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Health Headlines - May 27

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:24pm
New Meningitis Shot Ready for Children

High school freshman Leslie Meigs has a simple message for kids about the scary disease that struck out of the blue and within hours almost killed her: Get the new meningitis shot. Children who are 11 to 12, students entering high school and college freshmen headed for dorm life should be vaccinated, federal health officials and the American Academy of Pediatrics announced Thursday.

Health Tip: When Babies Spit Up

Many adults complain about gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), but what happens to babies who have this?

For them, it's called "spitting up," and they may not even be aware of it. Babies spit up when they've eaten too much or when they're burped.

It happens when milk or solid food in the stomach comes back up into your baby's esophagus. It can also happen when your baby is drooling.

The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests you:

* Feed your baby by placing him or her in an upright position. If you bottle-feed your baby, burp him or her every three to five minutes. Avoid laying your baby down following a feeding.
* Some babies also spit up less if they are given less milk at each feeding, but are fed more often.

Health Tip: Do You Have a Cracked Tooth?

You bite down and feel a sharp pain. It quickly disappears, or you just ignore it.

Later on, however, you begin to avoid certain foods or chew only on one side of your mouth. If this sounds familiar, you may have a cracked tooth.

A tooth may crack because of a variety of factors: chewing on hard objects, from ice to hard candy; an accident or blow to the mouth; grinding or clenching your teeth; uneven chewing pressure; stress on a tooth; loss of the tooth structure through wear, large fillings or other restorations; exposure of tooth enamel to temperature extremes, such as eating hot food and then drinking iced water; and brittleness of teeth that have gone through root canal treatment.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), depending on the size or location of the crack, treatment may vary from bonding to root canal. A severely cracked tooth may have to be extracted.

To prevent cracked teeth, the ADA urges regular dental checkups. Going to the dentist regularly allows him or her to diagnose and treat problems in their early stages.

If you do experience pain, avoid chewing on that side of the mouth, and call your dentist.

Secondhand Smoke Threatens IVF Success

Women hoping to conceive through in-vitro fertilization may want to steer clear of secondhand smoke, a new study finds.

Fish Oil Fights Smog's Effect on Heart

Daily supplements of fatty acid-rich fish oil may counteract the effects of air pollution on the heart, researchers report.

Protein Clue Could Help Fight Cancer

In a finding that could have important implications for cancer research, scientists report that the protein ATF2 -- already recognized for its role in gene regulation -- also helps initiate cellular DNA repair.

Deadlines, Transitions Heat Up Emotions

Overworked, on-the-go, stressed Americans, you're not alone: A new study finds that time constraints and impending deadlines encourage emotional highs and lows.

Words Sharpen Visual Memory, Study Finds

Language may be a "glue" helping children and adults cement their visual memory of objects in the natural world, researchers conclude.

Witnessing Violence Can Trigger Violent Behavior

Can exposure to gun violence make you more likely to participate in violence?

Corticosteroids May Be Harmful for Head Injury

Corticosteroids shouldn't be used to treat people with head injuries, according to the final results of a British study published online Thursday in the journal The Lancet.

Adenoid, Tonsil Removal Improves Childhood Asthma

Removal of both the tonsils and adenoids may ease asthma symptoms in children, a new Yale University study suggests.

U.S. Smoking Rates Continue to Drop

The number of U.S. adults who smoke continues to decline, federal health officials reported Thursday.

Asthma Tied to Irregular Periods

While the exact causes of asthma remain elusive, a new study suggests the condition may be more common in women with irregular periods.

U.S. unprepared against new flu -experts

The United States still has no licensed vaccine to prevent avian flu and has nowhere near enough drugs to treat the sick if there is an epidemic, experts told Congress on Thursday.

Teens who experience violence likely to be violent

New study findings provide scientific proof for what some have already deduced: teens exposed to violence are more likely than their peers to become involved in violence in the future.

Food Fact:
Tempeh -- jewel of the Southwest?

It may sound like a town in Arizona, but it's actually the meatiest of soy foods. Chewy and full-flavored, tempeh is made from whole soybeans, which means it's loaded with beneficial soy isoflavones. Tempeh slices easily, holds its shape during cooking and loves a good marinade.

Fitness Tip of the day:
Carry that weight?

How much should you be lifting? Here's a good rule of thumb. When you can perform 12 to 15 reps using excellent form, it's time to increase the weight used by 5%. In weight training, always use weights you can handle. Remember, we are training our bodies not our egos.

FAQ of the day:
Why warm up before a workout?

During a warm-up, your body gradually prepares to bring extra blood and oxygen to the muscles during your workout. Your heart and respiration rate slowly increase, capillaries dilate and blood supplies flow to your extremities, which will need extra oxygen to fuel your muscles when you pick up the pace. The added heat and blood flow allow muscles to become more compliant, and thus less prone to injury. Finally, a proper warm-up is likely to improve your performance.
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