Review Category : Health

Your Body: Number of Diabetes Cases in US Falling

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

After decades of watching the number of diabetes cases soar in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now seeing the figure fall. The question is why?

The CDC isn’t quite sure but what we do know is that there’s a big difference between Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable with attention to diet, exercise and weight management.

It’s also important for women to know that having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or having had gestational diabetes or diabetes in pregnancy can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, so check with your doctor about an easy screening test.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Teenager Suffers From Condition That Causes Constantly Bleeding Eyes

iStock/Thinkstock(STAFFORDSHIRE, England) — Marnie-Rae Harvey suffers from a condition doctors can’t seem to understand.

According to the 17-year-old, she doesn’t have friends anymore because constant bleeding from her eyes prevents her from leaving the house.

The condition also affects her ears, nose, gums, scalps, fingernails, and tongue. According to BBC, she has seen eye specialists, gynecologists, hematology experts, neurologists and pediatricians. They were all unable to find a cause behind the unusual bleeding.

The first occurrence took place in March of 2013 when the teenager first started coughing up blood. It persisted for a couple of years until Harvey woke up in the middle of the night covered in it.

Blood tests have been done and results came back normal, but the problem still continues.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Grandma Celebrates Double-Lung Transplant by Dancing With Her Doctors

ABC News(ORLANDO, Fla.) — A Florida grandmother celebrated leaving the hospital after receiving a double-lung transplant by dancing with her doctors and nurses.

Debra Morgan, 60, had pulmonary fibrosis and could barely breath for nearly a decade, said Dr. Duane Davis, the lung transplant surgical director at Florida Hospital in Orlando. Morgan underwent a bi-lateral lung transplant in January and was released from the hospital Friday.

“It’s a wonderful day,” she said.

Her lung disease kept her from her favorite pastime — dancing. So to test out her new lungs, Morgan got on the dance floor, dancing to Silento’s “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” with her medical team.

“I haven’t been able to dance for a long time because I haven’t been able to breath,” Morgan said in a video posted to the hospital’s YouTube page. “I’ve always loved to dance.”

Morgan said she did the “Nae Nae” to “prove I can do it again with my new lungs.”

When the song ended, Morgan, who began crying, hugged her caretakers for giving her a second chance to get on the dance floor.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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3-D Printing Helps Three-Legged Pup Run Again

University of Queensland(NEW YORK) — Thanks to cutting-edge 3-D printing technology, an Australian dog will be able to run and play without pain for the first time since he was a puppy.

Named “Ziggy,” the border collie was found abandoned in 2014 with a deformed front leg, according to the University of Queensland Australia. Veterinarians were able to remove the leg and soon after students Rebcca Colvin and Glenn Althor adopted the puppy.

“He was a happy little puppy and didn’t mind at all that he only had three legs,” Colvin said on the University of Queensland Australia website. “However, a few months later we started to notice that he wasn’t walking well. He was limping, and seemed to be in pain.”

Ziggy’s veterinarians discovered growth plates in his remaining front leg had been damaged due to the increased pressure from only having three legs.

“We knew we needed to save Ziggy’s remaining front leg to give him a chance at a normal active life,” said Dr. Jayne McGhie, of the University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science. A corrective surgery to help stabilize his leg as he grew bought the veterinary team some time, but he needed more extensive surgery to straighten his leg, according to the University of Queensland website.

Finally, multiple team members from the School of Veterinary Science were able to study Ziggy’s leg and model it with 3-D printing technology.

“They helped with 3-D modelling so our students were exposed to the latest surgical planning techniques,” McGhie said on the University of Queensland website. “CT scan images of Ziggy’s leg were used to create computerised and printed three-dimensional models of his limb. These models were then used to calculate where the bone had to be cut and how it had to be manipulated to straighten the limb so Ziggy could walk normally.”

The practice allowed the team to confidently correct Ziggy’s damaged front leg and he’ll likely be able to soon run and play on his three feet without any help, the veterinarians said. Though he’s currently using a special wheelchair, he’s been able walk on his repaired leg without assistance.

“He’s got a very, very bright future,” McGhie said. “We think he will be a happy, healthy active dog.”

Ziggy the three legged dog from The University of Queensland on Vimeo.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Clinton Questions Sanders’ Healthcare Work in ’90s, Despite Video Showing Them Together

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) — Hillary Clinton on Saturday suggested that Bernie Sanders was not involved with her fight for universal healthcare in the 1990’s, despite video footage from the time that appears to show otherwise.

