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  • 3/4/2014
     Risks to Bone Health in Treating Chronic Disease in Younger Patients
     It’s National Kidney Month!
  • 2/26/2014
     10 Ways to Ditch Your Cravings for Sugar, Salt, and Fats
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     What to Know About Alcohol and Diabetes
     Heart of Autism: Teacher on the Spectrum Inspires Students with Autism
  • 2/18/2014
     Autism and Toxic Chemicals: Are Pollutants Fueling Rising Prevalence?
     Carbs: Beyond The Basics
     Over-the-Counter Allergy Nasal Spray Triamcinolone - What Does It Mean for Patients?
  • 2/13/2014
     I Love Someone with Diabetes: Roger Lee Holman
     Autism's Subtle Early Signs: More Findings from Infant Eye Tracking
  • 2/11/2014
     The Smart Searcher: A Guide to Online Medical Advice
     Recent Updates on OTC Medicines Containing NSAIDs
     I Love Someone with Diabetes: Jessica Vermaak
  • 2/6/2014
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  • 10/2/2013
     Food-induced anaphylaxis: low patient concordance with post-discharge care guidelines
  • 9/26/2013
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     Walnut-Rich Diet Helps Overweight Adults Against Diabetes and Heart Problems
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  • 6/17/2013
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  • 5/29/2013
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  • 5/23/2013
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  • 5/22/2013
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  • 5/21/2013
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  • 5/20/2013
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  • 5/9/2013
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  • 4/23/2013
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  • 4/22/2013
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     We all have things - big or little - that bring us hope every day. Share yours!
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  • 4/18/2013
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     Diabetes treatment more than doubled in eleven years
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  • 4/16/2013
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  • 4/15/2013
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  • 4/3/2013
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  • 4/16/2011
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  • Date: 3/4/2014
    Title: Risks to Bone Health in Treating Chronic Disease in Younger Patients
    The Wall Street Journal

    Osteoporosis, a loss of bone strength that raises the risk of fractures, is one of the most common and crippling ailments associated with aging in women. Increasingly, it is striking younger patients who have a host of other medical problems.

    Researchers call it secondary osteoporosis. They are identifying a growing list of factors that contribute to bone deterioration, including chronic diseases and some of the powerful drugs used to treat them. Alone or in combination, disease and medication can interfere with the way the body naturally breaks down and rebuilds bone tissue, and how well it absorbs bone-building nutrients like calcium and Vitamin D.

    Because there often are no symptoms as bone weakens, osteoporosis often hasn't been diagnosed until a patient suffers a fractured bone.

    Now, bone health experts are calling for greater efforts to identify patients earlier who are at risk for secondary osteoporosis, before their bones become more fragile and further raise their risk of injury and disability.

    Recommended measures include bone mineral density scans for patients who wouldn't ordinarily get routine screening, treatment of underlying diseases that contribute to bone loss, lifestyle changes and calcium and vitamin D supplements. Doctors also are prescribing osteoporosis medicines shown to slow bone loss or build new bone.

    Secondary osteoporosis is increasingly being diagnosed in younger patients with cancer, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as in people taking reflux medications, blood thinners and some depression drugs, researchers say. Patients are at risk of secondary osteoporosis after bariatric surgery for weight loss, as are those receiving hormonal treatments to prevent the recurrence of breast or prostate cancer.

    Adverse effects of diabetes on bone health are starting to be recognized. Smoking, excessive alcohol use, eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and inactivity are also linked to declining bone mass.

    click to view story

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    Date: 3/4/2014
    Title: It’s National Kidney Month!
    Posted on March 4, 2014 by American Diabetes Association
    March is National Kidney Month, a time to raise awareness about the prevention and early detection of kidney disease. Did you know that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure? The good news is that managing your diabetes well can help improve your health outcomes.

    So how does diabetes cause kidney disease? The process goes like this: When our bodies digest protein, the procedure creates waste products. In the kidneys, millions of tiny blood vessels with even tinier holes in them act as filters. As blood flows through the blood vessels, small molecules such as waste products squeeze through the holes. These waste products become part of the urine. Useful substances, such as protein and red blood cells, are too big to pass through the holes in the filter and stay in the blood.

    Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, can damage this system. High levels of blood glucose cause stress on the filtering system in the kidneys. After many years, they start to leak, and things like protein that are supposed to stay in the bloodstream are lost in the urine. Having small amounts of protein in the urine is called microalbuminuria. This damage happens without any symptoms.

    In time, the kidneys stop working well. Waste products then start to build up in the blood. Finally, the kidneys fail. This failure, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is very serious and requires a kidney transplant or dialysis.

    Whew! Still with us? We hope so, because as mentioned above, the better a person keeps diabetes under control, the lower the chance of getting kidney disease. Research has shown that tight blood glucose control reduces the risk of microalbuminuria by one third. Other studies have suggested that tight control can even improve microalbuminuria.

    Since there are usually no symptoms associated with early kidney failure, lab tests are essential. If you have diabetes, talk to your health care provider about how often you should be tested. This can be done by either a blood test or a urine test.
    click to view more

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    Date: 2/26/2014
    Title: 10 Ways to Ditch Your Cravings for Sugar, Salt, and Fats
    written by Mark Hyman, MD
    Printed from the Huffpost 8/13/2013

    According to a recent article in the New York Times, "Food Corporations Turn to Chefs in a Quest for Healthy Flavor," Big Food companies like PepsiCo, Kellogg's, and even fast food giants like Taco Bell are changing their ways in response to the increasing public demand for healthier food options. To improve their image as healthy food manufacturers, Big Food corporations have called upon top chefs to help them create healthy menu makeovers, infusing real, fresh, whole food into old recipe favorites.

    Why is this happening now? Intense pressure brought on by politicians and their constituents (you and me!) has given these food manufacturers no choice but to respond to the public outcry for healthier food. It's no longer enough for these companies to earn a profit by selling food that tastes good. People are beginning to use the power of the pocketbook to show these companies that the food they sell must also be nutritious.

    That's because people everywhere are waking up. They are beginning to see the dangers of genetically-modified ingredients and all the sugar, salt, and fats hidden in our food supply. From fancy restaurants to fast food chains, chefs are catching on that people want their food to make them feel good, not just while they are eating it but hours, days, and years afterward.

    click to view more

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    Date: 2/20/2014
    Title: Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
    Authors, bloggers and participants shared their stories and advice during a Twitter cha

    By Kimberly Leonard Feb. 20, 2014 Leave a Comment SHARE
    Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are emotionally devastating to patients and their loved ones. Families feel sorrow, confusion and anger. Many don’t know where to turn for support or guidance.

    To offer families a platform for discussing their experiences, U.S. News Health held a live Twitter chat Feb. 13 and invited leading authors and bloggers to participate in the discussion:

    David Shenk, author of “The Forgetting: Alzheimer’s Portrait of an Epidemic” and senior adviser to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund;
    Dan Browning, creator of the NextAvenue Blog “Under 60 and Living With Dementia” and health reporter for the Star Tribune in Minnesota;
    Gary Small, author of “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program” and director of the UCLA Longevity Center;
    Jeanne Walker, author of "The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage through Alzheimer's" and English professor at the University of Delaware;
    Michelle Seitzer, freelance elder care writer and senior blogger/social media specialist for senior housing and search leader at SeniorsforLiving.com, a service that allows people to search senior housing options;
    Alex Witchel, author of “All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia, With Refreshments” and a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine.
    Each of the participants experienced the extreme ups and downs of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, at home or in a nursing facility. Participants discussed what it’s like to witness the degeneration of their loved ones’ minds and bodies. Despite their grief, many said they grew from the experience, gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and how their families became closer through the various trials they faced. U.S. News held the discussion as part of the launch of U.S. News’ Best Nursing Homes 2014 on Feb. 26, which offers consumers a user-friendly tool to help them access government data and choose a high-performing nursing home in their community. It also offers advice about senior care and other aging-related issues.

    Physical and Emotional Aspects

    Participants in the chat discussed common reflections about the phases they noticed their loved ones with Alzheimer’s go through. The disease begins to exhibit itself with changes in personality, followed by changes in memory and mood swings. People become confused and often wander. As Alzheimer’s worsens it takes a toll on people’s bodies.

    As the disease progresses, patients become depressed because they feel they are losing control of their lives, tweeted Gary Small, director of the UCLA Longevity Center. In later stages, people tend to socially withdraw, tweeted Cori Everson, a social worker at Mayo Clinic Health System’s Memory Care Clinic in Eau Claire, Wis.

    Memory lapses are unpredictable, as are the consequences. Author and journalist Alex Witchel saw her mother take the wrong medications, and once found her sitting inside the house in a winter coat, overheated, not knowing where she was. Dan Browning from the Star Tribune recalls an incident in which his wife started looking through her purse while driving the car and skidded into an intersection. On another occasion, he found her wandering 7 miles away in the snow. Rosie Perera, a participant in the chat, noted that her mother once got lost once while driving and ended up 100 miles away in another state. Shelley Webb, a registered nurse and geriatric care manager, wrote that her father, who had dementia, bought a truck and had it delivered to her house. "He was confused about why they brought it, but happy they left it," she tweeted. "We couldn't return it. He signed papers."

    Emotional and memory problems are only the beginning. Eventually the brain loses its ability to communicate with the body, resulting in the progressive deterioration and eventual shut-down of basic bodily functions, offered writer Michelle Seitzer.

    Browning tweeted that his wife has trouble speaking because of her dementia. She chokes on food and her muscles are wasting, he wrote. Other ailments tend to accompany Alzheimer’s, such as falls, urinary tract infections, dehydration and malnutrition, Webb tweeted. “The very human instinct is to hope that the disease won’t get worse. But it always will. Stages are knowable. Be proactive,” tweeted David Shenk, author.

    Becoming a caregiver

    Spouses, adult children or siblings often take care of their memory-impaired loved ones at home. They may decide to hire a nurse, or they may work full-time to provide care themselves, including administering medications, helping with meals, bathing or bathroom duties. The care they have to provide will become more involved as the disease worsens. "My decision to become a caregiver [for my wife] was made when I said, ‘I do,’ in 1990,” Browning tweeted.

    He is part of an enormous community of caregivers. In 2012, more than 15 million people provided 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates.

    For many, the experience can lead to physical and emotional burnout, including depression, Shenk wrote. He stressed that caregivers need to take care of themselves. Caregivers often must seek help from family and friends, but all too often they can't get the help they need. For Linda Owen, a participant in the chat, there was no one else in town to turn to. “Not how I planned to spend retirement but trying to do it well,” she wrote.

    Browning called the day-to-day emotions of caring for his wife a “roller coaster.”

    “Look for the high points and enjoy the view,” he said. “They get you through the terror.”

    Nursing Home Care

    Sooner or later, many caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementia realize they have reached the limit of the help they can provide at home, even with the support of visiting nurses. Then comes the next hurdle: Seeking assisted-living or nursing-home care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 42 percent of those in assisted-living or other residential facilities in 2010 had Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

    Shenk tweeted that it was important for caregivers not to feel guilty for using a nursing home.

    Many organizations offer guidance to those seeking nursing home care for a loved one with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association provides a series of tip sheets about how you can advocate for your mom or dad in a home. The National Institute on Aging offers a guidebook about caring for someone with Alzheimer's and for getting legal documents in order. The government's webpage, Nursing Home Compare, provides a search tool that allows people to see how nursing homes in their area perform against each other, using federal and state standards. U.S. News Best Nursing Homes uses data from Nursing Home Compare to provide a much more user-friendly tool, along with a list of articles to guide families in their search.

    Moments of Triumph and Hope

    As heartbreaking as the disease can be, some participants found moments of hope and understanding. They became closer with their families and found comfort in moments of humor. Shenk wrote that families often tell him there can be many life-affirming moments. Browning tweeted that he learned to love the essence of his wife despite the disease.

    Author Jeanne Walker, Author, tweeted that she rediscovered the mother she knew earlier in life. “It was comforting to think of my mother’s past ‘selves’ coming out,” she wrote. Her mother’s past “selves” reminded her of things she had forgotten, she wrote.

    Perera wrote that it was important to savor humor. “We save funny quotes from mom, stories like when she put a panty liner in the church offering plate,” she wrote.

    Walker agreed. “Don’t try to set them straight. You can’t,” she tweeted.

    “Laugh when something’s funny. Laughter is close to tears, but better for you.”

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 2/20/2014
    Title: What to Know About Alcohol and Diabetes
    Having diabetes doesn't mean alcohol is off-limits. We've talked to diabetes experts to find the latest advice on drinking alcoholic beverages. How many calories does a margarita have? Does a glass of wine spike blood sugar? Will a beer derail your diabetes meal plan? From wine and spirits to beer and cocktails, our diabetes drink guide tells you all you need to know about mixing diabetes and alcohol.
    By Diabetic Living Editors; Reviewed 2013

    click to read more

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    Date: 2/20/2014
    Title: Heart of Autism: Teacher on the Spectrum Inspires Students with Autism
    Thursday, February 20, 2014
    This Heart of Autism post is written by Ann Kagarise, the Assistant Director at IDEA House Educational Services, a published author, a journalist, an amazing photographer, a counselor, a volunteer in her community. She also happens to be on the autism spectrum! Below is a beautiful poem written by Ann about her experiences as a woman on the spectrum teaching students with autism: "There is no other place I would rather be than at a school that ‘gets’ me."
    Pull up a blade of grass, sit down and get to know me
    Sit quietly with me. I love your company, but I love the silence.
    Look at life, with me, as if you are looking at it for the first time.
    Watch my eyes dance as I think of something fun.
    Look at the world as a toy.
    When I hear others speak of Autism, they miss the best parts.
    “People on the spectrum do not connect.”
    When I look into the eyes of a child with Autism, I feel a connection that goes to my soul.
    I feel what they are feeling. I hurt when they are hurting. I feel joy when they feel joy.
    I empathize. I love them deeply.
    There is no place I would rather be.
    I would have done anything to have a school like IDEA House when I was a kid.
    I would have done anything for someone to ‘get’ me.’
    “She doesn’t make eye contact.”
    “She doesn’t make friends.”
    “She likes to be by herself.”
    “She’s different.”
    You think we don’t hear that?
    Yes. We do. While thinking, if they knew how much we feel, they would understand why I have to get a break from life at times.
    If they knew just how much connection I feel with the people around me they would understand why my skin hurts at times and why I just cannot look at them.
    There is no other place I would rather be than at a school that ‘gets’ me.
    A place that offers more for kids on the spectrum than I ever had as a kid.
    To come alongside a kid on the spectrum and show them that they can do it, gives me purpose.
    It makes my life of struggles all worth it.
    IDEA House is a place that took me in. They allowed me to grow and to be who I was at first.
    We meet kids on the spectrum where they are. I have a degree in counseling and there is no other place I would want to work than beside a child with Autism.
    “I have Autism, too.”
    click to read

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 2/18/2014
    Title: Autism and Toxic Chemicals: Are Pollutants Fueling Rising Prevalence?
    Date: February 18, 2014
    Researchers link more pollutants to disorders of brain development; call for global prevention strategy to control their use

    A new report implicates a growing number of industrial chemicals as contributing to autism and other disorders of brain development. The authors call for a global strategy to reduce exposure.

    The report appears online in Lancet Neurology. The authors are Harvard environmental epidemiologist Philippe Grandjean and Mount Sinai Medical School pediatrician and epidemiologist Philip Landrigan.

    The new report summarizes evidence from published studies on industrial chemicals and brain toxicity and updates the review that the authors conducted in 2006.

    Five known threats to brain development
    Their 2006 review identified five widely used industrial chemicals as "developmental neurotoxicants." Such chemicals can contribute to developmental brain disorders such as autism. The five were lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic and toluene.

    In addition, the 2006 report identified more than 200 industrial chemicals that cause brain damage in adults. The authors warned that many of these might likewise cause developmental brain disorders.

    Six more chemicals on the danger list
    The new report adds six chemicals to the list of developmental neurotoxicants. They are high-doses of manganese or fluoride, the pesticides chlorpyrifos and DDT, the solvent tetrachloroethylene and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are flame retardants applied to furniture.

    Manganese and fluoride become toxic only at unnaturally high levels. The doses in vitamins and dental-hygiene products are safe.

    While exposure to some of these chemicals is common in North America, the highest exposures tend to occur in developing nations, notes Alycia Halladay, Autism Speaks senior director for environmental and clinical sciences.

    “Most exposures are hard for individuals to control themselves,” Dr. Halladay adds. “One way to prevent exposure is through regulation. Examples include the elimination of lead from gasoline and paint and the Clean Air Act.”

    Meanwhile, Dr. Halladay agrees with the authors’ call for more research on the hundreds of toxic industrial chemicals now polluting the environment.

    Many other neurotoxicants are likely contributing to a "silent pandemic" of developmental brain disorders, Drs. Grandjean and Landrigan write. As evidence, they cite studies linking autism risk to prenatal exposure to high levels of air pollution. (Click here for the full text of one of these studies, funded in part by Autism Speaks.)

    Autism Speaks funds further research
    Autism Speaks has funded a number of studies on autism risk and air pollution. In addition, it is currently supporting several studies collecting information on autism risk and exposures to other types of toxic chemicals.

    To further speed discoveries, Autism Speaks is also funding the development of the Early Life Exposure Assessment Tool (ELEAT). Designed for autism research, this instrument allows investigators to combine the results of multiple studies on early environmental exposures. By increasing sample sizes, this will boost scientists’ ability to uncover toxic effects.

    Learn more about Autism Speaks Environmental Factors in Autism Initiative here. For a full list of Autism Speaks studies on environmental risk factors for autism, click here.

    Explore all the research Autism Speaks is funding using this website’s grant search.

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    Date: 2/18/2014
    Title: Carbs: Beyond The Basics
    The pros and cons of using the glycemic index for carb counting and meal planning

    By Tracey Neithercott
    February 2014

    Carbs count. Eat too many and your blood glucose can spike. It’s the first lesson people with diabetes learn at diagnosis: Watch the number of carbohydrate grams you eat at each meal or snack. That’s all well and good, but what about the type of carbohydrate you choose to eat? Increasingly, researchers are asking that question. Their answer may surprise you.

    The GI Revolution

    Back in 1980, most people with diabetes were using carbohydrate exchange lists, and “glycemic index” was a term foreign to researchers, doctors, and patients alike. Scientists at the University of Toronto, led by David Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc, began digging around in the body’s glucose response to different foods, and the term came into use. In a 1981 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers listed what they called the glycemic index for 62 common foods.

    The glycemic index (GI) measures the glucose response to a given number of grams of carbohydrate. Imagine a chart with a line representing glucose levels during the first two hours after you eat 50 grams of carbohydrate. The area under that line, when compared with results from a test using 50 grams of pure glucose, indicates a food’s glycemic index (graph, opposite). Foods with a high glycemic index have higher peaks and more area under the line than those with a low GI. The glycemic index, then, is a ranking of foods from zero to 100 based on blood glucose levels after eating. So 50 grams of a plain white baguette has a GI of 95 (and a taller graphed line) while 50 grams of an apple has a GI of 39 (and a shorter line).

    “If you’re carb counting and if you have 20 grams of carbohydrate from an apple or a banana or rice, it’s [as if it’s] all the same,” says Thomas Wolever, BM, BCh, DM, PhD, coauthor of The New Glucose Revolution: The Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic Index—the Dietary Solution for Lifelong Health, professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, and coauthor of the 1981 glycemic index study. “But it’s not.”

    You might imagine that the glycemic index would be useful for people with diabetes. Yet more than three decades after its discovery, the glycemic index still isn’t among the most-recommended meal-planning tools.

    The Glycemic Load

    Graphing Blood Glucose Response
    To determine the glycemic index of foods, researchers plot glucose levels for two hours after subjects eat portions containing 50 grams of carbohydrate and compare the area under each line with that of pure glucose.

    SOURCE: Adapted from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2009

    In its 2013 nutrition position statement, the American D
    iabetes Association says picking low-GI foods over high-GI ones “may modestly improve glycemic control.” Yet despite the ADA’s slight encouragement, the recommendations note that while some studies showed drops in A1C (a measure of average glucose for the past two to three months) from following a low-GI diet, others found no blood glucose improvement at all.
    click to read more

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    Date: 2/18/2014
    Title: Over-the-Counter Allergy Nasal Spray Triamcinolone - What Does It Mean for Patients?
    This article has been reviewed by Thanai Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved nasal triamcinolone for over-the-counter use. This means that consumers will soon be able to go to their local drugstore and purchase a nasal steroid spray. Other brands will still be available by prescription. Previously, all nasal steroids were available only with a prescription so they required occasional monitoring by a medical provider.

    There are benefits and risks that come along with the decision to allow access to over-the-counter corticosteroids. To help you make an informed decision, this article will describe the pros and cons. It will also explain the importance of working with your doctor even if the medicines may be obtained without a prescription.

    What Are Nasal Steroids?
    Nasal steroids are important medicines to help treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever). They are helpful in reducing nasal inflammation, nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing.

    Other medicines that are available to treat allergic rhinitis include oral antihistamines, nasal antihistamines, anti-leukotriene modifiers and nasal saline. Allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) can also be given to improve the immune system to not react or desensitize itself to the allergens.

    If you’re wondering which medicines and treatment strategies will work for you, your doctor will help you navigate the many options and will work with you to decide the best treatment plan.

    What Are the Concerns with Using Nasal Steroids?
    Although these medicines are safe under a medical provider’s care, they do have some potential risks and concerns:

    1. Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be similar to other ailments like sinus infections, viral colds, chronic sinus inflammation, sinus polyps, and in rare cases certain cancers and other serious problems. It is possible that consumers may treat the wrong condition and a more serious problem could go unnoticed.
    2. Nasal steroids can lead to nose bleeds that can be very concerning to patients, which is why proper usage and technique are important. Your doctor can examine the nasal tissues to make sure no damage is occurring. A rare complication that can occur is a hole, or perforation, in the nasal septum (bone separating each nostril). To make sure this does not happen, individuals should be monitored and receive nasal exams.
    3. Growth restriction is a well-known risk of using steroids, although topical steroids like nose sprays are less much risky than oral corticosteroids. Even so, every person is different and some are more sensitive than others. For that reason, height and weight should always be monitored.
    4. Side effects involving the eyes, which include glaucoma and cataracts, are potential yet uncommon risk factors of topical steroids. Those at risk for these conditions should talk with their physician.
    5. Since the medicine will be over-the-counter, you will likely have to purchase it “out of pocket,” which is the case with many antihistamines and heartburn medications. This could increase the amount of money you pay each year for health costs.

    Unlike taking a pill, the way you use the nasal spray is important. As mentioned above, it is important to avoid spraying the medicine into the middle of the nose, the septum bone that separates the nostrils. Sometimes it helps to use a mirror, or have another person or doctor make sure this is being done correctly. If you do not use the medicine correctly, it may not work, or worse, could cause serious side effects.

    As with all medications, the benefits and risks should be weighed before deciding on a treatment plan. When used properly, nasal steroid sprays can be very effective at treating allergies. It is just important to recognize that steroid nose sprays can create risks if not monitored or used correctly.

    Your allergist is trained to help you navigate the best treatment course and monitor your health. He or she can explain the benefits and risks of these treatments and answer any concerns you may have. Together, you and your allergist can decide the best treatment plan.

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    Date: 2/13/2014
    Title: I Love Someone with Diabetes: Roger Lee Holman
    Posted on February 13, 2014 by American Diabetes Association
    Diabetes affects the whole family, whether you’re a parent, sibling, child, grandchild or spouse. This week on the blog, we’ll be featuring stories about loving and caring for someone with diabetes.


    I love many people with diabetes. It has impacted countless friends and family members.

    I’ve seen firsthand what happens to a person when they have diabetes. It can be a very hard disease to control (even seems impossible sometimes).

    I lost my grandmother to type 2 diabetes when I was a small child. She didn’t even know she had it until just before it killed her. It was agonizing for her. She was only 56.

    My aunt Sharon was only 54 whenever she died from kidney failure and other complications of type 2 diabetes. I remember seeing the fear in her eyes. The pain she was going through seemed to be unbearable.

    My little sister Tawana suffers from the effects of type 2. She has open sores and deteriorating bones in her foot. The fear of losing her feet is always on her mind. She is only 37 years old and has had to stop working because of her condition. She’s so far behind on her bills, I’m afraid she’ll never catch up.

    My wife Lahonda and I have been together for nine years. She was diagnosed with type 2 a few years before we met. Lahonda is now 53 and constantly struggles with her weight, abdominal pain, fatigue and overall poor health. Counting carbohydrates and sugar content for every meal is harder than it sounds. Low-carb/low-sugar products generally cost more. My wife’s blood glucose has ranged from 30 to over 500 mg/dl. She has had heat exhaustion countless times, plus diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). She has neuropathy (nerve) pain all the time, too.

    I feel so helpless for her at times. Her diabetes medication is so costly that we can no longer afford it. Our insurance only pays a portion of the expense. We’ve started the long process toward gastric bypass surgery, only to have our insurance lapse. We’ve been on many, many diets, and it’s always the same story.

    I pray every day for her and everyone else I know with it. I ask God to please give strength and be with all who live with this awful disease. I also pray that someday soon a cure will be found. Stop Diabetes®.

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    Date: 2/13/2014
    Title: Autism's Subtle Early Signs: More Findings from Infant Eye Tracking
    Date: February 11, 2014
    Study adds to earlier research showing autism-related attention differences at 6 months; opportunity for earlier intervention?

    Study authors Katarzyna Chawarska, Suzanne Macari and Frederick Shic (left to right) examine results of an eye tracking study in the Yale Early Social Cognition Lab. Photo courtesy Yale University School of Medicine.

    Infants who go on to develop autism not only look at faces less than other babies do, they also tend to look away from important facial features when a person speaks, according to a new study.

    The findings, by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine, appear in the February issue of Biological Psychiatry. They add to those of a recent eye-tracking study that likewise associated autism with subtle differences in attention to faces among 6-month-old babies.

    “Babies who later develop autism may already have difficulties focusing on important social information at 6 months,” says study author Frederick Shic. “This, in turn, could be hampering the early development of their social and communication skills.” Dr. Shic’s co-authors included Yale psychologists Suzanne Macari and Katarzyna Chawarska.

    “If children at high risk for autism are identified at such an early age, it may be possible to develop ways to assist their social development,” comments Alycia Halladay, Autism Speaks senior director for environmental and clinical sciences.

    Dr. Shic is part of the Autism Speaks Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC). The BSRC brings together research groups from around the world with the mission of discovering the earliest predictors of autism. Much of their research focuses on the younger siblings of children diagnosed with autism. These “baby sibs” are at higher than average risk of developing autism because the disorder tends to run in families.
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    Date: 2/11/2014
    Title: The Smart Searcher: A Guide to Online Medical Advice
    The American Heart Association July 2013

    Searching the Internet for medical advice can leave anyone with a bad case of information overload. The Internet can be very helpful, of course, but you have to know how to sort the reliable science from the junk.

    The first thing to do when reading a medical site is to know your source. There should be an “About Us” tag that tells you who maintains the site and why. If this section is missing, or if the site seems focused on selling something, look elsewhere or proceed with skepticism.

    Who can you trust?

    The most reliable sources include accredited medical schools, university teaching hospitals and reputable nonprofit organizations such as the American Heart Association. These sites (which end in .edu and .org) provide health information and libraries. Government sources such as the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services are also reliable. (These sites end in .gov.)

    Getting your source is only part of the equation. “You should also check with your healthcare provider,” said Mary Cushman, M.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Vermont Medical School.

    “I encourage my patients to share what they’re reading online with me,” said Cushman, also an American Heart Association volunteer. “It’s not just about verifying the credibility of the source. It’s also an opportunity to provide context and follow-up on a topic they may be learning about for the first time. I also point them to sites I trust and approve of.”

    If it sounds too good to be true …

    You should be especially skeptical of news headlines about miracle cures or unlikely treatment breakthroughs. Again, apply the “know your source” principle.
    In general, the most credible research is done in large academic institutions or government centers such as the NIH or CDC. The highest-quality studies are published in “peer-reviewed” or “refereed” journals such as Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the New England Journal of Medicine or the Journal of the American Medical Association. These publications only accept articles that have been rigorously evaluated by medical experts. For a list of peer-reviewed journals, visit Ulrich’s Periodical Directory Online.

    According to my best friend’s cousin’s boss …

    Medical blogs or chat rooms are a great way to connect with others who share your health concerns, but remember that these people may not be experts.

    “You don’t really know who that person is online,” Cushman said. “No matter how good their intentions, don’t take their word for it. Check with your doctor.”

    The National Library of Medicine has created a 16-minute online tutorial that teaches you how to evaluate health information on the Web. Find the tutorial here.

    Learn more:

    Getting a Second Opinion
    Heart-to-heart: Talking to Your Doctor
    Finding the Right Doctor
    A Guide to Understanding Clinical Trials

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    Date: 2/11/2014
    Title: Recent Updates on OTC Medicines Containing NSAIDs
    If you’ve seen news recently about OTC non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in regards to a hearing at the Food Drug Administration (FDA), you may have questions about how to use them safely.

    NSAIDs are a class of commonly used pain relievers and fever reducers. NSAIDs have been well researched and have a long history of safety and efficacy when used as directed. It is important to distinguish the use and safety of OTC NSAIDs from that of long-term and/or high-dose prescription NSAID use. OTC NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, differ from prescription NSAIDs in indication, dose and duration of use.

    The OTC Drug Facts label contains the information that consumers need to determine if the medicine is right for them to use, how to take the product, and when to see a doctor if needed.

    Tips for the Safe Use of All OTC Medicines Containing NSAIDs:

    Always read the OTC Drug Facts label carefully. The label tells you everything you need to know about the medicine including the ingredients, what you are supposed to use it for, how much you should take, and when you should not take the product.
    Do not take an NSAID for longer than what the label instructs unless you are under the supervision of a doctor.
    Talk to a healthcare professional before using more than one pain reliever/fever reducer product at the same time.
    Stop use and contact your doctor if your fever gets worse or lasts more than three days or if your pain gets worse or lasts more than 10 days.
    If you have signs of stomach bleeding, such as feeling faint, vomiting blood, bloody or black stools, or stomach pain that does not get better, contact your doctor.
    If a severe allergic reaction occurs and you experience symptoms such as hives, facial swelling, asthma (wheezing), shock, skin reddening, rash, or blisters, seek medical attention immediately.
    Do not take more medicine or for a longer period of time than what the label recommends unless you are under the supervision of a doctor.
    Ask a doctor before use if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver cirrhosis or kidney disease.
    If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to a doctor before using an NSAID.
    If you are a woman in the last three months of pregnancy, do not use an NSAID unless you are specifically told to do so by a doctor.

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    Date: 2/11/2014
    Title: I Love Someone with Diabetes: Jessica Vermaak
    Posted on February 11, 2014 by American Diabetes Association
    Diabetes affects the whole family, whether you’re a parent, sibling, child, grandchild or spouse. This week on the blog, we’ll be featuring stories about loving and caring for someone with diabetes.


    I have a wonderful husband, a sister and a brother—all with type 1 diabetes. Oh, yes, and I am also type 1! It is a joke around my family that you are the odd one out if you don’t need a shot before dinner!

    Diabetes has been part of my life since my older brother Joshua was diagnosed at age 12. My parents didn’t know anything about diabetes and went through training for a whole week at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. They asked the doctors about the chances that any of their other children would be diagnosed and were told it was very unlikely to happen.

    I was diagnosed at age 17, my senior year of high school. I was showing symptoms: drinking a lot of water, losing weight, waking up at night to use the restroom. I just contributed it to exercising but I think my mother knew exactly what to look for.

