Health

How to get enough protein, without meat

One of my son’s eighth-grade friends recently became a vegetarian. He joins the approximately 4 percent of youths in this country (up from 2 percent 10 years ago) who eat meatless. As much as my boys respect his choice and recognize his passion for the environment that spurred the decision, neither of them truly understands it. Although my sons eat plenty of vegetables, their most requested...
Getting a dog might just save your life, Swedish research says

Getting a dog might just save your life, Swedish research says

Having a dog can bring a lot of love into your life. It could also make it last a little longer. A group of academics from Uppsala University in Sweden analyzed the health records of 3.4 million people in that northern European country, where databases contain detailed information on most everyone’s hospitalizations, medical history and even whether they own a dog. Such detailed records made...

Digital pill that tracks use when swallowed gets FDA approval

U.S. regulators approved the first medicine with an embedded sensor to help keep track of whether patients with mental illness are adhering to their prescriptions. The decision marks a milestone in the convergence of technology and health care that also raises privacy concerns. The so-called digital pill is a version of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.’s Abilify, which treats depression, bipolar disorder...
Blood pressure of 130 is new ‘high,’ according to updated guidelines

Blood pressure of 130 is new ‘high,’ according to updated guidelines

The nation’s heart experts tightened the guidelines for high blood pressure, a change that will sharply increase the number of U.S. adults considered hypertensive in the hope that they, and their doctors, will address the deadly condition sooner. Acting for the first time in 14 years, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology redefined high blood pressure as a reading...
How a gene that usually protects against cancer becomes the aggressor

How a gene that usually protects against cancer becomes the aggressor

A study led by a University of California San Diego researcher has found an explanation for one of the biggest causes of cancer, mutations in a gene that normally guards against cancer. Mutations in the gene, called p53, can lead to inflammation, stimulating an immune response that fuels cancer, the study found. The effect was seen in common human tumors such as colon and breast cancers, said Shannon...
Pastor, father of 3 found dead day before Thanksgiving

Pastor, father of 3 found dead day before Thanksgiving

Tennessee authorities are investigating the death Wednesday morning of a Memphis pastor . Quentin Barlow, 36, was found dead in his home on the day before Thanksgiving from unknown causes. Barlow’s cousin, Samantha Westbrook, said she received the bad news in a phone call from her cousin.  “We’re grieving, we’re hurting, but our faith and trust remains in the Lord,&rdquo...
Extra cinnamon may be the secret to weight loss this holiday season

Extra cinnamon may be the secret to weight loss this holiday season

If you're looking to shed a few pounds, you may want to go heavier on the cinnamon this holiday season. New research from scientists at the University of Michigan (or U of M) revealed that cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives the spice its flavor, appears to have an anti-obesity effect, Newsweek reported. The study follows previous research, which showed that cinnamaldehyde protects mice...
Federal judge tosses out Texas abortion law

Federal judge tosses out Texas abortion law

For the third time this year, a federal judge has tossed out an abortion-related regulation in Texas — this time a law that bans a common type of second-trimester abortion unless doctors first employ an added procedure to ensure fetal demise. In a ruling issued Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of Austin said the law requires doctors to use risky, unproven and medically unnecessary...
Texas can, should do better for state living center residents

Texas can, should do better for state living center residents

Liz Belile visits her sister Shanna in the Austin State Supported Living Center in West Austin Monday October 30, 2017. Belile’s sister suffers from a seizure disorder and needs permanent care, but having her in Austin has provided her with the opportunity to look in on her regularly and tend to her other needs. (RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN) A glint of hope...
Spit test could diagnose concussion in kids, study says

Spit test could diagnose concussion in kids, study says

It can be difficult to tell how a long a concussion will last. However, a spit test may soon be able to diagnose and determine the duration, according to a new a report.  Researchers from Penn State University recently conducted a small experiment, published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal, to explore whether saliva can be used to identify prolonged concussion symptoms, which can include...
Is your doctor taking your blood pressure all wrong? Experts say probably

