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Want free, at-home COVID-19 tests from pharmacies and insurers? It's not always easy, despite requirements

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO -- Some Illinois residents say they’re still having trouble getting free at-home COVID-19 tests from pharmacies and insurance companies, more than three months after the White House began requiring insurers to cover them.

President Joe Biden’s administration announced in January, amid an intense COVID-19 surge, that health insurance...Read more

Ready to eat soups

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

A steaming bowl of soup is the perfect meal for a chilly, damp day. But the time required for it to simmer for hours on the stovetop is a luxury we don’t always have. Ready-to-eat soup to the rescue! Prepared soups, however, are one of the highest sodium-containing foods at the grocery store. Fortunately, many soup companies have been ...Read more

5 foods with more calcium than a glass of milk

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

When it comes to calcium, the first food that probably comes to mind is cow’s milk. Undoubtedly, cow’s milk is an excellent source of calcium, with 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) providing 309 milligrams, or 24% of your daily value. Calcium is vital for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth and ensuring the heart, nerves and muscles ...Read more

Can wearing contacts harm your vision?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Since I first started wearing contacts decades ago, they seemed like a minor miracle. Not having to wear glasses made driving, sports and everyday life better.

But then I’d see the occasional report of sight-threatening infections and other problems related to contact lens use. These were alarming, to say the least — almost enough to ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: Treatment for vaginal dryness for menopausal women

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I began menopause about two years ago at age 52. I am noticing that I am beginning to experience vaginal dryness. Is this normal? Is there anything that can be done about it? I have tried using over-the-counter lubricants, and they don’t help much.

ANSWER: Vaginal dryness is common in women who are approaching menopause and ...Read more

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After medical bills broke the bank, this family headed to Mexico for care

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

The Fierro family of Yuma, Arizona, had a string of bad medical luck that started in December 2020.

That’s when Jesús Fierro Sr. was admitted to the hospital with a serious COVID-19 infection. He spent 18 days at Yuma Regional Medical Center, where he lost 60 pounds. He came home weak and dependent on an oxygen tank.

Then, in June 2021, his...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Mental health needs rise as pandemic fluctuates

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

As COVID-19 infection cases continue to fluctuate, one area that medical experts continue to see an increased need for is mental health care.

Primary care physicians are often the first stop for many patients who seek help with their mental health. Dr. Jay-Sheree Allen, a family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic, says that's one of the main ...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Using lasers on the brain to treat seizures

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

For roughly a third of people with epilepsy, medication does not control their seizures. Depending on where those seizures originate in the brain, laser therapy can be an option for adults and children.

It's treatment for epileptic seizures that uses a laser on the brain.

"LITT is 'laser interstitial thermal therapy,'" says Dr. Jamie Van ...Read more

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Mayo Clinic Q and A: To brace or not to brace

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I love being active, playing tennis, bowling, hiking and shooting hoops with my grandkids. I have arthritis in my ankle and wonder if wearing a brace would prevent injury and maybe even relieve the aches and pains I have after activities.

ANSWER: Braces, not only for the ankle, but also the knee and wrist, provide support, as ...Read more

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Mayo Clinic expert calls for public health measures to improve diet, reduce cancer risk

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A review article by Mayo Clinic researchers emphasizes that early onset colorectal cancer, defined as being diagnosed when younger than 50, continues to steadily increase in the U.S. and other higher income countries. This increase, along with a decline in later-onset cases due primarily to screening have shifted the median ...Read more

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Diet tips during cancer treatment

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

AUSTIN, Minn. ― People eat to fuel their body. This gives patients strength and stamina to power through the day.

At no time is this more important than when a person is undergoing treatment for cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments, whether lifesaving or life-preserving, can take a toll on a person's body and significantly affect the...Read more

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Consumer Health: 4 types of head and neck cancers

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Head and neck cancers account for nearly 4% of all cancers in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute. These cancers are more than twice as common among men as women, and are diagnosed more often among people over 50.

Among the many types of head and neck cancers are these four:

Esthesioneuroblastoma

This is a rare type of ...Read more

Tyger Williams/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Violent crime leaves invisible injuries. Philly hospital staffers use their life stories to help heal them

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

PHILADELPHIA -- Waltkeem Jenkins still feels traumatized after being jumped five times as a teenager in South Philadelphia, and robbed once at gunpoint.

His hardship, though, gives him credibility with patients at Philadelphia hospitals trying to better treat the lingering wounds of violent crime.

As Philadelphia endures another year of near-...Read more

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Adults over 50 now qualify for Medi-Cal in California regardless of immigration status

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced that, beginning May 1, the state’s low-income health insurance would extend full coverage to all qualifying people who are 50 or older, regardless of immigration status.

The Medi-Cal expansion is expected to provide full coverage to more than 185,000 Californians, ...Read more

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Ask the Pediatrician: Should children still wear face masks on planes and trains?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Q: Now that airlines have dropped mask mandates, is it OK to let my kids travel without masks?

A: The judge’s ruling striking down the federal mask mandate on public transportation and in transit hubs and the subsequent appeal by the Justice Department have created confusion about whether flying or riding the train is safe without a mask.

I ...Read more

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Tech titans want the richest Californians to pay for pandemic preparedness

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gabe Bankman-Fried, a former Wall Street trader, has raised $12 million from a cryptocurrency trading firm founded by his brother, Sam Bankman-Fried. Dustin Moskovitz, a billionaire who roomed with Mark Zuckerberg in college and helped found Facebook in 2004, funds a nonprofit with his wife that has ponied up $6.5 million....Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Phillip Hanks celebrates his transplant-aversary with 5 new organs

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO -- One year ago, Phillip Hanks was enduring the first of two surgeries. One was almost eight hours to give him a new intestine, stomach, liver and pancreas. The following day, Hanks was back on the operating table to get a kidney.

Hanks, a father of six, received a multivisceral transplant — a simultaneous transplant of multiple ...Read more

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'I just need a space to cry.' How hospitals have set up places where nurses can recharge

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

MIAMI -- Caring for very sick children daily can be emotionally taxing, even for professionals with years of experience. As front-line workers who also support grieving parents, nurses often cope with chronic stress.

To help support their nurses, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital recently created two serenity spaces in the oncology and ICU ...Read more

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Expert Alert: Mayo Clinic expert shares tips for good outcomes after hip, knee replacement surgery

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Total hip and knee replacement surgeries are among the most commonly performed operations in the U.S., with an estimated 1 million of these procedures performed each year. Demand for these surgeries also has been rising globally.

Patients can make lifestyle changes before surgery to improve their chances of successful ...Read more