    By now my brother had been living with diabetes for six years and was in his first year of college. I went to stay with him for a weekend and my mother asked him to prick my finger while I was there. He didn’t do it until my parents came to pick me up. My brother looked at my mom and just said “Mom, I know. By the looks of her blood. I’m sorry.” My blood glucose was well over 400 mg/dl and I spent the next day at Joslin, a place my family was all too familiar with.

    This was extremely difficult for my parents, but my mother and father had already been through it once before and taught me so much. I was one lucky kid, but I’m sure they felt far from lucky at this point.

    I was so used to seeing Josh take shots and prick his finger that having diabetes didn’t faze me at first. If he could do it, so could I! After a week of waiting for my mother to give me my insulin shots, I started doing them myself. And Josh offered great support whenever I had problems or questions, like dealing with high numbers, how to handle alcohol and how to manage when you are active and exercising.

    Another two years later, my sister Tanya was diagnosed at age 15. Our youngest sister, Kayla, was now old enough to understand and was scared that she was next. At this point my parents thought there was no hope for the youngest. Within eight years, the oldest three children had been diagnosed, right down the line from oldest to youngest—and there was only one left!

    The doctors at Joslin were in shock and didn’t have answers for my parents. No one else in our family tree has diabetes. They asked the three of us to participate in research studies that the hospital is involved in.

    My husband of five years, Duane, was not diagnosed until he was 21. We became great friends before we even knew diabetes was a part of both of our lives. He always notices if my mood changes and knows that I’m most likely having a low. He works three jobs and I do worry about him not having time to take care of himself, but he is doing great!

    My insurance was cut off back in October 2013. I had been on the pump for five years and had to go back to insulin shots. It was a rough few months for my body, but now I’m doing okay. It’s hard to get supplies because I don’t work full time and my husband’s family plan is so expensive. I am still waiting to hear if I am eligible for State Health Insurance. So for now, I drive 35 minutes to the community health center for my supplies. I will do whatever it takes.

    As tough as it is, we are all blessed with the ability to see the bright side. Checking our numbers and eating right is just a way of life! I can’t imagine not having my siblings and husband to talk to. I hope we all have many more years to enjoy life’s greatest moments together as a family.

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    Date: 2/11/2014
    SOURCE: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care. First created 1995; fully updated 1998; most recently updated 2005.
    © Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) Editorial Board

    What is Asthma?

    Asthma is a common disease that affects the lungs. About 15 million Americans have asthma. People who have asthma may experience wheezing, coughing, increased mucous production and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are caused by inflammation and/or obstruction of the airways, which transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs.

    People with asthma may have allergies "triggered" by various allergens. Allergens are substances found in our everyday environment

    What is Adult Onset Asthma?

    Many people develop asthma in childhood. However, asthma symptoms can appear at any time in life. Individuals who develop asthma as adults are said to have adult onset asthma. It is possible to first develop asthma at age 50, 60 or even later in life.

    Adult onset asthma may or may not be caused by allergies. Some individuals who had allergies as children or young adults with no asthma symptoms could develop asthma as older adults. Other times, adults become sensitized to everyday substances found in their homes or food and suddenly begin to experience asthma symptoms. About 50 percent of older adults who have asthma are allergic.

    Who Gets Adult Onset Asthma?

    We do not know what causes asthma. There is evidence that asthma and allergy are in part determined by heredity.

    Several factors may make a person more likely to get adult onset asthma. Women are more likely to develop asthma after age 20. For others, obesity appears to significantly increase the risk of developing asthma as an adult.

    At least 30 percent of adult asthma cases are triggered by allergies. People allergic to cats may have an increased risk for developing adult onset asthma. Exposure to cigarette smoke, mold, dust, feather bedding, perfume or other substances commonly found in the person's environment may trigger the first asthma symptoms. Prolonged exposure to certain workplace materials may set off asthma symptoms in adults.

    Hormonal fluctuations and changes in women may play a role in adult onset asthma. Some women first develop asthma symptoms during or after a pregnancy. Women going through menopause can develop asthma symptoms for the first time. An ongoing Harvard Nurses Health Study found that women who take estrogen supplements after menopause for ten years or more are 50 percent more likely to develop asthma than women who never used estrogen.

    Different illnesses, viruses or infections can be a factor in adult onset asthma. Many adults first experience asthma symptoms after a bad cold or a bout with the flu.

    Adult onset asthma is not caused by smoking. However, if you smoke or are exposed to cigarette smoke (secondhand smoke), it may provoke asthma symptoms.

    What are the Signs and Symptoms of Adult Onset Asthma?

    Asthma symptoms can include:

    Dry cough, especially at night or in response to specific "triggers"

    Tightness or pressure in the chest

    Difficulty breathing

    Wheezing—a whistling sound—when exhaling

    Shortness of breath after exercise

    Colds that go to the chest or "hang on" for 10 days or more

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    Date: 2/6/2014
    Title: New Peanut Therapy Alters DNA
    By Shannon Firth Jan. 31, 2014
    In the not too distant future, kids with peanut allergies may be able to chomp into sandwiches, candy bars and cookies without their parents fretting that their throats might close up, thanks to new experimental research which has found concrete differences in the DNA of people allergic to peanuts.

    At the moment, the best advice doctors can give to those who suffer from peanut allergies is avoid peanuts and carry an epi-pen. But researchers have made amazing strides using new technologies to better understand peanut allergies and how to treat them.

    "The biggest impact of this study is that we were looking for mechanisms, and we found them at the DNA level. Now the next question is how sustained are they at the DNA level and whether they can be passed on," says senior author Kari Nadeau, a physician scientist at Stanford University, who is also an allergist and immunologist.

    [READ: Bulimics are Four Times More Likely to Get Diabetes]

    Using blood tests and DNA sequencing technology, researchers at Stanford University were able to successfully predict which subjects with peanut allergies would react to a peanut test and which had grown tolerant after more than two years of an experimental therapy that exposed subjects to the very source of their allergies. The answer lay in a protein nicknamed FOXP3.

    Researchers at Stanford University divided their peanut-allergic subjects, into two groups: one group of 23 subjects was given a nearly invisible speck of peanut flour mixed in with food, usually apple sauce, while a second group of 20 subjects was told simply to avoid peanuts.

    Everyday the subjects in the experimental group would eat just a speck of flour. And every two weeks, their dose would increase by 25 percent. Both groups would return to the lab every three months where researchers would assess their reactivity to peanuts in a protected environment. After two years, those who were successfully treated could tolerate 4000mg of protein, about half a tablespoon of peanut flour.

    Patients wanted to know whether they would have to continue to eat peanuts everyday for the rest of their lives if they wanted to stave off an allergic reaction, so researchers and Stanford looked for an answer. They stopped patients from taking their daily dose of peanut flour for three months then tested their blood and sequenced their DNA. At 27 months, seven patients passed the challenge and showed no "detectable allergic reaction" to a peanut test. But after another three months of withdrawal from treatment – at 30 months into the trial – only three subjects continued to have a strong immune response.

    The determining factor, says Nadeau, was the effectiveness of certain T-cells, a type of white blood cells known as "peacekeepers" because they suppress other "bad actors" – the cells that trigger allergic reactions.

    [ALSO: Infertile Couples are Three Times More Likely to Divorce]

    Researchers next wanted to understand why allergic people's T-cells are weaker than others. They found their answer by looking at their subjects DNA at a very specific type of protein using a groundbreaking new type of research called epigenetics and a certain gene called FOXP3.

    "FOXP3 is a marker in our body that can help us with decreasing allergic reaction," says Nadeau.

    "Kids who are born without it actually have horrible allergies and autoimmune disease. Most all people have FOXP3 but the question is how is it modulated," she added later.

    Epigenetics looks at tiny globs of genetic material, that scientists used to think were junk. Now we know that this extra DNA is not junk and actually changes how our DNA is expressed. Sometimes these globs cause the DNA to produce proteins and sometimes they stop the DNA from producing proteins. But in the case of people with peanut allergies, this extra layer of DNA is harmful. Getting rid of these globs, these chemical modifications actually improve T-cell function so that the body can fight allergic reaction.

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    Date: 10/2/2013
    Title: Food-induced anaphylaxis: low patient concordance with post-discharge care guidelines
    Published Online: September 9, 2013

    Food-induced anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening systemic allergic reaction that often results in emergency department (ED) visits and/or hospitalization. Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis and its prompt and correct administration can be lifesaving. After an ED visit/hospitalization for anaphylaxis, US national guidelines recommend several actions, including prescription of an epinephrine auto-injector (EAI) and referral to an allergist/immunologist.

    In a recent study of healthcare claims in 1,370 US adults, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Landsman-Blumberg et al examined patient concordance with recommended post-discharge care after an ED visit or hospitalization for food-induced anaphylaxis. While previous studies investigated physician adherence with US national guidelines, the new study evaluated if patients actually fill/refill an EAI prescription and visit a specialist post-discharge. The investigators also examined the frequency of repeat anaphylaxis events over 1 year of follow-up.

    The investigators found low patient concordance with recommended post-discharge care, particularly for visiting an allergist/immunologist. Within 1 year after discharge from the ED or hospital, 54% of patients had filled an EAI prescription, while only 22% had visited an allergist/immunologist. Overall, 5% of patients had evidence of another anaphylaxis-related ED visit/hospitalization during the follow-up year.

    In summary, concordance with recommended post-discharge anaphylaxis care was low among adults with food-induced anaphylaxis. Results of this study suggest the need for increased physician and patient education to improve patient concordance with recommended post-discharge anaphylaxis care, and investigation of patient barriers to seeking such care, especially the recommendation to visit an allergist/immunologist.

    The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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    Date: 9/26/2013
    Title: Epinephrine autoinjectors: Who gets it and why?
    Published Online: September 3, 2013

    Epinephrine autoinjectors are commonly prescribed for patients at risk for anaphylaxis, including those with food allergies and insect sting allergies. However, epinephrine autoinjectors are also prescribed for other diseases. In a study by Agarwal and Wang published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, the prescribing patterns for epinephrine autoinjectors within an urban adult population attending the internal medicine practice at a large tertiary care hospital were examined.

    1.6% of the population was prescribed epinephrine autoinjectors. The most common indications for the epinephrine autoinjectors were food allergy (57%) and angioedema (9%). Additional diagnoses associated with the epinephrine autoinjector prescriptions included hives, insect sting allergy, asthma, allergen immunotherapy, drug allergy, idiopathic anaphylaxis and radio-contrast allergy. The authors noted that 4.5% were prescribed a suboptimal dose of epinephrine autoinjector and only about 2/3 of patients who received epinephrine auotinjector prescriptions were referred to an allergy specialist for further evaluation and management.

    These results indicate that clinicians should regularly evaluate the indications and dosing for epinephrine autoinjectors and consider referral to an allergy specialist for confirmatory testing and management guidance. Additional studies to explore prescribing patterns in larger populations and guidelines for clinicians would be beneficial as well.

    The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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    Date: 9/25/2013
    Title: 15 Healthy Snacks for Fall
    September 25, 2013 RSS Feed Print
    Keri Gans
    Keri Gans
    It's that time of year again – the kids are back at school, and you begin a hectic couple months of work and social commitments that last well into the holiday season. If your fall days are packed, create these super quick pre-dinner snacks for you and your kids. The 15 treats below are healthy, fast and inspired by the flavors of fall. Enjoy!

    Roasted pumpkin seeds and chickpeas. Nothing says autumn like pumpkin! Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and add a layer of pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle the seeds with a dash of salt, and then roast them at 325 F for about 25 minutes, or until toasted. If you're in a pinch, try half a serving (1/8 cup) of Eden Organic Pumpkin Seeds. Not a pumpkin lover? Roast chickpeas with cayenne and cumin instead.

    Single serving cheese with fruit. Get your snack fix with an individual serving of cheese, such as string cheese, a Mini Babybel or a one-ounce piece of Cabot cheese. Pair the cheese with a piece of seasonal fall fruit, such as apples or pears.

    Nuts. The nuts out of the package are fine, but how about adding an autumn twist by roasting almonds, walnuts or cashews with a trio of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves? Enjoy snacking on about one ounce of nuts. I like to use a shot glass to measure out my serving, and then place them into a snack-size bag for easy transport.

    Raw veggies and hummus. Slice your favorite fall veggies, and then pair them with hummus – but not just any old hummus. There are many, many flavors out there, including those that accent the season. Dip into hummus with flavors such as smoked paprika and cumin.

    Granola bars. Ditch the cookies, but keep the eight ounces of non-fat milk to pair with this convenient, go-to snack. There are likely many seasonal granola bars out there that include flavors such as pumpkin, maple and cinnamon. Choose one with no more than 200 calories and eight grams of sugar and at least 3 grams of fiber.

    Beef jerky. This may sound like an odd snack idea, but beef jerky has come a long way from how you may remember it. I like the gourmet dried meats from Simply Snackin, as well as the delicious flavors from Krave Jerky, including Black Cherry Barbecue and Sweet Chipotle.

    Baked chips with dip. When a snack attack hits you and the kids, satisfy it with a serving of baked chips or tortilla chips dipped in guacamole or salsa. To get into the swing of fall, try Foods Should Taste Good's Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips so it doesn't become a ho-hum snack.

    Popcorn. Ditch the large bag of microwave popcorn in favor of three cups of the air-popped variety topped with a pumpkin pie spice (a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and ginger). Complete this delicious snack with a small piece of cheese to keep you fuller longer.

    Hot chocolate. Everyone loves warming up with a mug of hot chocolate as the weather cools. Make yours with one cup of non-fat milk, and welcome the cooler weather.

    Homemade parfait. Grab an individual serving of cottage cheese (like Breakstone's 2 percent) or a cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt, and top it with berries. Add a sprinkle of Bear Naked Maple Pecan Granola to give it the delicious flavor of fall.

    English muffin with nut butter. Savor the season by topping one of Thomas' Pumpkin Spice English Muffins with natural almond butter or peanut butter. Try to limit the topping to one tablespoon. For a savory treat, consider spreading hummus on top of the English muffin.

    Turkey slices. Construct your snack by wrapping turkey slices in lettuce and adding a little spicy mustard, or layer the turkey on 100-percent whole-grain crisps. Add a few slices of apple for an extra (seasonal) crunch.

    Deviled eggs. Create a healthy version of deviled eggs by using low-fat mayonnaise or Greek yogurt. Use only two-thirds of the yolk, and replace the rest with cottage cheese. Paprika is typically the star of this dish, but make it fall-appropriate with a pinch of allspice or nutmeg.

    Seasonal soup. Hot, seasonal soups make a satisfying snack. Stock up on nutritious favorites such as split pea, lentil, black bean, or chicken with vegetables, and stick to a one-cup serving.

    Baked apples. Baked apples are seasonal staples that are simple to make. Put the whole apple in a microwaveable dish with a little apple juice and cinnamon. Cook them for about three minutes on high or until soft, and be sure to top the apples with a dollop of low-fat Greek yogurt to complete the snack.

    Hungry for more? Write to eatandrun@usnews.com with your questions, concerns and feedback.

    Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, is a registered dietitian/nutritionist, media personality, spokesperson, and author of The Small Change Diet. Gans's expert nutrition advice has been featured in Glamour, Fitness, Health, Self and Shape, and on national television and radio, including The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, ABC News, Primetime, and Sirius/XM Dr. Radio.

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    Date: 9/25/2013
    Title: Autism Study Finds No Link to Celiac Disease; Gluten Reactivity Real
    Date: September 25, 2013
    Largest-ever study of autism and celiac disease helps clarify earlier findings; supports parent reports of gluten sensitivities

    In the largest study of its kind, researchers found no link between autism and celiac disease, a severe intestinal disorder triggered by an immune reaction to gluten. However, the study also confirmed a strong association between autism and the presence of antibodies to gluten. Such antibodies indicate a significant immune reaction to the protein, which is found most commonly in wheat.

    The report, by researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, appears today in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

    “In the past, we have had the believers and nonbelievers when it came to the role of gluten in autism,” comments gastroenterologist Alessio Fasano. “Hopefully this paper can clarify, once and for all, that a subset of those with autism has gluten sensitivity, a condition triggered by gluten but distinct from celiac disease.” Dr. Fasano is chief of pediatric gastroenterology at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, home of the Lurie Center for Autism, an Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network site.

    Over the last decade, a suggested link between autism and celiac disease grew from a few case reports and the frequency of severe GI distress among children with autism. In addition, many parents of children with autism reported improvement when they switched their children to gluten-free diets.

    Subsequent studies found no increased prevalence of celiac disease among those with autism. This led skeptics to discount the parent reports. At the same time, other studies found a high occurrence of gluten-related antibodies among children with autism and GI distress. (More on these studies, made possible in part by Autism Speaks resources, here and here.)

    “The new study is important in that it finally puts two and two together,” Dr. Fasano says. Antibody tests may be one way to identify individuals – including those with autism – who may benefit from gluten-free diets, he adds. Dr. Fasano also calls for funding of clinical trials that can determine whether such diets can help relieve not only GI issues but also behavioral symptoms in individuals with autism who have gluten sensitivity.

    For more information, also see “Autism and GI Disorders” and this transcript of Dr. Fasano’s Autism Speaks webchat on autism-associated GI issues.

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    Date: 9/25/2013
    Title: Updated prevalence of food allergy in the United States
    Published Online: September 3, 2013

    Food allergy is a common condition, and estimates of its prevalence vary worldwide and even within the United States. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a periodic survey designed to collect health information on a nationally representative sample of Americans. Between 2007 and 2010, NHANES gathered information about allergies to specific foods, such as peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, egg, and milk by questionnaire. In a recent article published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), McGowan et al examined the prevalence of food allergies in NHANES, demographic and clinical characteristics of those affected by this condition, and the percentage of those who reported milk, fish, and shellfish allergy who actually avoided the food in their diet.

    A total of 20,686 individuals were surveyed between 2007 and 2010. The overall prevalence of self-reported food allergy was 8.96% (CI 8.32 – 9.60%), corresponding to 6.53% in children (95% CI 5.69 – 7.37%) and 9.72% in adults (95% CI 8.94 – 10.5%). “Other,” milk, peanut, and shellfish were the most common food allergies in both children and adults. Among adults, those of female gender and higher household education level had a higher prevalence of self-reported food allergy, and Non-Hispanic black race/ethnicity was associated with food allergy in all ages. A large proportion (25-35%) of individuals who reported an allergy to milk, shellfish, and fish had recently consumed the food.

    This report is unique in that it contains information about specific food allergies from a population that is truly representative of the United States and reports on adults with food allergies, who have not been well studied. This article also highlights the need for more sophisticated methods, such as a validated food allergy questionnaire, to use for large-scale epidemiologic studies of food allergy.

    The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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    Date: 9/25/2013
    Title: A To-Do List for Parkinson’s Researchers
    Actor Michael J. Fox is in good enough health to return to prime time TV, but neurodegeneration researchers still have more work to do

    By Todd Sher

    SLOW AND STEADY PROGRESS ON PARKINSON'S: Researchers are learning more about the role of the protein alpha synuclein (the Parkinson’s corollary to amyloid beta in Alzheimer’s), which misfolds and clumps in the cells of people with the disease.
    Image: Lab Science Career/Flickr

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    Parkinson’s disease is coming to prime time. Tomorrow night Michael J. Fox returns to television as the star of his own sitcom nearly 15 years after retiring from Spin City to focus on finding a cure for his disease.

    Michael has been careful to emphasize that the show isn’t really about Parkinson’s. Based loosely on his real life, The Michael J. Fox Show mines laughs from the everyday trials and tribulations of family man Mike Henry as he resumes his TV news job following a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Yet simply by featuring a main character living with the disease, the show puts Parkinson’s into the national conversation. This is a good moment to consider how much work remains to be done in the realm of neurodegeneration research.

    The question we’ve heard most often at The Michael J. Fox Foundation is: After more than 20 years with Parkinson’s, how is Michael doing well enough to go back to work? There’s no simple answer. He acknowledges the good fortune he has in a loving, supportive family and financial independence, which have provided advantages in dealing with his disease. He says, “Everybody gets their own version of Parkinson’s. Different meds work for different people, and you’re always trying to find the perfect combination. I think I found what works for me right now. And I’m so lucky.”

    But the reality is that for the estimated five million Parkinson’s patients worldwide, the status quo is still not good enough. They are living with Parkinson’s movement difficulties and nonmotor symptoms such as mood and sleep disorders as well as cognitive impairment. Medication and therapies alleviate some symptoms, but create their own problems and fail to address all the effects of Parkinson’s. We have some disease-modifying treatments in clinical trials, but nothing on the market yet. The grim truth is that those diagnosed with Parkinson’s will get worse. And for every patient, a community is affected, as the impact of the disease ripples to loved ones and caregivers. This is a global problem, but one that we can solve.

    Researchers are learning more about the role of the protein alpha synuclein (the Parkinson’s corollary to amyloid beta in Alzheimer’s), which misfolds and clumps in the cells of people with the disease. Just last month the Fox Foundation–sponsored Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative study reported preliminary data in JAMA Neurology on protein levels in spinal fluid, a critical milestone in pursuit of biomarkers that could lead to swifter diagnosis and drug development. On the long journey toward drugs that could prevent or slow disease progression, these are some of the most promising avenues we’ve seen. And investments in one area of neurological disease are likely to pay dividends across the spectrum as research illuminates pathological overlaps between, for example, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

    With budgets tight there is a tendency to adopt an incremental and safe approach to project development—taking small steps forward to secure more funding. Although small steps are important, we also need to follow promising early results into uncharted territory. Drug repurposing, for example, could allow us to take existing drugs that have already been proved safe for treatment of other conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, and apply them to Parkinson’s. Researchers are also characterizing genetic mutations associated with Parkinson’s, such as in the LRRK2 gene, to identify risk and protective factors.

    And here’s another idea: Instead of holing up in our laboratories until we have enough vetted and analyzed research to enter the lengthy process of publishing a manuscript, we researchers should set aside our egos and share our data and our tools. Open-access data, nontraditional partnerships and crowdsourcing are some ways we can move the needle forward.

    Finally, let’s revisit the partnership between investigators and patients. Technology-enabled solutions give researchers near-instantaneous access to a pool of informed and interested volunteers. We need to use tools like Fox Trial Finder and ResearchMatch to identify and connect with those potential participants. More so, we need to view them as collaborators—to keep them in mind when we design studies and follow up to let them know our findings. Satisfied volunteers make repeat participants.

    I guess I’m asking a lot. But these should be our default practices: Funding inventive and innovative projects and collaborating with our peers and nontraditional partners as well as patients.

    Michael J. Fox is optimistic, and I’m so glad to see him back on the screen. His attitude is infectious, and we hope it will inspire researchers to find a way to return every Parkinson’s patient to a career they love—or better yet, never leave it in the first place.

    Todd Sherer is CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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    Date: 9/25/2013
    Title: The Artificial Pancreas Does Its Homework
    By Michelle A. Cissell, Ph.D.
    September 24, 2013

    JDRF-funded researchers across the globe are currently testing artificial pancreas systems. Some clinical trials are inpatient, in which participants stay overnight or for a few days in a hospital or research clinic, while others take place in an outpatient setting. In both cases, a medical team carefully monitors the daily life of each trial volunteer wearing an artificial pancreas (AP) system—examining factors such as diet, activity level, and sleep periods—to evaluate how the system performs under various conditions and extreme blood-glucose levels. But everyday life is not always as neat as it is in a clinic, especially during the childhood and teenage years.

    That’s why Roman Hovorka, Ph.D., director of research in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories in the United Kingdom, recently tested at-home use of an AP system for overnight glucose control in adolescents ages 12 to 18 who have T1D. This JDRF-funded study was one of the first to test an AP system outside the controlled environment of a research clinic. It drew on Dr. Hovorka’s unique expertise in mathematical informatics and modeling to develop control algorithms—the crucial part of the computer program that uses data from the AP system’s continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to control its insulin pump.

    Working from home

    For three weeks, volunteers used a specific type of insulin pump and CGM that are compatible with the closed-loop system as they would normally during the day. But at bedtime, participants wirelessly connected the two devices to a laptop running a control algorithm, and the system began modulating insulin delivery from the pump according to the CGM reading. The study tracked how well the blood-glucose level was controlled during the three weeks of nighttime AP system use compared to that during a separate three-week period when the volunteers practiced conventional pump therapy around the clock.

    The at-home study recently completed, and Dr. Hovorka relates that the study team observed wide variations in insulin requirements from night to night when the system was tested at home. Some nights, a volunteer needed half the amount of insulin he or she would have taken on conventional treatment. Other nights, the opposite could be true—a participant’s CGM data might cause the system to administer twice the amount of insulin that the person would have taken normally. This observation highlights the difficulties of overnight glucose control as well as the potential benefit of a closed-loop system that helps people with T1D significantly improve their diabetes management overnight, since better control during sleep reduces the risk of hypoglycemia. Putting the nighttime hours—which account for one-third of a day—into better control should pay long-term dividends in terms of reducing the risk of diabetes complications.

    If for any reason the laptop lost the CGM signal or its connection to the pump, the system automatically returned to a preset insulin-infusion rate to restart conventional treatment. Dr. Hovorka says the system is simple and safe to use and seemed to be well accepted by the study participants. “The safety mitigation system allows us to be confident that the system is safe,” he states. “What is most challenging for the volunteers is using a new pump. Generally, they are quite relaxed, because they find it’s just a matter of pushing a button on the laptop to start closed loop.”

    Since the launch of its Artificial Pancreas Project, JDRF has led the way in research on closed- loop systems, and this study is no exception. Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF’s vice president of treat therapies, views Dr. Hovorka’s at-home trial of an AP system as “transformational.” Dr. Kowalski explains, “The trial is a huge advance because the studies are happening in outpatients who are unsupervised, meaning there is not a doctor or nurse in the next room—and that’s the real world. This study is blazing a trail.”

    Glucose management: anything but child’s play

    Dr. Hovorka is also applying his knowledge to better improve glucose control in young children with T1D. Many children, especially those too young to talk, are not able to recognize or communicate symptoms of dangerously high or low blood-glucose levels. Moreover, young children have small bodies, so they often need only minute amounts of insulin, which can be difficult to dispense accurately. These factors can make glucose control in young children extremely challenging for parents and caregivers.

    Dr. Hovorka is conducting a clinical trial to test the use of standard-strength and diluted insulin in children with T1D who are two to six years old. The goal of the study is to determine whether diluted insulin can improve the safety and efficacy of closed-loop control in these young children.

    In this study, children stay overnight in a research clinic on two separate occasions. On one night, the children are treated with a closed-loop system that uses insulin in the standard concentration; on the other night, the system uses an insulin formulation that has been diluted fivefold with a saline solution. Ideally, the diluted insulin should increase the accuracy of insulin delivery by the pump, reduce glucose fluctuations, and improve control in very young children compared to the standard insulin concentration.

    Leading the way to better glucose control

    JDRF’s goal of developing safe and effective artificial pancreas systems relies on partnerships of scientists working in many disciplines, including fields that are not traditionally associated with human disease research, like mathematics. Dr. Kowalski notes, “Dr. Hovorka is a brilliant mathematician. Working with an excellent clinical team at Cambridge, he is leading the way on control-algorithm development for the artificial pancreas.”

    Dr. Hovorka himself admits to being somewhat skeptical about closed-loop systems when he first started research in the field in the mid-1990s. But over time, he says, “it became an evolving journey of realizing that we can use existing devices to much greater benefit for people with type 1 diabetes.” His persistence and creativity are now paying off in the form of innovative algorithms that forge a strong link between insulin pumps and CGMs.

    With those algorithms, Dr. Hovorka and his team are tackling two of the most worrisome times for diabetes management in children—very young ages and nighttime. If his current trials successfully demonstrate improved control with a closed-loop system, then children and adolescents with T1D, along with their parents, may be able to sleep a little easier.

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    Date: 9/24/2013
    Title: 5 Ways to Shut Down Emotional Eating
    une 13, 2013 | By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD

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    After a bad day, do you seek solace in ice cream, cheesecake, or whipped cream straight from the can? You may keep eating fatty foods when you’re feeling down because you’re less likely to taste the fat in food, according to new research from the University of Wurzburg in Germany.

    In the study, scientists asked a group of volunteers to sample a variety of creamy drinks that contained different amounts of fat. Before tasting the treats, the study subjects were shown three different videos. The first depicted a happy scene, the second sad, and the third neutral. The humdrum video had no influence on the volunteers’ taste buds, but after watching the two emotional clips, the participants were less able to tell the drinks apart. The lesson: emotions impact our sensory perceptions of food. And eating anything–when what you really need has nothing to do with food–is a pattern that if broken, can dramatically transform your health, and your waistline. If you’re open to trying, here are five strategies to put into action.

    Let it out
    A friend once told me that her therapist advised her to go to a garage sale or thrift store, buy some cheap dishes, take them into her back yard, and smash them to bits. When I asked if she did it, she said she had, just with one dish, and it was one of the most liberating moments of her life. Whether you’re walking around with anger, sadness, or anxiety bottled up inside, allowing it to fester ups the chances that you’ll use food to detach, or stuff it back down. For this reason, I often advise my clients to find healthy ways to release their feelings, like watching a tearjerker to have a good cry, or furiously scrubbing the tub to let out aggression. I’m not a huge fan of Freud, but I do love his quote, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth in uglier ways.” Truth.

    Don’t multi-soothe
    If you find yourself drifting into the kitchen during a TV commercial to snatch that pint of Cherry Garcia you’ve been trying not to think about, stay put. Sit in a chair and eat the ice cream without distractions. It will probably feel incredibly awkward, but that’s the point. Inside your comfort cocoon, it’s easy to lose track of how fast and how much you’re eating, or that you’re even eating at all. Uncoupling these behaviors and just eating is like turning the lights on, which can lead to eating far less, or realizing that eating really isn’t the best way to cope. Powerful.

    Distance yourself
    Over the years I’ve had numerous clients tell me that they can’t keep certain foods around, because if they’re there, they’ll eat them, especially when they’re emotional. But unless you live alone, it can be impossible to completely banish all “high risk” foods. One thing that may help, however, is making them harder to get to. Research shows (and my own experience confirms) that the fewer steps you have to go through to get to a food, the more likely you are to eat it, and vice versa. So, stashing candy or cookies on a higher shelf, wrapped in another bag or inside of a sealed container, really does diminish the chances of eating it. It also provides the opportunity to consider other options. One client told me that this trick resulted in a major breakthrough. She said, “I thought to myself well, I can either go in the closet, get the step stool, and pull down that old Halloween candy, or call my friend, and in that moment, picking up the phone just seemed easier.” For her, this felt like a huge triumph, especially the next morning, when she woke up without a food hangover–or regret.

    Prevent the spiral
    One of the biggest challenges many of my clients face is not letting a small indulgence snowball into a big binge. Countless clients have told me, “After I went off track, I figured what the heck, I might as well keep eating.” This all or nothing tendency is especially common among people with a history of dieting, and ending it can be incredibly transformative, both emotionally and physically. If you’re perfectionistic, it can feel like there’s little difference between one “bad” meal and one “bad” day, but that’s not the truth. An analogy I use often is debt. If you were on a strict budget to get out of debt, and you spontaneously spent an extra $100, it wouldn’t make sense to then go on a spending spree and charge hundreds more to your credit card, right? If you did, you’d just dig a deeper hole that would take longer to get out of, and that’s exactly what happens with food. This very pattern is why many women remain roughly the same size for years, despite constantly being on diets. If that sounds familiar, know that you can break the cycle. Many of my clients discover that after a short detour, it is possible to get right back on the road, rather than getting lost.

    Structure your time
    For most of my clients, the risk of eating emotionally is greater on the weekends, when they have hours of unstructured time. If you’re in the same boat, plan a project or activity you enjoy, and build in a deadline. For example, if you’re making something (jewelry, crafts, etc.), plan to give it to a friend or family member on a specific date. And once you’ve finished a project, start another. This lifestyle change can result in finally ending what some of my clients refer to as “two day food orgies” and add to your quality of life in numerous ways.

