Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Webonews button

Dale Earnhardt Jr. happy to leave final Talladega race in good health

9:03 PM ET

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. survived the accidents and left Talladega Superspeedway with his health.

So while disappointed his car was damaged enough that he wasn’t a factor in the final three laps, Earnhardt could smile after completing all 188 laps on his way to a seventh-place finish Sunday in the Alabama 500.

Earnhardt missed the final 18 races of 2016 because of a concussion and his health was one of the reasons he decided to retire after this year. He has six career Cup wins at Talladega, a place known for its wild finishes and hard accidents because the cars run in packs.

“I’ve had some trouble here in the past,” said Earnhardt, who suffered a concussion at Talladega in 2012 that forced him to miss two races. “I think anyone who questions our desire to be here and compete this year and our desire to race can look at the risks we took this afternoon knowing that any of those crashes probably would have given me a bit of an injury that would have held me out the rest of the season.

“That’s hypothetical, but I think it says a lot about being out there competing, wanting to compete, working hard and racing hard. This was one I was worried about it. In the back of my mind I was a little concerned.”

There were seven multicar accidents Sunday at Talladega, with just 14 cars running at the finish. Earnhardt received minimal damage in three of them.

“You can’t win the race if you race scared,” Earnhardt said. “I’ve raced scared here before.

“You have to block it and just go out there and take the risks and hope that it’s just not your day to get in one of those accidents and it wasn’t.”

While he survived the accidents, Earnhardt’s car was wounded enough that he couldn’t keep up with the top cars at the finish. He restarted third with three laps remaining and held on for seventh.

“It just wouldn’t go — in the corners, especially — so everybody around us was just wasting their time pushing us and they started to figure that out,” Earnhardt said.

Earnhardt, who sat on the pole, remained 22nd in the standings and winless in his final season. Five races — three at tracks where Earnhardt has won — remain.

“I don’t think we’ve lost hope on winning a race by any means for the rest of the year,” Earnhardt said. “I wouldn’t want a driver who felt that way. I wouldn’t want a team that felt that way either. We will go in there with a solid attitude and see how it works out for us.

“I’m always disappointed when we don’t run well at tracks I know we should. We did run well today. I know it was a little bit air out of the bag there to finish seventh — I know a lot of folks came to see us race because it’s the last one here. I hate them to leave slightly disappointed but hopefully they enjoyed everything else we saw. We ran as hard as we could. We did the best we could.”

Article source:

Health insurance is good not just for individuals but for democracy

President Trump holds up an executive order on health care after signing it during a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Oct. 12, 2017. (Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency/EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

For the past seven months, Americans have watched and weighed in as Congress considered the continued existence of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last Thursday, the Trump administration announced that the government would stop subsidizing insurers for making premiums and deductibles more affordable for low-income customers. Most of the discussion to date has been about whether these plans are good for families, and if so, which ones. But what if insurance had another value, beyond protecting individuals from financial and health risks? What if it was good for democracy?

Here’s how we’ve talked about insurance up to now

This year’s debates about health-care reform have produced some memorable sound bites. In March, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said: “The fatal conceit of Obamacare is that ‘we’re just going to make everybody buy our health insurance at the federal government level.’ … The people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick. It’s not working, and that’s why it’s in a death spiral.” In September, Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore told CNBC’s John Harwood that “people want insurance for their own families, not other people’s.”

Ryan and Moore’s harshest critics suggested that neither of them understand how health insurance works. But their comments reveal something else: Their baseline assumption is that individuals evaluate the worth of health insurance based on self-interest and personal economic calculus.

It’s true. People do want health insurance to protect themselves and their families, and oftentimes we articulate this in financial terms. Congressional Democrats have appealed to this idea in opposing ACA repeal. Their refrain is that families shouldn’t go bankrupt if someone becomes sick and that no one should die because they cannot afford medical coverage. They argue that keeping the ACA, or making it more inclusive through reforms, will protect individuals and families medically and financially.

These are important considerations, as any person who has ever lived on a budget and needed to go to the hospital knows. But they’re not the only ones.

There’s also an argument for the broad value of insurance for democracy

Daniel Defoe — a 17th- and 18th-century businessman and writer best known for his novel “Robinson Crusoe” — argued that insurance is a public good.

In An Essay Upon Projects (1679), Defoe evaluates (among other ideas) “friendly societies,” mutual aid associations formed by ordinary people. In these voluntary organizations, members paid fees to create a pool of assistance that would be available to any member who needed it. Friendly societies provided, in a word, insurance — fire insurance, livestock insurance, life insurance and health insurance.

