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FDA approves first blood sugar monitor without finger pricks

Diabetics who don’t like pricking their fingers to monitor blood sugar may have an alternative method to check their levels.

>> Read more trending news

Federal regulators have approved the first continuous device that will bypass the finger prick tests, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Current models require users to test a drop of blood twice a day.

Abbott's new FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, approved Wednesday by the FDA, uses a small sensor attached to the upper arm. Patients wave a reader device over it to see the current blood sugar level and changes over the past eight hours.

“The FDA is always interested in new technologies that can help make the care of people living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, easier and more manageable,” said Donald St. Pierre, acting director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health and deputy director of new product evaluation in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “This system allows people with diabetes to avoid the additional step of fingerstick calibration, which can sometimes be painful, but still provides necessary information for treating their diabetes — with a wave of the mobile reader.”

Most of the 30 million Americans with diabetes use standard glucose meters, which require multiple finger pricks each day and only show current sugar level. More-accurate continuous glucose monitoring devices are used by about 345,000 Americans.

Abbott's device was approved for adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and should be available in pharmacies within months, according to The Associated Press. The company, based near Chicago, did not disclose the price of the reader or the sensors.

Woman who got tattoo on eyeball could lose eyesight, warns others

WARNING: Graphic photos below

A Canadian woman who got a tattoo on her eyeball may end up partially blind from the procedure, and now, she has a warning to others considering the idea.

>> Read more trending news 

On Sept. 5, Catt Gallinger, 24, got a scleral tattoo -- which means that she had ink injected into the white section of her eyeball. 

Gallinger, who has a number of tattoos and a forked tongue, said the person who tattooed her was unqualified but convinced her to get the eyeball tattoo, which quickly became infected.

“I have a lot of friends who have had it done and it worked for them,” she told Global News. “I’m not jumping on the bandwagon or anything, but body modification is part of my life. I had been thinking about doing it for a while.”

On the day she got the tattoo, the purple ink ran out of her eye down the side of her face, and the next day, her eye was swollen shut, WGN reported.

“During the first two weeks, he kept telling me it was fine, but I had a feeling that it wasn’t normal,” Gallinger told Global News. “Everyone I know who had this done healed within a week. I reached out to other artists around the world and they agreed on what he had done wrong, and made me aware of how high-risk my situation was.”

Gallinger took to Facebook to warn others of the procedure, saying, “Please be cautious who you get your (modifications) from and do your research.” 

According to Gallinger, who claimed her aftercare was “good,” the infection was caused by ink that was not diluted with saline, use of too much ink, use of a needle that was too big and the needle going too deep into her eye.

Gallinger has been to the hospital three times in hopes of getting the infection cleared up.

After rushing to the hospital, she was prescribed antibiotic eye drops for about a week, but things worsened and her eye had swollen completely shut. Apparently, the medicine spread the infection, causing a clump around her cornea, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Now she has to get surgery, and the tattoo certainly won’t end up like she hoped. She told CTV that the ink will either go away completely or “stay a blurry mess.” Doctors say if the ink reaches the retina, it will cause nerve damage, which may prompt them to remove her eye.

Ophthalmologists have warned against the procedure, with some saying the only way to completely stop the pain is to remove the eyeball. Gallinger may be able to keep her eye, but the experience has left her shaken.

“I took my eyesight for granted and trusted someone I shouldn’t have,” she said in a video posted Monday. “And even if this heals, my eyesight is not going to be back.”

Gallinger plans to press charges of criminal negligence.

Read more at Global News and CTV.

WARNING: Graphic photos below

Scroll down for images.

Study: Skin patch that melts love handles in mice could work on humans 

Scientific researchers have developed a medicated skin patch that dissolves fat in targeted areas of lab mice, and future testing could reveal that the patches can treat obesity and diabetes.

>> Read more trending news 

The patch uses nanotechnology to increase the body’s metabolism and transform energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat, according to the report released Friday by ACS Nano, a publication of the American Chemical Society. During the four weeks of the study, conducted by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the University of North Carolina, the mice saw 20 percent reduction in body fat where the patch was applied.

“Many people will no doubt be excited to learn that we may be able to offer a noninvasive alternative to liposuction for reducing love handles,” said study co-author Li Qiang, assistant professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

According to Science Daily, to apply the treatment, the drugs are encased in nanoparticles, which are approximately 250 nanometers (nm) in diameter -- too small to be seen by the naked eye. The nanoparticles are then packed into a centimeter-square skin patch containing dozens of microscopic needles. When applied to skin, the needles painlessly pierce the skin and gradually release the drug from nanoparticles into underlying tissue.

