Chronic migraine sufferers may benefit from cosmetic surgery

Bryan Kirsch knew something was wrong when the stairs moved. After roughhousing with his children in 2011, he was walking upstairs with one when, he remembered, “I look up the stairs, and the whole world is spinning.” Read more

Latest stories

Poor diet, obesity lead to adult diseases in children

Once seen only among an older population, adult diseases such as fatty liver disease, hypertension and osteoporosis are being diagnosed more and more in children. And you can add to that sleep apnea, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels. The culprits? Unhealthy diets and growing waistlines, experts say. Recognizing obesity early and appreciating the cardiovascular decline it can pose for young children has become so important that the American Academy of Pediatrics established guidelines and recommendations for pediatricians, typically not accustomed to seeing the resulting cascade of health issues in their patients. Read more

Dr. Zorba Paster: Go Mediterranean, king of the diets

Have you been to one of your many area farmers markets yet? If not, you should definitely go. The cornucopia of nature just spreads out before you as you go from one vendor to the next. And what’s nice about this is that it makes the Mediterranean diet even easier to follow. Read more

Ask Doctor K: Heart failure slowed with these tips

DEAR DOCTOR K: I’ve been diagnosed with heart failure. Thankfully, it is still in the early stages. What can I do to keep it from getting worse? DEAR READER: The function of the blood is to carry nutrition to every cell in the body and to carry away waste from the cell. The function of the heart is to keep pumping blood so it reaches every cell in the body. Read more

Early intervention produces long-term gains for autistic kids

The long-term success of an early autism treatment co-developed by a University of California-Davis researcher was validated recently by a national study soon to be published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The Early Start Denver Model is a nonmedical treatment for children age 12-48 months who show symptoms of autism, a developmental disorder that can affect social skills, movement, attention span and intellectual ability. While autism is usually diagnosed in children between the ages of 2 and 3, a growing body of research suggests that diagnosing it early and intervening with one-on-one, parent-led treatment can reduce symptoms in the long run. Read more

Studies show link between childhood lead levels and violent crime years later

CHICAGO – After growing up poor in a predominantly African-American neighborhood of Cincinnati, the young adults had reached their early 20s. One by one, they passed through an MRI machine that displayed their brains in sharp, cross-sectioned images. For those who had been exposed to lead as toddlers, even in small amounts, the scans revealed changes that were subtle, permanent and devastating. Read more

Finding ‘new normal’ relies on resilience

This month marks four years since my cancer diagnosis and three years since I completed the chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy and radiation that made up my treatment. My body and my life have taken on a “new normal” since then in both positive and difficult ways. Cancer, like family changes, financial loss, injuries and so many other events can force us to adapt to a permanent alteration in our lives, and adaptation takes resilience. Read more

Pre-teen gymnast has knee pain

DEAR DOCTOR K: My 12-year-old daughter has been doing gymnastics for years. Lately she’s complained about pain in her knee. Her doctor says it’s Osgood-Schlatter disease. How serious is this? DEAR READER: Osgood-Schlatter disease is a common, temporary condition. It causes knee pain in older children and teenagers, especially those who play sports. About 20 percent of kids who play sports develop this condition. It starts when a kid’s growth spurt starts, and major symptoms typically go away at the end of a teen’s growth spurt. Read more

Study gives new look at social skills

Children as young as 2 years old understand that making loud noises wakes a baby, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington. That may not sound like a big deal, but appreciating how sound volume affects someone else is not a trivial social skill. Read more

The magic number is … 7

SEATTLE – Seven hours of shut-eye: That’s the minimum amount of sleep that adults need each night for best health, according to new recommendations from a panel led by a University of Washington sleep expert. And functioning effectively – without guzzling gallons of coffee – could require even more time between the sheets, said Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, a professor of neurology and co-director of the UW Medicine Sleep Center. Read more

Years after MS diagnosis, former BMX champ remains true to recreational roots

Rows of shiny trophies perch on a shelf in an out-of-the way corner of Brenda Gildehaus’ home. The former top-ranked bicycle racer and national BMX champion earned those awards on rugged hills and dirt tracks across the country. “I’ve always been an athlete – I just came out that way,” she said. Read more

