Health

Reporting on health issues

This week: sexual violence, vascular screening and more

2 hours ago

Countering sexual violence can start with a conversation to raise awareness and encourage people to speak out, or even intervene, if necessary. This applies to college campuses as well as the larger society, say Meaghan Greeley and Tiffany Brec of Vera House, a Central New York agency that deals with domestic and sexual violence.

In community sessions about sexual violence, Brec and Greeley encourage people to think about the culture’s and their own attitude, the role of bystanders, and how violent acts eventually affect society as a whole.

Army Medicine / Flickr

Onondaga County’s yearly mosquito testing program has started for the season. For the first time, the county is on the lookout for the mosquito that carries the Zika virus.

david__jones / Flickr

The immune system generally keeps you healthy, but there are times when these biological processes can actually harm you. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease -- which arises when the immune system mistakenly attacks its own bodily tissues.

This week, on “Take Care,” Dr. Robert Shmerling explains the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Shmerling is clinical chief of the rheumatology division of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a senior editor of internet publishing at Harvard Health Publications.

Leah Landry / WRVO

Over the last several decades, microwave ovens have become a standard kitchen appliance in many American homes. But for some, doubts remain about their safety and impact on the nutritional value of food cooked in them.

This week on “Take Care,” food scientist Don Schaffner takes us behind the microwave door to explain how microwave ovens work, and the ways this kind of cooking technology interacts with food. Schaffner is an extension specialist in food science and distinguished professor at Rutgers University. He is a world-renowned expert on food safety and protection and is the co-host of a podcast on microbial food safety.

This week: osteoporosis, mental health first aid and more

May 20, 2016

Many factors can put someone at risk for the bone-weakening conditions of osteopenia and the more serious osteoporosis, says endocrinologist Jennifer Kelly, clinical director of the bone density unit at Upstate University Hospital’s Joslin Diabetes Center. Kelly says the risk factors are a woman’s postmenopausal drop in estrogen, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and endocrine diseases such as hyperthyroidism. She also describes the lifestyle changes and drugs recommended to treat osteoporosis.

Science & safety of microwave cooking

May 20, 2016
HomeSpot HQ / Flickr

Microwave ovens have become a staple in American kitchens. But many people do not understand the science behind how they cook food. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Don Schaffner, a food scientist and professor at Rutgers University, about how microwaves work and whether or not they are really safe.

Pseph / Flickr

It’s a difficult fact to swallow -- Americans are heavier than ever. For a number of decades, we’ve been told that dietary fat was unhealthy and eating fat would make us gain weight. Fat equals fat, right? Our guest this week explains that the equation is not that simple. The tide is turning on fat.

Dr. Mark Hyman is a physician, a nine-time New York Times bestselling author, and director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. His latest book is “Eat Fat, Get Thin,” and that’s what he believes -- we can add fats back into our diet (keeping in mind that not all fats are created equal) and stay healthy. Hyman is the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, a medical editor at The Huffington Post, and has been a regular medical contributor to CBS This Morning and The Today Show.

Pictures of Money / Flickr

To many adults, having health insurance is a no-brainer. It’s something you just have to have. And now under the Affordable Care Act, it’s required to have medical insurance, or pay a penalty. Even under the new law, the age group that’s the least likely to get insurance, is the healthiest.

This week on “Take Care,” Kevin Counihan, the CEO of healthcare.gov explains all the various options young people have to get insured. Healthcare.gov is the federal government’s marketplace exchange to buy health insurance.

Insuring young adults

May 13, 2016
baasiilb15 / Flickr

 

More young adults go without health insurance than any other age group. The Affordable Care Act made it possible for anyone up to age 26 to stay on his or her parent’s medical insurance. But how exactly does that work? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Kevin Counihan, the CEO of healthcare.gov, the federal government's health care exchange.

This week: thyroid cancers, postpartum psychosis and more

May 11, 2016

Experts are re-examining whether to consider some slow-growing abnormalities of the thyroid gland as chronic diseases to monitor, rather than as cancers to remove immediately, says Dr. Scott Albert, division chief of breast, endocrine and plastic surgery at Upstate Medical University.