    What’s your take on this topic? Do you struggle with emotional eating? Please tweet your thoughts to @CynthiaSass and @goodhealth

    Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. Connect with Cynthia on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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    Date: 9/24/2013
    Title: Viral Inflammation During Pregnancy Disrupts Brain-Cell Connections
    Date: September 23, 2013
    Study with mice helps explain why maternal infection during pregnancy increases the risk that offspring will develop autism

    Studies have long shown that maternal infection during pregnancy increases the risk that a child will develop autism. A newly published study may help explain why – and provide early guidance for the development of potential treatments.

    The new study, by autism researchers at the University of California-Davis Center for Neuroscience, appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.

    The researchers documented abnormal brain-cell development in the pups of pregnant mice that had been injected with viral RNA to mimic a flu (influenza) infection. The brain cells of these pups had much higher levels of a class of immune molecules called major histocompatibility complex 1 (MHC1).

    The high MHC1 levels, in turn, interfered with the brain cells’ ability to form connections with other brain cells. This is in line with earlier research suggesting that autism stems from the altered development of brain connections.

    In their experiments, the researchers then blocked the development of the excess MHC1 molecules in the pups’ developing brains. This restored the normal growth of brain-cell connections.

    “We know that activation of a mother’s immune system during pregnancy is a risk factor for autism, but how we get from risk factor to brain changes that contribute to autism has not been clear,” comments Daniel Smith, Autism Speaks senior director for discovery neuroscience.

    “We’re still a long way from knowing whether these results will lead to safe, new treatments,” Dr. Smith adds. “But studies like this – which point to specific biochemical pathways and abnormalities in connections between neurons – take us one step closer.”

    The study’s lead investigators – Bradford Elmer and Myka Estes – are pursuing their research with the support of Autism Speaks’ Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowships. The study’s senior author, Kimberley McAllister, is the recipient of an earlier Autism Speaks research grant that helped lay the foundation for the current study.

    Tags: Science, autism, Autism Speaks, Bradford Elmer, Dan Smith, Kimberley McAllister, maternal immune activation and autism, maternal infection during pregnancy, MIND Institute, Myka Estes, prenatal infection and autism, UC-Davis

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    Date: 9/24/2013
    Title: Use of acid-suppressive drugs during pregnancy and the development of toddler asthma
    Published Online: September 3, 2013

    Gastro-Acid-suppressive drugs are considered effective and safe to use during pregnancy to treat gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Recent studies reported a causal relation between prenatal exposure to acid suppressive drugs and the development of childhood asthma but unmeasured confounding could not be ruled out.

    In a Letter to the Editor in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI), Mulder et al. investigated the association between prenatal exposure to acid suppressive drugs and toddler asthma with a confounding minimizing case-crossover design.

    This study was performed with data from the Groningen prescription database IADB and compared 1,253 children with asthma with 1,253 of their own siblings without asthma. Children were identified as having asthma with the aid of dispensed prescriptions for asthma medication. All children could be followed in the database for at least 5.5 years from birth. Maternal exposure was defined as receiving at least one prescription for either proton pump inhibitors, histamine-2-antagonists or other drugs for GERD during pregnancy.

    The authors found that the use of acid suppressive drugs during pregnancy was associated with the development of asthma in children. The validity of previous reported results are supported by this study because findings showed the minimal influence of confounding in these associations. However, more study for example of the mechanism or development of other atopic conditions in relation to acid suppressive drugs, is now warranted, and the benefit risk-balance of such drugs should be reconsidered during pregnancy.

    The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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    Date: 9/24/2013
    Title: Walnut-Rich Diet Helps Overweight Adults Against Diabetes and Heart Problems
    A new finding has found added benefits of walnut for overweight adults. Medical researchers say walnuts help in protecting against diabetes as well as heart diseases in overweight adults.
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    Since ancient times Walnuts are recognized as the most delicious and healthiest of all nuts. They contain antioxidants, which counter the effects of cell damage as well as aging. Earlier studies have focused on the effects of walnut and walnut oil on disease prevalence as well as mortality. This new study establishes that by adding walnuts in the diet, overweight adults can improve their endothelial function.
    The latest finding was provided by medical experts from Yale -Griffin Prevention Research Center in Connecticut.
    "We know that improving diets tends to be hard, but adding a single food is easy," Dr. David Katz, lead author, said in a news statement.
    The team conducted a study that involved 46 adults of ages 30-75 who had a large Body Mass Index (more than 25) and whose waist circumference exceeded 40 inches (men) and 35 inches (women). Apart from this, the participants were required to be non smokers and had to carry one or more added risk factor for metabolic syndrome - combination of medical disorders that elevate the risk of diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease.
    Later the researchers randomly assigned the group of participants to a two week diet that either included walnut enriched ad libitum diet or an ad libitum diet minus walnut. The participants who belonged to the walnut diet had to consume upto 56 gms of unroasted, shelled English walnuts everyday as a snack or with meal.
    According to the researchers, adding walnuts in the diet offers dual benefits; it is nutrient rich and also helpsin removing food that contain less nutritious food.
    On completing the test, the researchers noticed that there was a vast improvement in the endothelial function of overweight adults with visceral adiposity when they took walnuts daily. Apart from this, daily walnut intake did not lead to unwanted weight gain.
    The researchers stated, "The primary outcome measure was the change in flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery. Secondary measures included serum lipid panel, fasting glucose and insulin, Homeostasis Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance values, blood pressure, and anthropometric measures..."
    The study "Effects of Walnuts on Endothelial Function in Overweight Adults with Visceral Obesity: A Randomized, Controlled, Crossover Trial," is documented in the journal of American College of Nutriti

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    Date: 9/23/2013
    Title: Blue Horizons for Autism: Families Find Success at JFK Airport!
    Monday, September 23, 2013Autism SpeaksView Comments
    On Saturday, September 21, we were thrilled to partner with JetBlue to host Blue Horizons for Autism at JFK Airport in Queens, NY. Blue Horizons provided over 300 people with the opportunity to navigate the air travel experience in a realistic, relaxed environment, surrounded by other families in the autism community. We know that air travel can be challenging for individuals affected by autism due to sensory issues, communication difficulties and other symptoms. As a result, many families do not fly due to the fear of the response it could elicit from their children with autism, as well as fellow travelers and airline crewmembers. Blue Horizons was designed to allow families to practice the airport experience with the goal of opening the doors to future travel opportunities for families in the autism community!
    Every effort was made to ensure the run through was as close to the actual air travel experience as possible. Families arrived at JFK’s Terminal 5 and walked right up to the ticket counter where they picked up their boarding passes and were given their boarding time and gate number. They then made their way through TSA security and explored the terminal or sat at their gate until boarding time. After all of the participants had boarded the plane by row number, the flight crew performed the full in-flight demonstration, and the plane pulled away from the gate! Air traffic control at JFK allowed the plane to circle the airport on the ground so families could experience the plane in motion. The participants were on the plane for roughly 30 minutes. Some were even able to sit in the cockpit with the pilots! Once they got off, there was a reception in the terminal of snacks and drinks to celebrate their accomplishment. We’d like to send out a special thank you to the ten behavior analysts from Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism who were onsite and volunteered their time to help support the participants throughout the day!
    We have already gotten wonderful feedback from families who participated in Blue Horizons for Autism. Check out some of the comments below!
    Such a great program! My kids enjoyed the whole experience. The staff from Jet Blue and Autism Speaks were great. Couldn't believe that during our "flight" not one meltdown. Can't say enough about this program Thank You for a great experience!
    This was awesome!! Took my son today and JetBlue was wonderful!! They made this experience so pleasant and fun for my son. They were very helpful and I'm so grateful to them for doing this! My son loves planes now!
    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for today. Our sons had a great day and everything went so smoothly. Thank you for helping us in our efforts to return to life as we once knew it :)
    Want to let you know how much my son (and I) enjoyed yesterday's event at JFK. I was deeply moved and several times fought back tears. Thank you and all of the employees at JetBlue who gave so generously of their time on a Saturday to help our kids.
    My 7 year old son had a fear of airplanes so I signed up for the event as soon as I found out about it. I was amazed he boarded the plane without incident. Now I have confidence we will be able to travel via airplane. Thank you, Autism Speaks!!
    We were so pleased with the success of the event and we hope to work with JetBlue in the near future to host other Blue Horizon events around the country! Stay tuned to our website and Facebook pages for potential opportunities near you!
    If you are preparing for air travel with your family, be sure to check out Adventures in Autism: A Guide to the Airport Experience, which we created to help families get ready for their trips!
    *We would like to thank JetBlue, Port Authority, TSA and Wyndham Worldwide for making this event possible!

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    Date: 9/23/2013
    Title: Robots to help people with dementia in Western Isles
    NHS Western Isles is putting robots into the homes of people with dementia as part of a pilot scheme to help them to continue to live independently.

    A relative or carer - potentially hundreds of miles away - can drive the machine around the house to check that everything is all right.

    The pair can also have a chat through a two-way video call system.

    The Giraff robots are 1.5m (4ft 11in) tall with wheels, and a TV screen instead of a head.

    A relative or carer can call up the Giraff with a computer from any location. Their face will appear on the screen allowing them to chat to the other person.

    The operator can also drive the robot around the house to check that medication is being taken and that food is being eaten.

    NHS Western Isles will be piloting the Giraff for the first time in Scotland, as part of the European Union project Remodem, which aims to investigate ways to support people with dementia living in remote communities.

    'High hopes'
    Health board bosses said earlier trials in Australia showed that people with dementia were not afraid of the machines. They hope the robots will help people living alone in remote areas to feel less lonely.

    Chief executive Gordon Jamieson said: "We are absolutely delighted to have the Giraff here with us to trial and we have high hopes for how it may improve the quality of life for some dementia patients.

    "As a new technology for us, the robot could also potentially be used in many other areas of healthcare to improve quality of care, live access to specialists, and speed up consultations, regardless of location."

    He added: "Having seen the Giraff in action, I am extremely impressed with how easily it can be moved around by the 'controller' so that you can clearly see the environment of the patient, and can have a conversation and meaningful interaction, regardless of distance."

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    Date: 9/23/2013
    Title: The Case for Never Weighing Yourself Again
    September 20, 2013 RSS Feed Print
    Melinda Johnson
    Melinda Johnson
    Is your mood for the day frequently tied to the number you see on your bathroom scale? You're not alone: Recent research reveals that in some people, frequent self-weighing is actually tied to depression, poor body image and an overall crummy mood, even though the subjects were normal weight. Worse, these feelings are also tied to disordered eating, making self-weighing a potential vicious cycle for some. Advocates of the Health At Every Size philosophy point out that being healthy requires healthy behaviors, regardless of what your scale number is – in other words, that number should not be dictating how you treat your body on any given day.

    If this rings a bell with you, I invite you to become a "virtual guest" at a successful women's retreat that focuses on healthy living without dieting, called Green Mountain at Fox Run in Vermont. President and co-owner Marsha Hudnall, a registered dietitian, offers insight into how self-weighing can actually be a destructive behavior. Her responses have been edited:

    Q: In your experience, do you find that some people actually damage their health (including mental health) by relying too much on the scale number?

    A: Every week, we see women who have spent and still spend a large portion of their lives focused on how much they weigh. If they don't weigh what they want – and they rarely do –their days are spent feeling bad about themselves to varying degrees. Then, they either spend their time trying to put in place behaviors that they think will help them achieve that weight (behaviors which, by the way, often aren't healthy and usually send them in the opposite direction), or feeling defeated and depressed about their ability to do "what's needed" to lose weight. So, from both a physical and mental health standpoint, the focus on the number on the scale can significantly interfere.

    [Read: Are You Exercising for the Right Reasons?]

    Q: Some health professionals maintain that it is not a good idea to never weigh oneself, because self-regulation is necessary to "keep things in check," so to speak. Do you agree?

    A: I agree that the scale should be an objective measure that can sometimes give important information about health. But there's too much baggage attached to the number on the scale for many people to be objective about it. And the number is also misused to diagnose health problems – there's a lot of misinformation out there that attributes health problems to body weight, when often an unhealthy weight can be just as much a symptom of the root cause of the health problems.

    Q: How do you convince women that the scale may not be helping them in their effort to become healthier?

    A: I talk about weighing ourselves being like seeing your reflection in a store window. Many of us have done this before: We're walking down the street, feeling good about ourselves. We've been eating well, regularly engaging in pleasurable physical activity, starting to get a handle on managing some of the big sources of stress in our lives. Then we happen to glance in the store window and see a reflection of ourselves. Who is still feeling well? Most of the women who come to Green Mountain would agree that they have fallen into a pit of despair about themselves. They don't like their bodies; they think they're too fat; they have struggled so much around this and things just seem to be getting worse. They now have to spend their time climbing out of that pit, as opposed to continuing on the path to wellness that they were just on a moment before.

    The scale acts just like the store window for many people. We get on it, see a number we don't like and it sends us to varying degrees of despair. Even if we are in the act of losing weight, the pleasure is temporary for most people because their history is that weight gain will follow weight loss, often ending up weighing more than when they started.
    click to view more
    [Read: The Diet Mentality Paradox: Why Dieting Can Make You Fat.]

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    Date: 9/17/2013
    Title: Kids' food allergies cost U.S. nearly $25 billion a year, study finds
    By Karen Kaplan
    September 16, 2013, 1:50 p.m.
    Children’s allergies to peanuts, dairy and other foods cost the U.S. nearly $25 billion a year, according to the first survey to come up with a comprehensive price tag for a condition that affects 8% of American kids.

    Researchers led by Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a pediatrician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and a professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, surveyed 1,643 parents around the country who have at least one child with a food allergy. The parents’ responses were weighted to match the actual distribution of children with food allergies in the United States.

    Here's what they found:

    Doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, trips to the emergency room and other direct medical expenses accounted for $4.3 billion of the tab, researchers reported. The lost productivity of parents who had to take their children to these appointments added $773 million.

    Then there were the expenses associated with buying special allergen-free foods, placing children in allergy-sensitive schools and making special arrangements for child care in facilities that are willing to banish peanuts. These costs totaled $5.5 billion.

    The biggest cost by far was the money parents gave up by staying out of the workforce, taking lesser jobs or otherwise restricting their careers to accommodate their children’s medical condition. Among the parents surveyed, 9.1% said they had incurred some type of work-related opportunity cost. (Some parents even said they’d been fired as a result of dealing with their kids’ allergies.) Altogether, these costs added up to $14 billion a year.

    The grand total for these expenses came to $24.8 billion a year, or $4,184 per child, the researchers found. After excluding medical expenses that would be covered by health insurance, the costs borne by families was $20.5 billion.

    To make sure their number was in the ballpark, the researchers asked parents to consider this hypothetical question: How much would you pay each month for a medicine that would cure your child’s allergy? The average response, annualized, was $3,504.

    When extrapolated across every single kid with a food allergy in the entire country, the parents’ total willingness to pay to be rid of allergies was $20.8 billion per year. That was surprisingly close to the $20.5 billion per year that food allergies actually cost them, and seemed to validate the high price parents pay in their careers (or lack thereof).

    Parents “often need to be at school, social events, or camp to educate and affirm the seriousness of their child’s condition,” the researchers noted in their report, which was published online Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. “In case of an emergency, caregivers may not be able or willing to take a job that requires travel or many hours away from their child.”

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    Date: 9/17/2013
    Title: Predicting asthma in preschool children with asthma-like symptoms
    Published Online: August 28, 2013

    Parents of preschool children with asthma-like symptoms, such as wheezing or dry cough, are often interested if their child will have persistent asthma at a later age. It is known that approximately 30% of preschool wheezing children have asthma at school age. Preschool asthma-like symptoms are non-specific, and therefore it is difficult to determine which preschool children with asthma-like symptoms actually have or will develop asthma at school age. Several asthma prediction models have been proposed to improve early diagnosis and management of asthma-like symptoms. The PIAMA Risk Score predicts the probability of developing asthma at school age among preschool children with suggestive symptoms.

    A recent study published in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI), by Hafkamp-de Groen et al, externally validated and updated the PIAMA Risk Score. They used data collected on 2,171 children with preschool asthma-like symptoms participating the PIAMA study (development study) and 2,877 children with preschool asthma-like symptoms, participating in the multi-ethnic prospective population-based cohort study, Generation R (validation study).

    At age 6 years, 6% (168/2,877) of the children had developed asthma. Compared to the development study, the original PIAMA Risk Score was able to better distinguish asthmatic from non-asthmatic children. No differences in the ability of the original PIAMA Risk Score to distinguish asthmatic from non-asthmatic children were found at different ages or in ethnic and socioeconomic subgroups of preschool children. The updated PIAMA Risk Score included pre-term birth (instead of post-term) and respiratory tract infections were removed from the original PIAMA Risk Score.

    The authors concluded from these results that the original PIAMA Risk Score showed good external validity in a multi-ethnic cohort study. The authors recommend that further studies are needed to reproduce the predictive performance of the updated PIAMA Risk Score in other populations and settings, and to assess its clinical relevance.

    The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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    Date: 9/17/2013
    Title: Physical activity improves quality of life
    Do you want to add years to your life? Or life to your years?

    Feeling your best boosts your zeal for life!

    The American Heart Association recommends 30-minutes of moderate activity, but three 10-minute periods of activity are as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session. This is achievable! Physical activity may also help encourage you to spend some time outdoors. Sunlight on your skin helps your body produce vitamin D, which brings many added health benefits.

    Here are some reasons why physical activity is proven to improve both mental and physical health.

    Physical activity boosts mental wellness.

    Regular physical activity can relieve tension, anxiety, depression and anger. You may not only notice a "feel good sensation" immediately following your physical activity, but most people also note an improvement in general well-being over time during the weeks and months as physical activity becomes a part of your routine.

    Exercise increases the flow of oxygen which directly affects the brain. Your mental acuity and memory can be improved with physical activity.

    Physical activity improves physical wellness.

    Stronger immunity
    It enhances your immune system and decreases the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

    Reduced risk factors
    Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 mm Hg. That's the same reduction in blood pressure delivered by some antihypertensive medications. Physical activity can also boost your levels of good cholesterol.

    Physical activity prolongs your optimal health.

    Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function well. And for each hour of regular exercise you get, you'll gain about two hours of additional life expectancy, even if you don't start until middle age. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, for as little as 30 minutes a day has the proven health benefits listed above as well as:

    Improves blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease
    Keeps weight under control
    Helps in the battle to quit smoking
    Improves blood cholesterol levels
    Prevents and manages high blood pressure
    Prevents bone loss
    Boosts energy level
    Helps manage stress
    Releases tension
    Promotes enthusiasm and optimism
    Counters anxiety and depression
    Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly
    Improves self-image
    Increases muscle strength, increasing the ability to do other physical activities
    Provides a way to share an activity with family and friends
    Reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30-40 percent
    Reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent in moderately active people and by 27 percent in highly active ones
    Establishes good heart-healthy habits in children and counters the conditions (obesity, high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels, poor lifestyle habits, etc.) that lead to heart attack and stroke later in life
    Helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging and maintains quality of life and independence longer for seniors
    So why not see for yourself? Once you get over the inertia and find creative ways to fit physical activity into your life, we think you'll agree that the effort to get moving is worth it!

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    Date: 9/17/2013
    Title: Increase Alzheimer's research funding: Column
    Don Campbell, USATODAY 4:36 p.m. EDT September 16, 2013
    The National Institutes of Health spends more on HIV/AIDS even though more Americans are living with Alzheimer's.

    campbell photo
    (Photo: Jym Wilson, USA TODAY)
    From 2000 to 2010, deaths of people with Alzheimer's skyrocketed.
    By 2050, the disease could cost Medicare and Medicaid $1.2 trillion a year.
    The search for a cure or treatment for Alzheimer's requires a harder-nosed pursuit of money.

    This country is famous for waging health-related "wars" — a war on cancer, a war on smoking, a war on HIV/AIDs, a war on obesity.

    It's time we launched a serious war on Alzheimer's disease. Right now, we're pursuing a "national plan to address" Alzheimer's, passed by Congress two years ago. It's a timid plan, having produced a lot of bureaucratic boilerplate but only a paltry increase in federal funding for research into the insidious disease.

    It includes a goal of being able to prevent and treat Alzheimer's by 2025, but without the means to achieve that goal. Why is it so difficult to get the war launched?

    Robert Egge, vice president of public policy for the national Alzheimer's Association, quotes the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, whose daughter said she had Alzheimer's: To successfully mount a political strategy, "first you win the argument, then you win the vote."

    In order to win spending arguments today, you have to contend with a political climate of lawmakers obsessed with federal budget deficits and cutting spending. Yet, because a large part of our economic problems are tied to surging health care costs, the argument for an exponential increase in spending on Alzheimer's research, now a meager $484 million a year, is multifaceted but simple:

    From 2000 to 2010, the percentage of deaths in the U.S. from cancer, HIV/AIDs and cardiovascular diseases declined, some sharply, while deaths of people with Alzheimer's skyrocketed. The numbers reflect the money spent by the National Institutes of Health on research. For example, this year NIH is spending nearly seven times as much on HIV/AIDs as it is on Alzheimer's, though there are five times as many people with Alzheimer's as with HIV/AIDs.

    'Most expensive malady'

    A New England Journal of Medicine report last spring showed that Alzheimer's is "the most expensive malady in the U.S. ... exceeding that for heart disease and cancer," Egge says.

    The Alzheimer's Association estimates it costs Medicare three times more to care for someone with Alzheimer's than for someone without the malady. Medicaid spends 19 times as much. By 2050, the disease could cost Medicare and Medicaid $1.2 trillion a year.

    There's a stigma attached to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia that must be overcome, despite a few admired figures having become a public faces for the disease: Ronald Reagan, former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, singer Glen Campbell.

    There's age discrimination. "We tend to live in an ageist society," says Eric VanVlymen, executive director of the Miami Valley Alzheimer's Association in Ohio. Only 4% of people with Alzheimer's are younger than 65, but nearly half of those 85 or older have Alzheimer's in a country working tirelessly to extend lives.

    There's an emotional and financial impact on families. "The devastation it does to a family is slow, and it's long, 10 or 15 years of losing a person you care about," VanVlymen says. Typically, a family starts out sharing the burden of providing care for the loved one. Then they might hire in-home care attendants, or move Mom or Grandpa into a private Alzheimer's facility. Only the rich can afford that for long. A private facility can cost $50,000 to $75,000 a year — or more. Eventually, many end up in nursing homes where Medicaid — meaning you — foots the bill.

    All of our problem

    You may have the attitude that if you don't have Alzheimer's in your family, or know anyone who has it, it's not your problem. Wrong. As long as Medicare and Medicaid remain solvent and you are among the shrinking percentage of people who pay federal taxes, it's your problem, too.

    The Alzheimer's Association does good work with the resources it has, holding countless "awareness" walks each year and counseling families dealing with the disease. But this is warm and fuzzy stuff; the search for a cure or treatment for Alzheimer's requires a harder-nosed pursuit of money.

    Even Egge, who is "conditionally optimistic" about meeting the 2025 goal, concedes that without quadrupling research funding to $2 billion a year, that goal is "virtually remote."

    In Washington, the squeakiest wheel gets the most grease, and I have a solution: Local Alzheimer's associations around the country should request — no, demand — that their U.S. represenatives and senators spend one hour, without aides or professional escorts, wandering around an advanced-stage Alzheimer's ward. Not only would that quickly loosen federal purse strings for Alzheimer's research, those purse strings would virtually disappear. Guaranteed.

    Don Campbell, a former Washington journalist and journalism educator, lives in Oakwood, Ohio, and is a member of USA TODAY'sBoard of Contributors.

    In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors. To read more columns like this, go to the opinion front page or follow us on twitter @USATopinion or Facebook.

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    Date: 9/15/2013
    Title: How Diabetes is Effecting Your Mental Health—And Vice Versa
    osted on September 11th, 2013 by Eliot LeBow, LCSW
    9 103+11 8

    You can’t sleep—again. Despite daytime fatigue, every time lie down for bed you’re suddenly restless.

    At social gatherings, you feel like everyone around you is thinking about your new diagnosis. You’ve begun to avoid them.

    With the added responsibility of checking your blood sugar, keeping your mental health under control has become more critical than ever.

    Every day, millions of Americans suffer with psychiatric issues. For people with diabetes, these issues are more common, and get in the way of proper healthcare.

    What puts people at risk for mental illness? For the general population, risk factors fall into three categories: inherited traits (like a family history of alcoholism), environmental exposures before birth (like virus or toxin exposure in the womb), or environmental exposures after birth (like domestic violence, emotional, sexual or physical abuse during childhood). For those of us living with diabetes, the disease itself is a fourth risk factor for mental illness.

    Diabetes has both physiological and emotional links to your mental state. Children with Type 1 diabetes are prone to physical damage to various regions of the brain, impairing attention, processing, long-term memory, and executive skills. Individuals with Type 2 diabetes (generally adults with fully developed brains) are more prone to depression and anxiety brought on by out-of-control blood sugar levels and the trauma of diagnosis.

    When it comes to addressing the dual challenge of diabetes and mental health problems, we’ve made strides. Researchers have a good sense of why psychiatric illnesses hit the diabetic population harder than the general one. In this eight-part blog series, I’ll examine some of the most common psychological disorders I’ve encountered with my patients—and discuss how they interact with diabetes, and what you can do to alleviate them.

    Learning to identify and address your mental health issues is essential to managing your diabetes. Is your psychological disorder interfering with your diabetes care? Or have you and your healthcare providers developed a system that works? Share your experience with us in the comments section!

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    Date: 9/15/2013
    Title: Autoimmune diseases may soon become history
    By ANI | ANI – Tue 10 Sep, 2013

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    Washington, Sept. 10 (ANI):An immunologist has said that with some prompting, the protein STING can turn down the immune response or even block its attack on healthy body constituents like collagen, insulin and the protective covering of neurons - targets of the debilitating diseases.
    Medical College of Georgia researchers saw STING's critical role play out after they injected into the bloodstream submicroscopic DNA nanoparticles, engineered carriers for delivering drugs or genes into cells.
    They learned that the magic is in STING, which recognizes the molecule that senses the DNA then prompts release of IDO, or indoleomine 2,3-dioxyegenase.
    Dr. Andrew L. Mellor, immunologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University said that the fact that STING is actually part of the DNA-sensing pathway tells us something we did not know before.
    DNA nanoparticles apparently look to the body a lot like the debris that results when dying cells release DNA from their nucleus.
    Researchers already knew there was a link between STING and immunity: the food-borne bacterium listeria releases cyclic dinucleotides to activate STING in cells it has infected.
    When MCG researchers put the STING stimulus into the bloodstream, it results in suppression. Other scientists have generated the exact opposite effect by injecting STING stimulating reagents under the skin.
    In the bloodstream, there are a lot of immune cells called phagocytes that ingest the submicroscopic particles that wind up in the fluid portion of the cell, called the cytoplasm, where most cellular activity happens.
    There, sensors detect the DNA and trigger signaling that leads to expression of IDO. In this complex interplay, STING appears essential to recognizing the molecule that recognizes the DNA.
    The study has been published in the Journal of Immunology. (ANI)

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    Date: 9/12/2013
    Title: Best Way to Fight Type 2 Diabetes: Not What You Think
    By Deborah Mitchell G+ June 29, 2012 - 7:12am for eMaxHealth
    Diabetes Care Current News
    Best way to fight type 2 diabetes

    The conventional way to fight type 2 diabetes is to focus on diet, exercise, weight loss and, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association, to take the standard antidiabetes drug--metformin. But the authors of a new study say they have the best way to fight type 2 diabetes, and it's not business as usual.

    This diabetes treatment could be a breakthrough
    If you want to make a significant impact on type 2 diabetes, then you need to treat it fast and aggressively, according to Dr. Ildiko Lingvay, assistant professor of internal medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Although diet, exercise, and weight management are certainly important, early and intensive treatment "can potentially change the course of this prevalent disease, which would represent a breakthrough," noted Lingvay.

    The trial consisted of 58 patients, ages 21 to 70, who had been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. All the participants were treated with insulin and metformin during a three-month lead-in period, after which they were randomly assigned to one of two groups for 3.5 years of treatment: continuation of insulin plus metformin, or a trio of drugs--metformin, glyburide, and pioglitazone.

    The goal of the trial was to determine whether early, aggressive therapy using an insulin-based approach or a trio of oral antidiabetes drugs would help preserve or even improve beta-cell function over 42 months.

    Beta cells manufacture and release insulin and amylin, hormones that regulate sugar (glucose) levels in the blood. The beta cells are in tune with the body's glucose levels and can quickly release extra insulin when it's needed. Individuals who have type 2 diabetes have dysfunctional beta cells that gradually stop functioning.click to view more

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    Date: 9/12/2013
    Title: Headaches Connected to Allergies and Sinus Problems
    About 70 to 80% of the North American population has headaches, with 50% experiencing at least one headache per month, 15% experiencing at least one weekly and 5% daily.1,2 The occurrence of headaches rises sharply during the second decade of life. Then it levels off until the age of 40 to 50 years, after which it decreases.

    While the majority of headaches are not a sign of a serious or life-threatening illness, they often affect quality of life. There are occasions where allergies or sinus problems can lead to a person to have headaches.

    Headaches with rhinitis (hay fever) are common and may be due to sinus disease in and around the nasal passages. A sinus headache is hard to identify since headache specialists consider true sinus headache to be fairly rare. Recent studies suggest that patients who appear to have sinus headaches frequently have migraines.

    People who have headaches that seem like they’re originating in the sinus should be carefully evaluated by a physician. Making the right diagnosis is important because primary headache disorders like migraines need a very different treatment compared with rhinosinusitis.

    Acute sinusitis occurs when there is a bacterial infection in one or more of the sinuses in your head. Sinusitis is often over diagnosed as a cause of headaches because of the belief that pain over the sinuses must be related to the sinuses. In reality, pain in the front of the head is more often caused by migraines. Migraines are confused with true sinus headaches because of their similar locations. Headaches attributed to acute bacterial rhinosinusitis are a specific, rare diagnosis. Antibiotics are often used for treatment. Other options include steam, corticosteroids and decongestants. If sinusitis does not respond to medical treatment, surgery may need to be considered.

    Chronic rhinosinusitis is one of the most common problems experienced with allergic rhinitis and can occasionally lead to headaches. Patients may also describe experiencing “sinus headaches.” However, it is controversial whether constant blockage of the nasal passages caused by allergic inflammation can lead to chronic headaches. Patients who experience blocked nasal passages should visit an allergist for testing. An allergist can find out what you are allergic to and help you manage your symptoms. Treatment strategies could include steps to avoid specific allergens, medications or allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots).

    The criteria below are used by physicians to diagnose rhinosinusitis headaches:
    1) A headache in the front of your head with pain in one or more areas of the face, ears, or teeth and clinical or laboratory evidence of acute or chronic rhinosinusitis. For example, your doctor might do a nasal endoscopy, which lets him or her see what is happening in your nasal and sinus passages.
    2) Headache and rhinosinusitis symptoms that occur at the same time.
    3) Headache and/or facial pain that goes away within seven days after decreased symptoms or successful treatment of acute or chronic rhinosinusitis.

    The majority of people with self-diagnosed sinus headaches are really suffering from migraines, which is why it is important to see a doctor to get a correct diagnosis. Research also supports a link between migraine and allergy, so your physician will consider both migraine headache and sinus headache if you are experiencing headaches and allergic rhinitis.

    References for the statistics mentioned:
    1. Jones NS. Sinus headaches: avoiding over- and mis-diagnosis. Expert Rev Neurother 2009 April; 9 (4) 439-444.
    2. Spierings EL. Acute, subacute, and chronic headache. Otolaryngol Clin North Am 2003 Dec.; 36 (6): 1095-1107.

