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21May
2020

If Prescribed Opioids for Pain, Ask Lots of Questions: FDA

THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- If your doctor prescribes opioid painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine or morphine for you, there are a number of questions you should ask, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises. Opioids can be used to treat certain kinds of acute and chronic pain, but can have some serious side effects, most notably addiction. If you're prescribed opioids, the FDA says you should ask: Why do I need this medication? Is it right for me? Are there nonopioid pain medicines I could take instead? If your doctor thinks a prescription opioid is the best way to manage your pain, ask: to be prescribed the lowest dose and the smallest quantity you'll need; how to reduce the risk of potential side effects; when and how to stop or taper its use;...

Blood Test Might Predict Worsening MS

21 May 2020
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A new blood test might help doctors predict whether someone's multiple sclerosis may soon get worse. The test looks for a substance called neurofilament light chain. It's a nerve protein that can be detected when nerve cells die. People with higher levels of it were more likely to have worsening MS effects within the next year. "In a disease like MS that is so unpredictable and varies so much from one person to the next, having a noninvasive blood test like this could be very valuable, especially since treatments are most effective in the earliest stages of the disease," lead investigator Ali Manouchehrinia said in a news release from the journal Neurology, where the study was published online May 20. Manouchehrinia is an assistant...

AHA News: As COVID-19 Stalls Vacation, Achieve Travel's...

21 May 2020
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- Since marrying in 2002, Doug Behan and Lise Deguire have gone on safari in Tanzania, watched the sunset over the Santorini caldera in the Greek Islands and walked through the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. And those are just a few of their annual excursions. "It's on my bucket list that I want to visit every continent," Deguire said. Early this year, the Yardley, Pennsylvania, couple began planning a 12-day trip to Japan in March. But then news of COVID-19 began saturating the airwaves. By February, the couple made the difficult decision to cancel, instead booking a one-week trip to New Mexico. As the virus continued to spread even more, they nixed that, too, replacing it with a three-day retreat at a local spa. But on March...

Extra Pounds Could Bring More Painful Joints

21 May 2020
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Carrying excess pounds can be painful, literally. A new study finds that being overweight or obese ups the risk of pain in people with musculoskeletal disorders. "Pain, osteoarthritis and weight share a complicated relationship," said study author Dr. Diana Higgins. She's a researcher with the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine. "Overall, the more weight a patient with a musculoskeletal disorder carries, the more likely they are to report experiencing pain, which may affect functioning and quality of life," Higgins said in a VA news release. Researchers analyzed data on nearly 2 million U.S. veterans with musculoskeletal disorders, such as non-traumatic joint disorder; arthritis; low back, back or neck...

More Opioids Doesn't Mean Less Chronic Pain: Study

21 May 2020
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Boosting doses of opioid pain medicines doesn't appear to benefit patients with chronic pain, researchers report. "What we found was that the pain relief the provider and the patient are going for really isn't there when they increase their doses," said study author Corey Hayes, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. "You don't see the benefit, but you do see the risk. Our overall message is, when you're thinking about increasing the dose, you need to realize the risk it brings, too," Hayes said in a Veterans Affairs news release. The researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 50,000 chronic pain patients in the VA health system who were prescribed opioids between 2008 and 2015. Their...

Lockdown Got You Feeling Low? Yoga May Help

21 May 2020
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many people under stay-at-home orders have turned to online yoga as a way to manage the stress. And a new research review suggests they're onto something. The review, of 19 clinical trials, focused on the benefits of yoga for people with clinical mental health conditions ranging from anxiety disorders to alcohol dependence to schizophrenia. Overall, it found yoga classes helped ease those patients' depression symptoms. And while the trials focused on in-person classes for people with formal diagnoses, there are broader implications, the researchers said. "Definitely, if you've thought about trying yoga, now is a great time to take the opportunity," said Jacinta Brinsley, lead author on the review and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of...

Keeping Kids Slim, Fit During Lockdown Isn't Easy: Here Are Some Tips

21 May 2020
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Lots of TV time, no PE classes, and a fridge full of food: It's a recipe for weight gain for kids under "stay at home" rules. But there are ways parents can help them stay healthy, says registered dietitian Audrey Koltun. "During quarantine, we hear we should try to stay healthy, not overeat, and exercise, but it is easier said than done," said Koltun, who's also a diabetes care and education specialist at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. When it comes to kids' diets, having to stay at home might have some advantages, she noted. "Many people are cooking much more than they ever did," Koltun said, and "this allows more control over caloric intake and possibly healthier options." Children just don't have the same...

AHA News: After Diabetes, Stroke and Heart Attack, She's Learning to 'Fight Smart'

21 May 2020
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- Hyvelle Ferguson-Davis was reviewing paperwork at her office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when the headache started. It grew stronger and stronger and her eyes blurred, making it difficult to read. She hoped she wasn't coming down with something. After work, Ferguson-Davis, then 41, drove home with a still-pounding headache. She was too busy to get sick, she told herself. Most immediately, she needed to get dinner on the table. When her teenage daughter came into the kitchen and asked a question, Ferguson-Davis gave garbled answers. "Mom, you sound funny," her daughter said. The teen called her aunt, who urged the girl to call 911. When the paramedics arrived, they wanted to take Ferguson-Davis to the hospital because her...

WHO Predicts COVID-19 Will Take Heavy Toll in Africa

THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Without quick action, the new coronavirus could sicken up to a quarter-billion people in Africa during the pandemic's first year and claim 190,000 lives,...

Lost Pregnancies, Diabetes May Be Linked

THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The more pregnancies losses a woman has, the greater her risk of developing diabetes, a new study suggests. Researchers examined data on nearly 25,000...
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