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Vol. 13 • Issue 8 • April 2016



How can you keep your internal organs functioning at their peak? AND – what they do to keep you healthy and well.

Good Kidney Health


Home Remedies for Kidney Pain

10 Foods That Cleanse the Liver

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April 2016

Sarah Brokamp Angela S. Hoover Jean Jeffers Jamie Lober

Dr. Tom Miller Harleena Singh Doris Dearen Settles Tanya J. Tyler (editor)

Good Kidney Health


Home Remedies for Kidney Pain


10 Foods That Cleanse the Liver



Donate Life! Become an organ donor

Tara Bissell, M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.

HEARING Do you have Hearing Loss?


Heroin Seriously Impacts Vital Organs

Dr. Brewer


Kidney Disease is Manageable


About Pancreatitis

DETOX How our Kidneys and other Vital Organs Protect Us


Keeping Your Liver Healthy


Lead in Older Homes Could Cause ADHD


DISABILITY Why Do You Need Representation at a Social Security Disability Hearing?


Chronic Kidney Disease Present in Millions of Americans






ADDICTION Overview: Addiction


PARENTING FOR WELLNESS Effective Disciplining Techniques



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FAMILY DOC Diabetes Can Cause Kidney Damage



Sonja Gregory


Sue Jones-Larson, APRN




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ACUPUNCTURE Chinese Medicine and Vital Organs





Different Factors Cause Kidney Stones


Kidney Transplant Risks


New Methods Stirring Debate About Growing Organs for Human Transplants


Kidney Infections Need Immediate Attention


Medical Research Animal Lovers Can Embrace


The Marvelous Brain


Calendar of Events




Tanya J. Tyler, Editor | Share your story:

Dear Friends, We don’t often think about our vital organs, until something goes wrong with them. From kidney stones to urinary tract infections to gallstones – when our vital organs take a hit, we feel it all throughout our bodies. In this issue of Health&Wellness, we’ll learn about the functions of major organs such as the kidneys, the liver, the pancreas and the brain. We’ll learn how to take care of them so they operate at optimum levels, and we’ll read about some exciting transplantation possibilities. Perhaps you will put into practice some of the mindfulness tips offered by regular columnist

Dr. John Patterson or decide to learn more about Chinese Medicine after reading Tara Bissell’s article. Anything you can do to keep yourself healthy and well is certainly going to enhance your quality of life. We will continue to cover timely topics and issues of importance in the field of health and wellness so that you can make informed decisions for your life and, in the words of Mr. Spock from Star Trek, “live long and prosper.” Here’s to your health,


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859-368-0778 e-mail © Copyright HEALTH&WELLNESS Magazine 2016. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the material in this magazine in whole or in part without written prior consent is prohibited. Articles and other material in this magazine are not necessarily the views of Health&Wellness Magazine. Health&Wellness Magazine reserves the right to publish and edit, or not publish any material that is sent. Health&Wellness Magazine will not knowingly publish any advertisement which is illegal or misleading to its readers. The information in Health&Wellness should not be considered as a substitute for medical examination, diagnosis or treatment.



& April 2016 | Read this issue and more at Hydration is essential to kidney health. You want to have between eight and 10 glasses of water every day.

Good Kidney Health Water, exercise, diet all impact kidney function By Jamie Lober, Staff Writer

You can do a lot to keep your kidneys in good health. The most important thing is to focus on lifestyle modifications. “Drink a lot of water every day, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight,” said Anne Black, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). Hydration is essential to kidney health. “You want to have between eight and 10 glasses of water every day,” Black said. Considering one in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease, it is a good idea to get screened. “The kidney disease screening consists of a urine test,” Black said. “It can tell if you might have some protein in your urine, which is an earlier sign of kidney disease.” The glomerular filtration rate shows how well your kidneys are working to remove waste from the

blood. The NKF says a rate of over 90 is good; a rate of 60 to 89 should be monitored; and a rate of less than 60 for three months indicates kidney disease. With early detection, you can slow it down or stop it from getting worse, so you want to be proactive. Another way to discern whether someone has kidney disease is by doing body measurements. “Waist circumference and body mass index are combined to give us an idea as to whether or not somebody is at risk or may already have the disease,” said Black. “As you go over (a BMI of) 25, you are definitely considered overweight. Obesity unfortunately is becoming an epidemic in the country.” Carrying a lot of weight in your waist and around the organs in the lower part of the body can be more


challenging for those organs. “You want to keep your waistline a little bit on the trimmer side to be healthy for your body overall,” said Black. Watch your blood pressure and cholesterol. Keep your blood pressure normal (less than 120/80) and stay within your target cholesterol range. If you have diabetes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends having an A1C test at least twice a year. “If you are taking medication for either diabetes or high blood pressure, do not skip it and be vigilant about it,” said Black. If you must take medications, be sure to read the instructions and take them as directed. “Over-thecounter pain medications can affect the kidneys. Overuse of ibuprofen is definitely a no-no,” said Black. “Any unnecessary drug use should be avoided.” While some factors are out of your control, there are many good choices you can make to keep your kidneys healthy. Eating foods that are lower in sodium and more fruits and vegetables will also promote kidney health. Don’t smoke, and limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol makes your kidneys less able to filter blood or keep the right amount of water in your body.

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Having more than two drinks a day also increases your chances of having high blood pressure. There is reason to be optimistic about the future. The NKF says a great deal of research is being done to find more effective treatment for all conditions that can cause chronic kidney disease. “Get your annual physical and [tell your doctor] you would like to know your kidney function,” said Black. Stay ahead of the game and maintain good kidney health.

A great deal of research is being done to find more effective treatment for all conditions that can cause chronic kidney disease.

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Home Remedies for Kidney Pain Variety of herbal teas are worth trying By Harleena Singh, Staff Writer The kidneys are responsible for many bodily functions, especially flushing out waste from. However, the kidneys can become infected due to various reasons. Here are some effective home remedies for kidney pain that are affordable, safe, natural and without side effects. • Remain hydrated – Drink plenty of water. It flushes out toxins from

your body and prevents the formation of kidney stones. Water dilutes urine, preventing salt and minerals from clustering and forming kidney stones. Water also flushes out those kidney stones present in the ureter (the thin tube connecting the kidney to the bladder). Doctors suggest drinking one to two liters of water as soon as you realize you are about to have intense back pain, a pre-symptom for kidney pain. Avoid alcohol and coffee until the infection has cleared because

these can aggravate a frequent or urgent need to urinate. • Drink fresh lemon juice – Lemon juice is one of the best natural remedies for kidney pain and kidney stones. The acetic acid in citrus fruits helps break up and dissolve the stones. Be sure to use fresh lemon and not lemon-flavored drinks. • Drink different teas – There are various types of tea you can try to relieve kidney pain. Dandelion tea has diuretic properties, which means it increases urine output and helps flush the kidneys to relieve pain. Dandelion tea can also stimulate blood circulation in the kidneys. Parsley tea is a proven diuretic used by medical herbalists to treat bladder and kidney issues. Even applying the paste of parsley can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It helps flush toxins and is anti-viral, which helps cure the infection. Celery seed tea is good for you. Celery works on the kidneys by

Dandelion tea has diuretic properties, which means it increases urine output and helps flush the kidneys to relieve pain. |

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speeding up the removal of waste material. Clinical studies in China have shown celery increases urine output, which helps relieve kidney pain. Watermelon seed tea is another diuretic and a good stimulant; it flushes the kidneys and bladder. Watermelon seed tea can even stimulate underactive kidneys. Corn silk tea soothes painful urinary tracts because of its diuretic properties. This tea also inhibits the growth of certain bacteria. Marshmallow root, a diuretic medicinal herb, relieves kidney pain and also helps pass kidney stones. The root soothes and protects inflamed and irritated tissues. Plantain is a healing herb that helps get rid of worms, hemorrhoids and more. Due to its anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial properties, plantain helps prevent kidney infection and relieves pain, burning sensation and itching. Willow bark has been used in China and Europe for many centuries to treat kidney pain. It is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties, which help relieve pain. Because of its other immune-boosting properties, it helps the kidneys function better. Uva ursi (bearberry) is a traditional Native American herb that is widely used to treat bladder and kidney infections. It acts as a diuretic and kills the infection caused by E. coli. Be sure to consult an herbalist before using this herb. These home remedies are meant to be used as additional therapy, under the supervision of your doctor or health care provider. About the Author

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer and blogger who has a keen interest in health and wellness. She can be approached through her blog ( and Web site, Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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Lemon juice is one of the best natural remedies for kidney pain and kidney stones.






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Tara Bissell, 859.402.2430 M.Ac., L.Ac. |

Licensed in Kentucky 296 Southland Drive, Lexington KY 40513

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Chinese Medicine and Vital Organs Ancient practice designates these a powerhouse or transporting By Tara Bissell, M.Ac., Dipl.Ac., L.Ac., Artemesia We usually don’t give much thought to our organs and their amazing daily functions until we’re told we have a problem with them. In Western medicine, we are often diagnosed with a disease that focuses on one organ, such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes or gallstones. In Chinese Medicine, organs are portrayed as the “Officials” that are the esteemed individuals in charge of various jobs. These Officials each have attributes, much as we have individual human personalities and gifts. In fact, as you read further, you may also discover your own personality and talents are quite like those of one of these organs, and this discovery would be a clue to your “innate constitution,” a way Chinese Medicine seeks to understand your inherent body type and disposition. In Chinese Medicine, the body’s organs are divided into two groups: the “Vital” powerhouse organs and the supportive “Transporting” organs. The Vital organs are the

Heart, Lungs, Spleen, Liver and Kidneys. These organs filter and pump blood and oxygen and produce energy for the body to use. They are essential to our existence – we cannot live without them. The Transporting organs include the Stomach, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Gallbladder and Urinary Bladder. These organs are hollow, and they hold and transport fluids and solids throughout the body. Each is partnered with a Vital organ to work together. The roles the ancient Chinese assigned to the organs reflect their cultural view of the world at that time in history. The Chinese thought of the body’s organs and systems as being like various government rulers presiding over different realms for the smooth running of society. In some ways, these attributes are very similar to the functions we recognize in our own Western medicine, but there are a few differences. First, note that organ names are capitalized in Chinese Medicine to show we are speaking about an Official, much as we would capital-

ize someone’s name or title. For example, here is a short description of the Traditional Chinese view of the Vital organs: The Heart is the sovereign ruler of the body. It is where our spirit and consciousness reside and it is in charge of the blood circulation. Its natural emotional state is joy, and the spirit residing in the heart is said to be visible in the sparkle of the eyes. The Lungs are the Officials that serve as Prime Minister to the Heart. They bring in energy from the air via the breath to nourish our body and help circulate this energy. They also control our protective/ immune system. The Lungs are associated with qualities of purity, integrity and clarity. The Spleen is the Official in charge of the creation of energy from the food we take in. Qualities of compassion, nourishment and our mental capacity for thinking are also attributed to the Spleen. Keep in mind the Chinese view of the Spleen is that it is the key digestive powerhouse, producing much of the body’s energy. (This is a different function than our modern understanding, so while we still use the name Spleen, we think of it differently here.) The Liver is the General, a very important role that relates to managing the proper flow of blood and nutrients through the center of the body. This affects our digestive and respiratory functions and has a role in our reproductive systems. The Liver also relates to our sense of direction in life and our ability to

pursue our goals with creativity and drive. The Kidneys are the Officials that regulate our reservoirs of energy and vitality. They store the energy we inherited from our parents (think of our modern concept of genetics) as well as the energy we have created for ourselves through our healthy, or not-so-healthy living throughout our lives. They also govern qualities of willpower and deep trust and faith. I hope you find this view of the vital organs interesting. Perhaps it may stimulate further thought about which ones are naturally more or less strong for you at this time. The idea of weaving together the physical, mental and emotional qualities within our organs might be a stretch for some of us, but I believe Western medicine is also starting to relate to health and disease more in this way. We can see how anxiety, for example, connects emotions, thought and sensations in the physical heart and how long-term stress and fatigue can deplete the adrenal glands. Chinese Medicine is a great complement to our regular Western medical care because it treats the body as a whole and works to balance us physically, mentally and emotionally in each treatment. Stay tuned for a future article on the Transporting organs!

