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Should I Still Take Contrave?

By Brenda Goodman, MA
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015 -- The new weight loss drug Contrave was in the headlines last week when researchers ended a study that looked at its safety.
Contrave’s approval last September came with a warning from the FDA that the medication might raise blood pressure and heart rate and shouldn’t be used by people with high BP.

So the FDA asked the drug’s maker to keep studying it to make sure it didn’t raise risks like heart attacks and strokes.

People who are overweight or obese already have an increased risk of heart problems. It would be especially bad if a weight loss drug added to those risks.

Because the study ended early, researchers can’t say for sure that there’s no heart risk tied to the drug. Lead study researcher Steve Nissen, MD, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, says he is confident Contrave doesn’t double a person’s risk of a heart attack or stroke. But he admits he can’t be sure it doesn’t cause smaller increases in those risks.

If you’re taking Contrave now or are thinking about taking it, and you’re wondering what the flap was about, here’s a quick explainer.

A Compromised Study
Contrave is a combination of two older drugs, bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion, which has been sold under the brand names Zyban and Wellbutrin, has been used to help people quit smoking and to treat depression. Naltrexone is used to curb cravings to addictive drugs like alcohol and narcotics.

Experts had hoped that the two-drug combo would work to treat obesity in a new way -- by making food less rewarding and possibly less addicting.

Bupropion on its own has been linked to a greater risk of high blood pressure. It can also increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, and Contrave carries a warning about that on its label, too.

When Contrave was approved last year, the FDA allowed it onto the market with only some of the safety data -- 25%, to be exact -- in hand.
And those early results looked really good. Rather than raising heart risks as initially feared, it looked like the drug might actually protect people from serious episodes of chest pain, heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related deaths.

The results were submitted to the FDA in November 2013, as the agency was considering whether or not to allow the drug on the market.

Read more: http://wb.md/1Hq8w0g
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When You Eat, Not Just What, May Impact Health
By Brenda Goodman, MA

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD

May 7, 2015 -- Watching when you eat, without necessarily changing what or how much, may yield big health benefits, including weight loss.

Although more research is needed, intriguing new findings in people and mice suggest that eating within a strict 8- to 12-hour time frame each day changes metabolism at the genetic level, lowering blood sugar and body weight, even without cutting calories.

Scientists think the changes may be powerful enough to lower the risks for cancer, heart disease, dementia, and diabetes.

The latest study on this phenomenon, called time-restricted eating, looked at the link between meal timing and blood sugar control in more than 2,200 women. The average age of women in the study was 47, and the average body mass index (BMI) was 28, making them overweight.

Poor blood sugar control is a risk factor for diabetes and cancer, among other things. Blood sugar that swings wildly before and after eating indicates that the body isn’t very sensitive to insulin, the hormone that signals cells to take in calories from food.

That means more insulin has to be released from the pancreas to get the blood sugar into cells. The trouble is that extra insulin doesn’t just impact blood sugar. It also promotes the growth of cells -- including cancer cells. And over time, the body can’t keep up with the demand for more and more insulin. When that happens, blood sugar levels climb dangerously high, leading to diabetes.

The women in the study reported what and when they ate and gave blood samples. Researchers could see how high their blood sugar climbed after meals and how steady their blood sugar had stayed over the previous 2 to 3 months.

About half the women reported not eating or drinking anything for at least 12 hours, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., for example. The other half fasted for less than 12 hours, eating both early and late.

“What we found, in general, [is] that women who fasted for longer nightly intervals had better blood sugar control than those who didn’t fast as long, and that was independent of other eating behaviors such as how many calories women were eating,” says study researcher...

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Monday, May 4, 2015
Kids' Mental Illness a 'Public Health Crisis'

By Kelli Miller
WebMD Health News

Childhood mental illness is a public health crisis that needs increased awareness and intervention, according to a report released today by the Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on mental health care for children. “The Children’s Mental Health Report” reveals that more kids are living with a psychiatric disease than cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. And yet, few are getting the help they need – making them more likely to drop out of school, abuse drugs and alcohol, and get tangled in the juvenile justice system. Harold Koplewicz, MD, the institute’s co-founder and president, talks about the key findings and what parents can do to keep their kids healthy.

Q: What is most significant finding in the Children’s Mental Health Report?

A: It’s the number of children in the United States who are suffering from these disorders. The fact is, 17.1 million young people up to the age of 18 have or have had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. These are the most common conditions of childhood and adolescence. To give you some reference, there are 7.1 million American kids who have asthma. There are 200,000 American kids under the age of 20 who have diabetes. There are 7 million American kids who have peanut allergies. And yet we have 17.1 million young people with a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. This is a true public health crisis. I think the other important issue is that more than two-thirds of these kids don’t get help.

