The Waiting Room

Kids Get Arthritis, Too

July 17th, 2017
Arthritis is often associated with age, and when I say “age,” we usually think of people getting arthritis as they get older. But that’s not the complete picture. The Arthritis Foundation reports that an estimated 300,000 children in the US suffer from a form of the disease known as juvenile arthritis. July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. This is a good time to learn more about this childhood affliction. There are many types of juvenile arthritis, but we’ll concentrate on…

Humbled by HPV

July 10th, 2017
Human papilloma virus, or HPV, is a bad dude, and actually quite common. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 79 million Americans currently infected with HPV. That adds up to about four in ten American adults currently infected, and about 14 million new infections occurring each year. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) explains that HPV is actually a family of more than 200 related viruses. More than 40 types of HPV can be…

Wine: Healthy or Hype?

July 3rd, 2017
I’ll be honest. I’m a big fan of red wine and enjoy a glass most evenings. So it was especially interesting to me to read some different views on the possible health benefits of drinking wine. There have been many studies done on the effects of alcohol consumption during the past five decades. Most of them report on the benefits and risks of drinking alcohol, including wine, in moderation. Moderation is defined as one drink per day for women and…

Keeping Up Appearances

June 26th, 2017
As a nation, we’re almost obsessed with our looks. We’re always trying to improve our appearance, and many of us are dishing out some serious cash to do it. Here’s proof: According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Americans spent $16 billion on surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in 2016. What did all that money buy? With 290,467 procedures performed, breast augmentation was the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure last year. ASPS describes breast augmentation…

Dabbling in DNA

June 12th, 2017
Are you tempted to use one of those at-home DNA kits like 23andMe, Ancestry DNA and Family Tree DNA to find out more about your ancestry? Before you buy, learn a little more about what they can do and what they can’t. When you get one of these kits, you’ll be instructed to either use a sterile swab to gently scrape the inside of your cheek or spit a prepared solution after swishing it thoroughly in your mouth. These are…

Long Lives Despite HIV

June 5th, 2017
Anyone who remembers the emergence of AIDS in the early 1980s might be astonished at how much has changed in 35 years. In the beginning, doctors didn’t know much about a strange disease that seemed to affect gay men. One of the first alerts appeared to be an outbreak of a rare cancer. Scientists eventually discovered the virus called HIV, the cause of AIDS, and how AIDS attacks the immune system. At one time, an HIV infection was a virtual…

Measles in Minnesota

May 29th, 2017
This year, from January 1 to April 22, 61 people from 10 states were reported to have measles. But by May 24, Minnesota had 68 confirmed cases of its own, most of them in children under age 10, with more cases expected. What’s going on? Didn’t we have this disease beat years ago? In 2000, the United States declared that measles had been “eliminated,” which meant the illness was no longer endemic, or continually present in this country. However, the…

Waist Size and Fitness Data

May 22nd, 2017
It’s easy to get obsessed with personal numbers these days. Put on a wearable like a Fitbit and see what I mean. The devices track your number of steps during the day, gauge your heartbeat, and record the amount of time you’ve slept at night. They can log your walking routes, with maps, and reveal how fast your feet were really moving. You can sync to an app that records the calories you take in, for more fun with numbers.…

Debunking The Myths of PTSD

May 15th, 2017
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can often be accompanied by a high level of misunderstanding of the condition. In fact, several myths appear to contribute to the stigma that surrounds those with PTSD. PTSD is an anxiety disorder. It develops in response to traumatic or life-threatening experiences such as active duty combat, sexual assault, car accidents, natural disasters and even bullying in school or the workplace. Emotional symptoms include anxiety, anger, depression, irritability and sadness. Physical symptoms of PTSD can…

Allergic to Eats

May 8th, 2017
Are you one of the more than 50 million Americans with allergies? It seems like everyone I know is an allergy sufferer, including me. It’s bad enough to get a runny nose and watery eyes at certain times of the year, but imagine having symptoms every time you put food in your mouth. That doesn’t sound good at all. But that’s the case for four to six percent of children and four percent of adults in this country, or 15…

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