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Healthy Living: Remote Controlled Reconstruction Surgery

Coping with breast cancer surgery and treatment can be draining, but preparing for breast reconstruction can also be a painful process, until now.

See how new technology is making the journey easier on patients in Healthy Living.

Aeroform also allows patients to fully expand and be ready for reconstructive surgery in half the time as the traditional saline expanders, three weeks compared to almost two months.

The FDA-approved device is covered by insurance.



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Article source: http://www.9and10news.com/2017/11/17/healthy-living-remote-controlled-reconstruction-surgery/

Healthy Living: Don’t get sick in the office this holiday season – FOX 8 News WVUE

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

Between the candy that started showing up in your office after Halloween to the Thanksgiving desserts and all the sweets you’ll find at your holiday parties, the end of the year is a challenging time to stay healthy. Dr. Megan Butler, Family Medicine Physician at Ochsner Health Center – Belle Meade, shares some tips to keep you healthy, focused and on top of your game at work heading into the New Year.

Cold prevention
As we dive deeper into Fall, the temperature starts to lower, and the cooler weather moves in. Though a change in wardrobe may be exciting, the increased chance of catching a cold is not. However, if you do catch one, make sure to take your coworkers’ health and wellness into consideration when deciding whether to go in to the office that day.

Even when feeling well, in communal spaces like offices, it’s really important to wash your hands frequently to lessen the chances of germ spread.

Also, keeping a blanket at your desk is a great way to keep warm on chillier office days. Ergonomic studies have shown that warmer office temperatures improve accuracy and efficiency.

Posture
Don’t let neck and back pain slow your holidays down. When sitting at a computer, many people unknowingly draw their faces toward the screen, craning their necks forward. To combat this, arguably the most effective single exercise you can do for the neck and upper back is to do chin retractions, as if making a double chin, which keeps the neck and spine lined up.

Diet
It’s incredibly easy to indulge in the treats that circulate around offices approaching the holidays. Do your best to remain picky with these indulgences, though. Sticking to a weekend meal-prep plan for weekday lunches lends less of an excuse when eying those unanticipated holiday sweets in the office kitchen. 

Movement
Try to get up and move! Changing a task may help reset for the next round of work, but getting outside – even if for only a few minutes every day – can lower fatigue and increase your mental focus. If you can’t go outside, taking a movement break in between tasks is still beneficial. Stand during a phone call, take a lap around the office, or even stretch following a meeting.

Stress reduction
The year’s end is often accompanied by goals and project deadlines, and it’s easy to be stressed by work and personal obligations this time of year. All of the suggestions above can contribute to decreasing your stress level, but keeping a stress toy at your desk can serve as a great companion item. 

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.

Article source: http://www.fox8live.com/story/36874755/healthy-living-dont-get-sick-in-the-office-this-holiday-season

Healthy Living: FDA warns against herbal supplement, kratom

(CNN) — The Food and Drug Administration dealt another blow Tuesday to supporters of kratom, warning about “deadly risks” associated with the botanical supplement often used to treat pain, anxiety and depression. Kratom also has opioid-like effects — at low doses, it acts like a stimulant; at higher doses, it sedates, dulling pain — which has also made it popular as an over-the-counter remedy for opioid withdrawal.

“It’s very troubling to the FDA that patients believe they can use kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “There is no reliable evidence to support the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use disorder.”

Instead, he said, the FDA is concerned that the use of kratom could actually “expand the opioid epidemic.”

“We’ve learned a tragic lesson from the opioid crisis: that we must pay early attention to the potential for new products to cause addiction and we must take strong, decisive measures to intervene,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb pointed to reports of 36 deaths associated with kratom, as well as a tenfold increase in calls to US poison control centers about the substance between 2010 and 2015.

Gottlieb said kratom has been associated with “serious side effects like seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms.” In addition, he said, kratom can be laced with other pain medications, like hydrocodone, contributing to opioid addiction.

Used for centuries

Native to Southeast Asia, the kratom tree’s leaves have been used for centuries as an herbal drug by laborers and farmers. Today, leaves are ground into pills and powders and sold as a dietary supplement. It can be found in head shops and online. It’s even made into drinks in some bars.

Kratom has a narcotic effect because its active ingredients, the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, bind to the opioid receptors in our body, according to Dr. Ed Boyer, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who has studied the plant. But unlike opioid drugs such as hydrocodone or heroin, it doesn’t appear to slow breathing, he said.

