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Good posture means your body works as nature intended





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An eye for good health

eye test web


Wednesday morning at the Marshalltown Public Library, Lioness Club President Diane Maile (background) and her husband, Bob, were on hand to perform free vision screenings for youths ages six months to 10 years old, as representatives of the Iowa Lions Foundation. Using a special camera, photos were taken of children’s eyes. The images will then be evaluated by the University of Iowa, with results sent back to the parents. So far, the Marshall County Lions and Lioness Clubs have screened more than 330 children this year. Pictured is Olivia Rodriguez, 3, getting her vision screened.

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The Latest: Trump says GOP health care law has ‘good chance’

The Latest on the Senate Republican push to repeal the Affordable Care Act (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is offering strong support for the last-ditch GOP effort to repeal “Obamacare.”

Trump said Wednesday that the legislation by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana has a “very good chance.”

Trump made the comments before meeting with the president of Egypt in New York City during an annual United Nations gathering.

Trump says this legislation “is much better actually than the previous shot.” He says he thinks many Republicans are “embarrassed” that they have not overturned former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The legislation would repeal central elements of the health care law. States would get block grants instead.


2:15 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to bring up a GOP health care bill on the Senate floor next week.

That’s according to McConnell’s spokesman, David Popp.

The legislation by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana would repeal central elements of former President Barack Obama’s health care law. State would get block grants instead.

Republicans must vote on the bill by the end of next week or lose access to special budget rules that prevent Democrats from filibustering.

McConnell has been short of votes for the legislation and it remains unclear if he has the votes in hand to pass the measure.

Popp’s statement said: “It is the leader’s intention to consider Graham-Cassidy on the floor next week.”


12:40 p.m.

New Jersey’s governor — Republican Chris Christie — says he opposes a health care overhaul that GOP senators in Washington are pushing.

Christie says he’s been lobbied to support the proposal. But he says he won’t back it because it would take money away from New Jersey and other states that expanded Medicaid.

He’s promoting his efforts to address New Jersey’s opioid epidemic. His administration has used Medicaid money for treatment.


9:40 a.m.

Sen. Bill Cassidy is making a last-minute ditch effort to repeal the Obama health law and replace it.

The plan promoted by the Louisiana Republican would undo the central pillars of former President Barack Obama’s law. The legislation would rely on grants to the states so they could make their own health care coverage rules.

He tells MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that his bill “will bring power to that patient, power to that state for them to have control over their health care future.”


8:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he hopes Republican senators will vote for new legislation that aims to repeal and replace the health care law enacted by his predecessor.

Trump says on Twitter that the developing plan is “GREAT!” and “Ends Ocare!” a reference to the existing “Obamacare” health law.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are the sponsors.

The bill would undo the central pillars of President Barack Obama’s health care law and replace them with block grants to states so they can devise their own health care coverage rules.

Senate Republicans defeated an effort earlier this year to repeal Obama’s law.

Trump also criticizes Kentucky Republican Sen. Ran Paul for opposing the bill. Trump says Paul is “such a negative force when it comes to fixing healthcare.”


4:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump and Republican Senate leaders are engaged in a frantic search for votes in a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pressing hard for the newly revived effort, which had been left for dead as recently as a week or two ago. But in a sign he remained short of votes, McConnell refused on Tuesday to commit to bringing the legislation up for a vote.

As in July, much of the focus is on Arizona Sen. John McCain. Would he step back in line with fellow Republicans now that there was a bill co-written by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, his best friend in the Senate? McCain wasn’t saying. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, another crucial vote, wasn’t disclosing her views, either.

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More older Americans report being in good health, but most of the gains go to economic elites

Perhaps 70 really is the new 60. For a study has found that older Americans — people aged 65 and up — report feeling significantly healthier than their counterparts did almost two decades ago.

Or rather, some of today’s older Americans feel that way. The study also found that most of the gains in self-perceptions of health after age 64 have occurred among whites and among people with high incomes and high educational backgrounds.

That finding is troubling, for it underscores the growing health divide in the United States between the rich and the poor. 

