Your healthcare news library

Archive for March 25, 2013

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups shelled fresh (or frozen, thawed) fava beans or peas (from about 2 lb. pods)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 pound chanterelles or crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, whites and pale greens only, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, trimmed, leaves torn
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan (about 3 ounces) plus more for shaving
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

  • If using fresh fava beans, cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Peel favas and transfer to a small bowl.
  • Bring a large skillet of salted water to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Add vinegar. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, then slide into simmering water. Repeat with 2 more eggs. Cook until whites are cooked but yolks are runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water. Repeat with remaining 3 eggs.
  • Bring broth to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large, wide heavy pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with favas.
  • Heat oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same pot over medium heat. Add leeks, fennel, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until evaporated, about 4 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup broth. Cook, stirring often (no need to stir constantly), until broth is almost absorbed. Add remaining broth by cupfuls, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.
  • Add spinach, crème fraîche, 1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino, 1/4 cup chives, and reserved fava beans and mushrooms to risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Season risotto with salt.
  • A few minutes before risotto is done, reheat poached eggs in a large skillet of simmering water, about 1 minute.
  • Divide risotto among bowls and top with eggs, shaved Pecorino, chives, and pepper.

Read Morehttp://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2013/04/spring-vegetable-risotto-with-poached-eggs#ixzz2OW5RupQ8

Learn Pilates

iPhone Screenshot 1

No matter your fitness level, you can benefit from Mahalo’s Learn Pilates app. In one month, you’ll move through a series of beginner, intermediate and advanced poses, which average out to one a day.

And even though we’re convinced this app will have you fit in no time, we’re constantly trying to improve. So if you run into any issues while using this or any of our other apps, please let us know by emailing mobilehelp@mahalo.com.

The goal of this app is to help you:

✓ Lose weight and tone muscle without any workout machines
✓ Mix up your workout routine with something new and fun
✓ Master pilates in just 30 days

Each chapter features lessons on 10 poses with a workout series at the end. You’ll learn the proper technique for popular poses like the hundreds, roll ups and twists. Additionally, you’ll benefit from STOTT pilates expert Jaime Rutt’s instruction on:

✓ Keeping your breathing steady and even
✓ Modifying poses based on injury or fitness level
✓ What not to do and common mistakes people make
✓ Which muscles you’ll be engaging for each of the moves

Jaime is a STOTT-certified pilates instructor who has been teaching for 10 years. After completing her training in Michigan, Jaime moved to New York where she continued her education and training with Kimberly and Katherine Corp at Pilates on Fifth. Coupled with a background in dance, Jaime brings a unique physicality, creative spirit, and strength to her sessions.

Make sure you consult your doctor before beginning this or any other exercise program.

iTunesPreview – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/learn-pilates/id473456615?mt=8

Cardiff and Vale NHS weight loss plan for operations

Cigarette
Smokers needing operations would have to try to quit under Cardiff and Vale health board plans

Obese people will have to complete weight loss programmes before they can have operations, if proposals by a Welsh health board are approved.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board also says requiring smokers to go on courses to help them give up before surgery may save over £400,000.

It would not apply to cancer patients or people needing emergency treatment.

The board would have to cut costs by £90m to break even in the next financial year.


Whilst the increased availability of courses for smoking and obesity is to be welcomed, I am concerned that failure to participate in these will be used as an excuse to delay operations for patients in need of treatment”

Andrew RT DaviesLeader, Welsh assembly Conservatives

Welsh Conservatives said it showed the NHS “needs an urgent transfusion of cash”.

Members of the health board will be asked to approve measures to address “lifestyle risk factors” at a meeting next Thursday, 28 March.

Any smokers must have been offered, accepted and completed smoking cessation programmes before they can be listed for elective surgery.

The move would save an estimated £41,941 to £437,650 a year.

Around 23% of the population of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan are smokers. Between 10% and 30% are likely to quit if they had smoking cessation support before surgery, the board says.

Similarly, anyone with a body-mass index of at least 40 would have to accept and complete weight management support before they are listed.

That could include being referred by a doctor to an exercise scheme.

