THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Triglycerides: Why do they matter?
Triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood, are an important measure of heart health. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides stored in your fat cells. Having a high level of triglycerides in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease. Find out what measurements indicate healthy and unhealthy triglyceride levels, and how the same lifestyle choices that promote overall health can help you bring your triglyceride level into a healthy range.
Alzheimer's genes: Are you at risk?
Genes control the function of every cell in your body. Some genes determine basic characteristics, such as the color of your eyes and hair. Other genes can make you more likely to develop certain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. Researchers have identified a number of genes associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, genetic risk factors are just one of the factors involved in getting Alzheimer's disease. Researchers suspect that many more genes that haven't been identified yet affect the risk of Alzheimer's disease, as well. Such information may prove vital in developing new ways to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease in the future. Here's what you need to know.
Can antidepressants cause ringing in the ears?
Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) can be caused by a number of medications, including some antidepressants. Not all antidepressants cause tinnitus, though. If your antidepressant is the cause of your tinnitus, switching to another medication may solve the problem. But don't quit taking your medication without medical guidance. Learn more from Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist.
Are acid reflux and GERD the same thing?
Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are closely related, but the terms don't necessarily mean the same thing. Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus — the tube that connects the throat and stomach. Sometimes acid reflux progresses to GERD, a more severe form of reflux. Learn more from Dr. Michael Picco, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.
HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Fitness takes more than huffing and puffing
When it comes to fitness, huffing and puffing your way through such aerobic exercises as running, biking or swimming isn't the only thing that matters. A balanced exercise program includes five key components: aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching. If you're not getting all five, it's time to mix up your routine.
Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.
Receive a free e-subscription to Housecall and other health newsletters.