Is your doctor taking your blood pressure all wrong? Experts say probably

One of the first things you do when you visit the doctor’s office is get your blood pressure measured. A blood pressure reading can tell you a lot about your current health and whether or not you’re at high risk for stroke, heart attack, kidney failure or heart failure. But chances are, your health care provider isn’t even taking your blood pressure the right way. That&rsquo...
Commentary: How Texans suffer without office of minority health

Commentary: How Texans suffer without office of minority health

During the past legislative session, Texas lawmakers canceled funding for the Office of Minority Health Statistics and Engagement (OMHSE) beyond Sept. 1, 2018. In effect, this means Texas could soon become the first state in the nation without an office of minority health. This is a bad decision by our lawmakers because Texas institutions continue to operate inequitably. It may seem that inequity...
Like black licorice? It could land you in the hospital, FDA warns

Like black licorice? It could land you in the hospital, FDA warns

Black licorice looks innocent enough. But eat enough of those sticks or candies, and you could suffer the consequences. We’re not talking about weight gain or tooth decay. We’re talking bonafide, serious health issues like arrhythmia, reports the FDA. Blame it on one ingredient. Glycyrrhizin, the sweetening compound derived from licorice root, can cause your potassium levels to decrease...
The graying of America is stretching local tax dollars

The graying of America is stretching local tax dollars

WASHINGTON - More and more these days, when paramedics in Fairfax, Virginia, respond to emergency calls, they find an older person who has fallen, broken a bone or suffered a heart attack. Meanwhile in nearby Montgomery County, Maryland, authorities are investigating an increasing number of elder-abuse cases and crimes targeting senior citizens. In Chicago, New York City and elsewhere, more money...

Hormone therapy might help lower risk of Alzheimer’s

Introducing hormone treatment for women in early stages of menopause might help decrease their risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. For women, a drop in hormones during midlife may have some influence on developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Also, general brain volume gradually declines with advancing age, but the decline is faster in people who experience more cognitive decline...
Millennials embrace nursing careers – in time to replace baby boomers

Millennials embrace nursing careers – in time to replace baby boomers

The days are long past when the only career doors that readily opened to young women were those marked teacher, secretary or nurse. Yet young adults who are part of the millennial generation are nearly twice as likely as baby boomers were to choose the nursing profession, according to a recent study. These young people, born between 1982 and 2000, are also 60 percent more likely to become registered...
Americans avoid planning for serious illness

Americans avoid planning for serious illness

“I’ll deal with it tomorrow. The perpetual tomorrow.” That’s what one person told a pollster, encapsulating how Americans avoid planning ahead for serious illness and death. While the vast majority of Americans say it’s important to write down their medical wishes in case they become seriously ill, only a third have done so, according to the poll, released Thursday by...
Investigation finds corruption, intimidation at Temple VA campus

Investigation finds corruption, intimidation at Temple VA campus

Veterans in the work program at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Temple campus had complained about being assigned to the motor pool for years. The complaints, made by veterans undergoing drug and alcohol treatment as they tried to get their lives back on track, alleged the unit’s boss— who was in charge of the grounds crew at the motor pool — had regularly subjected...
As Austin nursing shortage grows, traveling nurses help fill gap

As Austin nursing shortage grows, traveling nurses help fill gap

It took months for Ashley Senatus to find her first nursing job, and she loved the colleagues and managers with whom she worked over the next three-plus years. She just couldn’t ignore her curiosity and sense of adventure. So rather than settle into a nursing career in her hometown Miami, she signed on with Cross Country Staffing, one of the country’s largest staffing agencies for...
7 things to know about the first FDA-approved ‘digital pill’ — How it works, side effects

7 things to know about the first FDA-approved ‘digital pill’ — How it works, side effects

