new observational study shows that about 85 percent of adults wash their hands after using public restrooms. That's up from 77 percent in 2007, and it's the most since the American Society of Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute started the studies almost 15 years ago ... READ MORE

Now is the Time to Stop Smoking
Every day, more than 1,200 people die from smoking cigarettes, and yet one in five adults continue to light up. Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, but if you quit today, you can stop and even reverse the damage ... READ MORE

Six Tips for Buying Safe Toys
Tis the season when millions of parents swarm toy stores, looking for the latest game or gizmo to give to the little ones they love. Entertaining and educational often top a parent's wish list, but safe should be No. 1. About 230,000 toy-related injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Here are some shopping tips ... READ MORE

It's Still Crucial to Get Tested for HIV
More than 56,000 people in the USA will contract HIV this year — the human immunodeficiency virus that can develop into AIDS — and chances are most will be gay or bisexual men or African Americans. According to new reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five men who have sex with men are infected with HIV, and an estimated one in 22 [African Americans] will be diagnosed with the virus in their lifetime (the risk for Hispanics is one in 52, for whites, one in 170) ... <a href="http://www.usaweekend.com/article/20101203/HEALTH01/12050301/-1/health01/It-s-still-crucial-to-get-tested-for-HIV" target="_bl