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Now: Sun., Sept. 24, 2017, 6:44 a.m. | Search

People’s Pharmacy: Is the anticoagulant Xarelto affected by grapefruit?

Tue., Sept. 19, 2017

Q: You often speak of food interactions with the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin), but rarely address the anticoagulant Xarelto. I take Xarelto for atrial fibrillation and would like to know what food interactions I might need to be aware of. A: Your question seems quite simple on the surface, but it turned into a challenging assignment. People with the irregular heart rhythm called AFib are frequently prescribed anticoagulants like warfarin or rivaroxaban (Xarelto) to prevent strokes.

Unexpected illness leaves Spokane man land-locked with a mechanical heart

Mon., Sept. 18, 2017, 5 p.m.

 (COURTESY OF JEREMY WHITE / COURTESY OF JEREMY WHITE)
During his college years and into the next decade, Jeremy White of Deer Park traveled the world. Now, he barely ventures farther than Spokane awaiting a phone call, one telling him to go in for a heart transplant. Until that day, he lives with a surgically-implanted left ventricle assist device (LVAD), necessary to pump the blood to his body.

Is diet soda really that bad for you? Maybe not

Mon., Sept. 18, 2017, noon

Diet soda might not be as bad for you as previously thought. (Tom Van Dyke / Tribune News Service)
But now there is a glimmer of hope for those of us who crave the snap and fizz of a can of diet soda getting cracked open, content in the knowledge that there is a zero calorie elixir to take the edge off the day.

House Call: Coping with chronic pain

Mon., Sept. 11, 2017, 5 p.m.

Treatment for chronic pain may involve medication, physical therapy, surgery, and other therapies. Once everything medically possible has been done, you may be wondering how to live from day to day with pain that never goes away and possibly even flares up and becomes worse intermittently.

Dr. Zorba Paster: Dementia is down but docs don’t know why

Mon., Sept. 4, 2017

The most recent data from the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine publication shows that despite the increase in obesity and the explosion of diabetes in the United States, dementia in Americans has dropped by a whopping 24 percent over the last 12 years.

Study suggests opioid-addicted zebrafish could be key to finding new human treatment

Mon., Sept. 4, 2017

Researchers are using zebrafish to study opioid addiction and treatment. (Steven Senne / Associated Press)
As the opioid epidemic sweeps through America, scientists are scrambling to understand its addictive power in hopes of developing new treatment methods. In the process, they discovered that zebrafish can become opioid addicts. Researchers at the University of Utah hope their study of the addicted fish could be helpful in creating new treatments for humans.

House Call: Dealing with smoke season

Mon., Aug. 21, 2017, 5:30 p.m.

Even if you don’t have heart or lung disease, you should still be careful on days of poor air quality. Although children, pregnant women, and elderly are also especially vulnerable to the effects of smoke exposure, the following advice applies to all of us.

Ride to Care expands into Spokane Valley

Mon., Aug. 21, 2017

A pilot program for medical transportation recently expanded to Spokane Valley. The Ride to Care program through SNAP was launched in January, then only within the city of Spokane, in conjunction with health care providers, insurance companies and philanthropic organizations.

Amid India oxygen scandal, docs want focus on encephalitis

Fri., Aug. 18, 2017, 12:22 p.m.

In this Aug. 13, 2017, file photo, a relative attends to a child receiving treatment at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Acute encephalitis syndrome is a catch-all term to describe patients suffering fever, vomiting, headaches and brain function issues such as confusion, trouble speaking and coma along with seizures. (Rajesh Kumar Singh / Associated Press)
Dozens of children died last week in a decrepit government hospital in northeastern India, prompting public outcry over whether an oxygen shortage was to blame. Answers remain unclear, but doctors who have spent decades treating sick kids in the area say the incident is a symptom of a greater problem: Chronic mismanagement, corruption and outright negligence are worsening encephalitis outbreaks that sicken thousands of children every year.

Plans call for lodging center at Kootenai Health

Mon., Aug. 14, 2017, 5:03 p.m.

A tour guide leads a group past the expanded neonatal intensive care unit in Kootenai Health’s east during a tour of the new wing of the hospital in Coeur d’Alene on  Feb. 25, 2016. The expansion of neonatal intensive care services at Kootenai has sparked plans for a Ronald McDonald House facility in Coeur d’Alene. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Growth at Kootenai Health is backing plans to build a lodging center on the hospital campus, with one side of the facility as a Ronald McDonald House, for use by patients and families.

Plant-based diet? Sure, but first understand what it means

Mon., Aug. 14, 2017, 5 p.m.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology seems to agree. It found that when it comes to the plants you eat, quality does count – and omnivores have a place at the plant-based table, too. (bopav / Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The concept of eating a “plant-based” diet is tossed around frequently, but it’s a label that can be confusing. Some people shy away from the notion because they assume that plant-based is code for vegan. On the other hand, it’s easy to think that eating all plants and no animals guarantees that your diet is healthful and nutritious. But does it?

House Call: Vaccinations are a back-to-school essential

Mon., Aug. 14, 2017

These days in addition to doing a lot of sports physicals for students wishing to join a team at school, I am doing wellness checkups and immunizations. Vaccines are more than just a requirement in the state of Washington for attending school, they are a health and safety essential.

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