Defoe generally approves. He argues that friendly societies have outsized potential to help protect members from the “miseries … and distresses” the future might hold — and to make life better for everyone. He even suggests these insurance pools may even harbor the potential for world peace.

Why such a bold claim?

Defoe’s argument for the positive potential of friendly societies depends on two values they embody: solidarity and equity.

Friendly societies promote solidarity because they encourage interdependence among individuals. Members regularly paid dues and fees into a common pool, with no knowledge of whether they would ever draw on them as individuals, on the off-chance they would need help themselves one day.

Defoe focuses on the larger picture, though. He stresses that these societies were a social project, one that offered security to the group (or to use his word, “mankind”) through solidarity. The political value of friendly societies is that they bonded people together against a risky future.

Defoe also identifies equity as a core principle of the friendly society, although a challenging one to achieve. He worries about whether friendly societies were organized fairly and shares ideas for promoting equity within them. He suggests, for example, that people in high-risk professions form their own insurance pools instead of banding together with people in lower-risk jobs.

But Defoe still praises friendly societies for at least trying to live up to the principle of equity. He says, “To argue against the lawfulness of [friendly societies] would be to cry down common equity as well as charity: for it is kind that my neighbor should relieve me if I fall into distress or decay, so it is but equal he should do so if I agreed to have done the same for him.” When we make such solidaristic commitments to our fellow citizens, we commit to treating them equitably. Defoe saw social insurance as one way to inject more equity into society.

Of course, “friendly societies” are a far cry from vast insurance companies

Defoe’s ideas about friendly societies might seem out of step with the concerns of 21st-century Americans. He was talking about small voluntary groups, and most Americans today buy insurance from large, for-profit corporations. Even those who turn to social welfare programs like Medicare and Medicaid interact with large bureaucracies. Is his defense of insurance as a relationship of solidarity and equity still applicable to us?

In a mass democracy like the United States, solidarity and equity are hard values to realize, but they are ones we still hold. We can see that, for example, in what Tennessean Jessi Bohon said when she stood up in a town hall in February and argued for the ACA’s individual mandate: “As a Christian, my whole philosophy in life is to pull up the unfortunate. So the individual mandate, that’s what it does. The healthy people pull up the sick.” She supported her position using the value of solidarity. (As an aside, Bohon’s link between the mandate and Christian charity would have made sense to Defoe, too.)

We’ve also seen appeals to equity. For example, when Planned Parenthood supported passage of the ACA, they did so based on the principle of fairness, arguing that by subsidizing birth control and mammograms it corrected a gender imbalance in health care costs. Similarly, when Sen. Lindsay O. Graham (R-S.C.) reflected on why the ACA should be replaced, he said that it didn’t recognize that different states have very different needs. He argued it isn’t equitable.

These scattered comments point us toward a conversation about the social value of insurance. Although politicians and policymakers will continue to appeal to individual self-interest as they try to gain support for their reforms, they might also wish to explain how their plans embody democracy’s social goods: solidarity, equity and fairness.

Emily Nacol is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Toronto. She is the author of An Age of Risk: Politics and Economy in Early Modern Britain.

Article source:

Eating placenta is not good for your health, expert says

Eating placenta has no health benefits and as well as being a dubious practice that ‘borders on cannibalism’, a leading gynaecologist has claimed.

The practice of consuming placenta has become all the rage in recent years, with celebrities from Kim Kardashian to Coleen Rooney tweeting about eating the organ after childbirth.

Growing concerns

But there are growing doubts that the organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy provides any health benefit – and mounting concerns that it could even pose a health risk.

Contrary to claims made by the ‘placentophagy’ movement, placenta is certainly not a superfood, critics contend.

It doesn’t help with pospartum depression, improve lactation or increase energy, says gynaecologist Alex Farr, of the Medical University of Vienna, in a new research paper.

“Medically speaking, the placenta is a waste product. Most mammals eat the placenta after birth, but we can only guess why they do so,”

Alex Farr

And it poses a risk of viral and bacterial infection and of ingesting toxins and hormones that have accumulated in the placenta during pregnancy, he says.

“Medically speaking, the placenta is a waste product. Most mammals eat the placenta after birth, but we can only guess why they do so,” said Dr Farr.

