Review Category : Health

Your Body: Single Mothers and Sleep

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

How much sleep do you get every night? If you’re a single mother, chances are you’re not getting enough.

According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which looked at sleep habits among men and women, single women are getting the least amount of sleep.

As an OB/GYN, I hear this every day from women of all ages.

The first thing we need to remember is we need to make sleep a priority. If you don’t commit to that in terms of your health, things will suffer and fall like a domino effect after that.

Next, we have to drop the guilt. No one is going to die if the dishwasher is not loaded or unloaded before we go to sleep. So whatever doesn’t get done by the time we call it a day, will just have to wait until tomorrow.

And lastly, try not to self-medicate with either over-the-counter prescriptions or alcohol. Those things can work in the short term but in the long run, they’re really not good for our overall health or sleep quality.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Chipotle Closing Restaurants Monday for Food Safety Staff Meeting

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Chipotle Mexican Grill is shutting down all of its restaurants for four hours on Monday.

The Mexican food chain will close its 2,000 restaurants to hold a company-wide staff meeting to talk about its new food safety program.

“We are hosting a national team meeting to thank our employees for their hard work during this difficult time, discuss some of the food safety changes we are implementing, and answer questions from employees,” said Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s communications director.

The news comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced earlier in the month that the investigation into Chipotle’s two E. coli outbreaks had concluded.

The first outbreak hit 11 states and left 55 people sick, while another strain of E. Coli hit three states and left 5 people sick. In the two outbreaks 22 people were hospitalized.

Chipotle has struggled since the outbreaks with its stock dropping nearly 40 percent since August.

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Matt LeBlanc Says He Suffered ‘Dark Time’ in His Life After ‘Friends’ Wrapped

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Matt LeBlanc starred as Joey Tribbiani, the goofy next door neighbor on “Friends,” for 10 years and 236 episodes. After the series wrapped in 2004, the actor said he nearly had a breakdown.

“I was burnt out,” he told the Mirror. “I wanted to not have a schedule, not be somewhere. I was in a position to do that. My agent was bummed. Most actors call their agents and say, ‘What’s going on?’ I’d call mine and say, ‘Please lose my number for a few years.’

“It was a very dark time. I almost had a nervous breakdown,” LeBlanc added.

LeBlanc said his life took a turn when his daughter, Marina, was diagnosed in 2004 with cortical dysplasia, a birth abnormality that affects brain development and motors skills. It also didn’t help that in 2006 he amicably split with his then wife, Melissa McKnight, the same year his “Friends” spin-off, “Joey,” flopped.

“It was a very dark period,” LeBlanc, 48, recalled. “But I got through it. Don’t they say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?”

According to the U.K. publication, LeBlanc sought comfort and reprieve at his ranch in California. His daughter, now 11, “outgrew her medical condition,” and the two are focused on creating more memories together.

“We make breakfast, go horseback-riding, hiking, I really try to offset this computer age kid thing that’s going on now with as much time outside,” the “Top Gear” host said. “Spending time with her is the best thing I’ve ever done. We have a great bond and it’s the best thing in my life.”

“The second I laid eyes on her [at birth], I was in love, and I had never felt that way before,” LeBlanc added. “I couldn’t believe it. I knew from that moment there was nothing that would ever stop me from loving her — even if she crashed my Ferrari.”

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Veterinarians Save Dog With Crushed Skull

iStock/Thinkstock(DAVIS, Calif.) — An 8-month-old Rottweiler whose skull was crushed after being hit by a car four months ago has a promising road to recovery thanks to reconstructive surgery.

The dog named Ziba suffered severe injuries when she was hit, including blindness in her right eye, said the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Early CT scans found Ziba had several fractures to her skull along with brain swelling and lack of oxygen to her brain.

Because of Ziba’s youth, doctors were able to perform reconstructive surgery on her skull and jaws, which lasted five hours.

The Rottweiler was able to eat and use chew toys to exercise her jaws two months after undergoing the surgery, said the hospital.

Three months after the procedure, Ziba’s fractures appeared to be healing with no sign of infection or implant failure, according to the hospital. The dog remains blind in her right eye.