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the first pill that health care professionals can digitally track. Here are seven things to know about the new digital pill, according to the FDA: The FDA-approved pill, Abilify MyCite, consists of aripiprazole tablets, but with a sensor. Aripiprazole is used to treat multiple mental mood disorders, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia...
Bill Gates wants a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and he’s putting up $100 million to find it

Bill Gates wants a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and he’s putting up $100 million to find it

  Billionaire Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is pledging $100 million to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. A person is diagnosed with the brain-wasting disease every 66 seconds, according to CNN, and Gates said he has a family history of the illness. “It’s a huge problem, a growing problem, and the scale of the tragedy - even for the people...
Austin’s Rooster Teeth raises $1.2 million for Dell Children’s

Austin’s Rooster Teeth raises $1.2 million for Dell Children’s

Austin online show production company Rooster Teeth helped raise $1.2 million for Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas through the Extra Life online gaming tournament last weekend. Through the tournament fans donated more than $770,000. Rooster Teeth provided a match as well as donated money from merchandise sales. Rooster Teeth raised $1.2 million last for...
Kids have allergies? We’ve got tips from American Academy of Pediatrics

Kids have allergies? We’ve got tips from American Academy of Pediatrics

Think your child might have allergies? The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these seven tips and suggests you start with a pediatrician, who can then refer you to an allergy specialist: If allergies seem to be happening to your kid, keep these thing sin mind. Getty Images/iStockphoto ...
14 game-changers for your wellness routine

14 game-changers for your wellness routine

With food and exercise, a simple tool or new habit can make what once felt difficult instead seem effortless. I call these tools “game-changers.” Pouched wild salmon is a game-changer for me. Fresh salmon is too expensive, and even if I did pay the price, I can’t batch-cook salmon for the week, as it won’t last. But I really want to increase my intake of omega-3 fatty acids...

Texas Digest: Harvey flood damage shuts Houston hospital permanently

HOUSTON Flood damage too much for hospital A Houston hospital won’t reopen after it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Officials with East Houston Regional Medical Center say even though the facility was rebuilt after previous storms, they determined that it wouldn’t be safe to continue operating the hospital, which is in a low-lying area prone to flooding. Although the hospital...
Native American advocates use old games as new cures for obesity

Native American advocates use old games as new cures for obesity

MINNEAPOLIS — The players stood on the field in a circle, passing burning sage to one another. One by one, they waved their lacrosse sticks over the thick, sweet-smelling smoke. Then they faced off, ready to start play on a recent Sunday at Corcoran Park in Minneapolis. Sasha Houston Brown tossed up the ball. The other players jumped for it — raising their sticks toward the sky and shouting...
Are natural remedies effective for depression?

Are natural remedies effective for depression?

So-called natural remedies for depression aren’t a replacement for medical diagnosis and treatment. However, for some people certain herbal and dietary supplements do seem to work well, but more studies are needed to determine which are most likely to help and what side effects they might cause. Here are some supplements that show promise: St. John’s wort. This herbal supplement isn&rsquo...
Cosmetic procedures for boomers and beyond are on the rise

Cosmetic procedures for boomers and beyond are on the rise

PITTSBURGH — If age is said to be a state of mind, then why not match your look on the outside to the way you feel on the inside? For Lela Covey, 61, who lives near Wheeling, W.Va., that meant treating herself to the occasional skin peel and fillers. A Las Vegas native, she’s a former fashion model who graced the runways of Chanel and Dior and the pages of Vogue in her day. “I&rsquo...
Drug overdoses in rural US surpasses urban areas, CDC finds

Drug overdoses in rural US surpasses urban areas, CDC finds

The number of drug-overdose deaths in rural communities has officially surpassed those in metropolitan areas, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The drug overdose death rate in rural areas is higher than in urban areas,” CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald said in a news release. The study analyzed trends of drug overdose deaths from 1999 to 2015 in...
Why the flu shot worked less than half the time during last year’s flu season

