• By Laurel J. Kelly

Housecall: Humidifiers and your health

January 1, 2018

a humidifier emitting moist air into a roomTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES 
Humidifiers: Air moisture eases skin and breathing symptoms 
Dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips. Humidifiers can help soothe these familiar problems caused by dry indoor air. Humidifiers also can ease symptoms of a cold or another respiratory condition. But be cautious. Humidifiers can make you sick if they aren't maintained properly or if humidity levels stay too high. Learn more about humidifiers and your health.

Supplements: Nutrition in a pill?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that your nutritional needs should be met primarily through your diet. But the guidelines go on to say that, for some people, supplements may be a useful way to get nutrients they might otherwise lack. Learn more about dietary supplements and whether they might be right for you.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Are there any treatments for demyelinating disease?
A demyelinating disease is any condition that results in damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve fibers in your brain, optic nerves and spinal cord. When the myelin sheath is damaged, nerve impulses slow or even stop, causing neurological problems. No cures exist for demyelinating diseases, and their progression and symptoms are different for everyone. Getting treatment early is important. Learn more from Dr. Jerry Swanson, a Mayo Clinic neurologist.

Can the Flat Belly Diet help me lose weight?
The Flat Belly Diet is a weight-loss diet from the editors of Prevention magazine. The diet promises quick weight loss, especially around the middle, in about a month. Sound too good to be true? Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
First aid for frostbite
Stroke
Video: 'What is Blood Pressure?'

HEALTHY RECIPES
Southwestern chicken and pasta
French green lentil salad
Smoky bean and mushroom cornucopias
Carrot and spice quick bread

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Dandruff: Say goodbye to flakes
Is dandruff the only thing standing between you and a closet full of basic black? Follow these tips to keep dandruff under control:

  1. Shampoo regularly. Use a medicated shampoo, if necessary.
  2. Learn to manage stress. It can trigger dandruff.
  3. Get a little sun. It may reduce your risk of developing dandruff, but be sure to wear sunscreen.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

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