“After the placenta is genetically part of the newborn, eating the placenta borders on cannibalism,” said Dr Farr, whose findings in a joint research project with Cornell University have just been published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“The presumed nutrients such as iron, selenium and zinc are not present in sufficient concentrations in the placenta. However, high concentrations of heavy metals in the placenta were found to accumulate there during pregnancy,” he said.

Risk of infection

Above all, the consumption, which usually takes place in the form of processed capsules or globules, also carries a risk of infection, Dr Farr concludes.

In June the US Department of Health warned the public about the dangers of placentophagy after the baby of a mother who had eaten placenta capsules suffered life-threatening blood poisoning from the streptococcus group of bacteria.

These bacteria could be detected in the placenta capsules of the mother and were probably transmitted by her to the child during breastfeeding, the department said.

Article source:

To Your Good Health: Marijuana Itself Not An Ideal Anxiety Treatment Option

Dear Dr. Roach: I am hoping you can weigh in on the use of cannibidiol (hemp-derived) for managing anxiety. My son has diagnoses of major depression and ADD. He has done a lot of online research and is interested in using CBD to manage periods where his anxiety is elevated, as he does not like the side effects of the typical pharma meds. We were hoping you could add medical depth to CBD usage. — D.W.

Answer: There is a great deal more research now on the use of marijuana and its major derivatives, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannibidiol. However, the research is far from complete, owing to difficulty in working directly with marijuana, which is categorized as a Schedule I drug in the United States. Some states allow medical use of marijuana, but it remains prohibited federally, leading to confusion. In addition, high-quality research on any drug for psychiatric conditions is difficult to do, and marijuana is controversial, with some parties absolutely convinced that it is effective for many disorders, and others equally convinced that it is useless or harmful.

In trying to keep an open mind and avoid biases, I find from multiple studies that the individual variation in how these compounds affect the brain is striking. Where standardized doses can cause one person to feel relaxed and more sociable, another person with exactly the same dose can become panicked, paranoid and even psychotic. Also, even in people for whom marijuana works, one dose may be effective at reducing anxiety (which probably is why many people with anxiety disorders use cannabis), while higher doses increase risk of panic disorders. Since exact dosing is difficult or impossible with natural forms of the compounds (any given strain will have different proportions of THC and CBD, and the amount per gram of plant material changes from plant to plant), marijuana itself is not an ideal choice for treatment.

If it were possible to get CBD without THC, that might be beneficial. CBD acts on different receptors in the brain from those that act on THC. Pure CBD does not have the same effects as THC, including the euphoria (“high”). Animal studies and some human studies have shown that anti-anxiety properties of CBD at a low dose reduced panic. The large pharmacology companies are actively looking for compounds that have these beneficial effects without untoward side effects. In the meantime, I see advertising for products that are supposed to be pure CBD, but I do not know how they are tested for purity.

There are long-term side effects of natural marijuana. In the case of your son, there is evidence that marijuana use during adolescence increases the risk of psychotic disorders later in life. It’s not clear if this risk is conferred by THC, CBD or something else in marijuana, but it’s one more reason to be cautious.

Dear Dr. Roach: Is there a relation between the calcium we eat and calcium that blocks arteries? I have had doctors say it two different ways. Should we avoid taking calcium supplements or eating too much? After years of doctors’ advice about taking calcium, particularly for women, are doctors now reversing their opinions? — J.S.

Answer: There remains controversy about calcium supplementation and risk of heart disease. Some studies have shown no harm; others have shown a small increase in risk of heart attacks in those, particularly men, who took calcium supplements. However, the risk, if any, is small.

In contrast, the data consistently show that men and women who have lots of dietary calcium have reduced risk of heart disease. That’s why I recommend dietary calcium preferentially.

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 or at 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

Article source:

Fed’s Janet Yellen Says the Economy Remains in Good Health

Ms. Yellen said the prospect of tax cuts or other changes in domestic fiscal policy has not influenced the Fed’s monetary policy plans at this point. “We’re uncertain about the size, timing and composition of changes that will actually be put into effect,” she said.

She said anticipation of changes like tax cuts has buoyed measures of consumer and business confidence, but there is little evidence so far of increased investment and investment. She said the Fed similarly is taking “a kind of wait-and-see attitude.”

Ms. Yellen’s term as Fed chairwoman ends in early February. President Trump has said he is considering whether to appoint her to a second four-year term.

