August 2014

Active ImageIs work exhausting us in a way it never did before? 

Two things happened in one day that made me wonder. First, my new housemate got home just before midnight:

"Did you have a nice night out?" I asked.

"Oh no -- I didn't go out," he replied. "I've been at work since 8am."

These sorts of hours are normal in the banking industry, he explains. Also, don't worry about stocking up on extra food he says; "I have breakfast, lunch and dinner at work."

That afternoon I visit a physiotherapist. My neck is so sore that it's hard to turn my head. It could be the way I'm sitting, I say. Or the fact that I rarely take breaks, or that my job doesn't take me out of the office anymore.

The physio nods. She's heard it all before. She tells me the incidents of neck and pain in office workers has soared in the past 2 years.

To read the full story Exhaustion: the modern malady, click here.

Active ImageResearch Shows It Can Slow Dementia In Elderly Who Have Mild Mental Declines

Drinking alcohol in moderation may slow the progression to dementia in elderly people who already have mild mental declines, new research suggests.

Defined in the study as less than one drink a day, low to moderate drinking was associated with a significantly slower progression to dementia among people with mild age-related cognitive declines, compared with nondrinkers.

The protective benefit was not seen with higher alcohol consumption.

To read the full story A Little Alcohol May Help Aging Brains, click here.

Active Image

Hotter is better when it comes to killing dust mites and other allergens in your laundry.

A new study shows washing laundry in hot water (140 degrees Fahrenheit) kills 100 percent of dust mites. But turn the dial down just 36 degrees to a warm, 104-degree Fahrenheit wash and only 6.5 percent of dust mites are killed in the laundry. Hotter water was also better at removing dog dander and pollen.

But if your delicate laundry can't take the heat, researchers also suggest another way to reduce dust mites and allergens in the laundry: wash at a lower temperature (between 86-104 degrees Fahrenheit) and then rinse the laundry twice with cold water for at least three minutes each.

To read the full story Hot Water Removes Allergens Best, click here.

Hot, Not Warm, Water Is Needed To Kill Dust Mites, Remove Animal Dander In Laundry, Study Shows

Active ImageNumbers May Not Justify Practice for Routine Mammograms

Breast cancer is a topic that seldom evokes dispassionate, let alone objective, treatment.

There is good reason for that. We all know, often intimately, of the tragedy this cancer can cause.

Furthermore, the topic roils with gender issues and other issues of bias in the provision of health care. No one should be deprived of effective care of the highest quality for any reason, including gender and ethnicity. We need to address past wrongs.

However, past wrongs and current tragedies do not excuse providing remedies that are ineffective. It is under this banner that I want us to calmly and objectively examine the effectiveness of screening mammograms. I have done so before, in detail in "Last Well Person." I do so today because of the chest-pounding about the decrease in the numbers of women submitting to mammograms and the auguring about a consequent rebound in breast cancer incidence.

To read the full story Does Screening Mammography Save Lives?, click here.

Editors Commentary:

While the question of whether or nit mammography is valuable is still very much up in the air, one would have to ask the question, "Should we do nothing, that is avoid mammography and if not what should women do?" There is still no clear answer to this questions as there is still no perfect diagnostic test for picking up early breast cancer.

In previous articles using self breast exam was also said to be of little value. The value of using MRI to find early breast cancer may also be in questions. CT scan and Ultrasound have their place in diagnostic testing but are not mentioned in this article.

While there may be no perfect answer we suggest that women continue to have their yearly or every two year mammography, that they do monthly breast self examination and most important of all if screening is going to be done find a Center near you that has radiologists and technicians who are very well trained and have a great deal of experience. We suggest not to use less than skilled testing facilities, units where only a few mammographies are done a month. Pay more, travel farther go to well known Centers where you are more likely to get a better result.

For more information on Breast Self Examination (BSE), click here.

Active ImageMaybe You Can Enjoy That Steak

Scientists Work on Ways to Neutralize Unhealthy Fats

Don't throw those juicy steaks away yet.

Scientists believe they may have discovered how to make the fats that are most hazardous to our hearts no more harmful than the fats that are supposed to be good for us, like fish oil. And what's even more important, the discovery may launch us on a course that could eliminate heart disease.

"If it works as well in us as it does in mice, it would push us in that direction," said Lawrence L. Rudel, leader of the research team who's a professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Rudel admits that's a very long shot at this point, since no human clinical trials are even on the horizon, but the research, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology is tantalizing.

To read the full story An End to Bad Fats? Maybe You Can Enjoy That Steak, click here.

Active Image5-Year Report Shows Sharpest Increase in Type 2

The number of teens, especially girls, taking prescription drugs for type 2 diabetes, sleep problems, and other illnesses is up.


Active ImageChemical in Popcorn Could Pose Health Risk

Microwave popcorn is one of America's favorite couchside snacks, but the butter flavor is raising questions about whether the crunchy treat could be dangerous to something other than the waist.

