Honest talk about depression and psychotropic drugs during pregnancy

Depression is common during pregnancy. Up to one-quarter of women experience depressive symptoms such as sadness, loss of interest, low motivation, crying spells, loss of appetite, poor concentration and suicidal thoughts. The risk of an episode is higher, 25- 50 percent, among women with a history of depression.

A question I get from many of my patients is whether or not to take psychotropic medications during pregnancy. This is a difficult choice to make for most parents-to-be. The answer is different for everyone and is based on one’s personal risk-benefit profile. No two brains work the same.

Keep your holiday stress level to a minimum

The stress of family holiday events and professional commitments may make you feel like you are in your own version of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” While the added responsibilities of parties and school functions can turn anyone into poor George Bailey, don’t let seasonal stress steal your joy and spirit of giving.

Following are suggestions for dodging the holiday blues and staying healthy and energized.

Tips for nutritious holiday nibbling

Town Crier file photo
Holiday food does not have to be heavy. Fresh fruit and smaller portions can make even sweet treats restorative.

The holiday season is the most delicious time of the year, but it can also bring lots of extra sugar, fat and calories.

Sharing traditional holiday foods with family and friends can be one of the most pleasurable parts of the holiday season. But there’s no need to sacrifice your waistline and gain weight. By using a few simple strategies, it is possible to enjoy your favorite holiday foods without overindulging.

Bad night's sleep? Nearby streetlights may be the culprit

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Streetlights compete with cars’ headlights and Christmas lights in downtown Los Altos. According to a new study, streetlights can make it difficult for city dwellers to get a good night’s sleep.

Bright nighttime streetlights may bring safer neighborhoods and highway driving, but they also have a less welcome impact: disturbing sleep.

Common foot problems can be prevented through care

One foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments. We cram this intricate structure into a narrow shoe. We pound it running, jumping or just by standing all day. Is it any surprise that most people have foot pain at some point in their lives?

People go out and often buy expensive shoes, spending a lot of money, but we don’t really think about the health of our feet – until they hurt.

Why and how doctors can treat ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood and adolescence. It is a controversial subject for multiple reasons, including concerns about overdiagnosing the disorder, excessively medicating young children, why the prevalence is different among various countries and whether it is a real diagnosis.

The primary medications used to treat ADHD, methylphenidates and amphetamines, are controlled substances and can be abused, further exacerbating the controversy and concerns.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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