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If physical distancing has shown us anything, it’s that sometimes not being with other people in person really takes a toll on mental health.

Research has actually found that, for some people, prolonged loneliness can be as harmful for health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

The health toll of loneliness is perhaps especially true for people who live alone, just from the simple fact that quarantine for someone with no live-in roommates, partner or family members quickly becomes social isolation.

And now that the darker, shorter days of winter have arrived, outdoor gatherings are trickier and the pandemic is…

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Perhaps you’ve heard of the gut microbiome and that it plays a major role in the health of your digestive system. But did you know it also can impact your overall health — and even possibly your behavior?

Here’s a primer on what the gut microbiome is, how it connects to your brain and the rest of your body, and what researchers are learning about its importance.

The “second brain”

The microbiome is made up of colonies of bacteria and other microbes in the human body. …

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Photo by Jay Mantri on Unsplash

It’s an understatement to say that 2020 has been a rough year. Now something is coming to make it even worse: the cold, dark days of winter in the Pacific Northwest.

If the impending arrival of 4 o’clock sunsets and icy rain marks an annual low point in your energy levels and mood, you may wonder how you’ll get through the next few months with this year’s added stressors.

“It’s the culmination of so many things: the pandemic, political and social upheaval, the wildfires. 2020 is the year that just won’t let up, and winter makes our usual coping skills…

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Photo by Angiola Harry on Unsplash

You’re diligent about breast health, including self-checks and getting mammograms. You know that you should call your doctor if you feel a lump.

But did you know there’s a serious type of breast cancer that may not present with a lump?

It’s called inflammatory breast cancer, and while it’s quite rare — inflammatory cases make up 1% to 5% of all breast cancer cases, according to the American Cancer Society — it’s also extremely aggressive.

Here’s everything you need to know about inflammatory breast cancer.

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer

Aside from not always involving a lump, inflammatory breast cancer presents differently in other ways…

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Actor Chadwick Boseman’s death is tragic — and shocking. Though only 43 years old, he died from stage IV colon cancer, the most advanced stage of the disease.

“It’s a terrible loss, obviously to his family and the world, and it highlights how tragic colorectal cancer is,” says Dr. Mukta Krane, section chief of colorectal surgery at UW Medicine. “We’re increasingly seeing patients who are younger and younger being diagnosed and dying from this disease.”

You may be wondering: What are colon cancer symptoms? What are early signs of colon cancer? What is the colorectal cancer survival rate? And why…

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Ever since the governor’s mask mandate was enacted on July 7 in Washington, a lot of questions about face masks have been swirling around the internet.

Here are 10 myths about face masks that you shouldn’t believe — and why it’s so important to wear a mask.

Myth: Masks don’t offer protection against COVID-19
Fact: Masks can significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially if worn by an infected person

Information about the pandemic can seem confusing and even contradictory since the virus is new and doctors and researchers have had to scramble to learn about it. That means that sometimes they say one thing but then learn otherwise.

This happened at the beginning of the pandemic when the Centers for Disease Control…

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It’s a grim reality and something no parent or guardian wants to hear: Child and teen suicide is on the rise.

According to 2017 data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide was the second leading cause of death among kids, teens and young adults from ages 10 to 24 — and it’s increasing among girls. LGBTQ youth face higher rates of suicide and more attempts than their straight peers.

While it may seem inconceivable that a 10-year-old could even think of something as serious as suicide, much less attempt it, there’s evidence that kids as young as 8…

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© Good Vibrations Images / Stocksy United

Thanks to gender norms, it’s no secret that women who date cisgender, straight men can carry some pretty big burdens.

We’re responsible for pregnancy prevention (there’s still no male birth control). We do more than our fair share of emotional labor. And even though times are (slowly) changing, we’re still often responsible for the bulk of child care and even chores around the house.

Another responsibility to add to that list? Sexual health.

From getting diagnosed to dealing with long-term effects of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), women face a much greater burden — and more serious health consequences — than…

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© Liliya Rodnikova / Stocksy United

You’ve probably heard about how genetic medicine can make medical care more personalized. After all, how much more personal does it get than using data about a person’s genetic makeup to help treat medical conditions they have and prevent other conditions from occurring?

Genetic medicine is somewhat of a buzzword, though, and it can be confusing to figure out what it really means. (No, those ancestry DNA tests don’t count.)

If you’re curious about how medical genetics can benefit your healthcare, here are answers to four common questions medical geneticists get asked.

What conditions can genetic medicine help treat?

The most impactful way doctors can use genetic…

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Photo by Yuvraj Singh on Unsplash

By now, most of us have realized the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon. And that can be a discouraging thought.

You’ve probably seen alarming headlines about how the mental health toll of the pandemic will be high. It’s true that some people may develop long-term mental health issues as a result of the pandemic — and some are experiencing mental health issues already.

However, the future looks brighter than you might think. Most of us will probably be OK long-term, experts say. Here are some myths debunked about post-pandemic mental health.

Myth 1: Most of us will struggle mentally

The pandemic presented us with an uncertain and…

McKenna Princing

Writer, social media specialist, TV addict, bookworm, dog mom, Seattleite. No, I don't hate the rain.

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