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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ask Doctor K: Abnormal blood test not always cause for worry

DEAR DOCTOR K: Last week I received the results of some recent blood work. A few of my values fell just outside the normal range. My doctor says it’s fine, but I’m still worried. Do I need to be? DEAR READER: A printout of lab results typically indicates normal ranges for each blood test next to your personal results. If your personal result is right in the middle of the normal range, you’ll likely feel relief.

Ask Doctor K: A rectocele can cause variety of symptoms

DEAR DOCTOR K: I’m a woman in my 60s. I saw my doctor because of rectal pain and constipation. She told me I have a “rectocele.” What does this mean? DEAR READER: The vagina is separated from the rectum by a wall of tough, fibrous tissue called fascia. Sometimes, an area of this wall gets weak, and part of the rectum bulges into the vagina. This bulge is called a rectocele.

Terminally ill woman holds party before ending her life

In early July, Betsy Davis emailed her closest friends and relatives to invite them to a two-day party, telling them: “These circumstances are unlike any party you have attended before, requiring emotional stamina, centeredness and openness.”

Ask Doctor K: Biofeedback can be used to control numerous body functions

Biofeedback is a technique that helps you monitor and control how your body responds to external stimuli. By learning to control certain functions, you can improve your medical condition, relieve chronic pain, reduce stress, or improve your physical or mental performance.

Kathleen Parker: Right-to-die laws raise questions

Basically, I’d like to have the means to end my own life on my own terms when my body has clearly called it quits. I’m just not sure I like the idea of the state and doctors lending a hand.

Ask Doctor K: Mindful eating can be practiced

DEAR DOCTOR K: I’ve heard so much about mindful eating. How do I practice it? DEAR READER: Mindful eating is the opposite of mindless eating – a lack of awareness of the food we’re consuming. What is mindless eating? Think about something you’ve eaten in the past few hours. You probably remember what it was – say, an apple. But do you remember the sensation of eating it? The burst of juice as you bit through the skin? The initial tart bite, followed by the sweetness of the apple’s flesh? If you’re like many of us, then probably not.

Ask Doctor K: Risk posed by Zika virus hard to predict

DEAR READERS: In a recent column, I discussed new evidence that the Zika virus probably causes a brain birth defect that leads to small heads and brains (microcephaly). This can occur when a pregnant woman is infected early in pregnancy, when the baby’s brain is developing. The virus is carried inside certain mosquitoes called Aedes mosquitoes, which bite and transmit the virus to humans. Aedes mosquitoes have already spread north from South America and the Caribbean into the southern United States. This is obviously a concern for any woman who is contemplating getting pregnant.

Ask Doctor K: Tai chi could be called medication in motion

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have fibromyalgia, and my doctor recommends that I start tai chi exercises. Like any exercise, it will take time. So I want to be sure it really might help me. Can it? DEAR READER: One of the many practices from Asia that have spread to the West in the past 40 years is tai chi. It is often described as “meditation in motion.” I think it could just as well be called medication in motion. This mind-body practice appears to help treat or prevent many health problems.

Doctor’s note now needed for disabled parking privileges

A state law seeking to crack down on abusers of disabled parking privileges will require eligible Spokane drivers to visit a doctor before visiting the licensing office. Those seeking a renewal of disabled parking placards, tabs and license plates are now required to submit a signed doctor’s prescription or a doctor’s note on official letterhead. That changes a system dating to the late 1990s where drivers needed only to submit a doctor’s name, medical license number and signature in order to receive their parking notices, then just a signature in the mail to renew their privileges every few years.

Ask Doctor K: Keep salt intake low for heart health

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have high blood pressure, and my doctor advised me to cut back on salt. Can you explain how salt affects blood pressure? DEAR READER: Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm Hg. High blood pressure increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, loss of vision and other health problems. Many studies show that blood pressure rises with a higher-salt diet.