What’s New — Should the Pill be Accessible Without a Doctor?

The PillOn January 1, Oregon became the first state to offer contraceptive patches and pills without a doctor’s prescription. A bill allowing California to do the same was signed into law in 2013 but has yet to be implemented, while Washington and Colorado are proposing similar legislation. Could this work in Canada? I spoke with the Canadian Pharmacists Association, as well as Health Canada, for the lowdown on whether or not our country plans to follow suit, and if so, what would be required. I also talked to two Oregon pharmacists for insight on how they made it happen. Read all about it by clicking here or on the icon above, for my latest piece in Yahoo!

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What’s New — Voluminous Vessels

VeinyYou can tell awards season is in full swing by the red carpets, the glamourous gowns, the ropy arms … wait, the what? It’s hard to miss the rail-thin arms of celebs such as Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Julie Bowen sticking out of those sleeveless dresses and not wonder, what’s with those big, bulging veins? As unsightly as they might be, these voluminous vessels are not a sign of poor health. Quite the opposite, in fact. Now, varicose and spider veins are a different subject: they are unsightly and can be unhealthy. To find out why, as well as how to vanquish these veins, click here or on the icon above to read my latest piece for Yahoo!

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What’s New — Tattoo You

TattoosSo you want a tattoo, but you’re too timid to get a permanent tramp stamp. You’re considering a temp tat, such as henna, because they’re harmless, right? Not exactly. That temporary tattoo could lead to permanent health issues. The potentially adverse effects came under renewed scrutiny late last year when actress Jaimie Alexander, who sits for over six hours while three artists apply more than 200 full-body fake tattoos for the series Blindspot, reportedly claimed they gave her a pulmonary infection. I talk to specialists about that claim and many others in my latest piece for Yahoo! To read all about it, click here or on the icon above.

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What’s New — What it’s Like Living With Alzheimer’s Disease

AlzheimersIn the 2014 movie Still Alice, Julianne Moore plays a prominent linguistics professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. After leaving her position at Columbia University and struggling with how to live with the disease, she gives a moving speech at a conference in which she explains what it’s like by saying, in part, “Our strange behaviour, our fumbled sentences changes others’ perceptions of who we are and our perception of ourselves. We’ve become ridiculous, comic. But this is not who we are. This is our disease.” Somewhere in that strange behaviour and fumbled words, she is still herself. So are the 747,000 Canadians living with this progressive brain disease, echoed in the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s current campaign, Still Here, and so are the three people I profiled for my latest story in Yahoo! Click here or on the icon above to read their inspiring stories.

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What’s New — 6 Conditions Your Hair Says About Your Health

HairAre you finding more hair in the drain than on your head? Are your lovely locks suddenly brittle and breaking, limp and lifeless? Why are you plucking more greys than the week before? Your hairdresser knows for sure, as does your dermatologist. I spoke with a master hairdresser for Vancouver’s Lure Salon, which has styled such famous domes as Avril Lavigne, Kirsten Dunst and Andy Samberg, and a clinical dermatologist who combed through six hair-raising conditions and what they could say about the state of your health. To read all about my latest piece in Yahoo!, click here or on the icon above.

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What’s New — Are You An Alcoholic?

AlcoholChances are you raised a glass of something bubbly during a toast to a Happy New Year. Chances are you followed that toast with a resolution to make the year ahead better than the one before. And chances are one of those vows included cutting back — or out — on the very cheer you used to ring in a happier, healthier future. Why? Maybe because you’ve spent one too many nights praying to the porcelain god, one too many mornings wondering what you did the night before, one more wasted day nursing a wicked hangover. Maybe it’s because you’re afraid. Afraid you’re becoming — gulp — an alcoholic. But how can you know for sure? Click here or on the icon above to read more, in my latest piece for Yahoo!

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What’s New — What Your Urine Colour Means

PeeYou do it several times a day but rarely give it a second thought, yet it can tell you so much about the state of your health. The various colours of your urine indicate everything from dehydration to disease, so making the most of that routine trip to the toilet could save your life. We flushed out an expert on the subject, urological surgeon Dr. Howard Evans of the Alberta Urology Institute and the University of Alberta’s Division of Urology, to break down the lighter and darker shades of pale, and what they mean. To read all about my latest piece for Yahoo!, click here or on the icon above.

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