Woman’s road to health inspires others

Irene Gonzales did her milestone 50th birthday so big she landed on NBC’s “Today” show Aug. 8 to share her infectious enthusiasm with the entire country. Like many baby boomers looking to do something extraordinary to mark the big 5-0, Gonzales, the principal at Spokane’s Franklin Elementary, decided to run a marathon on her actual birthday. But unlike most, she was joined by 50 friends she rounded up by starting a fitness Facebook page called Fit Fifty. Read more

Latest stories

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 www.spokesman.com/livewell

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 www.holisticfestivals.com. 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 SpokaneHeartWalk.org 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

In brief: Free vaccinations for kids

A clinic this weekend in Spokane offers free vaccinations for children ages 2 to 18. It will offer all vaccinations recommended by health officials. Flu vaccines, including in nasal-mist form, will be available. Read more

Health Bulletin Board www.spokesman.com/livewell

New listings National Discover Your Optimal Health Day - Includes a 3K walk for kids. Registration fee is a single-serving food item or a cash donation for the Food for Thought backpack program. Items needed are Top Ramen, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, tuna, breakfast bars and protein bars. Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Rocky Hill Park, corner of Mission Ave. and Winrock St., Liberty Lake. Registration requested by today at (509) 294-8500 or teambeenthere@gmail.com. Read more

Senegal Ebola case ‘a top priority emergency’

DAKAR, Senegal — The effort to contain Ebola in Senegal is “a top priority emergency,” the World Health Organization said today, as the government continued tracing everyone who came in contact with a Guinean student who has tested positive for the deadly disease in the capital, Dakar. Read more

Readiness for school not always about age

It is nearly time for another school year. Registration, buying school supplies, getting a physical, updating vaccines and picking out school clothes are all a part of the ritual of going to school. Many of you may be asking yourself if your youngster is ready for kindergarten. Readiness for kindergarten is about more than your child’s age. At his kindergarten physical, which you should schedule before school starts, your child’s health care provider also will be considering social, emotional, language and physical milestones. Read more

Using two vaccines may help eradicate polio

WASHINGTON – New research suggests a one-two punch could help battle polio in some of the world’s more remote and strife-torn regions: Giving a single vaccine shot to children who’ve already swallowed drops of an oral polio vaccine greatly boosted their immunity. “It could play a major role in completing the job of polio eradication once and for all,” said Dr. Hamid Jafari, WHO’s director of polio operations, who led the study published Thursday in the journal Science. Read more

Health Bulletin Board www.spokesman.com/livewell/

Upcoming Alzheimer’s Association Town Hall Meetings – The Alzheimer’s Association Inland Northwest Chapter will hold two meetings to educate and solicit input on public policy priorities. today, 6:30 p.m., Gonzaga University School of Law, 721 N. Cincinnati St.; Wednesday, 7 p.m., Health Resource Center at Kootenai Health, 2003 Kootenai Health Way, Coeur d’Alene. For more information, call (509) 473-3390 or email jloiacono@alz.org. Read more

Health Bulletin board www.spokesman.com/livewell

Upcoming Hip and Knee Pain Causes and Treatments – Informational seminars presented by the Joint Restoration Centers at Deaconess and Valley hospitals. Wednesday, 6-7 p.m., The Service Station, 9315 N. Nevada St.; Sept. 17, Oct. 16, Nov. 12, or Dec. 11, 6 p.m., Valley Health & Education Center, 12606 E. Mission Ave.; Sept. 24, Oct. 15, Nov. 19, or Dec. 17, 6 p.m., Deaconess Health & Education Center, 910 W. Fifth Ave, second floor. Free. Make reservations at (509) 473-5755. Read more