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You've added your kids to your health plan. What about Mom?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When Laura Chavez’s 74-year-old mom needed eye surgery last month, Chavez paid cash for the procedure.

The cost? $15,000 — and that was for just one eye. She couldn’t afford both.

Her mom, Esperanza Chavez, doesn’t qualify for Medicare because of her immigration status. And she can’t find a private health ...Read more

Heidi de Marco/TNS

COVID fears keep many Latino kids out of classrooms

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

LOS ANGELES — For the past year, 13-year-old twins Ariel Jr. and Abraham Osorio have logged on to their online classes from their parents’ flower shop. Ariel nestles in a corner among flowers, bows and stuffed animals. Abraham sets up on a small table in the back, where his dad used to work trimming flowers and keeping the books.

It’s not...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ask the Pediatrician: How old should my children be before we adopt a pet?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Q: Should my children be a certain age before we adopt a dog or cat?

A: Having a cat or dog can be emotionally rewarding for children and adults, and owning a dog also can get the family out of the house for fresh air and exercise on daily walks.

The age of your children is one factor to consider when adopting a dog or cat. Generally, because ...Read more

Jesse Costa/TNS

'I just feel like myself': A nonbinary child in their own words

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

It’s 7:30 a.m. on a school day. Two parents are racing to get their three young children dressed, fed, packed for the day, into coats and out the door when 6-year-old Hallel runs downstairs, crying.

Ari, Hallel’s father, is the first to ask “What’s wrong?”

The answer launched a journey these parents never envisioned, described by ...Read more

Karl Merton Ferron/TNS

Psychedelic drugs could help treat mental health problems. But can you get there without the trip?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

For years, scientists have been looking into turning so-called “magic mushrooms” as a treatment for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and other health problems.

But progress has been slow, in part because the benefits seemed dependent on having potentially dangerous mind-altering psychedelic experiences that often ...Read more

Andrei Rahalski/TNS

Consumer health: Bladder cancer awareness

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn more about bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers. Nearly 84,000 new cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2021, according to the American Cancer Society. Bladder cancer occurs in men more frequently than in women, and the risk increases with...Read more

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Newsom proposes health care for seniors without legal immigration status, but Democrats want more

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

California would allow seniors living in the country illegally to apply for the state's health care program for low-income residents under Gov. Gavin Newsom's revised budget proposal unveiled Friday.

The $859-million expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility to cover adults 60 or older regardless of immigration status comes as the state's coffers have ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Commentary: How to change an American medical system that harms Black maternal health

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

The current state of Black maternal health in the United States is a grim indication that we as a country have lost our way.

The U.S. ranks last overall among industrialized countries with a maternal death rate of 20.1 per 100,000 pregnancies, and the rate is rising. The crisis for people of color in this country is even more acute. Despite ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Consumer health: Stroke awareness

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn more about stroke.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and a major cause of serious disability for adults. More than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stroke risk ...Read more

Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch/TNS

'I know what they're going through:' Husband's death prompts former teacher to become nurse

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As Brad McGee battled pancreatic cancer — the same disease that took his mother in 2011 — the nurses that he and his family encountered made an incredible impact.

Especially for his wife, Kara McGee.

“When we went to the oncology office, those nurses were the people we interacted with the most,” McGee said. “Those ...Read more

Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/AFP via Getty Images/TNS

Mayo Clinic Q And A: What is extracorporeal membrane oxygenation?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My uncle was diagnosed with COVID-19, and his doctors mentioned the possibility of putting him on ECMO. What does this mean?

ANSWER: A COVID-19 infection can lead to mild symptoms for many people, but for others, it can cause life-threatening lung failure.

In cases like your uncle's, traditional life support measures, such as...Read more

Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/TNS

Why you shouldn't forgo your second COVID-19 vaccine dose

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

More than 35% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And for anyone who receives the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, two doses are required to complete the series and be fully vaccinated.

The CDC released a study earlier this year that revealed nearly 5% ...Read more

Andrei Rahalski/TNS

Consumer health: Bladder cancer awareness

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn more about bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers. Nearly 84,000 new cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2021, according to the American Cancer Society. Bladder cancer occurs in men more frequently than in women, and the risk increases with...Read more

Haley Honeysett/TNS

Masks at the campfire: Summer camps for kids with medical needs adapt to COVID

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Olivia Klassen’s face lights up when she talks about summer camp. She loves to do the scavenger hunt with her camp friends. She also loves paddleboarding, swimming in the lake and “kitchen raids.” But what she loves most is being surrounded by kids who, just like her, have Type 1 diabetes — which allows her to focus on having fun instead...Read more

Stephen M. Dowell/TNS

Back from the brink: a COVID survivor's story

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

ORLANDO, Fla. – On Halloween night 2020, Dr. Anthony Tucker woke up in a Palm Coast intensive care unit with the blurry figures of his wife and two teenage sons across the room. They wore what looked like spacesuits.

“Am I hallucinating?” he wondered, trying to piece together the few facts he could recall of the preceding days.

He ...Read more

Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Doctors fear COVID-19 vaccines are messing with mammograms

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

After more than a year of anxious waiting, women newly vaccinated against COVID-19 are flocking back to mammography clinics to catch up on routine tests that were delayed by the pandemic. In some cases, they're met with one more pandemic surprise: a false red flag for breast cancer.

Like a sore arm or slight fever, lymph nodes enlarged by the ...Read more

Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch/TNS

Having anxiety about returning to normal after the pandemic? Here's how to deal with it

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a slew of mental health issues when it started nearly a year ago, and as the virus recedes it's likely to do so again.

Although a full return to pre-pandemic life may be months or even a year away, Dr. Tanya Middleton is already hearing from clients about the stresses and anxieties of returning ...Read more

GRAEME JENNINGS/AFP/TNS

Democrats unveil bill to expand immigrant health care access

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

WASHINGTON — A group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday are introducing legislation that would make health care coverage more accessible to immigrants, citing the ongoing pandemic and its impact on immigrant front-line workers.

The bill would lift a current five-year waiting period legal immigrants must undergo before enrolling in Medicaid ...Read more

HSA contribution limits for 2022 are out

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

You might not be thinking about next year’s health insurance yet, but the IRS just released inflation-adjusted amounts that will apply to health savings accounts (HSAs) in 2022.

HSAs are becoming more popular each year in part because of the tax breaks that come with them. For instance, you can deduct contributions to an HSA (even if you don�...Read more

How to buy the healthiest hot dogs

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, hot dogs are a cookout staple. So, if you’re in charge of the shopping, here’s what to keep in mind to pick franks that are reasonably healthy and tasty.

The biggest stumbling block is sodium. Several dogs on the market have over 600 mg — and that’s before the bun and condiments. Plus, know the terms on ...Read more