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A bird flu primer: What to know and do

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

A bird flu strain that began circulating in 2020 continues to evolve globally and locally within the United States. If you’re wondering what this means, understanding the basics — what bird flu is, how it spreads, whether foods are safe, and prevention tips — can help. More information will come in as scientists learn more, so stay tuned. ...Read more

Mayo Clinic Q&A: African Americans and heart health

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am an African American woman in her 40s. I recently had a well-woman checkup done and was told that I also should have a cardiac workup. Although I don’t eat as healthy as I should and high blood pressure and cholesterol run in my family, I have not begun menopause yet. Why do I need to be concerned about heart disease now?...Read more

Bloody Hot

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

New research indicates that when temperatures climb above 100 F, heat can cause restricted blood flow and boost heart attack risk.

In a study, volunteers wore special suits that slowly raised the surrounding temperature. All the participants experienced increased blood flow with more heat, a sign that their hearts were working harder, in part...Read more

Sandy West for KFF Health News/KFF Health News/TNS

Despite past storms' lessons, long-term care residents again left powerless

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

HOUSTON — As Tina Kitzmiller sat inside her sweltering apartment, windows and doors open in the hope of catching even the slightest breeze, she was frustrated and worried for her dog and her neighbors.

It had been days since Hurricane Beryl blew ashore from the Gulf of Mexico on July 8, causing widespread destruction and knocking out power to...Read more

(Kytja Weir/KFF Health News)/KFF Health News//TNS

Why the election may slow plans to replace lead pipes

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

With the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest — and strictest — plan to minimize the risk of Americans drinking lead-contaminated water on the horizon, the debate over whether the rules go too far or not nearly far enough is reaching a tipping point.

Although lead was banned from new water service lines in 1986, it’s estimated that ...Read more

Brett Kelman/Lisa Schmidt/TNS

'A bottomless pit': How out-of-pocket TMJ costs drive patients into debt

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Over three decades of relentless pain, Jonna Tallant has tried about every TMJ treatment: mouthguards, six sets of braces, dental crowns and appliances, drugs, physical therapy, Botox, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and surgery.

Nothing has helped. Tallant, 51, of Knoxville, Tennessee, said she lives in agony and cannot eat any food ...Read more

Petr Kirillov/Dreamstime/TNS

How tapering maximizes your potential on marathon day

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

The taper is an essential aspect of training that many new runners need to remember to incorporate into their training program. Tapering means reducing your training load before a competition to optimize performance on race day. It's the rest period before race day to reduce the effects of muscle fatigue brought on by months of rigorous training...Read more

Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Grad student uses animation to create an online community for abuse survivors

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO — Nitya Mehrotra uses her skills as an animator to create more than just art — she’s building a community.

The Chicago grad student is the founder of an online platform called Stories by Strangers that supports the physically and mentally abused.

Mehrotra, 23, created the safe space for abuse survivors to anonymously share their ...Read more

Statin Causes Muscle Pain In Patient With High Blood Pressure

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I had a CT calcium scan, and my score was 530. My doctor said that this was high, so he put me on a statin (Lipitor). But it debilitated me with so much muscle pain that I had to stop. I am wondering if there is something other than a statin to help lower cholesterol. My doctor told me to go on the Mediterranean-style diet, ...Read more

Fish tales -- and tails

What do whole anchovies, sardines, smelt and herring offer you that you can't get from a filet of sole? Bones, head, organs and other inside treasures that contain micronutrients like zinc, selenium, and magnesium and a good dose of calcium, and vitamins B12, D and niacin. Sardines, for example, also deliver almost 25 grams of protein in every 3...Read more

Scott Olson/Getty Images North America/TNS

CDC: Heat may have contributed to 4 human cases of bird flu in Colorado

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Heat probably played a role in at least four cases of bird flu in poultry workers confirmed by U.S. health officials Sunday — the first cases in poultry workers in two years.

Sweltering temperatures in Colorado rose to at least 104 degrees in recent days, which is suspected to have contributed to the human cases, according to Dr. Nirav Shah, ...Read more

Pratchaya Leelapatchayanont/Dreamstime/TNS

5 cases of bird flu reported in Colorado poultry workers, doubling this year's US tally

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Five people who work at a poultry farm in northeastern Colorado have tested positive for the bird flu, the Colorado public health department reported July 14. This brings the known number of U.S. cases to nine.

The five people were likely infected by chickens, which they had been tasked with killing in response to a bird flu outbreak at the ...Read more

DREAMSTIME/TNS

Attention parents: Your teens aren't coping nearly as well as you think they are

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

LOS ANGELES — Most U.S. teens aren't always getting the social and emotional support they need, and most of their parents have no idea, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a nationwide survey conducted after the most isolating period of the COVID-19 pandemic, only 28% of adolescents between the ...Read more

Nutrition Facts labels have a complicated legacy – a historian explains the science and politics of translating food into information

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

The Nutrition Facts label, that black and white information box found on nearly every packaged food product in the U.S. since 1994, has recently become an icon for consumer transparency.

From Apple’s “Privacy Nutrition Labels” that disclose how smartphone apps handle user data, to a “Garment Facts” label that standardizes ...Read more

Jireh Deng/Los Angeles Times/TNS

'We've created medical refugees.' LGBTQ+ health care workers fight for gender-affirming care amid rise in anti-trans laws

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

LOS ANGELES -- Nico Olalia had just finished her initial nurse training in the Philippines when she realized her aspirations were growing bigger than her home archipelago.

"There are a lot of trans Filipinos, but they're always known in the beauty industry, and they're very seldom found in the professional side," Olalia said.

So she moved ...Read more

(Kristina Barker for KFF Health News)/KFF HEALTH NEWS/TNS

If lawsuit ends federal mandates on birth control coverage, states will have the say

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

David Engler had been pretty sure he didn’t want children. Then a frustrating school day two years ago helped seal the deal for the now 43-year-old substitute teacher.

“It was wild. I had to call the office seven times to get kids pulled out,” he said. “The next day, I called Kaiser and said, ‘I’d like to know how much a vasectomy ...Read more

Carline Jean/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS

Taking Ozempic or other weight-loss meds? Watch your diet to avoid 'exchanging one problem for another'

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Almost her entire life, 56-year-old Jennifer Kirtley felt so consumed by food thoughts that immediately after breakfast, she would ponder her lunch menu.

Recently, though, Kirtley went almost all day without eating, a noticeable behavior change coming only 3½ months after starting Wegovy, a popular weight-loss medication. “It’s mind-...Read more

Larisa Rudenko/Dreamstime/TNS

Can you prevent cancer with lifestyle changes?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Nearly half of cancer deaths in the U.S. are associated with preventable risk factors — such as smoking and alcohol use — according to a new American Cancer Society study. Dr. Jon Ebbert, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center, says it's never too late to make lifestyle changes that can decrease your risk of cancer.

...Read more

Don't just sit there -- drink coffee!

Between work, commuting, running errands (the car is running, not you) and watching screens, a quarter of Americans are sitting down eight or more hours a day, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey. The good news is that recent research shows "activity snacks" of moderate to high-intensity motion for one to five ...Read more

Accutane Isn't To Blame For Affecting Woman's Fertility

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter is in her 30s and has been experiencing infertility for several years. She and her husband have been tested, and the issue is her egg quality. She has had several rounds of in vitro fertilization with no success.

At age 19, she was prescribed Accutane for her acne. She had to take a monthly pregnancy test in order ...Read more