Why preparing for a colonoscopy is a two-step process

I was flabbergasted to learn, as part of the preparation for a colonoscopy, I would not only have to start the bowel clean-out the night before, but would have to get up in the middle of the night to finish the job. If I hadn’t eaten for a day and had dutifully drunk that horrible stuff and suffered the consequences by bedtime, why would I have to do it again in the wee hours?

Should all newborns be screened for potential hip problems?

Historically, this has been a controversial issue, with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending screening and another prominent group, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, recommending against it, arguing that the evidence has been insufficient.

Do topical creams and gels help with muscle pain?

Traditional muscle rubs containing salicylate – an aspirin-like compound – do not help much, according to a recent review by British researchers for the Cochrane Collaboration, an international nonprofit that provides up-to-date information on health care research. But American doctors say that newer topical NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) containing diclofenac may be more effective.

Does resistance – strength – training benefit older adults?

It certainly does. In fact, the benefits of strength training – weight lifting, exercise machines, pulling on wide elastic bands color coded for resistance – are among the strongest findings in medical research.

Can anything be done for female pattern hair loss?

Yes – treatments similar to those for men.

As in men, there are many causes of hair loss in women – including scalp infections and inflammation, and auto-immune attacks on the follicles in the skin that make hair.

Is sleep deprivation linked to negative emotions?

It certainly is. In fact, after being deprived of just one full night’s sleep, people not only have stronger negative emotions the next day, they are much more likely to remember bad experiences than good.

Is the growing use of hand sanitizers changing the normal ecology of our hands, making it easier for the MRSA bacteria to grow?

Probably not. MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, normally lives in the nose and throat, the armpits and the perineum (the area near the anus), said Dr. J. Owen Hendley, professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. It’s not commonly carried on the hands.

Should women undergoing treatment for breast cancer take antioxidants?

There is a glaring lack of evidence that antioxidants either help or hinder, yet many women undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal therapy do take these supplements.

Do men and women react differently to babies with abnormal facial features?

Yes, according to preliminary research published last month by researchers from McLean Hospital in Belmont. In fact, women seem to be more likely than men to reject babies with abnormal facial features, such as cleft palates, Down syndrome, crossed eyes, or skin disorders. Perhaps, the authors suggest, there’s an evolutionary reason – to make sure maternal resources go toward what they call “facial attractiveness,” which might be a sign of health and viability.

Does stretching before or after exercise prevent injuries and soreness?

No, despite what many coaches still say. A review of more than 350 studies published over the last 40 years concludes that stretching prior to exercise doesn’t prevent injury in competitive or recreational athletes.