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Mind Body Studio 859.373.0033 | 517 Southland Drive, Lexington

Body Scan Meditation By John A. Patterson MD, MSPH, FAAFP Mindfulness practice is fundamentally about training the mind to skillfully pay attention, beginning with mindfulness of the body. Mindfulness also emphasizes present-moment awareness, in contrast to our frequent habit of thinking about and living in the past and the future. The body is a perfect place to begin this practice since it is our constant companion and only lives in the present moment. Body scan meditation is one of the foundational practices of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). This body-based awareness practice invites a compassionate self-regard for your body as you direct your attention to one area of your body at a time. The body scan is taught initially lying down. It usually begins with the left foot. Attention is focused like a laser sequentially on the toes, the heel and the sole of the left foot, followed by the left ankle, the skin covering the shin bone, the shin bone itself, the skin covering the calf and sensations deep into the calf

muscles. You work your way up to the left hip and gluteal area, then sense the entire left leg before repeating the process on the right leg. The process continues into the pelvis and abdomen with an appreciation of the belly rising and falling with each breath. Kindly paying attention to the low back area is followed by the upper back, the rib cage and the expansion and contraction of the rib cage with each breath. Attention is paid to a subtle awareness of the vital organs and vital functions happening in the pelvis, the abdomen and the chest. Attention is then directed to the arms in the same way as the legs, starting with the tips of the fingers and moving up to the shoulders. Finally, your attention is directed to the neck, chin, jaw, mouth, face and head. Moving your attention sequentially throughout the entire body, you are encouraged to focus on the tactile sensations and grounded physicality of the body, welcoming and accepting non-judgmentally whatever sensations are present. When you are aware your attention has wandered to thinking, judging, sounds

or emotions, you are reminded to simply bring the attention back to the physical sensations in the body. In time, you learn to feel the messages of comfort or discomfort your body sends to you during the rest of your life – messages often ignored as our minds are in some other place and some other time. Some people find the body scan meditation to be a “coming home.” One of my students said, “I feel like I am in my own skin for the first time in my life.” Those with physical pain may experience their pain in a new way, sometimes finding they are less distracted by the discomfort as they learn to attend to the comfort in the rest of the body. Even those with significant physical discomfort often report their relationship to the discomfort changes over time. The actual pain level may be unchanged, but there may be less suffering caused by the emotional reactivity often associated with chronic pain. The vicious cycle of pain-emotional reactivity-muscle tension-increasing pain is often interrupted. As pain and discomfort are experienced in the context of compassionate self-regard and non-judgment, one’s overall quality of life may be enhanced even without an overall reduction in one’s pain level. A core principle in mindfulness training is that “there is more right with you than there is wrong with you, regardless of your condition.” Another core principle is that all conditions are workable. For many people with long-standing chronic physical or emotional pain and suffering, these can be new and revelatory

concepts. The body scan and other mindfulness practices give people an opportunity to directly experience the truth of these principles right there in their own bodies and in the growing calmness, hopefulness and equanimity they discover during formal practice sessions and informally in their daily lives. Two other fundamental practices of MBSR are also based on body awareness: mindful hatha yoga and sitting meditation practice with awareness of breathing. Just as in body scan, the instruction in mindful hatha yoga is to pay close attention to the physical body, thoughts and emotions during movement and in static postures. Even sitting meditation is based primarily on attending to the physical sensations of breathing. You may feel the air most clearly as it enters and leaves the nostrils. You may feel it most clearly as the belly expands and contracts with each breath. The invitation is to avoid postures or movements that cause pain while simply attending fully to physical sensations in the body or the breath. A critical moment in all these practices is when you notice your attention has wandered off to thinking, sounds or emotional reactivity. At these moments, you are reminded to be gentle with yourself, bringing deep kindness to the so-called “distraction” and simply returning your attention to the practice, whether it’s body scan, hatha yoga or awareness of breathing. Training the mind to pay attention takes time, patience, selfcompassion and plenty of practice.

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There is more right with you than there is wrong with you, regardless of your condition.

After only a few sessions of body scan, you may begin to spontaneously bring awareness to the body during everyday activity at home or work, alone or with others. You may more readily pick up on warning signs such as muscle tension in your back, neck or jaw. You may notice you are more relaxed in meetings and conversations. You may notice you are listening more and listening with kindness. You may use the wait in the grocery line or at the traffic light to bring kind attention to a body area that deserves your attention or to the body as a whole. Over time, the formal practice of body scan meditation and other mindfulness practices may change your relationship to your body and your mind, your emotions, other people and yourself. Resources

Oprah Winfrey interviews Jon Kabat-ZInn, founder of MindfulnessBased Stress Reduction, Super Soul Sunday April 13, 2015. www.oprah. com/own-super-soul-sunday/A-Totally-Simple-But-Not-So-Easy-Exercise-to-Try-Today-Video


CBS’ 60 Minutes Special on Mindfulness (Dec. 14, 2014), Anderson Cooper investigating. PLbiVpU59JkVbFtkacXoByNjHJgGc4AryM&index=1

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About the Author Dr. John Patterson is past president of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians and is board certified in family medicine and integrative holistic medicine. He is on the family practice faculty at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Saybrook University’s School of Mind Body Medicine (San Francisco) and the Center for Mind Body Medicine (Washington, D.C.). He operates the Mind Body Studio in Lexington, where he offers integrative medicine consultations. He can be reached through his Website at

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10 Foods That Cleanse the Liver

A plant-based diet rejuvenates this vital organ By Harleena Singh, Staff Writer

The liver is the second largest organ in the body. It is often referred to as the body’s gatekeeper. It silently works around the clock, cleaning up whatever goes in and assisting with what goes out. The liver also protects you from various health conditions and performs daily functions you may not know about. One of the best things you can do for your liver is to eat a healthy, plantbased diet. Detoxification is hugely important, and there are various ways to cleanse the body and its organs of the drastic amount of chemicals they accumulate and retain over the years. Here are 10 foods that are liver friendly and aid in cleansing, detoxifying, nourishing and rejuvenating this vital organ. 1. Garlic This pungent white bulb contains a high amount of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that help in liver cleansing. Garlic is loaded with sulphur, which activates enzymes that help flush out toxins from the body.

2. Beets and Carrots Eating beets and carrots can help improve and stimulate the overall function of the liver because both are very high in beta-carotene and plant flavonoids. Carrots are rich in glutathione, a protein that helps detoxify the liver. 3. Green Leafy Vegetables These can be eaten cooked, raw or juiced. They are high in plant chlorophylls that absorb environmental toxins, increase bile production and have the ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides. They are a powerful protective mechanism for the liver. 4. Grapefruit It’s high in antioxidants and vitamin C that increase the natural liver-cleansing process and boost the production of liver detoxification enzymes, which help flush out carcinogens and other toxins.

5. Avocados This superfood helps the body produce glutathione, a compound the liver needs to cleanse harmful toxins. 6. Apples They are high in pectin and have the chemical constituents required for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. This makes it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process. 7. Organic Oils Cold-pressed organic oils such as hemp, olive and flaxseed are great for the liver when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can remove harmful toxins from the body. This reduces some of the burden on the liver caused by toxic overload. 8. Lemons and Limes These citrus fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C, which helps the body synthesize toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by

water. Drinking fresh lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver. 9. Alternative Grains The liver is your body’s filter for toxins, and grains containing gluten are full of them. Eat alternative grains such as millet, quinoa and buckwheat in place of the usual wheat, flour or other whole grains. 10. Walnuts They have high amounts of the amino acid arginine and aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts are high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acid, which supports normal livercleansing actions. Other liver-cleansing foods include kale, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower and turmeric. Eating these foods and the others listed above is a great way to help keep your liver functioning property.


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MAKERS New Procedure Transforms Kidney Transplants

Headphones Induce Dopamine High

A new procedure called desensitization could drastically reduce the wait time for patients needing a kidney transplant by sidestepping the need to find a precise donor match. Desensitization filters out antibodies from the blood in order for a transplant recipient to start producing an entirely new reserve of antibodies. These new antibodies are less likely to attack the donated organ. The complete procedure costs about $30,000 in addition to the cost of the donated organ, which can be as high $100,000. Results from a study on desensitization were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 10.

Florida startup company Nervana unveiled its vagus-nerve-stimulating earbuds, also called Nervana, at the Consumer Electronics Show this January. The vagus nerve, also called cranial nerve X, is the longest of 12 cranial nerves. It extends from the brain stem to the abdomen by way of multiple organs, including the heart, esophagus and lungs. The vagus nerve forms part of the involuntary nervous system and commands unconscious body processes, such as keeping the heart rate constant and controlling food digestion. Vagus nerve stimulation (with electrical pulses) is sometimes used to treat people with epilepsy and depression. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, it releases feel-good brain chemicals associated with reward – dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. These chemicals are released in response to stimuli such as exercise and sex. Thus far, vagus nerve stimulation is done via surgery or other invasive techniques. The Nervana ear buds deliver electrical stimulation to the inside surface of the ear canal, which in turn stimulates the vagus nerve. The headphones’ electrical pulse is timed to the beat of the music playing or to sounds of the environment when in ambient mode. Marketed as a lifestyle and wellness device, there is no hard evidence of the headphone’s claims. But the Nervana development team has several doctors on board, and anecdotal reports suggest the headphones are effective at doing something.


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April is Organ Donor Month.

Donate Life! Becoming an organ donor is relatively easy By Doris Dearen Settles, Staff Writer

Each day, about 79 people receive organ transplants. That’s the good news. The bad news is 22 people die each day waiting for transplants that can’t take place because of a shortage of donated organs. You may be the difference in one of those people’s lives, no matter your age or the condition of your health. People 50 years and older were 35 percent of last year’s organ donors. Many people over 50 mistakenly believe they are “too old” to donate an organ that may give someone a second chance, and many also believe they are too old to receive that second chance through organ donation. Both are wrong. Consider these facts from

• Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. The transplant team will determine at an individual’s time of death whether donation is possible. • Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as a final act of love and generosity. • If you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the No. 1 priority is to save your life. Comas are reversible; brain death is not. • It is possible for a living person to donate organs or tissues. The most common organs donated are kidneys and lobes of the liver

or lungs. Tissues that can be donated by a living donor include skin, bone marrow and blood stem cells. • When matching donor organs to recipients, the computerized matching system considers issues such as the severity of illness, blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information and geographic location. The recipient’s financial status or race is not part of the algorithm. • An open-casket funeral is usually possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, respect and dignity. • There is no cost to donors or their families for organ or tissue donation. • Every state provides access to a donor registry where its residents can indicate their donation decision. A few diseases and conditions rule out organ donation. If you are HIV positive, you will not be able to donate. If you have active cancer

in a particular organ, you cannot donate that organ. If cancer has spread through your body, you will not be able to donate any organs. A history of certain kinds of cancer, particularly brain tumors, may allow for organ donation depending on the particular circumstances and how likely it is a particular recipient may die if the organ is not used. A history of cancer in the distant past that is likely be cured may not rule out organ donation. April is Organ Donor Month, so there’s no better time to step up and give someone a second chance. One person can save or improve the lives of more than 50 people through organ and tissue donation. The best way to become an organ donor is to join the Organ Donor Registry. You can do this at the DMV when you renew your driver’s license or online anytime at Tell friends and family your decision so your wishes will be followed.



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Heroin slows down the function of the lungs, which is how an overdose ultimately results in the death of a heroin user.

Heroin Seriously Impacts Vital Organs Highly addictive drug can damage heart, brain, lungs By Dr. Tom Miller, Staff Writer No matter how good it can feel, heroin is toxic to vital organs. Heroin is illegal for good reason. It is a highly addictive drug processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants. It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder with a bitter taste. The powder is “cut” with sugars, starch, powdered milk or quinine. Pure heroin predominantly originates in South America and, to a lesser extent, from Southeast Asia, and dominates U.S. markets east of the Mississippi River. Pure heroin can be snorted or smoked. That may be more appealing to new users because it eliminates the stigma often associated with injection.

Black tar heroin is sticky like roofing tar and is predominantly produced in Mexico. The dark color associated with black tar heroin results from crude processing methods that leave behind impurities. Impure heroin is usually dissolved, diluted and injected into veins or muscles. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), close to 700,000 Americans report using heroin annually. The number of people using heroin for the first time (156,000) is unacceptably high. However, heroin use has been declining among teens aged 12 to 17. What are the risks of using heroin at any age? The brain, heart, lungs and kidneys are all at risk for serious and irreversible damage. A person’s ability to cognitively process information that affects all

systems of the human body are at risk with heroin use. Most abusers do not realize heroin abuse damages the brain. Brain damage can result from non-fatal overdoses and the head injuries that are more likely to occur in an impaired person. Short oxygen deprivation from opiate overdoses that are survived can still cause cognitive decline. The heart of a heroin user suffers tremendously from bacteria that comes from cotton or unsterile needles. These bacteria often attack the heart tissues, resulting in tissue death. This type of infection is called endocarditis. Autopsies of heroin users often reveal bacteria growing on the valves of the heart. Heart valves damaged by these infections must be replaced with artificial valves. Lung abscesses, pneumonia, tuberculosis and scarred air passages are found in heroin abusers. Heroin slows down the function of the lungs, which is how an overdose ultimately results in the death of a heroin user. Emphysema is also a risk factor. It is often evident through symptoms of a cough, chest pain, fever and shortness of breath. Sleep apnea, from which some heroin addicts suffer, can further contribute to a lack of oxygen reaching the brain. Heroin abuse is associated with high levels of protein in the urine, a condition that can lead to kidney

failure. Heroin and other opiates reduce the action of the muscles in the intestines, making constipation a chronic problem. This can result in hemorrhoids, anal fissures or damage to the rectum that may require surgery. Heroin also threatens a person’s life by spreading a number of deadly diseases. Read more about science-based information on the health effects and consequences of drug abuse and addiction and learn about resources at the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Web site, Sources and Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse (2014). National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH): Epidemiologic Trends in Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Available at http://www.

