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Study finds alcohol abuse on the rise


Across the nation, the number of people who have a problem with alcohol is going up. And despite explosive growth in the field of treatment options and recovery therapies, the proportion of those who seek to remedy the problem remains very low.

Earlier this month, the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry reported on a study revealing that 14 percent of Americans have what is now being termed as an “alcohol use disorder,” a 5-plus percent increase since the last survey was conducted in 2001.

An increase in daily drink amounts may account for this jump, the report said.

Swimmer’s ear is a common summer malady


It starts with an itch in your ear that makes you crazy. But don’t give in to the urge to scratch it with a cotton swab.

It’s most likely acute otitis externa, an infection of the skin of the ear canal commonly known as swimmer’s ear.

Things that bite (and what you can do about them)


Summer is finally here and ’tis the season to start complaining about what we don’t like about it: mosquitoes, ticks and other itsy bitsy biters.

By Memorial Day weekend, the official start to outdoor summer fun, the ticks were already hopping. On a trip by this reporter to a campsite at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Brighton, these pests were definitely on the uptick. Within minutes, several in our party were plucking the sesame-seed-size arachnids off of their clothing.

Hydration is crucial when you’re exercising in the heat


Trainer Lori Patterson holds all her boot camp classes outdoors. In the summer, the days are hot, the workouts intense and her advice simple.

Drink plenty of water.

Asthma, allergies and the new hope of immunotherapy


CHICAGO — When Lori Feeney’s 7-year-old daughter, Allison, suffered a minor asthma attack while playing soccer, the mother knew her attempts at managing her daughter’s seasonal allergies weren’t working. In fact, she didn’t even know her daughter had asthma.

Since the girl was 2, Feeney had been trying to manage her daughter’s seemingly innocuous symptoms — simple runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, constant clearing of her throat, congestion and fatigue — with over-the-counter medications and nasal sprays. She even tried a neti pot, humidifier and steam treatments, spending $30 to $50 a month trying to alleviate symptoms.

Short workouts: Don’t let time crunches stop you from exercising


Were all but the tiniest sliver of your favorite pie left, would you eat it or gripe that you wanted the whole pie? Would you stay indoors on the one sunny day of your weeklong beach vacation, lamenting that the other six were rained out?

Of course not. Snippets matter, be they of pie or of days or, when it comes to working out, of minutes. In other words, the “not enough time” excuse doesn’t cut it. Try a minute every hour of push-ups off the countertop, or squats while your coffee reheats, and just see how that energizes you.

Where there’s vapor ... Electronic cigarette use causes concern among doctors


It’s official. Cigarette smoking isn’t as cool as it used to be and kids aren’t taking up that habit as they once did.

That would be good news, except for what has replaced traditional cigarettes: a combination of new technology and the old addictive substance of nicotine.

Spotting skin cancer: Doctors urge sun protection, yearly screening


Some days it’s still 50 degrees and overcast outside, but even in Wisconsin it’s not too soon to be concerned about getting too much sun exposure. Without proper protection, the very same sunshine we’ve been craving all winter can lead to skin cancer come summer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and each year, 5 million people are treated for it. Some 3.5 million Americans are newly diagnosed each year with non-melanoma skin cancers.

Watch your step: In wake of executive’s death, doctors weigh in on dangers of treadmills


Treadmills can be high risk, especially when the user makes mistakes or becomes distracted, as national statistics and local doctors can attest.

It’s now international news following the accidental death on May 1 of Dave Goldberg, 47, a Silicon Valley executive and the husband of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. He was found alongside a treadmill in a Mexican resort with severe head injuries and died of blood loss in a Mexican hospital.

Skating through heart surgery


In September 2013, heart surgery patient John Corrigan looked down at the highly polished floors of the intensive care unit of Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee and remarked that they were nice enough to skate on.

Four days later, that’s exactly what he did.

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