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Your Good Health: Blood pressure concerns ignored

Dear Dr. Roach: I monitor my blood pressure at home as part of my regular wellness routine. The instructions for the blood pressure monitor say to sit upright, keep my feet on the floor and to not place the cuff over clothing. In addition, directions indicate that the cuff should be placed at the level of the heart.

I have rarely been in a doctor’s office where the staff taking my blood pressure follows this procedure. I am almost always sitting on the exam table with my legs dangling, and the cuff is always placed over my clothing. When I have raised this with the staff taking the reading, my comments usually are brushed off. My blood pressure is usually a little high when I am in a doctor’s office (compared with my home readings), and I understand that this is not uncommon. How can a doctor really identify that I might have a blood pressure problem if the basic procedure isn’t properly administered for the only monitoring of blood pressure he or she does?

M.D.W.

You are right that your blood pressure was not measured correctly. Worse, the error in the blood pressure measurement could adversely affect your treatment, potentially causing you to be over- or undertreated. Worse still, when you tried to make sure your blood pressure was measured correctly, you weren’t listened to.

When it really matters — for example, when taking care of a person with high blood pressure — the blood pressure should be measured very carefully.

The home measurements actually may be more useful, as there are more results, which minimizes random error, and they are taken in the situation where people live, not the artificial situation of a physician’s office. However, the doctor should make sure the device is accurate before relying on the readings.

Finally, there is increasing evidence that measuring the blood pressure many times over 24 hours may be useful, especially in cases of suspected “white coat” hypertension.

Dear Dr. Roach: I am an 81-year-old female polio survivor with many of the post-polio symptoms. I carry a card that says, “In case of surgery, DO NOT use a depolarizing muscle relaxant anesthesia or curare.” The cards were handed out at a PP support-group meeting. I do not know the origin.

In early August, I had a “day surgery.” My physician mentioned the card when scheduling, and on the day of surgery, I showed the anesthetist the card.

I had no problems breathing. However, I woke up from the surgery extremely weak.

I spent three weeks at a rehab hospital and had four weeks of in-home therapy before I was about back to my pre-surgery abilities.

I discovered that along with other anesthetics (propofol and fentanyl) I was given succinylcholine (a depolarizing anesthetic).

Have you heard of this type of reaction in any other people with post-polio syndrome?

A.T.

I’m not an anesthesiologist nor an expert in post-polio syndrome, but I was taught that in people with neuromuscular disease (poliomyelitis is a classic example), muscle relaxant anesthetics must be used with extreme care. Succinylcholine in particular is problematic in people with post-polio syndrome.

Newer, shorter-acting agents, such as rocuronium, should be used, and at much lower doses than in someone without neurological disease.

Further, avoiding neuromuscular blocking agents entirely is recommended, if possible.

I don’t know enough about the surgery to know if that was possible or, if it was possible to use a regional anesthetic with a lower risk of the kind of prolonged side-effect you suffered.

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 ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.

Article source: https://www.timescolonist.com/life/health/your-good-health-blood-pressure-concerns-ignored-1.23598627

Kansas City Chiefs appear to be in good health entering AFC championship game – The Register

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Andy Reid typically begins his postgame news conferences with a rundown of injuries, ranging from the run-of-the-mill bumps and bruises to the more serious stuff that keeps players out awhile.

After Kansas City routed the Indianapolis Colts last weekend to reach its first AFC title game in 25 years, Reid stepped to the podium and said, well, not much of anything.

“We really didn’t get anyone injured,” he admitted. “Everyone, knock on wood, came out OK.”

In truth, the only teams healthier than the Chiefs at this juncture of the season have been done playing for weeks. Even guys that have been out of the lineup for a while, such as wide receiver Sammy Watkins, are back to full speed ahead of Sunday’s game against New England.

The Chiefs are so well off right now that they just activated another starter, offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, off injured reserve Tuesday. He’d been out since Week 5 with a broken leg and has been practicing since Dec. 26, and now could be available against the Patriots.

Whether he starts remains to be seen; Andrew Wylie has played quite well in his place.

Regardless, the simple fact that the Chiefs’ best run blocker will be back on the sideline provides additional depth up front, and gives their high-powered offense even more confidence.

The Chiefs waived veteran safety Ron Parker in a corresponding roster move.

