Recent Health Articles

Winter Woes

With December celebrations done, some find January a season for depression

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day can be chock-full of holiday parties, gift shopping and family gatherings. It's an exciting time of cheer and merriment. By comparison, January's event calendar looks blank. What's to look forward to? Bone-chilling days where the sun sets before you leave work? Eyeing the forecast for the next possible ''snowmageddon''? ''I think this is a tougher time of year,'' says D.C. psychologist Mindy Jacobs. ''The change in the light and the length of ... [Read]

Fitness: Work-Out Wisdom

Take simple steps to avoid some common gym maladies

January is a hot time for gyms, as well it should be. Among the dozen most popular New Year's resolutions compiled by the U.S. government are ''get fit,'' ''lose weight'' and ''reduce stress.'' Joining a gym fills the bill on all fronts. But before you head to the gym, you may need to check-in for a checkup. ''People over the age of 50 who begin a gym regimen should check with their doctor that their heart is up to that,'' ... [Read]

Seasonal Shift

Keep feeling good -- and looking good -- with the changing seasons

Just because winter is approaching does not mean you have to get SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. And with swimsuit season long gone, if you've given up on your fitness regimen you may be making yourself more susceptible to it. If your excuse is that you're finding it harder to make it to the gym as the days get colder, it's time you found fitness inspiration some other way. ''Fitness classes are an interesting way to keep the fun in ... [Read]

Sneeze-Free Spring

Some spring-cleaning steps should help indoor allergens bite the dust

You can't hide inside this spring and summer to avoid Washington's cruel allergy season. And when you find out what's lurking in your humble home, you won't want to. That's because indoor allergens -- generally the byproduct of spider-like, microscopic dust mites -- are just as bad, leaving you sneezing and itchy-eyed as surely as anything floating in the air outside. ''What we call a house dust mite is actually a microscopic insect that lives on our skin and tends ... [Read]

Baby Got Fat

Finding a healthy way to navigate a weighty issue

There's no easy way to tell your partner that he's gained weight -- and that it's time to do something about it. For a local, 44-year-old gay man, his partner's family provided the ''my, you've grown'' wake-up call. Asking to hide his name, for obvious reasons, he tells the story of visiting his Brazilian partner's family on their turf -- the land of sinewy beach gods -- a few years ago. ''I hadn't thought I'd gained that much, but when ... [Read]

Gardasil Gambit

It's good for girls -- and gay guys, too

Visit Gardasil's official Web site, and unless you are female, you probably won't find much appeal in the opening page featuring a group of women of various ages. That's because Gardasil, the vaccine that works to prevent cervical cancer, genital lesions and genital warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18, has so far been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for women, ages 9 to 26, only. Why then are gay men getting ... [Read]

The Pain of Gain

Health: What causes exercise pain?

So here it is, time for your mid-week workout. But you're feeling incredibly sore from that Monday workout -- as you contemplate facing the gym with your aching muscles, you can't help but wonder how you managed to get so sore so long after a workout? And how do you keep it from happening again? It's likely your body is experiencing delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. This phenomenon is relatively common; almost everyone experiences this 24 to 48-hour delay of ... [Read]

Sliding Scales

Health: Whitman-Walker Clinic introduces fees for Lesbian Health Center

Since December, clients receiving medical health services from the Lesbian Services Program at Whitman-Walker Clinic have been required to pay a fee for their care, part of a move by the clinic to bring in more revenue while continuing to provide the best services possible. Ellen Kahn, director of Lesbian Services, says that the change is ''not a complete turnaround'' in policy, because ''the Lesbian Health Center historically has asked clients to contribute to the cost of care,'' in the ... [Read]

Kicking the Habit

Health: The Gay American Smoke-Out

Two times as many lesbians report being heavy smokers than straight women, says the Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer, so it's no surprise if your favorite night-time haunt seems like a smoker's paradise. If you're one of the many women who continue lighting up, consider joining your sisters on November 20 for the Gay American Smoke-Out. It may just be one smoke-free day, but if you plan ahead, you can make it the first day of the rest of ... [Read]

Fighting Hepatitis

Health: The facts about hepatitis B and C strains and how to protect yourself

Previously we looked at hepatitis A and all the excellent reasons to get the readily-available vaccine. Now it's time to learn about hepatitis B and C and how you can protect yourself and your partners from these two nasty strains of the disease. You'll remember that hepatitis A is found in contaminated feces. The hepatitis B virus is different -- it thrives in semen, blood and other body fluids, which means you can catch it during unprotected sex and from ... [Read]

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