Papers for the meeting say obese patients are almost 12 times more likely to suffer complications after an operation and around half are thought to have poor outcomes after having joints replaced.

Elective surgery is a non-emergency procedure that is planned in advance.

The NHS in other parts of the UK has introduced similar requirements for obese patients and smokers.

Other papers for the board say that it would have to cut costs by £90m, or 9%, if it is to break even in 2013/14.

Andrew RT Davies, Tory leader in the assembly, said: “Whilst the increased availability of courses for smoking and obesity is to be welcomed, I am concerned that failure to participate in these will be used as an excuse to delay operations for patients in need of treatment.

“The health board must give assurances that this will not be the case.”

BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-21897865#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Love letters and kindness may improve mental health

Handwriting

“You matter to me. In a way I cannot explain, you matter to me. And you, you are a marvel… you and all the parts of you.”

It’s not the kind of thing you normally write to a complete stranger.

But after graduating from college and moving to New York City, Hannah Brencher was feeling anxious and depressed. She found herself not wanting to be around other people and “just really unravelling”.

Then she started writing love letters to strangers and leaving them all over the city. The first letter she left on a train simply addressed: “If you find this letter then it’s for you.”

Since then she has left letters in libraries and cafes, and even hidden them around the United Nations building.


To whoever finds this letter

You and I don’t know one another. We may never sit and laugh over cups of coffee. We may never dance in the same circles or yawn together by the midnight hour. None of that really matters to me. It is so small and meaningless to the things I wish you would know on a daily basis: that you are lovely. That you are worthy. That those hands of yours were made for mighty, mighty things.

You probably think I am crazy. You are probably sitting here with this letter in your hands thinking, you cannot know that… you don’t know me… you don’t know a stitch of me. Yes, you’re right. But I know all the things I thought I never deserved. I know how very hard it once was to love myself and value myself and even find myself worth the reflection in the mirror. And so I know I am not alone in needing a boost some days, in needing to know that I matter to someone somewhere.

You matter to me. In a way I cannot explain, you matter to me. And you, you are a marvel… you and all the parts of you.

Love,

A girl just trying to find her way

“What I noticed was that my sadness and loneliness got backburnered,” she told the BBC. “I found something that allowed me to take the focus off of myself.”

Unexpected kindness

Hannah and her More Love Letters campaign are part of a growing number of organisations shouting about the beneficial effects of random acts of kindness for givers as well as receivers.

It might sound a bit like new-age nonsense to some people, but new research suggests being kind might actually be good for your mental health.

A study published in the journal Emotion reports that performing acts of kindness may help people with social anxiety to feel more positive.

Dr Lynn Alden and Dr Jennifer Trew, from the University of British Columbia, asked volunteers with high levels of social anxiety to commit multiple acts of kindness on two days a week over a four-week period.

“Sometimes people would give a small gift to somebody, or picking somebody up from work, visiting sick people, thanking a bus driver. They were actually fairly small acts,” explained Dr Alden.

They were small acts perhaps, but ones which had a much bigger impact.

Challenging beliefs

More standard treatment for social anxiety disorder is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) adapted specifically for people who fear they will do or say something embarrassing in a social situation.


Social anxiety disorder

  • It is the most common of the anxiety disorders.
  • It is more common in women than men and often begins in adolescence.
  • People fear they will do or say something embarrassing in a social situation and avoid those situations as a result.
  • Physical symptoms include signs of anxiety such as blushing, sweating, shaking, heart pounding, muscle tension and upset stomach.

As part of this therapy patients are encouraged to face their fears about social contact, by putting themselves into a situation they would normally avoid or initiating conversation with new people.

In Dr Alden’s experiment a comparison group of anxious volunteers were asked to perform small “belief-challenging” tasks similar to these therapeutic ones.

Just like the kind acts group, this group were also increasing their levels of social contact, engaging in unfamiliar behaviour, and paying attention to others’ responses; all things which have been suggested to be important components in overcoming social anxiety.

At the end of the four weeks, participants in the kind acts group avoided social situations less and also reported increased relationship satisfaction. Performing kind acts appeared to have a bigger effect than CBT-like behaviour tasks.