Albert also explains the thyroid’s functions, the uses of scans, biopsies and radioactive iodine; and how the vast majority of thyroid cancer patients do well after treatment, which generally involves surgical removal of the gland.

cogdogblog / Flickr

The Affordable Care Act marketplaces have led to a bunch of new research. One study out this month looked at concentration of hospitals and insurance plans in New York and California.

The research on hospitals is pretty clear: fewer hospitals in a region means higher premiums.

But on a different metric, results varied state to state: the concentration of insurance plans available in a region didn’t have the same impact on insurance prices.

Divorce later in life becoming more common

May 7, 2016
Edwin & Kelly Tofslie / Flickr

Over the last 10 years, divorce rates have been steadying in the U.S., with the exception of one age group.

This week on “Take Care,” journalist Abby Ellin tells us why, more and more, older couples seem to be splitting up. Ellin is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, and her work has also appeared in Time magazine and the Village Voice. Ellin's article, "After Full Lives Together, More Older Couples Are Divorcing," appeared in The New York Times last October.

Sam Howzit / Flickr

We’ve probably all seen a commercial at some point for medication to help a weak bladder, but it isn’t something we generally want to talk about if we have one.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Jenni Johnson Gabelsberg explains this problem, known as urinary incontinence, and how to fix it through physical therapy. Gabelsberg is a nationally prominent physical therapist whose focus is on pelvic floor rehabilitation. She has a doctor of physical therapy degree, and lectures widely on evaluation and treatment for female and male pelvic floor dysfunctions, such as urinary and fecal incontinence.

A love of the wilderness led a paramedic and a doctor from Syracuse to work with the National Geographic Channel adventure series “The Great Human Race.”

Todd Curtis, a paramedic who trained at Upstate Medical University and now teaches there, served as medical safety oversight director for the show, which follows two people as they re-create the conditions of early humans in remote locales in Ethiopia, Mongolia and elsewhere.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Abuse of a common over-the-counter drug is the latest side effect of the heroin epidemic.

Loperamide, more commonly known by the brand name Imodium, is used by most people to treat diarrhea. But Upstate New York Poison Center clinical toxicologist Jeanna Marraffa says the drug is used by opioid addicts to get high, or to help with withdrawal symptoms. Marraffa says in large quantities it can activate some of the same receptors as opioids. The problem is, it can kill.

Why more older couples are getting divorced

May 6, 2016
adwriter / Flickr

Older adults are twice as likely to get divorced today as they were 25 years ago. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with journalist Abby Ellin who has written about this trend for The New York Times, to shed light on this change in societal norms.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Health officials in central New York this week have announced that three people in Onondaga County and one in Oneida County have tested positive for the Zika virus. Officials say all four people contracted the virus while traveling outside the country, none were hospitalized, and there is no risk to the public. 

Good footing: The importance of knowing your type

Apr 30, 2016
myllissa / Flickr

Putting one foot in front of the other can seem like a pretty simple task. But there is actually a lot that goes into this, as the foot is one of the most complex structures of the human body.

There are 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect to the foot and make it function, according to this week’s “Take Care” guest, podiatrist Dr. Neal Blitz. Blitz is a reconstructive foot and ankle surgeon, the creator of the bunionplasty bunion surgery procedure, and a fellow of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons.

How to keep your memory from reflecting your age

Apr 30, 2016
A Health Blog / Flickr

As you get older you may start to realize your memory isn’t as good as it once was. You have no problem recalling something that happened five years ago, but for the life of you can’t remember the name of the person’s hand you just shook five minutes ago.

This week on “Take Care,” brain health and memory expert Dr. Cynthia Green, revisits us to explain why this is, and what we can do to improve it. Green is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and is the founder of Total Brain Health. In addition, Green is also a leading authority in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Keeping your memory sharp

Apr 29, 2016

As we age, many of us may find that our memory is not what it used to be. But is there anything we can do to change that? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Cynthia Green, a psychiatrist at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and an expert on brain health and Alzheimer’s disease. They discuss ways to keep your mental edge.