Recent research has shown that one of the two active ingredients, 7-hydroxymitragynine, can be several times more potent than morphine, Boyer said.

But a study to be presented to the Society of Neuroscience shows the other alkaloid, mitragynine, isn’t addictive and may indeed have therapeutic effects, said medical chemist Chris McCurdy, a professor at the University of Florida and one of the authors of the new research who has been studying kratom for more than a decade.

“I share the public health concerns,” McCurdy said. “I’m not beating a drum to keep it legal and keep it the wild wild West. But I truly believe that it has medical potential.”

Scott Hemby, McCurdy’s research partner, was skeptical of kratom when they started their work but has since changed his mind. “I think it has the potential to be a pharmacotherapy, but we need to do more studies. “

Hemby, who studies the abuse potential of drugs at High Point University, said he hasn’t seen any data to prove that both active ingredients are as addictive as the FDA has stated.

“I’m concerned that we may be pushing the boat out of the harbor before we really know what’s going on,” he said. “The scientific community needs more time to definitively state one thing or another. I would hope public policy would be driven by scientific evidence.”

Regulatory ups and downs

Kratom has come under fire before. In 2014, the FDA issued an alert that allowed US officials to detain kratom without a physical examination. Between February 2014 and July 2016, the DEA said, nearly 247,000 pounds of kratom were seized.

In August 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency moved to make kratom a Schedule I drug, a substance that has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” After a public outcry, including letters from members of the House of Representatives and the Senate on the possible benefits of kratom, the DEA withdrew its intent to make it Schedule I. Instead, it opened a public comment period to react to possible scheduling, which closed in December 2016. Since that time, the DEA has taken no action and says they are still in the review process.

A call to science

In his statement, Gottlieb addressed the concerns of those interested in more science, saying that although the FDA remains open to the potential medicinal uses of kratom, “those uses must be backed by sound-science and weighed appropriately against the potential for abuse” and thoroughly evaluated by the DEA and the FDA.

“To those who believe in the proposed medicinal uses of kratom,” he wrote, “I encourage you to conduct the research that will help us better understand kratom’s risk and benefit profile, so that well studied and potentially beneficial products can be considered.”

At the request of the DEA, Gottlieb said, his agency has conducted a comprehensive scientific and medical evaluation of two compounds found in kratom and continues to actively prevent shipments from entering the country, and to destroy any that are seized.

“If they’ve been doing a review of the work for a year, who’s been doing the science? And why hasn’t anyone contacted us?” asked McCurdy, who has studied the plant for 13 years. Even though his name is frequently found as an author on kratom studies, he said, he was not approached by the FDA for its review.

“I realize there hasn’t been a huge amount of science, but that’s where we are now at: getting some of this science to the forefront,” McCurdy said. “Obviously, I agree with the need to regulate the marketplace, but I don’t want it to impede the research and potential for a treatment.”

Article source: http://q13fox.com/2017/11/15/healthy-living-fda-warns-against-herbal-supplement-kratom/

Healthy living at the core of Cairns’ new Barr St Markets

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Facebook App: Open links in External Browser

There is a specific issue with the Facebook in-app browser intermittently making requests to websites without cookies that had previously been set. This appears to be a defect in the browser which should be addressed soon. The simplest approach to avoid this problem is to continue to use the Facebook app but not use the in-app browser. This can be done through the following steps:

  1. Open the settings menu by clicking the hamburger menu in the top right
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  3. Turn on the option “Links Open Externally” (This will use the device’s default browser)

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Article source: http://www.cairnspost.com.au/news/cairns/healthy-living-at-the-core-of-cairns-new-barr-st-markets/news-story/d2f7a1f9e535a6aaf9b5717ef8650eca

Healthy Living: New guidelines put nearly half the US population in hypertension category

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — You may have hypertension, even if your blood pressure reading was considered perfectly normal just days ago.         

The rules have changed when it comes to who has high blood pressure but never fear. There are things we can do to lower our blood pressure without medication. 

Related Link: Number of adults with high blood pressure up after new guidelines

Eleven health organizations published new guidelines Monday that lower the threshold for what is considered high blood pressure.

The parameters indicate patients should now be treated when blood pressure reaches 130 over 80.

Those numbers used to be considered normal. Treatment was not previously indicated until blood pressure reached 140 over 90. 