The kindness offensive

Free hugs poster

A London-based initiative called the Kindness Offensive have been organising give-away events and encouraging kind acts since 2008.

They hold the world record for the largest ever random act of kindness for distributing 39 tonnes of goods in one day.

“It’s practically impossible to do an act of kindness without feeling good about yourself,” said the aptly named David Goodfellow, one of the founding members of the group.

“If you can make someone’s day a little bit better it will actually make your day a little bit better.”

The Kindness Offensive

Dr Nick Grey, consultant clinical psychologist and clinic director at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma in London, was initially wary of the idea that performing kind acts might have therapeutic value for patients with anxiety disorders.

“I hadn’t seen the paper and I was sceptical from the title to be honest. But it’s a good paper and comes from a well-respected team.

“I don’t think that’s ever going to be a therapy in and of itself, but it could well be the kind of activity that could be integrated as part of a broader treatment.”

Dr Alden suggests that acts of kindness might be an initial step in a longer therapeutic pathway.

“Engaging in kind acts may help the person to get out and encounter other people and then we can use other techniques to help the person change their beliefs about themselves.”

But she urges caution about performing acts of kindness chosen by someone else or just to impress others.

“I think it has be done in such a way that the individual has a sense of autonomy. They are performing the act because they want to and not because it’s required by the group.”

BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21900202#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

‘Visionary’ leadership needed on TB

Bacteria
Many first-choice antibiotics no longer work against some strains of the tuberculosis bacterium

By James GallagherHealth and science reporter, BBC News

Plans to tackle tuberculosis are failing and a new visionary approach is needed, according to an international group of doctors and scientists.

There is mounting concern that a rise in “virtually untreatable” tuberculosis poses a threat to countries around the world.

Writing in the Lancet medical journal, the group said governments were “complacent” and “neglectful”.

It called for countries to do more to tackle the problem.

The World Health Organization says nearly nine million people become sick and 1.4 million die from tuberculosis each year.

Resistance

Some countries are facing problems with drug resistance, with many first-choice antibiotics no longer working against some strains of the tuberculosis bacterium.

It is particularly acute in some parts of eastern Europe and central Asia, where up to a third of cases can be multi-drug resistant, known as MDR-TB.


Tuberculosis symptoms

  • A persistent cough, usually for more than three weeks
  • Night sweats for weeks or months
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • High temperature
  • Shortness of breath

BBC Health

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases of MDR-TB around the world has gone from 12,000 in 2005 to 62,000 in 2011. However, the real figure is thought to be closer to 300,000.

An even more stubborn version, resistant to more antibiotics, is called extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and has been detected in 84 countries.

“With ease of international travel, and increased rates of MDR tuberculosis in eastern Europe, central Asia, and elsewhere, the threat and range of the spread of untreatable tuberculosis is very real,” the report said.

It argued that countries had spent decades being complacent in their response to the infection and that a “major conceptual change and visionary global leadership” were needed.

“To prevent further cases of multi-drug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, a radical change in political and scientific thinking, and the implementation of specific measures worldwide, are needed.

“The global economic crisis and reduced investments in health services threaten national tuberculosis programmes and the gains made in global tuberculosis control.”

Tackling poverty

One of the report’s authors, Prof Alimuddin Zumla, said: “”It’s a growing problem in London and a huge, huge problem in Europe – it’s in our backyard at the moment.”

However, he warned there was “no overnight solution” for tuberculosis.

He said many of the necessary tools, such as antibiotics, had already been developed, but the challenge was using them appropriately in often poor countries.

Prof Zumla argues that Europe overcame tuberculosis by tackling poverty; however, “that’s an ideal that I don’t think is going to happen [for the rest of the world]”, he said.

Dr John Moore-Gillon, a medical adviser for the British Lung Foundation, told the BBC: “They are not scaremongering this at all.

“Tuberculosis is perceived as someone else’s problem, there’s no doubt we need a bit of political leadership.”

He said there had been a “shameful” lack of investment in tuberculosis treatment and research.

“With global population movement, tuberculosis is in everyone’s backyard.”

BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21894488#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Down’s syndrome ‘linked to brain protein loss’

Neural network
Researchers looked at how proteins powered brain function and memory

A lack of a protein in Down’s syndrome brains could be the cause of learning and memory problems, says a US study.

Writing in Nature Medicine, Californian researchers found that the extra copy of chromosome 21 in people with the condition triggered the protein loss.

Their study found restoring the protein in Down’s syndrome mice improved cognitive function and behaviour.

The Down’s Syndrome Association said the study was interesting but the causes of Down’s were very complex.

Prof Huaxi Xu, senior author of the study from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, said that in experiments on mice they discovered that the SNX27 protein was important for brain function and memory formation.


In Down’s syndrome, we believe lack of SNX27 is at least partly to blame for developmental and cognitive defects.”

Prof Huaxi XuSanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Mice with less SNX27 had fewer active glutamate receptors and therefore had impaired learning and memory.

The SNX27-deficient mice shared some characteristics with Down’s syndrome, so the researchers looked at human brains with the condition.

This confirmed their findings in the lab – that people with Down’s syndrome also have significantly lower levels of SNX27.

Neurons from a normal mouse (left) are longer and fuller than neurons from a mouse lacking SNX27 (right).
Neurons from a normal mouse (left) are longer and fuller than neurons from a mouse lacking SNX27 (right)

“So, in Down’s syndrome, we believe lack of SNX27 is at least partly to blame for developmental and cognitive defects,” Prof Xu said.

In the lab, the research team increased the levels of the protein in mice brains to see if the problem could be resolved.

“Everything goes back to normal after SNX27 treatment,” said Xin Wang, a graduate member of the research team.

“First we see the glutamate receptors come back, then memory deficit is repaired in our Down’s syndrome mice.”

But Prof Xu cautioned that science still had work to do to develop a safe technique of delivering genes into the human brain.

Ethical concerns

The researchers are now screening small molecules to look for those that might increase SNX27 production or function in the brain.

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down’s Syndrome Association, said they were following the development of many biomedical research studies into Down’s syndrome with interest.

“This particular study is of interest; however, the genetic causes of Down’s syndrome are very complex and we are still a long way away from the development of therapeutic treatments that might lead to improvement to cognition in people with Down’s syndrome.”

She also said they were mindful of the ethical issues that such treatments might raise for people with Down’s syndrome and their families.

BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21900954#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

心臟跳不停 繞道手術改善冠狀動脈硬化

心臟跳不停 繞道手術改善冠狀動脈硬化

健康醫療網/潘以慈報導 2013/03/24
苗栗一名73歲老翁,日前因胸悶與運動呼吸困難,已有一段很長時間,原先以為是長期吸菸所致,但戒菸後症狀仍未改善,就醫後診斷為冠狀動脈硬化狹窄,所幸經苗栗為恭紀念醫院進行動脈繞道手術後,病況因而獲得改善。

這名老翁在苗栗為恭紀念醫院與台中榮總醫療團隊合作下,日前順利完成心臟繞道手術,成功搶救了老翁心臟疾病。

台中心臟外科主治醫師林雍凱表示,冠狀動脈是供給心臟血液最重要的血管,但隨著國人西化飲食習慣漸高,造成血管的負荷量增大,在動脈堆積許多脂肪沉積物,使供給心臟血液和養分的冠狀動脈,產生了狹窄或阻塞,會使動脈壁增生,失去彈性,形成動脈粥狀硬化現象。

林雍凱醫師指出,冠狀動脈硬化容易造成腦中風、心絞痛等重症心血管疾病;臨床上,心臟不停跳式動脈繞道手術,具有很多優點,其中手術期間不需使用體外心肺循環,不但病患死亡率降低,中風的發生率估計也從原本的6%降至1%左右。

林雍凱表示,心臟不停跳繞道術安全性高,其他併發症發生率也相對降低許多,且適合高齡患者,以及第2次開刀沾粘得很厲害的病患。

醫師並呼籲,冠狀動脈硬化疾病早期發現與治療很重要,飲食控制、維持理想體重,則是擺脫冠狀動脈硬化重要的方法。

健康醫療網:http://www.healthnews.com.tw/readnews.php?id=8593

Tag Cloud