Q: Are there more kids with these illnesses than in the past?

A: No, I don’t think so. Let’s take obsessive-compulsive disorder, for example. (It) was thought in the 1980s to (affect) 1 percent of the children that came to a psychiatric clinic. So that’s 1 in 100 of psychiatrically ill children. Today, we recognize it’s 3 percent of the general population, or 3 in 100 of children in general. How did that happen?

Read more: http://wb.md/1Ea3AYW
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mental illness be cured by means of affection, social and religious activities, and first aid prevention of infection.
The first aid for infection
• .Not ask Ebola or not, all virus/bacreria infection need nutrition (honey, dates, lemon & nutmeg) as nutrition can increase immunity to virus/bacteria and water for decrease dehydration.  All diseases symptoms are fever, pain, inflammation and others, that is cause dehydration, the dehydration can aggravate the disease. The results of the treatment experience dehydration by drinking every 2 hours nutrition for prevention is very important; according Al Quran; Honey, fruit (dates, lemon, etc), spices, vegetable and food combining can increase immunity or can cure diseases. For prevent infection ebola, polio &others infection for childrent, people and hospital worker ; juice; honey : dates : lemon (9 : 3 : 1) 3 x 1 – 2 spoon daily or honey : dates pomegranate (7 :3 : 3) or boil  15 minute; ginger 50 g, piper 5 g, curcumin 50g, nutmeg 3 fruit, clove 15 flower, lime water 100 cc and water 1000 cc drink 3 times a cup with honey and slice of lemon. (honey a spoon & 3 dates) and water 200cc faster ( 1 – 3 days) than the infused fluid, when the dehydration is heal, the symptoms of the disease will be gone and the infection (vires/bacteria) will quickly recover
• Knock nerves with brush on ache smeared with mixture of coconut oil or olive oil 150 cc, lime a teaspoon, 3 nutmag,  3 lemon blander, cure pain, inflammation & with  this oil can drink 3 x 15 drops.
combination traditional medicine & conventional medicine can cure diseases rapidly. I hope an expert medical doctor give attention to traditional medicine and not said that traditional medicine only placebo effect, it is not true. Milliherb (40 preparation) new Ancient mix-formulas innovation 2015 cure all disease(antibiotic resistants (TB),antivirus (herpes, hepatitis,acute virus infection etc), cancer pain st IV & other symptoms in 1 month, anti aging etc) more rapidly than modern drugs.
 the principale treatment of traditional is different with modern drug (drug choise)  the principal treatment of Milliherb(mix>25 herbs) is complicated by its combination a lot of ingredient & doses (500 mg dry herb) similar with body need, the efficacy is more & more the sum of each efficacy of a herb (500- 800 x), emperical knowlege, cure all diseases, on no side effect , cheap, simple care. In Shaa Allah
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Secret to Weight Loss? Food, Not Exercise

By Michael W. Smith, MD
WebMD Chief Medical Editor

As a doctor and a certified personal trainer, I kicked and screamed at first, but I can no longer argue with this much science.

When it comes to losing weight, the evidence is pretty clear – “you can’t outrun a bad diet,” according to a recent editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

If your goal is weight loss, that gym membership is going to do little to drop the pounds when your diet is out of shape. If you hit the gym five days a week for 30 minutes a day and you’re not losing weight, you now know why.

It’s not your metabolism. It’s not your hormones. It’s what and how much you eat.

We’re talking about more than just your expanding belly and butt. A wicked diet causes more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol, and... Read more... http://wb.md/1HUF5pM

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Alquran; combining food not excessive 3 x, combining fruit 3 x & honey is your foods and your healing, push up 20 x daily diet for obesity
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More Children Seek Help for Gender Dysphoria

By Brenda Goodman, MA
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD

April 22, 2015 --

Sam was born Samantha.

When Samantha was 3, she drew a picture of a family. She explained that she was the daddy. By age 5, she’d told her mother, “My mind tells me I’m a boy.”

Mom made a note to ask her pediatrician about it.

By age 8, after a science class on chromosomes, Samantha came home to tell her parents that she finally knew what was wrong -- her chromosomes were mixed up.

“I remember feeling my heart breaking. I called my husband at work and said, ‘We need to get this child help,’” says Sam’s mother Leslie Lagerstrom, who lives in Minneapolis. “This goes way deeper than we were hoping or believing this to be.”

Expert: More Kids Coming Forward

Specialty clinics in the U.S., Canada, and Europe say they’re seeing large increases in the numbers of children like Sam who are seeking help for gender dysphoria. That’s a feeling of extreme distress that happens when a person doesn’t identify with the body they’re born into. Gender dysphoria sometimes leads people to take steps to change their sex, or become transgender.