Under the new guidelines, 103 million Americans, or 46 percent of the population, have hypertension.

That’s 31 million more Americans than under the old definition. 

According to the report, most of the newly diagnosed patients will not need medication. They can manage their blood pressure through lifestyle changes like exercise and diet.

Jessica Spiro is a registered dietician and she joined KUSI’s Sandra Maas to share some simple ways to lower your blood pressure. 

Article source: http://www.kusi.com/story/36866692/healthy-living-new-guidelines-put-nearly-half-the-us-population-in-hypertension-category

Healthy Living: 1/2 of all Americans now have high blood pressure under new guidelines

High blood pressure making headlines.  This week the American Heart Association updated the standards for measuring high blood pressure.  Under the  new guidelines, a blood pressure of 130 over 80 is now considered high.  It used to be 140 over 90.

Dr. Eugene Yang with UW Medicine says by lowering the standards, more people will be alerted to the risks associated with high blood pressure, and doctors can more aggressively look for ways to treat it.

High blood pressure is considered a silent killer because the are no symptoms.  If left untreated, high blood pressure increases a person’s risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

According to the American Heart Association, under the new guidelines, half of all Americans will now fall into the high blood pressure category.  Dr. Yang says for most people diagnosed with hypertension, it will mean lifestyle changes to lower blood pressure.  That includes  changes to diet, exercise, losing weight and not smoking.  Dr. Yang says if those changes don’t work to lower blood pressure, then medication may be necessary.

The changes come just a week after doctors announced new guidelines for measuring blood pressure in kids.  Health leaders are now recommending kids have their blood pressure checked during well-child visit starting at the age of three.  Doctors say since high blood pressure runs in families it’s important to address concerns early.  They add that the nationwide obesity epidemic in kids has contributed to increased rates of high blood pressure in kids.  For that reason, catching it when kids are young and changing their habits will help reduce heart disease risks later in life.

If you would like to read more about the updated guidelines from the American Heart Association on high blood pressure, click on this link.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/GettheFactsAboutHighBloodPressure/The-Facts-About-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002050_Article.jsp#.Wg6NOlWnHIU

Article source: http://q13fox.com/2017/11/16/healthy-living-1-2-of-all-americans-now-have-high-blood-pressure-under-new-guidelines/

Healthy Living: Robotic Surgery – 9 & 10 News

Traditional surgery for pancreatic cancer requires a lengthy, open procedure and lots of recovery time.

Now, advancements in robotics are making it possible for doctors to operate in this delicate area near the bile ducts and major blood vessels, in a minimally invasive way.

We explain in Healthy Living.

Because it requires specialized training and is considered to be a complicated procedure, the robotic surgery for pancreatic cancer is only performed at a handful of major U.S. medical centers.

 

 


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Article source: http://www.9and10news.com/2017/11/15/healthy-living-robotic-surgery/

Healthy Living: FDA warns against herbal supplement, kratom | Q13 …

(CNN) — The Food and Drug Administration dealt another blow Tuesday to supporters of kratom, warning about “deadly risks” associated with the botanical supplement often used to treat pain, anxiety and depression. Kratom also has opioid-like effects — at low doses, it acts like a stimulant; at higher doses, it sedates, dulling pain — which has also made it popular as an over-the-counter remedy for opioid withdrawal.

“It’s very troubling to the FDA that patients believe they can use kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “There is no reliable evidence to support the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use disorder.”

Instead, he said, the FDA is concerned that the use of kratom could actually “expand the opioid epidemic.”

“We’ve learned a tragic lesson from the opioid crisis: that we must pay early attention to the potential for new products to cause addiction and we must take strong, decisive measures to intervene,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb pointed to reports of 36 deaths associated with kratom, as well as a tenfold increase in calls to US poison control centers about the substance between 2010 and 2015.

Gottlieb said kratom has been associated with “serious side effects like seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms.” In addition, he said, kratom can be laced with other pain medications, like hydrocodone, contributing to opioid addiction.

Used for centuries

Native to Southeast Asia, the kratom tree’s leaves have been used for centuries as an herbal drug by laborers and farmers. Today, leaves are ground into pills and powders and sold as a dietary supplement. It can be found in head shops and online. It’s even made into drinks in some bars.

