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Serious medicine or snake oil? New book Hype serves up what patients need to know

Serious medicine or snake oil? New book Hype serves up what patients need to know

Dr. Nina Shapiro regularly encounters patients who have misinformed ideas about health. And it’s easy to see why, considering everyone, doctors included, are constantly inundated with health information in the form of news media, studies and advertising. “So much of it is not necessarily … wrong or false or fake, but it’s exaggerated and twisted […]

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The Bizarrely Effective Way Placebos Change Our Bodies

The Bizarrely Effective Way Placebos Change Our Bodies

It’s not just mind over matter. People who claim to have been cured or aided by unconventional approaches often owe their success to what’s known as the placebo effect, a remarkable phenomenon in which a fake treatment—an inactive substance such as distilled water, sugar, or a saline solution—can sometimes improve a patient’s condition simply because […]

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Doc Talk: Steering Clear of Health Hype

Doc Talk: Steering Clear of Health Hype

As director of pediatric otolaryngology and a professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Nina Shapiro, M.D., has met plenty of misguided parents. They want the best for their families but have trouble sorting what’s healthy from what’s not.

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Don’t Believe the ‘Hype’: This New Book Separates Health Fact from Fiction

Don’t Believe the ‘Hype’: This New Book Separates Health Fact from Fiction

Dr. Nina Shapiro is used to getting questions. After all, she’s both a surgeon and a professor at UCLA. And at a time when people are having a hard time distinguishing between facts and misinformation, Shapiro thought it would be the perfect opportunity to put all of those questions into a new book, called “Hype” […]

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The Fake News Epidemic in Health

The Fake News Epidemic in Health

It’s never been easier to get health information. It’s also never been more wrong. Very few, if any, areas in medicine—and its practice—are absolute. But plenty of sound data exists—if you can find it—to help you make the best decisions…

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Opinion: These ‘pseudo-cures’ for ‘pseudo-illnesses’ will just make your wallet sick

Opinion: These ‘pseudo-cures’ for ‘pseudo-illnesses’ will just make your wallet sick

Cryotherapy, alternative treatments for candida albicans and pills to boost your adrenal function are best at slimming your wallet, not boosting your health. If you’ve ever bought into a trendy health fad—a diet, a supplement, a specific type of exercise equipment, an alternative treatment for this or that—then you’ve likely been duped by the $3.7 […]

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People don’t go to doctors to be entertained. Why turn to celebrities for health advice?

People don’t go to doctors to be entertained. Why turn to celebrities for health advice?

Americans believe in experts. We look to CPAs to complete our tax returns, lawyers to handle our disputes, plumbers to fix our pipes. So it baffles me that an astounding number of us turn to movie stars and other celebrities for health advice. Take a recent article in Parents magazine: “Where 13 Celebrity Parents Stand […]

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Does Drinking Alcohol Really Help You Live Longer?

Does Drinking Alcohol Really Help You Live Longer?

A study on 90-somethings found that drinking may be the secret to longevity. It’s only natural to want to make your life as long, happy, and healthy as possible. Immortality might still be reserved for sci-fi novels, superhero movies, and Black Mirror episodes. But in the meantime, we’ve got longevity! Scientists have been researching the […]

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Publishers Weekly Review of HYPE

Publishers Weekly Review of HYPE

Surgeon Shapiro (Take a Deep Breath) sets out to clear up medical misperceptions in this feisty, fact-filled diatribe (even the acknowledgment page complains that “hype abounds and needs to be bashed”). She tackles such questions as how to put risk into perspective (readers should worry more about eclairs than Ebola), how to understand the causation/correlation […]

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Sometimes not doing surgery makes you a better surgeon

Sometimes not doing surgery makes you a better surgeon

Having been surgically trained and surgically-minded, I’ve had expression ingrained in my psyche such as “a chance to cut is a chance to cure,” “when in doubt, cut it out” and “nothing can heal like cold, hard steel.” Indeed, as a surgeon, I see patients in my office and in the hospital with the specific […]

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