“I always get a little chuckle when I hear my opponent talking about doing it,” she said at a rally in St. Louis, Missouri, on Saturday referring to universal healthcare. “Well, I don’t know where he was when I was trying to healthcare in ’93 and ’94 standing up against the insurance companies, standing up against the drug companies.”

The remark raised eyebrows after a Sanders staffer immediately tweeted out video from 1993 of the Vermont senator standing directly behind the then-first lady during a press conference about healthcare. In the video, Clinton thanks Sanders for being there. “I’m grateful that congressman Sanders would join us today from Vermont,” she said.

literally standing right behind her. https://t.co/B2cvs4UNth https://t.co/oVA6WccMmZ pic.twitter.com/QeKLnBG337

— mike casca (@cascamike) March 12, 2016

The Sanders campaign also pointed out a photo Clinton sent Sanders in 1993 in which she thanked him for his “commitment to real healthcare access for all Americans.”

secretary clinton and bernie are sitting next to each other in this photo. what does it all mean, @jmpalmieri?! pic.twitter.com/XUQpF1uEjk

— mike casca (@cascamike) March 12, 2016

Clinton’s comment Saturday comes one day after she mistakenly praised the Reagans for their fight against HIV/AIDS. “I misspoke,” Clinton said in a statement. “For that, I’m sorry.”

Clinton’s communications director Jen Palmieri, however, told reporters it is “ridiculous” to call Clinton’s remark about Sanders a gaffe and that the video of Sanders behind Clinton “proves our point.”

“He is literally standing behind her,” Palmieri said. “She is literally the one out front.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Girl Suffers ‘Severe Brain Injury’ at Dentist’s Office, Documents Say

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A “once perfectly healthy and normal” 4-year-old girl “can no longer talk or walk or really see much” after suffering severe brain damage during a dentist visit gone “horribly wrong,” according to her mother.

Navaeh Hall had gone to Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson’s practice, “Diamond Dentistry,” in Houston on Jan. 7 to have a few decaying teeth treated, her mother Courissa Clark told ABC News.

But the “dental care resulted in serious harm” to Navaeh, who “suffered severe brain injury as a result,” according to a temporary suspension order from the Texas Board of Dental Examiners obtained by ABC News.

After Jefferson sedated Navaeh, the 4-year-old began experiencing seizures, the board staff said in its petition for temporary suspension.

Jefferson then attempted to treat the seizures by “by administering oral medication (Halcion) instead of contacting emergency personnel,” the board wrote, adding that Jefferson then “delayed several hours before contacting emergency personnel” and Navaeh “suffered severe brain injury as a result.”

Previous disciplinary action records on the board’s website show that Jefferson was reprimanded in 2012 for falling “below the minimum standard of care in the sedation of a minor” and in 2005 for not meeting the “minimum standard of care” and for not keeping “adequate dental records” for a patient.

A spokeswoman for the board told ABC News Jefferson’s license was temporarily suspended on Jan. 20 after and that a license revocation hearing for Jefferson has been scheduled at the end of the month.

Jim Moriarty, the lawyer for Navaeh and her family, told ABC News Friday he plans on filing a lawsuit on the family’s behalf against Jefferson and her practice soon.

Jefferson did not respond to ABC News’ multiple requests for comment.

Clark said that since the incident, her daughter has been through four different hospitals and is currently at an in-patient rehabilitation facility, where she goes through “multiple hours of occupational, physical and speech therapy everyday.”

“She can’t talk or walk or do anything she used to do,” Clark said. “She even had to get surgery just to get a feeding tube into her stomach.”

Clark added that Navaeh’s vision also seems to be impaired, saying that the 4-year-old can “follow voices sometimes but she can’t look directly at a person anymore.”

“Right now, it’s a waiting game to see what she can relearn and what she’ll be able to do,” Clark said. “I’m hoping to get my daughter back the way she was. I believe through my faith there’s nothing God can’t do. This is our baby, so we just have to accept and live with what we have.”

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The Devastating Effects Heroin Has on the Body and Mind

ABC News(NEW YORK) — In search of euphoria, heroin users devastate their bodies and minds. Twenty-three percent of people who try it at least once become addicted, according to Dr. Charles O’Brien of the University of Pennsylvania.

“For most, addiction is a lifelong disease,” said O’Brien, a professor of psychiatry at the Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center.