The American economy added an average of 171,000 jobs per month during the first eight months of the year, a little lower than the monthly average of 187,000 in 2016, but well above the growth of the working-age population.

Reported employment shrank in September for the first time in seven years, but that is most likely the result of Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida while the government was conducting its monthly survey.

Ms. Yellen said the damage from recent storms, while “terrible,” was unlikely to leave a lasting imprint on the economy.

Newsletter Sign Up

Continue reading the main story

“History suggests that the longer-term effects will be modest and that aggregate economic activity will recover quickly,” she said.

Other vital signs also are looking strong. The unemployment rate stands at 4.2 percent, and labor force participation has stabilized. While wage growth remains weak by historical standards, Ms. Yellen said, that was mostly the result of slow growth in productivity.


Continue reading the main story

“The pace seems broadly consistent with a tightening labor market once we account for the disappointing productivity growth in recent years,” she said.

Ms. Yellen also noted that domestic business investment has improved and stronger growth in other countries has increased demand for American exports.

“I perceive that risks to global growth have receded somewhat and expect growth to continue to improve over the near term,” she said.

The most obvious cause for concern is the weakness of inflation, which has remained below the Fed’s 2 percent annual target since the financial crisis. Other developed nations are grappling with the same phenomenon.

“The apparent disconnect between strong economic activity, on the one hand, and low inflation and wages on the other, is one of the standout characteristics of the ongoing recovery, almost everywhere,” said Vitor Constancio, vice president of the European Central Bank, who spoke on the same panel as Ms. Yellen.

Some Fed officials regard weak inflation as evidence the Fed should retreat more slowly from its stimulus campaign.

Ms. Yellen reiterated on Sunday that she did not agree, because she regarded inflation as being to increase as growth continued.

“My best guess is that these soft readings will not persist,” she said.

She added that she saw little evidence soft inflation in the United States is the result of a change in the global economy.

Follow Binyamin Appelbaum on Twitter: @bcappelbaum.

Continue reading the main story

Article source:

Need support for good mental health

IT is fitting that the theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is “Mental Health in the Workplace”.

There is an increasing number of people experiencing stress in the workplace with the National Health and Morbidity Survey revealing that mental health problems among adults has increased from 10.7% in 1996, to 11.2% in 2006, to 29.2% in 2015.

This experience of stress can result in mental health disorders if not adequately managed. Anxiety and depressive disorders are the common mental disorders that arise from chronic or severe stress.

Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and counsellors are attending to an increasing number of people who are experiencing stress, anxiety and depression. Although stigma is a barrier to accessing professional help, a greater awareness of mental health disorders has led working people to seek professional assistance.

An awareness of factors resulting in mental health disorders is the beginning of prevention. Some of the causes of stress in the workplace are heavy work load, work type stress and interpersonal conflicts.

Increasing profits should not be to the detriment of the health and mental health of employees. The inability to cope with the stress resulting from a change of work type or work role can result in mental health disorders.

Interpersonal conflicts between colleagues, and between employees and management is also an evident cause of stress. Healthy communication, dialogue and discussion within the work place are important preventive measures.

The awareness that mental health disorders can result in a decrease in occupational functioning and thus productivity should spur employers and the management of companies and institutions to promote mental health in the work place.

The availability of an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provided by many multinational companies, like Taylor’s University, has encouraged employees to seek help for their mental health issues.

EAPs provide private and confidential professional services. A number of local institutions and companies are also offering the EAP for their employees. It is hoped that many more companies and institutions do the same.

Employees require support from their employers, the management and each other. This support is essential for the maintenance of good mental and physical health. The theme of World Mental Health Day 2017 reminds all of us that we need to promote good mental health in the work place.


Consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Taylor’s University

Article source:

Health Alert: Connection between healthy personal relationships and good heart health

In today’s Health Alert: Healthy personal relationships and good heart health may go hand in hand, especially if you’re a man.

Article source:

Second Opinion | Remembering forgetting could be a good sign

Hello and happy Saturday! Here’s this week’s round-up of eclectic and under-the-radar health and medical science news.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here.

Forgetting where you put the keys? Can’t remember names? Is it the first sign of dementia?

That might depend on whether you remember that you’re forgetting things. And whether your caregivers are more worried about your memory loss than you are.

“It seems that when caregivers see it as more problematic than patients then it’s predictive of whether or not people go on to develop dementia,” said Dr. Philip Gerretsen, a clinician scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

Using brain imaging data and other clinical information from more than 1,000 patients with early cognitive decline, his new study suggests there’s a relationship between a person’s level of awareness of memory issues, and their risk of future disease.