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How a Shopping Cart Could Make Life Easier for People With Special Needs

Courtesy of Target(NEW YORK) — Shopping just got easier for shoppers with older children and adults with special needs around the U.S.

A special cart for caregivers, now available nationwide, makes it possible for them to use a shopping cart without having to use a wheelchair at the same time. The cart looks much like a traditional shopping cart, but instead of a toddler-sized seat, there’s a chair that can hold up to 250 pounds.

It’s called Caroline’s Cart, available in select stores such as Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Hannaford, Wegmans, ShopRite, Publix, Tops, and Price Chopper. And Target announced earlier this week that after testing the unique cart in select stores since February 2015, they’ve decided to roll out the cart in 1,782 stores nationwide by March 19.

The cart has been receiving praise on social media from those who need them, which convinced the retailer to provide them nationwide.

“Caroline’s Cart can be a game-changer for families, and we’re excited to offer this for our guests across the country,” Senior Vice President of Store Operations said Juan Galarraga in a statement. “Target is always looking for new ways to make guests feel welcome in our stores and give them a more comfortable shopping experience. We’re always listening to both our guests and team members and making changes based their feedback.”

Caroline’s Cart was created by Drew Ann Long. The stay-at-home mom from Alabaster, Alabama, was inspired to create the cart eight years ago for her now 15-year-old daughter, Caroline, who has Rhetts Syndrome.

Long told ABC News she is excited to see the cart in stores around the nation.

“It really is beyond words because the need has existed forever,” she said. “People were hungry for it because they never had an accessible option. They either had to hire a babysitter to shop or bring someone with them and bring a wheelchair. To have accessibility is huge.”

Long, 47, said her daughter is aware of how much she’s helped others with special needs.

“I have kept her involved. I show her pictures. I read her emails [from other people]. We don’t know how much she understands, but I do know that when she was sitting in our cart and we went to our Target that got it for the first time, I know it was very special for her,” she said.

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Mars, Inc. to Remove Artificial Colors from All Human Food, Including M&Ms

klags/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Mars, Inc. plans to remove all artificial colors from its human food portfolio, including M&Ms candy, the company announced on Friday.

Many of Mars’ products are already free of artificial colors, the company said in a press release, but the effort now is to remove the dyes from all human food. Among the products that will be affected by the change are chocolates, gums and confections.

“Artificial colors pose no known risks to human health or safety,” the company said, “but consumers today are calling on food manufacturers to use more natural ingredients in their products.” As a result the company plans to work with suppliers “to find alternatives that not only meet its strict quality and safety standards, but also maintain the vibrant, fun colors consumers have come to expect from the company’s beloved brands.”

“We’re in the business of satisfying and delighting the people who love our products,” Mars President and CEO Grant Reid said. He called the move “a massive undertaking, and one that will take time and hard work to accomplish.”

While there is no evidence that the dyes cause health issues, there is some concern that some dyes may trigger hyperactivity in children. Still, the colorings are not banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Big Mac Healthier Than McDonald’s Kale Salad

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Which would you think was healthier to eat at McDonald’s — a Big Mac or a kale salad?

It turns out McDonald’s Premium Southwest Salad has more calories, fat, and salt than a Big Mac.

The salad includes black beans, roasted tomatoes, and peppers all on top of romaine, baby spinach and baby kale.

Sounds healthy enough, right?

Once you add the cheese, ranch dressing, and buttermilk chicken the “healthy” salad hits a whopping 710 calories, 43 grams of fat, and more than 1,300 miligrams of salt.

Compare that hefty salad to a Big Mac that has 540 calories, 28 grams of fat, and 970 milligrams of salt.

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Girl Creates App Inspired by Sister on Autism Spectrum

Gayathri Subramanian(DERWOOD, Md.) — A 12-year-old girl has created an app inspired by her sister, who is on the autism spectrum.

Eashana Subramanian said she noticed how having a routine was important to her 9-year-old sister, Meghana.

“Meghana follows a very strict routine,” the girls’ mother, Gayathri, told ABC News. “Every day in the morning it starts with brushing her teeth, combing her hair, dressing up and getting ready for school. She has to know what comes next because if you make her do something that she’s not expecting then she throws a tantrum. … It throws the rest of the day off.”