“The widening health disparities is particularly striking because older Americans have access to health care [through Medicare],” said Matthew Davis, the study’s lead author and a health services researcher at the University of Michigan, in a released statement. “Policies have to extend beyond just getting people access to health care to get at what’s driving disparities. The lack of improvement in health among all groups could imply that public health initiatives are leaving some people behind.”

The study was published online Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Study details

For the study, Davis and his colleagues analyzed data from 55,000 older adults who participated in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which has people answer questions about their health twice a year. One of the questions asks participants to rate their health as “excellent,” “very good,” “good,” “fair” or “poor.”

The analysis revealed that the share of adults aged 65 and older who reported being in either “excellent” or “very good” health increased from 42.4 percent in 2000 to 48.2 percent in 2014.

That meant that up to 8.4 million more people in that age group said they were in good health in 2014 than did so 14 years earlier. 

But the analysis also uncovered some striking disparities based on race, income and education. Between 2000 and 2014, the number of older people reporting good health rose by 21 percent among whites, but dropped by 17 percent among blacks.  It also increased by 23 percent among high-income households, but fell by 12 percent among households at or below the level of poverty. And it increased by 10 percent among older people with graduate degrees, but decreased by 2 percent among those whose education stopped at high school or earlier.

A telling measure

Why focus on self-reports of health?

“It turns out that a single question about health [“In general, would you say that your health is excellent, very good, good, fair or poor?”] is actually very accurate at estimating an individual’s likelihood of dying,” explain Davis and one of his study co-authors, Dr. Kenneth Langa, a professor of medicine and health policy at the University of Michigan, in an article they wrote for The Conversation.

“By focusing on good health rather than poor health, we can think of health as an asset much like wealth, where the goal is to be at higher levels,” they add. “We found that, by taking this new approach, health disparities among seniors became strikingly clear.” 

Of course, relying on self-reports is also a limitation of the study because people are not always accurate in assessing their own health (or health-related behaviors). Another limitation is that older people’s perceptions of what constitutes “excellent” health may have changed since 2000. 

‘Two different Americas’

Still, the findings call attention to what will be on of the most important public health challenges for the country in the coming years: how to care for its aging population. Write Davis and Langa:

By 2050, the population of older adults is expected to nearly double. Older adults’ health will have a significant impact on the national economy, as they will use more health care resources and may stay in the workforce longer. 

Furthermore, the growing divide in health suggests that there are at least two different Americas. Depending on where an individual sits on the socioeconomic spectrum, he might expect a different length and quality of life. 

Differences in life expectancy are particularly important as policymakers consider potentially raising retirement age for Social Security or the eligibility age for Medicare. In light of this disparity, such efforts to make federal programs financially sustainable would pay out less in the long run to lower income groups.

Indicators point to greater improvements in the length and quality of life among the most privileged groups in the U.S. This raises important questions regarding how we might design better health systems so that all members of society can benefit.

FMI: You’ll find an abstract of the study on the JAMA Internal Medicine website. The full study is, unfortunately, behind a paywall. You can read Davis and Langa’s article about the study at The Conversation.

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To Your Good Health: Is low body temperature a cause for concern?





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Expert advice for recovery and overall good health

Mary D. Chamberlin, MD Hematology Oncology Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Q: Should I exercise during cancer treatment and/or recovery?

A. “Exercise is always a great idea and essentially means getting up and moving for the sake of your health, and not to accomplish anything else. Restrictions should be based on your physical limitations only. Getting up and walking an extra loop around the parking lot or hospital waiting room for example, even for just 10 minutes a day, after a few weeks can lead to less fatigue, more energy, a more positive outlook, better digestion, better circulation and less inflammation. The optimal amount to exercise is to work up to and maintain 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise. That means walking at a pace where you get sweaty and have to breathe more quickly so you can’t finish a sentence without taking a breath. Over and over again studies have shown how important this is to recovery and good health.”

More information:

This QA is part of New Hampshire Magazine‘s Pink Power: Breast Health Awareness special advertising section that was featured in the October 2017 issue.

This article appears in the October 2017 issue of New Hampshire Magazine

Did you like what you read here? Subscribe to New Hampshire Magazine »

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Missing elderly woman found in good health


Mary Rhymer

UPDATE: 85-year-old Mary Rhymer has been found and is in good health.