These kids can be quite young, sometimes as young as age 5. With the help of their parents and teachers, they’re entering school with new names, new clothes, and new gender identities. Later they may take drugs to delay the physical changes tied to puberty.

Experts are split about whether this is the right way to help them.
“There’s no question that people are seeing more kids than had ever been seen before,” says Norman Spack, MD, an endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. He has treated transgender people for 20 years.

At gender management clinic in San Diego, the number of new patients increased by 200% between 2012 and 2013, rising from eight patients to 26. A clinic in Toronto has seen a 600% increase in new adolescent patients since the year 2000.
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FAQ: Hormone Therapy for Menopause
By Kelli Miller

WebMD Health News Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH

March 31, 2015 -- If you're in menopause, you might wonder if hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help or harm your health.

Research on the pros and cons of HRT has been on a rollercoaster-like path for decades. Some studies say it's good for you. Others warn it isn't. New research cites even more risks.

Is it safe or not? Two women's health experts answer common questions.

Why the HRT confusion?

"When hormone therapy first came out, it was highly promoted, like it was the fountain of youth," says Lynn Pattimakiel, MD, who works at the Center for Specialized Women's Health at the Cleveland Clinic.

In the 1980s, research showed it could ward off osteoporosis and maybe heart disease. Such things are common after menopause.

But in 2002, a big study released by the Women's Health Initiative said HRT made a woman more likely to have heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots.

Other reports from the program said it raised the risk of breast cancer. This triggered a lot of fear and worry.

"Women stopped taking the hormones when the trial results were released," says JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, director of the Midlife Division at the University of Virginia.

Five years later, a new look at the data offered better news. The risks varied by age and how long you've been in menopause. "They found that if you are under 60 or within 10 years of menopause," there's a lower risk of death, Pinkerton says.

The average age of menopause is 52.

Today, researchers continue to report on HRT's long-term benefits and risks. Among the latest findings:

Short-term use (3-5 years) may slightly raise the risk for ovarian cancer.

Read more: http://wb.md/1IQwDVS
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thank you sirana...
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Friday, May 8, 2015
23andMe and Gene Testing: What's Next

By Bara Vaida
WebMD Health News

Genetics testing company 23andMe capitalized on consumers’ interest in gene testing and has built a database of almost 1 million individuals’ genes. Until the end of 2013, 23andMe had been providing customers with health-related testing and results based on those genes , but stopped after receiving a warning letter that they needed approval from the Food and Drug Administration first. In February 2015, the FDA approved the company to sell a test for Bloom syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

On April 24, Emily Drabant Conley, PhD, 23andMe’s director of business development, discussed the FDA news with health care journalists gathered in Santa Clara, CA, for the Association of Health Care Journalists annual meeting. WebMD spoke with her afterwards. Here is an edited excerpt.

Q: One goal of 23andme was to empower consumers by giving them health information about their genes. The company had to stop providing that information after the FDA issued its warning in 2013. If I buy your test right now, what do I find out?

A: You get access to your ancestry interpretation. It would give you a detailed breakdown percentage-wise of where your DNA comes from, what percentage is from Europe, and within Europe, how much is northern or southern European. We can tell you if you have Native American ancestry or how much Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry you may have. You also get access to your raw data, which you can download and do what you like with. We do have some super users who will take a look at their raw data and be able to make some interpretation themselves, but 23andMe does not provide any interpretation of the raw data.

Q: Are you actually getting your genome sequenced?

A: No. We do something called genotyping. If you think about the genome as a long string of letters, it would be about 3 billion letters. With genotyping, you just look at specific letters that vary between two people. We are looking at about 750,000 letters of your DNA versus whole genome sequencing, which would look at all 3 billion letters.
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Atorvastatin
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Dieting: There's No 'One Size Fits All'

By Bara Vaida
WebMD Health News

When it comes to studies about nutrition, most don’t mirror real life. That makes it hard to obtain accurate data on nutrition and health, says Christopher Gardner, PhD, director of nutrition studies at Stanford University’s Prevention Research Center.  Gardner spoke at the recent Association of Health Care Journalists conference about that issue and a study he is doing that compares low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets. WebMD spoke with Gardner about making sense of nutrition information.

Q: If we can do one thing diet-wise to improve health and lose or maintain weight, what should it be?

A: There isn’t one thing. Nutrition is more complicated than that. There are 100 things, and they are all incremental.

Q: The most common piece of advice from nutritionists and physicians is “stop drinking sugary drinks.” What about that?

A: If you had to pick one thing, yes, that is one, but Americans are really good at gaming the system. If I say, ‘That is the most important thing that you can do, stop drinking sugary drinks,’ but then keep everything else the same, it’s like saying, ‘OK, drinking sugary drinks is a vice.’ (People) give up that vice, but then they trade that vice for something else, like e-cigarettes or drinking (alcohol).

