Health & Spirit

Herbal treatment for anxiety

Health / Health & Fitness /

Several herbal remedies have been studied as a treatment for anxiety, but more research is needed to understand the risks and benefits. Here's what we know -- and don't know:

--Kava. Kava appeared to be a promising treatment for anxiety, but reports of serious liver damage -- even with short-term use -- caused the Food and Drug Administration ...Read more

Transplanted livers help body defend against organ rejection, study finds

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ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Transplanted livers change the profile of blood cells in the recipients, reducing the potential for organ rejection, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings are published in Kidney International.

For decades, transplant experts have observed that liver transplant recipients often need less anti-rejection medication, known ...Read more

Drug test spurs frank talk between hypertension patients and doctors

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There's an irony at the heart of the treatment of high blood pressure. The malady itself often has no symptoms, yet the medicines to treat it -- and to prevent a stroke or heart attack later -- can make people feel crummy.

"It's not that you don't want to take it, because you know it's going to help you. But it's the getting used to it," said ...Read more

Almost 1 in 3 patients used no opioids prescribed after surgery, survey finds

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ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Nearly a third of patients responding to a Mayo Clinic survey said they used none of the opioids they were prescribed after surgery. The research findings, presented April 19 at the American Surgical Association annual meeting, also show that only about 8 percent of patients disposed of their remaining opioids.

The ...Read more

Hospital emergency rooms in Maryland struggle with flood of patients with mental health, substance-use issues

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Twelve-year-old Kristine Williams has logged a lot of time in the emergency room since she was diagnosed with mental health conditions about four years ago. But she has not been treated during any of her visits.

Mostly, the Elkton girl sits and waits -- for up to 24 hours a visit -- as hospital staff search for appropriate care elsewhere.

...Read more

Night owls might face more health issues and early

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Bad news, night owls.

Evening types have a 10 percent higher risk of dying than those up and at 'em in the morning, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine and the United Kingdom's University of Surrey.

"This is the first study, to our knowledge, that was able to look at mortality risk," said Kristen Knutson, an associate professor...Read more

Liver transplants are better all around when you hold the ice

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To preserve more livers for transplant patients who desperately need them, surgeons should take newly harvested organs out of their ice baths and immerse them instead in a warm, nutrient-rich soup, new research suggests.

In a head-to-head comparison of the two methods, preserving donor livers in conditions that mimic a living body resulted in ...Read more

How to be smarter about buying organic

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You see the labels out there -- organic, cage-free, natural -- but what does it all mean?

If you're trying to make better shopping choices for the environment by choosing "greener" or ethically made products, you're going to be bombarded by dozens of labels purporting to measure up to a certain standard, and probably charging more money for the...Read more

Don't be surprised if your doctor asks you about guns

Health / Health & Fitness /

By now you are probably used to the probing questions your doctor asks during your annual checkup.

How have you been sleeping lately? Any increased stress at work? Problems at home? Have you engaged in any risky sexual activity?

Don't be surprised if, in the future, the questioning turns to guns.

With gun violence on the rise over the past ...Read more

Women's wellness: Understanding depression and the gender gap

Health / Health & Fitness /

Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. Depression can occur at any age.

Some mood changes and depressed feelings occur with normal hormonal changes. But hormonal changes alone don't cause depression. Other biological factors, inherited traits, and personal life circumstances and experiences are associated with ...Read more

What we know and don't know about memory loss after surgery

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Two years ago, Dr. Daniel Cole's 85-year-old father had heart bypass surgery. He hasn't been quite the same since.

"He forgets things and will ask you the same thing several times," said Cole, a professor of clinical anesthesiology at UCLA and a past president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

"He never got back to his cognitive ...Read more

4 health foods that are actually bad for you

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Healthy living can be harder than it sounds. You know you should exercise more and eat more nutritious food, of course, but did you also know that just because a food calls itself "healthy" doesn't mean it is? Ditto calling something vegan or calling it carb-free. You have to look beyond the labels and check out the ingredients to see which ...Read more

Walmart and CVS have 15,000 combined stores. Why are both trying to buy health insurance companies?

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The economics of healthcare in America is making for some strange bedfellows. CVS, the behemoth pharmacy chain, plans to buy Aetna, a 22-million member health insurer, for $69 billion. Less than two weeks ago, it became public that Walmart, where one in four Americans shop each week, is considering an acquisition of another insurer, Humana.

Why...Read more

When it comes to longevity, better late is a nonstarter

Health / Health & Fitness /

Night owls beware: A new study of mortality rates of nearly half a million people finds that individuals who strongly preferred to stay up late were more likely to be dead at the end of a six-and-a-half-year period.

The findings, described in the journal Chronobiology International, offer the first study linking mortality risk to night-owl ...Read more

New definition of Alzheimer's changes how disease is researched

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When you think of dementia, most people automatically think of Alzheimer's disease, too. But, under a new definition of Alzheimer's, the two terms no longer will be considered interchangeable.

The new definition is part of a new framework for researching Alzheimer's disease that the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institute on Aging ...Read more

What ails America? The answer varies from state to state

Health / Health & Fitness /

The state of the union's health is improving. But it is doing so very unequally, and recent signs of progress are in danger of being reversed by diseases of excess and despair, including obesity, depression, suicide and substance abuse.

Those are the broad conclusions of a new roundup of Americans' vital signs published Tuesday in the Journal ...Read more

Mississippi's Medicaid work requirement would cause 20,000 to lose coverage

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WASHINGTON--An estimated 20,000 poor parents in Mississippi would lose health coverage over five years under a state proposal to require Medicaid recipients to work for their benefits, researchers at Georgetown University reported Tuesday.

Childless adults aren't eligible for coverage under Medicaid in Mississippi, where children, seniors, low-...Read more

Calif. bill would put state in charge of prices in commercial health care market

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- In one of the most aggressive efforts in the nation to curb soaring health care spending, a California measure introduced Monday would put the state in charge of setting prices for hospital stays, doctor's visits and most other medical services covered by commercial insurers.

The bill, backed by labor unions and consumer ...Read more

Mayo Clinic minute: Daytime sleepiness linked to Alzheimer's

Health / Health & Fitness /

Do you catch yourself yawning during the day and yearning for an afternoon nap? You could be at more risk for Alzheimer's disease. A recent study published in JAMA Neurology found a potential link between excessive daytime sleepiness and the memory loss disease. Researchers took a look at imaging scans of the brains of several hundred patients ...Read more