Heroin’s most vicious attack is on the brain. The powerful narcotic activates the brain’s natural opioid receptors that regulate pain, reward and pleasure and highjacks their pathways. That euphoric high leads to physical changes in brain molecules, Dr. Joshua Lee of the NYU Langone Medical Center said.

O’Brien says heroin also “creates memories.” For recovering addicts, just smelling or seeing heroin can trigger intense memories with uncontrollable cravings.

And there is always the chance of a deadly overdose. “On too much heroin, breathing slows down or stops completely,” said Lee.

During heroin withdrawal, the “brain typically registers high stress, anxiety and sleeplessness,” said Lee. On heroin, blood pressure and heart rate slow down, but they race up during withdrawal, O’Brien said.

Users also report feeling intense aches, muscle pain, restless leg, bone pain and skin crawling sensations during withdrawal. On heroin, pain is suppressed, but afterward the pain control system becomes hyper-sensitive, amplifying every discomfort, O’Brien added.

Finally, heroin activates millions of natural opiate receptors throughout the body. For example, heroin paralyzes the gut, which then becomes hyperactive during withdrawal causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, O’Brien said.

Lee said heroin also triggers a histamine release that leads to tears, runny nose, sweating and itchiness.

Probably the greatest danger of heroin, say experts, is physical dependence. “While a typical dose doesn’t directly destroy your brain, overall the addiction can destroy your life,” said Lee.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Birth of a Sibling Could Mean a Healthier Body Weight for the First-Born

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Younger siblings can be annoying, but a new study suggests they may be good for your health.

In the longitudinal study that tracked nearly 700 children across the U.S., researchers found that kids who did not have a sibling by the time they were in first grade were more often obese at that age compared to children who gained a sibling between ages three and four.

Essentially, the birth of a sibling a few years into a child’s life was associated with a healthier body mass index trajectory for that first child. The study was published Friday in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers emphasized they are not claiming the birth of a sibling directly causes weight loss but that there is an association, and these findings need to be studied further. The surprisingly robust association led the study’s authors to wonder what factors might be at play.

“The possibility that seems most compelling,” said Dr. Julie Lumeng, a pediatrician at the C.S. Mott Hospital at the University of Michigan and an author on the study, “is that if you have a younger sibling, you’re more likely to run around.”

Simply put, having a younger sibling is like having a built-in playmate: at any given time, the siblings are more likely to engage in some kind of active play.

Another theory that is a little harder to prove is that once a second child arrives, parents tend to loosen up, which means less restrictive feeding practices for children. Somewhat counter-intuitively, previous research has shown that the more a parent restricts a child’s eating, the higher the risk of obesity. It may be that parental control prevents kids from learning to listen to their own hunger cues, thus promoting unhealthy eating habits.

Keith Ayoob, a nutrition expert and associate clinical professor in pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said family dynamics may play an important role in determining whether a child develops sound eating habits and a healthy BMI.

“There’s a tendency for parents to constantly feed, whether the child is hungry or not,” he said. “Children can be silenced with food — and that really ends up leading to a dysfunctional relationship with food. It’s a very quick fix.”

While reflecting on his 30-plus years working with children and families, Ayoob noted that parents often lack patience.

“I think technology has convinced parents, and everybody, that solutions come instantly, and with kids they just don’t,” he said.

Parents must practice consistency and discipline, and never reward tantrums, he said. But be sure to make it clear to your little one that it’s the bad behavior, not the child, you don’t like.

Both physicians emphasized that no one is recommending having a second child purely for the sake of affecting the first child’s weight.

Instead, Lumeng encourages parents to consider setting up a play date this weekend, or enjoying a day out in the park, to promote healthy habits.

“This study might be a trigger for people to reflect on their family rhythms and what the family dynamic is,” she said. “If there were a younger sibling in the family, how might the rhythms change in a way that might be protective against obesity?”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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How Raising California Smoking Age Could Save Lives

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — A California bill that could potentially raise the smoking age to 21 could have a wide-ranging effect on young adult health in the state, according to experts.

Many smokers start as teens, even before they are legally of age to purchase cigarettes, but experts say if the age is raised to 21, it could help stop some teens from becoming addicted to cigarettes.

“This is California’s chance to make history by drastically reducing Big Tobacco’s ability to target and poison our youth. We will no longer stand idly by while they continue to get generation after generation addicted,” said Sen. Ed Hernandez in a statement. “We need to make this happen for the sake of our children and the overall health of our state.”

Although it remains unclear if Gov. Jerry Brown will approve the measure, members from the vaping industry issued a statement that they were disappointed that their products were lumped in with other tobacco products in the bill, which they were urging Brown to veto.

“Treating vapor products like tobacco opens the door to unfair and unwarranted tobacco tax-related implications that will discourage smokers from switching to what science says is an effective and significant alternative to combustible tobacco,” said Cynthia Cabrera, president of Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, which represents the vape industry.

One 2015 report by the Institution of Medicine attempted to break down how raising the age to buy tobacco products would translate into lives saved. The report said that 90 percent of smokers start before they are 19.

They found that raising the legal age to buy tobacco products would help cut teen smoking, since an 18-year-old high school senior would no longer be able to legally buy cigarettes for their friends.

“The majority of underage users rely on social sources — like family and friends — to get tobacco,” the report noted.

The report estimates that if the age to buy tobacco products was raised to 21 nationwide it would mean a 12 percent decrease in adult smokers and an estimated 223,000 fewer premature deaths. These results include an saving an estimated 50,000 people from lung cancer deaths. In total raising the legal age to 21 could mean “4.2 million fewer years of life lost” for people between 2000 and 2019. The researchers acknowledge it would take decades for these results to become clear.

Stanton Glantz ,a professor of tobacco control at the University of California San Francisco, said the legislation as a whole was “stunning” and could have major impacts if it’s approved.

“The industry, the way they do their marketing is they target the youngest legal age they and in a way that will spill down,” said Glantz of the tobacco industry. “By moving the age up to 21 it will make it much harder for the tobacco companies to reach teenagers.”

“Very few people start smoking after they’re 21,” he said.

Glantz pointed out that many teens experiment with smoking but that the years between 18 and 21 are crucial, since it’s when these smokers become fully addicted.

“It changes the way the brain develops when adolescents smoke in ways that are permanent or nearly permanent,” Glantz said. “To the extent that this measure reduces the amount of nicotine use by adolescents is going to have tremendous long term smokers.”

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Ailing Teen’s Stunned Reaction to Finding a Heart Donor

Tina Turner(BURLINGTON, N.C.) — After 99 days of lying in a hospital bed, fighting every day to survive, a 13-year-old Burlington, North Carolina, boy got a life-saving heart transplant.

A video of Albert Jeffries IV finding out this week that a heart was available for transplant was posted to a Facebook page by his mother, and his stunned reaction to the good news has helped the post go viral.

Albert was born with dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that causes the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, to be enlarged and weakened, decreasing its ability to pump blood.

“He almost passed out,” his mother, Tina Turner, told ABC News Friday about the moment Albert first found out late Wednesday of the organ’s availability. “He could not believe the news.”

“What’s going on? What’s going on?” he says in the video that his doctor filmed of the moment his mother told him he had a heart available. “They got my heart? They got my heart?”

Turner, a nurse at UNC Hospital, where her son was staying, had found out earlier in the day that the hospital finally had a heart transplant available for her son. She was at the nail salon, as per her son’s request to give him some space, when she got a call from her son telling her the nurses weren’t giving him food.

She called to figure out what was going on and the nurses told her they stopped Albert from eating because he was prepping for heart surgery. “When she said ‘he’s prepping,’ I lost it. I knew he had a heart,” Turner said.

A woman at the nail salon sitting next to her filmed her reaction to the phone call.

“I was screaming and crying. People who saw me were screaming and crying,” she said. “I was so overwhelmed with emotions.”

In that moment, all the doctor’s appointments, the sleepless nights and the holidays spent in the hospital meant nothing to Turner, because they were not going to “stop until he got that heart.”

At several times in Albert’s life, it appeared that the odds were against him — going into ICU when he was 6 and 10, and going into heart failure around Christmas in 2014 — but Turner described how his positivity helped him fight on.

“I always tell my kids not to have fear, to be strong,” she said. “This kid is the one who kept me strong.”

During this last lengthy span he was in the hospital, for 101 days and counting, he contracted double pneumonia and his kidneys started failing, but he was able to persevere, Turner said.

“All these years he took the disease like a champ,” she said.

Before the surgery on Wednesday night, Albert listened to his heart beating one last time. He underwent surgery late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. The next morning his mother recorded him waking up and saying, “I feel like a new person.”

Albert is on the road to recovery and “his heart is fully working now,” Turner said. He should be out of the hospital in the next couple of weeks, she added.

She said Albert is looking forward to going back to school, and finally getting the chance to run and play sports that he was never able to do before.

“He is my hero,” she said.

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