Dr. Zorba Paster: Study finds potential answer to peanut allergies

In 2000, the American Association of Pediatricians – worried about the dramatic increase in peanut allergies – recommended that parents keep peanuts away from their children until age 3. The scientific reasoning behind this was simple: Feeding them peanuts early would stimulate an allergic response. Keep in mind we’re not talking about whole peanuts, which could choke infants, but soft peanut products. The expectation was that peanut allergies would decrease, but instead they are soaring. So in 2010, that recommendation ended, leaving each doctor to offer his or her own advice about when to start peanuts. Read more

U.S. melanoma rate continues to increase

The incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has doubled in the U.S. in the last 30 years and is on track to remain high unless Americans take more precautions to protect themselves from ultraviolet radiation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week. CDC researchers tallied a total of 65,647 new cases of melanoma in 2011, according to a Vital Signs study published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. After adjusting for age, that worked out to 19.7 new cases per 100,000 Americans, the study said. Read more

Ebola-fighting drugs may be close at hand

Researchers have found two drugs that saved the lives of mice infected with the deadly Ebola virus, and you may have them in your medicine cabinet already. Zoloft, an antidepressant that has been on the market since 1991, cured 70 percent of mice that had the virus in their blood. Vascor, a heart drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1990, cured 100 percent of the infected mice. Read more

Spokane scleroderma walk June 20

The Spokane Scleroderma Support Group is having an awareness and fundraiser walk June 20 at the Mirabeau Park Complex from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also to honor Scleroderma Awareness Month, the Steam Plant will light its stacks to bring awareness June 15 from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Read more

Survey shows rise in problem drinkers

CHICAGO – Alcohol problems affect almost 33 million adults and most have never sought treatment, according to a government survey that suggests rates have increased in recent years. The study is the first national estimate based on a new term, “alcohol use disorder,” in a widely used psychiatric handbook that was updated in 2013. Read more

Doctors recognizing that reading, writing can be therapeutic

‘I really didn’t believe I would make it through childhood, but the act of writing brought me through.” Allison Adelle Hedge Coke’s voice is whispery on the other end of the telephone as she relates some of the experiences she has overcome: living with a schizophrenic mother, growing up in a variety of foster homes, battling cancer, struggling with drug abuse – the list goes on. Read more

Dr. Zorba Paster: Spinach shows its strength as superfood

Every TV show you watch that features health seems to tout one superfood after another. I used to think this was a junk term. I was never taught about superfoods in medical school and, come to think of it, I was never taught much about nutrition, either. But then I came to see the light: If we have junk foods, then we must also have superfoods – foods Mother Nature has loaded with nutrients. Read more

Study shows dog bites have familiar characteristics

PHOENIX – Prior studies have shown that most dog bite injuries result from family dogs. A new study conducted by Mayo Clinic and Phoenix Children’s Hospital shed some further light on the nature of these injuries. The recently published study, in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, demonstrated that more than 50 percent of the dog-bite injuries treated at Phoenix Children’s Hospital came from dogs belonging to an immediate family member. Read more

EPA centers will test chemicals we commonly come in contact with

PITTSBURGH – They are present in soil, water and air, and exist in products used daily at home, at work and in our vehicles. So it’s no surprise that many end up in our bodies. And yet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency remains largely unaware of the toxic impact of more than 80,000 commercially used man-made chemicals on our blood, bones, joints, skin, organs, brains and our babies. Read more

No smoke with vaping, but not without some fire

KANSAS CITY – Like many a hard-core smoker, Candi McCann found it a bear to quit. Nothing worked. Not the patch. Not those blue smoking cessation pills her doctor prescribed. Then she tried those electronic cigarettes that produce a steamy vapor instead of smoke. Click, just like that, she went from more than a pack of smokes a day to becoming the Kansas City area’s leading vaping evangelist. Read more

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