Health and Fitness News

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

 photo FoccaciawithRosemaryandSage_zpsb21baf19.jpg

Focaccia is a flatbread, not unlike a very thick-crusted pizza. It’s an easy dough to put together, and it’s forgiving; if you don’t have time to go from start to finish in one session, you can chill the dough and come back to it later. I think it’s a great vehicle for all kinds of vegetables, just as pizza is. A square of focaccia topped with tomatoes or cauliflower makes a great lunch or snack, and it’s good lunchbox fare.

Another thing you can do with focaccia is split it laterally and fill it, to make a sandwich. I did that with a mix of goat cheese and spinach, which made a better filling inside a heated focaccia than a topping.

Whole-Wheat Focaccia

This is a very easy bread that welcomes any number of toppings or fillings.

Focaccia With Tomatoes and Rosemary

If you can get good tomatoes, this focaccia is a beautiful foretaste of summer.

Focaccia With Sweet Onion and Caper Topping

A focaccia inspired by a Proven├žal pizza.

Focaccia With Tomato Sauce and Green Garlic

A focaccia that resembles a pizza.

Focaccia With Cauliflower and Sage

A delicious home for roasted cauliflower.

General Medicine/Family Medical

HIV No Barrier to Getting Liver Transplant: Study

by Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay Reporter

Procedure recommended to treat aggressive liver cancer

May 17 (HealthDay News) — Liver transplants to treat a common type of liver cancer are a viable option for people infected with HIV, according to new research.

The Italian study, published May 10 in the journal The Oncologist, found that the AIDS-causing virus doesn’t affect survival rates and cancer recurrence after transplants among HIV patients with this particular type of liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The study’s authors noted, however, that HCC is more aggressive in people with HIV and it is becoming a major cause of death among these patients as antiretroviral treatment prolongs their lives.

Cell Phone Use May Reveal Your ‘Dominant Brain’

by Alan Mozes, HealthDay Reporter

People with left-brain dominance tend to listen with right ear, and vice-versa, study finds

May 17 (HealthDay News) — New research suggests the dominant side of your brain may make the call on which ear you choose to use while talking on your cellphone.

The dominant side of your brain is where your speech and language center resides. Ninety-five percent of the human population is left-brain dominant, and those people tend to be right-handed. The opposite holds true for people who are right-brain dominant. In this study, scientists found that roughly 70 percent of those surveyed held their cellphone up to the ear that was on the same side as their dominant hand.

New Drug May Help Immune System Fight Cancer

by Brenda Goodman, HealthDay Reporter

Early study found tumor reduction in several forms of the disease

May 16 (HealthDay News) — An experimental drug that taps the power of the body’s immune system to fight cancer is shrinking tumors in patients for whom other treatments have failed, an early study shows.

The drug binds to a protein called PD-L1 that sits on the surface of cancer cells and makes them invisible to the immune system, almost like a cloaking device.

“That [the protein] allows the tumor cell to grow unchecked and cause harm to the patient,” said study author Dr. Roy Herbst, chief of medical oncology at Yale University.

But with the protein blocked, the immune system can see and destroy cancer cells.

Cloning Technique to Make Human Stem Cells

by EJ Mundell, HealthDay Reporter

Breakthrough bypasses need to use cells from fertilized embryos

May 15 (HealthDay News) — Scientists report they’ve used a cloning technique to reprogram an ordinary human skin cell to become an embryonic stem cell. In turn, the new stem cell has the potential to transform into any type of cell in the body.

Besides marking a breakthrough in stem cell technology, which has the potential to one day cure a myriad of illnesses, the achievement has some concerned that scientists are moving a step closer to human cloning.

Cell Calls During BP Readings May Skew Results

by Alan Mozes, HealthDay Reporter

Interruption can cause spike in systolic pressure, study found

May 15 (HealthDay News) — New Italian research offers some cautionary advice for patients with high blood pressure: The next time you take a blood pressure reading, turn off your cellphone.

The reason: Answering a cellphone call during a reading may cause a temporary but significant spike in blood pressure, rendering the results inaccurate and misleading.

‘Nonsmoking’ Hotel Rooms May Not Fully Protect You

by Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay Reporter

Partial smoking bans still left study participants with signs of tobacco exposure

May 14 (HealthDay News) — People who opt for nonsmoking rooms in hotels with a partial smoking ban are not fully protected from harmful exposure to so-called “thirdhand” smoke, according to a new study.

