Warding Off Winter “Beasties”

   A Scottish Prayer May the good Lord protect you From ghoulies and ghosties And long-leggedy beasties And things that go bump in the night. With the weather ups-and-downs of early winter, the cold and flu viruses have started to circulate and people are asking for tips to ward them off.  Here are my favourites:…

Poor Sleep, Fibromyalgia and Pregabalin

This post originally appeared in Quora. Recently, a Twitter follower asked me what she could do about deteriorating quality and quantity of sleep, and advised she is taking the medication pregabalin, also known as Lyrica. Bad sleep is a hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia, but it can also be caused by many other conditions. Because fibromyalgia…

The Skinny On Sugar Cravings

Concern among the general public and scientific communities about obesity has resulted in the development of all kinds of diet aids: low fat this, low carb that.  On the low carb side of things, we’ve seen a proliferation of sugarless sweeteners being touted as the way to satisfy your sweet tooth without packing on the…

Prostate Cancer Screening: The Role of PSA Testing

It’s prostate cancer awareness month and prostate screening has been making news recently.  One of the standard screening tools, the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, has come under scrutiny.  Some experts advise that the test should be dropped, others say it still has value.  Who’s right?  If we drop the test, does this mean that men…

Tummy Troubles

Healthy digestion is central to comfort and wellness.  Learn more from this article series:

Asbestos: An Indefensible Export

Ever since its link to cancer and lung diseases was established, asbestos has been in the news on a recurring basis.  Recently, concerns have been raised about why Canada continues to engage in the trade of this dangerous substance. Asbestos was first discovered in North America in the province of Quebec in 1860.  By 1898,…

Healthy Skepticism

From time to time, I get asked about health information that is circulating in emails on the internet.  Some examples include: drinking 4 glasses of water at the beginning of the day will cure disease; take an aspirin but don’t lie down if you think you are having a heart attack; several major brands of…

22 Billion Reasons To Make Workplace Stress Go Away

My brother, sharp guy that he is, recently shared a brief article with me that comments on the costs of workplace stress. We all know that stress can undermine health.  It won’t surprise you that workplaces have been found to be a significant source of stress.  This article put Canada’s cost of work-related stress at…

Reflections on Health, Happiness and Getting Older

My brother recently shared a short essay that pertained to topics that I also write about often: gratitude, cultivated happiness and their impacts on resilience and overall health.  I thought you might enjoy reading it too. THE BACK NINE HOLES Here it is… the back nine of my life and it catches me by surprise…

The Most Important Health Goal

I won’t give you any advice on making health-related New Year’s resolutions.  People rarely keep their resolutions, and I don’t want to waste your time. Health-related goals, though, are another matter.  Resolutions can seem punitive (“I resolve to give up [something]”) whereas goals are more positive, or that’s how it seems to me, at least….

7 Keys to Living Successfully With Chronic Conditions

Roughly half of the people around you are living with chronic illnesses.  Perhaps you are one of them.             Like everything else in life, you can choose to suffer with your condition, or you can learn to live with it gracefully.  I say “choose” because your attitude about your condition…

Rx: Laughter

Laughing is one of the best things you can do for your health.  This web search produced over 74,000 scholarly articles and studies on the health benefits of laughter.  Among its various health benefits, laughter has been found to: Counter the effects of anger, anxiety, depression and stress. Reduce your risk of a heart attack. Increase the…