Kratom has a narcotic effect because its active ingredients, the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, bind to the opioid receptors in our body, according to Dr. Ed Boyer, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who has studied the plant. But unlike opioid drugs such as hydrocodone or heroin, it doesn’t appear to slow breathing, he said.

Recent research has shown that one of the two active ingredients, 7-hydroxymitragynine, can be several times more potent than morphine, Boyer said.

But a study to be presented to the Society of Neuroscience shows the other alkaloid, mitragynine, isn’t addictive and may indeed have therapeutic effects, said medical chemist Chris McCurdy, a professor at the University of Florida and one of the authors of the new research who has been studying kratom for more than a decade.

“I share the public health concerns,” McCurdy said. “I’m not beating a drum to keep it legal and keep it the wild wild West. But I truly believe that it has medical potential.”

Scott Hemby, McCurdy’s research partner, was skeptical of kratom when they started their work but has since changed his mind. “I think it has the potential to be a pharmacotherapy, but we need to do more studies. “

Hemby, who studies the abuse potential of drugs at High Point University, said he hasn’t seen any data to prove that both active ingredients are as addictive as the FDA has stated.

“I’m concerned that we may be pushing the boat out of the harbor before we really know what’s going on,” he said. “The scientific community needs more time to definitively state one thing or another. I would hope public policy would be driven by scientific evidence.”

Regulatory ups and downs

Kratom has come under fire before. In 2014, the FDA issued an alert that allowed US officials to detain kratom without a physical examination. Between February 2014 and July 2016, the DEA said, nearly 247,000 pounds of kratom were seized.

In August 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency moved to make kratom a Schedule I drug, a substance that has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” After a public outcry, including letters from members of the House of Representatives and the Senate on the possible benefits of kratom, the DEA withdrew its intent to make it Schedule I. Instead, it opened a public comment period to react to possible scheduling, which closed in December 2016. Since that time, the DEA has taken no action and says they are still in the review process.

A call to science

In his statement, Gottlieb addressed the concerns of those interested in more science, saying that although the FDA remains open to the potential medicinal uses of kratom, “those uses must be backed by sound-science and weighed appropriately against the potential for abuse” and thoroughly evaluated by the DEA and the FDA.

“To those who believe in the proposed medicinal uses of kratom,” he wrote, “I encourage you to conduct the research that will help us better understand kratom’s risk and benefit profile, so that well studied and potentially beneficial products can be considered.”

At the request of the DEA, Gottlieb said, his agency has conducted a comprehensive scientific and medical evaluation of two compounds found in kratom and continues to actively prevent shipments from entering the country, and to destroy any that are seized.

“If they’ve been doing a review of the work for a year, who’s been doing the science? And why hasn’t anyone contacted us?” asked McCurdy, who has studied the plant for 13 years. Even though his name is frequently found as an author on kratom studies, he said, he was not approached by the FDA for its review.

“I realize there hasn’t been a huge amount of science, but that’s where we are now at: getting some of this science to the forefront,” McCurdy said. “Obviously, I agree with the need to regulate the marketplace, but I don’t want it to impede the research and potential for a treatment.”

Article source: http://q13fox.com/2017/11/15/healthy-living-fda-warns-against-herbal-supplement-kratom/

The ‘Placebo Effect’ Might Be the Cure You’ve Been Looking For

Chances are, you’ve heard the term “placebo effect” thrown around, but the way we dismiss the placebo effect does it a disservice. It’s incredibly powerful, and we can harness its power, even when we know that we’re using it.

Check out this quick clip from Adam Ruins Everything, which touches on how the placebo effect worked as well as drugs in one clinical trial:

He gets more into the placebo effect in the full episode, which you can watch online. You can also read on for more information on the fascinating power of the placebo effect.

The Power of the Placebo Effect

The Placebo Effect in Action

In the episode, Adam calls the placebo effect “one of the strangest mind-control forces on Earth.” And he may be right! There’s some really interesting research showing that in some cases, the placebo effect is as effective as drugs for relieving pain and other symptoms of illness.

The asthma study above is one example where the placebo effect helped alleviate patients’ symptoms. The participants in that small study who took the placebo still had asthma, but their minds convinced them that they felt better. The patients who were given the drug saw a 50 percent improvement in symptoms. People given a placebo inhaler saw a 45 percent improvement.

