Posts Categorized: News

World Sepsis Day: Learn to Spot the Signs

Tomorrow is World Sepsis Day, an opportunity to turn the spotlight on a devastating disease that is common but unfamiliar. Once it takes hold, up to a third of patients die from it, says the Sepsis Alliance. In fact, sepsis kills more Americans every year than breast cancer, colon cancer and HIV/AIDS combined, yet most Americans… Read more »

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Prenatal exposure to alcohol is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disorders in the US, according to the National Institutes of Health. Drinking during pregnancy can cause a wide range of disabilities–intellectual disabilities, speech and language delays, poor social skills or fetal alcohol syndrome–that last a lifetime. International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders… Read more »

Alarming Increase in Ambien Emergencies

Emergency department visits due to over-medication with zolpidem (commonly called Ambien) almost doubled between 2005-06 and 2009-10, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The agency recently issued a report on 2005 to 2010 findings from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). DAWN monitors drug-related morbidity and mortality through reports from… Read more »

Allergic Reactions to Acne Products: What You Should Know

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning about severe allergic reactions to acne products that can cause irritation and be potentially life-threatening. The risk of such severe reactions may be small, but the FDA is correct to warn consumers. Serious allergic reactions to acne products have been reported and differ significantly… Read more »

Parkinson’s Disease, Depression and Dopamine

Yesterday’s revelation that the late Robin Williams had Parkinson’s disease (PD) has raised questions about links between PD and depression. Parkinson’s disease is a complex motor-system disorder. Its underlying cause is a deterioration in parts of the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. (A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical that allows one brain cell to… Read more »

A New Colorectal Screening Test

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new colorectal screening test called Cologuard. The Cologuard test (or assay) can check stool samples for DNA alterations/abnormalities that are known to happen with colorectal cancer and polyps. This is an exciting new tool that could increase the number of patients who get screened for… Read more »

Should We Have a Tobacco-Free Military?

Do US military service members need tobacco? Many think so, and say it is built in to the “warrior culture.” Despite tobacco’s distinction as the leading cause of preventable death, disease and disability in the US, smoking and chewing it is more socially acceptable in the military than in civilian circles. In fact, nearly 30… Read more »

Fast Food Could Change the Human Race

We know fast food can change individual health. Now it looks like it can affect our future in a bigger way: Routinely eating fast food could permanently alter our internal ecology and DNA, according to a new study published in Nutrition Journal. Besides its association with chronic health issues like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes… Read more »

Body Image Problems Start Early

Conflicting messages about body image are in the news again. This week, a reality TV star’s Instagram post showed her wearing her 4-year-old daughter’s pajamas. The image prompted conflicting responses. Some took the photo as an innocent, playful act between mother and daughter. Others considered it a dysfunctional interpretation of the 40-something celebrity’s body image… Read more »

Don’t Write Off Annual Pelvic Exams

Annual pelvic exams are useful for gynecologists to diagnose issues like incontinence and sexual dysfunction, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said yesterday. The group was responding to the American College of Physicians’ new recommendation against annual pelvic exams for women at low risk and with no symptoms. Scientific evidence doesn’t prove or… Read more »