Donell Barlow’s online series ‘Dance Jam Kitchen’ puts cooking on its toes

During down time, Donell Barlow dances. Sometimes, she uses props. “Should I dance around with a tomahawk?” she asks two videographers filming in the kitchen of her second-floor loft. “You can use it for outtakes, if anything.” Read more

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Minimize symptoms of COPD

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have COPD. My doctor is great about prescribing medication, but he doesn’t give me much other advice. So I’ll ask you: What can I do to improve my quality of life? DEAR READER: There’s a lot you can do. Read more

Psychotherapy can treat borderline personality disorder

DEAR DOCTOR K: My daughter is in her 20s. She had a hard time during her teenage years and was recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Can you tell me what this is? DEAR READER: Borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that involves poor self-image, a feeling of emptiness and great difficulty being alone. BPD is surprisingly common: About 6 percent of the U.S. population suffers from it at some point in their lifetime. Read more

Studies: U.S. pregnancies typically 21/2 years apart

NEW YORK – For U.S. moms, the typical time between pregnancies is about 21/2 years but nearly a third of women space their children too close, a government study shows. Experts say mothers should wait at least 18 months to give their body time to recover and increase the chances the next child is full-term and healthy. Read more

Walking is natural, but do it correctly

DEAR DOCTOR K: I’d like to start walking more for exercise. Is there a “correct” way to walk in order to reduce the risk of injury? DEAR READER: Walking is natural, but in fact a complex series of things happens when we walk. First, your heel touches the ground, absorbing the impact of your weight. As the rest of your foot reaches the ground, your weight shifts forward to the ball of your foot and your toes. Read more

Ask Doctor K: Benefits vs. risks of aspirin

DEAR DOCTOR K: I had a heart attack several years ago. I have been taking low-dose aspirin ever since to prevent a second one. Do I need to worry about bleeding risks? DEAR READER: Aspirin helps prevent repeat heart attacks in two ways. A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood through one of the heart’s arteries is blocked. Without a blood supply, the part of the heart that gets its blood from that artery dies. Most such sudden blockages begin when a cholesterol-filled plaque of atherosclerosis ruptures. Plaques rupture when there is inflammation inside them. Read more

Ten signs it’s time to dump your doctor

Seeing a doctor you don’t like can be hazardous to your health. It can be little things, like a cool demeanor when you’re a big hugger, or serious issues such as a failure to explain procedures effectively. But make no mistake, said Pamela Gallin, MD, professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Columbia University and author of “How to Survive Your Doctor’s Care,” “As soon as that little voice asks, ‘Is this doctor right for me?’ then you have a problem.” The issues might be fixable, and Gallin suggests that a good relationship with your primary care doctor – your family practitioner, OB-GYN, or pediatrician – is much more important than with a specialist. “Not only do you see your primary caregiver more often, you also share much more sensitive information, and need a certain comfort on a psycho-social level. If you feel you can’t tell them you might have an STD, you’ve got the wrong man or woman,” Gallin said. “And you count on them for referrals to specialists. The better your relationship with the referring doctor, the harder the specialist will work to make you happy.” Read more

Cervicitis often sexually transmitted

DEAR DOCTOR K: My doctor diagnosed me with cervicitis. What is this? And how did I get it? DEAR READER: Cervicitis is an inflammation and irritation of the cervix, the doughnut-shaped opening to the uterus. Cervicitis is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Most common are chlamydia and gonorrhea. Trichomoniasis and genital herpes can also cause the condition. In some cases, cervicitis may result from trauma, frequent douching or exposure to chemical irritants. Read more

Teen use of e-cigarettes has tripled in one year

The use of electronic cigarettes by high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014 – a surprising boom that threatens to wipe out hard-won gains in the fight against teen smoking, a new government report says. The percentage of American high school students who smoked traditional cigarettes on a regular basis dropped from 15.8 percent in 2011 to 9.2 percent in 2014, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more

Tight control for diabetes may be too low

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have Type 2 diabetes. For years, my doctor emphasized the importance of tight blood sugar control. But I recently read that tight control might not make sense for everyone. Why not? DEAR READER: It’s a confusing and controversial area. I’ll do my best to put it in context and to explain my own views. Read more

Advancements help cystic fibrosis sufferers

When I was growing up in the 1970s, a boy I knew had cystic fibrosis. He had frequent infections, often took medications, and nobody expected him to grow up to be an adult. Fortunately, as medical knowledge advanced, it kept up with my friend. He survived into adulthood, got married and graduated from college. Although there is not yet a cure for CF, treatments have improved substantially in the past few decades. As recently as the 1950s, children with CF rarely lived long enough to get to elementary school. Now, many people live into their 40s, and some even past that. Read more

Milk-sharing misgivings

SEATTLE – When a blood clot in her brain prevented Jesi Paschen from nursing her second daughter, she turned to what she believed was the next best thing: breast milk from another mother. The 27-year-old mom wanted newborn Radlee, now 7 months, to glean the same benefits as sister Hinlee, 2, including all the nutrition, antibodies and other disease-fighting properties found in human milk. So Paschen, like growing numbers of mothers who can’t nurse their own children, turned to online sources, including the Facebook site for the Washington state chapter of Human Milk for Human Babies, or HM4HB. Read more

Therapy can help loosen stiff joints

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have ankylosing spondylitis. Can you discuss this condition and the best way to treat it? DEAR READER: Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis in which the spine and other joints become inflamed and stiff. Read more

Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig do best in diet review

CHICAGO – Trying to slim down? Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig scored the best marks for effectiveness in a review of research on commercial diet programs, but many other plans just haven’t been studied enough to evaluate long-term results. The two plans are among the most popular and had the best evidence that dieters could lose meaningful amounts of weight and keep it off for at least a year, the review authors said. Read more

‘Surgery should be the last resort’

PITTSBURGH – When it comes to treating lumbar spinal stenosis in the lower back area, physical therapy can be as effective as surgery, a University of Pittsburgh study has found. And it might be the best option to try first. That was Dale Urban’s thinking at age 78. Read more

Ask Doctor K: Runny nose has variety of causes

DEAR DOCTOR K: Why does my nose run in cold weather? Does it mean I’m getting a cold? DEAR READER: Cold air is not only cold, but also dry. The lungs are built to deal with air that is warm and moist. So, a main function of your nose is to make the air you breathe in warm and moist. Bones in the nose (called turbinates) are covered with blood-filled membranes. The blood running through the turbinates is at body temperature: around 98.7 degrees. The heat in the blood warms the cold air you breathe in. Read more

‘Exploding head syndrome’

Nearly one in five college students may suffer from “exploding head syndrome,” a psychological condition in which people are abruptly awakened from sleep by imaginary loud noises or blasts. That’s according to Washington State University researchers who have conducted the largest study yet of the sleep disorder, previously believed to be rare. Read more

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