Upstate University Hospital

Researchers from Upstate University Hospital are testing a vaccine that could prevent a common respiratory virus among newborns.

Respiratory syncytial virus, better known as RSV, is the most common reason newborns end up in the hospital. It’s a very contagious respiratory virus that’s everywhere, and for most children, it plays out as a common cold. But for infants less than two months old it can be life threatening.

This week: eating disorders, Alzheimer's research and more

Apr 27, 2016

Eating disorders often develop during the transition from childhood into adolescence and from adolescence into early adulthood, says psychologist Jack Wohlers, the clinical director of Centre Syracuse, a treatment program for adults and teens.

Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating can be viewed as a way to cope with life changes and stress, he says. Wohlers describes the secretive behaviors and shame that can be associated with these disorders and the importance of early detection and treatment.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When Melissa Ives was recovering from a brutal motorcycle accident, the opioid medication she was prescribed helped mask the pain. But eventually, those pills ran out so she turned to a cheaper alternative - heroin.

Does brain age affect memory?

Apr 23, 2016
dierk schaefer / Flickr

As we age so does our brain, which often means memory loss and forgetfulness. But just in the way we exercise to keep our bodies healthy, there are exercises we can do to maintain our brain’s health and memory.

This week on “Take Care,” memory fitness and brain health expert Dr. Cynthia Green shares how we can do this. Green is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and the founder and president of Memory Arts, which provides memory fitness and brain health training. She is also a leading authority in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Jamie / Flickr

Most of us have had to take prescription medication at some point in our lives. How to take the medication is usually described on the label, but proper storage and disposal often isn’t.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Elizabeth Higdon discusses how to store and dispose of medicine in order to keep it potent, and safe from harming others and the environment. Higdon is an instructor at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences campus in Colchester, Vermont, teaches classes on over-the-counter medications, and works as a community pharmacist.

An undescended testicle occurs in about 3 percent of full-term baby boys but in as many as 45 percent of boys born prematurely, explains Dr. Matthew Mason, a pediatric urologist at Upstate University Hospital.

The reasons why one testicle, or occasionally both, does not find its way to the scrotum are unclear, he says, noting that pediatricians check for this problem in well-child visits. Mason describes aspects of the condition and possible complications, such as reduced fertility and testicular cancer, as well as treatment options in this week’s episode.

Storing & disposing of prescription drugs

Apr 22, 2016
CREDIT ONPOINT.WBUR.ORG

A doctor or pharmacist may give a patient instructions on how to take prescription medication, but how to store that drug is not often discussed. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Elizabeth Higdon, an instructor in pharmacy practice at Albany College of Pharmacy, about how to store your prescriptions to maintain their effectiveness.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York state continues to have one of the lowest percentages of its residents signed up to be organ donors. Now organ donation advocates are hoping some new state legislation will change that.

Every April, the organ donation program at Upstate University Hospital showcases patients who have been saved by organ donations, or families who have made the decision to donate organs from a deceased loved one. This year, Tina Serio told the story of how her family dealt with the sudden death of her sister, who had not made her wishes known before she died.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

SUNY Upstate Medical University’s new president will be holding a series of symposiums to look for solutions to issues that face health care providers in central New York. Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena hopes a studying issues like poverty and mental health can help the medical community deal with them.

"Help me succeed in connecting us in a joint purpose in improving lives. Our region is small enough so that anonymity is not a problem. We can know each other and learn to problem solve together,” said Laraque-Arena.

Allen County (IN) Public Library / Flickr

Although playing video games may seem like a big reason some children live a sedentary lifestyle, they may also be one key to reducing obesity.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Amanda Staiano tells us about her research on how being active indoors through use of video games could reduce childhood obesity. Staiano is an assistant professor at the Pediatric Obesity and Health Behavior Lab at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. She also co-authored the study, "Exergames for Physical Education Courses: Physical, Social, and Cognitive Benefits," and gave a TED talk on the topic at LSU this year.

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