About the Author Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

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Do you have Hearing Loss? Who to call when hearing loss is in question By Dr. Brewer, Audiology Associates If you answered “Yes” to two or more of these questions, you might have a hearing loss. Who to call when hearing loss is in question? An audiologist is a professional who is trained in evaluating and treating individuals with hearing loss and dizziness. Many diagnostic tests are performed to determine the exact nature of an individual’s hearing problem. Depending on the hearing loss and causation, if it is able to be determined, the treatment process can vary. Options for treatment include amplification, personal listening devices and more. In addition to hearing loss, audiologists can evaluate dizziness and provide rehabilitation services when appropriate. Training for audiologists includes prevention, assessment, identification and treatment options. Following education and training courses, audiologists are required to complete a full-time externship for one year prior to completing their Doctorate of Audiology. Because of this extensive training, audiologists are the most qualified professionals to perform diagnostic hearing evaluations, refer

patients for medical treatment and provide hearing rehabilitation services. The Evaluation Process To begin the hearing evaluation process, it is necessary to take a complete history of the patient. History questions will focus on potential impacts on hearing, exposure to noise, medications, family history of hearing loss and overall health history. Following the history, the audiologist will visually inspect the outer ear and eardrum. This allows the audiologist to observe the condition of the ear and ensure there are no foreign objects or excessive ear wax present. An audiologic evaluation will follow. This testing is comprised of multiple components that allow the audiologist to have a full picture of an individual’s hearing ability. Testing may include but are not limited to: • Tympanometry – a pressure test that provides information regarding the status of the middle ear. • Pure Tone Testing – helps the audiologist map the sensory mechanism of hearing to determine where the problem is and potentially what might have caused it. • Speech Understanding – helps the audiologist better determine how much a patient understands with

Do you feel embarrassed when meeting new people because of a hearing problem? YES NO Do you feel frustrated when talking to members of your family because of a hearing problem? YES NO Do you have difficulty hearing when someone speaks in a whisper? YES NO Do you feel handicapped by a hearing problem? YES NO Do you have difficulty hearing when friends, relatives or neighbors visit? YES NO Do you have arguments with family because you have trouble hearing? YES NO Do you have difficulty listening to the television or radio? YES NO Do you feel your hearing limits your personal or social life? YES NO Do you have difficulty hearing relatives or friends when you're at a restaurant? YES NO

and without background noise present. Special tests, including otoacoustic emissions, auditory brainstem testing or balance testing, may be completed based on results of the above testing. How to Find The Right Audiologist Look for an audiologist with the focus to work through the process described above. Get as many answers to your hearing loss issues as possible. The audiologist needs to be skilled enough to understand every patient is different and be willing to walk you through this process. Because it is an individualized process, make sure the audiologist does not have a “one-sizefits-all” model. Make sure all your questions are answered. Do not work with the audiologist if he or she doesn’t offer a full diagnostic audiologic evaluation for every patient. Make sure the audiologist shares results with the patient’s

primary care physician to ensure each patient receives proper care. About the Author

Dr. Brewer completed her Doctor of Audiology degree at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine and her undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Miami University in Oxford, OH. She is licensed by the state of Kentucky as an audiologist and hearing instrument specialist. She is also a member of the American Academy of Audiology, Academy of Doctors of Audiology, Kentucky Academy of Audiology and American SpeechLanguage-Hearing Association.   Dr. Brewer specializes in diagnostic audiologic evaluation as well as hearing aid services, including selection, fitting, and follow-up care. Her passion is to provide her patients with the most appropriate form of treatment for their hearing health care.


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Diabetes Can Cause Kidney Damage Be diligent about managing your diabetes By Sue Jones-Larson, APRN People who have diabetes need to be extra vigilant about taking care of their kidneys. According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) (, about 30 percent of patients with Type 1 (juvenile onset) diabetes and 10 percent to 40 percent of those with Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes will eventually suffer from kidney failure. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) (www.diabetes. org) says diabetes can damage the kidneys and cause them to fail. There are millions of tiny blood vessels or capillaries in the kidneys. Their job is to remove waste products from the blood. The NKF says diabetes injures these small blood vessels so they cannot clean the blood properly. The body will retain more water and salt than it should and waste materials will build up in the blood. High levels of blood sugar make the kidneys filter too much blood. In time, the stress of overwork makes the kidneys lose

their filtering ability. Kidney damage from diabetes is called diabetic nephropathy. Kidney disease produces no symptoms until almost all function is gone. In addition, diabetes can also cause damage to the nerves in your body. If the nerves in the kidneys are damaged, you may have difficulty emptying your bladder. If urine remains in your bladder for too long, you are at risk for developing an infection. Diabetic kidney disease takes many years to develop. Usually 15 to 25 years will pass before kidney failure occurs, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases. Here are some warning signs to watch out for: • weight gain; • ankle swelling; • more frequent urination at night; • high blood pressure; • nausea; • increasing fatigue; • anemia; and • muscle cramps, especially in the legs.

As the kidneys fail, your blood urea nitrogen levels will rise and so will the level of creatinine in your blood. If your kidneys are no longer able to support you – displaying only 10 percent to 15 percent of function – dialysis or transplantation may be needed. Not everyone with diabetes develops kidney disease, says the ADA. Your best defense against kidney disease is to take care of yourself and manage your diabetes. Be sure to monitor your blood glucose carefully and keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Have your blood, urine and blood pressure checked at least once a year. Work to lower your blood pressure and improve your health by losing weight, eating less salt, avoiding alcohol and tobacco and exercising regularly. Your doctor or dietitian may put you on a reducedprotein diet to help ease the strain on the kidneys. Be aware that some blood pressure drugs raise blood sugar levels or mask symptoms of low blood sugar. The ADA says

recent studies suggest angiotensinconverting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors slow kidney disease in addition to lowering blood pressure. If any of the warning signs of kidney disease present themselves, be sure to let your physician know at once. He or she will refer you to a nephrologist who will design a plan of treatment for you. About the Author

Sue Jones-Larson, APRN, joined Family Practice Associates in March 2016. After working for nearly 20 years as an RN in various hospital departments, Sue decided to further her education and graduated as a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner from Eastern Kentucky University in 2012. She has over three years of experience as a nurse practitioner in hospital and urgent care settings. Sue enjoys women’s health and diabetes management but can see any patient from a child to an adult. She is available for new patient, well child and preventive adult visits, as well as routine office visits.

Your best defense against kidney disease is to take care of yourself and manage your diabetes.



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Kidney Disease is Manageable The more you know about the kidneys, the better By Jamie Lober, Staff Writer When you talk about health, the kidneys do not always come to mind – but they should. “Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know what the kidneys do, nor do they know where they are located,” said Anne Black, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). People need to gain this basic knowledge in order to prevent kidney disease and optimize wellness. The kidneys are extremely important. The National Institutes of Health says kidneys prevent the buildup of waste and extra fluid in the body; maintain proper levels of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and phosphate; make hormones

that help regulate blood pressure; create red blood cells; and keep bones strong. “The kidneys are located just below your back and rib cage,” Black said. “They are each about the size of a fist and basically act as the body’s natural mechanism to clean your blood and remove waste and any excess fluid through urine.” The kidneys keep busy. “If your kidneys are working properly, they are filtering a lot of blood through your body every single day,” Black said. “They take out anything considered toxic, and that is released in the form of urine. Anything good for the body goes back in the blood stream.”

If the kidneys are not filtering enough toxins, it can lead to trouble such as kidney failure. “One of the things that is unfortunate about kidney disease is that it has very few symptoms,” said Black. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says more than 20 million U.S. adults have chronic kidney disease and most of them are unaware of their condition. “In many cases, kidney disease can be prevented because undertreated or untreated diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of it,” Black said. “So if you have either [condition], you should be treating them so they do not wreak havoc on the kidneys.” Be alert to the red flags for kidney disease. The CDC advises people to call their healthcare provider if they notice any signs of bladder infection, such as cloudy or bloody urine, pain or burning when urinating or an urgent need to urinate often. Signs of kidney infection include back pain, chills and fever. Blood and urine tests are the only sure ways to know if you have chronic kidney disease. Early diagnosis of kidney

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disease leads to the best outcomes. Some people are at greater risk for kidney disease than others. “Members of the Latino and African American communities have a higher risk of getting kidney disease,” Black said. “Part of that is a predisposition to diabetes and high blood pressure. Kidney disease also increases dramatically in individuals over the age of 60.” There are five stages of kidney disease. Stage 5 is considered to be endstage renal disease, where the kidneys no longer function and you need to go on dialysis. With dialysis, a machine cleans your blood for you. The good news is dialysis is a lifesaving treatment for kidney failure. “Since it came to the forefront, there have been lots of improvements and changes to it and a lot of different options for individuals,” said Black. The other choice for people with end-stage renal disease is a transplant. “Transplantation gives people more freedom because they are not going to do dialysis three days a week,” said Black. There is a big push for living kidney donations. Though we are born with two, we really only need one, so people are encouraged to ask a family member or friend to see if they would be a match for donation. “There are obviously so many more people waiting for a kidney than there are kidneys available,” said Black. The more you know about the kidneys, the better. “People need to be empowered to ask the right questions, advocate for themselves and build a network with their family members and friends, as kidney disease in many cases – actually most – can be managed very well,” said Black.

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About Pancreatitis Learn what causes this inflammation By Jean Jeffers, Staff Writer

What do you know about pancreatitis? The pancreas, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), is a large gland behind the stomach close to the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes digestive juices or enzymes into the duodenum, where they join with bile to digest food. It also secretes insulin. Usually this process works well and the enzymes do not become active until they reach the small intestine. When the pancreas is inflamed, however, the enzymes attack its tissue and damage the organ. This inflammation is called pancreatitis.

The condition begins as acute but may become chronic. Either form is serious and may lead to complications. Both conditions are seen more in men than in women. Most people with pancreatitis must be hospitalized. Some 210,000 people in the United States are admitted to hospitals with pancreatitis each year. The inflammation occurs suddenly. With treatment it may be resolved in a matter of days or a week or two. Acute pancreatitis may be life threatening. When damage occurs in the form of scarring, the organ may not be able to make the correct amount of enzymes necessary and therefore will be unable to digest fat properly. Pancreatitis may also cause diabetes.

The most common cause of this condition is alcohol abuse. Another common cause is the presence of gallstones, which inflame the pancreas as they pass through the bile duct, which is close to the pancreas. Symptoms may appear either gradually or as a sudden pain in the upper abdomen, often extending to the back. This pain may be quite severe and the person needs prompt medical attention. The individual may have nausea, fever and a rapid pulse. The NIDDK says severe acute pancreatitis may cause dehydration and low blood pressure. Organs such as the heart, lungs or kidneys could fail. If bleeding begins in the pancreas, shock and even death may be likely. Diagnosis is made by reviewing the symptoms and doing a blood test and sometimes a scan. Usually the condition is a mild and can be treated with IV fluids, antibiotics, pain medication and rest. In severe cases, a nasogastric tube may be inserted through the nose into the stomach for drainage while the organs rest. While the patient is hospitalized for pancreatitis, treatment may begin on underlying causes.



Complications that could occur include gallstones, which will need to be removed; surgery to drain an infection; fluid accumulation, which also requires draining; and kidney failure requiring dialysis. Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve but gets worse and leads to permanent damage. The individual may lose weight despite eating normally because the body does not secrete sufficient pancreatic enzymes to digest fat. The patient may also suffer from diarrhea and oily stools. Treatment is similar to that of acute pancreatitis. About the Author

Jean is an RN with an MSN from the University of Cincinnati. She is a freelance writer who has been published in several other magazines, including Today’s Christian in the Mature Years and Diabetes Health. She is currently completing a novel.

Severe acute pancreatitis may cause dehydration and low blood pressure.



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Eat foods that have a lot of fiber, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread, rice and cereal.

Keeping Your Liver Healthy Proactive care can prevent diseases such as hepatitis

weight under control, which will help prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that leads to cirrhosis. Eat food from all the food groups: grains, fruit, dairy, protein, vegetables and fats. Eat

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foods that have a lot of fiber, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread, rice and cereal. • Don’t touch or breathe in toxins – Certain chemicals found in cleaning products, additives in cigarettes, insecticides and aerosol products can damage your liver. Avoid direct contact with them, and avoid smoking. • Drink coffee – Research indicates drinking coffee can reduce your risk of getting liver disease. • Be careful of dietary supplements and herbs – Some of these can harm your liver. A few that have caused problems are comfrey, kava, cascara, chaparral and ephedra. Some herbs and supplements are said to restore the liver, including borotutu bark, milk thistle and chanca piedra. Be wary of them because some may cause harm. • Get some minerals – Both macro and trace minerals are required for all enzymatic processes in the body, including the liver’s important detoxifying role. Vitamin B complex and vitamin C aid liver function and cleansing. Amino acids help in one of the liver’s main detoxification pathways. Omega-3 essential fatty acids help the cells transfer toxins from within the cell to outside it.

