Are Calcium Supplements Safe?

Q. Are calcium supplements safe? A. The short answer is probably yes. Many people, especially women, take calcium supplements in the hope of building stronger bones, but whether calcium supplements prevent fractures remains uncertain. The United States Preventive Services Task Force advises postmenopausal women against taking 1,000 milligrams a day or less for preventing fractures … Read more

What Foods Should I Avoid to Prevent Kidney Stones?

Q. What foods should I avoid if I’m prone to kidney stones? A. Drink more fluids, consume less sodium and eat a diet that includes calcium-rich foods. The rest depends on the chemical composition of your stones. More than 90 percent of stones contain calcium, usually in the form of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate or … Read more

Which Is Better, Rewards or Punishments? Neither

“I feel a sense of dread as bedtime rolls around. Here we go again.” A dad said this in our family therapy office one day, describing his son’s pre-bed antics. The child would go wild as bedtime approached, stubbornly ignoring his parents’ directions and melting down at the mention of pajamas. The parents felt frustrated … Read more

Do Flip-Flops Protect Against Athlete’s Foot?

Because the fungi that cause fungal foot infections thrive in warm damp environments, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools are breeding grounds. Similarly, shoes that become warm and damp also promote their growth. Athlete’s foot also tends to be more common in men than in women, perhaps because the floors of men’s locker rooms … Read more

How Not to Let Your Phone Ruin Your Vacation

If you are a slave to your email: Consider not checking your email at all while you’re away. Honestly, if you’ve set up a good auto-response and have left instructions for your co-workers, what’s the worst that could happen? (If your answer is that you’ll miss a firestorm, then your “worst-case” scenario is actually a … Read more

Take a Walk in the Woods. Doctor’s Orders.

In one exercise, she has participants close their eyes as she guides them through experiencing the different senses, imagining feeling their feet growing into the ground like roots of a tree, for instance, listening to nearby sounds and observing how far they may extend, or smelling the air. It’s similar in many ways to a … Read more

Is There Such a Thing as ‘Traveler’s Constipation’?

Q. Is there such a thing as “traveler’s constipation”? A. Traveler’s constipation is probably real. And the scientific evidence behind it is fascinating. The largest study of traveler’s constipation appeared 40 years ago in the Swiss medical journal Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift. The authors administered a questionnaire to 10,500 tourists returning to Switzerland after visiting the … Read more