Health

Reporting on health issues

Britt-knee / Flickr

Abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation—these are symptoms none of us like to talk about, but they are also the leading symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In some cases, symptoms may be mild and ignored, but in other cases they can be severe and interfere with day-to-day life.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Salam Zakko, a gastroenterologist and founder of the Connecticut Gastroenterology Institute at Bristol Hospital, sheds some light on the disorder that no one likes to talk about.

What your grip strength says about your health

Feb 6, 2016
Alisha Vargas / Flickr

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on genetic testing to tell you what diseases you're at risk for, testing the strength of your grip could give you similar information about how long you might live.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Darryl Leong explains a new revelation that grip strength may be an indicator of mortality. As an assistant professor of cardiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Leong, along with a team of researchers, conducted a four year-long study focusing on this correlation.

nicdalic / flickr

Medical researchers have spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways to predict how long a person will live. One recent study found a surprising indicator of mortality: the strength of a person's grip. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show Take Care, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with the author of the study, Doctor Darryl Leong, a cardiologist from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

World Bank Photo Collection

As New York state moves towards eradicating AIDS, there's one demographic where the disease continues to grow: the community of color. Syracuse isn’t immune to this trend, so advocates are trying new strategies to reach this population.

ACR Health AIDS educator Lanika Mabrey of Syracuse said her story is pretty typical. She didn’t realize her mother had AIDS until after she died six years ago. 

Members of an anti-drug nonprofit  in Watertown head to Capitol Hill this week. The group wants U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer to help fight the heroin crisis and the ways its affecting Jefferson County. 

Since 2011, there have been 79 deaths caused by heroin and opiate overdose in Jefferson County.

Anita Seefried-Brown’s own son died of a heroin overdose a day after he turned  33. He left a young daughter behind.

She says addiction is a disease, and it hurts more than just friends and families of the addicted.

This week: Lyme disease and adrenal gland surgery

Jan 30, 2016

Prevention is the best way to control Lyme disease, by dressing properly for the outdoors, checking skin afterward and quickly and carefully removing any ticks.

On this week's show, Dr. Caitlin Sgarlet and Dr. Jana Shaw explain how Lyme disease is usually treated successfully with a short course of antibiotics. They also tell how the disease is diagnosed, its typical symptoms and why they advise against the long-term use of antibiotics for Lyme disease patients with lingering problems.

Nothing to fear

Jan 30, 2016
Derek K. Miller / Flickr

Everyone is afraid of something. But avoiding the things you’re afraid of may be holding you back personally and professionally in ways you may not even be aware of.

This week on “Take Care” speaks with author Patty Chang Anker, who herself was deathly afraid of a variety of things. She tackled those fears one by one and also researched fear – interviewing experts and other people with fears. That journey led to the book “Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave.”

How to avoid sickness this winter

Jan 30, 2016
TheGiantVermin / Flickr

With cold and flu season in full swing, many of us are being exposed to unwanted germs, and feel we have too much on our plate to be stuck in bed sneezing and coughing. Fortunately, there are some ways to avoid these dreaded illnesses this winter.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Philip Tierno gives us some tips on how to stay healthy when the people around us are not. Tierno is a professor in the departments of pathology and microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center. He is better known however, as Dr. Germ for his research and his book on germs, “The Secret Life of Germs: What They Are, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Protect Ourselves Against Them.”

How to avoid getting a cold or the flu

Jan 29, 2016

It's that time again -- cold and flu season. And if a family member or close co-worker comes down with a cold, what's the best way to avoid catching whatever they've got? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Philip Tierno, a professor of pathology and microbiology at NYU and a world-renowned expert on germs. Dr. Tierno discusses how cold and flu germs are spread.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

As the baby boomer generation ages, more and more Americans are planning for the end of life. In the Southern Tier, a new home for the terminally ill has been in the works for months, and it's modeling itself after Francis House in Syracuse.

