IstockphotoJudy Dutton, with additional reporting by Kimberly Holland
These days it can feel like the age of anxiety is winning over the pursuit of happiness. An uncertain economy is just the tip of our worry iceberg. In fact, in a recent poll of Health readers, 48% of you say you worry more today than you did a year ago.
Here's another anxious thought: Scientists say women are wired to worry-at least more so than men. In our poll, 54% of you said you worry more than your spouse, with only 12% claiming your partner worries more than you do.
That's thanks, in part, to the hormonal roller-coaster women ride month to month and through the years. "The highs and lows can make women prone to feeling everything from anxious to depressed," says Jerilyn Ross, a licensed independent clinical social worker, president and CEO of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, and author of One Less Thing to Worry About.
Health.com: 9 things to stop worrying about
And while men tend to be linear problem
Blog Posts by Health.com
IstockphotoJudy Dutton, with additional reporting by Kimberly HollandRead More »from 7 simple ways to be happier
Getty ImagesBy Sarah KleinRead More »from Supermom myth can make you miserable
Working mothers are less likely to be depressed than stay-at-home moms, a new study suggests.
However, working moms who thought women should be able to do it all are at greater risk for depression at age 40 than those who had more realistic expectations before they had kids.
"Holding a job is likely to improve your overall mental health and well-being, which is ultimately a good thing for yourself and your family," says Katrina Leupp, the University of Washington sociology graduate student who led the research.
Health.com: Fight depression for free
But it's not a bad idea to "accept that balancing work and family is difficult, rather than feeling guilty or unsuccessful if you can't devote as much time as you would like to your job or your family," she says.
Leupp analyzed U.S. Department of Labor data, which included 1,600 married women who were approximately age 40 in 2006. The women had been surveyed in 1987, when they were around 20, about their thoughts regarding
Getty ImagesNORead More »from Should you cut back on coffee?
Rob van Dam, PhD, adjunct assistant professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health
• For most of us, java isn't harmful.
It's true that caffeine may raise blood pressure, so if you have hypertension, it's smart to switch to decaf. Caffeine can also interfere with sleep; if you suspect it's causing you to toss and turn, cut back. Otherwise, there is no health reason to stop drinking it.
Health.com: 12 surprising sources of caffeine
• It may lower your risk of becoming diabetic.
Every cup of coffee you drink seems to reduce your risk of the disease. In fact, a review of research in Archives of Internal Medicine found that after three or four cups a day, you see a 25 % lower risk. Other research shows that decaf may also cut your risk of diabetes, which suggests that it's not the caffeine but something else in coffee, possibly an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, that's responsible. Coffee drinkers may also be less likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver and liver
- Health.com | Work + Money – Thu, Aug 18, 2011 5:01 PM EDT
By Roshini Rajapaksa,MDRead More »from What are the signs of life-threatening food poisoning?
Q: Every time I hear about a deadly E. coli outbreak, I wonder: How do I tell the difference between harmless food poisoning and the life-threatening kind?
A: While a bout of food poisoning totally sucks, most of the time the vomiting, diarrhea, aches, and fever will go away on their own in a couple of days. But in rare situations, a more virulent pathogen-such as certain strains of E. coli bacteria that produce a poison called Shiga toxin-can lead to severe, life-threatening dehydration or kidney failure.
If you have diarrhea along with a fever of 101 degrees or higher; if you feel very thirsty, dizzy, or light-headed; or if you have diarrhea that persists for more than three days, see a doctor. Head straight to the ER if you have a lot of blood in your stool or a pounding or skipping heart, or if you think you got sick from eating poisonous mushrooms, bad shellfish, or a contaminated canned item (toxins from these foods can have especially serious
Getty ImagesCutting-edge advances are transforming ovarian cancer from a death sentence into a disease women can beat. By Ginny GravesRead More »from Stopping the scariest cancer
Four years ago, Angie DeWilfond of Moline, Illinois, was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. "I was distraught," says the 41-year-old. "I couldn't bear the thought of not being around to raise my kids."
She underwent surgery and chemo twice; both times, the cancer came back. Then in November 2010 she enrolled in a clinical trial of a new class of drugs called PARP inhibitors. Amazingly, blood tests now show that her tumor markers have dropped to the normal range.
"If the drug continues to work, I could survive on it for a very long time," DeWilfond marvels.
And that's a major deal. No one wants cancer, but the ovarian kind in particular can seem like the worst-case scenario.
