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Mastectomy and scoliosis not likely related

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Your Good Health: Weakness on one side sounds like a stroke

Dear Dr. Roach: I am an 84-year-old woman, and have always been a good walker. Three months ago, I fell down and could not get up from the floor. I was not in pain, but I could not move my right leg. I went by ambulance to the hospital, where X-rays and many other tests were done. It took me 32 days in rehab before I could walk again and was released.

All the doctors and nurses said that I did not have a stroke, but they did say that I have weak muscles on the right side of my body. Could you please tell me what “weakened muscles” means? What can I do to prevent another fall?


The sudden onset of weakness on one side of the body sounds very much like a stroke to me. There are very few other possibilities I can think of.

There are many causes of weakened muscles. One of the most common in the elderly is a deficiency in vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation is recommended for the elderly with a low level, because weakness is so frequent a symptom.

However, the weakness should be symmetrical. Other systemic causes, such as neuropathies or degenerative neurological diseases, also are almost always symmetric. So I don’t understand why you have weakness on only one side if the hospital personnel are sure that you did not have a stroke. Sometimes, a stroke can be very subtle; however, a stroke that affects an entire side of the body should show up on an MRI scan.

Regular exercise, preferably supervised by a physical therapist, can be helpful in preventing falls. A visit from a home nurse to evaluate the safety of your home can help prevent another episode. Finally, having a device that allows you to call for help even if you can’t reach the phone can be life-saving. I recommended one for any person who has had a fall from which they could not rise.

Dear Dr. Roach: My precious 80-year-old husband recently died very suddenly. The doctor said he died of a type of heart failure called “broken heart syndrome.” What is this? Was there some care he did not receive? Was his heart fractured in some way? Could his death have been prevented? I am devastated.


I am very sorry to hear about your husband. What usually is meant by “broken heart syndrome” is called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. It looks very much like a heart attack, but it occurs in the setting of severe emotional or physical stress. It is much more common in women than in men. Is not due to blockages in the arteries of the heart, as a regular heart attack is, but rather is a form of sudden heart failure. Death

is uncommon from Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (only about four per cent). The cause is unknown.

It also is possible to have a rupture of the wall of the heart. This can happen as a result of a conventional heart attack, but it also can happen in people with very severe heart failure, in which the heart muscle is stretched and thinned. I doubt this was the cause in your husband, as he most likely would have been very ill for a long time prior.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to

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UPDATE: Man reported missing in Columbus located in good health

A packed room of citizens filled every seat inside the Muscogee County School Board meeting room Monday evening.  

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Is peanut butter a possible cure for insomnia? | To Your Good Health …

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Vitamin D is vital to good health: With winter coming, it’s time to start supplementing your diet – Fairbanks Daily News

News-Miner opinion: Darkness is quickly returning to Interior Alaska. And because of Fairbanks’ high latitude, the suns rays lose their potency at this time of year; August is typically when the amount of vitamin D in a person’s blood stream begins to decline. This is because vitamin D is synthesized in your skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. 

Vitamin D is essential to good health, which is why it behooves Alaskans to make sure they are getting vitamin D through their diets. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so vitamin D deficiency can lead to brittle bones and diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets.

Recent scientific research is yielding more information about vitamin D’s health benefits. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease and a weakened immune system.

Vitamin D3 supplements can be taken to maintain healthy bones and teeth, although there is no conclusive evidence to show these supplements can replicate the full range of health benefits that naturally synthesized vitamin D has. The National Institutes of Health recommends infants take 400 IU of vitamin D and adults older than 71 take 800 IU. Other people should take 600 IU daily.

However, you don’t have to rely wholly on vitamin D gummies to avoid a deficiency. Vitamin D is found in marine mammals and fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. Other foods, such as shitake mushrooms and eggs, have it too. Vitamin D fortified milks and cereal are also available.

 And, of course, a vacation to some sunny clime, such as Hawaii or California, can always help too.

Now is the time to start supplementing your diet with vitamin D. Your good health depends on it.

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Moderate carbohydrate intake may result in good health

Turns out, eating carbohydrates in moderation can be optimal for health and longevity.

Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fats from plant sources are associated with lower risk of mortality compared to those that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fat from animal sources.


The observational study of more than 15,400 people found that diets both low ( 40% energy) and high (70% energy) in carbohydrates were linked with an increase in mortality, while moderate consumers of carbohydrates (50-55% of energy) have the lowest risk of mortality.

The primary findings, confirmed in a meta-analysis of studies on carbohydrate intake including more than 432,000 people from over 20 countries, also suggested that not all low-carbohydrate diets appear equal–eating more animal-based proteins and fats from foods like beef, lamb, pork, chicken and cheese instead of carbohydrate was associated with a greater risk of mortality. Alternatively, eating more plant-based proteins and fats from foods such as vegetables, legumes, and nuts were linked to lower mortality.

Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight loss strategy. However, the data suggested that animal-based low carbohydrate diets might be associated with a shorter overall lifespan and should be discouraged. Instead, if one chooses to follow a low carbohydrate diet, then exchanging carbohydrates for more plant-based fats and proteins might actually promote healthy ageing in the long term.