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    Date: 9/12/2013
    Title: Why I Walk: The Scenic Route
    Thursday, September 12, 2013View Comments
    This guest blog is by Stephanie Coon. Stephanie walks for Kansas City Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Interested in learning more about the walks? Go to walknowforautismspeaks.org for more information!
    For myself, for my son, for everyone impacted by Autism. My journey down the Autism path started the Fall of 2005. My happy sweet outgoing 4 year old started to turn into a shy, timid little boy. In March 2006 we took him out of preschool and his father home schooled him for a month. Nothing changed, so back to preschool. This time I had a plan, and made an appointment for him at the University of Kansas Child Development center for an evaluation.

    The appointment in July 2005 took 4.5 hours. They did a full physical work up, gave him every test possible. At the initial evaluation the report was ADHD and possibly on the Autism spectrum. However, we’d have to wait a month to get the official results. In August 2005, 2 weeks before he was to start Kindergarten, we got the report stating he was on the spectrum, PDD-NOS, and was ADHD.
    In the matter of a few days I went through the 7 steps of the grieving process. I was grieving for the child I thought we had and all those hopes and dreams I had for that child. However, I realized he’s still the same child and I can still have those same hopes and dreams. Rather than the straight and narrow path we get to take the road less traveled. I call it the scenic route. It’ll still get us where we, and he, needs to go, but we’re just taking a little longer to get there. Good thing I’ve always been up for an adventure!
    This is my son Tyler, 8 years old, now. He’s in third grade in a regular classroom. He’s got a few accommodations in place to help when he needs them. He still has issues with social situations and learning social cues, but he does have friends who have accepted him for who he is and a family that loves and supports him.
    Why do you walk? Tell us your story at iwalkfor@gmail.com! If you would like to walk with our community as part of Walk Now for Autism Speaks go here to see if there is a walk in your area!
    « 8 Reasons Why Our Community Walks for Autism Speaks!!!
    Kansas City Walk Now For Autism Speaks, Stephanie Coon,

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    Date: 9/11/2013
    Title: Why Manage Blood Pressure?
    High blood pressure is the single most significant risk factor for heart disease. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer.

    High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, means the blood running through your arteries flows with too much force and puts pressure on your arteries, stretching them past their healthy limit and causing microscopic tears. Our body then kicks into injury-healing mode to repair these tears with scar tissue. But unfortunately, the scar tissue traps plaque and white blood cells which can form into blockages, blood clots, and hardened, weakened arteries.

    By keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range, you are:

    1. Reducing your risk of overstretched or injured blood vessel walls
    2. Reducing your risk of blockages which also protects your heart and brain
    3. Protecting your entire body so that your tissue receives regular supplies of blood that is rich in the oxygen it needs.

    What is the Cost of High Blood Pressure?
    Uncontrolled high blood pressure can injure or kill you. It's sometimes called "the silent killer" because it has no symptoms. Approximately 90% of all Americans will develop hypertension over their lifetime and one in three adults has high blood pressure, yet, many people don’t even know they have it. Uncontrolled high blood pressure kills people and wreaks havoc on many lives by causing heart disease and stroke.

    Blockages and blood clots mean less blood can get to our vital organs, and without blood, the tissue dies. That’s why high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and even heart failure.

    What Can I Do to Reduce My Blood Pressure?
    Good news! High blood pressure is manageable. Whether your blood pressure is high or normal (normal is less than 120 mm Hg systolic AND less than 80 mm Hg diastolic or <120/80) the lifestyle modifications listed here provide a great heart-healthy living plan for all of us.

    In addition, these changes may reduce your blood pressure without the use of prescription medications:

    eating a heart-healthy diet, which includes reducing sodium;
    enjoying regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight;
    managing stress; limiting alcohol; avoiding tobacco smoke.

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    Date: 9/11/2013
    Title: Sinus infections account for more antibiotic prescriptions than any other diagnosis
    Rhinosinusitis (sinus infections) are among the most common conditions encountered in medicine, and previous studies show antibiotics are prescribed extensively to treat rhinosinusitis. However, according to major consensus guidelines, antibiotics are not recommended for most patients with typical cases of acute sinus infections lasting less than 4 weeks, and the role of antibiotics for chronic sinus infections lasting more than 3 months is controversial.

    In a Letter to the Editor in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI), Shintani-Smith et al. sought to describe the overall national burden of antibiotic burden for adult sinus infections. Study data were taken from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2006-2010, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Sample data included antibiotic prescriptions associated with outpatient visits made by adults diagnosed with acute or chronic rhinosinusitis.

    Over the five year study period, sinus infections (acute and chronic combined) accounted for 11% of all primary diagnoses for ambulatory care visits with antibiotic prescriptions, more than any other diagnosis or commonly grouped diagnoses. Over the five year study period, there were 21.4 million estimated visits associated with a primary diagnosis of acute sinus infection, and 47.9 estimated visits associated with a primary diagnosis of chronic sinus infection. Despite established clinical practice guidelines recommending against the use of antibiotics for typical acute sinus infections, antibiotics were prescribed in 86% of acute rhinosinusitis and 69% of chronic rhinosinusitis visits.

    The data demonstrate that sinus infections diagnoses are responsible for more outpatient antibiotic prescriptions than any other diagnosis, identifying rhinosinusitis as a major target in national efforts to reduce unnecessary medical intervention. Excessive antibiotic use is associated with consequences including allergic reactions, adverse effects, unnecessary costs, and increasing bacterial resistance. The authors conclude that current rhinosinusitis treatment recommendations should be promoted across specialties, and efforts to educate policymakers and the general public on the indications, benefits, and risks of antibiotics should be increased.

    The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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    Date: 9/10/2013
    Title: Anaphylaxis- what drives reactions severity?
    Published Online: August 5, 2013

    Prospective human studies of anaphylaxis and its mechanisms have been limited, with few severe cases and/or examining only one or two mediators. Therefore, we aimed to determine the clinical patterns of human anaphylaxis, including delayed deteriorations, risk factors, and the relationships between multiple immune mediators and reaction severity.

    In a recent article published in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI), Brown et al studied cases of anaphylaxis presenting to eight Australian emergency departments over a three year period. Blood samples were taken to measure mast cell tryptase (MCT), histamine, anaphylatoxins (C3a, C4a, C5a), cytokines (interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, IL-10, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor I (TNFRI)), and platelet activating factor acetyl hydrolase (PAF-AH). These mediators, as well as baseline patient characteristics and reaction causation, were then studied to identify the risk factors and mediator patterns associated with reaction severity and delayed (recurrent, or "biphasic") deteriorations.

    Severe anaphylaxis was found to be associated with older age, lung disease, and drug causation. These severe reactions presented as either hypotensive (low blood pressure), hypoxemic (low levels of oxygen in the blood), or a combination of both. All of the mediators that were measured were associated with severity, and one group (MCT, histamine, IL-6, IL-10 and TNFRI) was also associated with delayed deteriorations. These results suggest that multiple inflammatory pathways drive reaction severity. Low PAF-AH activity (the enzyme that degrades an important mediator, PAF) was also associated with severe reactions, confirming the findings of a previous study suggesting that patients with low levels of this enzyme are more susceptible to severe anaphylaxis. Delayed deteriorations requiring treatment with epinephrine occur in <10% of patients, and were associated with pre-existing lung disease and initially severe reactions. They probably represented a protracted inflammatory process intrinsically linked with initial reaction severity that may be masked by initial treatment with epinephrine. The study's findings supported current recommendations for safe observation periods after initial treatment.

    The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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    Date: 9/9/2013
    Title: Important numbers for diabetes: 3 things to prevent complications
    By Kathleen Blanchard RN G+ March 7, 2013 - 10:53pm for eMaxHealth
    Diabetes Care
    3 important numbers for diabetics.


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    If you are dealing with diabetes, there are 3 important numbers that studies show can help prevent complications. Dealing with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can seem complicated, but if you understand 3 important numbers that can prevent complications, it makes things much easier.

    You already know it’s important to stay active, watch your weight and food portions and focus on specific food groups. But, there’s an underlying reasons related to diabetic complications for combining diet and lifestyle choices to manage diabetes.

    It all boils down to blood pressure management, ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and keeping your hemoglobin A1C number less than 7.0. Your own doctor may want the number to be even lower.

    Blood pressure guidelines for diabetes
    Diabetes can take a toll on the kidneys, so protecting them from damage typically meant making sure your blood pressure is less than 130 systolic, which is the top number.

    Hypertension can cause kidney damage and raise heart disease risk, especially in the presence of diabetes. Eye disease is also an increased risk when blood pressure is too high.

    But in December, 2012, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) relaxed the guidelines a bit, based on evidence that showing systolic blood pressure that is too low could cause more harm than good.

    Now, 140 for the top or systolic number is acceptable. Your doctor may tell you differently, based on your individual health status, making it important to comply with any medications, continue to follow a low salt diet and get plenty of exercise, even if it’s just stretching to keep your blood vessels healthy and flexible.

    If you have a blood pressure monitor at home, keep track of your readings and share at your doctor’s visit. A benefit of the lower guidelines, according to the researchers, is lower medical bills from fewer medications.

    Blood sugar levels
    A hemoglobin A1C level that is performed every three months if you’re sugars are poorly controlled tells your doctor how well you’ve been doing over a 3-month period.

    Studies show if you keep your sugar controlled over a long period of time, you can lower your risk of diabetes complications.

    If your sugar runs high occasionally, don’t fret. It’s more important to understand the overall picture. If your doctor isn’t discussing your hemoglobin A1C level, ask for details so you can keep track of your progress.

    Know your cholesterol numbers
    It’s not enough to just know your total cholesterol if you’re dealing with diabetes. You want to talk to your doctor about the dangerous type known as LDL cholesterol. It’s also important to know your triglyceride and ‘god’ or HDL number

    Too much LDL cholesterol that is a waxy substance can deposit in the walls of the arteries, causing blockage to blood flow. High levels can lead to plaque and interrupted blood flow anywhere in the body; not just the heart.

    People with diabetes already have a disadvantage because risk for heart problems is the same as someone who has already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

    What that mean is it’s important to strive to keep your LDL cholesterol numbers lower than non-diabetics – generally at or below 70 mg/dL.

    Triglycerides – the main form of fat in the bloodstream - should be less than 100 mg/dL. Higher levels can also cause hardening of the arteries and plaque buildup.

    If your HDL level is less than 40 you might have a higher risk of heart complications from diabetes. Conversely, a level of 60 or above is considered protective.

    Lowering diabetes complications is easier when you have specific targets. Diet, exercise, medication compliance and keeping your weight normal are mainstays of managing the disease. Knowing these 3 important numbers reflect how well you’re doing with your overall health status. Keeping blood pressure, cholesterol and hemoglobin A1C levels normal can lower your risks for diabetes complications.

    MedLine Plus
    “New Diabetes Guidelines May Lower Patient Medical Bills”
    December, 2012

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    Date: 9/8/2013
    Title: Introducing New Silicone Medical ID Rubber Band Bracelets!
    Who said a medical Id bracelet has to be ugly? We are introducing our newest product, silicone rubber band bracelets. These bracelets are made with silicone which is strong and durable. We offer these bracelets in a variety of color choices. Prices to sell these bracelets are suitable for both children and adults.
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    Date: 6/18/2013
    Title: Symptoms of atopic dermatitis are influenced by outdoor air pollution
    Published Online: June 13, 2013

    Outdoor air pollution is related to exacerbation of pre-existing asthma and even with the development of atopic diseases or allergic sensitization. In contrast, there are few studies to show the association between outdoor air pollution and atopic dermatitis (AD).

    In a Letter to the Editor published in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI), Kim et al theorized that symptoms of AD would be affected by outdoor air pollution. They enrolled 22 patients (17 boys and 5 girls) with AD living in Seoul, Korea, and followed them for 18 months between July, 2009, and December, 2010. Symptoms, frequency of bathing, application of moisturizers, and the use of topical corticosteroids (TCS) were recorded on a daily basis. The authors obtained daily mean concentrations of particulate matters (PMs), nitric oxides (NO, NO2, NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including benzene, toluene, ethyl-benzene, xylene, and styrene, and 24 hour average temperature and relative humidity from the closest monitoring sites to each patient’s residence during the study period to estimate the patients’ exposure to outdoor air pollution and meteorological conditions. These sites were operated by Seoul Metropolitan Government Research Institute of Public Health and Environment. A generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) was used to assess the association between outdoor air quality and AD symptoms. The researchers analyzed the level of air pollutants from the same day, the previous day (lag 1), and 2 days (lag 2) before the report of AD symptoms in separate models.

    From symptom records of 1,880 person-days, the authors found that AD symptoms were associated with the levels of outdoor air pollutants such as PM, toluene, and TVOC. Interestingly, this association varied according to season, and the lag effect of PM10, benzene, and TVOC on AD symptoms was found after exposure. The authors’ findings suggest that outdoor air pollution acts as an aggravating factor in AD as it does in asthma and may need to be controlled for better management of AD. Further research is required to elucidate the mechanism by which ambient pollutants influence exacerbation of skin symptoms in AD.

    The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is the official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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    Date: 6/18/2013
    For years, the truth surrounding celiac disease has been grainy. Founder and medical director of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago, Stefano Guandalini, MD, clears up the top 10 myths about the disease.

    Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. For people who suffer from this disease, ingesting gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley – can severely affect the digestive process of the small intestine. Although about 3 million Americans have celiac disease, there are a lot of misconceptions about the condition -- and not just among the public. People with celiac disease and even people within the medical community can sometimes be misinformed about the prevalence, symptoms and management of the disorder.

    Stefano Guandalini, MD, Founder and Medical Director of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago, is one of the leading experts who is trying to set the record straight about celiac disease. Dr. Guandalini, who is also a professor and chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology at the University of Chicago, identified what he sees as the most common myths about – and the truth behind – celiac disease.

    There is only one treatment option for celiac disease: A strict gluten-free diet.

    Myth: Celiac disease is rare
    Celiac disease affects one in every 100 people in the United States. It’s the most common inherited autoimmune disorder, and is far more common than diseases you probably hear more about, like type I diabetes or cystic fibrosis.

    Because celiac disease can be mistaken for so many other conditions, it can take a while to diagnosis. For example, a child with celiac disease will visit up to eight pediatricians before the correct diagnosis is made. The vast majority of people living with celiac actually haven’t been diagnosed – about 85 percent of people with celiac disease don’t know they have it!

    Myth: For the most part, only children develop celiac disease
    Celiac disease can strike at any point in a person’s life and affects Americans of all ages. Dr. Guandalini explains that while the onset mechanism of celiac disease is still in part unclear, he and his team at the Celiac Disease Center “believe a stress to the immune system in the presence of gluten triggers the disease active in predisposed individuals.” Some people can eat gluten for decades with no problem and then develop celiac disease. Others are diagnosed as children.

    An autoimmune disease is when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues as if it is a foreign substance.

    Myth: Celiac disease is just another way of saying wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity
    Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease – much like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. When someone has an allergy or sensitivity, the immune system interprets a foreign substance as a threat and attacks it. This response is typically strong enough that it produces symptoms, which we would consider an allergic reaction. An autoimmune disease, however, is when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues as if it is a foreign substance. When a person has celiac disease and eats gluten, his or her immune system responds by attacking the small intestine. This prevents the body from absorbing important nutrients.

    Myth: It’s possible to outgrow celiac disease
    While people can outgrow food allergies, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder and a lifelong condition – people do not outgrow it.

    Myth: The symptoms of celiac disease are always gastrointestinal
    Symptoms vary from person to person and even between children and adults. While digestive symptoms are common in children, adults often have symptoms that are not gastrointestinal, like iron deficiency, fatigue, joint pain or a skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis. Dr. Guandalini says that in addition “research shows that two out of three people with active celiac disease have minimal or no symptoms at all,” though they may still be at risk for all of the serious complications of celiac disease.

    "Two out of three people with active celiac disease have minimal or no symptoms at all.”

    Myth: If I’m diagnosed with celiac disease, I can still eat gluten if I don’t have any symptoms
    There is only one treatment option for celiac disease: A strict gluten-free diet. Even a small amount of gluten can trigger the disease and cause internal damage, says Dr. Guandalini. “It is important to note that this is an autoimmune disease; ingestion of gluten triggers a host of reactions that are detrimental in the long-term, even if symptoms are not seen immediately.”

    Myth: Gluten is in everything, so a gluten-free diet is incredibly limiting
    Gluten is a dietary protein found only in wheat, barley and rye. Though most processed foods have gluten, there are many foods that are naturally gluten-free. As long as they’re not processed, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish and seafood, meat and meat alternatives are all naturally gluten-free.

    “40 percent of the general population carries the gene or genes necessary to develop celiac disease...but only five percent of that group – or about one percent of the general population – ever develops it.”

    Myth: The best way you can tell if you have celiac disease is a screening
    Screening is only the first step. Screening consists of genetic tests, which show whether or not someone has the required genes, and antibody tests, which show if you have elevated antibodies.

    According to Dr. Guandalini, “40 percent of the general population carries the gene or genes necessary to develop celiac disease at some point in their lives, but only five percent of that group – or about one percent of the general population – ever develops [it].”

    Furthermore, while a high level of antibodies may indicate celiac disease, it is not decisive. A biopsy is the only way to diagnose celiac disease with complete certainty.

    Myth: Since there’s no cure for celiac disease, it’s not important to diagnose it right away
    Undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease can lead to the development of other autoimmune disorders, as well as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions and, in rare cases, cancer.

    Myth: If I think I have celiac disease, I can find out by not eating gluten
    In order to be diagnosed with celiac disease, you have to have a reaction to gluten, which you can’t have if you’re not eating any gluten. Dr. Guandalini explains, “Once you remove gluten, the diagnosis becomes virtually impossible.”

    Donate now to fund the cure for the celiac disease.


    Nick Cannon’s talents have presented him with a number of opportunities in life, but it wasn’t until a surprising diagnosis was made that he faced his most unexpected role yet — advocate for the autoimmune community.

    Dr. Bana Jabri, professor at University of Chicago and one of the world’s leading researchers of celiac disease, discusses the possibility of a future cure.

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    Date: 6/18/2013
    Title: In Bullies’ Hands, Nuts or Milk May Be a Weapon

    Margaret Riegel

    Any difference can set schoolchildren apart from their peers and potentially make them a target for bullying. But a severe food allergy is a unique vulnerability: It takes only one lunch or cupcake birthday party for other children to know which classmates cannot eat nuts, eggs, milk or even a trace of wheat. It can take longer for them to grasp how frightening it is to live with a life-threatening allergy.

    Surprisingly, classmates may prey on this vulnerability, plotting to switch a child’s lunch to see if she gets sick, for example, or spitting milk at a child’s face and causing a swift anaphylactic reaction.

    In a recent survey of 251 sets of parents and children with food allergies, published in Pediatrics in January, roughly a third of the children reported being bullied for their allergies. Parents knew about the threatening behavior only half the time.

    Dr. Robert Wood, the director of pediatric allergy at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, gets “very frequent reports” of bullying from patients and their parents, he said. Just last week, one child’s face was touched with peanut butter, endangering the child. Typically, bullying is not as extreme, but the phenomenon has “been there the whole time,” he said.

    Now, however, the issue is starting to earn attention. In May, Food Allergy Research and Education, a nonprofit group in McLean, Va., released a public service announcement highlighting the issue that featured a pupil lamenting the cafeteria as a “scary place.” It has more than 17,000 views on YouTube, has been shown on the CW network, and spurred dozens of parents to share unnerving anecdotes on the group’s Facebook page.

    “Bullying should never be regarded as a rite of passage,” said John Lehr, the chief executive of the group. “It’s never a joke, but food allergy bullying is really not a joke because someone can be taken to the emergency room.”

    Children’s National Medical Center in Washington just hired a psychologist to join its food allergy program, in part to help young patients who feel isolated or are being bullied. Dr. Hemant P. Sharma, the director of the program, said a third of the center’s patients report being bullied.

    Every few months, a child recounts being force-fed an allergen, Dr. Sharma said, adding, “Even if it’s just a child who feels singled out because of their food allergy, it compounds the emotional burden.”

    Indeed, some children with food allergies get distressed or anxious. Dr. Wood routinely sends children to a psychologist “because they won’t touch a doorknob or use a bathroom, because they fear inadvertent exposure to their allergen.”

    The Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan not only offers children and parents counseling after bullying, but will call principals on a patient’s behalf.
    click to view more

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    Date: 6/18/2013
    Title: More Evidence that Prenatal Exposure to Air Pollution Ups Autism Risk
    Date: June 18, 2013
    Nurses Health study supports earlier findings that exposure to air pollution during pregnancy increases baby’s risk of autism

    Harvard researchers are reporting strong evidence that prenatal exposure to high air pollution can up to double the chance that a child will develop autism. The results – drawn from the large, nationwide U.S. Nurses Health Study – back those of previous studies suggesting this link. The report appears online today in Environmental Health Perspectives.

    The researchers mined data from the Nurses' Health Study II, which has tracked the health of 116,430 nurses since 1989. Within this group, they studied 325 women who had children with autism. For comparison, they tracked another 22,000 women whose children did not have the disorder.

    The researchers used Environmental Protection Agency pollution tracking to estimate each mother’s exposure during pregnancy. They adjusted for the influence of factors such as income, education and smoking during pregnancy.

    In particular, the researchers looked at pollutants known to affect brain development and function. These included air particulates, lead, manganese, mercury and methylene chloride.

    The increased risk varied from 20 to 100 percent depending on the pollutant.

    The women who lived in locations with the highest levels of air pollution particulates were twice as likely to have a child with autism as those who lived in areas with the lowest levels. Women exposed to the highest levels of other air pollutants were about 50 percent more likely to have a child with autism than those exposed to the lowest concentrations.
    click to view more

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    Date: 6/17/2013
    Title: Physical activity improves quality of life
    Do you want to add years to your life? Or life to your years?

    Feeling your best boosts your zeal for life!

    The American Heart Association recommends 30-minutes of moderate activity, but three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session. This is achievable! Physical activity may also help encourage you to spend some time outdoors. Sunlight on your skin helps your body produce vitamin D, which brings many added health benefits.

    Here are some reasons why physical activity is proven to improve both mental and physical health.

    Physical activity boosts mental wellness.

    Regular physical activity can relieve tension, anxiety, depression and anger. You may not only notice a "feel good sensation" immediately following your physical activity, but most people also note an improvement in general well-being over time during the weeks and months as physical activity becomes a part of your routine.

    Exercise increases the flow of oxygen which directly affects the brain. Your mental acuity and memory can be improved with physical activity.

    Physical activity improves physical wellness.

    Stronger immunity
    It enhances your immune system and decreases the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

    Reduced risk factors
    Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 mm Hg. That's the same reduction in blood
    pressure delivered by some antihypertensive medications. Physical activity can also boost your levels of good cholesterol.
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    Date: 6/17/2013
    Title: Wise Advice from Dr. Ruth on Alzheimer's Caregiving
    Dr. Ruth Westheimer
    "Somewhere inside me a fire burns to help people overcome their problems." So says the spirited, renowned sex and relationship therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, in her new book, Dr. Ruth's Guide for the Alzheimer's Caregiver: How to Care for Your Loved One Without Getting Overwhelmed . . . and Without Doing It All Yourself.

    I must admit I was more than a little skeptical when I picked it up. I wondered how Dr. Ruth could possibly know about Alzheimer's caregiving, how anything about sex belonged in this book, and how inappropriate her trademark sense of humor would be when writing about this serious topic.

    After reading the book, however, I concluded that it's one of the best I've ever read on Alzheimer's caregiving. And I've read a lot. No, it doesn't have any humor and yes, there's a brief section on sex that is entirely appropriate.

    In the introduction, Dr. Ruth writes, "The purpose of this book is to make carrying that weight [of caring for someone with Alzheimer's] a little more tolerable." She succeeds fully in accomplishing that mission.

    When I recently asked her how she became passionate enough about this topic to write a book on it, she told me she has friends whose spouses have Alzheimer's. "It's so sad," she said. "These caregivers need help to keep their morale up. They needn't feel guilty if they go out to a movie or do other things for themselves."

    She took everything she knows about behavioral therapy and applied it to Alzheimer's caregiving in Part One, Advice from Dr. Ruth. In Part Two, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, she presents information she's gleaned from friends and acquaintances, her own research and communications with experts in the field. Although she says, "Thankfully, I have not had to deal with caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's," from reading this book one would assume she has had several years of experience doing just that.

    This guide, written with Pierre A. Lahu, Westheimer's "minister of communications" for more than 31 years, is jam-packed with practical, hands-on, down-to-earth information designed to help caregivers function in their new roles and take care of themselves. But it doesn't just advise them what to do, it includes detailed explanations of how to do it.

    Part One covers topics such as how to help yourself, how to deal with your feelings, and getting professional help when feelings begin to interfere with normal activities. It also discusses how to have your own life when taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer's and specific issues that arise when taking care of a spouse, a parent or other relative with dementia. In addition, there is information about helping children and grandchildren cope and how to deal with professional caregivers, including detailed tips on how to hire an in-home caregiver.
    click to view more

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    Date: 6/17/2013
    Title: Diet Pill for Diabetics Causes Healthy Weight Loss
    By Tim Boyer G+ June 27, 2012 - 2:48pm for eMaxHealth

    Diet and Weight Loss Current News

    Weight loss plays an important role in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Health experts say that just a loss of approximately 5% of a diabetic patient’s weight can result in improved glycemic control. However, Type 2 diabetics typically find it more difficult to lose weight than non-diabetics. In fact, researchers say that diet and exercise are not enough to help diabetics lose weight and that drug intervention is needed that is effective, safe and can be taken in conjunction with blood-sugar medications for treating their diabetes. This week, researchers announce in a free online journal article published in the journal Obesity that the diet pill lorcaserin has demonstrated significant weight loss in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

    Lorcaserin is a serotonin receptor angonist that works specifically on appetite signals in the brain and has been shown in previous studies—with otherwise healthy obese individuals—to cause significant weight loss. Encouraged by the previous weight loss findings with lorcaserin, researchers from a variety of academic institutions and members of The Obesity Society (TOS), worked together to determine whether or not lorcaserin is safe and effective in the treatment of overweight patients with Type 2 diabetes.

    In a study titled BLOOM-DM (Behavioral Modification and Lorcaserin for Obesity and Overweight Management in Diabetes Mellitus), researchers recruited 604 obese and overweight participants for a year-long, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. The participants were divided into 3 groups with one group receiving 10 milligrams of lorcasein twice a day in the morning and the evening; the second group received 10 milligrams of lorcasein once a day in the morning and a placebo in the evening; and, the third group receiving a placebo twice a day with one pill in the morning and one in the evening.
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    Date: 6/4/2013
    Title: A2A Receptor Antagonists and Parkinson’s Disease Treatment
    You can find out more about NPF's National Medical Director, Dr. Michael S. Okun, by also visiting the NPF Center of Excellence, University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration.
    One of the exciting recent changes in the treatment approach to Parkinson’s disease has been the development of new brain targets that have attempted to move the field beyond the typical dopamine and dopamine agonist-based treatments. One of the brain targets that has gleaned tremendous interest from multiple pharmaceutical companies, as well as from leading scientists from around the world, has been the adenosine A2 receptor. In this month’s What’s Hot column, I will review what is known about this brain receptor, and also provide an update on the status of clinical trials focused on the A2A receptor antagonists for treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
    What is the adenosine A2A receptor? There is a group of circuits in the brain called the basal ganglia that are collectively involved in the underlying problems that result in the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The basal ganglia have a ton of adenosine A2A receptors located on the outside of nerve cells that are referred to as neurons. Many of these receptors have been observed to be co-located next to dopamine receptors. Scientists believe that you can either activate the dopamine receptor, or alternatively block the adenosine A2 receptor as a means to improving the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. There has been some speculation that this class of drugs may when used in combination with dopaminergic drugs (e.g. levodopa and agonists) facilitate a reduction in the dosage of dopamine, and a coincident reduction in side effects.

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    Date: 6/4/2013
    Title: About Acetaminophen
    A World of Conditions, Hundreds of Medicines, One Ingredient. Use it Safely.

    Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in America. It is found in more than 600 different medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines pain relievers, fever reducers, and sleep aids as well as cough, cold, and allergy medicines.

    When used as directed, acetaminophen is safe and effective. But there is a limit to how much you can take in one day. Taking more acetaminophen than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage.

    Follow three simple steps to use acetaminophen:

    Always read and follow the label.
    Never take more medicine than the label says. Taking more acetaminophen than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage.

    Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen.
    It is important to check the active ingredients in all of your medicines to see if they contain acetaminophen.

    On over-the-counter medicines the word “acetaminophen” is listed on the front of the package or bottle and in the active ingredient section of the Drug Facts label.
    On prescription labels, acetaminophen is sometimes listed as “APAP,” “acetam,” or other shortened versions of the word.
    Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time.
    You can take too much acetaminophen if you use more than one medicine that contains acetaminophen at the same time.

    Talk to your healthcare provider before taking acetaminophen if you drink three or more alcoholic drinks a day, if you have liver disease, or if you take warfarin. You may be at greater risk for liver damage. You should also talk to your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking acetaminophen.

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    Date: 6/3/2013
    Title: Talking Type 2: Jacki Miskill
    Posted on June 3, 2013 by American Diabetes Association
    The number of teens and young adults living with type 2 diabetes has increased in recent years. Managing diabetes at this age can come with different challenges than an adult may face. This week on the blog, we’ll be featuring stories of people who have been there—and how they’re determined to live long, healthy lives while managing their diabetes.

    Does type 2 diabetes affect a young person in your life? Check out the American Diabetes Association’s new “Be Healthy Today; Be Healthy for Life,” a resource developed especially for youth living with type 2 and their families.


    Name: Jacki Miskill
    From: Courtland, Va.

    My name is Jacquelynn (Jacki) and I am 25 years old. I have type 2 diabetes.

    Ever since I was about 12 years old I struggled with my weight. Because of a family history of diabetes, I knew I needed to get a handle on my weight and eating habits before it became an issue. In January 2012 I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant with my first son. I was told that having it during pregnancy greatly increases your chances of developing type 2 later in life, and puts your baby at risk for it too, so I followed the strictest diet I could and did everything my doctors asked.

    I delivered a healthy baby boy in March 2012. After delivery my blood glucose levels tested fine for weeks, so I slipped back into my old habits quickly. Being a new mom was exhausting and I didn’t really try as hard as I should have. In August I started having tingly feelings in my palms and the soles of my feet. My doctor tested my A1C; it was 7.9 percent and I was told that, yes, I have type 2 diabetes.

    At first I was angry and in denial because I felt perfectly fine! But then I became proactive about keeping my numbers in check. Within months I had my A1C down to 6 percent. Shortly after that, I found out I was pregnant again! It is quite stressful sometimes having to follow a diet and take pills every day while pregnant, but by doing what the doctors tell me I have been able to keep my numbers within an acceptable range and my A1C between 5.6 and 6 percent.

    For both of my children, I am trying very hard to take care of myself and do what I can every day to make sure that I maintain my new healthy lifestyle, even after pregnancy. I have family members who have had diabetes for many years and they still struggle with it. I have decided that eating healthfully and taking walks with my son a few times a week are not too much to ask to make my life better.

    My goal after the birth of my second son in September is to drop 40 pounds, because my doctors tell me that my weight (200 pounds right now) contributed to my type 2 diabetes. My message to people my own age and even younger would be to watch what you eat. Once I was diagnosed and began counting carbs I realized that I was taking in two to three times more than the recommended carbohydrate serving per day—and much of that was bad (refined, processed) carbs. Now instead of having a brownie and ice cream I will have an apple and peanut butter. I have discovered balancing protein and good carbs is what works best for me and keeps my numbers in line.

    I have diabetes, but it does not control me! Each day is a new chance to do better than yesterday—because I know I can.

