Today’s Headlines: Lyme Disease, Comfort Food, and Food on a Diet

When Lyme Disease Lasts and Lasts: “Chronic Lyme disease is a highly controversial catch-all term for a host of long-lasting symptoms that may or may not stem from prior infection with the bacterium that causes acute Lyme disease. Often misdiagnosed and mistreated, chronic Lyme disease leaves thousands of people physically and mentally debilitated and without a medically established recourse. Mary Rasenberger, 51, a New York lawyer, experienced “a series of ailments going back 10 years.” She was finally given a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease last summer after having been told that she had multiple sclerosis.” (New York Times)

‘Food on a Diet’ Helps Couple Drop Pounds: “Kay and Mike Alexander’s journey to obesity is a familiar road for many married couples. Neither was overweight when they met on a coffee break at work. Nor were they obese when they cut their wedding cake, iced with an image of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. But over time, working and raising foster children in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the pounds added up. ‘I put on about five to 10 pounds per year for 20 years,’ Kay Alexander says. At age 55, she says she was ‘one blood test away from being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes,’ when she started having chest pains. Remembering that her father died of a heart attack when he was only 55, she went to the hospital. There, a doctor told her she too had had a heart attack – one that, without medical attention, would have left her with only hours to live.” (CNN)

Comfort-Food Fix Without Eating: “Eating so-called comfort foods with large amounts of fat and sugar has been shown to vastly improve people’s moods. A report in the Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science suggests that drawing pictures of unhealthy food can also have positive effects on mood. From September to November 2012, researchers recruited 61 students from St. Bonaventure University in upstate New York. The subjects included 22 men and 39 women in their early 20s. Most were slightly overweight based on measurements of body-mass index, or BMI. Daily sugar and fat consumption was calculated.” (Wall Street Journal)