Review Category : Health

Your Body: What to Eat While Pregnant

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

While many parents are concerned about what to feed their children, some may not think about what the mother should be eating when she’s pregnant. This is why I wrote my latest book, Eat This, Not That When You’re Expecting.

After delivering more than 1,500 babies, the number one most common question I get pertains to food, diet and weight gain during pregnancy. So, I went back to school to get my master’s in nutrition.

So what are my top tips?

Pregnancy isn’t about eating for two — it’s about eating for you. That’s only approximately an added 300 calories a day depending on your pre-pregnancy weight.

Think of food fixes, like ginger, for fighting many pregnancy ailments like morning sickness. And ice cream, in my book I explain why and how it gets an “A” rating for nutrition. Just watch those toppings!

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Virginia School Gets Buzz Cuts in Support of Second Grader with Leukemia

Deb Cross(RICHMOND, Va.) — In an act of kindness, students at a Virginia school received buzz cuts last month in support of a 7-year-old peer battling cancer.

Noah Cross is a second-grader at St. Edward-Epiphany Catholic School in Richmond, Virginia. He was diagnosed with leukemia on May 11.

“I think it shows there’s a lot of really good people who care, above and beyond,” mom Deb Cross of Midlothian, Virginia told ABC News. “That school, it’s like his family. They’ve been phenomenal. It just makes him smile to see those kids and to know that he’s still included.”

In less than one month, Noah has had two blood transfusions, three platelet transfusions and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, his mother said.

“He’s doing pretty well,” Cross said. “He’s a kid, so he’s resilient to a lot of things.

“Basically, he has no immune system, so we don’t go anywhere,” she added. “We go to the clinic and then we go home. He just wants to be a kid, but he can’t.”

Abby McDonald, director of development at St. Edward-Epiphany, said Deb Cross dialed the principal immediately after Noah’s cancer diagnosis.

“He’s a kid that’s full of light,” McDonald told ABC News. “He’s kind, he’s always smiling and the family is wonderful. It hit pretty close to home, it was devastating. We are just trying to be as supportive as we possibly can.”

McDonald said that the school set it up so Noah would have a teacher visit his home daily, so long as he felt up to it.

In addition, the school created “Buzz Cuts for Noah” — a fundraiser that had Noah’s teachers and peers gather to shave their heads to raise donations for his medical bills.

The event raised $2,500 for Noah in addition to over $11,000 on the “Noah’s Road to Recovery” GoFundMe page.

A total of 37 students, from second-to-eighth grade, received buzz cuts, McDonald confirmed. Five of them were girls. Three alumni students, two faculty members and some of Noah’s extended family also received the special haircut.

“He thinks it’s really cool,” Cross said of her son. “Noah’s just a really kind child. He doesn’t quite understand what he’s going through, but he just thinks it’s great that everybody loves him so much and we do too.”

Noah is scheduled to have a bone marrow biopsy next week. Cross said she hopes the results show that he’s cancer-free.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Multiple Salmonella Outbreaks Lead to Hundreds Infected in 35 States

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Multiple salmonella outbreaks have sickened at least 324 people in 35 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Salmonella outbreaks involving seven different strains of the bacteria have been identified by CDC officials since January, confirmed via lab testing. Of those sickened, 66 have been hospitalized. One death has been reported, but the CDC clarified that salmonella infection was not considered to be a contributing factor in that case.

Symptoms of salmonella infection can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever and chills.

In multiple cases the outbreaks were linked back to people interacting with live poultry, including ducklings and chicks from various hatcheries, according to the CDC. Those buying the baby birds told the CDC they bought the animals for a variety of reasons including to get fresh eggs, learn about agriculture, keep as pets or give away for Easter.

“Regardless of where they were purchased, all live poultry can carry salmonella bacteria, even if they look healthy and clean,” the CDC said on its website.

People who are around live poultry should wash their hands with soap and water after touching them, not let children younger than 5 handle the animals and not let live poultry in the house, according to the CDC.

