Study links low blood sugar to aggression in couples

Your normally cheerful spouse has suddenly and inexplicably turned cranky, and an otherwise pleasant day is fast becoming a scene from “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Sound familiar? When you see those storm clouds gathering in your significant other’s eyes, you might do well to … Read more

Latest stories

FDA: Fibroid surgery might spread cancer

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration is warning women that a surgical procedure used to eliminate growths in the uterus could inadvertently spread cancer to other parts of the body. The agency is discouraging doctors from performing the procedure, which uses an electronic device to grind and shred uterine tissue so it can be removed through a small incision in the abdomen. Known as laparoscopic power morcellation, the technique is widely used to treat painful fibroids, either by removing the noncancerous growths themselves or the entire uterus. Read more

Vaccination campaign credited for plunge in whooping cough cases

Two years after a whooping cough epidemic struck Washington state, the number of people infected has plummeted. The state Department of Health credits a campaign to boost vaccination rates. Read more

Ask Dr. K: Healthy blood vessels key to stroke prevention

DEAR DOCTOR K: My father’s doctor wants him to have an ultrasound of his carotid artery. What is the carotid artery? What will the doctor be looking for? DEAR READER: The carotid arteries carry oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood from the heart to the brain. These crucial arteries can become narrowed by the cholesterol-filled plaques of atherosclerosis. Blood clots can form from the plaques, then break off and travel to the brain. There, they can lodge in small arteries, interrupting the vital flow of blood to brain cells. Read more

Health Bulletin Board

New listings Body as a Temple Workshop – Learn to honor and respect your body by creating a map of your body, practicing devotional dance movements, exploring the power of yoga poses and absorbing the healing benefits of deep relaxation. Registration is required at (509) 280-7610. Bring a sack lunch and a journal. Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Yasodhara Yoga, 406 S. Coeur d’Alene St., Suite T. $75. Read more

Future doctors take poetry class

MINNEAPOLIS – As an English instructor, Christopher Bolin has long been intrigued by the communications gap between doctors and patients. He thinks he has a solution: Make them write poetry together. Read more

UW medical education task force members have Spokane ties

More than half of the people in a University of Washington task force that will look at the access, quality and cost of medical education in Washington are from Spokane or have ties here. That’s significant as tensions between UW and Washington State University mount over the future of medical education in the state. Read more

Start now to work against alcohol dependency

Many of us have friends or family members struggling with alcohol or dependent on alcohol. The effects it has on their lives and the lives of those around them can be profound. It may be difficult for you to discuss alcohol dependence with the affected person or with others. April is Alcohol Awareness month, and I want to share with you some strategies I have learned from personal experience and as a medical professional. Read more

Ask Dr. K: Protect skin from further sun damage

DEAR DOCTOR K: I’m in my 60s and already have a lot of wrinkles. What can a dermatologist do for me that will make a difference but not be hugely expensive? DEAR READER: Age isn’t kind to skin. Years of sun exposure leave their mark in the form of fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration. I spoke to my colleague Dr. Kenneth Arndt, clinical professor of dermatology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He assured me that some of the damage can be reversed. Read more

Health Bulletin Board

New listings Conscious Connection Class – Learn how to guide yourself into a deeper and more meaningful state of meditation using the Hawaiian huna tradition. Saturday, 8 a.m., Harmonic Wellness Therapy, 920 N. Argonne Road, Suite 120E. Registration is required, call (509) 536-1890 or visit $75. Read more

Editorial: UW, WSU should work together toward shared goal of more doctors

Last spring, after a spat between the University of Washington and Washington State University over the number of second-year medical students at the Riverpoint campus, Gov. Jay Inslee was asked whether the state would support a four-year medical school in Spokane. He said the question was “getting a thousand miles ahead of ourselves.” Read more

Health care sign-up surge nets 7 million

WASHINGTON – Beating expectations, President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance on deadline day Monday, according to two government officials. The 7 million target, thought to be out of reach by most experts, was in sight on a day that saw surging consumer interest as well as vexing computer glitches that slowed sign-ups on the website. Read more

Health-conscious eating habits can become destructive

She wasn’t eating kale smoothies because she loved them, and she never thought becoming anorexic would make her prettier. Anna, a junior at a Spokane high school, set out on a path toward an eating disorder by trying to eat healthier. Read more

Annie’s Mailbox: Germs at dentist make nurse nervous

Dear Annie: As a registered nurse and a patient who has had many dental procedures, I cringe every time I get into a dentist’s chair. The reason is the overhead light – the one that the hygienist or dentist can adjust and lower. The hygienists and dentists wear gloves, but the gloves protect them, not the patient. They put their gloved hands in patients’ mouths and then reach up and adjust the light as needed, time after time. Their gloved hands transfer bacteria from a patient’s saliva (and sometimes blood) to the light fixture. Then the next patient gets in the chair, and the procedure is repeated. I don’t see how they can avoid transferring harmful bacteria and viruses from one patient to another unless they clean the light fixture off between every patient. I hope I’m wrong, but I have never seen or heard of this being done. Read more

WSU Spokane health fair to show off fun side of care

On Saturday, students at Washington State University’s Spokane campus are hosting a free family health fair. Community members can get health screenings, participate in interactive games and science experiments, receive health education and take campus tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building on the Riverpoint campus in downtown Spokane. Read more

Join group at Riverfront Park to honor National Walking Day

Lace up those walking shoes. The American Heart Association is hosting a group walk at Riverfront Park Wednesday morning in honor of National Walking Day. Read more

‘Oil pulling’ good for oral health?

You know that oil you’ve got stored in your pantry – the one you use to cook with? It turns out it could be used for something else entirely. But be warned: It’s a trend that doesn’t sound too tasty. In recent weeks, actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley have brought attention to “oil pulling,” a new beauty trend that has ancient roots. Read more