Smoking in hotels leaves a trail of tobacco pollution in the air and on surfaces in both smoking and nonsmoking rooms, researchers Georg Matt and colleagues at San Diego State University found. New hotels should enforce total smoking bans to protect their guests and employees, said the study authors, who also advised people to avoid hotels that allow smoking in designated areas.

Costlier Heart Device May Not Be Worth It: Study

by Brenda Goodman, HealthDay Reporter

Dual-chamber implanted defibrillators had more complications than single-chamber models

May 14 (HealthDay News) — Patients prone to dangerously fast heart rhythms may get just as much help and have fewer complications with less-expensive implanted defibrillators that run one wire to the heart instead of two, a new study shows.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, are like having an emergency “crash cart” in the chest. The devices can sense runaway heart rhythms and deliver powerful shocks to jolt the heart back to a normal, steady pace.

Creative Arts May Help Cancer Patients Cope

by Kathleen Doheny, HealthDay Reporter

Review shows participation in dance, music, art or writing can soothe anxiety, depression and pain

May 13 (HealthDay News) — Cancer patients who participate in the creative arts — such as music therapy, dance, art therapy and writing — may be helping to reduce the anxiety, depression and pain that can be associated with their diagnosis, according to a new report.

Taking part in these creative arts “is an opportunity for these patients to complement the healing process above and beyond the physical,” said Timothy Puetz, presidential management fellow at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s Office of the Director.

With his colleagues, Puetz reviewed 27 published studies that included more than 1,500 patients. The review was published online May 13 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.


Eyelash Extension Adhesives May Cause Bad Reaction

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

Infections and allergies from cosmetic procedure can damage eyes or cause swelling, loss of eyelashes

May 16 (HealthDay News) — For those who aren’t born with long, fluttery eyelashes, cosmetic extensions can help achieve that often sought-after look. But eye experts warn that the adhesives used to apply these eyelash extensions can cause allergies and infections.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) warns that among the potential dangers associated with cosmetic eyelash extensions and the adhesives used to apply them are infections of the cornea and eyelid, permanent or temporary loss of eyelashes, and eyelid swelling.

FDA: Lower Ambien’s Dose to Prevent Drowsy Driving

by Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter

Blood levels from nighttime dose of sleep aid can remain too high the next morning, agency says

May 15 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved new, lower-dose labeling for the popular sleep drug Ambien (zolpidem) in an effort to cut down on daytime drowsiness that could be a hazard while performing certain tasks such as driving.

The move follows the FDA’s request to manufacturers in January that drugs containing zolpidem carry instructions that lower the recommended dose and provide more safety information to patients.

Seasonal Flu/Other Epidemics/Disasters

2 Health Care Workers Made Ill by SARS-Like Virus

by WebMD News from HealthDay

An emerging, SARS-like virus that has sickened 40 people in the Middle East and Europe since September has now caused illness in two health care workers who were caring for infected patients, health officials report.

Two health care staffers caring for a patient in Saudi Arabia have been sickened with the coronavirus, the first such recorded case of transmission from patient to health care worker, the Associated Press reported. Person-to-person transmission has been suspected before, the news agency said.

Women’s Health

Hysterectomy May Not Raise Heart Risks After All

by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

Finding might reassure women considering the procedure, researcher says

May 14 (HealthDay News) — Women who have a hysterectomy are not in danger of increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease later in life, a new study says.

Although earlier research had found higher chances of cardiovascular disease in the years following a hysterectomy, different criteria were used in this latest study, the researchers noted.

Procedure for Female Incontinence May Have Downside

by Serena Gordon, HealthDay Reporter

In 7-year study, failure rate for pelvic organ prolapse surgery gradually increased

May 14 (HealthDay News) — The success of a common surgery for pelvic organ prolapse — a painful and distressing condition affecting many women — lessens over time, according to a new study.

Abdominal sacrocolpopexy is a procedure used to relieve the problem. It involves stitching a piece of mesh on the top of the vagina and attaching it to a strong ligament from the back of the pelvic bone. This surgery helps to support the pelvic organs.

But the new study found that with each passing year, the rate of pelvic organ prolapse surgery failure increased. The rate of mesh erosion (the primary material used to provide support) reached 10.5 percent by seven years after surgery.

