A Safe Alternative to Upper Endoscopy Sedation

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Written by Dr. Jonathan Aviv, MD FACS

There are almost 10 million upper endoscopies performed annually in the U.S. Upper endoscopy is the insertion of a camera through your mouth to look at your esophagus and stomach, generally done when someone has complaints of chronic heartburn. In general, one needs to be sedated with a twilight type of anesthesia during an upper endoscopy. However, as we know from The Dr. Oz Show today, conscious sedation is not necessarily a free ride. There are small but finite risks associated with conscious sedation, namely problems with the heart (such as heart attack) and lungs (stopping breathing) that can take place. Read more  »

Behind the Scenes of Dr. Oz’s Sleep Clinic

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If you find yourself struggling to get enough sleep at night, it turns out you’re not alone. In fact, so many people have issues with sleep that Dr. Oz and sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus recently stayed up all night to tackle the most common sleep problems. Together with the help of their sleep team, they took to Twitter and the phones to help callers get the shut-eye they need. Here’s a look at what happened.

Read more  »

How to Dry Hair Faster to Protect It From Damage

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Taking the time to blow-dry your hair is a huge time suck. To add insult to injury, every time you take a hot tool to your strands—whether a dryer, curling iron, hot rollers or flat iron—you’re damaging them a little more.

The heat from a dryer breaks the keratin down in the hair, causing the hair to lose strength and elasticity and become more prone to breakage. It’s also extremely dehydrating, another factor that leads to breakage. And if you color your hair, the heat can cause the hue to fade faster. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Short Walks, Lung Cancer and Hot Flashes

5-minute walks reverse some ill effects of sitting. Studies continue to mount about how bad long-periods of sitting are for us. A new study out this week provides some hope to those yet to make the transition to standing. “Study authors found that during a 3-hour period, the function of the femoral artery was decreased by as much as 50 percent after just one hour of sitting. But study participants who walked for five minutes during each hour of sitting did not experience a drop in arterial function, suggesting that the increase in muscle activity and blood flow was beneficial.” Participants saw the same benefits even while walking at a sauntering two miles per hour. According to authors, “We have shown that prolonged sitting impairs endothelial function, which is an early marker of cardiovascular disease, and that breaking sitting time prevents the decline in that function.” (Fox)

The temperature of your breath could reveal lung cancer. Lung cancer is deadly partly because it can go undetected for long periods of time. While some can be seen early on X-ray and CT scans, not all are visible and the radiation risk from the scan makes these less appealing as screening techniques. A group of researchers in Italy found that “among 82 people who showed potential signs of lung cancer on X-rays, those who had confirmed lung cancer had higher breath temperatures than those whose readings weren’t as high.While many factors could contribute to breath temperature, the team also found that the readings were higher the more the participants had smoked, and among those with later-stage cancer.” While the finding needs to be repeated and confirmed, the new test could signify another way to find lung cancers earlier. (TIME)

Hot flashes may be more than just a female problem. Menopause can be a very unpleasant experience for some women, with uncomfortable hot flashes plaguing many menopausal women for months to years, causing sleepless nights and a host of other problems. A new study has found that “the extra healthcare expenses and lost productivity of menopausal women with untreated hot flashes may cost the U.S. billions of dollars each year.” The researchers found that “women with hot flashes used more healthcare services, particularly outpatient services, than women without symptoms. The extra services added up to $1,336 more per person per year compared to women without symptoms, and the indirect economic loss due to missed work was an extra $770 per woman per year.” The authors noted that some of the extra healthcare costs come from trying to diagnose and treat problems, like chest pains, without addressing the root cause of menopausal symptoms. (Reuters)

New Program to Collect Unused Controlled Medications

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Many people, for one reason or another, have been prescribed a controlled medication at some point in their life. It might have been Oxycontin after a painful surgery, Xanax for episodes of anxiety, Lunesta for trouble sleeping or Adderall for ADHD. As with many of the medications we take, there were probably a few pills left over that are now sitting in your medicine cabinet. Read more  »

5 Myths About Ebola

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The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the return of several infected Americans have led to a plethora of public misconceptions about the disease. This has caused fear, speculation and the inevitable spread of false rumors. Here are five of the most common myths about Ebola debunked to set the record straight. Read more  »