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Parkour helps seniors cope with arthritis

LONDON – On a recent morning in London, Lara Thomson practiced spinning on benches, swinging from metal bars and balancing off raised ledges – all elements of a daredevil discipline known as “parkour.” What was unusual about the scene is that Thomson is 79 and all of her classmates are over 60. Read more

Sexually transmitted disease cases skyrocketing in Spokane, North Idaho

Sexually transmitted diseases continue to spread across Spokane and North Idaho at dangerous levels despite warnings of rampant growth. Spokane health officials announced Thursday gonorrhea is in outbreak status after identified cases grew more than 50 percent compared to the average number of cases over the last six quarters. Cases in North Idaho’s five most-northern counties jumped 300 percent in 2013 and are on pace to have even more cases this year. Read more

Girl thought cured of HIV shown to have active virus

An infant who was seemingly cured of HIV following aggressive drug therapy just hours after her birth was recently discovered to be infected with the virus that causes AIDS after all, doctors announced Thursday. The so-called Mississippi Baby, now nearly 4 years old, had raised hopes of a potential cure for babies infected with HIV when it was first described at an AIDS conference last year. The girl’s case also provided the foundation for an upcoming clinical trial. Read more

Health insurance enrollees under Obama reforms ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ satisfied

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s health care law has reduced the number of uninsured adults by between 8 million and 11 million in its first year, according to three new studies, and the vast majority of enrollees report satisfaction with their new health plans. The studies, conducted separately by the Commonwealth Fund, the Urban Institute and the Gallup organization, used different methods to estimate the impact the Affordable Care Act has had. Read more

In brief: Algae prompts caution about Fernan Lake water

A health advisory was issued Tuesday for Fernan Lake because of the presence of blue-green algae. People should avoid swimming in or drinking water from the lake where the algae is visible, according to the advisory from the Panhandle Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Read more

Attorney General: eFoodHandler certificates worthless

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington attorney general’s office says food handler certificates issued through the eFoodhandlers website are not valid in the state. Read more

House Call: Home remedies help treat back pain

If you have back pain, you are not alone. It is one of the most common reasons that people visit their doctor. Most acute back pain is caused by an injury – lifting something that is too heavy, a mishap while participating in a sporting event or just stepping off of a curb the wrong way. Read more

Summer Games gives adults a chance to play like children

Before explaining the rules of noodle tag last week on a grassy play field at upper Manito Park, fitness trainer Nicole Kuhn led a group of women through stretches and a principle behind Summer Games, her recess-for-grownups series: Players of noodle tag, or island ball or trash can kickball or any other playground game in their future, should play at their own pace. Can’t run another step? Slow down. Some parts of the field too aggressive? Hang out in another part. Read more

Ask Dr. K: Tablets no substitute for playing with kids

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have an 18-month-old who loves to play on my iPad. I think it’s fine; my wife doesn’t. What are your thoughts? DEAR READER: The only thing I can say for sure is that I’d rather have your toddler play with your iPad than with mine. Read more

Study finds girls more likely to tear ACL

Watch your knees, girls. A new study in Pediatrics, the journal for the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that anterior cruciate ligament injuries are on the rise, and girls are more likely to get this injury than their male friends. Read more

Health bulletin board www.spokesman.com/livewell/

New listings “ADD, ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities: Are They Affecting Your Family?” – A free lecture presented by Pilgrim’s Market about toxicity and stress and their impact on the developing brain and nervous system. Thursday, 7-8:30 p.m., Pilgrim’s Market, 1316 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene. Make reservations at (208) 676-9730. Read more

The Rock Doc: Scientists taking a healthier look at processed food

Most of us don’t spend a lot of our time cooking from scratch. What’s known as processed foods – everything from snacks to boxed dinners – makes up a great deal of what most Americans eat. Indeed, the majority of what most of us eat is processed to some degree. Some highly processed foods are not so healthy, especially the ones made with refined flours and ingredients. Surveys in the U.S. and Great Britain show that most people consume less than one serving per day of whole-grain cereals. That’s a shame because research has shown that three servings of whole grains a day are better for us. Read more

Personal trainer keeps aging clients healthy

Marge Holston moved to Spokane Valley from Southern California and somehow left a lot of her activity behind. That’s when she decided to join a gym, hire a trainer and start working out. “I knew I needed to get motivated right away,” Holston said between repetitions on a weight machine pinpointing shoulder muscles. “At 79, I can do everything I need to do. I’m proud of it, man.” Read more

Trainer’s son helps raise awareness of autism

Mavrick Benoscek, 13, wasn’t keen on participating in a pageant until he found out it was a fundraiser for autism and perhaps someday finding a cure or prevention. “I really want some of that,” Mavrick said about preventing autism, which he was diagnosed with at age 3. Read more

Ask Dr. K: Geriatrician can help weigh options

DEAR DOCTOR K: My mother has been going to the same doctor for decades. Now that she is 80, should she switch to a geriatrician? DEAR READER: There’s a lot to be said for a doctor-patient relationship that has built trust over the years. Switching to a geriatrician may not be a good idea – but consulting a geriatrician could be a very good idea. Geriatricians specialize in the health of older adults. Read more

Crackdown on painkiller ‘pill mills’ working

Public health officials have identified a sharp decline in overdose deaths involving prescription painkillers for the first time in a decade. Deaths involving OxyContin, Vicodin and other narcotic painkillers dropped by 26 percent over two years in Florida after a crackdown on pain clinics that dispensed high volumes of the medications, according to a government study released this week. Read more

Idaho asks Supreme Court to take up Medicaid reimbursement challenge

BOISE – The U.S. Supreme Court should consider an appeal by Idaho of a lawsuit challenging increased Medicaid reimbursement rates, according to a petition filed Wednesday. The state’s appeal requests that the justices decide on a 2009 case where five providers say Idaho’s Medicaid rates were too low because they were kept at 2006 reimbursement levels. The Idaho private agencies that sued the state include Inclusion Inc.; Exceptional Child Center Inc.; Living Independently for Everyone Inc.; Tomorrow’s Hope Satellite Services Inc.; and WDB Inc. Read more

Ask Dr. K: Strong link between diabetes, heart disease

DEAR DOCTOR K: When I was diagnosed with diabetes, my doctor said I am now also at increased risk for heart disease. What’s the connection? DEAR READER: The link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease is stronger than many people realize: About two-thirds of people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke. I spoke to my colleague Dr. Benjamin Scirica, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, about the link between the two conditions. He explained that diabetes harms the heart in several ways. Read more

Supreme Court ruling could play role in state’s Reproductive Parity Act

OLYMPIA – Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows some companies to refuse birth control coverage for employees is likely to add fuel to both sides of the Washington legislative controversies over the Reproductive Parity Act. It probably won’t affect two other controversial cases that involve businesses and claims of religious freedom. Read more

Physicians group rethinks yearly pelvic exam for women

WASHINGTON – No more dreaded pelvic exam? New guidelines say most healthy women can skip the yearly ritual. Routine pelvic exams don’t benefit women who have no symptoms of disease and who aren’t pregnant, and they can cause harm, the American College of Physicians said Monday as it recommended that doctors quit using them as a screening tool. Read more

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