To address this uncertainty, researchers began by studying 15,428 adults aged 45-64 years from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. All participants reported consuming 600-4200 kcal per day for men and 500-3600 kcal per day for women, and participants with extreme (high or low) caloric intake were excluded from the analysis.

The researchers also assessed the association between overall carbohydrate intake (categorized by quantiles) and all cause-mortality after adjusting for age, sex, race, total energy intake, education, exercise, income level, smoking, and diabetes.

Results showed a U-shape association between overall carbohydrate intake and life expectancy, with low (less than 40% of calories from carbohydrates) and high (more than 70%) intake of carbohydrates associated with a higher risk of mortality compared with moderate intake (50-55% of calories).

The researchers estimated that from age 50, the average life expectancy was an additional 33 years for those with moderate carbohydrate intake–4 years longer than those with very low carbohydrate consumption (29 years), and 1 year longer compared to those with high carbohydrate consumption (32 years). However, the authors highlight that since diets were only measured at the start of the trial and 6 years later, dietary patterns could change over 25 years, which might make the reported effect of carbohydrate consumption on lifespan less certain.

In the next step of the study, the authors performed a meta-analysis of data from eight prospective cohorts (including ARIC) involving data from 432,179 people. This revealed similar trends, with participants whose overall diets were high and low in carbohydrates having a shorter life expectancy than those with moderate consumption.

In further analyses examining whether the source of proteins and fats favoured in low-carbohydrate diets–plant-based or animal-based was associated with length of life, researchers found that replacing carbohydrates with protein and fat from animal sources was associated with a higher risk of mortality than moderate carbohydrate intake. In contrast, replacing carbohydrates with plant-based foods was linked to a lower risk of mortality.

The findings showed observational associations rather than cause and effect. 

Considering evidence from other studies, the authors speculate that Western-type diets that heavily restrict carbohydrates often result in lower intake of vegetables, fruit, and grains and lead to greater consumption of animal proteins and fats–some of which have been implicated in stimulating inflammatory pathways, biological ageing, and oxidative stress–and could be a contributing factor to the increased risk of mortality. Whilst high carbohydrate diets (common in Asian and less economically advantaged nations) tend to be high in refined carbohydrates such as white rice, may also contribute to a chronically high glycaemic load and worse metabolic outcomes.

The authors noted some limitations including that dietary patterns were based on self-reported data, which might not accurately represent participants’ food consumption; and that their conclusions about animal-based sources of fat and protein might have less generalisability to populations which tend to have diets high in carbohydrates, but often consume fish rather than meat.

On the basis of these principles, moderate intake of carbohydrate (eg, roughly 50% of energy) is likely to be more appropriate for the general population that are very low or very high intakes.

The findings appeared in the Journal of The Lancet Public Health. 


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Police: Marlboro teen found "in good health"

Here are five things you need to know about crime in Dutchess County. Video by Jordan Fenster/Poughkeepsie Journal

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Dogs at Ruff Ruff Animal Sanctuary certified in good health by vet

DEMING – The Luna County Humane Society continues to investigate the death of 10 dogs at the Ruff Ruff Animal Sanctuary located south of Deming on Rockhound Road.

Michael Thomas Muir, 63, an employee at the sanctuary, was charged with ten counts of animal cruelty, all misdemeanor charges, after admitting the animals died due to his negligence during a July 23 interview.

Detective David Holguin investigated the case after deputies were called out on July 7, to 7390 Rockhound Road SE in reference to the dead animals. Deputies met with the property owner Raymond Schmal who told deputies the animals succumb due to an employees’ negligence.

The LCSO report indicated over 100 dogs were at the facility.

Detective Holguin said the case is closed, pending court proceedings on the charges against Muir.

The sanctuary is one of eight licensed through the Deming-Luna County Humane Society and follows state licensing and inspection procedures on a routine basis. At the last inspection date, Ruff Ruff Animal Sanctuary and seven other facilities met the state and local licensing inspections.

There have been no animals added to the sanctuary since the first of the year, according to Matt Robinson, president of the LCHS.

An out-of-town veterinarian was called in to check on the animals kept at the sanctuary, and all were certified to be in good health by the vet.

“I got off phone with our county attorney, and our reports will be presented to him next week,” said LCHS Board Member Sande Foster.

Bill Armendariz can be reached at 575-546-2611 (ext. 2606) or

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10 beneficial acupressure points for weight loss and good health

Acupressure is based on the concept of life energy flowing through different meridians in the body. So, just by pressing certain points in the body, you can clear any blockage in the meridians and treat different diseases. “Studies have suggested that acupressure is effective in treating nausea and vomiting, lower back pain, tension headaches and stomach ache,” says Dr Manoj Kutteri, wellness director at Atmantan Wellness Centre. Some points can also help with weight loss.

According to acupressure, vital energy or “qi” flows through the body. When the flow is smooth, you enjoy good health but if it is blocked, acupressure can restore the body’s balance. Some of the problems that acupressure can effectively resolve are arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, hypertension, digestive disorders, menstrual Irregularities, sexual disorders and insomnia.