By Harleena Singh, Staff Writer The liver is a complex organ that plays a major role in the body’s digestive system – everything you eat or drink, as well as medicines you take, passes through it. The liver helps neutralize and dispose of toxins; fights off viruses and infections; feeds the body the energy it needs to function; and regulates sex hormones, cholesterol levels and vitamin and mineral supplies in the body, in addition to performing several other functions. Here are a few ways to keep your liver healthy: • Limit alcohol consumption – Alcohol damages liver cells and leads to scarring or swelling that becomes cirrhosis, which can be deadly. According to U.S. government guidelines, men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks a day and women only one. • Keep a watch on certain medicines – Cholesterol drugs and the painkiller acetaminophen can hurt your liver if you take too much of them. Acetaminophen is found in many drugs such as Tylenol, cold medicines and prescription pain medicines, so be careful when you

use them. Some medicines can hurt your liver if you drink alcohol when you take them, while others are harmful when combined with other drugs. Talk to your doctor about the safest ways to take your medicines. • Be aware of and prevent hepatitis – This serious disease that harms your liver comes in various types. You can catch hepatitis A from eating or drinking water that has the virus that causes the disease. You should get a vaccine if you’re traveling to places where there are outbreaks of hepatitis A. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C spread through blood and body fluids. To reduce your risk, don’t share items such as needles, razors and toothbrushes. Always use latex condoms and limit your number of sex partners. Hepatitis doesn’t cause symptoms. You can have it for years without knowing it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting tested if you are a baby boomer because your generation is more likely to have the disease. There is a vaccine for hepatitis B, but none for hepatitis C as yet. • Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly – This will keep your


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How our Kidneys and other Vital Organs Protect Us By Sonja Gregory, Wrap Me Day Spa

that we have two. We can support the body’s effort to maintain homeostasis by drinking plenty of pure water, up to half our body weight in ounces daily. This ensures a thorough flushing and adequate hydration so the body can eliminate waste and any toxins we may encounter. So you don’t like to drink water? Yes, some people can go through their whole day without so much as one trip to the drinking fountain because they don’t like the taste of water. If this is you, remember the most important part of your body – your brain – is three-fourths water. Who doesn’t want better brain function? Even minor dehydration can diminish the brain’s abilities and performance. This news, I hope, might give you that extra encouragement to support your kidneys with the fluid they need. Think smart — drink water. An easy way to increase your intake is to put a full glass of water next to


Every day we are exposed to potentially harmful toxins. Our organs of elimination keep us safe by processing these toxins. Some of them are naturally occurring in the environment and others are manmade. Some we will react to, while others have no affect on us at all but will adversely impact our neighbor: What’s detrimental to me may have no impact on you at all. What are the organs our body uses to process and eliminate potentially harmful substances? And what are some key ways we can keep our organs of elimination working so we can have the best chances of escaping harm?

Most of us recognize regular, complete elimination from our digestive tract as a hallmark of good health and the primary way the body removes waste and potential toxins. We can add healthy fiber to our diet and immeasurably benefit our solid-waste elimination. Supplementing our diet with a soluble and/or insoluble fiber source can act like a broom and help sweep unhealthy and undesirable elements out of the body quickly. Other organs that process and eliminate daily for us are our kidneys and liver. Our kidneys are such an important part of regulating our health

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your bed when you retire at night. Even before your feet hit the floor in the morning, begin your day by sitting up and taking a drink. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and make a conscious effort to meet your quota before bedtime. Then sit back, take another sip and notice the good results you are getting with improved digestion, clearer thinking and prettier skin. The skin is another organ of elimination – the largest one, actually. Are you having skin issues? Improve the beauty of your skin and support your good health by drinking more water and eating clean. What’s clean eating? It’s not just eating “natural” food; after all, dirt is natural and sugar is natural, but I suggest limiting your intake of both. Clean eating can be defined as eating organic, non-GMO foods and eating lower on the food chain. Vegetables and fruits contain live enzymes that support our good health when eaten raw or lightly steamed. Increase your daily consumption of raw foods. You’ll find it helps crowd out bad food choices. What is a bad food choice? This is a highly individualized decision. Maybe what one person considers poison or toxic is a prized delicacy to another. Take fugu or pufferfish, for example. In Japan, it is considered gourmet dining to eat thin slices of this fish, but it is deadly when improperly prepared due to the neurotoxins it naturally contains. Thousands of pounds of properly prepared fugu are consumed every year; when its neurotoxin is ingested in minuscule quantities, it provides a unique rush. Would you eat a known toxic fish by choice? Improve your body’s ability to process any toxins you might encounter in the environment or even on your dinner plate by keeping your organs of elimination in tip-top shape.

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Free support group for anyone affected by someone else’s drinking. Local meetings and information at or call 859.277.1877.

This weekly restorative class integrates gentle yoga, breathing techniques, meditation and wellness tips for all ages and levels of physical condition. 10:30am–11:30am. Donation only (great portion of all donations go to the Backpack Food Program at Ashland Elementary.) Inspiring, Educating & Supporting our World through the Moving,  Visual & Healing Arts! Daily classes, therapies, workshops & a great spot to host your next event! 309 N Ashland Ave Ste.180, Lexington, KY 40502. 859-721-1841.



Free Yoga Classes for Vets, Servicemembers and their Family Members Every Monday from 9:30am–10:30am at Ageless Yoga Studio, 611 Winchester Rd., Suite 200. 859-303-6225. Preregister online at agelessyogastudio. com. Click “class” tab to sign up now! Email for more info.

Mondays & Wednesdays

MELT Method Hand, Foot and Body Healing Class by Shayne Wigglesworth Mondays and Wednesdays at 12pm - Discover pain-free living at any age! Enjoy a gentle foam roller class to reduce pain, inflammation, stress, anxiety and more! MELT Method certified instructor Shayne Wigglesworth will teach you healing techniques you can use for self care at home. All materials and rollers are provided. Perfect for all ages, body types and experience levels. Learn more at or call 859-721-1841

Community Flow

Tuesdays Swing Lessons

Every Tuesday, starting September 30: 8pm–10pm at Tates Creek Recreation Center, 1400 Gainesway Dr. $5.00 per person per lesson. Call for more information: Glenn and Rosalee Kelley 859233-9947; OR Peter and Robin Young 859-224-3388.


Community Yoga Class with Lauren Higdon Every Tuesday 10:30am–11:30am at Centered Studio, 309 n Ashland ave suite 180 in Lexington. This weekly restorative class integrates gentle yoga, breathing techniques, meditation and wellness tips for all ages and levels of physical condition. Classes may include chair yoga, restorative, yin yoga, tai chi, and more. Perfect for beginners as well as experienced yogis! Donations-based class.

2nd Tuesdays

PFLAG Support for LGBTs and Families We are a support group of family members and allies united with LGBTQ* individuals. Our meetings provide a safe, confidential space where you can feel respected and accepted wherever you are in your journey or family struggle. Monthly speakers help us to broaden our understanding of these issues in our families and in society. Lexington meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 6:30 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2025 Bellefonte Drive. Frankfort chapter meets the 3rd Monday of the month, 5:30 at the Unitarian Community, 316 Wilkinson Blvd. More information and resources at For questions, call 859-338-4393 or *lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning.

Wednesdays Mindfulness and Relaxation for Health

6:30-8:00pm. No prior experience of yoga or meditation required. Mobilize your inner resources for promoting health, self care and managing the stress of caregiving, burnout and chronic disease, cultivate your innate happiness, peacefulness and compassion, study and practice in a supportive group. Gentle yoga, mindful movement, deep relaxation, sitting meditation and discussion. Cost $5-$10/ person sliding scale. Instructor- John Patterson MD, MSPH, FAAFP. Mind Body Studio 517 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 859-373-0033. Full details at http:// id=1055


Argentine Tango “Dance of the Heart” Passionate and Romantic- Mindful and Meditative. A uniquely transformative social skill, art form and movement therapy. No partner or dance experience required. Times 7:30-9:00pm. You may drop-in to any class- this is not a series. Cost $5-$10/person sliding scale. Tango practice occurs on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays each month from 7:30-9:30PM. Instructors: Dr. John Patterson and Nataliya Timoshevskaya, Mind Body Studio 517, Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 859-373-0033. Full details at http://www.mindbodystudio. org/?page_id=214

April 2

Senior Aerobics/Solid Gold 10am – 11 am, William Wells Brown Community Center, 548 East Sixth Street. Weekly through April. Free.

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Sponsored by Lexington Parks and Recreation. For more information, contact Jill Chenault-Wilson at 389-6678.

April 5

Eat, Move, Lose Weight Support Group 12 – 1 pm, Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Department PH Clinic South, 2433 Regency Road. Free weight-loss support group appropriate for anyone wishing to lose weight or maintain weight loss. Share struggles and ideas with others. Held first and third Tuesdays most months. For more information or to pre-register, call 288-2446.

April 5

Diabetes Basics Class Series 5:00-6:30 pm, (weekly through April 19), Bourbon County Health Department, 341 E Main St, Paris, KY 40361. Free 3-class series helps you understand the basics of managing diabetes, including nutrition and foods, glucose monitoring, and exercise. Classes will be in the community room. RSVP at 859-987-1915.

April 5

Low-impact Aerobics and Kettlebell Classes 6-8 pm, William Wells Brown Community Center, 548 East Sixth Street. Bi-weekly through April. Weight room also open 5 – 9 pm. Free and for adults age 18 and above. Sponsored by Lexington Parks and Recreation. For more information, contact Jill ChenaultWilson at 389-6678.

April 11

Diabetes Support Group 10-11 am, Senior Citizens Center, 1530 Nicholasville Road, Free. Sponsored by the Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Dept. For more information, call (859) 288-2446.

April 12

Fayette County Diabetes Coalition 9 – 10 am, AHEC building, 498 Georgetown Street. Parking is on the side of the building in the gated area. Open to anyone interested in enhancing diabetes awareness and education in the community. For more information, or to attend, call 859-288-2310.

April 12

Free Educational Workshop: Vision Therapy Educational Workshop to show how vision therapy can improve, enhance and develop visual performance by teaching the visual system (eyes, brain, body) to correct itself. 6:45pm – 7:30pm. Hosted by Dr. Rick Graebe

EVENTS Continued on page 29

For advertising information call 859.368.0778 or email | April 2016



ONGOING EVENTS Bluegrass Ovarian Cancer Support Exists to assist Central Kentucky women and their loved ones during diagnosis, treatment and survival of ovarian and other gynecological cancers. Come meet with us the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm at Joseph Beth Booksellers, Bronte Bistro Cafe meeting room.

Perinatal Loss Grief Group First Tuesday of the month, 7pm, Center for Grief and Education. A group for parents who have experienced loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. Contact Debbie Mueller at (859) 260-6904 for more information.

Compassionate Friends Support Group A support group for parents, siblings, or grandparents who have lost a child regardless of the child’s age or length of time that has passed since that day. The meeting is the 1st Tuesday of every month 6:30pm–8:30pm at Hospice of the Bluegrass, 2321 Alexandria Drive, Lexington. Also meets the 1st Tuesday of every month 7pm-9pm at Hospice East, 417 Shoppers Drive, Winchester. Doors open one-half hour before meeting times to provide the opportunity to visit with old friends and acknowledge new ones.

Spouse Loss Support Group Tuesdays 6-7:30pm. Hospice of the Bluegrass. A five-week support group for individuals who have experienced the loss of a spouse or significant other. Contact Lexington office at (859) 277-2700 for more information or to register.

Coping After Loss First Wednesday of the month, 5:30-7pm, Center for Grief and Education. A brief educational program offering an introduction to grief information and hospice bereavement services. Contact the Lexington office at (859) 277-2700 for more information or to register.

Free Transportation to Cancer Screening Fayette County residents can receive free transportation through HealthLink Transit, a partnership between Kentucky Pink Connection & the Lexington--Fayette Urban County Government. Transportation provided by taxi or gas cards to cancer screening. Call (859) 309-1700 to arrange a ride.

2nd Chance Ambassadors Lexington: a support/volunteer group comprised of organ transplantation recipients, donor family members, those on the waiting list and community members interested in transplantation meets the 3rd Sunday of each month at Word of Hope Lutheran Church, located at the corner of Man O’War and Armstrong Mill Road.  Meetings begin at 4:30. For questions, please contact Charlotte Wong, Education Coordinator, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates Lexington office at (859) 278-3492 or toll free (800) 525-3456.

