Do-it-yourself flu vaccine is effective, study shows

Do-it-yourself flu vaccine? It could happen. Military folks who squirted vaccine up their noses were as well-protected as others who got it from health workers, a study found. There’s no reason civilians couldn’t do the same, especially for children who might be less scared if … Read more

Latest stories

‘Blue Zones’ author to speak in Spokane on Oct. 28

National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner, author of “The Blue Zones,” will speak in Spokane at a free event Oct. 28. The original “blue zones” are places around the world, identified by Buettner and other researchers, where people live longer and with less disability than everyone else: Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Nicoya, Costa Rica. Read more

House Call: When stuttering persists in children, seek help

When a person involuntarily repeats a sound, usually at the beginning of a word, it is called stuttering. Oct. 22 is the International Stuttering Awareness Day. About 5 percent of children will develop a stutter. It may last anywhere from weeks to years, although most children outgrow it. Around 1 percent of adults stutter throughout their lives. Stuttering is often worse with anxiety or in stressful situations. Read more

Researchers seek clues from the cleft

PITTSBURGH – Cleft lips and palates in newborns can frighten parents at first, while at the same time the cause of such dramatic impacts on function and appearance has long mystified doctors and scientists. Those factors led Mary Marazita, who holds a doctoral degree in genetics, to begin researching the genetic causes of clefts in the 1980s. Since then her research team has widened its focus to include many physical and health impacts that blood relatives of people with clefts can experience from shared gene variants. Read more

Health bulletin board

New listings Multiple Sclerosis Support Group - Find comfort and strength with your peers as you learn, cope, laugh and celebrate the challenges and successes of living with MS. Family and friends are welcome, too. Beginning this week, the group will meet the third Thursday of each month, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave. Contact Melanie at or (509) 251-8230. Read more

If you’re holding a holiday bazaar, we’d like to hear about it

It’s that time of year again. Holiday craft fair season is just around the corner. We will publish free listings of area craft fairs on Nov. 2. If your group is holding a holiday bazaar and would like to be included in the list, please submit event details to, or by mail to The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1098, attention Features – craft fair. Or, you can submit the information online at Just click on “Full Calendar” and “Submit Your Event.” Deadline for submission is Oct. 24. Read more

Health bulletin board

New listings “Stay Well this Winter” – Spokane Public Library will host two medical professionals who will educate you on simple strategies for avoiding the winter ills. Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Downtown Library, 906 W. Main Ave. Free. (509) 444-5300. Read more

House Call: Certain diets are just what doctor ordered

Many of my friends are on some type of specialty diet for a specific health condition: glycemic index for diabetes, gluten-free for Celiac disease, dairy-free for lactose intolerance and low-sodium for high blood pressure. Variations of these diets (more than 100 currently listed at WebMD) often crop up in popular media supported by products available on grocery shelves. They seem to be anointed as the latest, greatest thing that may solve all of your health woes. One current popular specialty diet is called gluten-free. If you have Celiac disease or gluten allergies, following this diet will improve your health. Some people believe they are gluten intolerant. This is being studied, but as yet, it’s not a diagnosable condition. Most people can digest gluten just fine, but if you decide to go gluten-free because of a health condition or to ease digestive discomfort, do so carefully so that you still include foods with important nutrients and fiber. Read more

Health Bulletin Board

New listings Holistic Festival - Includes lectures, booths with organic and natural products, remedies, body care and pain relief, books, art, jewelry and quality gifts, as well as practitioners of chiropractic, biofeedback, reflexology, astrology, acupuncture and more. Visit Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place. $6. (509) 468-9001. Read more

Study links exercise, mental wellness

We all know that lacing up and breaking a sweat is good for our mood, and that exercise can feel like a lifeline when the stresses of life threaten to engulf us. But how a pounding workout helps lift us from the encroaching gloom was a mystery – until now. Using mice that were stressed to the point where depression would be a predictable response, researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute in Stockholm uncovered a cascade of biochemical events that begins with exercise and ends with mice that are unusually resilient in the face of stress. Read more

House Call: Cholesterol, the rest of the story

I recently saw my last blood tests, which included my cholesterol results with my levels for HDL, LDL and trigylcerides. Many people do not know what these numbers mean or the difference between HDL and LDL. Cholesterol is both good and bad. The good Read more

Postpartum depression may be a modern affliction

Did prehistoric mothers suffer from postpartum depression? Jennifer Hahn-Holbrook, a psychology professor at Chapman University, in Orange, California, has been researching whether the condition can be considered a so-called disease of modern civilization such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Read more

Blood test can diagnose depression in adults

CHICAGO – A group of Northwestern University professors and researchers has developed a blood test to diagnose depression in adults. But the discovery does not mean the test can be offered to the public just yet, officials said. Read more

UW calls WSU medical school study flawed

The University of Washington on Monday criticized as “seriously flawed” a feasibility study supporting for a second public medical school that would be established in Spokane by Washington State University. Read more

New owners of Oz Fitness gyms in Spokane plan upgrades

Two Washington state business owners who’ve run training gyms in the Seattle area have purchased four Oz Fitness locations in Spokane and plan to spend more than $1 million to upgrade the facilities. Jeff Carlson and Chip Schwerzel are taking over local Oz Fitness stores previously operated by owner Ian Riley. The four gyms are in downtown, north Spokane, the South Hill and Spokane Valley. Not part of the deal is the Airway Heights Oz Fitness franchise. They plan to rename the business MuV Fitness. Read more

Health officials investigate severe respiratory illness in Spokane child

Health officials in Spokane County are investigating a child with a severe respiratory illness. Read more

Four Oz Fitness locations sold

Two Washington state business owners who have operated gyms in the Seattle area have purchased four Oz Fitness locations in Spokane and plan to spend more than $1 million to upgrade the facilities and training equipment. Read more

Health Bulletin Board

New listings Spokane Heart and Stroke Walk & 5K Run – Raising money for research and prevention and treatment programs. Walkers of all ages are welcome at the Heart and Stroke Walk at Riverfront Park. Survivors may do the Miracle Mile Loop and children are invited to participate in the Kid’s Fast Dash with Mascots. Saturday, 9 a.m.: opening ceremonies; 9:55: children’s dash; 10 a.m.: run/walk. Run starts by the Clocktower, Riverfront Park, 507 N. Howard St. Registration is by donation, visit or call (509) 536-1500. Read more

Alisa Hideg: Breastfeeding is good for mother and child

During medical school, several women in my class had children. When they returned to work, they continued to breastfeed their babies, which meant that they were often pumping breast milk between seeing patients. At home they were able to nurse their infant and when away, their spouse or baby’s caregiver fed the baby the pumped milk. It was a lot of effort, but these physicians knew it was worth it. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a minimum of one year of breastfeeding because breast milk provides many advantages for babies. Adequate fluid, excellent nutrition, and protection against illnesses and infections are all found in breast milk. It lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and decreases the risk of developing allergies, asthma and type 1 diabetes. Read more