Watkins missed about six weeks with a foot injury, and the Chiefs’ offense seemed to be a beat off without their No. 2 wide receiver.

But he finally returned against the Colts and caught six passes for 62 yards while drawing some of the attention off Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, who both had monster games against what had been a stingy Indianapolis defense down the stretch.

“I’m just thankful for the organization, the trainers, my coaches, for the six weeks getting me prepared to play this game and all week just getting me mentally prepared,” said Watkins, who signed a $36 million, three-year contract in the offseason to provide just what he did Saturday.

“Just being on the field was great,” he said, “giving those guys energy.”

Reid said that Watkins appeared to come out of the game in good shape, and that he wasn’t worried about the speedster aggravating his foot injury before their showdown with the Patriots.

“I think he’s doing OK. He felt good after the game. He felt pretty good yesterday,” Reid said. “He is sore just from playing, but the foot feels good.”

If only the same could be said of Eric Berry’s foot.

The one injury issue that has lingered for the Chiefs all season, and right into the playoffs, has been the painful heel of their star safety. Berry tore his Achilles’ tendon and missed nearly all of last season, and the heel began to cause him problems again in training camp. He tried to play late in the season, but was shut down again ahead of Week 17 and did not play against the Colts.

The Chiefs’ emotional leader, not to mention a three-time All-Pro, Berry remains one of the biggest wildcards for Kansas City as it prepares to host the AFC title game for the first time.

“We have had great communication through the process and most important that when he can play, he can protect himself and play at the level he wants to play at,” Reid said.

“He didn’t feel like he was at that level (Saturday), which he has been great with communicating. If he can go, he can go. If he can’t, he can’t. I’m proud of the guys that stepped in and played and played at such a high level.”

The Chiefs signed Parker in part to fill Berry’s spot, and he had started most of the season with mixed results. He was finally benched with two games left in favor of Jordan Lucas, who has flourished in his newfound starting role to the point that Parker became expendable.

Whether his release is another sign that Berry could play Sunday is an intriguing question.

Reid remained noncommittal Monday and the Chiefs were off Tuesday, so the first chance for Berry to test out his bum heel will come during Wednesday afternoon’s practice.

The first injury report of the week will also come out Wednesday.

Berry’s name notwithstanding, it ought to be a pretty clean one for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Article source: https://www.registerguard.com/sports/20190115/kansas-city-chiefs-appear-to-be-in-good-health-entering-afc-championship-game

Stand-alone photo: Good health bath


  • More than a hundred people take a midwinter dip known as the annual kanchu suiyoku, at Teppozu Inari Shrine in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on Sunday. The 105 people, ranging in age from 9 to 83, prayed for their good health while immersed chest-deep in a tub about 5 meters in diameter with two huge floating icicles that was set up at the shrine. Photo: Japan News-Yomiuri / Japan News-Yomiuri

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Stand-alone photo: More than a hundred people take a midwinter dip known as the annual kanchu suiyoku, at Teppozu Inari Shrine in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on Sunday. The 105 people, ranging in age from 9 to 83, prayed for their good health while immersed chest-deep in a tub about 5 meters in diameter with two huge floating icicles that was set up at the shrine.

Article source: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Stand-alone-photo-Good-health-bath-13531623.php

For most accurate BP readings, follow procedure | To Your Good Health

When it really matters — for example, when taking care of a person with high blood pressure — the blood pressure should be measured very carefully. The home measurements actually may be more useful, as there are more results, which minimizes random error, and they are taken in the situation where people live, not the artificial situation of a physician’s office. However, the doctor should make sure the device is accurate before relying on the readings.

Article source: https://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/to-your-good-health/for-most-accurate-bp-readings-follow-procedure/article_8ee7eb22-35d4-5ed6-8917-682c7dbf43b7.html

Another Voice: Food, not drugs, is the key to good health

By Dr. Richard Ruhling

Medical care is the diagnosis and treatment of disease and has nothing to do with health care. Proof comes from the inverse relationship – the more one takes prescriptions to relieve symptoms, the worse one’s health becomes.

While teaching at Loma Linda University in California, I did yearly physicals on executives. One said that sugar gave him joint pains; another said cheese bothered his joints; a third said meat caused his arthritis. They were smart men who had figured it out.

