The coronavirus pandemic has dominated the headlines, and our daily lives, for most of this year. Medical News Today has covered this fast-moving, complex story with live updates on the latest news and potential treatments, interviews with experts, and an ongoing investigation into the deep racial disparities that the disease has unmasked.

This hasn’t stopped us publishing hundreds of fascinating stories on a myriad of other topics. Readers have been captivated by subjects as diverse as blood donation, belly fat, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, cabin fever, as well as articles on the rarest of conditions and the latest research into mental health and well-being.

Here are 10 recent stories that you may have missed amid all the COVID-19 fervor. The Recovery Room is where you can relax and learn about reducing anxiety through breathing and why feelings of loneliness may actually decrease as we age. So, please take a deep breath, and we’ll begin…

1. 5 breathing exercises for anxiety and how to do them

a man sat on a sofa doing breathing exercises for anxietyShare on Pinterest
Breathing exercises may be effective in reducing anxiety.

Our readers spent the most time with this article over the past week — an average of about 16 minutes each. These are trying times for many of us, but breathing exercises can help reduce anxiety. This article explains how to practice deep breathing, the quieting response method, and three other breathing techniques.

Learn more here.

2. How to recognize the symptoms of a blood clot

A man clutches the side of his leg, which is tender, and can be a sign of how to know if you have a blood clot.Share on Pinterest
Tenderness or pain in the leg can be a symptom of a blood clot.

This was the month’s most popular new article. A person may suspect that they have a blood clot if they have known risk factors and experience symptoms. Knowing the signs can aid diagnosis and treatment, so this newly published article could be a lifesaver.

Learn more here.

3. What are the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency?

Share on Pinterest
Some sources of vitamin D include milk, white mushrooms, and cooked sockeye salmon.

Meanwhile, 23,000 people have accessed this article on a vitamin that some are pushing as a defense against COVID-19. There is still not enough high quality research to support such a view, but the fact remains that many of us are not getting enough vitamin D, which has serious implications for long-term health. Still, many people with the deficiency have no symptoms. 

Learn more here.

4. How to recover after donating blood

Share on Pinterest
The iron in leafy greens can help a person recover after donating blood.

World Blood Donor Day is on June 14 this year, and it looks as though MNT readers have been preparing to give blood by spending more time on this page than any other this month. Blood stocks are running low, and it is still crucial that people donate. This article looks at which foods to eat, which activities to avoid, and any adverse effects to watch out for after donating blood.

Learn more here.

5. 11 natural ways to get rid of belly fat

Share on Pinterest
Cardiovascular exercise is a good way to burn calories.

Our fourth most visited article this month looks at ways to lose weight around the middle without resorting to pills, supplements, or special drinks. Visceral fat is potentially harmful, and removing it has many benefits for health. We cover a range of exercises and lifestyle changes that can help reduce visceral fat — important advice at a time when our healthy routines have become disrupted.

Learn more here.

6. What to know about cabin fever

Share on Pinterest
Cabin fever symptoms include restlessness and loneliness.

Cabin fever describes the psychological symptoms that a person may experience on being confined to their home for extended periods. Sound familiar? Learn how to manage it here.

Learn more here.

7. Loneliness likely to decrease with age, study finds

Share on Pinterest
Smiling senior businesswoman in discussion with client in office conference room

We reported this week on a study that looked at loneliness, which the authors defined as the discrepancy between the social relationships that people want and those they have. “Contrary to what people may expect, loneliness is not a predicament unique to older people. In fact, younger people report greater feelings of loneliness.”

Learn more here.

8. Could dairy protect against diabetes and hypertension?

Share on Pinterest
Pouring milk in the glass on the background of nature.

Many of us now prefer to consume alternatives to dairy products, such as almond milk (the subject of another popular recent article), due to concerns about how healthful they are. However, nearly 3,000 readers spent an average of 5 minutes each reading this recent report on a study that identified a link between a higher intake of dairy products, particularly whole fat varieties, and a lower risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Learn more here.

9. What is mad hatter’s disease?

Share on Pinterest
Early symptoms of mercury poisoning may include sleep disturbances, a wet cough, and muscle pain.

We cover a huge variety of unusual conditions here at MNT, but our article on mad hatter’s disease, named after a character in Alice in Wonderland, sparked enough curiosity to earn a place in our top 20 most read articles this month. The article explains the condition in detail, including the causes and symptoms.

Learn more here.

10. What do different tongue colors mean?

Medical News Today has a strong presence on social media. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. When I asked our Social Media Manager, Nicola, which stories had performed well over the past week, she shot straight back with this vividly illustrated article about health conditions that can change the color and texture of the tongue.

Learn more here

We hope that this has given you a taste of the range of stories we cover on Medical News Today. We’ll be back with a new selection next week.

Coming soon: A sneak preview of what’s in our drafts folder

We publish hundreds of new articles every month. Here are some upcoming articles that you may be interested in:

  • Scientists unravel the mystery of anesthesia
  • Sedentary? Feel happier with sleep or light activity instead
  • Neuroticism and openness affect the risk of pre-dementia