Health.com: My ovaries or my life
In fact, it's the most fatal gynecologic cancer. That's because its symptoms are subtle, so it usually isn't caught until it has spread to the
Colin Anderson/Getty ImagesHeard you're destined to gain at certain life stages (marriage, motherhood, meno)? Don't believe it. By Maridel ReyesRead More »from Fat-proof your life
It's true that there are certain times in your life (after getting married, post-kids, during perimenopause) when extra poundage seems to appear out of nowhere … and settle on you. In fact, experts have honed in on the exact moments when you're most vulnerable to weight gain.
"Life transitions, having a baby, and going through menopause cause many women to pile on pounds," says Susan Albers, Psy.D., author of But I Deserve This Chocolate!: The 50 Most Common Diet-Derailing Excuses and How to Outwit Them. "But with planning and prep, you can stay thin."
We asked top experts for their strategies to help you ward off weight creep-and even shed pounds-at these tricky stages. Solutions ahead.
Health.com: 25 ways to cut 500 calories a day
Heavier ever after? It can be the flip side of wedded bliss: "Six out of 10 of my clients come back heavier after the
- Health.com | Shine Food – Mon, Aug 15, 2011 10:12 PM EDT
By Caitlyn Elf
There's really no denying the allure of brownies. Fudgy, gooey, and filled with decadent chocolate flavor-it's pretty impossible to pass one up when offered. Luckily, I've put my skills to the test and have managed to create a heart-healthy recipe that's not only guilt free but, one could argue, actually good for you!
Health.com: How to make chocolate a healthy indulgence
Using this recipe for completely indulgent Chocolate Fudge Brownies, follow the four simple substitutions I made below and you'll be in ooey, gooey brownie heaven, complete with all the flavor and none of the guilt!
Health.com: Simple swaps to cut 500 calories
Ingredient substitutions:Read More »from Recipe makeover: Heart-healthy black-bean brownies
• 1 cup butter, softened - I replaced this with one 15-ounce can of black beans, a common substitution in vegan baking and a heart-healthy option as well.
• 4 large eggs - I substituted 2 large bananas. (This yields a strong banana flavor, so if you're not a huge banana fan, I would suggest
Interval training-speeding up and slowing down at set times-is one of the best ways to burn more calories during your run (plus improve speed and stamina). It's also a great way to turn walking workouts into running ones. Here are two plans to try.
Health.com: 20 ways to torch 200 calories
- Pick up the pace (30 minutes).
- Walk at a brisk pace for 5 minutes.
- Run for 3 minutes at a comfortable but challenging pace.
- Power-walk for 2 minutes to catch your breath.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 three more times.
- Walk at an easy pace for 5 minutes.
Health.com: 10 ways to walk off fat faster
FYI: As you gain strength, spend more time running and less time walking.
For seasoned runners
- Go faster, stronger, longer (45 minutes).
- Walk at a brisk pace for 3 minutes, then run at an easy pace for 7 minutes.
- Run as hard as you can for 2 minutes.
- Run at an easy pace for 3 minutes.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 four more times.
- Cool down with 7 minutes of
Getty ImagesBy Amanda GardnerRead More »from Soy no help for bone loss, hot flashes
Middle-aged women searching for a safe alternative to hormone therapy to prevent bone loss and ease the symptoms of menopause are in for another letdown.
The latest in a series of disappointing studies finds that soy supplements, an increasingly popular substitute for hormone therapy, do not stave off hot flashes, night sweats, and other uncomfortable menopausal symptoms.
Nor did the supplements reduce the aging-related bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis, the study found.
Health.com: Can supplements ease menopause symptoms?
"Isoflavones, the plant-derived estrogens found in soy, are very weak estrogens, so it is not surprising that they have not shown to be as effective...as hormone therapy," says the lead author of the study, Silvina Levis, M.D., the director of the osteoporosis center at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.
"Women taking soy isoflavone tablets to alleviate hot flashes and prevent bone loss at the time of menopause might
Getty ImagesBy Alyssa SparacinoRead More »from Coconut water label claims questioned
Coconut water, which came to fame as a celebrity health fad, has become an increasingly popular way to stay hydrated or recover after a workout. Filled with electrolytes like sodium and magnesium, the slightly sweet water has come to be seen as a natural alternative to sports drinks like Gatorade.
That reputation may not be entirely deserved. According to a report released today by an independent health-product testing firm, the nutritional content of some brands of coconut water doesn't live up to what's on the label.
Researchers at ConsumerLab.com tested the sodium, potassium, magnesium, and sugar content of three leading brands of coconut water, and they found that only one, Zico Natural, contained the stated amount for all four ingredients.
Health.com: POM-boozled: Do health drinks live up to their labels?
The sugar and potassium content in the other two brands, Vita Coco and O.N.E., also matched the label. But the amounts of sodium and magnesium-two