Most people don’t figure it out because foods cause a delayed reaction. People suspecting a food problem should eliminate it 100 percent for five days.

Textbooks show most medical conditions as of “unknown etiology.” That means they didn’t know the cause, so how can a drug be the cure?

An example is an FDA bulletin in 1970 reported deaths from heart disease were double for patients taking either of the two most commonly prescribed drugs for diabetes in eight university medical centers.

The names of the drugs have changed, but drugs still have high risk compared to wise eating. Dr. Nathan Pritikin’s diet in the 1970s got 85 percent of patients off their diabetic drugs and a similar percentage off blood pressure drugs.

Ninety seven percent of people are born normal. If they have a problem 40 or 60 years later, in most cases, they did it to themselves by what they put in their mouths. The good news is it’s reversible.

The late Dr. Lester Breslow of UCLA found that seven simple health habits were good for a 30-year difference between the people who broke them all, compared to people who live by healthy habits.

People with health problems should watch the best physicians on YouTube discussing a plant-based diet. These include Daniel Amen for brain health; Neal Barnard for diabetes; T. Colin Campbell for cancer; Caldwell Esselstyn for the heart, and Joel Fuhrman and Michael Greger for many conditions.

I visited U.S. Senate offices with medical literature stating that prescription drugs were a leading cause of illness and death until one senator said I was wasting my time.

“They own us,” he said, referring to donations by drug companies to their re-election campaigns.

This is a disgrace and the reason why Congress let the drug companies play a major role in writing the Affordable Care Act.

The end result can be an early death or a nursing home where the average number of drugs prescribed is nine to 13. Half die in the first year – blamed on the heart with no autopsy.

Dr. Richard Ruhling taught health science at Loma Linda University. His website is RichardRuhling.com.

Article source: https://buffalonews.com/2019/01/14/another-voice-food-not-drugs-is-the-key-to-good-health/

Here’s a guide to smart workouts and good health

You can’t beat ageing, but you can beat bad health.

The effect of exercise on health is profound. It can protect you from a range of conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. But the type and amount of exercise you should do changes as you age. To ensure that you are doing the right type of exercise for your age, follow this simple guide.

Childhood and adolescence

In childhood, exercise helps control body weight, builds healthy bones and promotes self-confidence and healthy sleep patterns. The government recommends that children should get at least one hour of exercise a day. As a tip:

  • Children should try a variety of sports and develop skills, such as swimming and the ability to hit and kick a ball.
  • Lots of non–scheduled physical activity is great, too, such as playing in playgrounds.

Exercise habits tend to steadily decline during teen years, particularly in girls. Getting enough exercise promotes a healthy body image and helps manage stress and anxiety. You can also:

  • Encourage teenagers to keep one team sport, if possible.
  • For teenagers who are not into team sports, swimming or athletics can be a good way to keep fitness levels up.

In your 20s

You are at your absolute physical peak in your mid-20s, with the fastest reaction times and highest VO2 max – the maximum rate at which the body can pump oxygen to muscles. After this peak, your VO2 max decreases by up to 1% each year and your reaction time slows each year. The good news is that regular physical activity can slow this decline. Building lean muscle mass and bone density at this age helps you retain them in later years.

  • Vary your training and keep it fun. Try tag rugby, rowing or boot camp.
  • If you are a regular exerciser, get advice from an exercise professional to build “periodisation” into your training regime. This involves dividing your training regime into progressive cycles that manipulate different aspects of training – such as intensity, volume and type of exercise – to optimise your performance and ensure you peak for a planned exercise event, such as a triathlon.

In your 30s

As careers and family life for many intensify in their 30s, it is important that you maintain cardiovascular fitness and strength to slow normal physical decline. If you have a sedentary job, make sure you maintain good posture and break up long periods of sitting by forcing activity into your day, such as routing your printer to another room, climbing a flight of stairs to use the bathroom on another floor, or standing when taking a phone call so you are moving every half an hour where possible.

  • Work smart. Try high-intensity interval training. This is where bursts of high-intensity activity, up to 80% of your maximum heart rate, such as sprinting and cycling, are broken up with periods of lower-intensity exercise. This kind of workout is good for the time poor as it can be done in 20 minutes.
  • For all women, and especially after childbirth, do pelvic floor exercises, sometimes known as Kegel exercises daily to help prevent incontinence.
  • Diversify your exercise programme to keep it interesting. Try boot camp, spin class or yoga.