Center For Women’s Health Center Classes Held at Frankfort Regional Medical Call Mediline at 502-226-1655 or toll-free 800-242-5662 to register or for more information. Classes include: • Prepared Childbirth • Baby Care For The Early Weeks • Breast Feeding Basics • “That’s My Baby” • Sibling Classes

Cancer Classes The American Cancer Society offers women undergoing cancer treatments the opportunity to attend the Look Good...Feel Better workshop. This free workshop helps women deal with the appearance-related side-effects of cancer treatment in a private setting. Each participant receives a complimentary custom cosmetic kit. The American Cancer Society offers Prostate Cancer Educational and Support Classes called Man to Man for men with prostate cancer. This is an educational and networking program that provides information about prostate cancer and treatments options. For more information about these classes, please call Kristy Young at 859260-8285. For cancer information 24 hours a day, please call 1-800-ACS-2345 or go to

Survivors of Suicide First & third Tuesday of the month, 6-7:30pm, Center for Grief and Education. For adults affected by the loss of someone by suicide. Contact the Lexington office at (859) 277-2700 for more information or to register.

Bosom Buddies A support group designed to meet the ongoing needs of women with breast cancer. The purpose of Bosom Buddies is to create a safe and comfortable environment in which women diagnosed with breast cancer can receive information and emotional support during and after treatment. Meets are the third Thursday of every month 6:00pm at the Frankfort Regional Hospital: Frankfort Medical Pavilion, Conference Room C. 279 King’s Daughters Drive, Frankfort, KY.

BRCC Volunteer Opportunities The Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center provides a 24-hour crisis line, hospital and court advocacy, crisis intervention counseling, long-term therapy, and information and community referral to victims of sexual assault as well as family members and friends. Volunteers at BRCC have the unique opportunity to provide valuable direct services to those impacted by sexual assault. Volunteer opportunities: Crisis Line Volunteer, Medical/Legal Advocate. For more information, please call: (859) 253-2615.

Stop Smoking Class Series 5:30-6:30, weekly until April 17. Tates Creek Library, 3628 Walden Dr. Based on the Cooper-Clayton method. $10/week for 10 weeks covers the cost of nicotine replacement. Call 288-2457.

GrassRoots Yoga Classes Chair yoga: 10:30–11:30am Tuesday and Thursday. Hatha Vinyasa Flow: 5:30–6:30pm Thursday. Yoga Basics for Stress Relief: 5:30–6:30pm Friday. Partial proceeds from all yoga classes benefit the Latitude Artist Community for adults considered to have disabilities. All instructors certified through Yoga Alliance. For more information, visit

ANAD Overcoming Eating Disorders Support Group Free support group for people who want to improve their relationship with food and body image. Safe, comfortable place. Facilitated by Megan Roop, RYT, supervised by Tina Thompson, MS, RD, LD, Bluegrass Nutrition Counseling, sponsored by ANAD. Introduction meeting on October 3 from 7:15-8:30pm at Bliss Wellness Center, 2416 Sir Barton Way, Ste 125. 8 week session Oct 17-Dec 5 from 7:15-8:30pm. Contact Megan Roop 561-779-0290 for details.

Diabetes CHATS Nathaniel Mission Health Clinic CHAT: 1109 Versailles Road, Suite 400 from 4pm to 5:15pm the 4th Tuesday of each month. The Refuge Clinic: New Location, 2349 Richmond Road-Suite 220, Lexington, KY, 40502. 859225-4325. Free. Sponsored by the LexingtonFayette Co. Health Dept and UK Healthcare.

on Yoga principles and practical skills also offered. Free parking provided for most classes. For information, please call 859-254-9529 or visit

Mind Body Studio The Mind Body Studio is a service of John A. Patterson MD, MSPH, FAAFP, certified in family medicine, integrative medicine, mind body medicine and integral yoga, Dr. Patterson specializes in stress-related chronic disease and burnout prevention for caregivers and helping professionals. Mind body skills and lifestyle behaviors may help prevent and provide safe, effective and affordable relief of chronic conditions that are often poorly controlled by conventional medicine alone. Our integrative medicine consultations, group classes, workshops and coaching can help you meet your unique health and wellness needs through experiential education to help you mobilize your natural healing ability by integrating mind, body, spirit and our relationship to each other and the earth. Visit our website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Patterson or see a schedule of classes in yoga, mindfulness, meditation, Pilates and dance. “Mindful, empowered self care is the heart of healing” 517 Southland Drive, Lexington 859-373-0033

Monthly Reiki Classes

9-10am. Every Saturday morning in the month of February at Body Structure Medical Fitness Facility, 2600 Gribbin Drive, Lexington. This class will increase your heart rate and respiration while using large muscle groups repetitively and rhythmically to create a great workout. (859) 268-8190.

Turn your hands into healing hands! Reiki is Universal Life Force Energy Learn to improve your mind, body, and spirit! Classes taught by Robert N.Fueston, Reiki Master/Teacher and Acupuncturist, 17 years of experience and Member of The Reiki Alliance. Approved for Continuing Education hours (CE hours) for Massage Therapist. CE’s for nurses pending. Register online at www. 859-595-2164.

Taoist Tai Chi Society

Ongoing Journey Circle

We offer classes in Louisville and Lexington. All classes are led by nationally accredited volunteer instructors in a friendly and helpful environment. The meditative movements of taijiquan can reduce tension, increase flexibility and strength, and improve circulation and balance. To contact us, phone 502.614.6424 or e-mail

This circle meets the 4th Sunday of every month and is for those who are experienced in the practice of journeying OR are interested in learning more about this ancient spiritual practice. Join us every month as we will be journeying on different topics that will be discussed at time of circle. Please feel free to bring drums, rattles etc. Questions or need directions or have questions? Please feel free to email/call me: 859-492-2109,

Free Cardio Classes

Consumer Support Groups (Individuals with a Mental Illness) Every Sunday, 869 Sparta Court, Lexington. 2:30-4:00pm. 859-309-2856 for more info. NAMI Lexington is a local affiliate of NAMI, the “National Alliance on Mental Illness”  we provide numerous support groups and recovery programs for families and Individuals living with mental illness.

Yoga • Meditation • Stress Reduction The Yoga Health & Therapy Center offers daytime and evening Yoga classes with slow stretch, breathing awareness and relaxation training. Small classes provide personalized instruction. New yoga students receive a series discount. Meditation classes and ongoing group practice sessions available for all levels. Stress-Reduction classes based

Overeaters Anonymous Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is not a diet club. We do not count calories or have scales at meetings. OA is based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are no dues or fees. OA is self-supporting through member contributions. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop eating compulsively. Please go to oalexingtonky. org for meeting dates and times. OR are interested in learning more about this ancie

Free Knee Pain Screenings Offered To Help Determine If Lexington Area Residents Qualify For Popular Treatment Lexington area knee pain sufferers have limited time to claim knee pain screening to see if all-natural knee arthritis treatment might work for them

If you qualify for this treatment, it might be one of the happiest days of your life. That’s because, for the past year and a half, hundreds of knee pain sufferers have flocked to Osteo Relief Institute located in Lexington, Kentuky. That’s when their specially trained doctors added Hyalgan treatments to their already successful and comprehensive knee pain relief program. Hyalgan is unique because even though it is manufactured by a pharmaceutical company, it’s in NOT considered a drug because it is a natural substance with an incredible story. Why So Many Want It You see, when you suffer with arthritis - the lubricating fluid (synovial fluid) in your knee joint dries up. This means instead of gliding smoothly - your bones start to rub and grind against each other. This causes a little pain in the beginning - but over time the pain steadily gets worse until it is excruciating. Like “Joint Oil” Hyalgan works so well because it is like “joint oil.” It is a natural substance that contains one of the natural building blocks of the synovial fluid that lubricates your knee. Scientists and researchers discovered this natural building block to synovial fluid in the rooster’s comb - that big red thing on top of the roost-

ers head. It is extracted from the roosters comb, purified and concentrated. When it is injected directly into your knee joint, it is like squirting oil on a rusty door hinge. Hyalgan allows your joints to glide more smoothly eliminating a lot of the rubbing, grinding and pain. Can Supplements Do The Same Thing? No. Glucosamine and chondroitin and other supplements are much different. You can only get this from a doctor and it often helps knee pain sufferers who got limited or no success from glucosamine and chondroitin. Beware of unsubstantiated claims made by supplements to do what this advanced medical procedure does. Why You Should Try This Even If You’ve Already Had Similar Treatments Without results... “We have been able to help so many knee pain sufferers - even many who have already tried other injections like Synvisc, Supartz, Orthovisc and even Hyalgan. We use specail and very advanced advanced low-dose video flouroscopy imaging called “Hologic Digital Imaging” so we can see right into the joint. This allows us to put the Hyaglan exactly where is needs to be. Studies show doctors doing joint injections without flouroscopy miss the joint up to 30% of

the time.” said the head of Arthritis Treatment at Osteorelief Institute. OsteoRelief Institute is a state of the art medical facility offering only the best technology. And that’s not all - OsteoRelief Institute has a complete knee relief program called Advanced Medical Technology Can Make All The “P.A.C.E.” to make sure you get the most pain re- Difference: This advanced digital imaging called a C-arm allows doctors to see directly into the knee joint lief and the best possible so treatments are precise and the Hyalgan actually results from treatment. goes where it is supposed to. Studies show that injec“Every case is inditions done without digital imaging can miss the joint vidual. Some patients get up to 30% of the time. This is one reason Hyalgan or other Viscosupplementation may not have worked for quite a bit of relief right away - others take a little you. OsteoRelief Institute uses this C-arm for every Hyalgan treatment. more time. But most have been extremely hapAll you have to do is call 859-898-0652 py and the results usually last for at least 6 months. Patients who right now and when the scheduling specialwere suffering for years with bad ist answers the phone tell her you would like knee pain are getting their lives your risk free “Knee Pain Screening.” The specialists at OsteoRelief Institute can only back... going for walks again accept a limited amount of new patients each and exercising. It’s amazing to month for this screening - so if you are intersee. They tell all their friends ested please call now. Your risk free screen- that’s why we are swarmed. I can’t tell you how many patients ing will only take about 25-30 minutes... you will get all your questions answered and leave have cancelled their total knee knowing if you have possibly found the solureplacement surgeries.” added tion to your knee pain. one of the doctors. And here’s something really important How To Get It If you have knee pain, the doc- Hyalgan treatments and the P.A.C.E program tors would like to invite you for are covered by most insurance and Medicare. a risk free screening to see if you To schedule your screening today call 859are a candidate for Hyalgan treat- 898-0652. ments and the P.A.C.E program.

If You Can Answer Yes - You Are Eligible For A Knee Arthritis Screening With The Experts At Osteo Relief Institute

Do you have pain and oteoarthritis (arthritis) of the the knee? Have you tried other treatments such as NSAIDS and other antiinflamatory medications without success? Everyone Wants Proof: In the artist simulated drawings above, picture #1 is a normal, pain-free knee. There is no arthritis and the knee can move and bend freely without pain.

Pain - above is a knee joint with painful osteo-arthritis. Arthritis causes the joint space to decrease, grinding, stiffness, decreased motion, bone spurs, swelling and a lot of pain.

Successful Treatment - Hyalgan (blue) being precisely injected directly into the knee joint using Hologic digital imaging. Advanced imaging allows treatments to be as precise as possible. Hyalgan can lubricate the joint and decrease pain.

Failed Treatment - the injection (and Hyalgan) misses the joint space. Research shows this occurs up to 30% of the time without the use of Hologic digital imaging to guide the injection. This is why Hyalgan may not have worked for you.

Have you already tried viscosupplementation (Hyalgan, Suparz, Synvisc) without satisfactory results? If you answered yes to any of these questions - give OsteoRelief Institute a call and schedule your risk free knee pain screening 859-898-0652

For advertising information call 859.368.0778 or email | April 2016 EVENTS continued from P. 26 at the Children’s Vision and Learning Center, 105 Crossfield Drive, Versailles, KY 40383. Free; no registration required. 859-879-0089 for additional information.

April 12

Health Chats About Diabetes 6:15-7:30, UK Polk Dalton Clinic, 217 Elm Tree Lane, Free. Sponsored by the Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Dept. and UK Healthcare. For more information, call (859) 288-2446.

April 12 Yoga Class

6:15-7:15 pm, William Wells Brown Community Center, 548 East Sixth Street. Bi-weekly through April. Weight room also open 5 – 9 pm. Free and for adults age 18 and above. Sponsored by Lexington Parks and Recreation. For more information, contact Jill Chenault-Wilson at 3896678.

April 19

Eat, Move, Lose Weight Support Group 12 – 1 pm, Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Department PH Clinic South, 2433 Regency Road. Free weightloss support group appropriate for

anyone wishing to lose weight or maintain weight loss. Share struggles and ideas with others. Held first and third Tuesdays most months. For more information or to pre-register, call 288-2446.

April 26

Reiki Practice & Introduction to Reiki 6:30pm- 8:30pm. 2508 Wallace Avenue, Louisville, KY 40205. Free.  Those with Reiki come to practice & receive the Reiki energy. Those who do have not Reiki training—come for an introduction/question & answer.  Contact JoAnn Utley at 502-777-3865 or to register.  More info at  http://joannutley.


