How to Reduce Asthma Attacks and Panic Attacks by Retraining Your Breathing

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH  What do asthma attacks and panic attacks have in common, besides the fact that they’re both more likely during a disaster? They both cause you to hyperventilate (breathe faster), which in turn makes them worse. There’s a breathing technique that can help stop the cycle. But it’s the opposite of what you probably think. It’s not deep breathing; it’s slow, shallow breathing. And practicing it can even help prevent attacks from coming on. But you have to learn to do it properly—preferably straight from a professional. […]

By | December 3rd, 2014|General|11 Comments

Medical Reasons for Unexplained Weight Gain: 8 Causes

There are medical causes for seemingly unexplained weight gain. Here, we describe eight reasons, along with some typical symptoms and treatments. [Editor’s note: This article was originally hosted on, our sister site. It’s now featured here as part of our new general-health section.] […]

8 Natural Anxiety Relievers: Which Ones Really Work; Which One Can Be Deadly

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Just ask anyone who survived a natural disaster, or has health or financial problems or family issues: anxiety can get you down. Top it with an uncertain future, and it can be downright debilitating. If it gets too bad, you go to a doctor or therapist, but what if there came a time you couldn’t get there. What natural anxiety relievers could help? If you’re under some stress right now, you might even want to give a couple a test run so you’ll know what works in the future. Of course, always check with your doctor since none of these can take the place of expert medical care. […]

By | December 4th, 2012|General|37 Comments

Panic Attacks: What to Do for Your Worst Nightmare

Artist Brad Siskin’s representation of a panic attack. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Anyone preparing for a disaster needs to know what to do for a panic attack. We’re all susceptible during extreme stress. No matter how stoic or brave you are, it could happen, and for that period of time, you’re totally disabled. You can’t think straight or physically do much of anything. Those of you who have experienced a panic attack (anxiety attack) know what I mean. If you haven’t, try to think of a time when you were most afraid, maybe it was just for a second, but you thought you were going to die. Now, imagine having that feeling for ten, fifteen minutes or more. […]

By | November 29th, 2012|General|38 Comments