Why the flu shot worked less than half the time during last year’s flu season

As the temperatures drop, many are bundling up in coats and hats to stay warm and healthy. Folks are also getting their flu shots to ward off illness, but a new report reveals doctors are concerned about the strength of these vaccinations.  During the 2014-2015 season, flu vaccine effectiveness was just 19 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and...
Scientists discover how to turn back the clock on aging with new cell discovery

Scientists discover how to turn back the clock on aging with new cell discovery

Want to hold on to your youthful looks? You may be able to, because scientists have discovered a way to help humans age without as much deterioration in their bodies.  Researchers from the University of Exeter in England recently conducted an experiment to determine how to reverse the aging of a class of genes called splicing factors and a group of dysfunctional cells called senescent, which...
Date set for big Mack, Jack and McConaughey benefit

Date set for big Mack, Jack and McConaughey benefit

The Austin triumvirate of  Matthew McConaughey,  Mack Brown and  Jack Ingram has already raised $7.5 million for youth charities through their  Mack, Jack & McConaughey  golf-plus-music-plus-dinner-plus-fashion-plus-auction-plus-good-will weekends. Mack Brown, Jack Ingram and Matthew McConaughey at 2017...
5-year-old gets mock dream wedding ahead of fourth open-heart surgery

5-year-old gets mock dream wedding ahead of fourth open-heart surgery

One mother wanted to grant her daughter one wish before she underwent her fourth open-heart surgery. Her request? The girl asked to “marry” her best friend.  Sophia Chiappalone, a 5-year-old from Connecticut, was born with several heart defects that have caused her to go under the knife three times already.  Ahead of her fourth one, scheduled for January 2018, her mom, Kristy...
Why your brain feels all foggy when you’re sleep deprived

Why your brain feels all foggy when you’re sleep deprived

If you're not getting enough sleep, some of your brain cells are quite literally slowing down. A new scientific study has become the first of its kind to reveal the ways in which sleep deprivation impacts the ability of brain cells to communicate with one another. "We discovered that starving the body of sleep also robs neurons of the ability to function properly," lead researcher Itzhak...
Trauma heightened for close-knit Sutherland Springs, psychologist says

Trauma heightened for close-knit Sutherland Springs, psychologist says

Residents of Sutherland Springs who were not directly affected by Sunday’s church shooting nevertheless could experience a heightened sense of post-traumatic stress because of the close-knit nature of small towns, according to a clinical psychologist at St. Edward’s University. “When events like this happen in a small town, it’s more akin to something happening to a family...
Fattest states in the country: The south tipping the scales

Fattest states in the country: The south tipping the scales

A new ranking of states with the highest obesity rates finds the south is tipping the scales.  The states that took the top five spots were mostly in the Southeast: Mississippi, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana, according to WalletHub.  Not surprisingly, many of those same states ranked in the top five for having the highest percentage of adults with high cholesterol...
Commentary: Religious exemptions come at expense of women’s health

Commentary: Religious exemptions come at expense of women’s health

The Obamacare contraceptive mandate was put into place because providing free contraception provides health benefits to women, families and society. It protected the right of American women to access contraception even if their employers had objections. Now that President Trump has signed rules expanding who can opt out of providing no-cost contraceptives to their employees, the balance has tipped...
Hi-tech nose helps sniff out cancer, 16 other diseases by analyzing breath

Hi-tech nose helps sniff out cancer, 16 other diseases by analyzing breath

A person’s breath can determine a lot about their overall health, according to researchers. Now a new experimental technology, basically a hi-tech nose that analyzes breath molecules, can help sniff out cancer and other diseases. Created in Israel by Hossam Haick, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, it’s called Na-Nose, and it operates like a Breathalyzer, Haick said....
Vaccinated or not, the mumps are on the rise again — What you need to know

Vaccinated or not, the mumps are on the rise again — What you need to know

Last year, there were more than 6,000 cases of the contagious disease mumps reported in the United States — the highest number in 10 years. That’s according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends everyone 15 months and older receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, which protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella. There&rsquo...
Southern rocker Gregg Allman’s music honored at UGA football game

Southern rocker Gregg Allman’s music honored at UGA football game

Iconic southern rocker Gregg Allman was honored during Saturday’s University of Georgia football game in Athens with a special halftime performance. The University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band performed a trio of the late musicians’s songs while recipients of the Gregg Allman Scholarship were recognized. The scholarship was established in 2014 by Allman in partnership with the UGA...

