Today’s Headlines: Hepatitis C, Young Dads and Cranky Spouses

Interferon-free therapy for hepatitis C ‘cured’ 90% of patients: “Currently, doctors treating hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis (liver scarring) can only offer treatments that rely on the drug interferon, which unfortunately, only works for less than half of patients. Now, a new study found that an interferon-free combination of drugs was safe, well tolerated and cured over 90% of 380 trial patients with liver cirrhosis in 12 weeks.” More than 3 million Americans have hepatitis C, which is spread through direct contact with infected blood and can result in cirrhosis and liver failure. “The key test of effectiveness was no trace of hepatitis C virus in the bloodstream. This was found to be the case in 91.8% of patients 12 weeks after their last dose, and 95.9% of patients 24 weeks after their last dose.” (Medical News Today

Young dads are at risk for postpartum depression: According to a new study, “men who entered into fatherhood at around age 25 saw a 68% increase of depressive symptoms over their first five years of being dads – if they lived at the same home as their children.” The study followed over 10,600 young men for approximately 20 years and found that men who lived with their children experienced a spike in depressive symptoms after their child was born, continuing through the first few years. “Identifying depression symptoms in young fathers is critical, since earlier research shows that depressed dads read and interact less with their kids, are more likely to use corporal punishment, and are more likely to neglect their kids.” (TIME

Getting angry with your spouse? Quick, eat something!: If you’re feeling cranky and are starting to snip at your significant other, you may want to grab a snack. Researchers at Ohio State University looked at the connection between low blood sugar and levels of aggression in 107 married couples. They found that “when blood glucose levels dropped, spouses were far more likely to stick pins into voodoo dolls representing their mates. They were also more likely to blast loud noises into earphones strapped to their mate’s head.” The study’s authors hypothesize that low blood sugar levels make self-control more difficult and that eating might help people reign in their more argumentative tendencies. (Los Angeles Times

Spring Awakening

beautiful girl enjoying the summer sun

As the weather changes, it’s time for spring cleaning. It’s time to purge, to do a complete overhaul. It’s time to clean out and refresh your home, your routine, your life. Spring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning the closets. It’s also about taking inventory, about looking at your life and considering how you might rejuvenate, replenish and reinvigorate yourself. It has been a long winter, and now that spring is finally here, I encourage you to take a long hard look in the mirror. Are there changes you want to make, post-hibernation? If there are, you can make them. This is the time. It will take effort and a deliberate intention, but it’s spring! Don’t you feel like you could do anything, as long as you don’t have to shovel any more snow or slog to work in your big boots any longer?

Read more  »

Baked Eggs With Slow-Stewed Tomatoes and Shiitakes

Superfoods_Eggs_720

Looking for your new favorite breakfast? Try this recipe packed with superfoods such as eggs, shiitake mushrooms and tomatoes. This is an easy dish, takes very little time to prepare and is an absolute stunner! It’s certain to impress your company when served for brunch. Get the recipe here.

Sharecare Top 5: Spring Clean Your Life

Spring is here – and for many of us, that means it’s time for spring cleaning. More than a seasonal ritual, it can actually improve your physical and mental health: Decluttering can decrease stress, and cleaning counts as exercise! Check out our 5 tips to spring clean all the spaces in your life.

1. Start with your home.
The author William Morris once said, “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Use this as your spring-cleaning mantra. Go through each room and decide what you want to toss and what could possibly be donated. Clean off the dust, open the windows, go through your pantry and add a new plant or two. These things can help air out your physical space and decrease health-harming stress. Find out the consequences of chronic stress from internist Keri Peterson, MD.

Read more  »

You Wanted to Know: Colon Cancer Screening Options

Rare Diseases Are Hard to Overcome

Though none of the screening options to detect colon cancer are particularly fun, they are some of the most important and scientifically proven things you can do to safeguard yourself from this second-leading cause of cancer-related death. There are several different options for colon cancer screening, including colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy and fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs). One of our viewers asked me on Twitter about the best way to choose between these screening tests.