“My parents struggle with giving [Meghana] tasks because they don’t know what’s happening in school because the communication is not that great between the teachers and parents,” Eashana added. “I looked at all these problems and said this had to be solved somehow or made easier for my parents. So I thought of AutBuddy that could have features to fix the problems — not fix but help.”

So, Eashana and her middle school friends in Derwood, Maryland, developed an app called “AutBuddy” that helps children on the autism spectrum maintain a routine at home and in school.

The customizable app allows parents and teachers to communicate in real time, along with other functions to help “children on the spectrum function on the same level,” the sixth-grader said.

AutBuddy was developed by Eashana along with students in the Adventure in Science Club, a Maryland-based nonprofit group that promotes science, technology, engineering and math education. The team, headed up by adviser Siva Reddy, also included Madhuri Kola, Ojas Jagtap, Raiyan Rizwan, Neha Chandra and special education teacher Saahith Tupakula. They were one of nine student teams who won $20,000 in the 2016 Verizon App Challenge.

The team will now work with members of the MIT Media Lab to produce the app. According to Gayathri, it will launch on Google Play on June 1.

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Pregnant Woman in Puerto Rico Diagnosed with Zika Virus

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — As the Zika virus outbreak continues, including in wide swaths of Central and South America, concerns are growing, especially for pregnant women because the mosquito-borne virus has been linked with a serious birth defect called microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain.

In Puerto Rico, a pregnant woman in her first trimester was diagnosed with the disease, health officials said. In addition, a man has also been diagnosed with Zika and has developed a rare paralysis syndrome sometimes associated with viral or bacterial infection.

Called Guillain-Barre syndrome, it is an immunological reaction that has been associated with influenza, among other illnesses.

At least 22 people have been reported to have been infected with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico, health officials said.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., there are at least 54 people infected with the virus. In all except one case, the infection was acquired while out of the country, according to health officials.

In one case in Dallas, Texas, the virus is believed to have been transmitted through sexual contact from an infected traveler to a partner.

Florida has the highest number of cases in the U.S., with 12 people infected. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in five counties and ordered thousands of tests that will help identify the disease.

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Sexually Transmitted Zika Virus Case in US Prompts CDC to Issue New Guidelines

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — After the Zika virus was transmitted through sexual contact in Dallas, Texas, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released new guidelines for travelers to and from outbreak regions.

The disease primarily is transmitted by mosquitoes, but in rare instances it has been reported to be transmitted through blood transfusions and sexual contact. The officials from the Dallas health department said that a traveler came back from a Zika-affected country and passed the disease to a partner.

Guidelines released Friday gives new information about avoiding sexual transmission of the virus.

The CDC advises men with a pregnant partner to use condoms if they have traveled to an area with “active Zika virus transmission.”

Additionally, couples where a male partner who has traveled to an area with Zika transmission “may consider using condoms consistently and correctly during sex or abstaining from sexual activity,” if they are concerned about sexual transmission of the Zika virus.

“The science is not clear on how long the risk should be avoided,” CDC officials said in a statement. “Research is now underway to answer this question as soon as possible. If you are trying to get pregnant, you may consider testing in discussion with your health care provider.”

The Zika virus usually results in mild symptoms, including fever, rash and fatigue that resolve in approximately one week. However, the virus has been associated with a worrying rise in a birth defect, called microcephaly, in Brazil. The birth defect is characterized by an abnormally small head and brain.

Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, told reporters Friday that the guidelines are focused on preventing transmission to pregnant women due to the dangerous birth defects associated with the virus. He said men who may have been infected with Zika virus should either use condoms or abstain from sex for the length of the pregnancy.

“We don’t know how long Zika persists in semen,” said Frieden, noting that studies into this are ongoing. “It will be weeks to months before we know more.”

Frieden also said there is a growing body of evidence linking the Zika virus to the microcephaly birth defect, although all cases of the birth defect have been reported in Brazil or a woman who went to Brazil before giving birth in Hawaii.

“Finally, Zika reminds us that over and over nature is a formidable enemy,” he said. “We wish we knew more we wish we could do more. We know this is anxiety provoking for pregnant women and their families.”

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