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New opioid prescribing guidelines reverse course on strict restrictions
iStock/Eugeneonline (WASHINGTON) -- The Department of Health and Human Services reversed course on its opioid guidelines this week and advised doctors that cutting off pain patients' prescriptions suddenly could do more harm than good. The new guidance, published Thursday, stressed that that abrupt changes to long-term pain patients' medication regimens could "put the patient at risk of harm," because of the significant chance that a sudden switch could throw the patient into opioid withdrawal.In addition to withdrawal, the guide lists anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation, ruptured trust and pain exacerbation as side effects of sudden prescription changes."We need to treat...
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STD cases hit record high for fifth year running, as prevention efforts hit by budget cuts
jarun011/iStock (NEW YORK) -- Sexually transmitted infections hit a record high 2.4 million cases in 2018, making it the fifth year in a row that cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have spiked, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The agency pointed to the budget cuts that have hit sexually transmitted disease programs in recent years as a driving factor behind the disease spike. Cuts to state and local programs have translated into clinic closures, decreased staffing and ultimately fewer patient screenings and follow-ups. Over the last five years, chlamydia cases increased 19%, gonorrhea cases...
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'Weed moms' are the new 'wine moms'
Nastasic/iStock (NEW YORK) -- Are weed moms the new wine moms?Though "wine mom" culture has long been the source of many a mommy meme and largely socially acceptable, marijuana-using moms are stepping out of the shadows and proudly extolling the virtues of cannabis.In a recent essay for Parents magazine, writer Leah Campbell claimed micro-dosing marijuana makes her a better mom."A small amount of pot administered as an edible allows me to be present and functional for my daughter," the article reads. "It makes me the best version of myself and I have no shame at all in admitting that it...
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'Freak Shakes' are one bakery’s tool to help a woman battling breast cancer
Julie Curry, owner of Bake'n Babes (TAMPA, Fla.) -- Milkshakes are changing a Florida woman’s fight against breast cancer after a bakery owner surprised her with a fundraiser.“It felt really good," recipient Victoria Burnham, 25, said. "I know there are ... people out there who are going through worse out there, but they chose me.”Burnham was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2008 and has been going through chemotherapy since June. She told ABC News' Good Morning America she is unable to work and tries to manage her daily expenses.Burnham is exactly the type of person Julie Curry, the owner...
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Babies at higher risk of heart defects if dad drinks alcohol before conception: Study
iStock (NEW YORK) -- Does a dad's drinking matter as much as a mom's before conception?Researchers in China believe that a father's alcohol intake may actually affect a future child more than a mother's.They completed a meta-analysis review of thousands of cases to determine how parental alcohol use prior to conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy affects heart health in a child.Their results, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, revealed that the risk of heart defects in infants was 44% higher if their fathers drank. They found that this risk was increased by 16% for mothers...
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Salmonella outbreak linked to pet turtles in 13 states: CDC
iStock (NEW YORK) -- A salmonella outbreak in 13 states has been linked to pet turtles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twenty-one people have been infected with the strain of Salmonella Oranienburg, the CDC announced Wednesday. Seven of those cases required hospitalization, but no deaths have been reported.The CDC linked the outbreak to pet turtles after 12 of the 17 people who fell ill reported contact with the reptiles, according to the CDC.Even when appearing healthy and clean, turtles can carry salmonella germs in their droppings, which can easily spread to their bodies, tank water...
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Nurse alleges colleagues misused Benadryl to put patients to sleep: Lawsuit
(WEST ORANGE, N.J.) -- A nurse in New Jersey is suing a hospital, claiming that she was taken off the schedule and eventually pushed out of her job on an adult psychiatry unit after she reported to higher-ups that some night-shift nurses were allegedly giving Benadryl to patients to make them sleep and not reporting their actions.Patricia Moran, a registered nurse for more than 30 years at RWJ Barnabas Health, which owns Monmouth Medical Center, was hired in 1988 and worked on the adult involuntary psychiatric unit at the center.In March 2019, her civil lawsuit claims, Moran suspected that some...
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People in rural areas face long drives for opioid addiction treatments
iStock BY: DR. SAUMYA BHUTANI (NEW YORK) -- As the U.S. grapples with the opioid epidemic -- 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- access to treatments for addiction has perhaps never been so important. But for many in rural areas, those treatments are still hard to come by.A new study by Yale University, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that drive times to methadone clinics in rural counties is, on average, almost 50 minutes each way.Dr. Kip Corrington, a physician at Novant Health Northwest Family Medicine...
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Sophie Turner blasts diet culture and detox teas ads
petrunjela/iStock (NEW YORK) -- Influencers who stand by their detox product compelled Sophie Turner to speak out, and she spilled the proverbial tea on the weight-loss industry.Detox teas are somewhat of a hot-button issue with celebrities hawking them to fans. Consequently, actors like Jameela Jamil are rallying to have these products banned, claiming they are unsafe and promote body-shaming.The Game of Thrones alum took a stand against detox teas earlier this week by mocking influencers on her Instagram story."Hey you guys, just kind of going for my influencer look today," Turner said Tuesday in a high-pitched American accent, "Today I...
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How life changes like childbirth, menstruation affect women's mental health
MangoStar_Studio/iStock (NEW YORK) -- Women know the drill: They start menstruating as teenagers, or earlier, and have the ability to become pregnant, and then as they age they lose both their period and childbearing abilities through menopause.These life changes unique to women are one reason why there is a gender gap when it comes to depression, experts said. About one in 10 U.S. women experience depression. Women are also almost twice as likely as men to have symptoms of depression, according to data shared by the U.S. Office on Women's Health.Rates of depression between boys and girls stay roughly the...
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Children's hospital creates custom glasses system for child with ear deformity
Gillette Childrens Specialty Healthcare (ST. PAUL, Minn.) -- A Minnesota boy who received custom made glasses with a specialty strap system to fit his disabilities can now see with ease. Eight-year-old Bentley Erikson was born with a birth defect called microtia, which prohibits the ear from fully forming properly, and his mom told ABC News affiliate KSET-TV that along with other complex medical conditions and vision problems, her son struggled to find glasses that stayed on his head."I did what all moms do, I thought I could fix this, and I bought $250 worth of crafting supplies and tried to...
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Owning a dog could provide long-term health benefits, study says
alexei_tm/iStock (UPPSALA, Sweden) -- A dog is known as "man's best friend," but owning a dog may literally save your life, according to new research from Uppsala University."There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that people feel increased well-being with their dog; we wanted to investigate this," said Dr. Tove Fall, one of the authors of the study and professor of molecular epidemiology at Sweden's Uppsala University.The study set out to determine whether dog ownership affected survival rates after a heart attack or stroke. Data was collected over an 11-year period and examined dog owners versus non-dog owners and their...
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