"The nanoparticles were designed to effectively hold the drug and then gradually collapse, releasing it into nearby tissue in a sustained way instead of spreading the drug throughout the body quickly," said Zhen Gu, PhD, patch designer, study co-leader associate professor of joint biomedical engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

The new treatment approach was tested in obese mice by loading the nanoparticles with one of two compounds -- rosiglitazone (Avandia) or beta-adrenergic receptor agonist -- known to promote browning in mice but not in humans. Each mouse was given two patches -- one loaded with drug-containing nanoparticles and another without it -- that were placed on either side of the lower abdomen. New patches were applied every three days for a total of four weeks. Control mice were also given two empty patches.

Mice treated with either of the two drugs had a 20 percent reduction in fat on the treated side compared to the untreated side. They also had significantly lower fasting blood glucose levels than untreated mice. Even in lean mice, the treatment with either of the two drugs increased the animals' oxygen consumption (a measure of overall metabolic activity) by about 20 percent compared to untreated controls.

Genetic analyses revealed that the treated side contained more genes associated with brown fat than on the untreated side, suggesting that the observed metabolic changes and fat reduction were due to an increase in browning in the treated mice.

The patch has not been tested in humans. The researchers are currently studying which drugs, or combination of drugs, work best to promote localized browning and increase overall metabolism.

Researchers help man regain consciousness after 15 years in vegetative state

Doctors have restored a man’s consciousness after he spent 15 years in a vegetative state, the New York Daily News reports.

>> Read more trending news

The French man, 35, was in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) after a car accident when he was 20. Doctors and researchers determined that the key to helping the man regain consciousness lay in his vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve, which runs through the abdomen, chest, neck and brain. Dr. Angela Sirigu of the Institut des Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod in Lyon, France, led a team to implant a device in his chest that would stimulate his nerves.

>> On Rare.us: A mother’s 42-year quest to find her baby son’s remains ends in tragedy

The man showed improvement within a month. He was able to physically respond to external stimuli six months later. However, doctors say that the man is not fully recovered.

“He is still paralyzed; he cannot talk, but he can respond. Now he is more aware,” Sirigu explained, according to the Guardian. He has been able to track objects with his eyes, move his head toward a person speaking to him and even cry upon hearing his favorite song.

The study successfully served as further evidence that a person has the potential to survive a vegetative state lasting longer than 12 months, which are usually thought to be lost causes.

Read more here.

People with this face shape are more likely to cheat, study suggests

Can you predict a person’s sexual drive and likelihood to cheat just by looking at them? You might. Those with wider dimensions are more likely to cheat, according to a new report.

>> On AJC.com: Are men or women in relationships more likely to lose interest in sex?

Researchers from universities in Canada recently conducted two experiments, which were published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, to determine the link between physiological features and sexual conduct and other behaviors.

In the first examination, they assessed 145 heterosexual men in undergraduate school by measuring their faces and FWHR, the width of the face divided by the height of the upper face.

>> Read more trending news

They then asked participants to participate in a survey that focused on their sexual behaviors, attitudes and personality traits.

In the second study, they analyzed 314 college men and women, taking the same measurements and adding a few more variables to the questionnaire, such as sexual orientation, chances of infidelity and sociosexual orientation, which evaluates an individual’s perception of casual sex. 

>> On AJC.com: ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater'? New infidelity study says yes

After analyzing the results, scientists found that folks with a high FWHR, or square and wide face, reported having a greater sex drive, compared to the others.

Furthermore, those with a larger FWHR were more likely to be comfortable with casual sex and consider being unfaithful to their partner. This was especially true among men. 

“The present research was the first to link the human FWHR to sex drive,” the study read. “Results provide novel insight into FWHR as a morphological predictor of men’s sociosexuality and infidelity intentions.”

>> On AJC.com: 7 things people think are terrible for their relationship that actually aren’t

While scientists noted that their research only included young adults, the authors believe their findings “extend the field’s understanding of FWHR as a morphological index of psychology and behavior.”

Laughing gas through labor? More hospitals offering nitrous oxide for moms-to-be

Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, has just added to a handful of its labor and delivery rooms something you might think of as only being used at the dentist’s office: nitrous oxide aka laughing gas.

