Friday, February 27, 2015

Managing Night Terrors

They are called night terrors, and clearly, they can be terrors for the parents as well. A night terror is a situation where a child will wake up. The child actually could be fine and then will wake up about half an hour or 45 minutes in his sleep screaming wildly. They’re screaming because they really don’t know what’s going on. They look right past you. They have no idea what the issue is. The problem with a night terror is that it often scares the parents. What you have to do is just control the child from hurting themselves, and it will go away.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dealing with Stress Headaches

There are several kinds of headaches.  While many people say they suffer from migraines, the most common headache is called a stress headache.  Causes include stress, skipping meals, irregular sleep habits, or certain foods.  One of the first things many people do after suffering a headache is reach for a pain reliever in the medicine cabinet, but that's not always the best idea.  In fact, there are other simple things you can do.  Lie down in a dark, quiet room and try to sleep.  Also, try to figure out what led to the headache.  In addition, you should try to avoid things that are problematic and bother you.  One idea is a headache log where you can record when the headache first appears, the time each one happens, and where the pain is felt.  You get the idea.  It's common sense and it's trying to figure out the best way to approach a problem that can be chronic.  

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Eating More Chocolate Is Associated with Higher Depression Scores

Eating more chocolate is associated with higher depression scores.  Researchers assessed the mood of 931 participants who were not taking antidepressants using a standard depression scale.  They then correlated the results from those with a food survey.  Those who scored very highly, reflecting probable major depression, reported consuming more than twice as much chocolate as those who were negative for depression.  The findings were similar between women and men.  The researchers speculate that depression may stimulate cravings for chocolate as a form of self-medication.  Animal studies suggest that chocolate may have positive mood benefits, however, they cannot rule out the possibility that chocolate actually contributes to the depressed mood, or that both cravings and depressed mood are caused by a third, underlying factor.  The report is in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Teeth Brushing and Heart Disease

How important is it to brush your teeth? Well, more and more studies are showing that keeping your teeth and your mouth clean can actually be effective at preventing, of all things, heart disease. That’s right. We have found that people who have bacterial infections, periodontal disease, are more likely to have problems associated with heart disease. Now, whether it’s because of the teeth or it’s because of the fact that certain individuals may not take care of their teeth or their overall health, we’re not sure. But there is clearly that association.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Understanding Juvenile Diabetes

In Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, the hormone insulin does not work the way it should and blood levels can go out of control. People with this form of diabetes need to be given insulin to control the blood sugar and help with the basic metabolic pathways of the body. There is a theory that for some reason the body's immune system actually attacks insulin. This is why it doesn't work. Scientists have struggled to understand what causes the body to turn against itself in Type 1 diabetes. Essentially, the immune system destroys pancreatic cells that normally produce the blood sugar regulating hormone insulin. Researchers have struggled to find out why. That's because it is a disease that affects one in every 400 to 500 children and adolescents in the United States. According to a report in the journal Nature, scientists studied mice that actually developed Type 1 diabetes and engineered them to lack normal insulin. Using those mice, they are trying to do what they can to find out secrets.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Radiation Exposure from Medical Tests

Exposure to radiation from medical tests is a very important problem and in the New England Journal of Medicine, they took a look.  A study of 952,000 non-elderly adults found that over two-thirds were exposed to twice as much radiation as they would have received from natural sources because of medical imaging.  Women and older individuals were at greater risk for radiation exposure.  The study found that CT scans and nuclear tests accounted for three-quarters of non-treatment-based medical radiation exposure.  An accompanying editorial called for the clinical trials to prove whether or not diagnostic tests and imaging prevented major medical problems or reduced costs, or whether they're worth the inherent risk of developing cancer from radiation exposure.  A report by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement, Americans are exposed to a great deal of radiation.  

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Appropriate Medications for Children

You may have heard the statement, children are just little adults. Well that is true, but it’s also not true when it comes to medicine. You just can’t give the same drugs to children that you give to adults, and you can’t give half the dose, or anything like that. Many medications cannot be processed by children. Many medications given to children can cause problems in bone development, teeth development. All of these things have to be checked into. So if you have a medication at home that you think worked for you, just don’t give it to your child. Check with your doctor, and find out if they need their own prescription, or their own dose.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Study Suggests Optimists Live Longer

Optimists live longer.  Results from a government study showing nearly 100,000 women being followed adds to scientific findings saying that optimists live longer.  The report is from the American Psychosomatic Society meeting and the University of Pittsburgh.  Women aged 50 and above were in the study that started in 1994.  Optimists were defined as those who said they expected good things rather than bad things to happen.  Over the course of the study, optimists had a lower death rate in general and had a 30% lower death rate from heart disease.  In contrast, those who were more hostile had a higher death rate and a 23% greater risk of death from a cancer-related condition.  The results also suggested that optimism and hostility levels had a larger impact on black women's health.  The researchers say that finding needs more study due to low numbers of black women in the group

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Study Shows Even Light Smoking Carries Serious Risks

If you're a person who smokes casually, maybe you light up a cigarette a few times a day in social settings, you probably think it's safe, but you may want to look at it again.  That's according to a Norwegian study of 43,000 men and women.  They found that smoking fewer than five cigarettes a day, commonly known as light smoking, triples the risk of dying of heart disease or lung cancer in men.  In women, the increased risk of lung cancer was five times greater.  Researchers looked at a 32 year period.  This is not a small study and it shows the concerns we must look into.  

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Tibial Band Pain

It's called the tibial band, and it's just that.  It's a band that goes down on the outside of the leg.  It more or less goes from the hip all the way down to the feet in the way it works.  What happens is when the patellofemoral pain occurs in the knee, it can also aggravate what we call tibial pain in the side.  That pain is kind of an inflammation.  It can make you feel as if your knee is giving way, it can cause severe pain, and it can even go down into the feet and cause difficulty.  It's obviously a concern that needs to be treated.  Stretching often helps. 

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Oral Bacteria May Be Linked with Heart Risk

Could mouth bacteria be linked with heart risk?  Studies are finding out this is the case. According to University of Buffalo, research comparing oral bacteria from 386 heart attack patients with oral bacteria from 840 without finds two species of bacteria are more common among heart attack patients.  Overall, heart patients tended to have higher levels of bacteria in their mouths, but of two types; Tannerella forsynthesis and Prevotella intermedia.  They were statistically linked to heart attack.  Researchers say more study is needed to determine if these bacteria actually contribute to the heart risk, but clearly, the studies are pointing in that direction and it's something we should look at and understand. 

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Study which Linked Measles Vaccine to Autism Turns Out to Be Fraudulent

Here's the bottom line...a study linking measles vaccine to autism was fabricated.  That it was a fraud is very disturbing.  The reason why this is the case, is you have parents who have children with autism who have been sold a bill of goods. They are frustrated because they were looking for answers.  Why did their child have this condition?  But even more important than that, for those children who have not had the vaccine, for those parents who have questioned it, for physician who have had that conversation with patients hundreds of thousands of times, all of this information leads to confusion.  It’s one thing if someone makes a mistake, but if it’s downright, outright fraud, you’re in a situation where it takes the entire medical system, the entire way we base our decisions about whether treatments are good or bad, and discredits it. There is a seed now planted in people’s minds that there is something wrong with these vaccines and that there’s a link with autism.  That is not something that will be erased by one report like this.  That question is ongoing.  We’re not saying it’s a bad thing to question, we are saying it’s a bad thing to question when you have misinformation.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Air Pollution and Asthma

Let's face it, our health is largely dependent on our environment.  In many cases, we don't even think about it, but a good example is how air pollution is known to increase the risk of developing asthma.  According to a study, it just doesn't end at developing the condition, it also makes controlling it more difficult.  In the study, researchers surveyed 481 people about their asthma symptoms and compared that data to information about local levels of ozone, nitrous oxide, and particulate matter.  They found that poor air quality really made a difference. 

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Basal Cell Skin Cancer

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer.  It mainly affects the head and the neck.  The people at the greatest risk are males, people who tend to freckle easily, those with increased sun exposure or excessive use of tanning beds, and smokers.  Basal cell can be treated and although it can metastasize, or spread, it usually does not do that.  It usually stays local, close to where it originates.  People with basal cell near the ears, eyes and nose need to be watched very closely.  Those with it on the arms or legs still need to be treated, but local growth has less of a chance to attack vital areas.  Basal cell cancer is on the rise in this country and it's another reason why it's important to get regular skin checks.  It can't stress it enough.  You need to follow-up with your physician and do what you can to get all of that proper treatment.

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