Does that mean that you can toss your asthma inhaler? Probably not. People who used the real inhaler had a 20 percent improvement in lung function, while the placebo inhaler only improved lung function by seven percent. What this study does show is that we need to look more closely at how the placebo effect can help asthma sufferers.

The placebo effect can go beyond just drugs, though. We can use it to harness our mind’s power. In one sleep study, doctors basically lied to patients about how well they had slept. They randomly told half of the participants that they’d slept well and the other half that they’d slept poorly. Then, they had them take a series of tests to look at cognitive function.

The patients in the “above average” sleep group performed better on two of the tests than the “below average” sleep group, regardless of how they actually slept. On two other tests, their group assignments made no difference. Maybe we need a sleep app that tells us we got a great night’s sleep, no matter how we actually slept!

But what’s most fascinating about the placebo effect is that it can sometimes work even when we know we’re taking a placebo. A study on migraine sufferers found that people taking a placebo pill that was labeled as a placebo still got symptom relief. The placebo was 50 percent as effective as the actual drug!

Why the Placebo Effect Doesn't Always Work

Why Placebos Don’t Always Work

Just like a drug, placebos aren’t going to work all the time for everyone. Every body and brain is different, and there’s actually evidence that our genes play a role in how susceptible we are to the placebo effect.

Its effectiveness also depends on what we’re trying to treat. Anna Nowogrodzki explained it well in an article for Neo.Life: “The placebo effect isn’t magic. Cancerous tumors are indifferent to placebos. Essentially, the placebo effect seems to work only in situations that the brain creates or modulates.”

Symptoms like pain and nausea are good examples of where placebos can be incredibly beneficial.

Harnessing the Power of Placebos

So, how can we make the placebo effect work for us? The good news is that you don’t need a doctor to hand you a sugar pill or bunk inhaler.

In a Harvard Medical School article, Professor Ted Kaptchuk said that you can harness the placebo effect on your own. “Engaging in the ritual of healthy living — eating right, exercising, yoga, quality social time, meditating — probably provides some of the key ingredients of a placebo effect.”

Related at Care2

 

 

The placebo effect is incredibly powerful, and we can harness its power, even when we know that we're using it.

Images via Thinkstock.

Article source: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-placebo-effect-might-be-the-cure-youve-been-looking-for.html

Healthy Living: Early screenings for lung cancer can save lives

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide in both men and women, and when symptoms such as cough and weight loss appear, the disease is often is too late to cure.

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month and, as a radiologist, I suggest heavy smokers, even those who have quit, talk to your doctor about early detection. Screening asymptomatic smokers and former smokers with significant smoking history has been demonstrated to save a significant number of lives by detecting early curable lung cancer.

A landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, called the “National Lung Screening Trial,” demonstrated that screening with low-dose CT scans reduced mortality related to lung cancer by 20 percent in high-risk individuals.

Screening with a low-dose CT scan requires no patient preparation, no needles or contrast and takes less than 15 seconds to perform. Low-dose CT screening scans use approximately five times less radiation than a standard CT scan, or the equivalent of 15 traditional X-rays.

Your CT images will be interpreted by an experienced radiologist who can identify small lung nodules and masses that are often missed by traditional X-rays. In many of these early detection cases, a surgeon can remove the lung cancer.

Current screening guidelines recommend annual low-dose screening CT scans for patients over the age of 55 who have what is known as a “30 pack year” history. This means the person smoked one pack per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years. If patients have stopped smoking, they are eligible for screening for 15 years from the time of smoking cessation.

Statistics show that one patient’s life can be saved for every 320 patients screened. In just a few years of screening at our facility, we have identified more than 20 cancers, the majority of which were early stage and curable.

Screening also identifies abnormalities not related to lung cancer that can have significant impact on a patient’s health, including other cancers and aneurysms.

The advent in the near future of blood biomarkers should only increase the yield of lung cancer screenings, and decreasing unnecessary follow-ups and further helping to pinpoint early cancers in high risk patients.

The very real potential of lung screening altering the way we see and treat lung cancer by saving so many lives so early represents our first tangible opportunity to turn the tables on this disease. So please, if you are a smoker, do your best to quit. And even if you have quit, talk to your doctor about screening. It very well could save your life.

Dr. Louis Mazzarelli is a radiologist on the medical staff at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.

Article source: http://www.norwichbulletin.com/entertainmentlife/20171114/healthy-living-early-screenings-for-lung-cancer-can-save-lives