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Should I Take Opioids?
By Julie Scharper
With opioid use disorder on the rise, is this narcotic safe? Get advice on pain management in the era of addiction.
The Pragmatist
By Amanda Kolson Hurley
Kusum Thapa helped revolutionize maternal health care in Nepal. Now she’s taking on the rest of the world.
Food and Faith
By Sheila Mulrooney Eldred
What happens when nutrition education enters congregations? How religion can save waistlines.


New findings in health, including the benefits of having a health care advocate, how same-sex marriage laws reduce teen suicide, and why household cleansers are dangerous for toddlers' eyes.
News from the cutting edge of research: a prosthetic arm capable of feeling; the medical power of magic mushrooms; blood delivery by drone.
With Sarah Hemminger on immersion mentoring through her nonprofit, Thread.
Just Curious
Why do bugs love to bug me?
Apps, gadgets, and other innovations that are advancing health and health science.
Jed Fahey on the truth versus the hype surrounding superfoods.
Book Report
What you should be reading.
How Paralympian Dee Smith survived cancer and got back to sailing.
Expert Advice
How can I keep my eyes healthy?
10 Things
Habits for better sleep.

Letter from the Editor

Catherine Pierre, Editor-In-Chief
Catherine Pierre, Editor-In-Chief

I think it was about six weeks of my saying things like, "That cough sounds awful, do you think you should call your doctor?" and "That might actually be pneumonia..." before my husband made an appointment.

Guess what he had?
Although I was concerned during those long, phlegmy weeks, I wasn't surprised. My spouse is the kind of stoic who won't take aspirin for a headache, much less call the doc about a cough.
Apparently, he isn't the only one. When associate editor Greg Rienzi suggested doing one of our User's Guides on the topic of men's health, he had just spoken with Dr. Kevin Billups, then director of the Johns Hopkins Men's Health and Vitality Program. Men, he explained, have a resistance to seeking help. It might stem from sports days when hiding an injury kept you off the bench; or maybe it's a holdover from that old tough-guy adage "boys don't cry."
The good news is that men are becoming more interested in health, albeit at times under duress. "I often see men in my practice who admit they haven't visited a doctor in a while, but they're here at the prompting of their wife, significant other, girlfriend," Dr. Billups said.
It's progress.
For the men who are reading, and for all of us who have men in our lives we care about, our "User's Guide to Men's Health" offers user-friendly, Hopkins-approved facts and advice on every­thing from skin care and hair loss to how to keep your prostate healthy and when to see your doctor about erectile dysfunction.
So, if not for your own sake, then for those who love you, enjoy this issue's User's Guide. Share it with others. Stay well.


Dingding Hu
Dingding Hu

Dingding Hu is a New York-based illustrator and designer. She’s exhibited around the world and created work for Google and the TED Talks, among many others.

Julie Scharper
Julie Scharper

Julie Scharper is a freelance writer whose work focuses on medicine, psychology, the natural sciences, and parenting. A former longtime Baltimore Sun reporter, she lives outside Baltimore with her family.

Joren Cull
Joren Cull

Joren Cull is a freelance illustrator and animator from Toronto. Among his many accolades, he has earned a National Magazine Award for spot illustration.

Joe Sugarman
Joe Sugarman

Guest editor Joe Sugarman has worked on stories about health, science, and medicine for more than 20 years. He is a regular contributor to Preservation, Washingtonian, and the Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazines.