Review Category : Health

Two-Legged Piglet Named Miracle Walks on Front Legs

Ari Smith(NEW YORK) — Three weeks ago, an adorable miniature pig named Miracle was born on a farm in Colorado. Miracle was born without his hind legs but the little piglet has proven to be a fighter.

Ari Smith, a mini pig breeder and founder of Colorado Cutie Pigs, didn’t think that Miracle would survive without his back legs. But the piglet has adapted to his disability, getting around on his front legs instead.

“It was amazing to watch, because he doesn’t know anything’s wrong with him. He just thinks [how he walks] is normal,” Smith told ABC News Denver affiliate KMGH.

Miracle has no problem trotting around the farm as he balances on his front legs, but Smith said she will have a wheelchair specially made for him.

Colorado Cutie Pigs has reached out to members of the community to find someone who can care for Miracle’s special needs and give him a forever home.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Finding the Right Type of Cancer Screening for Your Breast Density

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

Continued controversy over breast cancer screening frequency in women over 50.

If you have dense breast it may be harder to identity possible presence of cancer. So those with dense breast, who are also at higher risk for breast cancer, should be screened yearly with mammography.

The question of whether or not to also get a sonogram as part of breast cancer screening is still up in the air. Many doctors, myself included, feel that sonograms are important for women with dense breast at any age.

Since sonograms can detect tumors that mammograms often miss, my prescription is that you talk to your doctor about the right type of screening for you. Should it be a mammogram? A mammogram and sonogram? And how often should you get screened?

By law in many states, you need to be informed if you have dense breasts on your mammogram report. So ask, “Am I dense?”

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More Americans Admit a Heavy Drinking Day in Past Year, CDC Says

Johannes Simon/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In the first three months of 2016, slightly more U.S. adults say they had at least one “heavy drinking day” in the past year – 25.4 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Using a large national survey, CDC researchers found that the percentage of men who had at least one day of heavy drinking was 32.4 percent (higher than the 2015 figure of 29.9 percent) and 18.9 percent of women said the same (the 2015 figure was 17.4 percent, but the female figures are close enough that they might be due, statistically, to chance).

For both sexes, the numbers are significantly higher than they were a decade ago.

Although the report from the CDC only provides new data, it could spark more discussions about alcohol and binge drinking.

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Blood Clot Removal Could Help More Stroke Victims, Study Finds

Hayden Bird/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The window for helping certain stroke patients with a potentially life-saving blood clot removal surgical treatment may be longer than previously thought, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Traditionally stroke is treated with medications that stabilize or diminish blood clots in the brain. In select patients surgical intervention to remove the clot may be possible to mitigate effects of the stroke.

Currently, the American Stroke Association advises that blood clot removal for some patients — an emergency procedure called endovascular thrombectomy recently developed and increasingly used in addition to medical therapies — should be done within six hours after stroke symptoms to lower the amount of disability patients will face later. But this analysis showed that the time for treatment could be slightly longer — up to 7.3 hours.

This study could affect the current guidelines on treating stroke patients, according to Dr. Cathy Sila, Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. She said there is “compelling rationale to move that window a little bit.”

As a result of having lost blood flow to the brain for an extended time, stroke victims often suffer physical disabilities and lose varying degrees of their independence. They often require longer-term care and therapies.

“Long-term disability of stroke is more expensive than cost of hospitalization,” Sila told ABC News Tuesday.

Authors from multiple institutions including the University of Calgary, pooled data from five studies on stroke treatments to see if providing endovascular thrombectomy in addition to standard medical treatment past six hours would help patients. They analyzed those studies for patients who have had large blood vessel strokes, seeking to understand how much of an effect blood clot removal surgery performed after six hours would have on their longer-term recovery. They used a benchmark of three months after the stroke to assess patients’ level of disability.

In total, 1,287 patients were enrolled in the five trials studied. The researchers examined clinical data and brain imaging in addition to the patients’ physical function. They found that the patients who received standard medical therapy along with an endovascular thrombectomy up to 7.3 hours after developing stroke symptoms were less likely than patients who were treated with only medications to report disability three months later.

When they examined the patients three months after the stroke, each hour delay in receiving the treatment corresponded in worse outcomes for the patients, including more severe disability and less functional independence.

This meant that even the patients who received the treatment outside of the generally accepted 6 hours cut off up to the 7.3 hours point tended to report less disability during their recovery. However, if people received the treatment after 7.3 hours from onset of symptoms there was no statistical improvement.

Dr. Mayank Goyal, a co-author of the study and professor of Radiology, University of Calgary, said he hopes the study will help raise awareness about the importance of getting prompt treatment for a stroke and having an efficient system to provide this procedure.

“Time is brain,” Goyal told ABC News. “The faster we can re-establish blood flow to brain, the higher the likelihood of the patients having a good outcome and going back to independent living.”

Sila said further study is needed to find out if these kinds of procedures could benefit people even after the 7.3 hours from symptom onset. She pointed out that these studies are important since they can help change guidelines and push insurance companies to cover the procedure for more patients.

“We need to have this kind of data so third party payers would have it to base [costs] on,” she said.

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This Mom Threw Out Her Kids’ Toys and Got Her Life Back

Courtesy Allie Casazza(NEW YORK) — Allie Casazza was drowning — in toys.

“I had this huge room in my house, dedicated to toys,” she told ABC News. “Bins overflowing with stuff. A $150 light-up unicorn no one played with. The playroom was the bane of my existence.”

She describes a scene familiar to many moms.

“I’d send the kids into the playroom and they’d dump out a few things. They’d be back moments later, saying they were bored and asking for snacks,” she said.

Trying to keep herself sane, she would clean up the toys and the room several times a day, just to have it destroyed again.

“I didn’t enjoy motherhood,” the Bentonville, Arkansas, mom said. “I didn’t enjoy [my kids]. They were a bother to me.”

Every day she would wait for nap time and bedtime.

“I thought that was ‘just the way it was,’” she said. “I was in survival mode.”

One day, Casazza had enough. She gave nearly every toy in the house away. Not as a punishment, she said, but for the good of the family. That one action “saved my motherhood, my marriage,” she said.

Her struggle is common. It turns out that an excess of stuff can have a negative effect on moms. A 2012 study from UCLA’s Center on the Everyday Lives of Family found managing the volume of possessions “was such a crushing problem in many homes that it actually elevated levels of stress hormones for mothers.”

Casazza waited for the temper-tantrums from the kids. Instead, they were excited she had cleaned out the room. And literally overnight, she said, things in her home changed.

“I had been so resentful of my husband, telling him, ‘you have no idea what I go through all day,’ but after the toys were gone I immediately felt lighter. I had so much less stress,” she said.

And the whining about being bored? No more.

Noelle Swift, a mom from Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, told ABC News the decision to limit her 28-month-old’s toys was made before he was born. He has plenty of books, but his toys can very easily fit on two shelves. As a result, Swift said, he can play with one toy for hours on end. And since everything has a very clear place, he also puts his toys away.

“I want him to value the toys he has,” she said.

Beth Becher is a mom and the owner of B Organized, a professional organization service. She said her clients’ lives are “forever changed” when they finally get rid of the clutter. A major theme among moms having trouble clearing the toys is guilt, she said.

“It’s always, ‘but my mother-in-law gave my son that for his first birthday,’ even if it’s broken,” she said.

Her mantra is: “If you don’t need it, use it or love it, get rid of it.”

Her daughter has very few toys, and she sets limits with family when it comes to gift giving.

Some clients, she said, can’t go into a store with their kids because they will inevitably leave with a new toy.

“We’re hurting our children,” she said. “It has to stop.” When she leaves a client’s home and returns to her own, she feels like she can “breathe.”

She also said finding a place you can feel good about donating to is the first step to alleviating some of the guilt of letting go.

Casazza’s toy toss led to a greater household-wide purge and the family decided to downsize. Without all the things that were weighing them down, Casazza said, she was able to start her own business. The Purposeful Housewife is dedicated to living minimally. She even decided to homeschool her kids. It’s a far cry from the mom who counted the moments until nap time.

She said her four kids are exceptionally close, and they use their imaginations to make up games with things as simple as a broomstick.

“That’s all they do all day. Together. There’s no more ‘I was playing with that,'” she said, “because they don’t have those things anymore.”

Today she loves being a mom. “It’s such a short season when your kids are young. Now I can enjoy it,” she remarked.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Elderly Couple Reunited After Forced to Live Apart for Months

Courtesy Ashley Bartyik(NEW YORK) — An elderly Canadian couple has finally been reunited after being forced to live in separate nursing homes for more than eight months, according to their granddaughter.

The reunion, which was filled with “tears of joy,” came after Wolfram Gottschalk, 83, and Anita Gottschalk, 81, were photographed crying in late August during a visitation a few months after they were first separated, according to their granddaughter, Ashley Bartyik.

“This is the saddest photo I have ever taken,” Bartyik, 29, captioned the photo posted to Facebook.

At the time, Bartyik told ABC News she and her family had been pleading with Fraser Health Authority, which manages the assisted living residences, to allow her grandparents, who had been married for over 62 years, to live together.

Bartyik added that that she was worried her grandparents’ heartbreak and stress “could literally kill them.”

Fraser Health previously said that it had been working to get the couple together but space was unavailable.

“We certainly understand how heartbreaking this is for the family,” Fraser Health spokeswoman Tasleem Juma told ABC News partner CTV News at the time. “It’s upsetting for us as well.”

But nearly a month later — and after the heartbreaking photo of Wolfram and Anita had been shared more than 10,000 times on Facebook — the couple’s wishes have been finally granted, Bartyik announced on social media last week.

Wolfram was moved into the same facility as Anita on Thursday, Sept. 22, and the two were captured smiling, kissing and embracing in heartwarming photos and video Bartyik posted to Facebook.

“They can now be under the same roof for their remaining years, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” Bartyik wrote in her post on Facebook. “They would like to thank Fraser Health for this reunion, and also the media for helping to get their story heard. They also wish to thank everyone around the world that liked, shared, or discussed their story.”

The 29-year-old added that though her grandparents were now reunited, “the story isn’t over” and that she would continue advocating for other couples separated by the health system in the British Columbia area.

Fraser Health cared “deeply about reuniting couples in long-term care as quickly as possible,” Juma told ABC News in a statement Tuesday, adding that the health authority was happy to be able to reunite Wolfram and Anita.

Juma explained that Fraser Health had been working with Bartyik’s family “for some time to ensure we were able to reunite their loved ones as quickly as possible.” She added that health authority had “presented the family with options for reunification and they chose the option that suited them best until a bed became available at their preferred site.”

“Couple reunification is a priority for us,” she said. “This can sometimes take longer when individuals need different levels of care, and especially when families have a preference for a particular site. Still, we do everything in our power to bring couples together quickly.”

Bartyik did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for additional comment Tuesday.

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Your Body: How Sex Affects Wellness at an Older Age

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

You’ve probably already heard that having sex has health benefits. But there is currently little data looking specifically at how sex affects wellness in older people.

Researchers have now found, however, that women who found sex with their partners to be extremely satisfying had a lower risk of high blood pressure five years later. On the other hand, men who found sex extremely pleasurable and satisfying had a higher risk of cardiovascular events.

The research suggests this uncovers a need for healthcare providers to talk to their patients about the risks of sexual activity.

My prescription: Definitely discuss sex with your doctor. If he or she doesn’t ask about it, you should bring it up — it’s an important part of your physical and emotional wellbeing.

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Why Super Potent Synthetic Opioids Are ‘Crazy Dangerous,’ DEA Says

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — As the opioid epidemic has continued to grow in multiple parts of the country, extremely potent synthetic forms of the painkillers — especially fentanyl and carfentanil — have become more common among everyday users, according to U.S. authorities.

Last week, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued a public warning to law enforcement about the safety risks of taking or interacting with synthetic opioids, especially carfentanil and fentanyl. The agency warned the drugs can be deadly, even in very low quantities.

“Carfentanil is surfacing in more and more communities,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a statement on Friday. “We see it on the streets, often disguised as heroin. It is crazy dangerous. Synthetics such as fentanyl and carfentanil can kill you. “

In Ohio, rates of opioid overdoses have been growing and one public health official issued a public health warning after police linked carfentanil to opioid overdoses in August and September.

“Fentanyl and heroin have already killed 300 people this year and we are headed for double the number of fatalities as 2015,” Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said in August. “The detection of carfentanil here is a very disturbing development in the ongoing illegal opiate crisis. This drug is intended for use as an anesthetic in large animals and veterinarians take special precautions just handling it. Small amounts are rapidly fatal.”

This past weekend, seven fatal drug overdoses were reported in Cuyahoga County, leading Gilson to issue another public health warning, although the cases have not been connected to a particular drug.

“This cluster of deaths is deeply concerning. Although there is no clear link between the individuals, this number clearly raises the possibility of a very deadly drug in our community,” said Gilson in a statement Monday.

When synthetic opioids are introduced, they create a tranquilizing effect by attaching to certain brain receptors, according to Dr. David Edwards, Clinical Service Chief for Chronic Pain Service at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. An overdose can occur because the same receptors also affect basic survival functions.

“The opioids are acting on these opioid receptors, they’re reducing your brain’s perception of pain,” Edwards explained.

“But these same receptors are controlling your breathing and controlling your transit of food through the GI tract,” he added, which “blocks transmission to the brain’s receptor and stops the drive to breathe.”

Fentanyl

Fentanyl is used primarily in operating rooms and is thought to be 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin. It’s a synthetic opioid first created in the 1950’s and used as an intravenous anesthetic, according to medical literature.

When used intravenously, the drug starts working in one minute compared to five minutes for morphine, according to a 2011 published review in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health.

Edwards explained that since it works so quickly, fentanyl can cause a potentially fatal overdose much faster than other opioids.

“Morphine takes 20 to 30 minutes to peak,” in the bloodstream said Edwards. Fentanyl, “it peaks in your blood within five minutes.”

Edwards said he’s heard of drug dealers warning users to not experiment with fentanyl since it’s so dangerous in such a small amount.

Ray Isackila, an addiction and recovery services specialist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, said synthetic fentanyl is cheaper to make than heroin. Drug dealers or users sometimes mix it with heroin to reduce cost or give more punch to lesser quality heroin, creating “tainted” batches.

“People started mixing fentanyl in with not-so-pure heroin to make it more powerful,” said Isackila. He said that drug users are usually unaware of when the drugs have been tainted with fentanyl, so they may not know how the drug will affect them.

Carfentanil

Carfentanil is a variation on fentanyl developed for animal, not human, use. It was developed as an anesthetic for large animals, including elephants, and its potency is thought to be “2,500 times more than heroin,” according to the Cuyahoga County public health commissioner.

“It is suggested to be 10,000 times stronger than morphine,” said Isackila. “It takes a microscopic amount of this drug to kill a person.”

The drug is so dangerous the DEA warned law enforcement last week to take protective measures if they think they have encountered synthetic opioids, especially carfentanil, since the drug can be absorbed through the skin.

“Carfentanil and other fentanyl-related compounds are a serious danger to public safety, first responder, medical, treatment, and laboratory personnel,” the DEA said on its website. “These substances can come in several forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets, and spray –- they can be absorbed through the skin or accidental inhalation of airborne powder.”

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Why One Blogger Mom Says Parents Should Become More ‘Average’

ABC News(NEW YORK) — One mom is advocating for a laid back approach to parenting, calling out “free-range” and “helicopter” parents and suggesting that moms and dads drop the labels and embrace being average.

Blogger Ilana Wiles stopped by Good Morning America Tuesday to discuss her new book, The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting and shared her tips for letting go.

“I think there’s so much pressure to be a perfect parent today that a lot of moms actually feel like bad parents, so I think embracing remarkably average is actually inspirational,” said Wiles. “You know, you see all these pictures of perfect parenting on Instagram and things like that and those people are just good photographers and good art directors–they’re not necessarily having a different experience than anybody else.”

She added: “I do it, I post perfect pictures.”

Wiles suggests having low expectations and a selective memory, meaning taking the positive out of every parenting situation.

“I took my kids to the amusement park and we had a fabulous time the whole day and at the end, my oldest daughter flipped out because we were leaving,” Wiles said. “She had a total meltdown and I can choose to remember that day as the meltdown that happened at the end or I can remember her beautiful smile when we were on the roller coaster for the first time and everything was great. It’s kind of up to me what I take away from that day.”

The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting is out now.

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In High-Risk Women, Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy May Mean Lower Risk of Pregnancy Loss

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms in pregnancy, affecting up to 80 percent of pregnant women. Some studies have suggested that these symptoms, as unpleasant as they are, may be good news for the pregnancy.

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine evaluated the relationship between symptoms such as nausea/vomiting and pregnancy loss in high risk women who had already experienced one or two past pregnancy losses. Researchers analyzed previously collected data on a total of 797 pregnant women, 188 of whom ultimately experienced another pregnancy loss.

They looked at symptoms such as nausea and vomiting that these women experienced, based on the required diaries these women kept. The study revealed that in women with nausea, the risk of pregnancy loss was slashed in half. Women with both nausea and vomiting had a 75 percent lower risk.

The findings seem to suggest that having nausea and vomiting is linked to a lower risk for pregnancy loss, at least in these high-risk women.

It is important to note that these plausible findings likely exaggerated the effect of nausea and vomiting on pregnancy loss, given that the study is done on this group of particularly high-risk women. In this study alone, the rate of pregnancy loss in this particular group was as high as 23.6 percent.. The study also does not control for many factors such as whether these women took any medication to alleviate these unpleasant pregnancy symptoms.

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