- News Releases
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is it true that heart attacks are more common around the holidays? If so, why is that? What can people do to lower their risk? ANSWER: Heart attacks, along with heart problems in general, are more common around the holidays. Various factors can play into this, including stress, travel, changes in diet and disrupted schedules. Fortunately, many self-care steps can help keep your heart healthy. One of the biggest challenges this time of year is healthy eating. For people with heart problems, choosing a heart-healthy diet amid an abundance of holiday foods can be daunting. But not straying too far from your normal diet is important.
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Can type 2 diabetes be cured just by losing weight? ANSWER: Losing weight can have a big impact on diabetes. Although it might not cure type 2 diabetes in every case, getting to a healthy body weight does have that potential for many people. Even if it doesn’t completely cure the disease, losing weight may make it possible for people with diabetes to take less medication. It often helps manage or prevent some of the health problems that can come with diabetes, too. People who have diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. This happens because of a problem with the hormone called insulin. Insulin is made in the pancreas — a gland located just behind the stomach. When you eat, the pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream. The insulin allows sugar to enter your cells, lowering the amount of sugar in your blood. If you have type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin or your body cannot use insulin as well as it should. So sugar cannot move into your cells. Instead, it builds up in your blood.
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have been diagnosed with clinical depression. I am taking duloxetine (Cymbalta), which helps. But I always feel more blue and have a hard time finding the energy to do my normal activities when fall and winter come. My neurologist thinks I should see a therapist, but talking about depression makes me feel worse. Is there anything else I can do? ANSWER: Because your symptoms get worse as the seasons change, you could have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of clinical depression. If so, several treatment options are available that may help. SAD is a type of depression that affects people during the fall and winter months. The lower levels of sunlight in the winter and fall may upset your sleep patterns and lead to feelings of depression. When combined, these factors may lead to SAD. SAD is different from non-seasonal depression in several unique ways, particularly in its timing. SAD is more than just feeling blue as the days get shorter or having the doldrums during January. Instead, it involves persistent, pervasive symptoms of depression during wintertime.
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I’ve been hearing a lot about regenerative medicine lately. What is it exactly, and what can it be used for? ANSWER: Regenerative medicine is an emerging discipline in medicine and surgery focused on finding ways to boost the body’s ability to heal itself. It examines new therapies and advances new ways to manage diseases that go beyond current medical treatment. Regenerative medicine is really poised to revolutionize disease management, offering potential solutions throughout a person’s life for a spectrum of diseases. Today, treatment for many diseases focuses on managing symptoms. For example, insulin therapy keeps diabetes under control. Dialysis does the work of a failing kidney. Medications ease the strain on a damaged heart. In contrast, the aim of regenerative medicine is to reverse the course of the disease by targeting its root cause and repairing diseased, injured, or defective tissues and organs to restore their function and structure.