Health and Fitness

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Locals get ready for Ebola

Emergency responders receive special training

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Run for your Life

Weight loss plan turns into new life interest

Ask Dr. K: Statin guidelines recognize expanded benefits

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.

Health pacts have still not been signed

County support levels not firmed up

Ask Dr. K: Artificial sweeteners may not decrease calories

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.

Ask Dr. K: Human papillomavirus vaccine has proven benefits

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.

Ask Dr. K: Lower your risk of diabetic nephropathy

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.

Dr. K: Tips on helping your child through puberty

DEAR DOCTOR K: What should I expect when my daughter goes through puberty? How can I help her as she goes through these changes? DEAR READER: Full disclosure: I don’t have any personal or parental experience to tap into for this question. Experienced colleagues and friends always emphasize how important it is to discuss puberty with your daughter before these changes begin. She needs to know what to expect and also that these changes are perfectly normal. Otherwise, she might be frightened by the first signs of change, such as her first menstrual bleeding.

The Pink Walk

MEMBERS OF THE Pink Project, a non-profit organization that provides comfort bags for breast cancer patients, took “The Pink Walk” Saturday to raise public awareness about breast cancer.

Join Pink Walk Sunday

The Pink Walk to raise public awareness about breast cancer, starts Saturday, Oct. 25, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Peter's Landmark, Third and Lincoln street.

Ask Dr. K: Home blood pressure monitor gives control

DEAR DOCTOR K: My doctor told me to check my blood pressure at home, but he didn’t give me many details. Could you provide some guidance? DEAR READER: Keeping your blood pressure in check is vital to maintaining heart health and preventing stroke. But the way most of us monitor our pressure — by trekking to the doctor’s office for occasional blood pressure checks — is far from ideal.

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Area prepared for Ebola

Vaccinations are a more pressing need

Ask Dr. K: Volunteering for a study can help you and others

DEAR DOCTOR K: I have a particular disease. A nearby medical school is recruiting people with my condition to participate in a research study. Should I volunteer? DEAR READER There are two good reasons to consider volunteering for a study: It might help you, and it might help others. In some types of studies, there also may be risks to you.

Ask Dr. K: Test recommended only for men of a certain age

DEAR DOCTOR K: I’ve heard so many conflicting opinions about whether or not to get screened for prostate cancer. Are there official guidelines? What do they recommend? DEAR READER: To say that prostate cancer screening has been controversial is an understatement. I spoke to my colleague Dr. Marc Garnick, clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, to hear his thoughts.

Ask Dr. K: Safety of e-cigarettes has yet to be established

DEAR DOCTOR K: I caught my son and his friends smoking e-cigarettes. My son tells me I have no reason to worry, and that they’re safer than regular cigarettes. What exactly are e-cigarettes? Are they safe?

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