Health

Reporting on health issues

Why energy drinks aren't your average cup of joe

17 hours ago
Tambako the Jaguar / Flickr

Caffeine gets many people through the day. An increasingly popular form of caffeine comes in energy drinks, but when consumed in large doses, it can pack quite a punch – sometimes a dangerous one. How do you know if you have consumed too much caffeine? When is it time to stop?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Kathleen Miller discusses the dangers of energy drinks and their effects on the body. Miller is a senior research scientist and assistant professor in sociology at the University at Buffalo.

Inside the ambulance: from dispatch to hospital

17 hours ago
Penn State / Flickr

When you hear those high pitched sirens coming from the road, you know someone somewhere is being transported to a local hospital or urgent care center. There’s a lot of science that goes into those transports to ensure their safety and efficiency.

This week on “Take Care,” Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Scott Matin on how ambulances and their crews operate. Matin is a 25-year veteran of emergency medical services and vice president of clinical, education and business services for MONOC Mobile Health Services in Wall Township, New Jersey.

Potential risks of energy drinks underestimated

Apr 10, 2015
Mike Mozart / Flickr

Energy drinks have become increasingly popular in the last 15 years, becoming a staple on college campuses. But are they safe? And how do they impact the health of teens and young adults? This week on Take Care, WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Kathleen Miller, a senior research scientist at the University at Buffalo, who has extensively researched the effects of energy drinks.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Syracuse VA Medical Center is seeing more than nine in 10 patients in a timely fashion, according to a review of six months of patient appointment records, but an “anomaly” in one area of care shows veterans waiting more than three months to be seen by a doctor.

Multiple solutions needed to end obesity epidemic

Apr 8, 2015
greggavedon.com / via Flickr

 

Close to 60 percent of New Yorkers are overweight or obese. This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he would take steps to fight the obesity epidemic in the state.

New York state ranks second nationwide for medical expenditures related to obesity issues. One researcher says solutions to the problem should include both public health efforts and individualized treatment.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York state's acting health commissioner is touring the state this week, advising New Yorkers to get off the couch and get some exercise.

Acting Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says the tour is grounded in these statistics from the New York State Department of Health: Just over a quarter of New Yorkers are obese and another 36 percent are overweight. The numbers aren't much better for children. Thirty-two percent of public school students between the ages of six and 12 across the state are either overweigh or obese.

With Ebola ravaging her native Liberia, Dr. Margaret Tandoh felt the need to assist. Her surgical skills might not be needed against the virus, but she could certainly provide basic medical care. So Tandoh joined AmeriCares and traveled to Africa to establish an Ebola treatment center.

“The night before my first encounter in the Ebola unit, I have to say I was a little scared,” Tandoh recalls. “I wasn’t so much scared of contracting Ebola. I was afraid of passing out in the protective equipment because it was so hot.”

MTSOFAN / Flickr

An Alzheimer’s Association report released in March shows that most Alzheimer patients aren’t told about their diagnosis.  One central New York expert says that can be harmful.

Dr. Sharon Brangman, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Center at Upstate Medical University, wasn’t surprised when she heard that only 45 percent of those with the degenerative brain disease got a diagnosis from their doctor.

How do we break our cultural obsession with weight? Author Harriet Brown says we must:

  1. Stop fat talking about ourselves,
  2. realize that being thin does not mean one is healthy, just as being fat does not mean one is unhealthy, and
  3. take our emphasis off of people's appearances.

Brown, a Syracuse University professor, speaks about what led her to write the book, "Body of Truth -- How Science, History and Culture Drive our Obsession with Weight and What We Can Do About It."

Colorado Army National Guard

 

The rate of suicide among military personnel has more than doubled since 2005. A new study released this week in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry found no connection between suicide and deployment.

The study looked at military members who served since the latest conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and found elevated rates of suicide for those with less than four years of service and had received an other-than-honorable discharge.

Cataract surgery's ease and success surprises many

Mar 29, 2015
National Eye Institute

If you've ever driven an old car with cloudy headlights, you know that the amount of light that passes through the lens is reduced. This is the basic principle behind cataracts in the human eye, and most are related to aging.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. David Chang explains how a cataract forms and what cataract surgery is like, along the benefits of the procedure. Chang, one of the world’s top cataract surgeons, is a clinical professor of optometry at the University of California San Francisco and author of “Cataracts: A Patient’s Guide to Treatment.”

Have you ever wondered how to revamp your eating habits during cold and flu season to strengthen your immune system? There are five simple foods you can add to your diet to help you reach immune health and achieve nutritional balance.

This week on “Take Care,” Michelle Dudash discusses immune boosting foods. Dudash is a registered dietician, a Cordon Bleu-certified chef and the author of “Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love.”

The top foods for boosting your immune system

Mar 27, 2015

This cold and flu season you may have heard experts recommend ways to avoid catching diseases, like washing your hands often. But is there anything you can do to build up your body's immune system? This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with author, chef and registered dietician Michelle Dudash about ways to adjust your diet to improve your natural defense system.

Lorraine Rapp: What are some of the foods that you recommend we incorporate into our diets that have been shown to boost our immune system?

CREDIT ONPOINT.WBUR.ORG

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield now has a better idea of why four out of every ten upstate New York adults don’t always take prescriptions as prescribed. The insurance company got the answers from patients through a comprehensive survey.

Pregnant women, sex workers and men having sex with men are recommended to be tested for exposure to syphilis since health officials have noticed an increase in cases of the sexually-transmitted disease.

"We started to see these rates spike the last couple of years, quite significantly," said Indu Gupta, MD, health commissioner for Onondaga County.

