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October 31st, 2011
01:17 PM ET

4 tips for a healthy trick-or-treat night

Happy Halloween, everyone! For parents, this holiday may seem especially spooky when it comes to kids' teeth and weight. But here are some tips to keep your little treat-or-treaters in good health:

1. Chocolate is the best option for kids' teeth. It melts quickly, it's swallowed easily, and it contains tannins, compounds that don't allow bacteria to grow. And, at least it has some nutritional value. The worst options are candies that are very hard or chewy. The longer it takes to eat a candy, the more opportunity there is for sugar to coat teeth. Kids with braces should especially avoid candies that are hard and crunch, or soft and chewy.

Sanjay wants candy

2. Twice a day, and particularly at night, your child should get into this teeth cleaning routine: (a) floss, (b) brush, (c) use a fluoride rinse. That's because flossing loosens debris from in between teeth, and the toothbrush gets the excess on the surface. The rinse gets back in the crevices and fights decay.

3. Don't let kids snack on candy in between meals. Instead, bundle it together with healthy meals - for example, at the end of dinner. This prevents kids from eating too much at once.

4. When it comes to monitoring your children's eating habits, Halloween isn't that special. You should make sure they have nutritious, balanced meals and stay active throughout the year.


Gluten in cosmetics may pose hidden threat to celiac patients
October 31st, 2011
01:07 PM ET

Gluten in cosmetics may pose hidden threat to celiac patients

People with celiac disease are accustomed to being on the lookout for gluten in their food, but they should also be aware of the gluten lurking in their cosmetics and toiletries, researchers warned Monday at a national meeting of gastroenterologists in Washington, D.C.

Food labels almost always say whether  a product contains gluten, a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and other grains. But the packaging of body lotions and other beauty products rarely provides that information, even though many such products contain substances derived from grain, says Pia Prakash, M.D., a resident in internal medicine at George Washington University.
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Filed under: Health.com

Doctors urge HIV testing starting at 16
October 31st, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Doctors urge HIV testing starting at 16

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that all teens 16 to 18 years old receive regular, routine HIV tests if they live in an area where the prevalence of HIV is greater than 0.1% of the population.

The AAP also advises that adolescents of any age who are tested for other sexually transmitted infections also be tested for HIV.

Previous guidelines recommended HIV testing only for teens who admitted to being sexually active. The new recommendations were outlined in a position paper released Monday that also advocates that the routine screening be done using a rapid response test that gives a diagnosis about 20 minutes after the test is conducted.
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October 28th, 2011
05:41 PM ET

TEDMED: Mortality gives life meaning
October 28th, 2011
05:04 PM ET

TEDMED: Mortality gives life meaning

Humans have a self-preservation instinct, a natural drive to survive. But we also have an awareness that there will come a day when all of those efforts will fail, and we will die.

"Death looms somewhere in the distance," said Dr. John Wynn, medical director for Cancer Psychiatry at the Swedish Cancer Institute of Seattle, Washington. "It pushes us to ask: What am I doing with my time?"

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October 28th, 2011
04:21 PM ET

Does diet really matter in breast cancer?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Asked by Katherine in California

Does diet really make a difference when it comes to breast cancer?

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What the Yuck: Aunt Flo stays too long
October 28th, 2011
04:19 PM ET

What the Yuck: Aunt Flo stays too long

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: My periods often go on forever - up to nine days! Is something wrong?

A: When it comes to periods, every woman’s different; what’s normal for you may be abnormal for your best friend.
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Weight loss key is habits, not willpower, says Weight Watchers chief
October 28th, 2011
01:01 PM ET

Weight loss key is habits, not willpower, says Weight Watchers chief

What helped David Kirchhoff, president and CEO of Weight Watchers International, shed 38 pounds, start exercising and eat healthy breakfasts?

Of course, you’d expect a CEO to toot the horn of his company.

He did at TEDMED, a conference about medical innovations and ideas. But he also stressed that the essential factor that shaped his metamorphosis - from an overweight 33-year-old needing Lipitor to a fit man who exercises - was the habits he formed.  FULL POST


October 28th, 2011
12:25 PM ET

Is there a cure for multiple sclerosis?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Asked by Kayla in North Carolina:

Hi, I got multiple sclerosis about a year ago, and I'm very young. I was curious if there has been any further information about a possible cure or not. I know that people have been searching for a cure, but I'm curious as to how close they really are.

Expert answer

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Runner seeks mystery woman
October 28th, 2011
11:09 AM ET

Runner seeks mystery woman

Editor's note: Michael Schulder is a senior executive producer at CNN.

Two hundred and fifty thousand or so Americans are expected to run and complete a half marathon this month. And I plan to be one of them on Saturday. It's my first half.

But I have an advantage over all those other runners - an advantage I got from a mystery woman, whose voice has whispered encouragement into my earbuds from my iPod Nike App since I began jogging two years ago, as I approached the age of 50.

Yes, the mystery woman has said something to me she hasn’t told those other iPod App runners.
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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