Some of the people studied thought they were having memory issues, but their caregivers weren’t convinced. And those people didn’t end up developing dementia.

“Most intriguingly it’s the patients that seem to be hyper-aware of having some cognitive problems relative to their caregivers that actually don’t go on to develop dementia,” Gerretsen said, adding that those people might be suffering memory loss for other reasons, including anxiety or depression.

Gerretsen believes there might be clues to dementia in the region of the brain that controls disease awareness, a condition called “anosognosia” — a neurological term for not knowing that you’re sick.

“The most interesting thing is anosognosia, or illness awareness, is really under-studied and what we’re seeing is that it’s an independent predictor of going on to develop dementia when people complain of memory issues.”

Gerretsen says there’s a suggestion that Alzheimer’s disease might be affecting the brain regions involved in illness awareness. His next study will investigate whether brain stimulation methods can improve those underlying brain structures, which in turn might help slow down the progression to dementia.

Death of a ‘good cholesterol’ idea

The theory was beautiful. If lowering bad cholesterol reduces heart attack risk, (and it does, as the statin drugs have shown) then raising good cholesterol should do the same thing.

Scientists even knew how to do it by interfering with a blood protein called CETP (cholesteryl ester transfer protein.) Because the CETP is involved in turning good cholesterol (HDL) into bad, (LDL) then a drug that blocked the protein should cause good cholesterol to rise.


The demise of a promising hypothesis about ‘good’ cholesterol. (Shutterstock)

It worked, setting off a pharmaceutical race that had industry analysts predicting the next blockbuster drugs.

But optimism faded when the first CETP inhibitor had unintended off-target effects that actually increased heart attacks. Pfizer immediately abandoned the drug. That was 2006.

By 2015, two more companies had dropped their CETP programs after the drug failed to improve cardiovascular outcomes.

Analysts finally called the hypothesis officially dead this week when Merck announced it would not be submitting its CETP drug for market approval.

So what went wrong? Human physiology once again proved to be devilishly complicated. It’s more proof that using drugs to change surrogate biomarkers (indicators that doctors measure with lab tests) doesn’t always translate into better health. In this case, it turns out that simply raising good cholesterol, by itself, does not prevent heart attacks, strokes or death.

It’s no surprise to Dr. Dennis Ko at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto. After studying data on more than 500,000 Ontario residents, Ko showed that high levels of good cholesterol alone didn’t predict good health.

The data revealed that people who have low levels of good cholesterol also have other problems, including low income and unhealthy lifestyles. Ko concluded that simply increasing the HDL without addressing those other factors will not by itself improve heart health.

“I think most people have changed their minds about HDL cholesterol in terms of whether we can change the levels to dramatically improve cardiovascular outcomes,” Ko said.

So what’s the message for people obsessed with their cholesterol levels?

“I would probably worry less about the HDL levels,” Ko said, adding if it’s very low, it might be a marker of poor health and efforts to improve lifestyle would be the most beneficial thing.”

‘Life finds a way’ as malaria mosquitoes win 1st round in gene drive battle

A “gene drive” is a tool scientists are developing to spread new genetic traits rapidly through a population.

Ever since the CRISPR gene editing system made it possible to easily and cheaply manipulate DNA, scientists have been tinkering with gene drives as a way of controlling disease-carrying mosquitoes.

The idea is to genetically alter the mosquito genome to weaken its reproductive system and then spread that change as fast as possible through new generations of insects.

Malaria mosquito

Nature fought back when scientists attempted to manipulate the DNA of malaria mosquitoes. (James Gathany/CDC)

But as usual, nature has a way of deflecting human interventions. And it seems mosquitoes won the first round in the gene drive battle, according to a new paper published in PLOS Genetics.

Scientists at Imperial College London used CRISPR to engineer a weakness in the female malaria mosquito’s reproductive system so there would be fewer offspring. They then introduced that genetic weakness to a caged population of mosquitoes.

The gene drive spread rapidly in just four generations of insects. But after 25 generations the scientists noticed that it slowed down as new mosquitoes developed a genetic mutation that fixed the flaw and restored their reproductive rate.

Despite the resistance, lead scientist Tony Nolan called the experiment a success, saying it’s the first ever proof in principle for a gene drive designed to reduce mosquito populations.