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    Date: 6/3/2013
    Title: A Lone Voice Raises Alarms on Lucrative Diabetes Drugs
    Published: May 30, 2013 149 Comments

    LOS ANGELES — Dr. Peter C. Butler initially declined a request by the drug maker Merck to test whether its new diabetes drug, Januvia, could help stave off the disease in rats.
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    “I said, I’m not interested in your money, go away,” Dr. Butler recalled.

    Merck no doubt now wishes it had. When Dr. Butler finally agreed to do the study, he found worrisome changes in the pancreases of the rats that could lead to pancreatic cancer. The discovery, in early 2008, turned Dr. Butler into a crusader whose follow-up studies now threaten the future of not only Januvia but all the drugs in its class, which have sales of more than $9 billion annually and are used by hundreds of thousands of people with Type 2 diabetes.

    “I knew some stuff that I thought was a worry and I was obliged to pursue it,” said Dr. Butler, chief of the division of endocrinology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    Based on his latest study, both the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have begun investigations that could lead to new warnings on the drugs, or even to their removal from the market.

    Or they could result in no action at all.

    Dr. Butler faces powerful opponents in the makers of the drugs and many diabetes specialists, who say his studies are contradicted by other evidence.

    “The data are inconclusive,” said Dr. Robert Ratner, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. He said even if there were some excess risk, it would be “exceptionally low.”

    Nancy Thornberry, who heads diabetes drug development at Merck, said that clinical trials, the gold standard of medical evidence, had found no increased risk of pancreatic disease from Januvia, even when results of trials were pooled to achieve greater numbers. “In fact, my mother takes sitagliptin,” she added, referring to Januvia by its generic name.

    Questions about whether the drugs raise the risk of pancreatitis, a painful and possibly lethal inflammation of the pancreas, arose soon after the first one, Byetta, now sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, was approved in 2005. The drugs’ labels already contain warnings about that. What is new and potentially more serious is a possible risk of pancreatic cancer, which is virtually untreatable and kills most victims within a year.

    Many people in the field compare Dr. Butler to Dr. Steven Nissen, the well-known Cleveland Clinic cardiologist whose warnings about Avandia, a different type of diabetes drug, led to its being banned in Europe and highly restricted in the United States.

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    Date: 6/3/2013
    Title: A family's battle against food allergy bullying
    Dana GordinTODAY contributor
    11 hours ago

    Courtesy Dana Gordin
    Dana Gordin says her heart ached that her son Scott, who is allergic to peanuts, had to deal with bullies.
    “Mom, he rubbed his peanut butter cracker fingers through my hair!”

    I will never forget those words uttered by my oldest son, Scott, when he was 9 years old. Scott is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish. My heart ached that he had to deal with bullies and I was amazed that I was able to hold back the tears as he explained his scary day.

    Sadly, this wasn’t the first time Scott had endured food allergy bullying. He had dealt with kids in the cafeteria waving their PB&J sandwiches in his face; being called the peanut kid; and teasing words of how he doesn’t have fun because he can’t have certain candy and desserts.

    But this episode of rubbing peanut butter cracker crumbs through Scott’s hair was scary for our entire family. Scott could have experienced a severe reaction as a result of this child, who was wielding food as a weapon without understanding the potentially dangerous consequences.

    Scott told school staff about the bullying, but unfortunately, they only verbally told the bully to “be nice.” With such minor consequences, the bullying got worse.

    Together, Scott and I discussed how to handle these situations. On his own, Scott decided he wanted to get in front of his class and discuss his food allergies. And he did! Amazingly, he took his scary incidents and turned them into a positive experience.

    After explaining to the students that his food allergies are potentially life-threatening, the bully confessed that he thought the food “allergy” would only cause Scott to sneeze. He apologized! As a result, the classmate stopped his risky acts. But most importantly, Scott grew mightily from his personal choice to empower himself to make a difference and educate others.

    Scott, now 17, has been educating classmates ever since. I couldn’t be more proud of him, and encourage all parents to support their children in speaking up about their food allergies.

    My youngest son, Matthew, age 15, is also allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. While Scott experienced anaphylaxis in preschool from an ill-informed substitute teacher handing out granola bars, Matthew ended up with a highly swollen face from rubbing his eye after touching a school book with peanut butter residue left by a previous student. Such anxiety-inducing events, coupled with Scott’s bullying experiences, have compelled me to be a louder voice for my children and others who suffer from food allergies.

    For the past five years, our family has become very involved with the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization. My husband Duane and I organize the Nevada FARE Walk for Food Allergy in Las Vegas, while Scott is our Teen Recruitment Chair and Matthew helps fundraise and set up the walk. Additionally, our family helps to lead local school district workshops on food allergy-related bullying.

    The simple truth is we all need to do more. While physical bullying can be potentially life-threatening for a child with food allergies, the emotional and psychological effects of bullying can also be devastating. And this doesn’t just happen at the hands of other kids.

    As a high school sophomore, Scott was bullied by a substitute teacher who had not been informed about his food allergies, and she ate nuts during his class. Scott approached her and told her about his food allergy. She thanked him, asked him to return to his seat, ignored his request, and continued to eat nuts. When he left the classroom to ask the counselor what to do, the substitute derisively asked Scott’s classmates why he demanded such special attention.

    But you know what happened? Scott’s classmates defended him. Being food allergy aware, they told the teacher about the life-threatening reality of Scott’s allergies. And in the process, they boosted his self-image by letting him know they “had his back.”

    Scott’s call to action after this incident should motivate all of us: “Mom, our work is not done!”

    Dana Gordin is a mom of two from Las Vegas, Nev. She volunteers forFARE, a national organization with resources for families dealing with food allergies. FARE recently created a public service announcement on food allergies and bullying, which you can see here.

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    Date: 5/29/2013
    Title: The Lie That's Killing Us: Pre-Diabetes
    By Riva Greenberg

    Pre-diabetes is a lie. Pre-diabetes is Stage 1 diabetes. And I'm taking a stand now advocating that we call it what it is.

    Pre-diabetes doesn't exist. And the lie we tell that it does does incredible harm. It stops the nearly 80 million Americans we say have it from making the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent advanced Type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes is in truth the first stage of diabetes.

    My proposition is that recognizing pre-diabetes as "Stage 1" Type 2 diabetes will get millions more people to take action to stop their diabetes from progressing.

    About 80 million people is roughly the populations of California, Texas and New York combined. The International Diabetes Federation reports that in 2011, 280 million people worldwide were glucose intolerant (pre-diabetic). In only 17 years, 398 million people will be.

    We clearly need a new strategy. The 25-year campaign the American Diabetes Association has waged to raise awareness of diabetes and pre-diabetes and urge preventive and healthful behaviors has been sadly, and enormously, unsuccessful.

    Pre-Diabetes Is Stage 1 Diabetes
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    Pre-diabetes literally says you don't have diabetes -- but you do. Your blood sugars are higher than normal, a defining characteristic of diabetes.

    A study performed at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Detroit showed 36 percent of people with pre-diabetes already had coronary artery disease, similar to the 42 percent with Type 2 diabetes and strikingly higher than the 21 percent with normal blood sugars. Higher than normal glucose levels impact hypertension (high blood pressure) and lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides. Plus, most people with pre-diabetes show signs of retinopathy (eye damage), nephropathy (kidney damage) and neuropathy (nerve damage), all diabetes complications.

    Lynda Sardeson, a certified diabetes educator and registered nurse, wrote to me in an email, "We began diagnosing pre-diabetes and put it in practice guidelines around 2004 to try and 'catch' those with diabetes earlier to prevent more complications."

    Exactly: "To catch those with diabetes earlier..." So let's call pre-diabetes what it is: Stage 1 diabetes. Why? Because it is. Because health care providers need to take it seriously and not soft pedal it. Because policy makers must decrease the health care costs of diabetes now poised to bankrupt us. Costs have risen $70 billion in the past five years with no end in sight. Last year the U.S. spent $245 billion health care dollars on diabetes -- the total GDP of Israel.

    And, because for patients, hearing you have Stage 1 diabetes, like hearing you have Stage 1 cancer, has power and hope in it. The power of alarm to motivate behavior change -- and the hope of remission if you do.

    Four Stages of Type 2 Diabetes

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    Date: 5/28/2013
    Title: It’s Clear: It’s Important to Care for Your Eyes!
    Posted on May 28, 2013 by American Diabetes Association
    May is Healthy Vision Month! You may have heard that diabetes causes eye problems and may lead to blindness. It’s true that people with diabetes do have a higher risk of blindness than people without it, and that the disease is the leading cause of blindness in adults.

    Fortunately, most people with diabetes have nothing more than minor eye disorders. With regular checkups, you can keep minor problems minor. And if you do develop a major problem, there are treatments that often work well if you begin them right away.

    Earlier this month, the American Diabetes Association released new research examining the level of awareness and understanding of eye health for people who are living with diabetes. The Diabetes Eye Health Study, which was funded by a grant from Genentech and conducted by Harris Interactive®, surveyed adults in the U.S. who are currently diagnosed with diabetes, and explored their level of awareness and concern about the relationship between diabetes and eye health.

    The research found that while 96 percent of those surveyed were aware that diabetes could lead to blindness, 20 percent of those have not had an eye exam in the past 12 months—demonstrating that awareness does not always drive action when it comes to eye health. The study also suggests that people diagnosed with diabetes are not always aware of the recommended care to prevent eye complications associated with their diabetes.

    If you have diabetes, it is critical that you receive an annual dilated eye exam to avoid complications and lower your risk of glaucoma, cataracts and other eye problems such as diabetic macular edema. In this simple procedure, an eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil, allowing a full view of the back of the eye.

    Overdue for your annual eye exam? Don’t wait until things get blurry—schedule one today.

    Visit diabetes.org/eyehealth to learn more about diabetic eye complications and eye care for people with diabetes.

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    Date: 5/28/2013
    Title: Mentoring Program Links Parents to Help Kids
    Are you a parent of a child newly diagnosed with diabetes? Are you a parent of a child who has been living with diabetes for years? The American Diabetes Association plans to bring both groups together with its parent-mentoring program.

    Some local Association offices have offered parent mentoring before, but now a streamlined program will make it easier to match families based on the age of their children at diagnosis, type of diabetes, gender, and location, says Jennifer Puryear, director of youth and new patient initiatives. “Talking to another parent who has gone through the same things, and felt the same feelings, is sometimes even more comforting than a doctor saying your kid’s going to be OK,” Puryear says. Parents will be able to chat in person or via phone or video based on what works best for them, she adds.

    Parents who are experienced in helping their children manage diabetes are encouraged to sign up to become mentors through the ADA’s online Volunteer Center (diabetes.org/volunteer). Potential mentors will then work through their local offices to complete an application, receive online training, and pass a background check, before they’re matched with mentees.

    Parents of newly diagnosed children can sign up for mentoring at diabetes.org/parentmentor or by filling out a form found in the ADA’s Everyday Wisdom kit, a resource for families of children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Everyday Wisdom kits may be ordered at no cost at diabetes.org/everydaywisdom or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

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    Date: 5/23/2013
    Title: Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) Champions Federal Legislation Encouraging Schools to Stock and Administer Epinephrine
    H.R. 2094 is a potentially life-saving bill introduced by Rep. Phil Roe and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, which encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors in case of life-threatening anaphylactic emergencies.

    McLean, VA (PRWEB) May 23, 2013

    Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) yesterday reintroduced the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094), legislation championed by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). This bill encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have on hand “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors, which is epinephrine that is not prescribed to a specific student but can be used for any student or staff member in an anaphylactic emergency. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can be fatal.
    In addition to protecting those whose epinephrine auto-injector is not immediately accessible during a reaction, this legislation will help save the lives of those who experience an anaphylactic reaction and do not have a prescribed epinephrine auto-injector. Studies estimate that up to 25 percent of all epinephrine administrations that occur in the school setting involve individuals whose risk for allergy was unknown at the time of the event. In 2012, the National School Boards Association issued new food allergy guidelines recommending that schools stock epinephrine.
    More than 20 states have laws or guidelines in place allowing schools to stock undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors. The proposed federal legislation would provide an incentive for states to require schools to stock epinephrine.
    “No child should die of an anaphylactic reaction because life-saving epinephrine is unavailable,” said John L. Lehr, chief executive officer of FARE. “This bill will help make millions of school children with food allergies safer. We are grateful to Dr. Roe and Mr. Hoyer for their leadership on this common sense legislation.”
    The bipartisan bill was originally introduced in the 112th Congress in 2011. Sens. Durbin and Kirk introduced the bill in the Senate, while Reps. Roe and Hoyer introduced it in the House.
    As a physician, Rep. Roe has seen the life-saving effects of epinephrine firsthand. He once saved the life of a landscaper working in his yard who had an anaphylactic reaction to an insect sting.
    “I am proud to introduce the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act because this important legislation could save lives,” he said. “According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, roughly one in 13 children under age 18 have at least one food allergy. A systemic allergic reaction can kill within minutes. To prevent a fatal outcome, we need to make epinephrine auto-injectors available in our schools. You can never be too careful when protecting the life of a child and this legislation will ensure we’re taking every precaution we can to ensure children are safe should they have an allergic reaction at school. I want to thank Rep. Steny Hoyer for his support of and work on this bill.”
    “For the nearly 6 million children in our country who suffer from food allergies, including my granddaughter, it’s vital that our schools have immediate access to emergency epinephrine in the event of an allergic reaction,” said Democratic Whip Hoyer. “That’s why I re-introduced legislation to encourage states to have epinephrine auto-injectors on hand in schools and to ensure that school personnel are trained to quickly respond to an emergency allergic reaction. I will work to enact this legislation so we may provide peace of mind to families across the country. I thank Food Allergy Research & Education for their endorsement of this bipartisan legislation and for their advocacy for life-saving measures at both the national and state levels.”
    In addition to FARE, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine have endorsed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act.
    Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. – or roughly two in every classroom. Formed in 2012 as a result of a merger between the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network and the Food Allergy Initiative, FARE’s mission is to ensure the safety and inclusion of individuals with food allergies while relentlessly seeking a cure. We do this by providing evidence-based education and resources, undertaking advocacy at all levels of government, increasing awareness of food allergy as a serious public health issue and investing in world-class research that advances treatment and understanding of food allergies. For more information, please visit http://www.foodallergy.org

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    Date: 5/23/2013
    Title: The Diabetes Belt
    This part of the U.S. is the bull's-eye in targeting type 2 diabetes
    By Lindsey Wahowiak

    Pat Higgins, who has type 2 diabetes and volunteers with the American Diabetes Association, has seen the diabetes population boom in Charlotte, N.C.

    “In Charlotte alone, we have 165,000 people with diabetes,” she says, in a city of about 750,000. “In the community, to ‘have a little sugar,’ everybody considered that to be normal. That’s something you hear in the South in particular. I’m from the north [Chicago], and I didn’t hear that before.”

    Charlotte is located on the edge of the “diabetes belt”—a geographic area of the United States where residents have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who live in other parts of the country. The ADA’s Charlotte office serves several counties in the belt. Within the diabetes belt, 11.7 percent of the population has diabetes—in some counties, that percentage can reach 13 percent. The national average is 8.5 percent.

    The diabetes belt spans counties in most of the Southern states and reaches up through Appalachia. And, in general, it’s growing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). New counties are added; we let out the belt another notch yet it cannot contain the strain. The geographic area affected closely mirrors the “stroke belt,” and its population generally is more prone to developing not only diabetes but also other chronic diseases.

    Amit Vora, MD, FACE, is a professor of endocrinology at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville and a practicing endocrinologist. In his practice, he sees how some of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes culminate in a kind of perfect storm. Vora cites an unhealthy food culture, few convenient or safe places to exercise, and an impoverished and poorly educated population—and all too often, he sees complications in patients who didn’t get diabetes care early or regularly.

    “I saw a patient who came in with an A1C of 13 [percent],” he remembers. “I said, ‘Had you not been feeling well?’ The patient said, ‘Doctor, I haven’t been to any doctor. I don’t like to do that unless something’s broken.’ People just don’t go to the doctor.”

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    Date: 5/23/2013
    Title: 5 Tips for Eating Healthfully at a Cookout
    May 20, 2013 RSS Feed Print

    Keri Glassman
    Burgers, potato salad, sprinklers. For many Americans, Memorial Day is the beginning of warm and sunny times ahead. This weekend is also prime time for social events and backyard bashes – complete with plenty to eat. For me, summer seems to be the most challenging time to "go light" with food and maintain weight (let alone lose it, if that's your goal) because we're more apt to socialize, eat and drink. We all love summer parties, but they don't have to wreak havoc on your diet. Here are a few tips to tackle a barbecue the right way:

    ● Fill up before you go. Go ahead, ruin your appetite before heading to the barbecue bash. You need a snack that provides satiety so you don't show up half starved. And certainly don't "hold out" on eating beforehand. Fasting all day in prep of a big barbecue is the worst thing you can do. You'll slow down your metabolism and wind up overeating – a double whammy!

    ● Assess the situation when you arrive. Sometimes, your attitude going into the meal can make or break your barbecue experience. If you see spinach dip when you enter, you may think, "There's nothing healthy here, and I might as well pig out." Then you notice chicken skewers, shrimp cocktail, crudité and way more. Be patient, scope out the scene and then use what is available to create as proportioned a meal as possible.

    ● Try to skip that first drink. When you have your first drink before you even say hello to the guests, you're probably off to an overindulgent night. You'll end up consuming too many calories from alcohol, and then the effects of said alcohol may inhibit your willpower and make you consume too many calories from food, too.

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    Date: 5/22/2013
    Title: 31 Tips for Parents - From Teens
    For every day of Food Allergy Awareness Month, members of our Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) will be sharing tips for parents of allergic youth. The group worked hard on a diverse list of advice with the common theme of working with your child to prepare them to become responsible for their own allergies.

    Our YAP members got creative with their tips and have taken various pictures of themselves holding signs displaying their advice. By putting faces to the information they hope parents will gain knowledge and insight from the campaign knowing that these are real tips coming from real youth.

    The tips will be posted daily on our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. Be sure to follow us in order to view all of the tips throughout the month. We encourage you to share these pictures across your networks so we can spread this helpful information far and wide. By the end of the campaign we will have all of the pictures available as a complete resource on www.whyriskit.ca and www.anaphylaxis.ca.

    Note - Tips will be released one per day for the entire month of May.

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    Date: 5/22/2013
    Title: Remembering to Take Your Insulin
    May 22, 2013 by Allison Espiritu
    Are you having a hard time remembering when to take your insulin? Whether it be at night or in the morning, we need to remember to take our insulin at the same time to get the most of what it offers us. But how do we make this task easier?

    Watch as Dlife's Certified Diabetes Educator, Joy Pape, gives us a few trick of the trade on taking insulin. From planning it with an activity you do daily to creating a reminder or alarm, these tips will make life easier to take your insulin and manage your diabetes!

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    Date: 5/21/2013
    Title: Diet Soda: Good Or Bad For You? Read more at http://diabetes.greatergood.com/clickToGive/dbs/article/Diet-Soda-Good-Or-Bad-For-You420#WG6MVyLYIzeQo87M
    Mar 7, 2013 by Dominika Osmolska Psy.D. for EmaxHealth.com
    Diet sodas and artificial sweeteners may not be the healthy alternatives to their regular counterparts that many people believe them to be. Two new studies out of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio suggest quite the contrary: artificial sweeteners may promote increased waistlines and insulin resistance.

    One study focused on a population of elderly people, while a related study focused on the long-term impact of aspartame in mice.

    The team first assessed data from 474 elderly Mexican Americans and European Americans. Diet soft drink users, as a group, experienced 70 per cent greater increases in waist circumference compared with non-users. Frequent users, who said they consumed two or more diet sodas a day, experienced waist circumference increases that were 500 per cent greater than those of non-users.

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    Date: 5/21/2013
    May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month!

    Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month." It's a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to educate your patients, family, friends, co-workers and others about these diseases.

    It’s easy for you to celebrate with us! AAFA invites you to use AAFA resources and tools to bring healthy messages to work, school and home.

    Help Us Raise Funds for Research

    May is a great time to help raise awareness and funds for asthma and allergic diseases. To get involved this May, start raising funds and awareness for asthma and allergies today! You can create an online fundraising page for AAFA through FirstGiving or plan an awareness month event in your area. Get a free Awareness Month Planning Kit from the EPA for tips.

    Awareness Month Events

    Here are a few events for 2013:

    Sweepstakes—each month, AAFA hosts an online Sweepstakes to give away Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ products. Visit www.aafa.org/sweepstakes to see what Sweepstakes are currently open!

    Free Webinar—join our friends at Kids With Food Allergies on April 30 for a live discussion about why access to epinephrine in schools is important to children who are at risk for anaphylaxis. Find out what actions you can take now to promote appropriate use of epinephrine in schools. Click here to register for Epinephrine in Schools: What You Need to Know.|

    Poster Contest—EPA would like to invite 3rd-8th graders in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin to participate in the Asthma Awareness Poster Contest which aims to promote asthma awareness among children, parents and school faculty. Students will create a drawing or painting that illustrates different aspects of the condition, including asthma management, triggers, and medication. All entries must be received by Friday, May 10. For more information see http://www.epa.gov/region5/asthmapostercontest/

    Share your photos! Kids With Food Allergies, a division of AAFA, will be holding its annual “Faces of Food Allergies” awareness photo sharing campaign May 13-17 in partnership with Applegate Farms, Lucy’s cookies and Allermates. Families are invited to share their children’s photos enjoying life to show that their food allergies don’t hold them back. Visit www.kidswithfoodallergies.org to share your child’s photo and be eligible to win gifts from the sponsors.

    Ditch the Drip—AAFA, along with three-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor and Teva Respiratory will be in Memphis on May 16-18. Visit our Ditch the Drip booth at the Memphis in May International Festival to talk about nasal allergy awareness and enter to win a free Dyson vacuum!

    Disney Vacations Fundraiser—From now until June 2013, mention "KFA" in your quote request for your Disney vacation and 4% of the total package price will be donated to KFA! Click here to book your trip today.

    Dancing for a Cause—AAFA supporters at the Dayton Dance Conservatory are raising awareness and collecting funds for AAFA at their upcoming 37th Annual Late Spring Recital on June 9. Visit www.daytondanceconservatory.com for more information.

    Nominate a star! Show your appreciation to those who are helping raise awareness of severe allergies – celebrate them by including them in Sanofi’s Severe Allergy Awareness Hall of Fame! Sanofi US will donate $5 to advocacy organizations focused on severe allergies—including AAFA—up to a total of $100,000. Thank someone today!
    If you have other activities you’d like us to post on this page, or if you would like information on how you can host an event or fundraise in your area, please contact Sanaz at sanaz@aafa.org or 202-974-1225 with your questions and ideas.

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    Date: 5/21/2013
    Title: Dealing with Alzheimer's can bring out many strong emotions
    As the disease progresses, caregiving issues can often ignite or magnify family conflicts. The strategies below can help families cope with the situation together.

    Tips for families

    Tips for families
    Listen to each family member with respect.
    Coping with a progressive illness, such as Alzheimer's, can be stressful — and not everyone reacts in the same way. Family members may have different opinions. Some relatives may deny what is happening; a long-distance relative may be resented for living far away; or there may be disagreement about financial and care decisions, especially at the end-of-life. These issues are complex and require ongoing discussions. Give everyone an opportunity to share their opinion and avoid blaming or attacking each other, as this will only cause more hurt.
    Map out a plan to approach Alzheimer's
    There are many questions you'll need to answer as you plan for the future. Use Alzheimer's Navigator - our free online tool - to guide you as you map out your plan.

    Learn more:
    Alzheimer's Navigator

    Discuss caregiving responsibilities.
    Talk through caregiving roles and responsibilities. Make a list of tasks and include how much time, money and effort may be involved to complete them. Divide tasks according to the family member’s preferences and abilities. Some family members may be hands-on caregivers, responding immediately to issues and organizing resources. Others may be more comfortable with being told to complete specific tasks. Our online Care Team Calendar can help you coordinate.
    Continue to talk.
    Keep the lines of communication open. Schedule regular meetings or conference calls to keep everyone involved up-to-date. Discuss how things are working, reassess the needs of the person with Alzheimer’s, and decide if any changes in responsibilities are needed. Plan for anticipated changes as the disease progresses.
    Cope with changes and loss together.
    As Alzheimer's progresses and cognitive abilities change, it is normal to experience feelings of loss. Caregivers and family members may want to seek support from others who are dealing with similar situations. Support groups are available. Find an Alzheimer's Association support group in your area or join our online message boards.
    Seek outside help.
    If tensions and disagreements are ongoing, you may want to seek help from a trusted third party, such as a spiritual leader, mediator or counselor. Sometimes, an outside perspective can help everyone take a step back and work through the difficult issues. The Alzheimer's Association Helpline (1.800.272.3900) is staffed with care consultants who can help any time — day or night.

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    Date: 5/20/2013
    Title: Enlarged Heart
    What is an enlarged heart?

    Think of a healthy heart like a firm biceps muscle. An enlarged heart is just the opposite.

    When your heart is enlarged, it’s like a soft biceps — it’s weak and out of shape. Your body starts to retain fluid, your lungs get congested with fluid and your heart begins to beat irregularly.

    “In general the term ‘enlarged heart’ refers to heart failure,” said Clyde Yancy, M.D., past president of the American Heart Association and chief of the Division of Cardiology and the Magerstadt Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “This is a common condition that’s more likely to occur in older patients. It’s most strongly related to a history of high blood pressure or a previous heart attack.”

    About one in five adults over age 40 is affected, with African-Americans facing a greater risk.

    “There are other reasons for an enlarged heart or heart muscle disorders (like cardiomyopathies, which are diseases of the heart muscle) and not everyone with heart failure has an enlarged heart,” Dr. Yancy said. “But when we speak of an enlarged heart we are typically referring to heart failure.”

    What to Look For
    Shortness of breath, fluid retention (edema) and having a harder time exercising are among the key symptoms of an enlarged heart or heart failure. Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) — potentially even serious irregular heart rhythms and strokes — are likely as well, Dr. Yancy said.

    The symptoms of an enlarged heart can affect the quality and length of your life, Dr. Yancy said.

    “This is why treatment is so important and why we are so encouraged that good treatments are available today,” he said.
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    Date: 5/20/2013
    Title: Enlarged Heart
    What is an enlarged heart?

    Think of a healthy heart like a firm biceps muscle. An enlarged heart is just the opposite.

    When your heart is enlarged, it’s like a soft biceps — it’s weak and out of shape. Your body starts to retain fluid, your lungs get congested with fluid and your heart begins to beat irregularly.

    “In general the term ‘enlarged heart’ refers to heart failure,” said Clyde Yancy, M.D., past president of the American Heart Association and chief of the Division of Cardiology and the Magerstadt Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “This is a common condition that’s more likely to occur in older patients. It’s most strongly related to a history of high blood pressure or a previous heart attack.”

    About one in five adults over age 40 is affected, with African-Americans facing a greater risk.

    “There are other reasons for an enlarged heart or heart muscle disorders (like cardiomyopathies, which are diseases of the heart muscle) and not everyone with heart failure has an enlarged heart,” Dr. Yancy said. “But when we speak of an enlarged heart we are typically referring to heart failure.”

    What to Look For
    Shortness of breath, fluid retention (edema) and having a harder time exercising are among the key symptoms of an enlarged heart or heart failure. Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) — potentially even serious irregular heart rhythms and strokes — are likely as well, Dr. Yancy said.

    The symptoms of an enlarged heart can affect the quality and length of your life, Dr. Yancy said.

    “This is why treatment is so important and why we are so encouraged that good treatments are available today,” he said.
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    Date: 5/20/2013
    Title: @USNewsHealth Twitter Chat: Premature Births
    Our next Twitter chat will be about premature babies. Here’s an overview to get you started. Our experts are from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and March of Dimes.

    May 20, 2013 RSS Feed Print
    Comment (0)

    Tamara Buechler, a physician at the Mayo Clinic, understands better than most expectant mothers the risks of delivering twins two months before they are due. But, when she was expecting, Buechler knew that she might not have a choice. Halfway into what she had hoped would be an uneventful pregnancy three years ago, her doctors diagnosed a cluster of severe complications — including a rare liver disease that occurs only in pregnancy and a cervix too weak to contain her twins. They warned the twins might not survive.

    Buechler vowed not to lose them. But with every setback, she found herself saying goodbye. It's a dread shared by many expectant mothers whose pregnancies are high risk. Nearly half a million, or one out of nine, babies in the United States are born prematurely every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A baby is considered premature if delivered before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Because their organs have not had enough time to develop, premature babies face a greater risk of severe complications, such as brain hemorrhages; vision and hearing loss; intellectual disabilities and infections, even death. A baby born between 34 weeks and 36 weeks has a three-fold to six-fold chance of dying within the first year, compared to babies who are born at full term.

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    Date: 5/20/2013
    Apr 12, 2012
    When Jenny was eight years old, her friends and family could tell she wasn't well -- but it wasn't until her weight dropped to 42 lbs that her mother took her to the doctor. The doctor said the problem was "sugar" and sent her straight to the hospital.

    Click to watch this inspiring teen's story about being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes...and how it's okay not to be "normal"!

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    Date: 5/9/2013
    Title: Stay on Track with Exercise
    Posted on May 8, 2013 by American Diabetes Association
    Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone, and it’s especially important for those with diabetes. Most people with diabetes find regular activity to be an essential part of their health care. It can help manage your blood glucose, preventing diabetic complications and even delaying the onset of type 2 if you have prediabetes.

    But the thought of exercising daily can be daunting if it isn’t already part of your routine. What activity should you try, and how much? Will you need new clothes or equipment? And when are you ever going to find time for it in your busy schedule?

    Rest assured, exercise doesn’t necessarily mean running a marathon or bench-pressing 300 pounds. The key is to start slow—soon, momentum will follow. Follow these tips to get moving and stay on track!

    Choose activities that fit you and your lifestyle: Anything that increases your heart rate and causes you to break a light sweat can count as exercise, so get creative! Many people simply add extra walking to their day. The goal is to get active and stay active by doing things you enjoy, from gardening to playing tennis to walking with friends. The more engaged you are, the more likely you are to stick with it.

    If you’re not sure where to start, you can talk to your health care team about which activities will be safe for you. Their advice will depend on the condition of your heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, feet and nervous system. Your provider may even recommend local classes or exercise groups that you could join.
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    Date: 5/9/2013
    Title: Twins create life-saving allergy device
    By Evan and Eric Edwards, Special to CNN
    updated 8:20 AM EDT, Thu May 9, 2013
    (CNN) -- As young children, the stress and burden of our life-threatening allergies to a range of common foods, including nuts, seafood, shellfish, eggs and other substances, really fell on our parents more than us.
    Like many kids, we were unaware and felt invincible. We didn't worry too much about managing our allergies. That changed after the first severe allergic reaction either of us had.
    Evan was playing at a friend's house when he ate what he had been assured was a "fake peanut." Almost immediately, it was apparent that something was very, very wrong. Luckily, his friend's dad also happened to be Evan's doctor; he treated him immediately, and the incident was resolved.
    Life-threatening allergies were much less common when we went to school, so we really stood out as the "strange twins with allergies" -- those guys who had to sit at a separate table by themselves at lunchtime. It is unfortunate that severe allergies are much more widespread now, but there is a silver lining: People and organizations are more aware and better able to support the children and adults who suffer.
    The idea to develop a new epinephrine auto-injector (commonly known as an EpiPen), specifically designed for the needs of patients like us, came about the summer after we graduated high school. We were on our way to a family vacation in Europe, and it looked as if, once again, the two of us had not packed our EpiPens. They were too bulky so we often didn't carry them.
    Got allergies?
    After the usual finger-pointing and questions about why we didn't carry something that could save our lives, the idea of developing a smaller, more portable type of epinephrine auto-injector was born.
    At the time, we had recently selected our college majors. (Evan went into the engineering program at the University of Virginia, and Eric chose pre-med/medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University.) We decided to customize our education to develop the skills necessary to make this invention a reality. At the start of each school year we reviewed our course options and decided together which classes to take that would help us achieve our goal.
    Our first real funding came from winning a collegiate inventors' grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. It was at that point we knew we were on our way.
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    Date: 5/9/2013
    Title: 4 Arthritis Myths for National Arthritis Awareness Month
    May 7, 2013 | By Ashley Macha

    Joe Montana has arthritis. Yes, former professional athletes can have it, and indeed for Montana, years of playing impact-heavy football substantially damaged his joints, forcing him reevaluate his lifestyle and get serious about his joint issues.
    The month of May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, an effort to spread the word about joint health, prevention, and treatment. It’s a condition that affects millions of Americans, both young and old.