Also read: Diet tip, avoid these 5 foods in your 30s for weight loss and good health

Dr Kutteri says the objective of treatment varies based on the status of qi. “Weak qi requires toning, blocked qi need to be dispersed, and overactive qi has to be calmed,” says Dr Kutteri.

When you apply pressure to a point, maintain pressure on it for 2 to 3 minutes. Massaging the area won’t have the same effect. “Slowly increase and decrease the amount of pressure to allow time for the tissues to respond. On applying pressure, you may feel a gentle healing pain. If the pain is too severe, the treatment has to be stopped. As you keep applying pressure on the acupressure point, you will feel an easing of pain and discomfort from the area,” says Dr Kutteri.

Dr Kutteri shares some of the most effective acupressure points for good health and weight loss:

* The fat-burning point is 1.5inches below the navel.

* To relieve constipation, the point is 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches on either side of the midline.

* To relieve swelling and promote detoxification, the point is approximately 1 inch above the naval along the midline.

* To enhance your metabolism, the point is 4 inches above the navel along the midline.

* For relief from gastrointestinal discomfort and fatigue, the point is located four-finger space below the knee cap in the depression on the side of the outer calf bone.

* For relief from sinus and frontal headaches, the point is located in the webbing between the thumb and index finger (fleshy part) between the thumb and forefinger.

*  If you suffer from food allergy, vomiting, dysentery, fever or tennis elbow, the point is located within your elbow. Flex your elbow and apply pressure in the depression at the outer end of the elbow fold.

* For people suffering from menopause symptoms or oedema, infertility and memory issues, the location is in the sole of your feet, in the depression that appears when the toes are curled. It is located between the second and third metatarsals. It can be massaged at bedtime in order to treat insomnia.

* For digestive and gynaecological issues, the point is located on the inside of the lower leg, one hand up from the ankle bone.

* To get relief from hypertension, insomnia, diabetes, PMS, and painful breasts, the point lies on the top of your foot, above the toes and between the first and second tendons in a depression.

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 09:13 IST

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Your Good Health: Potential surrogate at age 57 told little of risks

Dear Dr. Roach: Would you please comment on common or uncommon issues that might be expected in a pregnancy at age 57? I am overall very healthy, with no issues other than slightly elevated LDL. I have not gone through menopause. I had four full-term pregnancies, the last at age 35 (after which I had my tubes tied), and no miscarriages. I asked my doctor two years ago if I would have an issue being a surrogate and was told there was no reason I couldn’t be, but my current physician told me that it can be very dangerous at my age. I am concerned that the practice is just covering itself against any liability. I realize that this is my decision alone and I would not hold my doctors accountable, but I’d also like the real truth regarding any potential issues I would be likely to encounter. I appreciate your thoughts.


I admire your willingness to consider being a surrogate. However, the risks of pregnancy in a 57-year-old woman are significant.

A study from the U.K. from 2016 quantified the risks pretty thoroughly; however, of the 233 women studied, only two of them were older than 57, so your risks are probably higher than the average risk for an older mother in the study (which was defined here as 48 years or older at the date of delivery).

Before I go over the risks, let me point out that one major risk for older mothers, Down syndrome, may not apply, since the ovum (egg) you would be carrying would come from another woman and it is her age that determines the risk for the fetus. Older mothers also are more likely to carry twins (or more than two fetuses).

Compared with younger mothers, older mothers have a higher risk for: high blood pressure during pregnancy (15 per cent vs. five per cent); pre-eclampsia, also called toxemia (six per cent vs. two per cent); diabetes during pregnancy (18 per cent vs. four per cent); hemorrhage after delivery (26 per cent vs. 15 per cent); Caesarean section (78 per cent vs. 33 per cent); preterm delivery (22 per cent vs. eight per cent); and admission of the baby to the intensive care unit (three per cent vs. less than one per cent).

Miscarriage rate (after 11 weeks) in women over 55 is estimated to be about 10 per cent, compared with one per cent in younger women. Maternal death is much more likely for older women than younger; however, that risk is small, less than two per 1,000 in a separate Swedish study of mothers over 45.

Overall, these risks are not small. You should think through your risks before making a decision. I’m disappointed in the lack of advice you received.

Dear Dr. Roach: Are net carbs really a thing? I understand low impact on blood sugar, but not measuring net carbs.


The “net carbs” number is normally calculated by taking the grams of total carbohydrates and subtracting the grams of fibre and sugar alcohols. It’s an attempt to look at the effect on blood sugar, and it has modest informational benefit. It can be misleading, because some sugar alcohols (ending in “-ol,” such as maltitol and xylitol) do increase blood sugar somewhat, though not as much as sugars (which end in “-ose,” such as glucose and sucrose).

I don’t recommend using the term “net carbs.” I think it’s more important to look at ingredients. Avoid large amounts of added sugar and processed starches.

Make sure the carbohydrates you take in come mostly from vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. These are the foundations of a healthy diet, and you don’t need to count numbers.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to

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