Diversify your training with boot camp. wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

In your 40s

Most people start to put on weight in their 40s. Resistance exercise is the best way to optimise calorie burning to counteract fat accumulation and reverse the loss of three to eight percent of muscle mass per decade. Ten weeks of resistance training could increase lean weight by 1.4kg, increase resting metabolic rate by 7% and decrease fat weight by 1.8kg.

  • Try kettlebells or start a weight-training programme in your gym.
  • Take up running, if you don’t run already, and don’t be afraid to start a more intensive exercise programme. You get more bang for your buck with running versus walking.
  • Pilates can be useful to build core strength to protect against back pain, which often starts in this decade.

Take up kettlebells in your 40s to burn calories. Goolia Photography/Shutterstock

In your 50s

In this decade, aches and pains may crop up and chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can manifest. As oestrogen declines in postmenopausal women, the risk of heart disease increases.

  • Do strength training twice a week to maintain your muscle mass.
  • Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, is recommended. Walk fast enough so that your breathing rate increases and you break a sweat.
  • Try something different. Tai chi can be excellent for balance and relaxation.

In your 60s

Typically, people accumulate more chronic conditions as they get older, and ageing is a major risk factor for cancer. Maintaining a high level of physical activity can help prevent cancers, such as post-menopausal breast cancer, colon cancer and cancer of the womb, and it reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Physical activity tends to decline with age, so keep active and try to buck this trend.

  • Try ballroom dancing or other forms of dancing; it’s a fun and sociable way to exercise.
  • Incorporate strength and flexibility exercises twice a week. Aqua-aerobics can be a great way to develop strength using water as resistance.
  • Maintain cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking.

Ballroom dancing is fun and sociable. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

70s and beyond

Exercise in your 70s and beyond helps prevent frailty and falls, and it’s important for your cognitive function. If you have a period of ill health, try to keep mobile, if possible. Strength and fitness can decline rapidly if you are bed bound or very inactive, which can make it hard to get back to previous levels.

  • Walk and talk. Instead of inactive visits from family and friends, go for a walk together. It will keep you motivated and boost your health more than solitary exercise.
  • Incorporate some strength, balance and cardiovascular exercise in your regime. But get advice from a physiotherapist or other exercise professional, especially if you have several chronic conditions.

The main message is to keep moving throughout your life. Sustained exercise is what benefits health most.

Julie Broderick is a Assistant Professor, Physiotherapy, at Trinity College Dublin.

This article was originally published in The Conversation.

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Article source: https://theprint.in/culture/heres-a-guide-to-smart-workouts-and-good-health/176668/

Liver is crucial to good health | Public

The human liver is a part of the body that most people don’t know much about or think about, yet it is crucial to good health as well as life. The liver is a very large gland and one of the most complex organs of the body. The skin is the only other organ that is heavier and larger than the liver. The liver is the only organ in the body that can regenerate itself, and can do so completely as long as a minimum of 25 percent of the tissue remains.

The liver is classified as part of the digestive system, but its functions are many and varied. These functions include detoxification, protein synthesis, storage of certain vitamins and minerals, and the production of bile and other chemicals that help digest food. It is located above the stomach and below the lungs, weighs 2 to 3 pounds in adulthood, is roughly the size of a football, and carries out more than 500 essential tasks.

Unlike other organs in the body, the liver is served by two distinct blood supplies. The hepatic artery conveys oxygenated blood containing essential materials to the liver, while the portal vein brings nutrient-filled blood from the stomach and intestines for processing.

The liver acts like a sorting center, taking the blood from the digestive system and determining which nutrients should be processed, what should be stored, what should be eliminated via the stool, and what should go back into the blood. An estimated 13 percent of the body’s blood can be found circulating in the liver at any given time.

There are many types of diseases that can affect the liver and its functions. One such disease is cirrhosis of the liver where scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. This disease can be caused by long-term excessive use of alchohol, obesity, chronic hepatitis, or several rare genetic diseases. Chirrhosis can have serious complications that negatively impact quality of life and longevity. People with this condition also have a much higher risk of developing liver cancer.