The outbreaks are expected to continue for the next several months since people may be unaware of the link between live poultry and salmonella infection, according to the CDC.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Maker and Distributor of Edible Marijuana

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new lawsuit alleges that an edible marijuana manufacturer and a Colorado dispensary recklessly failed to warn a Colorado man about the product’s potency and side effects. The lawsuit claims the THC-infused candy the man ate played a key role in the night he allegedly shot and killed his wife.

Kristine Kirk, 44, called 911 on April 14, 2014, worried that her husband, Richard Kirk, had “taken some marijuana.”

She told the dispatcher he was “talking like it was the end of the world and wanted her to shoot him” and that he was “totally hallucinating.”

The 911 operator heard gunshots just minutes later.

“He grabbed the gun and she’s screaming and the line disconnected,” a police officer said in a dispatch recording.

The couple’s three young sons were present in the home at the time of the shooting but were physically unharmed.

“The last sound that they heard of hers, that they’ll ever hear, was her scream,” Kristine’s mother, Marti Kohnke, told local ABC station KMGH-TV in 2014. Kohnke, along with her husband, Wayne, and Kristine’s sister are now the legal guardians of the children.

Richard Kirk, now 50, is in jail awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges for the death of his wife. He has plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

According to police, Kirk had eaten a portion of a 10-pack of pot-laced candy on the night of the shooting.

Kirk’s attorneys are suggesting the pot-laced candy he consumed may have contributed to a psychotic episode. The chewy candy, Karma Kandy Orange Ginger, contains 10 milligrams per serving of THC, the active chemical in marijuana.

The guardians of the Kirks’ three children have filed a first of its kind wrongful-death lawsuit against the maker of the candy, Gaia’s Garden LLC, and its distributor, Nutritional Elements Inc.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in May in Denver, alleges that “the edible producers negligently, recklessly and purposefully concealed vital dosage and labeling information.” It also claims the packaging doesn’t warn buyers that the high from edibles could lead to “paranoia, psychosis and hallucinations.”

ABC News legal analyst Brian Claypool says that in this case, with which he is not involved, “We don’t have a lot of literature on what the side effects could be on someone who has ingested recreational marijuana, so a manufacturer could potentially be held liable for that.”

Gaia’s Garden directed ABC News to a statement an attorney for the company issued to the Los Angeles Times this week. In the statement, the attorney, Sean McAllister, called the lawsuit’s claims “preposterous and baseless” and said the company was, “complying with all state labeling requirements at the time that say marijuana can have adverse health effects.”

Nutritional Elements Inc. did not immediately reply to ABC News.

Addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky told ABC News today that ingesting marijuana’s active ingredient THC can have a more unpredictable effect than smoking.

“With edibles, the effects come much later and whatever you’ve ingested, the amount is going to get into your system so you can’t, there’s no going back. Once you ingested it goes on,” Pinsky said on “Good Morning America.” “You can have adverse reactions to cannabis and unfortunately they’re not common and can be quite severe.”

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Prince’s Autopsy Result Highlights Dangers of Opioid Painkiller Fentanyl

Purestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — News that the death of Prince was found to have been caused by a fentanyl overdose has once again drawn attention to the ongoing opioids epidemic and the powerful painkiller.

While the resurgence of heroin has gained attention in recent years, the drug fentanyl is a huge concern to health authorities. The drug, which is generally used in a medical setting as a painkiller, is the most potent opioid available for use in medical treatment, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The drug is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin, according to the DEA. Fentanyl was developed for the pain management treatment of cancer patients. However, its powerful opioid properties have made it an attractive drug for abusers, according to federal drug officials. Sometimes marketed solo and often mixed with other drugs, including heroin — and the consequences can be deadly.

The initial autopsy report for Prince did not specify the manner in which the drug was taken. But in a medical setting, the drug is given in lozenge, patch or injectable form. The drug has also been sold illicitly in powdered or pill form and has been used to supplement heroin.

