At an unusually candid meeting last month, blame flew both ways regarding a long stalemate over the status of the public health district and its relationship to Wasco County.
While only one person in Wasco County has reported getting the flu this year, health officials say they expect that number to rise around the beginning of the year.
DEAR DOCTOR K: At my last checkup, my doctor asked if I snore. When I told the doctor that my husband says I snore a lot, the doctor said snoring can be a sign of heart disease, particularly in postmenopausal women. What does snoring have to do with heart disease? DEAR READER: Snoring is not a sign of heart disease, but it can be a sign of sleep apnea. And people with sleep apnea are at greater risk for heart disease. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes brief, repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night. A woman’s risk of sleep apnea rises after menopause.
Cheree Gillette recently attended the funeral of a 34-year-old childhood friend who died of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The loss of her friend particularly shook Gillette, because she herself had nearly died from the same illness early this year.
High school player didn’t recognize what was happening
DEAR DOCTOR K: I have allergies, and my eyes are affected the most. They’re puffy, red and itchy. What can I do? DEAR READER: Pollens, animal dander, dust mites and mold: The same allergens that cause sneezing and an itchy nose and throat can trigger allergy symptoms that affect your eyes, too. If your eyes are red and itchy, you may also have tearing, mucous discharge and swelling of your conjunctiva (the inside of your eyelid). This constellation of symptoms is known as allergic conjunctivitis. It can be uncomfortable, but it is not a threat to vision.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Griffith Motors owner David Griffith made a donation of $50 for every vehicle sold in the month of October.
DEAR DOCTOR K: You recently wrote about e-cigarettes not being safe for teens. What about hookahs? I don’t completely understand what they are. Are they OK for my teen? I think he might be smoking them. DEAR READER: A hookah is a water pipe that people use to smoke a specially made tobacco. Often the tobacco used in hookahs is flavored, which makes smoking it more attractive to some people.
Emergency responders receive special training
Weight loss plan turns into new life interest
DEAR DOCTOR K: My doctor never recommended statins to me, but he says there are new guidelines, and thinks that I should now start taking one. What do you think of the new statin guidelines? DEAR READER: The new guidelines make a lot of sense, because we’ve learned that statins have more effects on the body than just lowering cholesterol. Statins were developed after a Nobel Prize-winning discovery in the 1970s revealed how the body makes cholesterol. Most of the cholesterol in our body is made by our body, not consumed in our food. Statins slow the production of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by the body.
County support levels not firmed up
DEAR DOCTOR K: For 20 years, I’ve substituted artificial sweeteners for sugar in my coffee, and switched to diet soft drinks to avoid obesity and the diseases that overweight people are prone to, like Type 2 diabetes. Now I hear that new research says that’s a bad idea. What is going on? DEAR READER: Here’s what’s not confusing: More than a modest amount of sugar each day is not good for you. Nothing’s changed there.
DEAR DOCTOR K: My daughter’s pediatrician would like her to have the HPV vaccine. I’m not sure. Is there evidence the HPV vaccine has some real benefit? DEAR READER: Yes, there is evidence — overwhelming evidence. And with this vaccine, the benefit is not that it will reduce the risk of a short-lived illness, like the flu. This vaccine will reduce your daughter’s risk of getting a common and life-threatening cancer.
DEAR DOCTOR K: I have diabetes. My doctor says I’m at risk for diabetic nephropathy. What is that? What can I do to prevent it? DEAR READER: Diabetic nephropathy is kidney disease that is a complication of diabetes.