    And in fact, many athletes are arthritis prone, says Montana. But that doesn’t mean they know it. “As athletes, you might have a little arthritis in your shoulder or a little in your knee,” he said. “If I don’t have a lot, I’m still going to go out.”

    Don’t ignore those aches, pains, or stiffness in your joints. Yes, there are temporary causes–and solutions–for these issues, but it can also be a sign of arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that impacts the mobility of your joints and can cause pain and disability. Montana went through multiple knee surgeries and had aches in his hands, shoulders, elbows, and even his neck.

    To help raise funds for arthritis research, Montana teamed up with Joint Juice (a supplemental drink) to create a football game app, Throw the Joe, available for iPhone and iPads,. All proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

    Here are 4 common myths about arthritis:
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    Date: 5/9/2013
    Title: High Blood Pressure in Children
    Despite popular belief, teens, children and even babies can have high blood pressure, also called hypertension. It's not just a disease for the middle-aged and elderly. As with adults, early diagnosis and treatment can reduce or prevent the harmful consequences of this disease.

    AHA recommendation

    The American Heart Association recommends that all children have yearly blood pressure measurements. Detecting high blood pressure early will improve a child's health.

    What is considered "normal" blood pressure in children?

    When it comes to blood pressure in children, "normal" is relative. It depends on three factors:

    Your child's doctor can tell you what's right for your child, because "normal" is a complicated calculation based on these factors.

    What leads to HBP in children?

    Diseases including heart and kidney disease
    Certain diseases can cause high blood pressure in children as well as adults. As with all types of secondary hypertension, once the underlying problem is fixed, blood pressure usually returns to normal.
    Some medications
    Certain medicines can cause high blood pressure, but when they're discontinued, blood pressure usually returns to normal. This is another example of secondary hypertension.
    Contributing factors
    In a lot of cases, doctors cannot determine the direct cause of HBP in the child. This type of HBP is known as primary or "essential" hypertension. Even though the exact cause is not diagnosed, doctors realize a variety of factors can contribute to the disease, including:
    Family history
    Excess weight or obesity
    Race, particularly African-Americans are at increased risk

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    Date: 5/9/2013
    Title: How I was Kicked out of College Because of my Allergy
    The office of Disability Support Services (DSS) at the University of Washington extension campus in Tacoma considered my anaphylactic, airborne reaction to peanuts to be so serious that it was documented disability. I didn’t have to eat or even touch peanuts for my throat to start closing up; my life would be in danger if a classmate so much as ate a peanut-y treat during lecture. This meant going to school was risky—very risky. And I knew that better than anyone. But I thought I had support.

    Reasonable Accommodations

    Despite the risks, I didn’t ask my university to ban peanuts from the campus or require all of the security staff to be trained on how to use an Epi-Pen (although, both would have made me much safer). Instead, I worked with DSS to figure out what my reasonable accommodations were: visible “peanut-free” signs on my classroom doors to remind students, teachers would be contacted by DSS so they’d know to enforce the policy, and an email was sent out at the beginning of each quarter alerting everyone who’d be in my classrooms that quarter not to eat peanuts in those rooms.

    It wasn’t perfect, and I knew my “peanut-free” signs wouldn’t truly prevent a rule-breaker from eating their Reese’s snack in my classroom. Because the university is an urban campus (right in the heart of the fun, artsy section of Tacoma), it doesn’t have a cafeteria, so people eat pretty much everywhere. This is dangerous for me. There also aren’t rules about eating in classrooms. Extra dangerous. While my accommodations may not have been perfect, having support from my university made the difference between whether or not I could attend the school.

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    Date: 4/23/2013
    Title: Paying for Finn: A special-needs child
    Our kid is nothing like your kid.
    I don't mean that in an every-child-is-unique-as-a-snowflake way. I mean that my wife, Alysia, and I are pretty sure that Finn hails from some distant, unknown planet.

    The cost of Finn
    As the Howes have learned, not only is paying for a child with special needs hugely expensive, but the costs don't end when the child becomes an adult.
    Caregiver $9,555
    Diapers 1,800
    Out-of-pocket care 5,400
    Occupational therapy 10,200
    Cost of lifetime care for an autistic person $2.3 million
    Behavioral therapy for children with autism $40,000 - $60,000 a year
    Cost of an adult with autism living in a residential facility $50,000 - $100,000 a year
    His favorite foods include dirt and discarded water balloons. He spends hours a day in a headstand. He giggles maniacally at any expression of pain or distress. Recently I caught him shattering our water glasses on the patio. While I went for the broom, he dumped a quart of milk onto our kitchen floor. I tried to scold him, but he was already engrossed in one of his favorite hobbies: smelling his right foot.
    What's wrong with this child? There are a lot of ways to answer that question.
    We have some acronyms, for instance: He's been diagnosed with CVI (cortical vision impairment), ASD (autism spectrum disorder), and DCD (developmental cognitive disability). My favorite, PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental delay not otherwise specified), is the most accurate. It's doctor-speak for "We have no earthly idea what's wrong with your child."
    I often find myself grasping for otherworldly metaphors to explain our experience. Imagine E.T. came to your house but never figured out how to phone home. No spaceship. No tearful departure. Just you, the other humans in the house, and E.T. He can't really communicate, so domestic dramas take place through wild gestures and improvised sign language.
    "We are not of his world," Alysia and I tell ourselves. "And he is not of ours." The best we can do is help our alien child negotiate the baffling planet on which he's found himself.
    A quarter of U.S. households have a member with special needs. More than 8% of kids under 15 have a disability, and half of those are deemed severe.
    What we share in common with the parents of all those special-needs children is that our kids have almost nothing in common: Within the "autism spectrum" alone there is far more diversity than there is within the rest of the human population. As one clinical psychologist told me, "Saying you study autism is like saying you study the world of non-elephant animals."
    Special-needs parents do share one thing: the eviscerating cost of our children. It's one of the awful ironies of this unchosen life. Not only do we divorce more frequently and suffer from more mental health problems, but we pay dearly for the privilege.

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    Date: 4/23/2013
    Title: Popcorn at The Movies: too many calories, fat and salt
    By Armen Hareyan on January 26, 2010 - 4:00pm for eMaxHealth
    Food and Health

    Eating popcorn at the movies is a classic, not perhaps not a very healthy eating practice, shows the analysis from the Canadian Center for Science in The Public Interest (CSPI). Have you ever wondered how much salt, calories and fat that bag of popcorn has? It's just too much of all of it.

    The big bags of popcorn sold in movie theaters in Canada contain up to 1,440 calories, more than half of what what we are supposed to swallow in one day. These numbers of calories may be similar with those in USA, as the bags and sizes are identical. The bags of popcorn also contain up to 44 grams of saturated fat. Health Canada recommends 20 grams of saturated fat consumption per day.

    The salt is too much too. There are up to 1.5 grams of salt in big bags. This is roughly the equivalent of our daily needs.

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    Date: 4/22/2013
    Title: Facts About Sugar Substitutes
    There's a lot of mystery inside those little pink, blue, and yellow packets. Despite decades of use, artificial and natural sugar substitutes still provoke lingering concerns among consumers. Here's what you need to know about the safety of sugar substitutes, what they're in, and how to use them to your advantage.
    By Jessie Shafer, Marsha McCulloch, RD, LD, and Jane Burnett, RD, LD, 2013

    The Facts About Sugar Substitutes
    Some of the most frequent questions we receive at Diabetic Living are about sugar substitutes. The topic is polarizing: some of you love them, some of you hate them. Some of you are concerned about their safety, and some of you want tips for how to use them more. For many people with diabetes, sugar substitutes -- which include artificial and natural sweeteners -- provide solutions for cutting out excess calories and carbohydrate while still being able to enjoy sweet treats.
    Sugar substitutes are among the world's most scientifically tested food products, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed them "generally recognized as safe." The one sweetener that still carries a warning on its label is aspartame (the sweetener in Equal Classic and NutraSweet) because a small group of people -- about 1 in 25,000 in the United States -- has a genetic condition that prevents the metabolizing of phenylalanine, an amino acid in aspartame.
    While there is still a lot of testing to be done as new products enter the market, we know a lot more about sweeteners now than we did when the first sugar substitute, saccharin, was discovered more than 100 years ago.

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    Date: 4/22/2013
    Title: Five Simple Nutrition Rules for People With Diabetes
    By Armen Hareyan on August 25, 2005 - 6:49am for eMaxHealth
    Book by University of Pittsburgh nutritionist for people who want to lose weight and improve diabetes control

    Five simple rules can help people with diabetes lower their blood sugar, lose weight and live a healthier life, according to a recently published book called ChangeOne for Diabetes.

    Using lessons learned from a study of overweight adults with Type 2 diabetes, nutritionist Pat Harper, M.S., R.D., presents a sensible and realistic program for people who want to lose weight and improve diabetes control.

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    Date: 4/22/2013
    Title: We all have things - big or little - that bring us hope every day. Share yours!
    It took seven years until daddy and I finally got the news, we were expecting... We were over the moon happy. When daddy found out you were a boy he couldn't wait to do all the stuff daddy and sons do... We had you November 10, 2009... You were perfect in every way.. You were hitting every milestone on time until about 18 month... You started losing skills like pointing to body parts, talking, and playing with other children... We thought it was because we were having another baby.. So we waited until you were 2 and a half.. We started early intervention... Thats the first time Autism was brought up... I was shocked and couldn't believe it but we went ahead and made an appointment with a specialist.. November 30, 2012 we were told you had Autism Spectrum disorder.. All I wanted to do was cry but I held it in and stayed strong for you and daddy... I came home and decided I wouldn't let it define you and I would be your voice until you could speak for yourself.. Its been 5 months since you were diagnosed and we've learned to handle meltdowns, routines, stares from other people, not being able to get your hair cut without a fight, sometimes not wanting to eat, staying dressed, sensory issues, and not saying I love you.. I wouldn't change you for anything.. You are still perfect in every way and will always be... You are a blessing to me and I will love you forever... I'm ready to face your world with you.... My sweet baby boy...

    Jamie Fosnock

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    Date: 4/22/2013
    Title: How High Blood Sugar Levels Affect Lungs and Heart
    By Denise Reynolds RD on April 22, 2013 - 8:59am for eMaxHealth
    Heart Disease Symptoms Diabetes Care Current News

    One complication of diabetes is heart disease, as patients with chronically high blood sugar are at greater risk for high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Recent research has uncovered a new reason to keep blood sugar in check. The damaging effects can impede our ability to breathe properly and pump blood through the body.

    Researchers with the University of Washington and Boston University have discovered that elastin, a type of protein found in organs such as the heart and lungs that help the tissue stretch and retract, is the source for an electrical property known as ferroelectricity, the ability of a molecule to switch charges from positive to negative. When exposed to sugar, some of the proteins can no longer perform their function, leading to a hardening of those tissues and ultimately the degrading of an artery or ligament.

    "This finding is important because it tells us the origin of the ferroelectric switching phenomenon and also suggests it's not an isolated occurrence in one type of tissue as we thought," said co-corresponding author Jiangyu Li, a UW associate professor of mechanical engineering. "This could be associated with aging and diabetes, which I think gives more importance to the phenomenon."

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    Date: 4/18/2013
    Title: How Asperger's Complicates One Teen's Search for the Perfect College
    Jordan, Debbie, and Todd Schmidt. Courtesy of the Schmidt family
    Jordan Schmidt, 17, is a high school junior set to graduate in 2014. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was five years old. His parents, Debbie, 48, and Todd, 46, are in the midst of helping him find the right college. The family lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

    What kind of college we’re looking for.
    Jordan: I don’t want it to be too big. It’s a social thing—if there are too many people, then I might be a little overwhelmed, or it might be too big of an experience. I also really want the school to have decent enough weather, small enough class sizes and a good film department with screenwriting.
    Debbie: We’re going to fine tune our search to find schools that are close in proximity [to our home] and have what he wants. And eventually, it’s going to get to a point where it becomes a financial decision too.
    Todd: That said, if he falls in love with a college that’s four hours away, but it’s the place where he has the best opportunity and where he feels the most comfortable—an it makes sense financially—then we’re going to give it a shot.

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    Date: 4/18/2013
    Title: Diabetes treatment more than doubled in eleven years
    By Kathleen Blanchard RN on January 9, 2011 - 6:58pm for eMaxHealth
    Diabetes Care

    Survey findings show diabetes treatment has more than doubled in the United states since 1996.
    In a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 19 million people reported being treated for diabetes, compared to 9 million over the 11 year period, also resulting in huge increases in health dollar spending.

    Total prescription drugs costs for diabetes treatment quadrupled, found in the survey. The cost of treating diabetes rose from $4 billion to $19 billion. For patients, the out of pocket cost spending for diabetes drugs increased from $495 in 1996 to $1,048 a year in 2007.

    Other findings include an increase in people treated who are over 65 years old. The survey found a spike from 4.3 million to 8 million, and in the age 45 to 64 age group diabetes care jumped from 3.6 million to 8.9 million people. In the 18 to 44 year-old group, the increase went from 1.2 million to 2.4 million.

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    Date: 4/18/2013
    Title: The One Test You Must Ask Your Doctor For
    By Timothy Boyer on April 18, 2013 - 11:30am for eMaxHealth
    Lower Cholesterol Health on TV Current News

    On the Dr. Oz Show, health experts tell viewers that being on statin drugs is one of the biggest flaws in medicine for treating high cholesterol and that the latest cholesterol test you need is one that your doctor should be evaluating your cholesterol levels with rather than traditional HDL/LDL cholesterol tests.

    “Are the traditional cholesterol tests that we do even relevant?” asks Dr. Oz as he introduces doctors Stephen Sinatra and Jonny Bowden authors of the controversial book “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease - And The Statin-Free Plan That Will,” who both say that cholesterol is not that cause of heart disease and that people with high cholesterol live longer than people with low cholesterol.

    “Everything that the medical community believes about cholesterol is wrong,” states Dr. Bowden.

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    Date: 4/16/2013
    Title: Diabetes Basics
    Take this true-or-false quiz to see what you know
    By Tracey Neithercott with Erika Gebel, PhD
    As any sympathetic diabetes educator will tell you, things aren’t always black and white when it comes to diabetes management. Sure, there are practice guidelines and recommendations for ideal care, but people are imperfect and sometimes life throws you for a loop. Which is why many educators have realistic expectations.

    In fact, after getting the skinny on eight oft-repeated self-care tenets, you may be surprised at how flexible diabetes management really is. Plus, you’ll take away some basic knowledge you may have forgotten since you were diagnosed. And experts say everyone could use a refresher now and again. “Medications change. Recommendations change,” says Dawn Sherr, RD, CDE, a diabetes educator with the American Association of Diabetes Educators. “It’s always good to brush up … every few years.”

    ① True or False?
    "The exchange lists for diabetes is the best meal plan."
    Truth: Carb counting is more precise, and the plate method is easier.

    Tip #1

    Get familiar with portion sizes by using measuring cups while eating at home.
    In the past, most people with diabetes followed the exchange system meal plan. Here’s how it works: Nutritionally similar foods are grouped into categories—carbohydrate, fat, and protein—and then into subcategories such as meat, fruit, and starches. Each food on a given subcategory list is interchangeable with the rest, so you could exchange a half cup of corn with eight animal crackers or a quarter of a bagel. You can eat “free foods,” which have 5 grams of carb or fewer and are under 20 calories, as often as you like without worry.

    Though there’s little math involved in the exchange system (compared with carb counting), educators don’t often recommend it. “I can’t remember the last time I thought of the exchange system,” says Janet Zappe, RN, MS, CDE, a nurse and diabetes educator at the Diabetes Research Center at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. That’s because carbohydrate counting allows for more precise insulin dosing and the plate method is even easier to understand than the exchange system. The plate method allows one quarter of a 9-inch plate for lean protein, one quarter for grains or starches, one half for nonstarchy vegetables, and a serving each of fruit and lean dairy on the side. Plus, both give people with diabetes more freedom in their meal planning than the exchange system does.

    Does that mean you should drop the practice if it’s working for you? Not necessarily. “It’s important to understand that the plan you’re on is specific to you, and yours might be entirely different [from someone else’s],” says Amber Wilhoit, RD, LDN, CDE, CPT, a registered dietitian and diabetes educator with the University of Florida Diabetes Center of Excellence. That said, you may want to talk to a diabetes educator or registered dietitian about whether a different meal plan may be more effective for you.

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    Date: 4/16/2013
    Title: Living Well with Food Allergy: Putting Risks and Fears into Perspective
    By: Dr. Hemant Sharma

    The New York Times Magazine published an article last month called “The Allergy Buster” that has generated much discussion about food allergy and excitement for potential treatments under study. The article brought much-needed attention to food allergies, and its intent was clearly to help others better understand and empathize with those living with food allergies. However, some in the food allergy community have expressed concern that certain aspects of the article may have the unintended consequence of actually increasing anxiety and misunderstanding.

    The discussion around this article has become a wonderful opportunity to explore with our patients their concerns about the real risks of food allergy, their hopes for a cure, and their understanding of where things stand in that search for a cure. Since you may have some of the same questions, allow me to review some key perspectives and hopefully find common ground on which we can all agree.

    Those living with food allergy are all too aware of the risks of accidental food allergen ingestion. However, we strive to provide our patients a balanced approach, where we encourage vigilance at reducing those risks, but work to prevent that from evolving into debilitating anxiety. This requires a clear understanding of the real risks of food allergy.

    One area fraught with ambiguity for patients is food allergen labeling laws. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) does not permit any of the eight major food allergens to go unlabeled as ingredients, regardless of the quantity present. However, what is very troublesome to families is that FALCPA is silent on the issue of cross-contact.

    Cross-contact can and does sometimes occur in manufacturing. There is no guidance given to manufacturers as to when a precautionary label (often referred to as a “may contain” warning) should be included. Fortunately, efforts are under way by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help reform how manufacturers use these precautionary statements.

    Another important point of discussion raised by the Times article is the true risk of anaphylaxis due to skin exposure to food allergens. In the Spring 2013 issue of Allergic Living, Dr. Scott Sicherer addresses this question (pages 24-25), explaining that anaphylaxis from skin exposure is very unlikely because the skin barrier prevents the protein from entering the blood system. So, for most with food allergy, playing a game with a ball that had briefly contacted an allergen would not be expected to pose a significant risk of anaphylaxis.

    Also of concern to patients was the reference in the Times article to a mortality rate from food anaphylaxis of 1 per 1,000 for “severely allergic” children. It is critical that patients understand that this figure was derived by comparing the estimated number of food allergy deaths in the U.S. to the number of annual emergency department visits for food anaphylaxis. Another approach favored by many puts the risk at more than 100 times lower, or five to 10 per one million. This approach has the advantage of making the comparison to the total food allergy population in the U.S.

    Undoubtedly, even one death from food allergy is a tragedy because it could have been prevented. For those with food allergy, it is important to understand that this risk can be significantly decreased by exercising vigilance in avoiding food allergens and always having access to epinephrine.

    Another area of discussion after the Times article revolved around the emotional toll that food allergies can take on families, particularly when severe allergic reactions have been experienced in the past. Our goal is always to help families work through their fears and arrive at a place where affected children feel safe and in charge of their allergies.

    Certainly, the psycho-social impact of food allergy is real and, as research is beginning to demonstrate, often detrimental. But there is help, and fear should not be accepted as the norm for those with food allergy. For times when anxiety becomes overwhelming, a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist can teach specific coping mechanisms.

    While no one would choose to have a food allergy, some of our young patients have gained great empowerment from their experience – a sense that if I can manage my food allergies, I can do anything. So, as the name “Allergic Living” epitomizes, a balanced approach is important to ensure that having a food allergy does not prevent one from truly living.

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    Date: 4/16/2013
    Title: The Doctor Trying To Solve The Mystery Of Food Allergies
    No one is certain why food allergies are on the rise. By now nearly 15 million Americans have a food allergy, ranging from moderate to severe. One of every 13 children has one. Nuts, soy, milk, egg, wheat and shellfish are some of the foods that most commonly set off allergic reactions. In some cases, the reaction can be so severe that it results in the throat swelling up and closing, leading to death. For a child with a severe food allergy, every meal that isn't made under appropriate supervision can be hazardous.

    Dr. Kari Nadeau is one of the scientists at the forefront of food allergy research. She directs the Stanford Alliance for Food Allergy Research, SAFAR, at Stanford University School of Medicine. She's an associate professor of allergies and immunology at the school and the Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, and is currently conducting a clinical trial testing a technique for desensitizing children with multiple severe food allergies.

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    Date: 4/16/2013
    Title: See-Through Brain Tissue Promises to Advance Autism Research
    In a dramatic breakthrough, researchers have developed a method for rendering brain tissue transparent. They then used fluorescent chemicals to highlight three-dimensional networks of brain cells and fibers to study their connections.

    “This feat of chemical engineering promises to transform the way we study the brain’s anatomy and how disease changes it,” said Tom Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

    Thanks to post-mortem donations, Autism Speaks Autism Tissue Program was able to provide the Stanford University researchers with the brain tissue of an individual affected by autism. Using it, they traced the paths of individual nerve cells and their connections.

    In addition, the Stanford University research team rendered an entire mouse brain transparent. By highlighting its nerve connections, they created a three-dimensional “tour” of an intact brain. (Watch embedded video above.)

    Next the researchers hope to accomplish the same feat with an intact human brain. They call their technique CLARITY, for “Clear Lipid-exchanged Anatomically Rigid Imaging/immunostaining-compatible Tissue Hydrogel.” In essence, it replaces the brain’s light-blocking fat with a transparent hydrogel.

    “CLARITY has the potential to unmask fine details of brains from people with brain disorders without losing larger-scale circuit perspective,” said National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

    The researchers also demonstrated that immunological and genetic tests can be performed repeatedly on the same stained brain tissue. This is crucial for autism and other brain research that depends on scarce postmortem donations.

    “The history of neuroscience discovery has been paved, in large part, by innovations in the preparation of brain tissue for research,” said Rob Ring, Ph.D., Autism Speaks vice president of translational research. “However, the ability of CLARITY, and innovations like it, to create new knowledge on the origins of disease will remain dependent on the availability of quality brain tissue from affected individuals.” Dr. Ring oversees Autism Speaks ATP program.

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    Date: 4/15/2013
    Title: Cocoa offers more than antioxidants for Alzheimer's protection
    By Kathleen Blanchard RN on April 13, 2013 - 8:20am for eMaxHealth
    Alzheimer's Disease Current News

    Scientists report cocoa in chocolate can protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s’ in ways that were previously unknown. The health benefits to the brain come from more than antioxidants, found for the first time. Coca stops brain cells and from dying at a cellular and molecular level.

    The new research shows antioxidants in the cocoa and chocolate offer health protection by activating important pathways at a cellular and molecular level.

    The study that comes from the Sbarro Health Research Organization, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa., Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University and the University of L’Aquila in Italy finds cocoa activates a neuroprotective pathway that has a direct effect on preventing the death of neurons – brain cells that transmit information through electrical and chemical signals.

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    Date: 4/15/2013
    Title: Living With Diabetes
    How to Get Help

    The American Diabetes Association is committed to ending discrimination against children and adults with diabetes by providing information and assistance to people with diabetes and their advocates. We use a four-step process to end discrimination: educate, negotiate, litigate and legislate.

    I need help with a discrimination problem – what can I do?

    If you are being discriminated against because of your diabetes at work, at school, by the police or in correctional institutions, or in public places, you can request assistance from the American Diabetes Association.

    The first step to request assistance is to call us at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383). A representative from the Association's Center for Information and Community Support will send you a packet of information and a form to request help from one of the Association's legal advocates.

    The discrimination information/assistance form can be mailed, e-mailed, or faxed to you, and you can return it to us via mail, e-mail or fax. Once we receive the form, a legal advocate will contact you to discuss your situation.

    It’s important to send in a form so we can help you. The form helps us gain information about your situation – and do any necessary research before speaking with you – so that we can provide the best assistance to you.

    Please note: requesting assistance from the American Diabetes Association is not the same thing as filing a complaint, and submitting a discrimination form does not stop the clock on any legal deadlines. Click here to find more information on filing administrative complaints, lawsuits and the timelines for taking such action.

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    Date: 4/10/2013
    Title: Bullying of Children with Food Allergies - How You Can Help
    Bullying of Children with Food Allergies - How You Can Help
    by Karen Stickler, PsyD, MA

    If nearly 35 percent of children aged 5 and older with food allergies are bullied[1], how can we prepare our children and keep them safe?
    Bullying is common among children with food allergies, and is associated with lower quality of life and distress in children and their parents. Bullying victims can be at increased risk for suicide. In addition, bullying of children with food allergies using food allergens can result in potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.[2] As parents, teachers, and medical professionals, it is our obligation to help our children navigate through the joys and perils of life. Above all else, we want to keep our children safe. Bullying, therefore, should not be tolerated under any circumstances.

    Together we can -and should - proactively advocate to prevent, and to swiftly deal with bullying of our children. There are ways to be proactive in dealing with bullying A few ways in which you can help include talking about bullying; describing ways in which one may be bullied; working on a safety plan with your child; and familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of bullying.

    Talking about Bullying with Your Child

    What exactly is bullying? Definitions of bullying vary; one definition by StopBullying.gov, defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.”[3] Long before your child may become the victim of bullying, it's important to talk with him about it. When talking to your child, you will need to use age appropriate language to explain what bullying is.

    You will also need to explain why children with food allergies may be at risk for bullying. Oftentimes, kids are bullied when they are perceived as different from their peers. Living with food allergies differentiates children from the ‘norm’ and immediately puts kids at risk for being bullied. This may or may not be true given how the community (school, religious institutions, sports, and other recreational groups) perceives food allergies and whether or not they understand the real physical reactions one can have to the allergen(s).

    For children with food allergies, bullying may take on a new dimension. It has been reported that some children have been taunted by other children using allergens, such as touching the allergic child with the known allergen, contaminating their food, or throwing the allergen at them.[1] Let your children know that these behaviors are not acceptable, and shouldn't be tolerated. Validate their feelings and experiences, and teach them to inform an adult who can intervene.
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    Date: 4/10/2013
    Jan 18, 2013
    Miami Ink's Darren Brass had been living the rock start lifestyle but slowed it down a bit when his Type 1 diabetes and friends saw that his diabetes was having a hard time keeping up with the late nights, drinking, and not so careful monitoring.

    Watch how Type 1 Darren turned his partying attitude around without taking the fun out of life. He lives a healthier and physically active life to control his Type 1 diabetes! Staying in control of your diabetes doesn't mean you can't live life to the fullest, it's all about management!

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    Date: 4/10/2013
    Title: Allergic or Not? Middle School Students Design App That Tells You
    Responding to worries that school is not preparing students for the jobs of the future, there’s been a concerted effort lately to emphasize the importance of learning STEM subjects.

    President Obama made a pitch for STEM in his State of the Union address this year saying, “we’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math — the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future.”
    Congressman Mike Honda from California recently introduced two pieces of legislation to Congress focusing on STEM: One would create an office of STEM education to help coordinate between schools, while simultaneously creating a research arm to fund development of education technology; the other bill would offer in-house STEM coaches to schools, helping them integrate concepts into the curriculum.

    “This is very different from other school projects because it’s a real world thing.”
    Some schools are already integrating STEM throughout their curriculum. A team of eighth graders at Hampstead Academy, one of 10 winners of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, for example designed Chow Checker, an app to help people identify ingredients they are allergic to in food. The app allows users to either scan the bar code on a food item or use the search bar to find an item. Any ingredients the user has an allergy to shows up in red. The app also has a news feed and a personal profile, giving it the feel of a social networking site, a feature that also sets it apart from other food allergy apps. The news feed gives people who suffer from food allergies a way to share their personal experiences with one another, said student Sarah Miller-Bartley.

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    Date: 4/9/2013
    Title: Progress in Treating Depression and Diabetes
    “Depression makes everything more difficult,” says Scott Strange, 49, of Kansas City, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1970 and has struggled with depression since childhood. “I ignored my diabetes for four decades.” Though he took insulin, he avoided carb counting, blood glucose measurements, and all the other daily practices that help keep people with type 1 healthy.

    No one says living with diabetes is easy, but adding depression to the mix can turn taking care of yourself into an overwhelming burden. Depression is common, too, affecting 1 in 6 Americans, and some studies suggest the rates are higher in people with diabetes. There is a silver lining, though. New approaches that treat diabetes and depression give hope that these dual burdens can be lifted.

    Not Happy Together
    People with type 2 diabetes are at a 54 percent greater risk of developing depression than those without type 2, according to a 2008 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study also found a modest association between depressive symptoms and the development of type 2. “It’s clear that depression is a risk factor for diabetes, and there is evidence that it goes in both directions,” says Jeffrey Gonzalez, PhD, assistant professor in the Diabetes Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “It’s difficult to say which comes first. It’s a ‘chicken or egg’ problem.” The link between type 1 diabetes and depression is even less clear, as few studies have focused on this question.

    Researchers are exploring both biological and behavioral underpinnings to explain the relationship between diabetes and depression. On the biological side, depression is linked with changes in hormone levels, the nervous system, and the brain that may increase blood glucose levels. These biological changes could potentially trigger diabetes or worsen blood glucose control in those with the condition.

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    Date: 4/9/2013
    Title: Getting Started - Tips for Long-term Success
    Walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, skiing, aerobic dancing or any of dozens of other activities can help your heart. They all cause you to feel warm, perspire and breathe heavily without being out of breath and without feeling any burning sensation in your muscles.

    Whether it is a structured exercise program or just part of your daily routine, all exercise adds up to a healthier heart. Take the first step by walking. It's free, easy to do and when you have a walking companion, you're more likely to stay motivated.

    Visit StartWalkingNow.org to find American Heart Association-designated Start! Walking Paths, personalized walking plans, an online community of walkers and more!

    Here are some tips for exercise success:

    Dress for success!

    Wear comfortable clothes and sneakers or flat shoes with laces.
    Wear comfortable, properly fitted footwear and comfortable, loose-fitting clothing appropriate for the weather and the activity.
    Make the time!
    Start slowly. Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of activity on most or all days of the week (or whatever your doctor recommends).
    Exercise at the same time of day so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle. For example, you might walk every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 12:30 p.m.
    Find a convenient time and place to do activities. Try to make it a habit, but be flexible. If you miss an exercise opportunity, work activity into your day another way.
    Keep reasonable expectations of yourself.
    If you've been sedentary for a long time, are overweight, have a high risk of coronary heart disease or some other chronic health problem, see your doctor for a medical evaluation before beginning a physical activity program.
    Look for chances to be more active during the day. Walk the mall before shopping, take the stairs instead of the escalator or take 10–15 minute breaks while watching TV or sitting for walking or some other activity.
    Don't get discouraged if you stop for a while. Get started again gradually and work up to your old pace.
    Don't exercise right after meals, when it's very hot or humid, or when you just don't feel up to it.
    Make it fun!
    Choose activities that are fun, not exhausting. Add variety. Develop a repertoire of several activities that you can enjoy. That way, exercise will never seem boring or routine.
    Ask family and friends to join you — you'll be more likely to stick with it if you have company. Or join an exercise group, health club or the YMCA. Many churches and senior centers offer exercise programs too. (Remember to get your doctor's permission first.)
    Use variety to keep your interest up. Walk one day, swim the next, then go for a bike ride on the weekend.
    Use music to keep you entertained.
    Track and celebrate your success!
    Note your activities on a calendar or in a logbook. Write down the distance or length of time of your activity and how you feel after each session.
    Keep a record of your activities. Reward yourself at special milestones. Nothing motivates like success!
    Visit StartWalkingNow.org to find all the resources you need to get moving and stay motivated.