Construction is well underway at Mercy House, in the old St. Casimir's Church in Endicott. Mercy House will be a home for terminally ill people who have six months or less to live. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

As the unprecedented crisis in Flint, Michigan brings attention to lead poisoning, one central New York group is trying to bring more attention and resources to Oneida County, which leads the state in the number of children exposed to lead.

Wikipedia Commons

Assembly members are vowing to expand funding for treatment for opioid addiction in New York. The Assembly Minority Task Force on Heroin Addiction presented their report Monday in the assembly chamber.

Three Republican Assembly members are credited with writing the report that proposes solutions based on a series of local hearings about the heroin addiction problem in New York state.

WRVO News

2015 was a banner year for kidney transplants at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. Surgeons performed 80 transplants, the most ever.

For the last 25 years, doctors at Upstate averaged about 30-40 kidney transplants a year, according to transplant chief Rainer Gruessner.

“The institution made a commitment to transplantation," Gruessner said. "More people came on board in terms of faculty and staff. New York State is underserved in terms of transplant facilities. And, that all contributed to the fact that last year the most kidney transplants were done at upstate.”

Antidepressants help ease a range of symptoms

Jan 23, 2016
Steve Snodgrass / Flickr

With symptoms that include fatigue, decreased energy, low appetite and weight loss (or overeating and weight gain), insomnia or oversleeping, and headaches -- depression can be a debilitating medical condition. Fortunately, antidepressants have been around for decades and many have proven effective for patients.

This week on “Take Care,” we speak to Dr. Michael Hirsch about antidepressants. Hirsch is a psychiatrist and instructor at Harvard Medical School. He is also lead editor at the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy.

the girl with cold hands / Flickr

People who feel an uncontrollable need to move their legs when they are at rest, or feel sensations or pain in their legs, may have restless legs syndrome, or RLS. You may have seen commercials on TV about medications to help RLS, but not really understand what it is.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Jacci Bainbridge, a professor in the department of clinical pharmacy at the University of Colorado at Denver and the Health Sciences discusses what RLS, it’s treatment and who’s most likely to get it. Bainbridge is also on the board of the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation.

Complications may develop after a person undergoes gender reassignment surgery, and a Syracuse urologist has developed expertise in providing surgical repair and ongoing urologic care to these patients.

Dr. Dmitriy Nikolavsky, director of reconstructive urology at Upstate University Hospital, says a variety of complications may develop after an operation to alter the genitalia. He is one of few urologists specializing in repair work after gender reassignment surgery.

Understanding antidepressants

Jan 22, 2016
Ashley Rose / Flickr

Antidepressants have been around for decades, but there is still much confusion about how they work and who should take them.  This week on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Michael Hirsch, a psychiatrist and psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School about why these drugs are an important tool in fighting depression.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department is starting up a couple of new programs in response to the opioid abuse epidemic in Central New York. 

Addicted inmates at the Onondaga County Justice Center will have an option to help start the process of kicking the habit, with a dose of a drug called Vivitrol. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Hospitals are using technology to help bridge a gap where there are shortages for certain medical services in rural parts of upstate New York.

Telemedicine is nothing new. Doctors have used Skype-like programs that allow specialists to talk to patients in another geographic area for years, but the practice could take off this year in New York State.

"As of January 1, 2016, New York state legislates that commercial insurers cover telemedicine services," said Jeanette Angeloro, director of outpatient behavioral health at St. Joseph’s Health Center in Syracuse.

Don't lose sleep over a visit to a sleep lab

Jan 16, 2016
mcfarlandmo / Flickr

Sleep is essentially to human life. So when something goes wrong and your sleep is regularly interrupted, or you can’t stop sleeping, it can be a serious problem. After seeing a doctor, your next stop might just be a sleep lab. The thought of spending a night in a lab can be a scary idea for many people.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Lois Krahn demystifies the process of studying sleep in the lab. Krahn is a psychiatrist and researcher at the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center in Arizona which sees over 3,000 people annually.