Depression Tied to Stroke Risk in Middle-Aged Women

by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

Although risk is still low, Australian study found it nearly doubled for depressed women in their 40s and 50s

May 16 (HealthDay News) — Women in their 40s and 50s who suffer from depression are almost twice as likely to have a stroke as women who aren’t depressed, according to a large, long-running Australian study.

This is not the first study to link depression with an increased risk for stroke, in both men and women. Exactly how depression is associated with stroke is unclear, as is whether treating it reduces the risk, experts say.

Men’s Health

Agent Orange Tied to Lethal Prostate Cancer

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

Findings from U.S. veterans should raise awareness of chemical warfare’s hazards, researcher says

May 13 (HealthDay News) — A link exists between exposure to Agent Orange and deadly forms of prostate cancer in U.S. veterans, according to a new study.

Agent Orange was a chemical spray that was heavily used during the Vietnam War era. It was often contaminated with dioxin, a potentially cancer-causing chemical. Previous research suggests that exposure to Agent Orange increases the risk of prostate cancer, but it wasn’t known if it specifically increases the risk of more dangerous forms of the disease.

ED Tied to Long-Term Narcotic Use in Men

by Serena Gordon, HealthDay Reporter

In study, more men on impotence meds were taking opioids for chronic back pain

May 15 (HealthDay News) — If you’re a man, the pain-killing medications known as opioids may do more than relieve pain — they may also put a damper on your sex life.

A new study found that men who were prescribed medications for erectile dysfunction or low testosterone levels were more likely to be taking opioid (narcotic) medications for chronic back pain.

New Drug Approved for Advanced Prostate Cancer

by EJ Mundell, HealthDay Reporter

Xofigo was fast-tracked for approval and is meant for tumors that have spread to the bones

May 15 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that it has approved a drug to help men with advanced prostate cancer whose disease has spread to the bones.

The drug, Xofigo, is targeted to patients with late-stage, metastatic disease that has spread to the bones but not to other organs, the FDA said in a news release. It is meant for patients who have already undergone surgery and/or drug therapies such as hormone-based treatments.

Pediatric Health

1 in 5 U.S. Kids Has a Mental Health Disorder: CDC

by Brenda Goodman, HealthDay Reporter

ADHD is most common current diagnosis in children aged 3 to 17

May 16 (HealthDay News) — As many as one in five American children under the age of 17 has a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, according to a new federal report.

Released Thursday, the report represents the government’s first comprehensive look at mental disorders in children. It focuses on diagnoses in six areas: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral or conduct disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, substance abuse, and Tourette syndrome.

Formula May Help Breastfeeding for Some Babies

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

Early study looked at newborns who were losing weight

May 13 (HealthDay News) — Giving small amounts of infant formula to newborns who experience significant weight loss can increase the length of time that they are breast-fed, according to a new study.

New mothers do not immediately produce high volumes of milk and their babies can lose weight during this period, said the researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.


Some Skin Cancers Tied to Lower Odds of Alzheimer’s

by Barbara Bronson Gray, HealthDay Reporter

A weak immune response might allow skin cancer but protect brain from inflammation, expert suggests

May 15 (HealthDay News) — There’s some good news for people who have had certain kinds of skin cancer: A new study suggests that their odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease may be significantly lower than it is for others.

People who had non-melanoma skin cancer were nearly 80 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than people who did not. The association was not found with other types of dementia.

Mental Health

Daily Gene Rhythms May Be Off in Depressed People

by Amy Norton, HealthDay Reporter

Study found ‘clock’ in brain was disrupted in autopsies of those who suffered mental disorder at time of death

May 13 (HealthDay News) — Just like you, the genes in your brain follow a daily routine. But that natural rhythm may be thrown off in people with depression, a new study suggests.

Researchers say the findings shed new light on what goes wrong in the brain when depression strikes. And they hope the results, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could spur new therapies down the road.

Latest Edition of Psychiatry’s ‘Bible’ Launched

by Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay Reporter

Authors say it defines disorders more concisely; critics say it will lead to over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatments

May 17 (HealthDay News) — As the American Psychiatric Association unveils the latest edition of what is considered the “bible” of modern psychiatry this weekend, the uproar over its many changes continues.

“This is unprecedented, the amount of commentary and debate and criticism,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). “It’s been an interesting phenomenon, but the evidence is what it is. You have to evaluate it and then make your own determination of how compelling it is, and what would be best clinical practice.”


Healthy Lifestyle May Offset Job Stress

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

Risk for heart disease rises when workers drink, smoke or overeat

May 13 (HealthDay News) — Job stress increases the risk of heart disease, but living a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce that risk, a new study says.

Researchers examined data from more than 102,000 men and women, aged 17 to 70, in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Sweden and Finland. Their lifestyles were rated in one of three categories — healthy, moderately unhealthy or unhealthy — based on smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise/inactivity and obesity.

Those with a healthy lifestyle had no lifestyle risk factors, while people with a moderately unhealthy lifestyle had one risk factor. Two or more risk factors qualified as an unhealthy lifestyle.

Most Americans Should Eat Less Salt: Report

by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

But too little salt may also cause health problems, report authors add

May 14 (HealthDay News) — Most Americans should consume less salt, but too little salt can also cause health problems for some, a new report says.

The problem is that there is scant evidence for determining exactly how much salt is too much and how little is too little, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee that penned the report, which was released Tuesday.

“Studies have looked at efforts to lower excessive salt intake, but raised questions about harm from too little salt,” explained IOM committee chair Dr. Brian Strom, a professor of public health and preventive medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Sugary Sodas, Fruit Punches, & Kidney Stone Risk

by Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay Reporter

It’s important to stay hydrated, but water may be your best choice, experts say

May 15 (HealthDay News) — Drinking large amounts of sugary sodas and fruit drinks might raise your odds for painful kidney stones, a new study finds.

Although drinking extra fluids usually helps prevent stones from forming, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston warn that beverages may come with varying risks or benefits. Coffee, tea and orange juice, for example, are associated with a lower risk of kidney stone formation.

On the other hand, “we found that higher consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks was associated with a higher incidence of kidney stones,” study senior author Dr. Gary Curhan, a physician in the Channing Division of Network Medicine, said in a hospital news release.

Gene Variations & Weight Gain Among Men, Women

by Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay Reporter

People with specific ‘polymorphisms’ were more likely to put on pounds in 10-year study

May 15 (HealthDay News) — Weight gain in men and women is predicted by two different genetic variations — so-called polymorphisms, according to a new study from the Netherlands.

Men with a certain mutation of the FTO gene had an 87 percent greater risk for gaining weight over 10 years. Meanwhile, women with a different variation on the MMP2 gene had a two and a half times increased risk for weight gain over the course of a decade, the researchers found.

People With High Blood Pressure May Crave Salt

by Maureen Salamon, HealthDay Reporter

It’s important to resist these cravings, study author says

May 15 (HealthDay News) — High-salt diets have long been linked to high blood pressure, but new research finds that those with the condition may have a far greater preference for salty foods than those with normal blood pressure.

In a small study of older adults, researchers from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil found that participants with high blood pressure, or hypertension, favored bread dusted with the highest concentration of salt more than twice as much as those with normal blood pressure. Adding other seasonings to the salted bread, however, diminished the preference for salt across both groups.

The question remains: Are people with high blood pressure naturally drawn to salty foods, making them more prone to the condition?

Yoga May Help Ease High Blood Pressure, Study Finds

by Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

Numbers were lowered when people engaged in a few sessions per week

May 15 (HealthDay News) — People who follow the ancient practice of yoga may be getting an added health boost, with a new study suggesting it can fight high blood pressure — also known as hypertension.

“This study confirms many people’s feelings that exercise may be useful in the control of hypertension,” said Dr. Howard Weintraub, a cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Weintraub was not connected to the new study.

Based on the new findings, “yoga would be a useful adjunct in the lowering of blood pressure in certain populations,” he said.

Typical Restaurant Meal Loaded With Fats, Calories

by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

Just one meal often provides most of the daily recommended amounts, encouraging obesity

May 13 (HealthDay News) — The next time you sit down at your favorite local eatery, ponder this: Two new studies find that the average restaurant meal provides diners with most of the calories, fats and salt they require for the entire day.

The authors of both reports said these excesses can make restaurants unhealthy places to eat, adding to the obesity epidemic and increasing diners’ risk for heart disease.


    • TMC on May 25, 2013 at 00:04

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