Q: Is there something broadly that can be done to improve health?

A: Change people’s relationship to food. What does that mean? I can’t define it for everyone. We are doing this low-fat, low carb study with 600 people and one of the people in the study blogged about it and we were thrilled because what he said is that he thought he was going into to this study to learn how to diet, but (what he was taught) was to change (his) relationship with food. He changed where he shopped, how he cooks and what he eats. For someone else, changing their relationship with food would have been something different.

Q: What are the common pitfalls in dieting?

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What food will be best for me with my diabetes 
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Are All Sugars Created Equal?

By Sonya Collins
WebMD Health News

There’s a lot of confusion around sugar and sugar substitutes, their effect on our bodies and how much is too much. Kimber Stanhope, PhD, an associate researcher of molecular biosciences at UC Davis, addressed sugars as part of an expert panel on dietary science at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference last week. WebMD spoke to Stanhope on what research is uncovering about sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Q: What’s the difference between fructose and glucose?

A: Both glucose and fructose are sugars. My colleagues and I published a study that very clearly showed a marked difference between older, overweight people who consumed glucose-sweetened beverages and those who drank fructose-sweetened beverages.
For 10 weeks, the adults in the study got 25 percent of their daily calorie needs from either fructose-sweetened or glucose-sweetened beverages. Both groups gained the same amount of weight – about three and a quarter pounds. But those who drank the fructose-sweetened beverages turned more sugar into fat. They had increased levels of fats in their blood, increased insulin resistance, and they gained fat in the abdomen around the organs.

We saw none of these effects in the group that consumed glucose.

Q: Can we make better food and beverage choices based on this knowledge?

A: Our foods are sweetened with either high fructose corn syrup or sucrose. Those two sugars are combinations of both fructose and glucose.

Sucrose is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. High fructose corn syrup is usually, but not always, 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose. One study reported that some of the major soda brands had as much as 67 percent fructose. When a label says high fructose corn syrup, you really don’t know exactly how much of it is fructose and how much is glucose.

So I recommend reducing total sugar intake, whether that sugar comes from sucrose or from high fructose corn syrup.

Q: How much sugar can we safely have every day?

Read more: http://wb.md/1IvDEx9
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Apple Watch: Worth the Wait?

By Matt Sloane
Guest Blogger

The Apple Watch is finally here, gracing the wrists of early-adopters everywhere (at least those who pre-ordered the devices).

Why do we care?

Simply put, if people love this watch as much as they love their iPhones, the Apple Watch could redefine the “wearables” standard.
Fitbits started the wearables trend, and simply measured your steps and calories burned. Then others, like Garmin, Withings, and Fitbit themselves, upped the ante, transforming tracker watches into an entirely separate category from simple step-counters. Many of these tracker watches measure heart rate, several offer GPS, and others allow you to plan detailed and personalized fitness goals.

The Apple Watch offers all of these, as well – so at a glance, appears to be more of the same. But like any Apple device, it’s bigger and better at all of those functions; and the revolutionary aspects are its design and beauty. The digital crown – an entirely new type of human input device – is being hailed as a game changer, and the design is as much fashion as it is function. The crown, modeled after a traditional watch crown, uses rotation and push to control all of the apps on the small watch screen.

The product also has some built in “stickiness” that may help its staying power. Surveys have shown that the average user stops using “the average fitness tracker” after about six months – leaving manufacturers of tracker devices to figure out how they can get people to keep using their devices. The Apple Watch works seamlessly with your phone – you can receive text messages, talk to Siri, interact with many of your most used apps AND track your health. And, like any Apple device, once this watch becomes a daily part of your routine, the chances of you dropping it like a bad… well… Apple, would seem to be lower, and you may even continue to track your fitness metrics by accident.

As the long-anticipated watch finally hits the market, the reviews have been mostly favorable.

Read more: http://wb.md/1HwSB2J
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Ice cream, hummus... #listeria outbreaks are not uncommon. Know what this bacteria is and does.
Take this WebMD quiz to see how much you know about the food-borne bacteria called listeria, where it grows and what health danger it poses
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Musician Avril Lavigne reveals she has Lyme Disease. In an interview with People magazine, she says she was bedridden for 5 months.

On getting a diagnosis, she told the magazine, "I had to fight. I had doctors tell me I was crazy and they didn’t want to test me. I had to learn about it completely on my own.”

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an infection that is transmitted through the bite of a tick infected with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi.

Ticks typically get the bacterium by biting infected animals, like deer and mice. Most people who get tick bites do not get Lyme disease.

Not all ticks are infected, and the risk for contracting the disease increases the longer the tick is attached to the body.

See pictures describing Lyme disease: http://wb.md/1G59aSD
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