The drug is part of a complex growing problem with opioid abuse, both from prescription pills and illicit drugs like heroin. Federal law enforcement sources told ABC News they are seeing more and more of the powerful narcotic making its way on to American streets.

In 2014, more than 28,000 people died from an opioid overdose, which is more than any year on record, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men are more likely to die from an opioid overdose, according to the CDC.

The drug is so dangerous that it even poses a threat to first responders who encounter it, officials said.

“Fentanyl will remain a significant threat to law enforcement personnel and first responders as minute amounts — equivalent to a few grains of salt — of fentanyl can be lethal, and visually, can be mistaken for cocaine or white powder heroin,” the DEA explained in its threat assessment of the drug.

Dr. Lolita McDavid, an opioid expert and medical director of Child Advocacy and Protection at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told ABC News that fentanyl-laced heroin has become a big problem for major cities, including Philadelphia, Detroit and Chicago.

“What we know is we’re seeing more and more accidental overdose drug deaths,” she said. “People start out on opioids like oxycontin,” then transition to other drugs like heroin.

Fentanyl is used for both short-term and long-term pain relief and works to reduce pain by switching off pain receptors in the brain, which can lead to feelings of euphoria, according to medical literature.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Grandad and Grandson Have ‘Matching Zippers’ Scars After Heart Surgery

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Though one is nearing the end of his life and one is just beginning, this grandad and grandson share not only a bond, but near-identical zipper scars.

A picture, taken by Sunshine Moody photography, shows 11-month-old Kolbie Gregware and his grandfather, Allan Halstead. Kolbie had open heart surgery when he was four months old, his mother Brandy Gregware told ABC News. Her dad had his first heart procedure 12 years ago.

Gregware wanted the photo of her son, who has a twin brother, Kash, and his granddad because she isn’t sure how much longer her father will live.

“The medication he’s on has his heart functioning at about 10 percent,” she said. “Once it stops working, that’s it.”

In addition to her father’s prognosis, Kolbie hasn’t been out of the hospital much since he was born. “He’s been on ventilators and oxygen,” Gregware said.

She said Kolbie seems to have a special bond with her dad, who she calls “a real character,” already. “It’s amazing to watch Kolbie look at him. It’s like he’s looking at God. Kolbie could stare at him for hours.”

Photographing her dad and son’s “matching zippers,” as she calls them, was something she wanted to do while she still can.

The photographer, Sunshine Moody, had a baby in the same NICU where Kolbie has been recovering. She became aware of Kolbie’s story through a mutual friend and offered to take the photos for free.

“The time came to do their photo, and for me I wanted it to be sweet but also real,” Moody said. “I wanted the rawness of the situation to come out but also the sweet moment they locked faces and he spoke to Kolbie.”

Moody said she began her photography business in 2013 in order to capture her own baby’s moments. She offers affordable photos to everyone, she said, because “everyone deserves” to have memories of their babies — memories she herself missed when her daughter was born weighing less than 2 pounds.

“I’ll admit I was scared to be trusted with such a powerful photo,” Moody said.

After she took the pictures, she looked through the options that night. “I pulled out my computer and scrolled through and it immediately caught my eye. It was the first one I edited. And I spent over an hour on it alone.”

While Kolbie’s twin Kash will go with “whoever will come get him,” according to Gregware, Kolbie reserves his affection for just a few people, including his grandfather. And granddad feels the same.

“That’s his baby,” she said. “He absolutely loves Kolbie to no end.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Tasmanian Devil Gets Pacemaker to Fix Heart

San Diego Zoo Global(SAN DIEGO) — An endangered Tasmanian devil named “Nick” is recovering after getting a pacemaker to fix an abnormal heart rhythm.

Veterinarians at the San Diego Zoo first detected something was wrong with Nick in January. Further tests revealed that Nick’s heart was beating extremely slowly due to heart disease.

To save the endangered animal, staff at the zoo worked with a veterinarian surgeon to implant a tiny pacemaker complete with an electrode sutured directly into Nick’s heart.