Now they’re going back to the lab to tweak the gene drive and come up with ways to overcome the resistance problem, presumably not at all deterred by the prophetic words of Dr. Ian Malcolm (actor Jeff Goldblum) from the movie Jurassic Park:

“Life..uh..finds a way.”

Currently there are no gene drive programs being used outside the lab.

Thanks for reading! You can email us any time with your thoughts or ideas. And if you like what you read, consider forwarding this to a friend.

Article source:

Trump to cut off federal subsidies to health insurers under Obamacare

Dr. Martha Perez examines Maria Lebron in a room at the Community Health of South Florida, Doris Ison Health Center.
Dr. Martha Perez examines Maria Lebron in a room at the Community Health of South Florida, Doris Ison Health Center. - Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The White House announced late Thursday that the administration will stop making cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers to subsidize health insurance plans they offer to low-income Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

The action came just after a set of other regulatory changes were announced relaxing the rules and required benefits for health plans under Obamacare.

President Trump’s action on the cost-sharing reduction payments could rapidly upset the insurance market — specifically the individual market, where insurers count on the subsidies to afford to offer policies to people eligible for financial assistance.

The cost-sharing reduction payments were expected to total about $9 billion for 2017, and $100 billion over the next decade.

Cost-sharing reduction payments provide taxpayer dollars to insurers, so insurers can offer health plans on the ACA exchanges to people earning from 100 percent to 250 percent of the poverty level. The subsidies lower their out-of-pocket co-pays and deductibles.

“Essentially, this is going back to the pre-ACA world, where you don’t have to cover things like prescription drugs. The requirements in terms of pre-existing condition exclusions are now up in the air,” said Benjamin Sommers, an associate professor of health policy and economics at Harvard University.

In other words, Sommers said, this is a good thing if you’re young and healthy, and don’t want comprehensive health insurance. But for older adults, people with chronic conditions, and those who want coverage for prescription drugs and mental health — this is not a good thing. 

“This will undermine a lot of the gains over the past four years,” he added.

Trump administration health officials said that based on an opinion from the Justice Department, the payments are improper and will end immediately.

When people start signing up for ACA insurance in a few weeks, they may see premiums and co-pays listed for 2018 coverage that are based on the cost-sharing reduction payments continuing to be paid by the Trump administration.

However, if insurers aren’t getting paid anymore, they could face significantly higher costs, and financial losses.

Halting the payments could cause insurers to raise some customers’ premiums on the exchanges next year to make up the lost money, or to withdraw from the individual market and Obamacare exchanges altogether.

According to Consumer Reports, nearly 6 million Americans — more than half of those who buy their health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges — have been benefiting from the cost-sharing reduction payments subsidies until now, through significantly lower co-pays and deductibles. A separate subsidy that funds tax breaks for low- and middle-income people to make their Obamacare insurance premiums more affordable is not affected by the Trump administration decision on cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers. 

Article source:

Could working out be sabotaging your gut health?

You probably hear about the benefits of regular exercise on the reg, but one serious topic that doesn’t get brought up a whole lot? Overdoing your fitness regimen. One doc says overexerting yourself could even be sabotaging your gut health.

According to an article B.J. Hardick, DC, wrote for mindbodygreen, all those hours you log at the gym do pay off—until they start costing you, that is.

Overexercising can stress out your body, leading to leaky gut, a condition that increases inflammation and increases susceptibility to autoimmune disorders and metabolic diseases, like type 2 diabetes. —Dr. Hardick

Overexercising can stress out your body, which is bad news for your digestion: Stress can cause leaky gut, a condition that not only increases inflammation but also makes you more susceptible to autoimmune disorders and metabolic diseases, like type 2 diabetes, Dr. Hardick said.

“Your intestinal barrier keeps out food particles and other things that shouldn’t go through, but when it becomes loose, things not intended to get through the wall suddenly do,” Dr. Hardick said. “What results is intestinal permeability, more commonly called leaky gut.”

There are many ways to keep leaky gut at bay: Eat a healthy diet, get the recommended amount of sleep, keep your stress levels in check, and—most importantly—just listen to your body. There’s nothing wrong with taking a rest day or keeping your workouts light.

When you don’t give your body time to recover, it simply won’t. So don’t go overboard when it comes to your workout routine in order keep your body (and gut) happy and healthy.

Here’s why Selena Gomez swears by rest days—and why you should too. Still not convinced? This expert reveals why rest days aren’t optional.

Article source: