medication regimen

Vitamin supplements and apple

Supplement safety smarts

It’s easy to see the temptation of taking dietary supplements. Getting vitamins, minerals and herbs or other “health foods” in pill form sounds simple. And some of the products’ claims — “Live longer!” or “Have more energy!” — may seem enticing. But even though most supplements don’t require a prescription, it’s best to check with your doctor before taking them because they may come with risks — read on to learn more. Healthy intentions The BBC recently highlighted the potential risks in a piece called “The food supplement that ruined my liver.” As Texas resident Jim McCants recalls, he was hitting age 50 and hoping to prevent the heart problems that his father died from, so he sought to make some lifestyle changes. These included taking a green tea supplement, which wound up damaging the Texas resident’s liver so badly that he needed a transplant. Years later, McCants still struggles with kidney disease and abdominal pain — all because of a product he thought would make him healthier. McCants isn’t alone. More than 50% of U.S. adults take a dietary supplement, often in the form of multivitamins, calcium, folic acid or vitamin D. And supplements are nothing new. The Chinese have been …

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Getting back in the groove — 5 hacks + hints for routines that work

Even if you haven’t been a student for several years, back-to-school season feels like the time to get back into a routine. What’s involved in a good routine? And what are the potential health perks of a basic regimen? See what the research shows, and join PatientsLikeMe to swap ideas with other members in this forum chat. How can routines help? In the business world, countless books and blog posts have touted the importance of routines when you want to succeed. Many PatientsLikeMe members have talked about the value of routines in coping with a health condition (log in and check out thousands of mentions of “routines” in the forums). “For me, having a routine with a chronic condition is a must,” says one member with fibromyalgia. “I don’t have to think what I have to do, it is already in my routine.” Health-wise, having a regimen can help people of all ages. Studies of preschoolers have shown that family routines (with regulated meals, bedtime and screen time) may improve kids’ emotional health and reduce the risk of obesity. Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that healthy habits and routines help older people, as well. See their seven-year study of people ages 44 to 84 who significantly reduced their heart-health risks by adopting …

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