“We are optimistic that this procedure will give Nick an additional one to two years of a happy and healthy life,” Dr. Cora Singleton, San Diego Zoo associate veterinarian, said in a statement Wednesday. “He will have a recheck exam to evaluate his pacemaker in three to six months, then annually thereafter.”

Tasmanian devils live for about five years in the wild.

After his operation on May 11, Nick has been returned to join the three other Tasmanian devils at the zoo, officials said.

The animals are endangered due to a rare facial cancer called devil facial tumor disease (DFTD). The cancer is contagious and found only in devils. DFTD is transmitted from one animal to another through biting, a common behavior among devils when mating and feeding.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Kitten with Leg Deformity Gets 3-D Printed Prosthetic Paw

Denver Animal Shelter(DENVER) — Sonic, a black-and-white cat who was surrendered to Denver Animal Shelter over three months ago, had been born with a leg deformity called radial agenesis, according to Meghan Hughes, communications director for Denver Environmental Health.

Because of the deformity, Sonic was forced to drag his leg on the ground to move, she told ABC News Thursday.

But now, the young cat is back on his paws — thanks to a new 3-D printed prosthetic limb created by students at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sonic was fitted into the prosthetic on Wednesday and is now relearning how to walk, Hughes said.

The 4-month-old kitten will also be put up for adoption on Friday, she added.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Are Your Doctor’s Hands Clean?

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Are you afraid to ask your doctors if they’ve washed their hands before examining you? Don’t be.

While the science is clear that clean hands protect patients and healthcare providers from serious infections, studies show adherence is remarkably low.

It’s okay to ask your doctor or nurse to wash their hands — and you should have good handwashing practices, too.

Personally, as a GYN surgeon, I’m used to using alcohol-based hand sanitizers before I operate, and I use it before and after seeing every single patient. I do it as I enter the room, right in front of my patients, every single time so it’s a habit.

As for good old soap and water, that’s great, too. Just remember you need to sing “Happy Birthday” twice — that’s how long you should be washing your hands with soap and water. And use a paper towel to shut off the faucet.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Mom of NJ Baby with Microcephaly Says First Doctor Told Her She Would Be ‘Fine’

iStock/Thinkstock(HACKENSACK, N.J.) — The mother of an infant born in New Jersey with microcephaly said a doctor in her home country of Honduras told her everything would be “fine” after she reported having a fever earlier in her pregnancy.

Speaking to Fox News Latino from her bed at Hackensack University Medical Center, the unidentified woman said she initially didn’t realize she had caught the Zika virus and had told her doctor she thought she had an allergic reaction.

She reported feeling feverish with a rash in December.

“He asked if I had a fever,” the woman told Fox News in Spanish. “I said I had had a little fever, but it was very brief, only for about an hour.”

After being diagnosed with the Zika virus, the patient said, her doctor asked whether she had other symptoms of Zika, including conjunctivitis.

“I said no,” the woman told Fox News. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be fine. I don’t think you will be affected.’ Then I had an ultrasound, and everything looked fine.”

It’s unclear when the woman arrived in New Jersey and when U.S. doctors realized her baby had microcephaly.

She gave birth via Caesarean section to an infant suspected of having Zika-related microcephaly Tuesday. Doctors told reporters Wednesday the infant was on intravenous nutrition and said it was “too early” to tell what the child’s life expectancy might be.

Medical officials at Hackensack University Medical Center said they are helping the mother deal with the trauma and the difficulty of giving birth to a sick infant, Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan, the hospital’s director of maternal-fetal medicine and surgery, told reporters Wednesday.

“I think this has been rather difficult for the family,” he said. “To me, this is, quite frankly, catastrophic. … This is a time for us to get together, unite and do everything possible to combat the condition.”

The patient said other mothers should be careful as Zika continues to spread throughout various countries.

“It’s a reality we’re living,” she said. “Sometimes we can underestimate things, but when it’s your turn to be in that situation, that’s the hard part.”

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