Why? Moms in labor in Europe have been using laughing gas for decades, and it’s recently gaining favor in the U.S., especially in California. Natural birthing centers like Austin Area Birthing Center and Natural Beginning Birth Center in Texas have been offering nitrous oxide to their patients, as well. The hospitals are starting to catch up.

Laughing gas doesn’t have some of the side effects (the loopiness and loss of control) that narcotics like Demerol or other pain medications have, and it doesn’t affect the baby’s heart rate. The only thing that could happen is nausea or vomiting for the mom, but that’s rare.

It’s also short-acting. A mom can put the laughing gas mask to her face just before a contraction starts or during a contraction and then remove the mask after it’s passed. She will only feel the effects of the gas when she’s breathing it in.

>> Read more trending news

She can’t overdose either, because she’s the one holding the mask to her face. If she got too much, she wouldn’t be able to continue to hold the mask to her face because she would be asleep.

If you’ve had laughing gas in the dentist office and didn’t like how you felt, this is a different formula. It’s a 50 percent nitrogen, 50 percent oxygen for moms in labor. For people in the dentist office, it’s a 70 percent nitrogen 30 percent oxygen formula.

It actually doesn’t stop the mom from feeling the labor pain. She just doesn’t care about the pain, says Dr. Sally Grogono, an obstetrician at Seton Medical Center.

“I think it’s amazing,” says Grogono, who helped encourage Seton to add the nitrous oxide hookups in the rooms.

“A lot of our natural labor moms just need something little to take the edge off,” she says.

Sometimes women can stall out in labor because they are tensing because of the pain. This would help them not do that.

“Childbirth is very anxiety producing for all the patients,” Grogono says. Because they control when and how often they are getting the gas, they have more control over the pain.

They usually only use it at the height of labor but don’t need it during the pushing stage.

The only women who should not use it are people with multiple sclerosis or a severe B-12 deficiency.

Since Seton began offering it two weeks ago, Grogono has heard good reports from the labor and delivery nurses. She’s now educating her patients that it’s an option for them. They would just have to request that they be put in a room that has it.

“It’s not going to work for everybody, but it’s a great tool for our patients,” Grogono says.

Baby whose mom gave up cancer treatment also dies

The baby girl born to a mother who gave up cancer treatment to save her has died, the family announced in a Facebook post.

Life Lynn DeKlyen was born on Sept. 6 at 24 weeks in Ann Arbor, Michigan, weighing just 1 pound, 7 ounces. Her family said in a Facebook post they are shattered over the loss.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Mom who gave up cancer treatment to save unborn baby dies after giving birth 

Life Lynn’s mother, Carrie, was diagnosed with glioblastoma in April but decided to forgo treatment to save her baby. Shortly after delivering Life via cesarean section, doctors took Carrie off life support. Carrie died a few days later. She and her husband, Nick DeKlyen, had six children.

>> Read more trending news

“Carrie is now rocking her baby girl,” the family wrote in a post on the Cure 4 Carrie page announcing Life Lynn’s passing. “I have no explanation of why this happened, but I do know Jesus loves us, and someday we will know why. The grief we feel is almost unbearable, please be praying for our family.”

The family said Life Lynn will be buried with her mother.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.

How to lose weight: Take a break from your diet for 2 weeks, study suggests

Diets are a great way to cut down on calories. But if you’re hoping to shed the pounds, taking a two-week break from your regimen could help you lose even more weight, according to a new study.

>> On AJC.com: Why this diet praised by Jennifer Aniston could work for you

Researchers from the University of Tasmania in Australia recently conducted an experiment, which was published in the International Journal of Obesity, to determine ways to improve weight loss success based on eating patterns.

To do so, they assessed 51 obese men over a four-month period, breaking them off into two groups. Those in the first one were asked to follow a diet, which cut one-third of their calories, for all four months. Those in the second group were required to go on the same diet only for two weeks, taking a break from it for the next two weeks. They repeated the cycle eight times.

>> Read more trending news

After analyzing the data, they found that those who took breaks lost 50 percent more weight than those who didn’t. Those who deviated from the plan also shed more fat.

Six months after the study, both groups regained weight. However, those who took breaks were about 18 pounds lighter than those who followed the diet continuously. 

>> On AJC.com: Lose the belly pooch: 7 do’s and don’ts to accomplish a flat stomach

Why is that?

Researchers believe dieting can alter the body’s biological process, which can lead to slower weight loss or even weight gain. 