Getting to the guts of the matter of 'gut health'

Mar 22, 2015
James Joel / Flickr

If you watch television, you probably have seen commercials advertising products that claim to help improve your “gut health.” The idea of healthy and unhealthy bacteria in a person’s digestive tract has been around for a while, but researchers are learning more all the time about the connection between gut health and overall health.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Rajeev Jain, chief of gastroenterology at Texas Heath Dallas, discusses gut flora and how to maintain good gut health. Jain is also a partner at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants and clinical assistant professor of medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Kidney stone basics, including some ways to avoid them

Mar 22, 2015
SoulSoap / Flickr

Often described as the worst pain imaginable aside from child birth, kidney stones can seemingly happen to anyone. But what is a kidney stone? How is it formed? Is passing one as painful as they say? More importantly, is there any way to prevent kidney stone altogether?

Joining us on “Take Care” to talk about the basics of kidney stones and how to prevent them is Dr. Glenn Preminger. Preminger is a professor of surgery and chief of the division of urology at Duke University.

Upstate Cancer Center medical director, Dr. Leslie Kohman, talks about advances in cancer prevention that have taken place over the years; plus how surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments have changed and improved. Debbie Stack tells about an upcoming cancer documentary that will air on PBS and is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies.”

No 'gut health,' no glory

Mar 20, 2015

The idea of healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the digestive tract has been around for a while. But lately the balance between the two has become popularly referred to "gut health." what does that mean and how does that affect your overall health? This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Rajeev Jain, chief of gastroenterology at Texas Heath Dallas, to explain why we should care about what's going on in our gut.

Medical Schools in New York state are asking the legislature to include $50 million for faculty development in the state budget. University leadership calls the  New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) Faculty Development Program an investment needed to grow programs that will attract high-profile entrepreneurial biomedical researchers.

quinn.anya / Flickr

Only four percent of people experience chronic migraines. But all migraine sufferers can have life-long recurrences, often beginning at puberty and affecting those between 35 and 45 years old.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Mark Green talks about what causes migraines and how to manage them. Green is the director of the Center for Headache and Pain Medicine and professor of neurology and anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. 

Oliver Symens / Flickr

Keeping track of health information for children and the elderly has always been a complicated task. Care for these groups has slowly moved to the Internet to make their personal information easier to manage and access by their loved ones. But does that convenience endanger the privacy of their information at all?

This week on “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen talk to Jonathan Schwartz about the benefits of using a new website to manage loved ones’ health information. Schwartz is the co-founder and chief executive officer of CareZone, an online service that enables families to organize care of their relatives.

The basics of migraine, chronic or not

Mar 15, 2015

Migraines are painful, they come on suddenly and they're more common than you think. But there are ways to manage triggers and treat the condition effectively.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Mark Green talks about what causes migraines and how to manage them. Green is the director of the Center for Headache and Pain Medicine and professor of neurology and anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Creating a Carezone of health information

Mar 13, 2015

  Managing personal information is a constant problem in the digital age. And managing health information for yourself or a loved one is especially hard because it can be sensitive. This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with the former CEO of Sun Microsystems Jonathan Schwartz. He founded the website CareZone, which provides a safe place to store medical history and share it with family members.

Lorraine  Rapp: Why is there a need to manage family care giving on line?

People with Type 1 diabetes would not have to check their blood sugar levels 12 times a day or worry about wild fluctuations while they slept if an experimental bionic pancreas works as designed, says Dr. Ruth Weinstock, medical director of Upstate Medical University's Joslin Diabetes Center.

"It's not a cure, but it's definitely a step forward," Dr. Weinstock says.

This week, how the artificial pancreas works.

Senate Democrats / Flickr

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is teaming up with an unlikely group of colleagues to push for more federal support of medical marijuana.

Gillibrand is one of three senators introducing a bill that would scale back federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states that have legalized medicinal or recreational pot.

She is co-sponsoring the bill with a fellow Democrat from New Jersey, Sen. Corey Booker, and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul. They introduced the legislation Tuesday at a press conference in Washington.

Eddie Codel / Flickr

Right now, wearable health technology is all the rage, with many people tracking things like their steps, activity levels and body movements. But soon these devices could used not just for fitness but as medical tools that could change how illnesses are diagnosed and treated.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Michael Blum talks about wearable health technology. Blum is a cardiologist and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and heads up the university’s Center for Digital Health Innovation as associate vice chancellor for informatics.

Facing North East / Flickr

Wrinkles can be one of the more irritating changes that come with aging. But where do they come from and why do some people have more or less than others?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Emmy Graber explains various methods to prevent wrinkles and how to treat them once they start. Graber is the director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center. She is also an assistant professor of dermatology and the associate residency training director at the Boston University School of Medicine.

With sales through the roof and nearly immediate feedback, fitness trackers have dominated the health and wellness market for some time now. Step by step, calorie by calorie, fitness trackers are just the tip of the wearable health technology iceberg.

This week on "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak to Dr. Michael Blum about the wearable health technology of today and the future. Blum is a cardiologist and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and heads up the Center for Digital Health Innovation at the university.

This week: miscarriage, HIV prevention and healthy weight

Mar 5, 2015

Though miscarriages can often go unnoticed, they are tremendous losses to the mothers who experience them. Certified nurse midwife Kathleen Dermady explains the symptoms of miscarriage, and Dr. Shawky Badawy goes over the causes.

"Sometimes they have the feeling of blaming themselves," Badawy says of the mothers, "but they are not to blame."

Also this week: how to obtain the prescription drug that can prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS -- plus, nutrition and healthy weight.

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