• Housecall: Want to skip the flu this year?

sick woman flu influenza cold tissue sore throat headache virus glass of waterTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Flu shot: Your best bet for avoiding the flu
This year's annual flu shot will offer protection against three or four of the influenza viruses expected to be in circulation this flu season. A high-dose flu vaccine also will be available for adults age 65 and older. Getting a flu shot often protects you from coming down with the flu. And although the flu shot doesn't always provide total protection, it's worth getting. Even when the vaccine doesn't completely prevent the flu, it may lessen the severity of your illness and the risk of serious complications. Here are the answers to common questions about flu shots.

Want a strong brain? Exercise!
Although the research isn't fully conclusive, studies are showing how essential exercise is for keeping your brain fit. Regular exercise strengthens and tones your brain just as it does your body. Learn how getting fit can stabilize your mood and help with depressive symptoms, enhance learning, sharpen memory and improve vision.

Is it OK to eat moldy cheese?
Some types of mold are used to make cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert, and these molds are safe for healthy adults to eat. Other instances of moldy cheese may or may not be safe. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

When is laser surgery a good idea for cataracts?
If you're thinking about having cataract surgery, your health care provider may opt for a laser-assisted approach. In certain situations, either traditional or laser-assisted surgery may be the safer, preferred option. Learn more from Dr. Jay Erie, a Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist.

Inflammatory bowel disease
Panic attacks and panic disorder

Rustic apple cranberry tart
White bean escarole soup
Vermicelli with vegetables
Chicken salad with Thai flavors

Feeling faint? Here's what to do
If the blood supply to your brain is inadequate, even momentarily, you may feel faint. You may lose consciousness for a short time. If you feel faint, lie down or sit down. If you're sitting down, place your head between your knees. Don't stand up again too quickly. Sometimes fainting has no medical significance. In other cases, fainting can be caused by a serious underlying condition. Discuss it with your health care provider.

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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