FOBT

Read more  »

Vintage Oz: An Exclusive Look Back

Unknown-13

For me, nothing sets off stronger feelings of nostalgia than looking back at old pictures. Recently, I revisited some of my favorite photos from my childhood and the early days of my career as a physician and a TV host. I couldn’t believe that the little boy driving the yellow toy car was the same man toasting to the debut of his very own television show with his friend and mentor, Oprah. You can take a look alongside me by tuning in for some of my most meaningful and entertaining vintage Oz moments on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on weekday mornings, and you can take a sneak peek now here

Read more  »

In Case You Missed It: April 7 Through April 11

5142PromoStill720

If you missed a segment or forgot to jot down a tip this week, we’ve got you covered. Check out these helpful hints and take-aways and click to read more on DoctorOz.com!

1. Dr. Oz shared brand-new ways to enjoy his favorite veggies. This weekend, try out this smoky eggplant dip, cauliflower couscous or zucchini crostini.

2. Are you getting enough potassium? Make sure that you’re incorporating potassium-rich foods in your diet with this grocery list.

3. You already know that drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your health. Put a new twist on this healthy staple by infusing your water with tasty fruits and veggies. Get recipes here.

4. Did you know that Epsom salt could be used for a variety of health and beauty treatments. Learn 20 ways to use this household staple here.

5. Learn how to neutralize the toxins created by your diet with this simple plan! These fun and easy workouts can be done from the comfort of your home!

Motivation to Exercise May Be Genetic

Athlete running road silhouette

Don’t like to exercise? You may be able to blame your genes.

A new study done on lab rats and published in The Journal of Physiology suggests that whether or not people feel motivated to exercise may be at least partially inherited. In the study, scientists observed a group of rats to see which rats voluntarily spent the most time running on a wheel. They bred those rats together. They then did the same with rats who spent the least amount of time running. They continued this process until they had two sets of rats – one that was descended from the running rats and another descended from the more sedentary rats.

Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Medicare, Paralysis and Honey

Small slice of doctors account for big chunk of Medicare costs: “A tiny sliver of doctors and other medical providers accounted for an outsize portion of Medicare’s 2012 costs, according to an analysis of federal data that lays out details of physicians’ billings. The top 1% of 825,000 individual medical providers accounted for 14% of the $77 billion in billing recorded in the data.” Together, the 1,000 highest-paid Medicare physicians were paid $3.05 billion. A third of these high-earning providers are ophthalmologists and one in ten are radiation oncologists. One physician billed over $20 million in a year. Doctors’ groups cautioned the data, which contains gaps, could be misinterpreted, but “health-care economists say the data – despite several limitations – could help pinpoint doctors who overtreat patients, performing far more surgeries, procedures and other services than their peers.” (The Wall Street Journal

Electrical pulses help paralyzed patients move: “Four people who were paralyzed below the waist for more than two years were able to voluntarily wiggle their toes and flex their legs, thanks to a promising study that some are heralding as a breakthrough in spinal-cord-injury treatment.” To achieve their remarkable results, the study’s authors used an implantable electrical stimulator usually used to treat pain. The device sends electrical signals to the spinal cord, which are then related to the lower extremities. The four patients in the study “were able to voluntarily move their legs, feet and ankles within a week of starting the electrical stimulation.” While they’re not able to walk, they are able to move muscles that were previously entirely paralyzed. (TIME)

Just because it’s sweet and sticky doesn’t mean it’s ‘honey’: FDA: Honey just isn’t honey if it’s mixed with sugar or other sweeteners, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consequently, “only manufactures that do not add sugar, corn syrup or other sweeteners should label their products as pure ‘honey,’ the FDA said in draft guidelines posted online.” Americans eat over 400 million pounds of honey every year, much of which is imported. “Pure honey is generally more expensive than those mixed with corn syrup and traditional sugar, and prices reached a record high of $2.12 a pound last year.” The new guidelines, if accepted, will not be mandatory. (Reuters)

Southwestern Beans and Rice

black-beans-and-rice

Have a craving for Mexican but watching your waistline? No problem!  This southwestern staple is packed full of flavor and fat busting nutrients. Black beans are a perfect combination of complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein. They have a low glycemic index which means they are digested at a slower rate and maintain even blood sugar levels that prevent hunger. In addition, fiber and protein help keep you fuller with fewer calories and ensures that you lose the fat not muscle. Get the recipe here!