Living Well

These Drugs Are Destroying Your Digestive System

At 57, Maria thought she was having a heart attack.

Pain radiated through her chest. It was bad enough to wake her up from a dead sleep. She described it as a knife piercing clear through her upper abdomen.

This Nighttime Habit Is Destroying Your Memory

You climb into bed, but you can’t sleep.

Maybe your brain’s racing, you can’t relax, and you stare at the clock. It’s already an hour past when you should be asleep. You’ve got a big day ahead and need to get enough sleep.

Three Ways to Supercharge Your Love Life

If you want to improve your love life, copy rodents.

Not just any rodent, but specifically a small relative of the common mouse called a prairie vole. You see, prairie voles are one of roughly 3% of mammals that are monogamous.

How to Make Friends in High Places

Doc’s note: Today, we’re featuring an essay from Mark Ford, co-founder of the Palm Beach Research Group.

Mark is a multimillionaire entrepreneur and educator who has practiced and taught every wealth idea worth knowing. And today’s idea is no different. Below, Mark explains how to build a network of influential people…

The Reason Behind Your Aching Joints

“I can feel the cold in my bones.”

You’ve probably heard someone say it – or even said it yourself. The phrase refers to the pain folks feel when the weather changes.

It’s no old wives’ tale. Your joints may ache as the weather changes… especially if you have arthritic joints.

Several studies show a connection between arthritis pain and winter weather…

A 2014 study out of Spain showed that rheumatoid arthritis patients had increased levels of pain as the temperature dropped. And a 2007 study from Tufts University showed that both dropping temperature and changes in barometric pressure caused increased pain for patients with osteoarthritis.

If you’re suffering from sore joints this season, there are a few things that can help…

The First-Ever Retirement Millionaire Daily Gift Guide

For many folks, the winter holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year…

Suddenly, you’re not getting enough sleep, drinking and eating too much, and traveling in confined spaces like airplanes.

The Medical Test You Can Do Yourself

“Doc, you won’t believe what my primary care doctor had in his exam room…”

During a recent visit to her doctor, one of my researchers was thrilled to see a printed list taped to the wall. On it were all of the tests and procedures with an A or B rating from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

How to Treat This Uncomfortable, Embarrassing Problem

For years now, I’ve been on the hunt for an elusive thing called the “ghost poo.”

The ghost poo is a bowel movement so perfect, you don’t need any toilet paper afterwards.

It’s taken me a long time – tracking my bowel habits, eating better foods, and getting enough water – to finally come close. In fact, I have an ongoing contest with one of my friends to see who can get the closest to experiencing a ghost poo.

It sounds off-putting to have a contest for such a thing, but healthy bowels are vital to your health and well-being.

And today, I want to talk about what happens when you can’t go at all… when you’re blocked up from constipation.

Constipation happens when you can’t pass any stool or if it’s painful to defecate. It can last for a few days or stretch on for weeks or months. Dehydration, not enough exercise, poor diet, and stress all contribute to occasional constipation.

Chronic constipation happens with more serious conditions like Parkinson’s, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or even colon cancer.

Older folks have a higher risk of constipation, not just because they get less exercise, but also because they drink less water.

Also, certain medications can be a factor. Everything from opioid painkillers to blood-pressure drugs can cause constipation.

Here’s the reason you need to pay attention to your bowels: Constipation isn’t just uncomfortable… If left untreated, it can lead to serious problems.

An article published in Gastroenterology earlier this year pointed out that by simply looking at the bacteria in someone’s colon, researchers could tell whether or not that person suffered from constipation. That’s because constipation destroys our healthy gut bugs.

And earlier this month, researchers from the University of Tennessee and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs linked chronic constipation to higher risks for kidney disease.

Lead researcher Dr. Csaba Kovesdy explained that their research gave evidence for the theory that constipation’s effect on the microbiome (your gut bacteria) triggers inflammation. That, in turn, leads to issues with your kidneys, among other things.

So how can you tell if you’re constipated? Here’s a good way to keep track…

Everyone has a different definition of “normal” when it comes to how frequently they pass stool. Typical definitions include one to three times every day (on the high end) to only three times a week (on the low end). Any more or less than that is “abnormal,” though you may experience variations on occasion.

A healthy stool should be easy to pass. It should look soft and be in longer pieces. Small, hard pieces that look like rocks are a symptom of constipation.

If you’re concerned about your bowel habits, start keeping a food and feces diary.

Some of my co-workers like to log their meals and bowel movements using apps – like the mySymptoms app – on their phones, but a simple pen-and-paper diary works too. Be sure to include everything you eat and drink during the day as well. That way, if you’re constipated, you can see if it’s because you didn’t drink enough or if maybe you had too many sweets the day before.

If you notice you’re constipated, try some of my natural methods before going to the doctor. Here’s… 

Don’t Fall Victim to This IRS Phone Scam

Doc’s note: Last month, U.S. and Indian authorities arrested more than 100 call-center scammers. Call-center scams are big business… with Americans paying out tens of millions of dollars to scammers.

Some of our readers have experienced these scam calls. One reader wrote in to tell us:

The Hardest Conversation You’ll Have All Year

How sure are you that your wishes will be followed in an emergency situation?

This won’t be an easy conversation.