    Physical Activity
    • Home
    • The Price of Inactivity
    • American Heart Association Recommendations
    • Physical Activity Improves Quality of Life
    • Get Moving: Easy Tips to Get Active
    • Getting Started!
    • Resources
    - Introduction
    - Physical Activity for Older Americans
    - Exercise Tips for Older Americans
    - Target Heart Rates

    Now you can create, find and track Walking Paths anytime, anywhere with the American Heart Association Walking Paths App for iPhone and Android. Use the apps and other free tools to get you started and keep you motivated.
    Visit StartWalkingNow.org today!
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    Date: 4/8/2013
    Title: Lift weights to control diabetes
    By Kathleen Blanchard RN on April 8, 2013 - 4:32pm for eMaxHealth
    Diabetes Care Current News

    Controlling diabetes might be easier with weight lifting as a choice for exercise. Researchers in the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan have found resistance training promotes white muscle that is beneficial for glucose control instead of harmful as previously thought.

    White muscle from weight lifting improves insulin response
    The researchers were able to show white muscle that increase with weight lifting, running, diabetes and aging activates a pathway to make the body more responsive to insulin in mouse studies.

    ATP is used by muscle for energy. With weight lifting, the muscles receive a signal to contract that in turn generates ATP from glycogen stored in white muscle. Glycogen storage is quickly depleted and only provides energy for a short period of time.

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    Date: 4/5/2013
    Title: Ten Important Things We Know About Autism Today – That We Didn’t Know a Year Ago
    Thanks to your support, research is advancing understanding and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here are ten important things we’ve learned about autism since World Autism Awareness Day in 2012!

    1. High-quality early intervention for autism can do more than improve behaviors, it can improve brain function. Read more.

    2. Being nonverbal at age 4 does NOT mean children with autism will never speak. Research shows that most will, in fact, learn to use words, and nearly half will learn to speak fluently. Read more.

    3. Though autism tends to be life long, some children with ASD make so much progress that they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for autism. High quality early-intervention may be key. Read more.

    4. Many younger siblings of children with ASD have developmental delays and symptoms that fall short of an autism diagnosis, but still warrant early intervention. Read more.

    5. Research confirms what parents have been saying about wandering and bolting by children with autism: It’s common, it’s scary, and it doesn’t result from careless parenting. Read more.

    6. Prenatal folic acid, taken in the weeks before and after a woman becomes pregnant, may reduce the risk of autism. Here’s the story.

    7. One of the best ways to promote social skills in grade-schoolers with autism is to teach their classmates how to befriend a person with developmental disabilities. Read more.

    8. Researchers can detect presymptom markers of autism as early as 6 months – a discovery that may lead to earlier intervention to improve outcomes. Read more.

    9. The first medicines for treating autism’s core symptoms are showing promise in early clinical trials. Read more.

    10. Investors and product developers will enthusiastically respond to a call to develop products and services to address the unmet needs of the autism community. Read more.

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    Date: 4/5/2013
    Title: Stress Effects on Alzheimer's
    Recently, findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease that may help explain why people who are susceptible to stress are at more risk of developing Alzheimer’s and why — increasingly — we are finding evidence that physical activity, which reduces stress levels, may reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s.

    It is widely believed that the stress hormone corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) may have a protective effect on the brain, including the memory changes brought on by Alzheimer’s. CRF is associated with the production of stress and is found in high levels in people experiencing various forms of anxiety. Normal levels of CRF are beneficial to the brain, keeping cognitive abilities sharp and aiding the survival of nerve cells. Interestingly, previous studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease have a reduced level of CRF.

    In this paper, researchers used an experimental drug to prevent CRF from binding to the brain receptor called CRFR1 in mice with Alzheimer’s that were free from memory impairments, therefore blocking its effects. They discovered that the mice had an abnormal stress response with reduced anxiety and impaired learning. Moreover, they found that interrupting the hormone from binding to the CRFR1 receptor blocked the improvement of memory normally promoted by exercise. However, in mice with Alzheimer’s disease, moderate exercise restored the normal function of the CRF system allowing its memory enhancing effects.

    The effects of stress on the brain have been studied for decades—ever since the initial work by Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye, who coined the term”stress.” Selye himself went on to publish 33 books and more than 1,600 scientific articles, almost all of them on the subject of stress.

    This study of biological stress and its effects is a science that continues to make advances today by connecting stress to illness, including Alzheimer’s disease. Certainly, more research is needed to map out the functions of CRF and CRFR1 in normal aging as well as in Alzheimer’s, and the findings published here are compelling for such work.

    Thanks for reading.

    Michael S. Rafii, M.D., Ph.D.

    Director, Memory Disorders Clinic
    Associate Medical Core Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study
    University of California San Diego

    Pardon et al. Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Receptor 1 Activation During Exposure to Novelty Stress Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease-Like Cognitive Decline in AßPP/PS1 Mice, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

    This post originally appeared in Alzheimer’s Insights, an ADCS Blog.

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    Date: 4/4/2013
    Title: Diabetes Drugs Emerge As Top Force In Drug Spending
    By Armen Hareyan on May 16, 2008 - 11:07am for eMaxHealth
    Diabetes treatments are now the leading driver of prescription drug spending growth, displacing lipid-lowering drugs which fell precipitously after a decade of reigning in the top position, as generic drugs cut the cost of treating high cholesterol. These new findings were reported by Medco Health Solutions Inc., the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager, in its just-released 2008 Drug Trend Report, a comprehensive analysis of prescription drug spending and utilization.

    The report shows that despite continued growth in the use of cholesterol drugs, spending fell 8.5 percent in 2007 as usage of lower-cost generic versions of Pravachol and Zocor expanded in the marketplace, resulting in lipid-lowering medications experiencing the greatest spending decline of all drug categories. Meanwhile, spending on diabetes drugs increased 12 percent due to shifts toward higher-cost treatments, brand-name drug price inflation, and moderate growth in the number of patients receiving treatment.

    For a decade, cholesterol drugs were the largest driver of drug trend -- a measure of spending growth for pharmacy benefit plans. These medications still account for a sizable 10.8 percent of all prescription costs with utilization rising 5.9 percent last year as new clinical guidelines expanded the population that can benefit from these treatments.

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    Date: 4/4/2013
    Title: Teens eating way to heart disease, prevent with these 3 tips
    By Teresa Tanoos on April 3, 2013 - 4:12pm for eMaxHealth
    Heart Teen Health Current News

    According to a new study from the American Heart Association (AHA), a whopping 80 percent of American teenagers are eating foods that will make them prime candidates for heart disease. The study’s researchers reported their findings Monday, saying teens in the U.S. are eating too much fat, salt and sugar and not eating enough fruits and vegetables.

    Only one percent of the teenage participants in the study consumed what the AHA considers a perfectly healthy diet. And to make matters worse, they don’t exercise enough, said study leader Christina Shay from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

    “The far less-than-optimal physical activity levels and dietary intake of current U.S. teenagers, is translating into obesity and overweight that, in turn, is likely influencing worsening rates of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood glucose at these young ages,” Shay said.

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    Date: 4/4/2013
    Title: 3 Basic Tips for Coping with an Autistic Child One-Day-at-a-Time
    By Timothy Boyer on April 4, 2013 - 11:33am for eMaxHealth
    Autism Family Health News Analysis

    Raising an autistic child is a marathon and not a sprint. And as such, parents of autistic children and other caregivers such as relatives or a child-sitter need to know the basics of how to care for and cope with an autistic child on a day to day basis. Autism experts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently offer tips that not only can help a child manage his or her autism, but in turn can also help parents cope with the disorder.

    The following is a compilation of fundamental tips recommended by autism experts that can help parents and caregivers with the challenges of caring for a child with autism:

    Autism Tip #1: Become an expert on autism and on your child, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is like the spectrum of wavelengths of light―each autistic child communicates on and shines under a different wavelength. According to Kristi Menear, Ph.D., chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Human Studies, identifying and knowing the spectrum of your autistic child can help guide a parent in helping their autistic child with particular challenges such as with cognition, sensory integration, motor development, social and communication skills.

    “Learn about where your child falls and what that means,” says Menear. “Once you know to what extent your child has the disorder, you can create a plan of action.”

    However, there is more to educating yourself on autism than knowing where your child lies within the spectrum and what to expect, you must also learn the particulars of your individual and unique child. To accomplish this you need to be able to identify your child’s triggers:

    • What does your autistic child find stressful?

    • What does your autistic child find calming?

    • What does your autistic child find uncomfortable?

    • What does your autistic child find enjoyable?

    To discover these triggers you need to be aware of nonverbal cues and pay attention to your child’s sensory sensitivities:

    • Look for nonverbal cues that your autistic child may be using to communicate.

    • Pay attention to the kinds of sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when they’re tired, hungry, or want something.

    • Figure out what sights, sounds, smells, movements, and tactile sensations trigger your kid’s “bad” or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response.

    If you understand what specific triggers affect your child, you’ll have a better grasp of how to deal with a problem or situation.

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    Date: 4/3/2013
    Title: First Ever Once-Weekly Diabetes Treatment Injection
    By Anonymous on March 9, 2010 - 10:00am for eMaxHealth
    Diabetes Care
    Amylin, Lilly and Alkermes have joined forces to get exenatide once weekly, a subcutaneous injection of exenatide for the treatment of type 2 diabetes on the market. The drug is in a grouping of many new longer lasting type 2 diabetes treatment drugs that have had effective results without the risk of hypoglycemia. Exenatide could be approved on Friday, March 12 after a 5-day interruption by the Food and Drug Administration for weather-related problems.

    The new exenatide is the answer to millions of type 2 diabetes patients who are unable to control their blood sugar with daily insulin injections. The side effects from the drug are extensive, but most diabetes treatment drugs cause similar issues, such as stomach problems, dizziness, jittery feelings, skin irritation and decreased urination.

    “Exenatide once weekly is an investigational, extended-release medication for type 2 diabetes designed to deliver continuous therapeutic levels of exenatide in a single weekly dose. The NDA for exenatide once weekly was submitted in May 2009 and accepted by the FDA in July 2009.”

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    Date: 4/3/2013
    Most diabetics can confess that sometimes it's hard to motivate ourselves in making healthier decisions when it comes to managing our diabetes. From various diets, exercises, and life style changes, it doesn't have to be hard.

    Take it from this type 1 diabetic as he shares with us five easy ways to improve our diabetic life without any drastic changes. You can be the boss of your diabetes!

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    Date: 4/3/2013
    Title: How to Stop Diabetes From Starting
    April 2, 2013 RSS Feed Print

    Tamara Duker Freuman
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a shocking statistic a few weeks ago: Eighty-nine percent of the 79 million Americans with pre-diabetes are not even aware they have the condition. In other words, there are 70.3 million Americans over the age of 20 at high risk for developing diabetes at any moment … and they don't even know it.

    This is troubling for several reasons. For starters, diabetes is a chronic condition associated with a reduced life expectancy; the average 50 year old with diabetes loses an estimated 8 1/2 years of longevity. Prevention, therefore, translates into increased likelihood of a substantially longer life—the end of which is less likely to be spent shuttling to and from doctor's offices and hospitals. Secondly, there are several established ways to delay—if not entirely prevent—the onset of diabetes in people with prediabetes.

    But unless you know you're at risk, it's unlikely you'll stumble upon these preventive measures in time to halt the progression toward full-fledged diabetes. In any given year, about 11 percent of people with prediabetes "graduate" to developing diabetes.

    [See Diet, Diabetes and Doubt: Is Preventive Medicine Lost in Space?]

    Prediabetes is a condition in which your ability to handle blood sugar is impaired, but not so impaired as to qualify for full-blown diabetes. It results from reduced sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which helps carry glucose from the blood into cells where it can be used for energy.

    Importantly, pre-diabetes is reversible; glucose tolerance can improve when a person's metabolic state of affairs improves. Here's how:

    • Very moderate exercise. You don't need to spend hours every day sweating up a storm in a spin class to reap the diabetes-preventing effects of exercise. Heck, you don't even need to join a gym. Research suggests that 2 1/2 hours per week of even leisurely physical activity—like brisk walking—is enough to significantly improve glucose tolerance. This translates into a 30-minute walk five times per week—though of course, if you're up to the challenge, more is even better. Exercise works because muscles in action are able to take up glucose from the blood without the help of insulin, so get moving!

    [See 7 Mind-Blowing Benefits of Exercise.]

    • Very modest weight loss. Evidence suggests that it only takes about a 5 to 7 percent weight loss to delay by several years the onset of diabetes among overweight people with prediabetes. To put that in perspective, a 5-foot-4-inch woman with pre-diabetes who weighs 160 pounds would only need to lose about 11 pounds to reduce her risk of developing diabetes. A five-foot-11-inch man weighing 220 pounds would need to lose about 15 pounds to hit this target. In other words, one doesn't have to drop dramatic, "The Biggest Loser"-scale amounts of weight to help protect against diabetes. In some people, small lifestyle changes like avoiding sweetened beverages or decreasing carb portions may be sufficient to promote this degree of weight loss.

    [See When Science Met The Biggest Loser.]

    In fact, research has shown that modest weight loss, coupled with 150 minutes of weekly exercise, reduced by 58 percent the risk of developing diabetes in a population of obese adults with prediabetes. Specifically, participants who started off weighing an average of 207 pounds lost about 12 pounds (or 5.7 percent of their body weight). Notably, this outcome was substantially more effective than using an insulin-sensitizing drug called metformin in preventing the onset of diabetes.

    • Curcumin supplements. Recent research out of Thailand that was published in Diabetes Care suggested that supplementing curcumin—the active ingredient in the bright yellow, anti-inflammatory spice turmeric—may be protective against diabetes among people with pre-diabetes.

    [See Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet.]

    Although it was only a single, small study (237 people), it was well designed and showed a very promising clinical benefit: Of the group randomly assigned to take 500 milligrams of curcumin supplements three times daily, none progressed to develop type 2 diabetes after nine months. By way of comparison, 16 percent of participants in the placebo group did develop type 2 diabetes in the same time period.

    Since the research population was homogeneously Asian, it's not clear whether these results can be extrapolated to a general American population. And since the study was short, it's unclear whether the protective benefit would have extended past the nine months studied. Nonetheless, given how inexpensive and well-tolerated this natural supplement tends to be, it may be worth talking with your doctor or dietitian to see if curcumin is an appropriate supplement for you to consider.

    With 70 million of us counted among the unknowing ranks of adults with pre-diabetes, it's statistically likely that you or someone you know belongs to this group. Risk factors for pre-diabetes include being overweight or obese; having a family history of diabetes; having a personal history of gestational diabetes in pregnancy; having given birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds; and belonging to one of several ethnic groups, including African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Native American. If you fall into one of these categories, consider making an appointment for a check-up; prediabetes can be assessed with simple blood tests from your primary care doctor.

    Knowing your status could make a huge difference in turning the tide against progression to diabetes before it's too late.

    [See 7 Things to Know if You've Received a Diabetes Diagnosis.]

    Hungry for more? Write to eatandrun@usnews.com with your questions, concerns, and feedback.

    Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN, is a NYC-based registered dietitian whose clinical practice specializes in digestive disorders, Celiac Disease, and food intolerances. Her personal blog, www.tamaraduker.com, focuses on healthy eating and gluten-free living.

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    Date: 4/3/2013
    Title: Ketoacidodis: A Diabetes Complication
    Written by Bonnie Sanders Polin, PhD
    Ketoacidosis can affect both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes patients. It's a possible short-term complication of diabetes, one caused by hyperglycemia—and one that can be avoided.

    Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) are two of the most serious complications of diabetes. These hyperglycemic emergencies continue to be important causes of mortality among persons with diabetes in spite of all of the advances in understanding diabetes.

    The annual incidence rate of DKA estimated from population-based studies ranges from 4.8 to 8 episodes per 1,000 patients with diabetes.

    You may be interested in these related articles:
    Sick Day Management for People with Diabetes
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    The Essential Diabetes Travel Bag
    Unfortunately, in the US, incidents of hospitalization due to DKA have increased. Currently, 4% to 9% of all hospital discharge summaries among patients with diabetes include DKA.

    The incidence of HHS is more difficult to determine because of lack of population studies but it is still high at around 15%. The prognosis of both conditions is substantially worsened at the extremes of age, and in the presence of coma and hypertension.

    Why and How Does Ketoacidosis Occur?
    The pathogenesis of DKA is more understood than HHS but both relate to the basic underlying reduction in the net effective action of circulating insulin coupled with a concomitant elevation of counter regulatory hormones such as glucagons, catecholamines, cortisol, and growth hormone.

    These hormonal alterations in both DKA and HHS lead to increased hepatic and renal glucose production and impaired use of glucose in peripheral tissues, which results in hyperglycemia and parallel changes in osmolality in extracellular space.

    This same combination also leads to release of free fatty acids into the circulation from adipose tissue and to unrestrained hepatic fatty acid oxidation to ketone bodies.

    Some drugs can affect these processes. Medications that affect carbohydrate metabolism such as corticosteroids, thiazides, and sympathomimetic agents may precipitate the development of both DKA and HHS.

    Sometimes ketones are present in urine when blood sugar falls too low and the body has to use body fat to get energy. In young diabetic persons, psychological problems complicated by eating disorders may be a contributing factor in 20% of recurrent ketoacidosis.

    Factors that may lead to insulin omission in younger patients include fear of weight gain with improved metabolic control, fear of hypoglycemia, rebellion from authority, and stress stemming from having a chronic disease.

    The most common precipitating factor in the development of DKA or HHS is infection. Other factors are cerebrovascular accident, alcohol abuse, pancreatitus, myocardial infarction, trauma, and drugs. Arule of thumb to understand DKA is that dehydration plus blood ketones equals DKA.

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    Date: 4/2/2013
    Title: March Madness Sale continues through April
    Please stop by for a visit, don't be discouraged with the high price of gold and silver, we offer an assortment of custom engraved medical bracelets, pendants, and tags for under $30. Don't forget the March madness sale, use code "march15" for a 15% discount on your order.

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    Date: 4/1/2013
    Title: Four Type 2 Diabetes Drugs Approved in 3 Months, Not Good Enough
    By Deborah Mitchell on March 31, 2013 - 8:33am for eMaxHealth
    Diabetes Care Current News

    In just 3 months, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval to four type 2 diabetes drugs, including Invokana, which is the first in its class. Yet while adding new items to the expanding type 2 diabetes drugs arsenal has its positive side, it’s not good enough, and here’s why.

    Do we need four new type 2 diabetes drugs?
    It’s no secret that type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic, and that an increasing number and percentage of children and adolescents are developing this disease that was once largely seen only in adults. For young people in particular, onset of type 2 diabetes at an early age places them at greater risk for a lifetime of health complications and a shorter life span.

    The four new type 2 diabetes drugs that won FDA approval since January 2013, including the latest, Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana (canaglifozin), provide current and future type 2 diabetics with more pharmaceutical treatment options. Before looking at those four new options, let’s consider how much they are needed.

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    Date: 4/1/2013
    Title: Get More Energy to Exercise
    By Gina Shaw, 2013
    Too tired to get moving? These practical exercise tips will give you the jump start you need to be more active, lose weight, manage your diabetes -- and help you figure out what's draining your energy in the first place.


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    What's Slowing You Down?
    It's a message you hear everywhere: Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to control your diabetes. It's also a catch-22: Controlling diabetes can be so exhausting that some days just leaving the house feels like climbing a mountain.

    Why is lack of energy such a big problem for people with diabetes (PWDs)? And what can you do about it?

    One big cause is an imbalance in blood glucose. "If your blood sugar is out of control in either direction -- too high or too low -- you can feel tired and drained," says Aaron Vinik, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Strelitz Diabetes Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. Many PWDs also must cope with other factors, such as high blood pressure and excess weight, that can make you feel as if there's a giant hole in the tank of your energy reserves.

    It doesn't have to be this way. You can find the energy to exercise -- you just need to know where to look.

    Next: Start Small

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    Date: 3/31/2013
    Take a few type 2 diabetes tips from Monty Python alums Terry Jones and Dr. Robert Buckman. You'll find yourself laughing and being educated as they give us an easy explanation of type 2 diabetes, symptoms, and how to manage this growing disease. You'll be wishing all your health needs and information was executed this way. Laughter is always the best medicine!

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    Date: 3/28/2013
    Title: 10 Early Warning Signs of Parkinson's Disease
    This is a great article from the Parkinson's Disease foundation on early signs to look out for.

    Sometimes it is hard to tell that you might have Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is when your brain stops making an important chemical called dopamine. This chemical helps your body to move, and helps your mood. If you do have Parkinson's, you can feel better by taking a pill that helps your body to replace that chemical. Parkinson's disease will get worse slowly over time, and your doctor can help you stay healthy longer. Some of the problems listed here could be signs of Parkinson's disease.
    No single one of these signs means that you should worry about Parkinson's disease. If you have more than one symptom, you should make an appointment to talk to your doctor.
    Early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease gives you the best chance of a longer, healthier life.
    What you can do if you do have Parkinson's disease:
    Work with your doctor to create a plan to stay healthy. This plan might include:
    A referral to a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in the brain
    Care from an occupational therapist, physical therapist or speech therapist
    Meeting with a medical social worker to talk about how Parkinson's will affect your life
    Start a regular exercise program to delay further symptoms.
    Talk with family and friends who can provide you with the support you need.

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    Date: 3/27/2013
    Title: Global Surge in Type 1 Diabetes Still an Enigma

    Though theories abound, scientists still don't understand what is causing the rise in type 1 diabetes in children worldwide.

    By Johannah Sakimura, Everyday Health Staff Writer

    FRIDAY, March 22, 2013 — The incidence of type 1 diabetes in children is on the rise worldwide, with the number of new cases growing by an average of 3% per year in youth under age 15. The reasons for the sharp increase remain a medical mystery, since researchers have not been able to identify the changing conditions that are causing more kids to be diagnosed in recent decades. A new study presented this week at the annual Society for Endocrinology conference may help shed more light on this disturbing trend.

    “This increase in incidence has been occurring over the last thirty to forty years and genetics don’t change that quickly, so we know this is environment,” said Richard Insel, MD, Chief Scientific Officer for JDRF, an organization that funds type 1 diabetes research. “Something has distinctly changed in the environment.”

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    Date: 3/26/2013
    Title: Forget Energy Drinks, Try These 7 Natural Energy Boosters
    By Deborah Mitchell on March 24, 2013 - 10:54am for eMaxHealth
    General Health Current News

    Energy drinks are increasingly associated with potential health problems ranging from a rise in blood pressure to heart rhythm changes and caffeine toxicity. Natural energy boosters can be a safer, healthier choice for both you and your family.

    You can boost your energy without energy drinks
    Before you decide to take anything to enhance your energy, take a moment to identify why you feel low. Are you overworked, bored, or feeling stressed or depressed? Are you getting enough sleep or exercise? Are you taking any medications that can cause you to feel tired?

    All of these can be reasons to feel a lack of energy and also help you decide what can help you feel more energized without consuming caffeine or sugar and without harming your health.Here are a few examples of natural energy boosters.

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    Date: 3/24/2013
    Title: Diabetes Friendly Shoes
    Designer Eleanor Leinen declares war on dowdy footwear
    By Tracey Neithercott

    Who Needs a
    Diabetes-Friendly Shoe?
    Eleanor Leinen is a stylish lady. She’s got the accessories, from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. So when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2003, she wanted to check out the full scope of available accoutrements, especially diabetes-friendly footwear. What she found wasn’t pretty.

    “I went to every website looking. I really started getting very anxious,” she remembers. “I consider myself a real fashionista, and the shoes were not just dowdy—they were unattractive. [I thought,] ‘I would rather my feet not be well than have to wear these.’ ”

    Leinen says that reaction may seem shallow to some, but when it comes to footwear, she’s not alone: Since her diagnosis, the artist and designer has heard from dozens of women who say they’d rather risk injury (and potential amputation) than hoof it in traditional diabetes-friendly shoes, which are, by design, wider, more cushioned, and more supportive than your average Manolo.

    So Leinen, who had previously worked with designer Donna Karan on a shoe project, decided to take matters into her own hands, resurfacing the shoes to make them fancier, a little fun, even glamorous. Buying shoes, styling them, and reselling them independently under the Walk Another Way brand (walkanotherway.com) garnered her some attention: In 2007, she was named one of More magazine and Dove Beauty’s 10 “Most Inspiring Women of the Year.” But she was still trying to find a shoe manufacturer that would work with her exclusively. She found it in the Drew Shoe Co. From there, she says, it was just a matter of finding artists who would collaborate. Leinen tapped some friends and colleagues in the art world to work with Walk Another Way, which is based in Hollywood, Fla.

    “You have to be a magician,” she says of tricking the eye into seeing a sleek orthopedic shoe. “You need to take away what bothers women from the design, the architecture of the shoe. We need to, visually, take that bulk away.” She employs tricks like a painted-on wedge and luxe details like fur and faux diamond studs. Styles include slip-ons, lace-ups, mary janes, and ankle boots, and most of the luxury items range in price between $200 and $300.

    The result, Leinen says, is that women who would otherwise shy away from orthopedic shoes embrace their own foot health—in style. “Women would tell me, ‘I stopped dressing the way I used to because my shoes didn’t fit the style.’ With that comes a level of insecurity. They literally feel almost branded by their footwear,” she says. “People are in a desperation mode. We’re just trying to make people feel [that] they’re able to reclaim their style.”

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    Date: 3/23/2013
    Title: Autism rate soaring among US schoolchildren, reports CDC
    By Robin Wulffson MD on March 20, 2013 - 2:29pm for eMaxHealth
    Autism Child Health and Safety Current News

    According to a new survey released on March 20 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren have autism, surpassing a previous federal estimate for the disorder. The 1 in 50 rate mean at least 1 million children have autism.

    The CDC notes that the new statistics do not mean autism is occurring more often; rather, it suggests that doctors are diagnosing autism more frequently, especially in children with milder problems. A previous CDC report estimated that 1 in 88 schoolchildren were autistic; however, that study had a more rigorous definition of the disorder and reviewed medical and school records. The new study is based on a national phone survey of parents. For decades, the definition of autism comprised children with severe language, intellectual difficulties, social impairments, and unusual, repetitious behaviors. However, the definition has gradually expanded and now includes milder, related conditions.

    The new statistics are important because government officials look at how common each illness or disorder is when weighing how to spend limited public health funds. The new numbers are derived from a national phone survey of more than 95,000 parents in 2011 and 2012. CDC officials noted that less than 25% of the parents contacted agreed to answer questions; therefore, it is likely that those with autistic children were more interested than other parents in participating in a survey on children’s health. Despite that, the government officials believe that the survey provides a valid snapshot of how many families are affected by autism, explained Stephen Blumberg, the CDC report’s lead author.
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    Date: 3/22/2013
    Title: Good Things about Having Diabetes, Believe It or Not
    By Deborah Mitchell on March 22, 2013 - 5:47am for eMaxHealth
    Diabetes Care News Analysis

    It may be hard to believe there are good things about having diabetes if you have the disease or live with someone who does. However, there is something to be said about viewing a glass as half full instead of half empty, and about looking for some of the positive things to be said about having diabetes, which may help you better cope with and manage the disease.

    What’s good about having diabetes?
    A recent study reported on how motivational training helped patients with diabetes develop a positive attitude and ultimately improve metabolic control. The study involved 61 adults who participated in a motivational program designed to change mental attitude and beliefs, but not teach patients about diabetes.

    After three months, the participants saw improvements in their weight, body mass index, blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and hemoglobin A1c percentages. The study’s authors noted that “as these improvements were maintained long-term, this points to sustainable lifestyle change.”

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    Date: 3/21/2013
    Title: Healthcare Watch: Preparing for the price of Alzheimer's disease
    Alzheimer's patients and their families should understand what Medicare does and doesn't cover as a part of long-term financial planning.
    March 15, 2013|By Lisa Zamosky

    Alayna Tillman’s mother and aunt both have Alzheimer’s disease,… (Ricardo DeAratanha, Los…)
    For seniors and their families, Alzheimer's disease and its hefty price tag are an increasingly scary prospect.

    About 5.4 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer's disease, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Because of growing life expectancies and aging baby boomers, that number is expected to triple by 2050.Alayna Tillman's mother and aunt both have Alzheimer's disease and live with Tillman, her husband and two sons in Lake View Terrace.

    Tillman says Medicare pays for many of the medical costs her mom and aunt incur. But other services, such as home care or adult day care, are left to the family to pay. "Unless you can afford to pay $90 a day for adult day care, there's nothing for them to do during the day," she says.

    An in-home worker to help her aunt get dressed in the morning costs $50 to $200 a day. "Every penny of her Social Security check goes to the home care agency," Tillman says.

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    Date: 3/21/2013
    Title: Why A Natural Approach To Treating Type 2 Diabetes Beats Medicine
    By Michael T. Murray
    When I recently read the American Diabetes Association's 2013 Standards of Medical Care for Type 2 Diabetes, I found many extremely alarming guidelines. Foremost is the complete over-reliance on the pharmaceutical management of diabetes and its complications, along with a complete absence of recommendations for use of critical nutritional support. The major shortcoming of pharmaceutical interventions in Type 2 diabetes is that they don't impact the progression of the disease, and in many cases actually accelerate the underlying disease process and increase mortality. Yet this approach is the only one offered by conventional medicine.

    The key issue that's not addressed by the ADA or other conventional medical groups dealing with diabetes is that drugs are only biochemical band-aids. There is one fundamental truth that is rarely explained to the patient: Type 2 diabetes in almost every case is a disease caused by diet and lifestyle. Findings from the U.S. government’s Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) clearly support this statement. Of individuals with type 2 diabetes, 69% did not exercise at all or did not engage in regular exercise; 62% ate fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day; and 82% were either overweight or obese.

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    Date: 3/19/2013
    Title: Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk Factors Every Woman Should Know, But May Not
    By Deborah Mitchell on March 19, 2013 - 9:32am for eMaxHealth
    Arthritis Pain Treatment Women's Health Current News

    Rheumatoid arthritis is about two and a half times more common among women than men, and while both sexes do share some risk factors, there are others that are exclusive to women. New research reveals the rheumatoid arthritis risk factors every woman should know. Do you know what they are and what you can do about them?

    What are the risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis?
    An estimated 1.5 million adults in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis, with women far outnumbering men. This debilitating autoimmune disease typically strikes women between the ages of 25 and 50, although there is a juvenile form of the disease as well.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an inflammatory polyarthritis because it typically affects multiple joints. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis is also systemic, which means it can have an impact on the entire body. The chronic inflammation associated with the disease not only affects the linings of the joints but the internal organs as well, resulting in pain, deterioration, and limited movement.

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    Date: 3/19/2013
    Title: American Diabetes Society: Symptoms

    Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless.

    Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.

    Type 1 Diabetes
    Frequent urination
    Unusual thirst
    Extreme hunger
    Unusual weight loss
    Extreme fatigue and Irritability
    Type 2 Diabetes
    Any of the type 1 symptoms
    Frequent infections
    Blurred vision
    Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
    Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
    Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections
    If you have one or more of these diabetes symptoms, see your doctor right away.

    No Symptoms? You May Still Have Diabetes
    Often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. That is why it is important to take our Online Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

    Also, women with gestational diabetes often have no symptoms which is why it's important for at-risk women to be tested at the proper time during pregnancy.

    Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

    Being overweight prior to pregnancy
    Having had gestational diabetes in a prior pregnancy
    Having a family history of diabetes
    Learn more about gestational diabetes.

    Symptoms of Diabetes Complications
    Have you already been diagnosed with diabetes but are concerned about symptoms that may be the result of complications related to diabetes?

    Visit the Complications section.

    You may also be interested in our book, Uncomplicated Guide To Diabetes' Complications, 3rd Edition

    Learn More
    Do you have questions or concerns about diabetes symptoms? Want to connect with others? Visit the American Diabetes Association Community to find support now!

    If you've recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, enroll in the FREE Living With Type 2 Diabetes program to get more information and support.

    Stay in Touch with Us
    Sign up for the the latest news on diabetes research, food and fitness, and opportunities to support the American Diabetes Association.

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    Date: 3/18/2013
    Title: Know Active Ingredients in Children's Meds

    If your child is sneezing up a storm, it must be allergy season once more.

    And if your child is taking more than one medication at the same time, there could be dangerous health consequences if those medicines have the same active ingredient, according to Hari Cheryl Sachs, M.D., a pediatrician at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    A medicine is made of many components. Some are "inactive" and only help it to taste better or dissolve faster, while others are active. An active ingredient in a medicine is the component that makes it pharmaceutically active—it makes the medicine effective against the illness or condition it is treating.

    Active ingredients are listed first on a medicine's Drug Facts label for over-the-counter (OTC) products. For prescription medicines, they are listed in a patient package insert or consumer information sheet provided by the pharmacist.

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    Date: 3/17/2013
    Title: L.A. Ink: A Surfer's Diabetic ID
    Who said having diabetes can’t be hip? Type 1 Justin is a lifeguard and surfer at Huntington Beach and found out he had diabetes after an unexpected fainting episode at a wedding. To identify himself as a Type 1 diabetic he’s chosen to incorporate a traditional tattoo with elements of being Type 1 and along with his interests.
    Watch this episode of LA Ink and how Justin’s new tattoo could be the next thing that’ll save his life.

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    Date: 3/16/2013
    Title: Top 29 Most Annoying Things to Say to People with Diabetes
    By Ginger Vieira -
    Before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I didn’t know anything about the disease, and I might have also said something thoughtless out of pure ignorance. That’s what I try to remind myself when a non-diabetic (or maybe even a diabetic) says something to me about diabetes that is rude, annoying, or even offensive. These comments often stem from a simple lack of knowledge, being misinformed by general media, sometimes thoughtlessness and lack of consideration, and sometimes even fear. While I try to remind myself to be patient with a person’s lack of knowledge around diabetes, and that I believe it’s important that I try to kindly educate and teach those people (so they don’t repeat the same comments to someone else), those comments can still get old, hurt your feelings, make you laugh, and frustrate you to no end.
    In the end, this list is about knowing you’re not alone, and you’re not the only one who has been on the receiving end of these comments.

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    Date: 3/14/2013
    Title: Uncommon Causes of Hypoglycemia
    If your lows are baffling, consider these possible triggers
    By Erika Gebel, PhD
    The shaky, sweaty, super-unpleasant symptoms of hypoglycemia may seem even worse if you can’t pinpoint what caused the low blood glucose. You ate the same, you exercised the same, you took the same medication doses, so what could it be? Well, there are other possibilities. While these less common hypoglycemia triggers may not be on the tip of your tongue, they deserve consideration if you’ve gone down the list of usual suspects and still can’t identify the culprit.

    Tip No. 1, according to Belinda Childs, APRN, MN, BC-ADM, CDE, director of clinical and research services at Mid-America Diabetes Associates, is that “having a low isn’t reason to panic.” The key is to start doing some detective work to see if you can find the cause of a low. “If you can identify that common thing, then you try to prevent it next time,” she says. “If you are having lots of lows, you are going to want to increase blood glucose monitoring. If you start developing patterns or notice an increase in the frequency of lows, that’s when you’ve got to start looking at the less common triggers.”

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    Date: 3/14/2013
    Title: Arthritis Foundation Raising a Child With Arthritis
    A personal story excerpted and updated from the Arthritis Foundation’s book Raising a Child With Arthritis.

    The first time Nathan Everett ever boarded an airplane, he landed right in the heart of the nation’s capital and political advocacy. The sixth-grade Michigan student and his father had been asked to visit Washington, D.C., as part of the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Advocacy and Kids’ Summit.

    Every year, children with arthritis, along with their parents and other advocates, convene for several days. First, they receive training and education about arthritis-related initiatives, followed by meetings with members of Congress.

    Nathan, an articulate 11-year-old, participated in a significant meeting with Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.). The long-time representative, elected from Nathan’s congressional district, is chairman of a key subcommittee involved with arthritis legislation.

    Nathan shared his story of being diagnosed at age 3, when an injured left ankle stubbornly refused to heal. He talked about how he was forced to stop wrestling after one knee developed arthritis. (He still plays football, baseball and soccer, among other sports.) “He refuses to define himself by this [arthritis],” says his father, John. “He refuses to go for pity. He has a lot of self-confidence, he’s smart and he has a certain degree of charm to him.”

    After Nathan spoke, so did two sisters, both of whom have arthritis. During the course of the day, the Everetts also spoke with another member of Congress and at least four legislative aides.

    The meetings left both Nathan and his father itching to do more. “It got my attention level to where I’m now motivated,” John says. “Once I’m motivated, I tend to be kind of stubborn.”

    Prior to the trip, the Everetts had approached a local newspaper about Nathan’s advocacy plans. A reporter wrote about Nathan’s journey and his disease. After returning from Washington, D.C., John planned to contact the newspaper again to see if a reporter would delve into the legislative angle and write about the lack of movement on key arthritis initiatives.

    Nathan, intrigued by the congressional pages and other activity on the House floor, now is more determined than ever to get his law degree. With that in hand, he plans to return one day to Washington, D.C.

    Speaking Up: An Update

    It’s been five years since Nathan boarded that plane to Washington for the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Advocacy and Kids’ Summit. Today, at 16, Nathan hardly seems like a kid. The soon-to-be high school junior works hard at school, plays the drums in a band, enjoys attending rock concerts with his dad and will soon receive his driver’s license.

    While his arthritis is not in remission, it is generally well controlled with a cocktail of medications, including etanercept (Enbrel), hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) and endomethacin (Indocin). “He’s been on this group of meds for a while now and they seem to be working,” says his father, John.

    Although Nathan has no plans to return to Washington immediately, he is looking forward to another trip. This summer he will travel to Lapeer, Mich, where he will be a counselor in training at Camp Dakota, a week-long summer camp for children and teens with juvenile arthritis and related diseases.

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    Date: 3/12/2013
    Title: 21 Days to Better Diabetes Control
    They say it takes three weeks to establish a new habit. Here are 21 simple steps developed by a Certified Diabetes Educator to help you begin healthy habits of eating better and taking better care of you and your diabetes.

    click to view

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 3/11/2013
    Title: No More Diabetes Testing Using Blood? New Glucose Sensor
    By Deborah Mitchell on August 26, 2012 - 5:33am for eMaxHealth
    Diabetes Care Current News

    Imagine not having to prick your finger, arm, or thigh ever again to take a reading of your sugar levels. Sound good? Purdue researchers have developed a new glucose sensor that can detect sugar concentrations in urine, tears, and saliva, which could mean no more finger sticks in the future.

    Is there a better way to test glucose?
    People with diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose daily as part of their standard care. For those with type 1 diabetes, at least three to four tests per day is typical, while those who have type 2 diabetes should do at least two finger pricks. Yet compliance is not good, with one study showing that up to 67 percent of patients don't routinely monitor their sugar levels.
    click to read more

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    Date: 3/11/2013
    Title: Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
    By Armen Hareyan on June 30, 2005 - 7:27am for eMaxHealth
    Pre-Diabetes Signs and Symptoms
    Adult onset, or type 2 diabetes, is a growing problem in the United States. Researchers estimate that about 10 percent of Americans will develop diabetes during their lifetime and about twice that number will develop a milder form of diabetes called impaired glucose tolerance, or pre-diabetes. Diabetes and pre-diabetes often do not present any symptoms until a complication arises, making the disease difficult for patients to detect.

    Physicians already know that people with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes with lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise. Likewise, people with pre-diabetic neuropathy may be able to reduce their risk for developing severe nerve disease. They may even be able to reverse the neuropathy.

    Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System are investigating neuropathy, or nerve damage characterized by a persistent tingling, burning or numbness in the hands and feet, as an early warning sign of pre-diabetes. Their preliminary research also suggests that lifestyle modifications, including weight loss and regular exercise, may be able to prevent further nerve damage among patients with pre-diabetes and, very possibly, reverse the damage.
    click to view

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 3/10/2013
    Title: Important numbers for diabetes: 3 things to prevent complications
    By Kathleen Blanchard RN on March 7, 2013 - 9:53pm for eMaxHealth
    If you are dealing with diabetes, there are 3 important numbers that studies show can help prevent complications. Dealing with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can seem complicated, but if you understand 3 important numbers that can prevent complications, it makes things much easier.

    You already know it’s important to stay active, watch your weight and food portions and focus on specific food groups. But, there’s an underlying reasons related to diabetic complications for combining diet and lifestyle choices to manage diabetes.

    It all boils down to blood pressure management, ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and keeping your hemoglobin A1C number less than 7.0. Your own doctor may want the number to be even lower.

    click to read more

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 3/5/2013
    Title: Bio Hub mini organ Type 1 Diabetes
    WebMD News from HealthDay

    By Serena Gordon

    HealthDay Reporter

    TUESDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- A new bioengineered, miniature organ dubbed the BioHub might one day offer people with type 1 diabetes freedom from their disease.

    In its final stages, the BioHub would mimic a pancreas and act as a home for transplanted islet cells, providing them with oxygen until they could establish their own blood supply. Islet cells contain beta cells, which are the cells that produce the hormone insulin. Insulin helps the body metabolize the carbohydrates found in foods so they can be used as fuel for the body's cells.

    The BioHub also would provide suppression of the immune system that would be confined to the area around the islet cells, or it's possible each islet cell might be encapsulated to protect it against the autoimmune attack that causes type 1 diabetes.

    click to view

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 3/3/2013
    Title: March Madness Sale
    We are offering a store wide 15% off sale through April 30th. Just add the code "march15" when checking out to receive your discount. This offer is valid for our sister site Stylish Medical ID also.


    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 2/28/2013
    Title: Diabulimia
    A disturbing new trend with type 1 diabetics is called diabulimia. Type 1 younger adults and teenage girls are withholding insulin treatments to loose weight and stay trim. This opens a whole new dilemma with health care professionals and parents. Very severe consequences can be expected with this type of behavior. Since there are fewer young people afflicted with this disorder in comparison to bulimia, it brings on new and challenging methods of prevention.

    As a parent of a diabetic who was diagnosed at age 12 I find it especially disturbing. Hopefully, diabulimia will be recognized as a mental disorder and treated as such before it is too late for these young people. Lasting long term serious damage can occur when insulin is not administered correctly and on time.

    click to view article

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 2/26/2013
    Title: How to Choose a Nursing Home
    This article details steps in choosing a nursing home for your loved ones. With an increasing aging population nothing could be more important to plan and think about. The article addresses the many factors that must be considered when choosing the perfect home for your aging parent or loved one.

    click to view article

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 2/24/2013
    Title: An artist with Autism
    Watch this moving video showing how Larry is able to communicate through his wonderful paintings.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 2/20/2013
    Title: Your Diabetes Moment
    I would like to share this article for those who are or know any diabetics. This article really hit home, as I can clearly remember all the events leading up to and including the horrible moment that our daughter was diagnosed with type 1.

    Your Diabetes Moment

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 9/3/2012
    Title: New Leather Styles
    This macrame leather medical ID bracelet is one of the many new leather styles we have on our website.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/26/2012
    Title: New Colors of Paracord Bracelets!
    The new color combinations have finally arrived and are ready to go. Get your custom engraved medical ID paracord bracelet and stay secure in style!

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/22/2012
    Title: New Paracord Medical ID Bracelets
    We are excited to offer these new paracord medical ID bracelets. Each bracelet will be
    custom engraved to your specifications. The tag will be woven into the bracelet for added security. Our paracord bracelets attach with a plastic side release buckle. Watch for new color options coming soon.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/19/2012
    Title: New Genes Contributing to Type 2
    By Kathleen Blanchard RN for eMaxHealth.com

    Researchers have found 10 new genes that contribute to type 2 diabetes that they say show some clear patterns and a fuller picture about the genetic and biological underpinnings of the disease that is a global health issue.

    The finding is important say the investigators, because it brings type 2 diabetes treatment with new drugs into focus.

    Visit our friends at eMaxHealth.com every single day for up-to-the-minute medical news and great tips for living your happiest, healthiest life.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/12/2012
    Title: See Our New Website@www.stylishmedicalid.com
    Exciting things are happening at Designs by Diana. We have launched our second "sister" website www.stylishmedicalid.com. Don't be fooled as this new site is not a twin sister, but offers many unique items which separate itself from Designs by Diana. You will expect the same high quality of materials and workmanship at
    Stylish Medical ID. Please come and visit our new website and consider being our friend on facebook. We will be offering web promotions soon on both sites.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/8/2012
    Title: I am type 1
    I came across an interesting new link on facebook about type 1 diabetics. It appears to be a new site and features famous people who are diabetic and tells their story. The link is at:http://imtypeone.tumblr.com/about-us
    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/6/2012
    Title: Pinterest!
    We have recently joined the Pinterest craze! You can see all of our pins through my facebook page by clicking on the pin it link. We hope you will enjoy some of the informative articles and products which we have found interesting. Look for more pins soon!
    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/1/2012
    Title: Join My Facebook Page!
    Please check out my new revised facebook page. On my new page you will find links to Pinterest, my website, and a contact list. My Pinterest account will keep you informed on various subjects such as diabetes, epilepsy, alzheimers, and more will be added soon.

    Look to my facebook page where I will display new products and offer discount codes.

    I look forward to your comments and please let me know if there are any products you would like to see added to our website.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/30/2012
    Title: Bag Tags Back to School
    Can't believe that it is almost back to school time, August 15th to be exact in our part of the country. Keep your child secure with one of the many designs of bag tags that we have to offer. Each bag tag will be personalized with your child's specific medical condition. The tag will be laminated and includes a hang tag. This bag tag can be attached to backpacks, clothing, purses, the possibilities are endless.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 2/16/2012
    Title: Charm and Tag Selection
    At Designs by Diana we offer a large selection of medical ID charms and tags with free engraving. Use coupon resolution for a 15% off your order.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 2/5/2012
    Title: Treat Yourself!
    Treat yourself to a new medical ID bracelet. We have a huge variety with lots of new styles.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 2/2/2012
    Title: New Years Resolution 15% Discount
    Don't forget through March if you enter the code resolution when checking out a 15% discount will be applied to your order. We also offer free first class shipping for orders over $75.
    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 1/29/2012
    Title: Another Double Twist Style!
    The newest addition to the simply stainless line includes the double twist chain. A substantial weight, this chain takes on the appearance of a twisted rope. Add a stainless charm for $5.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 1/25/2012
    Title: New Double Twist Rope Stainless Steel Medical ID Bracelets
    Stay secure in style with the newest addition to the simply stainless line of medical ID bracelets. These unique chains have a twisted rope like appearance and are very heavy duty. The bracelets are made entirely of stainless steel.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 1/22/2012
    Title: New Years Resolution
    Keep your New Years resolution by getting the medical ID bracelet you promised yourself. Use code resolution for a 15 % discount, good through March.
    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 12/15/2011
    Title: "Play Ball" medical ID bracelet
    Stay secure in style with this play ball medical ID bracelet designed for both girls and boys. This bracelet is made from polymer clay beads with rubber tubing. Engraving is always free at Designs by Diana.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 12/11/2011
    Title: Girls Version of the "all sports" medical ID Bracelet
    This all sports version bracelet is made especially for girls. The polymer clay sports beads and rubber bracelet band are the perfect combination. There is also a boys version available.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 12/1/2011
    Title: Engraved Medical Alert Keychain
    Stay secure in style with this engraved stainless steel keychain. Our newest stainless steel round or heart charms are shown with this piece. What a great value for $9.99!

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/27/2011
    Title: "Mia" and "Beckham" Soccer Medical ID Bracelets
    For girls and boys alike these soccer medical bracelets are a lot of fun. Made from polymer clay beads and rubber tubing these bracelets are great for the soccer enthusiast.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/24/2011
    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/22/2011
    Title: Ladies "fancy camo" medical bracelet
    Our newest addition to the polymer clay medical bracelets is the "fancy camo". This bracelet is made from polymer clay beads, with Swarovski crystals and pearls. As always, there are no additional charges for engraving.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/17/2011
    Title: Introducing the All Sports Medical ID Bracelets
    For those who enjoy several sports this is the bracelet for you. Soccer, basketball, and baseball are featured in this rubber tube beaded bracelet. This bracelet comes in 3 rubber color choices, black, pink, and white.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/16/2011
    Title: "Knots of Fun" Medical ID Bracelet
    Have fun with this "knots of fun" medical ID bracelet. The bracelet is made from hollow rubber tubing and comes in 3 colors, pink, black, and white.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/15/2011
    Title: Final Four Girls and Boys Basketball Theme Medical Bracelets
    It won't be long and we will be in the midst of the final four basketball tournament. In Kansas we take our basketball seriously! Get in the spirit with these darling basketball themed medical ID bracelets in black or pink rubber.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/14/2011
    Title: Fimo Bead Products
    New fimo polymer clay medical ID bracelets are here. These are an affordable option to the more expensive sterling and gold bracelets. The beads lend a fun and fashionable spin. We have many styles to offer for both children and adults.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/9/2011
    Title: New Lampwork Medical ID Styles
    Several new lampwork style medical ID bracelets have been under to our website. They are very reasonably priced and a lot of fun to wear.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/8/2011
    Title: Seed Bead Medical ID Pendants
    This colorful seed bead pendant chain is sure to make you smile. You have the choice of several seed bead necklace chains and either a round or heart medical ID charm. Engraving is always free.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/6/2011
    Title: Gold Hammered metal Medical ID Bracelet
    This is one of our many new items, engraved free just for you! This bracelet features a custom engraved medical ID stainless plate. The bracelet boosts a unique hammered gold (base metal) bracelet band with sterling silver clasps.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/4/2011
    Title: We're Mixing it up!
    Designs by Diana is now offering another new stainless steel combination medical ID bracelet. This one includes 3 strands one stainless steel, one electroplated copper over base metal, and the third electroplated gold over base metal.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/3/2011
    Title: Feeling Groovy Medical Bracelet
    Peace, love, rock, and roll with this natural stone and sterling silver medical bracelet.
    This unique design incorporates brightly colored natural stone peace sign beads and sterling silver.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 11/2/2011
    Title: New charms and tags!
    We have a new assortment of stainless steel tags and charms in 7 great colors!

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 10/26/2011
    Title: A New! Look is Coming to Designs by Diana Medical ID
    Introducing our newest and most exciting product. Stainless steel medical ID plates, charms, and tags made especially for us. Choose from 7 colors and of course, engraving is always free. Check back for more pictures soon.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 9/25/2011
    Title: Introducing Medical ID Dog Tags, 5 great colors!
    Just in at Designs by Diana, our newest addition to our product line. Aluminum medical ID dog tags engraved with your unique medical information. Each tag measures 2 x 1.25 inches and includes a black silencer and 24 inch ball chain. Tag is available in black, blue, red, purple, and pink.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/18/2011
    Title: Simply Stainless Collection
    Great items for back to school, stainless medical ID bracelets with secure sister hooks. These bracelets can be worn in all conditions. Use coupon back to school to get 15% off your order. All orders over $75 ship for free!

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/16/2011
    Title: Back to School Coupon
    Make sure when using the 15% off coupon you type it as follows: back to school, using the spaces between the words. Just an FYI!
    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/14/2011
    Back to school special take 15% off your total order, use code backtoschool. Designs by Diana carries a large line of medical ID bracelets and products. We offer great products for children such as silicone bracelets, dog tags, bracelets, and bag tags.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/11/2011
    Title: Why Wear A Medical ID?
    Why Wear a medical id?

    If you have a chronic medical condition, drug or food allergies you should be wearing a medical id bracelet or jewelry.

    . A medical id bracelet or product can speak for you when you can't speak for yourself. In an emergency there is no better way to communicate to paramedics then with a life saving medical Id.

    Minutes matter in an emergency, and your medical ID can bridge that gap.

    Paramedics are trained to look for medical alert bracelets and products. Make others aware of your medical history and any medications that you are taking.

    Don't take chances with your life or the life of your love one's by neglecting to wear a medical identification products custom engraved with your specific medical information.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 8/2/2011
    Title: FYI!
    Designs by Diana carries a full line of medical ID bracelets and jewelry for all ages. Our collection includes traditional medical ID bracelets, beaded medical bracelets, medical charms and tags, pendants, medical id keychains, silicone medical bracelets, medical watches, waterproof sportsbands, and necklaces. We strive to create one of a kind, unique and stylish medical bracelets.

    Custom engraving is always free at Designs by Diana. Your medical information will be collected and engraved on your choice of medical ID product. Alert medics, friends, and family in an emergency of your unique medical conditions.Don't take chances with your life or the life of your love one's by neglecting to wear a medical identification products.

    At Designs by Diana we strive to create stylish medical identification products that you will be proud to wear. "Stay Secure in Style" with stylish and fashionable medical ID bracelets.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/31/2011
    Title: Girls Night Out Medical ID Triple Strand Bracelet!
    A great new item sterling silver triple strand medical ID bracelet. This unique design boost 3 layers of different chain styles to create a truly special piece.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/25/2011
    Title: Always free engraving at Designs by Diana!
    Did you know your custom engraved items are always engraved with no extra charges? Some companies charge up to $8 a line to engrave your tags and charms. There are never any hidden charges at Designs by Diana.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/24/2011
    Title: Wild Thing Bag Tag
    Let your wild side show with this leopard style medical ID bag tag. Each tag is laminated with a hang tag and includes your medical information

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/21/2011
    Title: Summer Time Sale!
    We are offering a 15% discount on your total purchase, hurry offer ends soon!
    Enter summer time, make sure you use a space between words.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/19/2011
    Title: Autism Alert Silicone Medical ID Bracelet
    Silicone medical bracelets are great for everyday use, waterproof and resistant to damage these bands can be worn forever. These bands are debossed and color filled with white to ensure durability of the wording. Great item for back to school, camp, family vacations and outings.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/17/2011
    Title: Bag Tags Are Online and Ready to Purchase!
    Our newest products medical ID bag tags are online and ready to go. We have a large selection of products for men, women, and children to choose from. Each tag will be customized with your specific medical information and laminated. Makes a great item for back to school or camp. These tags can be used on purses, backpacks, rear view mirrors, diaper bags, strollers, belt loops, the possibilities are endless!

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/12/2011
    Title: New Exciting Product, Bag Tags!
    Coming soon! Bag Tags! These cool medical ID tags are custom made for you with a large variety of styles to choose from. Each tag will be laminated. Use your bag tag in a variety of ways such as, purses, rear view mirrors, back packs, diaper bags, belt loops, the possibilities are endless. Look for pictures and details soon!
    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/10/2011
    Title: Dots of Fun Medical ID Bracelet
    Many new items are featured on our website. This is one of our favorites, seed and cats eye beads in a triple strand of wonderful fun colors. You can order this item as a bracelet band only or with a stainless steel tag.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/7/2011
    Title: SUMMER SALE!
    Receive 15% off your order from www.designs-by-diana.com now through 8/1/2011. Just enter the code summer time when checking out.
    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/6/2011
    Title: Silicone Medical ID Bracelet ASTHMA ALERT!
    Stay secure in style with this silicone Asthma Alert medical ID bracelet. Wear this bracelet while swimming, bathing, and exercising. Priced low so that you can order several.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 7/5/2011
    Title: Peace, Love, and Rock and Roll! Medical Bracelet
    Stay secure in style with this all sterling silver medical ID bracelet. A new addition to our all sterling silver line. This bracelet is made with a sterling silver peace sign and 3 stands of sterling chain.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 6/28/2011
    Stay secure in style with the all new silicone medical ID bracelets. These bracelets are debossed with white color fill, for durability.These bracelets are great for summer camp or school. Wear them in all situations including swimming, bathing, contact sports, and during exercise. You can't wear these out! The available conditions are:
    Epilepsy Alert
    Autism Alert
    Peanut Allergy
    Asthma Alert

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 6/26/2011
    I was recently asked if I had gift certificates. The answer was no, but to check back soon. Well, we now carry gift certificates for as little as $5 to $200. Make sure you use the whole gift certificate during checkout, as it will not reload and I can not offer a store credit at this time.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 5/31/2011
    NEW! FREE SHIPPING for orders of $75+first class USPS domestic orders only.
    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 5/22/2011
    Title: Get ready for summer!
    Get ready for summer with this sports band medical ID bracelet. This bracelet comes in a variety of band styles. Rugged construction will make this medical ID bracelet tough in all situations, including water. As always at Designs by Diana your custom engraving is done free of charge.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 5/15/2011
    Title: Designs by Diana
    Unique, stylish, and fashionable medical ID bracelets for women, men, children, and young adults. Choose from sterling, gold filled, Swarovski crystal, leather, traditional, pearl, natural stone, and watches. Each medical bracelet is artistically designed and hand crafted with quality materials. You can be sure that your medical alert bracelet will last a very long time.

    Our collection includes traditional medical id bracelets, beaded medical bracelets, medical charms and tags, pendants, medical id keychains, silicone medical bracelets, medical watches, waterproof sportsbands, and necklaces. Our medical id products are designed for women, children 3 and over, men, girls, and boys.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 5/11/2011
    Title: Birthstone Beauty
    Stay secure in style with this custom birthstone Swarovski and sterling medical ID bracelet. As always Designs by Diana will custom engrave your choice of medical ID plate for free.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 5/5/2011
    Title: Designer Inspired Medical Alert Bracelet
    This designer inspired medical bracelet is sure to get noticed. Coral and turquoise beads team up with sterling silver Bali beads to provide you a truly custom designed piece. As always, engraving is always free at Designs by Diana.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 5/3/2011
    Title: Sterling Diabetic Charm
    This is our most popular charm which in pre-engraved on one side and not engraveable on the back. Choose a sterling clasp to attach to your charm to make in interchangeable. Use it on bracelets, backpacks, diaper bags, belt loops, purses, keychains, the possibilities are endless.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 5/1/2011
    Title: Stainless Steel Medical ID Bracelets
    Stay secure in style with our most popular medical Id bracelets. These medical bracelets are indestructible and can be worn in almost any situation, including water. There are a huge variety of styles including charms and tag engraved styles to choose from. A great alternative to beaded bracelets especially for children. Look in the simply stainless category to find selections.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 4/28/2011
    Title: Add a Charm!
    Many of our medical ID bracelets have the option of adding a sterling silver charm. Personalize your bracelet and make it your very own by adding one or more of the charms that we have to offer.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 4/26/2011
    Title: Stay Secure in Style!
    At Designs by Diana we strive to create stylish medical identification products that you will be proud to wear. "Stay Secure in Style" with stylish and fashionable medical ID bracelets.


    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 4/24/2011
    Title: Aluminium Medical ID Military Style Dog Tags
    Stay secure in style with your choice of one of these military style medical ID dog tags. The large one measures 1 1/8 X 2 and the smaller one measures 7/8 X 1 1/2. See form below for engraving limitations. Each medical ID tag will have a medical symbol engraved on the front and your choice of engraving can be added to both the front and the back.

    A stainless ball chain either 24 or 30 inches is also included.

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 4/20/2011
    Title: Tiffany Toggle Style Medical ID Bracelet
    Stay secure in style with this stylish and affordable medical ID bracelet. This Tiffany inspired toggle medical bracelet is made from 316 stainless steel which can be worn in all conditions, including water. The medical ID charm your choice of either round or heart shapes comes in 4 colors. The charm will be custom engraved with your specific medical information. There are never extra charges for engraving at Designs by Diana!

    «Previous Top  Next»

    Date: 4/19/2011
    Title: Why Wear A Medical ID? Who Should Wear a Medical ID?
    Why Wear a medical id?

    If you have a chronic medical condition, drug or food allergies you should be wearing a medical id bracelet or jewelry.

    A medical id bracelet or product can speak for you when you can't speak for yourself. In an emergency there is no better way to communicate to paramedics then with a life saving medical Id.

    Minutes matter in an emergency, and your medical ID can bridge that gap.

    Paramedics are trained to look for medical alert bracelets and products. Make others aware of your medical history and any medications that you are taking.

    Don't take chances with your life or the life of your love one's by neglecting to wear a medical identification products custom engraved with your specific medical information.

    What should be engraved on a medical ID?

    What you place on your medical id varies widely. You should consult your physician or medical care adviser as to what to include on your medical jewelry.

    The following is an example of what many people place on their medical id bracelets or jewelry;

    First and last name
    contact phone numbers
    medical conditions
    blood type
    physician's name and phone number
    ICE phone numbers

    Medical id's should be worn for these conditions(partial list)

    Diabetes(Type 1 and 2) Asthma
    Heart Disease Hearing/Sight Impaired
    Allergies(Food,drug,insect) Hypertension
    Alzheimer's COPD
    Dementia Cerebral Palsy
    Memory Impaired Blood Disorders
    Autism Cystic Fibrosis
    Bariatric Surgery Special Needs Children
    Asthma(Breathing Disorders) Stoke/Stroke Risk
    Parkinson's Cancer Patients

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    Date: 4/16/2011
    Title: Triple Strand Stainless Medical Bracelet
    Stay secure in style with this stylish medical ID triple stainless steel bracelet. Two styles are offered, a medical ID tag and a medical ID charm. Three styles of stainless chains are intertwined together for this really cool effect!

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    Date: 4/15/2011
    Title: Another Great Rubber Medical ID Bracelet Style! 6 Colors
    Stay secure in style with this continuous style rubber medical ID bracelet. This bracelet is latex free rubber with stainless steel. You can choose either a round or heart charm medical ID in your choice of 4 colors.

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    Date: 4/12/2011
    Title: Fun Rubber Medical Bracelets In 6 Colors!
    Stay secure in style with these all new rubber, latex free medical ID bracelets! Six fun colors to choose from. The bracelets are waterproof and durable. The clasps are made from stainless steel. Get one today, remember to use your coupon code Spring Fling for a 15% discount.

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    Date: 3/30/2011
    Title: Spring Fling 15% Off Coupon!
    Jump into spring by purchasing a medical ID bracelet or product. All items that you purchase are subject to a 15% discount. Just enter the code Spring Fling to receive your discount when you check out.
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    Date: 1/11/2011
    Title: Happy New Year! From Designs-by-diana.com
    Designs by Diana wants to offer you a 15% discount in celebration of the New Year. Make your resolutions come true by buying a medical ID bracelet or product. Use code HAPPYNEWYEAR when checking out to receive this offer.
    Hurry this offer ends 3/31/11.

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    Date: 9/22/2010
    Title: Just for Fun Halloween Replacement Bands!
    Halloween fall replacement bands are a just for fun fashion statement. Hurry, limited quantities on these item. These bands are made with primarily handcrafted lampwork beads. Look under the category medical ID bands only for choices.

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    Date: 8/16/2010
    Title: Simply Stainless Just in Time for School
    See our newest category Simply Stainless which has a large assortment of medical ID bracelets, pendants, and medical bands. Simply stainless is an all 316 stainless steel line which is very reasonably priced and can be worn while bathing or swimming. By far this line is the most secure and durable. Stainless medical ID bands only can be added to your beaded bracelet order and used interchangeably with your medical band. Perfect for school aged children and adults alike.

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