PADUCAH, KY (WPSD) — McCracken County deputies are looking for a missing elderly woman.

85-year-old Mary Rhymer is a resident at Morningside of Paducah located at 1700 Elmdale Road.

Deputies say she walked off around 10:14 p.m. Monday and has not been seen since.

She is wearing the outfit pictured and blue tennis shoes.

Mary also suffers from dementia.

If you have seen her, call the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department at (270) 444-4719.

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Who Gets Health in Old Age? Rich, White People

It’s often said that Americans are living “longer, healthier lives,” and while that’s true overall, white wealthy people are still far more likely to enjoy good health than other demographics in old age. A new research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine Monday revealed clear racial, income, and educational disparities in the number of senior citizens who experience good health—and the gaps have only widened over time.

For this report, researchers from the University of Michigan looked at adults older than 65 who reported their health as “excellent” or “very good” at least twice within one calendar year, between 2000 and 2014. As a whole, seniors were feeling healthier by the end of that time period. However, white people and wealthy people were most likely to consider themselves very healthy. The most highly educated seniors consistently felt healthier than those with less education, and as the study went on, the health of that group only improved. In 2000, 57.4 percent of highly educated seniors considered themselves in very good or excellent health, and by 2014, that number had risen to 63 percent.

JAMA Internal Medicine

Meanwhile, the poorest adults, those who never married, those with a high-school degree or less, blacks, and Hispanics all saw declines in the number who reported themselves as being in “excellent” or “very good” health. The finding that older Hispanics are in relatively poor health, and saw declines in health over time, bucks a popular theory in public health known as the “Hispanic paradox,” in which Hispanics have been found to have generally good health and long life expectancies despite their often-difficult life circumstances.

The poor health of high-school graduates in this study mirrors earlier studies by Princeton’s Angus Deaton and Anne Case, who found an increase in mortality rates among white middle-aged people without high-school diplomas. Although the people in Case and Deaton’s studies were slightly younger— 50 to 54—this study shows what happens to those individuals if they do survive into their 60s.

The surprising disparities that emerge in this study underscore the fact that health insurance does not always guarantee good health. People over 65 are eligible for Medicare, yet some groups are clearly healthier than others. Access to a doctor is essential, but overall health, it seems, is the sum of what happens in a lifetime.

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Start eating sweet potatoes for good health






Potatoes come in many forms, here are few at Wisconsin restaurants to enjoy during National Potato Month.


I have a little obsession with sweet potatoes. 

On any given day, I can be found mashing them or chopping them into fries or chips.  Not only are they delicious and so healthy, but they travel well and are super easy to make. 

They are also Paleo diet-friendly, and good for those who need foods low on the glycemic index.


Here’s what you can do next. 

Whole Foods or Dean’s typically carry about five different types of sweet potatoes. 

More: The many uses of cauliflower rice


As with any produce, we try hard to mix up the variety we’re eating, since they all provide different nutrients.

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David Luck (center), retail territory executive forPerryanne Langford (left), Alayna Duruisseau and BellaInglewood Harvest Barn Sweet Potato Cook Off held Saturday,David Luck, retail territory executive for The TownSweet potato pie made by Frances Boudreaux and KittyInglewood Harvest Barn Sweet Potato Cook Off!Inglewood Harvest Barn Sweet Potato Cook Off!Inglewood Harvest Barn Sweet Potato Cook Off!Inglewood Harvest Barn Sweet Potato Cook Off!Perryanne Langford (left) and Bella Duruisseau, bothInglewood Harvest Barn Sweet Potato Cook Off!Inglewood Harvest Barn Sweet Potato Cook Off!Inglewood Harvest Barn Sweet Potato Cook Off!

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If you currently only cook with the orange sweet potato, go grab one of each you can find, bake them up and see what you like. 

You’ll encounter white, yellow, red, purple or brown skinned sweet potatoes with white, yellow, orange or purple flesh, each with a distinct flavor and texture.


The various colors of sweet potatoes indicate the variety of antioxidants they contain.