The chemical that helps create microwave popcorn's buttery aroma has been linked to serious health issues for workers who make the snack.

After working for 10 months at a St. Louis, Mo., flavoring company, 53-year-old Jerry Blaylock developed a life-threatening disease commonly called popcorn lung, which is linked to the chemical diacetyl. Now his once healthy lungs can hold just 45 percent of breathing capacity.

To read the full story Could Microwave Popcorn Be Toxic?, click here.

Active ImageA Good Source of Vitamins? Or a Ticket to Tubbiness? One Expert Gets to the Bottom of the Juice Glass

What's more American or wholesome than a glass of juice for breakfast? It's the way millions of people start their day. It's also the way many parents introduce fruit to their children. That may be a problem

Active ImageAvoid disease by covering up with clothes, staying in shade, experts say

The latest skin-cancer prevention advice is to stop trusting sunscreen as the front line of defense against harmful rays.

Instead, wear sunblocking clothing or stay out of the sun altogether, experts say.

Sunscreen has been shown to protect against UV skin damage as well as basal carcinomas and squamous cell carcinoma

Active ImageContrary to popular belief, drinking pure 100 percent fruit juice does not make young children overweight or at risk for becoming overweight, new research shows. Pure fruit juice provides essential nutrients and, in moderation, may actually help children maintain a healthy weight.

Inconsistent research findings have led to continued debate over the potential associations between drinking 100 percent fruit juice, nutrient intake, and overweight in children.

In the their study, researchers analyzed the juice consumption of 3,618 children ages 2 to 11 using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

"The bottom line is that 100 percent juice consumption is a valuable contributor of nutrients in children's diet and it does not have an association with being overweight," study chief Dr. Theresa Nicklas, a child nutrition specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, told Reuters. She presented the new data at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual convention in Toronto, Canada, this week.

To read the full story Pure fruit juice not likely to put weight on kids, click here.


Active ImageMost people say they're tired when they skip their morning run or nod off during their favorite 9 o'clock sitcom. But if you want to know about real bone-crunching fatigue, the kind that chains you to your bed, ask someone with a thyroid disorder.

For me, the exhaustion was totally out of character. I'd always been high-energy, even a tad hyper. Six hours of sleep a night was enough. Then last fall I became a different person, someone I didn't like very much at all.

I'd get up at 7:15 and see my 13-year-old out the door, then lie down. Next thing I knew it was 8 a.m. and there were a mere 10 minutes left to get my 10-year-old fed and to school. As if her tardies weren't bad enough, I started crawling back into bed again after I dropped her off. Suddenly there weren't enough hours in the day to earn the living that supported us all.

Though I mentioned the problem to my doctor, all he did was offer sleeping pills. But then my younger sister discovered she had a thyroid problem, and her doctor said it runs in families.

To read the full story Feeling lethargic, moody, tired, fat? It could be your thyroid, click here.

Active ImageFood Safety Strategies From The Market To The Table

Tainted animal feed. Spinach scares. Peanut butter recalls. Food safety has been big news lately, which is making many people think twice about what's on their plates.

First, the facts. The FDA says some U.S. hogs, poultry, and farmed fish recently ate animal feed containing Chinese ingredients tainted with an industrial chemical called melamine. But the FDA says people who ate meat from those animals are likely at "very low" risk of melamine-related health problems.

The source of the salmonella outbreak in Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter has been found, and maker ConAgra plans to start shipping Peter Pan Peanut Butter to retailers this summer. And Last fall's E. coli outbreak in fresh bagged spinach is over.

To read the full story 15 Ways To Make Your Food Safer, click here.

Active ImagePeople Who Eat 2.5 Servings A Day Are 21% Less Likely To Have Heart Disease, Research Shows

There's a new report to add to the stack of studies on the heart benefits of whole grains.

People who eat 2.5 daily servings of whole grains are about one-fifth less likely to have heart disease than those who skimp on whole grains, a new research review shows.

But relatively few people have made whole grains a dietary staple, note the reviewers, who included Philip Mellen, M.D., of Wake Forest University's internal medicine department.

"We should redouble our efforts to encourage patients to include more of these foods in our diet," Mellen says in a Wake Forest news release.

To read the full story Whole Grains May Help The Heart, click here.


Active ImageNola Ochs' Is World's Oldest Person to Graduate

On Saturday in Kansas, a 95-year-old woman will become the world's oldest college graduate.

Nola Ochs, who began taking college classes more than 30 years ago, has become a celebrity on the campus of Fort Hays State University in Kansas, where she will graduate with a degree in history.

"Several years ago, I quit counting my age," Ochs said. "We celebrated my birthday, but I didn't want to be told how old I am."

Like her younger classmates, Ochs's college career has been filled with activity -- researching papers online from her campus apartment, writing reports and occasionally offering words of wisdom to her less-seasoned fellow students.

 Editors Note:

This is a true inspiring note. When so many older people give up and let age and the elements claim their body

Active Image

Medicine Changes Its Mind

Active Image

About two-thirds of U.S. children will go through a traumatic event in their childhood but few are likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

The finding reveals a certain emotional resiliency in children, but it also suggests that the way children process troubling experiences is different from adults, said William Copeland of Duke University Medical Center, whose study appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Copeland and colleagues conducted annual interviews with 1,420 kids at ages 9, 11, and 13 who were representative of the general U.S. population between 1993 and 2000.

By age 16, 68 percent of those studied had experienced at least one traumatic event, such as the violent death of a loved one, physical abuse by a relative, sexual abuse, fire, natural disaster or a serious accident.

To read the full story Childhood trauma is widespread in US, click here.

Active ImageTaking an aspirin every day may help prevent heart disease and stroke but, for a middle-aged man, it is nearly as risky as driving a car or working as a firefighter, researchers said on Tuesday.

While people are poor at assessing true risks, they are often willing to take on those risks in exchange for the benefits -- which can include simply having fun, said Joshua Cohen and Peter Neumann of Tufts-New England Medical Center.

Writing in the journal Health Affairs, they said federal regulators must take the true risks into account, and balance them against the benefits, when deciding whether to approve or withdraw drugs.

To read the full story Aspirin risk compares to driving cars, click here.

Active ImageStudy: Smokers Taking Statin Drugs Get 55% Less Lung Cancer

People who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs for more than six months

Active ImageDr. Emily Senay Talks About The Consequences Of Too Much Television

Many experts claim that too much television isn't good for kids

Active ImageQuick, what does the following list suggest to you: Lamaze classes; baby showers;
Active ImageIf spring and fall send your seasonal allergies into a spin, many experts say look to Mother Nature for relief that can be as comforting and easy as a day at the beach.

Whether it's the long-awaited change of winter into spring, or the quiet fading of summer into fall, for many folks the changing of the seasons means more than just vacation plans and a new wardrobe -- it signals the start of seasonal allergies.

Sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery, red eyes -- these are just some of the symptoms that more than 35 million Americans face each year as the pollen from trees, grass, flowers, and plants makes it way into the air.

For many, relief is just a drugstore counter away -- with a wide array of traditional medications available to help. However, for an increasing number of allergy sufferers the road to relief is best paved by Mother Nature, with a variety of all-natural treatments that studies show can help -- often without many of the troubling side effects ascribed to traditional care

To read the full article Relieve Allergies the Natural Way, click here.

Active ImageBreast cancer rates have dropped dramatically -- most likely from two important factors
Active ImageWhat are sterols and stanols, and does anyone like to eat them?

Almost everyone has eaten cholesterol-lowering foods like walnuts, salmon, and oatmeal. But what's a plant sterol or stanol? And do you really want to eat it?

Most experts say yes. "Eating sterol and stanol-containing foods is an easy way to lower your LDL cholesterol, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease," says Ruth Frechman, RD, a
spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA.)

Plant sterols and stanols are substances that occur naturally in small amounts in many grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Since they have powerful cholesterol-lowering properties, manufacturers have started adding them to foods. You can now get stanols or sterols in margarine spreads, orange juice, cereals, and even granola bars.

To read the full article The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Plant Sterols and Stanols, click here.

Active ImageOne recurring problem throughout history has been one of perception, but today much of our trouble isn
Active ImageAt the end of every appointment with a patient, I usually feel one of two ways: "Wow! We really accomplished a lot in 15 minutes." Or: "Wow. Where did it all go wrong?"

Some office visits go better than others, and some families just get more out of them. These parents get their concerns addressed -- and their kids are better for it. The good news is, it's probably because they're doing things you could do, too. Here are some suggestions to make your child's visits happy and productive, for both of you:

To read the full article What your child's doctor wishes you knew, click here.

Active ImageLiving With A Smoker For Decades Can Increase The Risk By 30%
Active ImageThe New Latino Diet Pyramid: Try a Bean Tortilla Melt
Active ImageSoup May Fill You Up Before Higher-Calorie Courses, Study Shows

Starting a meal with soup may help you cut calories, say nutrition experts at Pennsylvania State University.

They served lunch to 60 normal-weight men and women once a week for five weeks.

For four of those weeks, the lunch menu started with a low-calorie, broth-based vegetable soup. All of the soups were homemade and contained the same ingredients, though some soups were pureed and others contained vegetable chunks.

Fifteen minutes after the soup was served, participants were served cheese tortellini with tomato sauce.

To read the full article Having Soup First May Cut Calories Later, click here.

Active ImageStress Hormone Rises Higher in Perfectionists Under Pressure