At the present time, deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer are skyrocketing in the United States, especially among younger people. Many, if not most, of these deaths are completely preventable with life style changes.

Article source: http://www.enterprisepub.com/public/liver-is-crucial-to-good-health/article_5801c8c4-1352-11e9-9e64-4f8fcd2a45b2.html

NOPD: 10-year-old boy kidnapped from Algiers home

NEW ORLEANS —

The New Orleans Police Department originally reported a boy was kidnapped outside of his Algiers home Sunday, but later said he was not kidnapped and was found in good health.

Officials have not released any other information surrounding this incident.

In an original report, officials said a boy was taken from outside his Algiers home. The boy’s mother told her he was going to put trash in the bin in front of the residence.

His mother said around 3:03 p.m. she looked in the home for her son, but could not locate him. She said she called his cell phone and did not get an answer, but shortly after, received a text message from his phone stating he was kidnapped from outside his residence.

Sunday night, NOPD released another update saying the boy was never kidnapped and is in good health.

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Article source: https://www.wdsu.com/article/nopd-10-year-old-kidnapped-from-algiers-home/25882342

Art can be good for your health – Herald

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Article source: https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/life/columns/art-can-be-good-for-your-health/article_d6a7a5fd-4208-5844-acaa-ee226bec33ab.html

Your Good Health: Former drug addict endures pain, fatigue

Dear Dr. Roach: I’m in recovery from addiction to opioids, benzodiazepines and cocaine, which I used for up to three years. I have been clean and sober for almost a year now, yet I continue to suffer from headaches, muscle aches, insomnia, excessive fatigue and worsening anxiety and depression. Oftentimes, I feel worse now than I did when I was actively using drugs. It makes staying sober very hard, and I wonder why I bother most of the time, since I feel terrible and my quality of life is poor. I’ve visited my family doctor several times and was told that I shouldn’t be suffering any symptoms of physical withdrawal anymore. The doctor prescribed Seroquel. I have had routine bloodwork done to rule out any other issues, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, and I appear to be physically healthy, yet I feel awful. From speaking to other addicts in recovery, I believe I have post-acute withdrawal syndrome, yet there seems to be very little knowledge or treatment for it (aside from trying different kinds of antidepressants and being told to go for a walk). Do you have any additional insight you can offer me?

N.E.

Congratulations on successfully being in recovery.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a controversial topic, with some doctors feeling it is just withdrawal, and some payers feeling that it’s a made-up syndrome designed by practitioners to keep people in treatment longer. Although there may be a small element of truth in both of these criticisms, I think that PAWS is a real phenomenon for a subset of people who have stopped abusing substances. Although opiates, alcohol and stimulants are best-described to cause PAWS, nearly any substance that is overused can lead to withdrawal, and withdrawal symptoms sometimes can be protracted.

PAWS is more than just cravings. People who have successfully quit smoking say that they continue to have cravings decades after quitting. In PAWS, the symptoms are more like acute withdrawal symptoms, including dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting. In most reported cases, symptoms can go on for up to a year (occasionally more). While looking for thyroid disease or diabetes is simple and rational, extensive searching for other causes can make people affected by this syndrome more anxious, and the search is unlikely to be successful.

The risk of PAWS seems to be increased in people who took larger doses, used for a long period of time, took the substance multiple times daily, or quit suddenly (“cold turkey”).

Treatment for PAWS may include medications; however, because the syndrome is poorly defined, there hasn’t been much research on what drug treatment might be effective.

Quetiapine (Seroquel) is a powerful anti-psychotic drug that should not be used lightly. Commonsense approaches, such as regular moderate exercise, healthy nutrition and good sleep habits, can’t hurt, but they are not likely to solve any serious mental health problem by themselves.

I sense that you may feel your concerns are not taken seriously. The best advice is probably a mental health professional well-versed in substance abuse.

Sometimes, just some reassurance that the symptoms are due to prolonged withdrawal and that they eventually will go away can provide relief. Further, knowing that the symptoms are likely to be temporary can make staying drug-free a little bit easier.

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 ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.
 

Article source: https://www.timescolonist.com/life/health/your-good-health-former-drug-addict-endures-pain-fatigue-1.23590969