The orange ones get their color from the beta-carotene, and our favorite; the purple kind, have a different type of antioxidants called anthocyanins.

Related: Coconut oil has uses far beyond cooking


Unlike other anthocyanin-containing foods, like eggplant or blueberries, the antioxidants are in the flesh as well as the skin, so they’re a much more concentrated source. Just make sure to eat the skin as well as the yummy insides. Our favorite is the purple sweet potato, which we can normally find in bulk in the organic section at Wegmans.  


For a really quick addition to any meal or snack, chop some up, rub on coconut oil and cook at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. They come out perfect! 

Do this: Healthy snacks that keep you going throughout the day


Depending on the day, I serve some for breakfast over scrambled eggs; solo with a little cinnamon and garlic power on top; mixed in with beans, cauliflower rice, and fresh arugula for a quick lunch, or as a side to dinner. 


It makes me feel good knowing sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A in the body.  Good stuff for growing (and adult) bodies. Beyond that, they are full of vitamins C, B3, B5, and B6, manganese, potassium, fiber and copper.  


Sweet potatoes have so many nutritional benefits to offer and allows for a break from normal routines with the many different varieties and ways to prepare them!

Try this: Ideas for quicks lunches and dinners


If sweet potatoes currently aren’t on your grocery list, consider making the change the next time you’re at the store.

Samantha Adams lives in Wall with her husband, Greg, and her three sons, Gavin, Jackson and Andrew. She is working hard to generate conversation and thought as it relates to important health issues for ourselves and our families. Visit her on Facebook at “If You Seek Nutrition.”

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Your Good Health: Pain from bone contusion going on for more than 2 years

Dear Dr. Roach: I injured my left shin by impact two years and one month ago, and to my astonishment, it still hurts on a diminished but regular basis.

I had an X-ray, vein test, nerve test and, finally, an MRI, which showed “some swelling.” One doctor told me that it could hurt for the rest of my life. I am in my 60s, but he said age was not a factor.

Is this really true? I read that a bone contusion is extremely painful and can take from two weeks to two years to heal; the article did not specify why there is such a large time range, and I assume age, severity of injury and condition of bone are issues.
I suffered a tibia and fibula break one year before this incident, but I was walking normally and had very little discomfort from that. This pain is right in the same spot all the time — exactly where my leg was hit.

My surgeon from the fib/tib said that my bones were 100 per cent healed by the time of this new injury. Please advise as to whether my shin really could hurt for the rest of my life.


Bone contusions are very painful. The nerve supply to the lining of the bone is robust, and those nerves don’t normally send pain signals. When they do, the pain can be exquisite. However, two years is too long for this to be going on.

The tibia (shin bone) is very superficial. In a bad trauma to the shin, bacteria can enter through the skin and sometimes can infect the tibia itself. This is called osteomyelitis. However, the MRI scan is very sensitive to this possibility, and most people would have signs of infection, including fever. There also are fractures of the tibia that initially don’t show on X-ray; again, the MRI is a sensitive test. But, even an MRI isn’t perfect, and it might be worthwhile to repeat it.

However, I think the most likely condition is nerve damage. Specifically, I am worried that you have a form of complex regional pain syndrome. This occurs after a trauma and causes persistent pain, usually with some changes to the skin or muscle. The real key to the diagnosis would be abnormal pain sensation around the area, with light touch causing pain (this is called allodynia) or an exaggerated response to pain, such as a pinprick (this is called hyperalgesia). Nerve testing and imaging sometimes are abnormal in this condition, but sometimes not. An expert in pain management is the best person to see. Hurting for the rest of your life is not a good option.

Dear Dr. Roach: I’m an octogenarian with prostate issues. My doctor sent me some information about the prostate lift procedure. Can you tell me about it?


The prostate lift procedure is considered a minimally invasive surgical procedure for men with symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It has been shown to improve symptoms and quality of life in men with moderate to severe symptoms of noncancerous prostate enlargement. It seems to be better tolerated than traditional prostate surgery, with a similar improvement in symptoms. It seems like a good option for men with prostate symptoms in whom medication alone doesn’t provide adequate relief.

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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