Austin neurosurgeon punished over surgical monitoring referrals

An Austin neurosurgeon has been punished by the Texas Medical Board for failing to disclose his ownership in a neurodiagnostics company that he referred his patients to, in some cases leading to expensive out-of-network costs for them. A mediated order that Dr. Thomas Stuart Loftus accepted lets him continue to practice, provided he apprises patients of his financial interest in Capitol Neurodiagnostics...
Everybody is exhausted: Stress and social media are taking their toll

Everybody is exhausted: Stress and social media are taking their toll

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Marie Sullivan says that she knew something “wasn’t quite right” during a doctor visit, five years ago. “I thought I might be anemic, but the results of my annual physical were fine,” the Paramus resident recalls. “All my numbers were in the normal range. The blood work turned up nothing. I said to my doctor, ‘Are you sure? What&rsquo...
How to train nursing students? Schools turn to fake patients

How to train nursing students? Schools turn to fake patients

MIAMI — The University of Miami’s newest hospital has a six-bed emergency room, operating room, intensive care unit, a birthing suite and outpatient clinics. The only thing missing is patients. Instead, nursing students get a realistic clinical experience using computerized mannequins and staff actors. “Practicing on real people can be a very intimidating environment, and as our...
Why whole grains are the healthier choice

Why whole grains are the healthier choice

Want to be a healthier eater? Focus on whole grains. These unrefined grains are linked to a lower risk for heart disease, certain cancers and other health problems. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least half of all the grains you eat be whole grains. Not all breads are created equal. “The healthiest bread option is something that is made with whole grains,” explains...
How to protect your mental health

How to protect your mental health

Do you ever wonder why certain individuals crash and have a mental breakdown? They might commit a crime such as robbery, commit suicide, or commit a mass shooting. They are human, so upon taking a closer look, we might wonder: Are they really any different from the rest of us? What changed in their emotions and flipped a switch? Any of us can be pushed to the limit. And, at one time or another, life...
Texas abortion law adds risk for patients, doctors testify

Texas abortion law adds risk for patients, doctors testify

A Texas law banning second-trimester abortions on living fetuses requires doctors to use untested, complicated and riskier procedures that have no medical benefit to the woman, an Oregon doctor who teaches and performs abortions testified Thursday. Kicking off a five-day federal court trial on a bid by abortion providers to overturn the law, Dr. Mark Nichols said the regulation would force Texas physicians...
UT Chancellor Bill McRaven confirms he was briefly hospitalized

UT Chancellor Bill McRaven confirms he was briefly hospitalized

University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven said Friday that he was briefly hospitalized this week but did not have the flu as previously reported. The leader of the 14-campus system said in a statement that he was suffering from a virus the previous week. He said severe anemia, likely a result of a chronic form of leukemia, came into play as well. “This past Wednesday morning was the...
Chuck Norris says chemical in MRI scan poisoned his wife, files lawsuit

Chuck Norris says chemical in MRI scan poisoned his wife, files lawsuit

Actor and martial arts expert Chuck Norris has filed a lawsuit against medical device makers, contending that a chemical used in MRI scans poisoned his wife. The lawsuit filed in San Francisco on Wednesday claims that gadolinium, which was injected into  Gena Norris for an MRI, left her weak and tired, with debilitating pain and a burning sensation, according to The Associated Press...
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