“When we reduce our energy (food) intake during dieting, resting metabolism decreases to a greater extent than expected; a phenomenon termed ‘adaptive thermogenesis’ – making weight loss harder to achieve,” co-author Nuala Byrne said in a statement. “This ‘famine reaction’, a survival mechanism which helped humans to survive as a species when food supply was inconsistent in millennia past, is now contributing to our growing waistlines when the food supply is readily available.”

Although the researchers’ method proved to be more successful than nonstop dieting, they noted that it wasn’t more effective than other popular diets. But it could provide another weight loss alternative. 

>> On AJC.com: 6 of the best apps to track your eating

“It seems that the ‘breaks’ from dieting we have used in this study may be critical to the success of this approach,” Byrne said. “While further investigations are needed around this intermittent dieting approach, findings from this study provide preliminary support for the model as a superior alternative to continuous dieting for weight loss.”

Navy hospital employee accused of mishandling newborn babies: 'Sorry for offending'

Employees at Florida's Naval Hospital Jacksonville who reportedly posted a viral video of newborn babies “dancing” will likely face criminal charges.

>> Watch the news report here

The newborns were referred as “mini Satans” by the employees. 

When the employees posted the pictures of the baby’s face, that alone is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. 

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Navy hospital apologizes for staff's 'inappropriate' photos of newborns

Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson says the employees could be charged with more than a HIPPA violation. Carson said he believes this is a case of child abuse.

In the video, rap music from 50 Cent can be heard in the background as a staff member from Naval Hospital Jacksonville is seen making a newborn baby dance to the music. 

>> Watch the clip here

The woman who sent Action News Jax the Snapchat video also sent text messages detailing a conversation between her and the U.S. Navy employee.

The employee said: "We were being stupid and bored. Sorry for offending.”

But some parents were angry over the video. 

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

“That baby could have been seriously injured … all because she wanted to be popular on social media,” parent Regina Wortmann said. 

A photo was also posted showing a staff member making an obscene hand gesture and saying that was how she felt about the “mini Satans.” 

"She'll receive demerits and be punished in some way," Carson said.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville posted an apology via Facebook, calling the posts “outrageous.” 

>> Navy hospital apologizes for staff's 'inappropriate' photos of newborns

“We have identified the staff members involved,” the hospital said. “They have removed from patient care and they will be handled by the legal system and military justice.” 

Carson says the incident could be very costly. 

>> Read more trending news

“It’s clearly a HIPPA violation and probably the U.S. Navy and their medical system at NAS Jax can be sued over this,” Carson said. 

Action News Jax contacted the hospital for more information. Officials sent the station an email saying the public information officer is “attempting to respond to all requests in a timely matter.” 

>> Watch another news report here

Football players under 12 at high risk of brain injury, study finds

A new Boston University study published Tuesday found a single season of youth football can change a child's brain.

>> Watch the news report here

The findings focused on children 12 and under and, according to the study, those first 12 years of a child's life are critical to brain development.

That’s why any damage – no matter how small – could mean health concerns years later.

Youth football is a family tradition for many, but this new study out of BU has found the longer a child waits to play football, the better it is for their brain.

“There's really something specific about hitting your head over and over again at a young age and it is disrupting normal brain development,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Michael Alosco, said. 

>> On Boston25News.com: One youth football game results in five concussions

Researchers examined 214 amateur and professional football players and found those who started playing football before they were 12 years old were at higher risk for behavioral and cognitive problems.

“That's a critical period of brain development, especially in males,” said Alosco. 

According to the study, the risks for behavioral problems doubled and the risk for elevated depression tripled.

>> Read more trending news

Alosco told WFXT that their findings revealed any injury to a child's brain could result in permanent damage.

“We're talking about those tiny hits to the head, over and over repeatedly that don't necessarily result in symptoms, but we think are enough to cause injury to the brain,” he explained. 

Just earlier this summer, WFXT investigated the growing trend of youth flag football as many are families opting out of regular football because of health concerns.

“I just think it's a little too dangerous at their young age. They're so fragile,” parent Jeanine Hetzel said. 

>> On Boston25News.com: Despite new helmets, doctors warn of concussion risk for football players

WFXT asked Alosco whether he would recommend parents not let their child play youth football. He said more research needs to be done, but he did say one thing. 

“You just have to ask yourself: Do you really want your young kid to go out there and start hitting their head at such a young age – not even just football – in anything?” said Alosco. 

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