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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.

Electronic cigarettes are the most common of the electronic nicotine delivery systems today.

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.

Pushing through: New back pain treatments keep patients on the move


After he had battled lower back pain for three months with hot showers, analgesic heat rubs and heating pads, it finally happened. Chris Roth awoke one morning barely able to move.

This was a huge problem for Roth. As owner of Steel City Ballroom in a Pittsburgh suburb, he teaches the trademark hip-shaking and body-twisting steps of ballroom dancing. “I canceled my lessons,” said Roth, 44. “I’d had back pain but not like that. This was the most extreme pain. That’s when I couldn’t push through it.”

Mental gymnastics


They are said to improve your memory, sharpen your attention and help pick up the pace of mental processing, but can computer software, online games and phone apps actually train your brain to be a more efficient thinking machine?

At this point, “cautiously optimistic” might be the best way to describe the position of some experts.

Cholesterol confusion: Scientists debate impact of removing dietary guidelines


Recently the annual Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report stated that cholesterol was “not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

Some people celebrated, expecting once again to fill their bellies with unlimited amounts of butter, cheese, sausage and steak. But several notable doctors and scientists balked — and even protested.

Migraine studies yield fresh approaches to ward off pain


If you suffer from migraine headaches, you’ve got plenty of company. More than 10 percent of the population is hurting right along with you, including 18 percent of women. Migraines are most common from the ages of 25 to 55. The good news: New research can help change your approach to managing your migraines. Here are five strategies to try.

Worry can cause a headache, but a recent study from Yeshiva University in New York found that the relief experienced after a stressful situation can also bring on the pain. The cause may be a drop in stress hormones including cortisol, according to study co-author Dawn Buse, director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City. Calming yourself the right way can cut your risk. “If the stress has already passed, it’s wise to use all of the factors that may protect against migraine including sleep, proper nutrition, physical activity and exercise, and relaxation practices, which balance the nervous system,” Buse said in an interview. Those practices could include cognitive behavioral therapy, guided visual imagery or simply closing your eyes for 30 seconds to focus on your breath.

Tapering off meds


Cold turkey is a term used when describing an abrupt and complete withdrawal from the use of an addictive substance.

It may be common knowledge that quitting narcotics like heroin and opium can inflict terrible withdrawal symptoms, but other opiates like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Vicodin can do the same.

Eating clean: Whole foods can improve health, ward off disease


One of the big buzz terms in the nutritional health field right now is “eating clean.”

Those wanting to lose weight, tone their muscles, detox their systems or just feel better are all advised that the first step is to begin to “eat clean.”

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