Eating paleo: the science behind the diet and lifestyle

Jan 16, 2016
sweetbeatandgreenbean / Flickr

It’s been called the caveman diet, but does it really replicate what people ate in the Paleolithic era? The Paleo diet has gained popularity in recent years for its focus on fresh, high-quality, unprocessed foods and its avoidance of grains, starches and added sugar.

This week,  Sarah Ballantyne -- a scientist turned Paleo advocate -- will introduce us to the science behind eating Paleo. Ballantyne is the founder of ThePaleoMom.com and author of many New York Times bestselling books on the same topic.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A new president is on the job this week at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. After more than four months getting to know the community, Danielle Laraque-Arena is replacing interim president Greg Eastwood, and wants collaboration to be a focus of her leadership.

“I think the best science emerges when you have effective teams. Medicine in the 21st century is all about team based care. It’s not me as a physician, what I can do individually, because what I can do individually can be augmented and magnified if I can do it effectively as a team,” said Laraque-Arena.

zsooIt / flickr

The paleo diet is one of the more popular current diets -- based on a theory that modern day man would be healthier if he or she ate more like a caveman. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Sarah Ballantyne, scientist turned paleo activist and author. Balantyne discusses the theories behind the diet and some of the new research into possible benefits.

Nurses today are likely to have more training and to seek further training than their counterparts a generation ago, according to Upstate University Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Page and Clinical Coordinator for Palliative Care Archie McEvers, a nurse practitioner.

www.bbb.org

Tens of millions of Americans have problems paying their medical bills. A quarter of Americans adults report that someone in their household had trouble budgeting medical expenses in the past year this includes people with insurance.

How to be a smart health insurance consumer

Jan 9, 2016
baasiilb15 / Flickr

It might seem like there’s nothing more confusing than choosing a health insurance plan. Insurance and health terms alike can seem like a foreign language. And all most consumers want is a plan that’s going to help keep them healthy without breaking the bank.

This week on “Take Care,” Erin Singleton helps translate the complicated world of health insurance. Singleton is chief of mission delivery at the Patient Advocate Foundation, a national non-profit that helps individuals resolve issues related to their medical diagnosis.

Odds are you will get a torn meniscus

Jan 9, 2016
Becky Stern / Flickr

A nice long walk here, a quick jog there -- many of us take our mobility for granted, until it becomes an issue. Our knees bear the weight of our body (pressure about four times the weight of our body, to be exact) and injuries to the knee may be more common than you think. When pain comes creeping along, it could be a tear in the meniscus. Meniscus tears are relatively common in older adults and can result in the inability to walk comfortably, locking of the knee and even debilitating pain.

This week, Dr. Gregory Martin joins us with meniscus basics and a look at which options are key to prolonging flexibility and mobility. Dr. Martin is a board-certified, Harvard-fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon. He’s also author of the book “Education for Knees: Everything You Need to Know for Happy, Healthy and Pain-Free Knees.”

This week: prostate cancer, rehabilitation and fracking

Jan 8, 2016

Men with prostate cancer are often advised to hold off on radical treatment to see whether they can maintain a normal life while a doctor monitors the disease.

Comparing health insurance plans can be a confusing and complicated process. PPO, HMO and EPO may seem like they’re part of a foreign language. But this week on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Erin Singleton of the Patient Advocate Foundation. She helps decipher the meaning and importance of things like co-pays, deductibles and shared costs.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Samaritan Medical Center  in Watertown will soon have a new maternity ward. Hospital officials are planning a $10 million expansion that they say will address the changing needs of the community.

 The hospital is now moving forward with their plan to transform the inside of that building into a wing of the hospital with its own entrance. The third floor will be devoted to a pediatric center and a new maternity ward. 

Samaritan Medical Center's CEO, Thomas Carman, says this means women in labor will have easier access to the hospital.

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