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Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Health tips & information from medical experts. For more tips, visit health.sunnybrook.ca

Sunnybrook is the largest-single site hospital in Canada. Our mission is to care for our patients and their families when it matters most; our vision is to invent the future of health care. With these goals in mind, we provide interactive web tools – from blogs, to social media, to YouTube videos and more – to connect with and educate patients and families.

Our health tips are for informational purposes only, and they are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
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Avoiding the Freshman 15

The freshman year produces a perfect storm of factors: new pressures, an abundance of unhealthy food options, a lot of sitting around in classrooms and, often, higher alcohol consumption. At a time when the body is still growing -- and when brain power is key to successful learning -- how serious is the problem of the proverbial Freshman 15?
09/03/2015 05:40 EDT
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How to Support Your Teen's Mental Health While at University

For parents with children away at university, it can be a giant leap of faith to step back and let their young adult children be independent, and know that they will be okay. Most young adults transition to university without difficulty and take charge of this new independent phase of their lives with motivation to do well and the skills to navigate their academic and social lives. But for some young adults, the stress of being on their own to manage the academic and social demands of university life may be a breaking point that heralds or worsens mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression.
08/26/2015 08:21 EDT

10 Tips for Living a Healthy and Long Life

You can't choose your parents or age, but there are many things you do have control over. The secret lies in eating a varied and balanced diet, and making sure you put your body's needs are at the top of the list. Remember that if you have too much of one thing, you're likely missing out on another! Be wary of health crazes and fad diets. You need to ask yourself, "Can I do this forever?" Here are 10 top recommendations from Sunnybrook experts to help you achieve a long and healthy life.
08/19/2015 08:23 EDT
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Why Do Cancer Drugs Cost More Than Gold?

A decade ago, the average bill for a cancer patient's drugs amounted to $2,000 or $3,000 a month, says Dr. Maureen Trudeau, head of medical oncology and hematology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. "Now some of the medications cost $6,000, $8,000 or $10,000 a month," she says. Despite their big price tags, a lot of newer drugs don't actually cure cancer. They simply help the patient to live longer -- sometimes by just a few months -- or will ease the discomfort caused by the disease.
08/10/2015 04:57 EDT
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Is It OK to Question Your Doctor About Hand Washing?

If you ever suspect that your doctor, nurse or other health-care provider forgot to use the hand sanitizer, by all means raise the question. But, in reality, most patients in your situation are reluctant to do so. Surveys going back almost a decade found that Ontario patients didn't want to be placed in the role of a police officer to ensure that doctors and nurses wash their hands.
06/25/2015 06:19 EDT
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Exercising: How Much is Too Much?

It's "no pain, no gain" when it comes to seeing results at the gym, right? Well, Sunnybrook physiotherapist Alicia Savona says this is true, but like most rules, there are exceptions. Below are some telltale ways to gauge whether or not the muscle pain you're experiencing is normal.
06/13/2015 10:01 EDT
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Why Is It So Hard To Find An Antidepressant That Works?

My sister suffers from depression and she has been prescribed several different antidepressant medications. While she feels marginally improved, her doctor is about to start her on a new drug to see if she can do better. Why is it so hard for some patients to find the "right" antidepressant?
06/09/2015 05:52 EDT
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How Many Dental X-rays Are Too Many?

Question: Every couple of times that I visit my dentist's office, she asks me to submit to more dental X-rays. I seem to be getting an awful lot of them. I don't want to increase my chances of getting cancer. How often should I be getting dental X-rays?
05/27/2015 06:37 EDT
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It Is Possible to Counteract (Some) Drug Allergies

Desensitization, which involves gradual reintroduction of a drug, starting with very small doses, makes it possible for some people to take a medication that would normally trigger an allergic reaction. The procedure, of course, must be done under direct supervision of a health-care professional in case you develop a severe reaction.
05/13/2015 05:32 EDT
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Three Things You Might Not Know About HPV

While there is lots of information online, at school and at the doctor's office about HPV, there is still a lot of confusion about what it may mean for your loved ones. Dr. Nancy Durand, gynecologist at Sunnybrook, explains three little-known facts about HPV.
04/28/2015 07:37 EDT
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Sleeping Pills Are Not the Answer to Insomnia

It can be tempting to use sleeping pills in such circumstances. But they can be habit-forming. And you may develop a tolerance to the pills so that you need a higher dose to have the same effect. Prolonged use can cloud your thinking and dampen your mood.
04/17/2015 05:46 EDT
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How Am I Going To Pay $7,000 a Month For My Cancer Drugs?

That is, indeed, an astoundingly expensive drug. It's bad enough that you have to deal with cancer, but these financial concerns must be adding to your stress. You can rest assured there are various programs to help Ontario residents who can't afford the price of their medications. And each regional cancer-treatment centre has specially-trained staff to guide patients and their families through the various application processes.
04/05/2015 10:48 EDT