January 2020 News Briefs

364
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Mega Doctor News

How New Nutrition Labels Can Help You Eat Less

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Are you trying to lose weight? Experts say some new nutrition labels on packaged foods could make it easier. The recent addition to food containers includes side-by-side nutrition information, updated daily intake percentages, and added sugars listed separately from natural sugars.  Raw fruits, vegetables, and seafood are exempt from these requirements from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also exempt are packaged food items that require additional ingredients, such as pancake mixes where you add eggs and water, or cereals that you pair with milk. Experts agree that increased awareness about total food calories consumed per sitting is key for weight maintenance. Source: Healthline

Delaying Knee Surgery has a Detrimental Impact on Health, a New Study Finds

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A new study has revealed that most people who require knee surgery are waiting too long to get it done, and this is having a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing. Researchers at Northwestern University recruited over 8,000 people with knee osteoarthritis, or at risk of suffering from it, to participate in a study taking place over eight years. Throughout the study, a total of 2,313 people became eligible for knee surgery, and the researchers inspected 3,417 knees, with just 1,114 being replaced over the entire eight years. However, researchers determined that 2,833 people were potentially appropriate for the surgery and did not have it. Of the group who did not undergo surgery over 1,200 of them suffered from severe symptoms. The researchers suggest that undergoing knee surgery would have alleviated these symptoms and that people’s quality of life was negatively impacted by not undergoing surgery early on. Source: News Medical Life Sciences

Glaucoma Progresses slow, Regular Screening can help you Beat It

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Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss, affecting about 3 million people in the United States. But this potentially blinding eye disease does not affect all people equally. During Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is urging people to be screened, especially if you are at increased risk of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damages the eye’s optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits visual information to the brain, allowing us to see. Because glaucoma often progresses slowly, affecting just peripheral or side vision, people with glaucoma can lose most of their vision before they even experience any symptoms. Central vision, the vision used to read, drive or watch TV, is unaffected until the disease is advanced. Medicare provides an annual dilated eye exam for Medicare beneficiaries over age 65 at high risk for glaucoma. Those eligible for this service are people with diabetes, family history of glaucoma or African Americans over 50. To learn more, call 800-633-4227. Source: Newswise

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Body temperature: What is the new normal?

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A recent analysis of temperature trends suggests that the average human body temperature has dropped since the 19th century due to physiological changes. Most of us only take our temperatures when we are worried that we have a fever, as a result of an infection or a cold, for example. Body temperature is also a marker of metabolic health. Specifically, the authors of the new study explain, human body temperature indicates metabolic rate, which some have linked with longevity and body size. Some of the researchers’ findings include: The body temperature of men today is, on average, 0.59°C lower than that of men born in the early 19th century; Similarly, women’s body temperature dropped by 0.32°C from the 1890s to today. Overall, the analysis found a 0.03°C decrease in average temperature with every decade. Source: Medical News Today 

Put Down the Afrin: How Some People Can Be Dependent on Common Cold Meds

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Nasal congestion is a popular seasonal ailment, and nasal decongestant sprays can seem like an effective solution. But doctors are warning people to use the bottle sparingly. Why all the caution? Nasal decongestant sprays can cause rhinitis medicamentosa, which is also known as rebound congestion. In short, this occurs when the medication squeezes blood from your nasal tissues. It seems like you can breathe again, but the relief wears off. Then blood, oxygen, and nutrients flood back into the area and patients can feel even more congested. Dr. Amber Luong, an associate professor at The University of Texas McGovern Medical School and director of research for the American Rhinologic Society board of directors, explained that rebound congestion can occur when people use nasal sprays constantly. Useful, fast-acting alternatives to nasal decongestants include warm steam and saline sprays, as well as sleeping more upright. Exercise can also help if you’re up for it. All medications have side effects, so Luong said people should look at other remedies. Source: Healthline

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