Send us your event listings If you are hosting a health-related event that is free to the public, list it here for FREE! (Events that are not free to the public can be posted in our calendar for $35). E-mail your event date, location, description and contact information to:

April 21

Diabetes Basics 5:30-7:30 pm, Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Department PH Clinic South, 2433 Regency Road, Free. Learn the basics for managing your diabetes effectively. Topics include describing diabetes, types of treatment, possible complications, medications and healthy coping. Sponsored by the Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Dept. For more information or to preregister, call (859) 288-2446.

Lead in Older Homes Could Cause ADHD Issue is important to health and wellness By Dr. Tom Miller, Staff Writer These days, everyone needs to be vigilant about lead in older homes. Recent news of lead in the water of residents in Flint, Mich., have made people realize how important this issue is to health and wellness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on research just released that lead exposure in amounts small enough


to be considered safe may contribute to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children who have a particular gene mutation. Researchers published their findings in the online journal Psychological Science. This research is valuable to the scientific community because it bridges genetic and environmental factors and helps illustrate one pos-

sible route to ADHD, according to the clinical researcher Dr. Joel Nigg, professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine in Portland. This research demonstrates the potential to ultimately prevent conditions such as ADHD by understanding how genes and environmental exposures combine. Nigg and his colleagues found blood lead levels in the study population were similar to the national population of children. Results noted that 10 percent of U.S. children are believed to have a specific HFE C282Y gene mutation. Despite government regulations that drastically reduced environmental exposure to lead, a neurotoxin, parents should know lead is still found in some children’s toys, costume jewelry and, as

the Flint findings demonstrate, lead may be ingested in water from aging pipes. Sources and Resources

Nigg, J.T., Elmore, A.L., Natarajan, N., Friderici, K.H., Nikolas. M.A. (January 2016) Variation in an iron metabolism gene moderates the association between blood lead levels and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children. Psychological Science.

As the Flint findings demonstrate, lead may be ingested in water from aging pipes.

Parents should know lead is still found in some children’s toys, costume jewelry and, as the Flint findings demonstrate, lead may be ingested in water from aging pipes.




April 2016 | Read this issue and more at | –COLUMN PROVIDED BY–

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Why Do You Need Representation at a Social Security Disability Hearing? Provided by GAR Disability Advocates You have just received a letter from the Social Security Administration telling you your disability case has been denied at the second step of the disability process known as Reconsideration. What are you going to do now? If you haven’t already contacted an advocate to represent you, you need to do so immediately. It is extremely important that you have someone who can lead you and present the best evidence at this stage of your case. The next step is a hearing with an administrative law judge, a vocational expert and possibly medical experts. Get a representative now to help you file your request for a hearing. Once you have filed a request for a hearing, your case goes to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). You will get a letter from ODAR saying your appeal has been received and processed. Most, if not all, people really have no concept or idea what to expect once a hearing request has been filed. How long it will take to get a hearing scheduled on your case depends on the area where you

live and how many hearing requests have been received in the month your appeal was filed. The average wait time is from 12 to 18 months. Most people are very surprised to find they may have to wait almost two years to have their case heard by an administrative law judge. Your medical condition may worsen or even improve during this waiting period. It is important that you continue your medical treatment if you have medical insurance or Medicaid. There is a lot of confusion about whether someone can try to work while the disability case is pending. If someone is able to perform a job that is classified as “substantial gainful activity,” he is not considered disabled. If, however, that same person tries to work and cannot keep up or even show up every day, Social Security will consider the job attempt a “trial work period” or unsuccessful work attempt. You may be only able to work a limited number of hours in a day or only work a few days a week because of your illness. In 2016, substantial gainful activity is defined as earning $1,130

or more (before taxes). Therefore, if your illness or injury prevents you from working at your previous fulltime employment, you may still be able to work part time and pursue your disability case. Suppose you have been waiting approximately 16 months and receive a letter saying your hearing has been scheduled. The letter will tell you who your judge is, any experts that will be present and what to expect. Right away you should call your representative (you do have one, right?). Your representative will schedule an appointment to go over all your recent medical treatment with you and prepare you for what will happen at the hearing. Your representative will calm your fears about being questioned by a judge and explain how a hearing proceeds. A jury will not be present. You will, however, be on tape. The judge will usually ask questions first and then the representative will continue questioning until all the information regarding your disability has been discussed. Usually a vocational expert is present; he or she will be questioned by the judge and your representative. Sometimes the judge will have a medical expert present; he or she will also respond to questions about your medical condition. The judge and your representative will both question the experts. Sometimes you will have a video hearing. This means the judge and/ or other experts may be in another location and you will be speaking to a large television screen. Your representative will be with you,

along with a clerk from the ODAR office who will run the equipment. Your representative will advise you whether it is in your best interest to proceed with a video hearing. Once your hearing is over, it may take several more months before you receive the decision. The judge can order additional medical exams, which will delay the decision. He/ she may also send questions called “interrogatories” to another medical expert. Then one day you receive a large letter from ODAR: the decision! If you are extremely fortunate, it will be an approval. If it is a denial, you have 60 days to appeal to the Appeals Council. You should always consult your representative before you decide to appeal a hearing decision. Regulations have changed regarding whether you can submit medical records or file a new claim. Once a hearing decision has been appealed to the Appeals Council, your representative has a limited amount of time to prepare a brief (argument) about why the judge made the wrong decision. This appeal process usually takes between four to five months, up to a year. You cannot file a new disability case during this time unless you develop a critical, new illness such as cancer.

For advertising information call 859.368.0778 or email | April 2016



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RED, GREEN OR SAVOY, IT’S GOOD FOR YOU By Tanya Tyler, Editor/Writer Believe it or not, there is a month for just about every food you can imagine. (Try googling “food month celebrations.”) And so we now celebrate cabbage because April is Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month. Cabbage comes in three varieties: red, green and savoy. You can also find Napa (Chinese) cabbage and bok choy. Cabbage is a staple in diets across the world because it’s easy to grow and very hardy. You may have had corned beef and cabbage in a nod to your Irish beginnings or the quite British bubble and squeak. Perhaps you have savored sauerkraut as a salute to your German roots or to prevent scurvy during a long sea voyage, as Dutch, Scandinavian and German sailors did. Food historians say ancient Greeks and Romans grew cabbage, using it to treat various health conditions, including gout, headaches and hangovers. Celtic wanderers brought cabbage to Europe around 600 B.C.E. Today the

Cabbage leading cabbage-producing countries include top consumer Russia and Poland, China and Japan. Cabbage has some surprising health benefits. Steaming cabbage will help its fiber components bind with bile acids in the digestive tract, making the acids easier to eliminate and thus lowering your cholesterol. This means eating cabbage is good for your heart health. The three different types of cabbage mentioned previously have different patterns of glucosinolates – nutrients or organic sulfur compounds that are often found in cruciferous vegetables,

April is Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month.

which include kale, broccoli, collard greens, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Sinigrin, one of the glucosinolates found in cabbage, can be converted into isothiocyanate compounds that appear to have unique cancer-preventing properties. They show up more clearly in raw or steamed cabbage. Microwaving it destroys the enzymes that aid in the important conversion. Cabbage is full of antioxidants, which help fight cancer, as well as anti-inflammatory nutrients that come from its polyphenols. Other compounds in cabbage, such as lupeol and sulforaphane, are known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of tumors that can lead to cancer. Cabbage is a great source of vitamins B1, B6 and K and folate and also contains magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. Cabbage is actually richer in vitamin C than oranges, traditionally considered the optimal source of that important nutrient.

Cabbage, as in the past, is still used medicinally to treat a wide range of ailments that include constipation, ulcers, arthritis, skin disorders and even Alzheimer’s disease. It boosts the immune system and defends against cough and cold. The versatile vegetable can be pickled, stewed, sautéed or braised, and what picnic would be complete without cole slaw? Not everyone is a fan of cabbage. Many people can’t stand its smell. When cabbage is overcooked, it produces hydrogen sulfide gas. Some people feel bloated or gassy after they eat cabbage; this occurs because the small intestine cannot digest a substance in cabbage called trisaccharide raffinose. The heaviest cabbage ever grown, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, weighed 138 pounds. You’d need a lot of cabbage to buy such a big cabbage.


April 2016


By Angela S. Hoover, Staff Writer

Diet May Change Gut Microbes For Generations

New research suggests diets low in fiber can cause irreversible changes to populations of gut bacteria, and these changes may be passed along for generations. In experiments with mice, those fed a low-fiber diet lost certain species of gut bacteria and did not regain them after they were switched back to a high-fiber diet. Furthermore, this microbial community of gut bacteria was passed on from parent to offspring, and the microbial community worsened over time with each successive generation. After four generations, the bacteria species normally found in an animal’s gut microbiome were completely missing. “We all accept that we pass our human genes on to our children,” said study lead author Erica Sonnenburg, a microbiome researcher at Stanford University in California. “We also have to consider that our children inherit the microbial

set of genes that we pass on to them. We need to really think about the dietary decisions that a generation makes because those dietary decisions can dramatically influence the microbiome that we then pass on to our offspring.” The study was published in the Jan. 13, 2015 issue of the journal Nature.

Most of the Calories in American Diets Come from Ultra-Processed Foods

More than half the calories in the average American diet are comprised of ultra-processed foods, according to a new study. Researchers define ultra-processed foods as formulations of several ingredients, which, in addition to sugar, salt, oils and fats, includes additives such as flavors, colors, sweeteners and emulsifiers. Examples of such ultra-processed foods include bread, soft drinks, fruitand milk-based drinks, cakes, cook-

ies, pies, salty snacks, frozen foods, pizza and breakfast cereals. The researchers also found the more ultraprocessed foods someone eats, the more likely he or she is to exceed the recommended daily limit for added sugars in the diet. The new dietary guidelines for Americans recommend sugars account for no more than 10 percent of a person’s daily calories. For someone who eats 2,000 calories a day, this equals no more than 200 calories from added sugars. Brazilian researchers used data from the 20092010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of more than 9,300 participants who provided data on the foods they had eaten in a 24-hour period. Unprocessed and minimally processed foods contributed to 29.6 percent on average for a person’s total daily calories. Ultraprocessed foods, on the other hand, were 57.9 percent of a person’s daily calories on average. This equates to three out of every five calories consumed coming from ultra-processed foods. The results were published in the March 9, 2015 edition of journal BMJ Open.

Genetic Switch Regulating Satiety and Body Weight Identified


A new study has identified a mechanism that regulates the effect of the satiety hormone leptin. The enzyme histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) was found to be a key factor in the control of body weight and food intake and a potential target against the yo-yo dieting effect. “HDAC5 is an important link in the communication between our fat tissue and hunger centers in the brain,” said Dr. Paul Pfluger, head of the research unit Neurobiology of Diabetes in Germany. Initial experiments have shown the production and activity of HDAC5 in the hypothalamus, the control center for energy balance, is increased by a high-fat diet, enlarged fat deposits and the satiety hormone leptin. “HDAC5 is a molecular switch in the brain that helps the body to recognize how full the fat deposits are. Without HDAC5, we cannot adapt our food intake or curb our fat deposition,” said Dhiraj Kabra, first author of the study. A disruption of this signaling pathway leads to obesity. In obese mice that were unable to produce HDAC5, targeted activation of HDAC5 reversed the effects and enabled the mice to lose fat mass and body weight. The researchers are eager to learn if the enzyme can be used in humans to combat obesity. The results are available through the Helmoholtz Zentrum München-German Research Center for Environmental Health.

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According to the National Kidney Foundation, high blood pressure and diabetes are the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease.

Chronic Kidney Disease Present in Millions of Americans High blood pressure, diabetes complicate the condition By Jean Jeffers, Staff Writer Most people take bodily functions for granted. And urination is one of those function. But sometimes a problem develops with basic physiology. In his article “Tips for Healthy Kidney Function,” Dr. Robert Greenwell Jr., chief of nephrology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Md., wrote, “Chronic kidney disease – the decreased ability to filter the blood of toxins produced on a daily basis by the body – is estimated to be present in about 20 million Americans.”

Greenwell said some of the behaviors that lead to chronic kidney disease are: • Obesity — being overweight puts a strain on kidneys as they work to filter the blood. • Smoking — blood circulation is adversely affected and results in difficulty keeping the arteries free and open. • HIV and hepatitis — the kidneys may be damaged by these conditions. According to the National Kidney Foundation, high blood pressure and

diabetes are the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease. If blood pressure is not well controlled, it could cause heart a attack, stroke and chronic kidney disease. Conversely, chronic kidney disease can cause high blood pressure. Blood pressure should be kept below the target range, usually set at 140/90mmHG. Diabetes causes damage to organs when blood sugar is high or when blood sugar levels continually spike. Greenwell says ways to keep the kidneys healthy include: • Improving blood pressure by cutting down on salt in the diet. Aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium daily. Also increase potassium intake and reduce alcohol use. • Lose weight by stocking your diet with fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains. • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes. The A1C should be below 7 percent. • Watch cholesterol levels and keep them within target range. • Take prescription medications as

your doctor prescribes. • Begin an exercise program and get more physical activity. • Stop smoking if you are a smoker. Symptoms of chronic kidney disease do not show up early. Usually there is damage to the kidneys before symptoms occur. These include changes in urination (urine may be bubbly; you may urinate more often or less often; you may have blood in your urine); swelling in the legs, ankles, feet as well as the hands and face; fatigue with a lowered red blood cell count; skin rash or itching; a metallic taste in the mouth or ammonia breath; nausea and vomiting and loss of appetite; shortness of breath; a sense of feeling cold; and dizziness and trouble concentrating. Some of these symptoms occur because the amount of oxygencarrying red blood cells have lowered and there is less oxygen for the lungs and brain. If you believe you may have kidney disease, get a physical exam. Your doctor may order a glomerular filtration rate assessment to see how your kidneys are functioning. He or she may also have you do a urine test to check for albumin in the urine; albumin is generally not present in normal kidneys. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends those at risk for kidney disease talk to their health care provider about how often they need to be checked. This is especially important if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure. Without treatment, kidney disease gets worse and kidney failure occurs. The preferred therapy for kidney failure is a kidney transplant. Dialysis treatment filters waste and water from the blood and allows patients to feel better while improving the quality of life, and this is often the recommended treatment.

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Kidney stones can be hereditary or caused by environmental factors, especially diet.

Different Factors Cause Kidney Stones Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, practice preventative measures By Angela S. Hoover, Staff Writer Kidney stones – also known as renal calculus or nephroliths – occur when minerals crystalize in the kidney. About 12 in 100 Americans have had or will develop kidney stones at some point. Usually, half the patients who have a kidney stone will get more stones within five years unless they practice preventative measures. In 2013, there were 49 million cases of kidney stones worldwide; 15,000 cases resulted in death.

Small kidney stones will leave the body in the urine stream without any pain or symptoms. Stones that are about 3 mm or larger can block the urethra. These stones cause the excruciating pain known as renal colic. It is often accompanied by urinary urgency, hematuria (blood in the urine), sweating, nausea and vomiting. Kidney stones can be hereditary or caused by environmental factors, especially diet. Risk factors include being overweight and not drinking enough fluids. Kidney stones

can also develop from an imbalance of water, salts, minerals and other changes in urine chemistry. Changes in the urine balance determine the type of kidney stone that forms. Most kidney stones form from calcium-level changes in urine. Other electrolytes can also lead to the formation of kidney stones. Certain medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and eating foods high in oxalate, such as dark green vegetables, can change urine balance. Diets that contribute to kidney stone formation are high in animal protein, sodium, refined sugars, fructose and high fructose corn syrup, grapefruit juice and apple juice. Animal protein can cause kidney stones because it contains an acid load that increases urinary excretion of calcium and uric acid and reduces citrate. Urinary excretion of excess sulfurous amino acids, uric acid and other acidic metabolites from animal protein



acidifies the urine, which can promote the formation of kidney stones. Low urinary citrate also causes kidney stone formation. An increase in potassium can help eliminate citrate from the urine. Magnesium inhibits stone formation, so a lack of magnesium can cause a risk of kidney stones. Kidney stones can also occur as a result of an underlying metabolic condition such as distal renal tubular acidosis, Dent’s disease, hyperparathyroidism, primary hyperoxaluria or medullary sponge kidney. As many as 20 percent of kidney stones are from medullary sponge kidney. Kidney stones are also more common in people with Crohn’s disease, which is also associated with hyperoxaluria and malabsorption of magnesium. A person with recurrent cases of kidney stones should be screened for such disorders. TYPES OF KIDNEY STONES The most common type of kidney stone is calcium oxalate (80 percent of cases). These types occur when the urine is too acidic (decreased pH). In 5 percent to 10 percent of cases, the kidney stones are calcium phosphate, in which the urine is too alkaline (increased pH). Another 5 percent to 10 percent of cases are uric acid, in which the urine is persistently acidic. Ten percent to 15 percent of cases are struvite, caused by a kidney infection. Cystine stones only occur in 1 percent to 2 percent of cases as a result of a rare genetic disorder. Another type of kidney stone, xanthine, is extremely rare. PREVENTION AND TREATMENT Prevention is determined by the type of stone. For the most common type, calcium stones, drinking lots of fluids – enough fluid to produce more than 2 liters of urine per day – and taking thiazide diuretics and citrate are helpful. Taking allopurinol is good for those with high uric acid levels in their blood or urine. Sufficient dietary – not supplemental – intake of magnesium and citrate inhibits the formations of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate stones. Additionally, magnesium and citrate operate synergistically to inhibit kidney stones. Pain control is the first symptom addressed, using medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or opioids. For more extreme cases, the stones can be shattered into smaller fragments using extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, while other severe cases may require cystoscopic procedures.




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Overview: Addiction Warning signs, treatment and support Provided by Renew Recovery Addiction is a disease that affects people of all backgrounds, and it is something that affects countless families in today’s world. It is different in every person who has an addiction, and there is no one specific substance that people experience addictions with. The substances people become addicted to vary by each individual, but the addiction will be noticed by many of the same warning signs and is often treated by doctors and counselors in the same ways as well. The most common addictions seen in treatment centers are to alcohol or drugs, including addiction to, or abuse of, prescription medications. It is important to remember that someone can be addicted to a medication prescribed to them by a doctor, and this is just as dangerous as being addicted to illegal drugs. Addiction is not always something you may notice immediately, but over time you may begin to notice changes in a family member or friend who has an addiction to alcohol or drugs. It is often when these changes begin to negatively impact your relationship with someone that the addiction first becomes apparent. Once you begin to

notice these changes in someone, it will become more obvious over time, and this may become something you want to talk about with this person. There are many warning signs that may be noticed in a friend or family member who has an addiction to alcohol or drugs; these are different for every person who has an addiction, but there are common warning signs that may be present. Some of the common warning signs you may notice in someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol are: • Neglecting normal/daily activities previously enjoyed • Spending less amounts of time with family or friends • Missing work • Significant changes in weight • Pupils being smaller or larger than normal • Changes in sleeping habits (difficulty sleeping/insomnia or sleeping significantly more than normal) • Loss of appetite • Irritability • Unexplained anger • Using more of a medication than

There are many warning signs that may be noticed in a friend or family member who has an addiction to alcohol or drugs.

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is prescribed by a physician • Being secretive about the amount of alcohol, drugs, or medications used • Increased amount in money being spent without explanation • Not be willing or able to explain where money has been spent • Continuing to drink or use drugs despite negative consequences, such as job loss, financial strain, health issues, or relationship issues While these are some of the most common warning signs of alcohol or drug addiction, warning signs and symptoms will be different in every person who has an addiction. You will likely know your family member or friend well enough to notice any significant changes in their personality, behavior, or lifestyle. If you notice any of these warning signs or any other noticeable changes in a family member or friend related to their use of alcohol or drugs. The important thing to remember is the person with the addiction will have to begin some type of treatment if they want to start getting better. They may need to see a doctor to discuss beginning treatment, and many times this may begin with them seeing your family doctor to find out about treatment options available where you live. There are multiple types of treatment available for someone with an addiction, all of which will help them begin their recovery. The most common types of treatment for alcohol and drug addiction are:

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Hospitals or detox centers 28-30 day rehabilitation centers Long-term rehabilitation centers (6-18 months) Outpatient treatment Medication assisted treatment

While there is no one right way of beginning treatment or treating an addiction, a physician or counselor will be able to assist in determining the best type of care for someone, based on what alcohol or drugs they have been using and the amount of these they have been taking. If you know someone who you believe may be experiencing some type of addiction, it is never too early or too late to offer support to this person. It will never be a comfortable conversation to have with someone, but admitting that they have a problem with alcohol or drugs and beginning treatment is the only way for someone to begin the recovery process. The addiction is something the person will have to begin, and attend, treatment for themselves, but you educating yourself on addiction, the treatment they choose to begin, and learning healthy ways of supporting this person will be an important step to helping in their road to recovery.


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Kidney Transplant Risks Though complications have been reduced, operation is not risk free By Harleena Singh, Staff Writer A kidney transplant is a major operation that can have significant complications. Although the rates of serious complications have been reduced over the past few decades, kidney transplants are not risk free. The main risks of a kidney transplant are related to the procedure itself and the use of immunosuppressant medications after surgery. There is also the possibility of something going wrong with the transplanted kidney. Most complications occur in the initial few months after a transplant, but they can develop even after many years. Short-term complications include: Infection Minor infections, such as urinary tract infections, colds and flu are common after kidney transplants. Serious infections, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) and pneumonia, may occur and often require hospitalization. Narrowing of an artery Also known as arterial stenosis, the narrowing of the artery connected to the donated kidney can sometimes occur after a kidney transplant, which can increase blood pressure. The artery often needs to be stretched to widen it, and a stent (small metal tube) maybe placed inside it to stop it from narrowing again. Blood clots These can develop in the arteries that have been connected to the donated kidney. They may occur in around one in 100 kidney transplants. Sometimes it may be possible to dissolve the clots using medications, though it’s often necessary to remove the donated kidney if the blood supply is blocked. Urine leakage Sometimes (usually during the first month after the procedure) urine may leak from where the urethra joins the

bladder. If a urine leak develops, further surgery is needed to repair it. Blocked urethra Blood clots can block the urethra after a kidney transplant. The urethra can also be blocked months or years later, usually due to scar tissue. The urethra can be unblocked by draining it with a small tube called a catheter. Sometimes surgery may also be required to unblock it. Acute rejection This means the immune system suddenly begins to attack the donated kidney because it recognizes it as a foreign tissue. Such rejection is a common complication in the first year after a transplant, affecting up to one in three people. It can be treated with a short course of more powerful immunosuppressants.

Long-term complications include: Diabetes This is a common complication of a kidney transplant. Some people develop diabetes after a transplant because they eat more and gain too much weight. Some types of immunosuppressants may also make you develop diabetes. High blood pressure This can increase the risk of developing other serious conditions such as heart attacks, heart disease and stroke. Some people who need a transplant already have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, and taking immunosuppressants worsens the condition. Immunosuppressant side effects Immunosuppressants prevent the body’s immune system from attacking the new kidney, which could cause it to be rejected. Kidney transplant

patients may take a combination of two or three different immunosuppressants long-term, which can cause many side effects. These include increased risks of infection and diabetes; high blood pressure; weight gain; diarrhea; abdominal pain; swollen gums; hair loss or extra hair growth; bruising or bleeding; acne; mood swings; thinning of bones; and an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as skin cancer. Cancer This complication can be due to the long-term use of immunosuppressants. Types of cancers include most skin cancers, Kaposi’s sarcoma (cancer that can affect both skin and internal organs) and lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). Your doctor can advise you about regular check-ups and any early signs of trouble you need to watch out for.

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Your doctor can advise you about regular check-ups and any early signs of trouble you need to watch out for.




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New Methods Stirring Debate About Growing Organs for Human Transplants

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Chimeras may no longer be confined to mythology

By Angela S. Hoover, Staff Writer

A chimera was a fire-breathing hybrid monster of Greek mythology composed of parts of three different animals. Typically, the chimera had a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a serpent’s tail. It was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of the monsters Cerberus and the Hydra. But there is a scientific definition of chimera that’s also the stuff of legends: a DNA molecule with sequences derived from two or more different organisms, formed by laboratory manipulation. Specifically, a scientific chimera is a single organism composed of cells from different zygotes. These organisms could have both male and female organs, two blood types or added or deleted characteristics. Animal chimeras are created by combining multiple fertilized eggs or by organ transplantation, in which a recipient is given individual tissues that developed from two genomes. An example of the latter is when a bone marrow transplant changes someone’s blood type. Gene-manipulating technologies in development since the 1980s have now been so perfected as to be jaw dropping, according to Craig Mello of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who in 2006 won the Nobel Prize in medicine for the genetic discovery of RNA interference. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, or CRISPR, is the name of this geneediting technique developed by a California researcher. It has been referenced more than 400 times in research papers. The number of applications for CRISPR are infinite, including “resurrecting” extinct species, genetic elimination of diseases and conditions and even “designer”

babies. Many say it is mastering evolution. One of the many applications gene editing is being used for is humananimal chimeras for organ transplants in humans. Approximately 123,000 Americans are on a waiting list to receive an organ transplant. With the help of CRISPR, three groups of U.S. scientists are growing livers, hearts and other organs in pig and sheep embryos with human stem cells added. The animals are being genetically engineered to not develop certain tissues and organs, and human stem cells are injected into the embryos so the human equivalent of the missing tissues or organs can grow and be harvested later. “We can make an animal without a heart. We have engineered pigs that lack skeletal muscles and blood vessels,” said Daniel Garry, a cardiologist who leads a chimera project at the University of Minnesota. Garry recently received a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Army to try to grow human hearts in swine. Other types of human-animal chimeras have already been widely used in scientific research, including mice with a human immune system. This new research goes a step further by placing human cells into an animal embryo at the very earliest stage. This process is known as embryo completion. It is significant because the human cells can multiply, specialize and potentially contribute to any part of the animal’s body as it develops. No results have been published, but the groups of scientists have reported to MIT Technology Review that there have been about 20 successful pregnancies in total in either pigs or sheep last year. The Pandora box-level of possibili-

ties CRISPR and stem cells technologies open has caused several scientists and agencies to urge for universal bioethical guidelines. There is concern animals may become too human for comfort, developing higher levels of intelligence or human reproductive cells. “The specter of an intelligent mouse stuck in a laboratory somewhere screaming ‘I want to get out’ would be very troubling to people,” said David Resnick of the National Institutes for Health (NIH). Last September, the NIH announced it would not support studies involving human-animal chimeras until it had reviewed the scientific and social implications more closely. In an agency statement, the NIH expressed concerns that animals’ cognitive states could be altered if they ended up with human brain cells. This was a reaction to the NIH’s discovery that scientists had begun such experiments with financial support from alternative funding sources, such as the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a state agency

set up 10 years ago to bypass political interference from Washington. Some labs are continuing with the research despite the NIH’s concerns. Because of the possibility of creating a new supply of organs for needy patients and other research that could lead to basic discoveries, Garry and 10 other scientists published a letter in November 2015 criticizing the agency for creating a “threat to progress” that “casts a shadow of negativity” on their work. The scientists argue there is little chance of an animal gaining human consciousness for three reasons: Their brains are too different; their brains are much smaller; and a low percentage of human DNA is used. “If the extent of human cells is 0.5 percent, it is very unlikely to get thinking pigs or standing sheep,” said Hiromitsu Nakauchi, a stem cell biologist at Stanford University. “But if it’s large, like 40 percent, then we’d have to do something about that.”

Approximately 123,000 Americans are on a waiting list to receive an organ transplant.

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Kidney Infections Need Immediate Attention Be aware of the symptoms By Harleena Singh, Staff Writer A kidney infection occurs when bacteria infect the kidneys. The bacteria are usually a type called E. coli, which live in the bowel and account for nearly 80 percent of all cases of kidney and urinary tract infections (UTIs). The bacteria enter the urinary tract from the urethra, moving through it and infecting the bladder and then the kidneys. A kidney infection needs immediate medical attention; otherwise, it can permanently damage the kidneys or the bacteria can spread to the bloodstream and cause a lifethreatening infection. Treatment usually includes oral or intravenous antibiotics and requires hospitalization. There are two types of kidney infection: • Uncomplicated kidney infec-

tion, where the patient is healthy and serious complications are unlikely. • Complicated kidney infection, where the patient is more likely to suffer complications, perhaps due to a pre-existing illness or condition. Signs and symptoms of a kidney infection may include fever; abdominal pain; nausea and vomiting; chills; back, side or groin pain; frequent urination; urine that is cloudy or smells bad; a burning sensation or pain while urinating; pus or blood in the urine; and a strong, persistent urge to urinate. Consult a doctor if you have any of these symptoms or if you are being treated for a UTI but the signs and symptoms show no improvement. Risk factors for a kidney infection include a history of UTIs, kidney

stones and spermicide and urinary catheter use. Women and children are most at risk of developing kidney infections and other UTIs, such as cystitis. The urethra in women is much shorter compared to the urethra of men and is closer to the anus, which makes it easy for bacteria from the anus to enter the urethra, reach the bladder and move into the kidneys. Medical conditions that impair the immune system, such HIV and diabetes, increase the risk of kidney infection. Even certain medications, such as drugs taken to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, can cause kidney infections. Kidney infections can sometimes be prevented by changing urinary catheters frequently, taking preventive antibiotics and practicing good hygiene. Daily application of topical intravaginal estriol cream may reduce episodes of symptomatic UTI and kidney infection in postmenopausal women. Some research studies show cranberry juice or other cranberry products may prevent UTIs. Don’t forget to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Also, urinate whenever you feel the urge, without waiting. Doctors suggest urinating after sexual intercourse and washing the genitals before and after intercourse



as well. After defecating, wipe from front to back, as this lessens the risk of spreading bacteria to the genitals. Eat lots of fiber so stools come out easily and don’t irritate or cause skin lesions. Constipation increases the risk of developing a UTI. To reduce discomfort while recovering from a kidney infection, place a heating pad on your abdomen, back or side. Take a nonaspirin pain reliever as suggested by your doctor.

Treatment usually includes oral or intravenous antibiotics and requires hospitalization.

Some research studies show cranberry juice or other cranberry products may prevent UTIs



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Effective Disciplining Techniques Help your child develop social-functioning skills By Sarah Brokamp, Staff Writer Your adorable son has just taken a Sharpie to the nice wallpaper … again. Suddenly he does not seem so adorable. You are frustrated, tired and out of ideas for dealing with him. You tell him to go to his room, but now his screams are erupting through the house, and you are just about to give up. Instead, take a deep breath and consider different ways to calmly communicate and still get your child to do as he is told. Psychological research has shown children respond better to punishment when their misbehavior is explained to them. It is a quick reaction to yell at your child and immediately enforce the punishment (such as sending her to her room, taking away a possession or TV time). However, this does nothing for the child if she does not understand what she did wrong. The “because I said so” method is not a successful way to parent. Sometimes a calm but stern talk can do the trick. Take the child aside

and point out what he did wrong. For example: “You drew on Mommy’s/ Daddy’s nice wallpaper with a Sharpie. The walls are not meant for drawing. Doing this is disrespectful because now the wallpaper is ruined. This is why I am sending you to your room.” Use every wrong act as a teaching opportunity. Children are not always aware of what they are doing wrong. They are still learning the basic rules of society and the household. It is the parents’ job to teach them respectful habits, and the best way to learn is from mistakes. And your child will make mistakes. If you thoroughly explain the disrespectful or wrong behavior, the chance of the child repeating that behavior decreases. If you only shout your aggravation or threaten punishment without giving a reason, the child’s behavior will not change. Your directions must be clear from the beginning. If you successfully express your expectations, children will discipline themselves. One thing all children have in

common is the desire to please their parents. Even when you think your child is being purposefully disrespectful or uncaring, she still wants you to be proud of her. She still cares about your opinion and your approval. In order to please you, children will follow the expectations you line up for them. If these expectations are unclear, however, they will try different ways to impress you that you may not appreciate. An important thing to keep in mind when setting rules and enforcing discipline with your child is positive reinforcement. Parents are quick to condemn bad behavior or rule breaking as a way of reinforcement, but there must also be praise when rules are followed. The most rewarding thing you can give your child is attention. Let him know you’re proud of him. If your child makes the bed, recognize that behavior. He will want to keep doing the chore if he feels you truly appreciate it. Also, remember to follow the rules yourself. Being the parent doesn’t mean you get to slide because you

Discipline is about balance and consistency.

are in a role of authority. If your child asks, “Why do you never set the table?” a sufficient response is not, “Because I’m the parent.” If you have a rule about putting your dishes in the dishwasher after dinner, make sure your child does so, but also lead by example. If the children are not allowed to raise their voices when they’re angry or frustrated, make sure to keep your own tone of voice in check. Children can spot hypocrisy from a mile away, and they have every right to point it out. Raising children on a principal of fairness is important. They gain respect for you when they see you do not go against your word. They will also learn rules are important. Make sure your children engage with you when you discipline them. This will not only let you know they are alert but it will also help you talk to your children instead of talking down to them. Ask questions such as: • “Do you know why you are being punished?” • “How would you handle this differently?” • “How do you think you should apologize?” This tests the child in a healthy way and gives him a chance to speak. Making your child cower before you without being able to say anything is not an effective way to discipline. If you practice these techniques with your child, you will realize your dream of a calm, tantrum-free environment. Even though she may be the one wrecking havoc, your child also wants this, but children do not always know how to work towards it. Teach them, engage them and listen to them. Enforce discipline by being a stern and authoritative parent, not an authoritarian dictator. Also, do not be a push over. Remind yourself you are in charge and your child needs to learn to be a respectful human being. Discipline is for their benefit. It is used to develop social-functioning skills and cohesive living. Children cannot have everything they want in the real world, so do not give it to them in the home either. Discipline is about balance and consistency. Stay true to your expectations and believe in your child so she can meet those expectations.

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Medical Research Animal Lovers Can Embrace Researchers create ‘mini-brains’ By Angela S. Hoover, Staff Writer

Researchers at Brown University have found a way to create “mini-brains” for biomedical research to lessen the reliance on animal test subjects. The mini-brains are working, miniature brains with functioning nervous tissue. They are functional because they are an electrically active sphere of central nervous system tissue made from existing living tissue. The mini-brains do not have the capacity to think like a full-sized brain. A small sample of living tissue taken from a rodent is enough to make thousands of mini-brains through a process of isolating and concentrating the cells in a centrifuge and seeding a cell culture. The brain tissue sphere starts to form just one day after the cultures are seeded. A full neural network takes two to three weeks to develop. The mini-brains only measure one-third of a millimeter in diameter and cost approximately 25 cents to make. “The materials are easy to get and the mini-brains are simple to make,” said co-lead author Yu-Ting Dingle. “We could allow all kinds of labs to do this research.” “We knew it was a relatively high-

throughput system, but even we were surprised at the low cost per mini-brain when we computed it,” said senior author Diane Hoffman-Kim. Mini-brains could easily and inexpensively be used for testing things such as drug research, neural tissue transplants or experiments with stem cells. “We think of this as a way to have a better in vitro (lab) model that can maybe reduce animal use,” said colead author Molly Boutin. “A lot of the work that’s done right now is in two-dimensional culture, but this is an alternative that is much more relevant to the in vivo (living) scenario.” The researchers developed the minibrains for testing their research on neural cell transplantation and studying how adult neural stem cells develop. Although the researchers outlined the procedure for producing mini-brains in a paper titled “ThreeDimensional Neural Spheroid Culture:

A small sample of living tissue taken from a rodent is enough to make thousands of mini-brains.

An In-Vitro Model for Cortical Studies” in the Nov. 23 issue of the journal Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods, not all labs are equipped to manufacture them. This could be because of a lack of neuroscience knowledge or a lack of cell culture equipment or a microelectronics facility. The Brown University can sell fully grown and ready mini-brains to researchers in such scenarios. “If you are that person in that lab, we think you shouldn’t have to equip yourself with a microelectronics facility,” said Hoffman-Kim. “And you shouldn’t have to do embryonic dissections in order to generate an in vitro model of the brain.”




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The brain is divided into three major components: the cerebellum and the brain stem, the midbrain and the forebrain.

The Marvelous Brain Its various components are vital to human function By Dr. Tom Miller, Staff Writer The human brain is the master conductor of a world-class orchestra, the director of a major communication center and the CEO of a blue-chip corporation composed of more than 10 billion nerve cells. These neurons together are responsible for the management of all bodily functions. The brain is divided into three major components: the cerebellum and brain stem, the midbrain and the forebrain. Each area of the brain has an associated function, although many functions may involve a number of different areas. These components are vital to our functioning,

from the steps we take to the words we speak and the air we breathe. The cerebellum is essential for controlling the movement of the body in space. It coordinates muscular movements and, along with the midbrain, monitors posture. The brain stem, which incorporates the medulla and the pons, monitors involuntary activities such as breathing. The thalamus receives incoming sensory impulses and routes them to the appropriate brain centers. Finally, the hypothalamus regulates every heartbeat, as well as body temperature and fluid balance.

The left half of the cerebrum controls the right side of the body; the right half controls the left side. This explains why, when a stroke occurs in the left half of the brain, the right side of the body is affected. The brain affects the function of several glands, most notably the pituitary gland, which participates in growth regulation and appropriate development as we age. Brain malfunctions may result in a number of different conditions. These malfunctions range from migraine headaches to stroke, coma, paralytic polio and Alzheimer’s disease, each of which compromise the effectiveness of the brain’s ability to work properly. For example, cerebral palsy involves a group of developmental disorders caused by injuries to the brain that occur either during fetal development or the birthing process. When someone has a migraine headache, it is most often a recurrent, throbbing pain felt on one side of the head. When someone has a stroke, damage to the brain is due either

to blood-flow blockage or a loss of blood from vessels in the brain. A coma is an extended period of unconsciousness. Multiple sclerosis affects the transmission of electrical signals from the brain to nerve cells. With paralytic polio, the polio virus invades the central nervous system, the spinal cord and the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is one of several forms of dementia that causes memory loss, while Parkinson’s disease results in tremors, difficulty walking and limited body coordination. Take the time to understand the vital role the brain plays in helping human beings function. Check out the neuroscience of Dr. David Eagleman at this Web site: www. resource-collections/the-learningbrain-neuroscience/. Sources and Resources

National Institute of Health (2016). Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN). Available at


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