Health & Spirit

Rising access to substance abuse treatment faces shortage of counselors

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Changes to health care law in the past year gave millions of Americans access to mental health and substance abuse treatment, but did nothing to address a shortage of professionals who can provide that care.

Experts say the shortage of providers has reached "crisis" levels, and there is little indication that their numbers will ...Read more

Daily Soda - Of Any Kind - Increases Diabetes Risk

Health / Health & Fitness /

A comprehensive study of European adults has found that compared with people who drink a single sugar-sweetened drink daily, those who drink water, coffee or tea instead are at 14 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The research found that drinking sugar-sweetened milk products was an even more powerful driver of diabetes; ...Read more

A $15 billion cure can't fix veteran health care at US agency

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- Leaders of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs asked Congress for more than $15 billion to end long wait times for medical care for tens of thousands of vets. They got the money, but little has changed.

The agency has been slow to spend the funds, and instead of speedier care for the former soldiers the holdups have persisted....Read more

Bulletproof spreading the notion that butter coffee is healthy

Health / Health & Fitness /

If you were wearing a blindfold while trying your first cup of Bulletproof Coffee, you might have trouble figuring out what makes it so different.

There's a faint nuttiness to the taste, redolent of coconut. And an impossible richness that makes you feel like you're drinking a fluffy down pillow, if such a thing were possible. The secret ...Read more

DIY: An easy-to-make sugar scrub to help exfoliate your skin

Health / Health & Fitness /

For those of us who've been living in a box (or under the fluorescent lights of a windowless office, as the case may be) and were otherwise unaware: It's officially sandal season -- or will be soon depending on your geographic locale.

Some recent warm weather and the beautiful sunshine prompted me to set aside the running shoes and whip out my ...Read more

Green smiley faces entice kids to eat vegetables, ditch chocolate milk

Health / Health & Fitness /

Crusaders in the fight against childhood obesity have discovered a powerful new weapon -- the green smiley-faced emoticon.

When placed near cartons of plain nonfat milk in school cafeterias, the proportion of kids who put them on their trays skyrocketed from 7.4 percent to 48 percent, researchers reported this week. That's an increase of 549 ...Read more

New splint procedure helps young boy with severe breathing condition

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PITTSBURGH--A momentary glance at a news story led Meghan Orbich to the operation that would save her son's life.

Orbich, 35, of Oakmont, was scrolling through the web last year while her son Ian was in Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, still struggling to breathe despite two open heart operations, a surgical opening in his throat, and...Read more

8-year-old leukemia patient races to set record for high-fiving

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MINNEAPOLIS -- As 8-year-old Molly Vergin was preparing to try to break the world record for the most high-fives in one minute, no one was concerned about the magnitude of the challenge: to complete 261 hand slaps in 60 seconds.

For her parents, the memories of Molly struggling against the debilitating effects of her leukemia chemotherapy were ...Read more

App addresses challenges women face trying to quit smoking

Health / Health & Fitness /

PHOENIX – When it comes to quitting smoking, women may need some extra motivation, researchers say.

"Women are more likely to gain weight than men when they quit smoking, and women have more difficulty losing weight when they gain it," said Judith Gordon, associate professor with the Department of Family and Community Medicine and associate ...Read more

Hi-fidelity earplugs aim to preserve both hearing, sound quality

Health / Health & Fitness /

PITTSBURGH -- For a long time, music lovers have been forced to make a choice: Go to concerts and fully hear the music while probably incurring permanent hearing damage, or wear earplugs that protect their hearing while distorting the sound of the music.

Enter high-fidelity earplugs, which are designed to preserve both sound quality and a ...Read more

The myths and modern aids for determining ovulation

Health / Health & Fitness /

Like many of today's moms, Faith Kirkpatrick waited until she was in her 30s before she tried to get pregnant. Then she knew her biological clock was ticking.

"I'm a planner," said Kirkpatrick, 34, of New Rochelle, N.Y. "So once my husband and I made the decision, I wanted to get pregnant quickly."

With the help of an ovulation test called ...Read more

Promising Ebola drug protects rhesus monkeys

Health / Health & Fitness /

The newly refined version of a medication that showed early promise against the Ebola virus has proved highly effective in a small group of monkeys infected with the strain of Ebola responsible for the recent epidemic in Western Africa.

The experimental treatment, called TKM Ebola, is a version of a biologic medication made by the Canadian ...Read more

Medicaid gap: Choosing between dinner and a medical test

Health / Health & Fitness /

MIAMI --Cynthia Louis sees the bus bench advertising "Obamacare" near her Miami home as a reminder of a broken promise: that the Affordable Care Act would help her get the medical care she needs to return to work.

Louis, 57, has been unemployed since fall of 2013. Before then, the mother of three worked for Burger King for nearly 25 years, ...Read more

Hear, hear! Getting teen musicians to wear earplugs is a challenge

Health / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO -- For New Trier High School sophomore Sophia Pellar, a pair of special earplugs recently donated by a North Shore audiologist has put an end to the pain she suffered when playing flute in the pep band.

Still, the Mozart-loving north suburban Kenilworth teen giggles nervously when she explains that the earplugs -- tethered by a bright ...Read more

Research indicates our skin color is evolutionary gateway to vitamin D

Health / Health & Fitness /

PITTSBURGH -- All over the world, millions of people see skin color as a symbol of superiority or inferiority, whether they are conscious of it or not.

Others see humanity's array of skin tones, from white to ocher to black, as a positive mark of our remarkable diversity.

But Nina Jablonski sees skin color, first and foremost, as an ...Read more

For one patient and possibly for many, cancer trial shows promising results

Health / Health & Fitness /

SEATTLE--A year ago, Meagan Mullanix was waiting to see whether the experimental therapy would work, whether her own genetically reprogrammed immune-system cells could truly target and destroy the cancer that nearly killed her.

Today, the 23-year-old returning college student is cancer-free, with no evidence of the acute lymphoblastic leukemia,...Read more

Weight-conscious smokers less likely to try quitting, study shows

Health / Health & Fitness /

American women who believe smoking helps control weight are less likely than other female smokers to try quitting in response to higher cigarette prices and anti-smoking messages, a new study finds.

"We found that concerns about weight are a significant barrier to quitting among U.K. smokers and U.S. female smokers who believe smoking helps ...Read more

Republicans drop battle to do away with Obamacare

Health / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON -- After five years and more than 50 votes in Congress, the Republican campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act is essentially over.

Republican congressional leaders, unable to roll back the law while President Barack Obama remains in office and unwilling to again threaten a government shutdown to pressure him, are focused on other...Read more

UnitedHealth shares up 3 percent as earnings top Wall Street estimates

Health / Health & Fitness /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Strong performance at the company's health services unit drove better-than-expected first-quarter results at UnitedHealth Group, company officials said Thursday.

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth is the nation's largest health insurer. The company during the period ending March 31 added more than 1 million people to coverage through ...Read more

Florida governor sues feds over health care money, Medicaid expansion

Health / Health & Fitness /

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Republican Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday he will sue the federal government for allegedly coercing Florida to expand Medicaid.

"It is appalling that President Obama would cut off federal health care dollars to Florida in an effort to force our state further into Obamacare," Scott said in a statement.

The announcement ...Read more