Testing It Up » August 2010

Monthly Archives: August 2010

Early Disease Detection

National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September

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A post on CancerConnect.com shares the observance of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September.

Prostate cancer, as shared in the post, is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men, as well as one of the leading causes of cancer death among men. The observance of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month serves as a way to bring focus to the disease, and will hopefully lead to an increase in public understanding about prostate cancer.

prostateAs part of the observance, urologists at the Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut, will be giving free prostate cancer screenings, according to a feature on The Hour. The screening is sponsored by the Whittingham Cancer Center of Norwalk Hospital. Serving as coordinator for the event is Linda Versea, the administrative manager of the Whittingham Cancer Center.

The free screening, which has been scheduled for September 18 starting at 9 in the morning and lasting until noon, is for men between 40 to 75 years old, who is not under the care of a urologist or a primary care physician and does not have a history of prostate cancer, according to Dr. Jonathan Bernie, urologist and chief of robotic surgery. Two exams will be conducted: a digital rectal exam (DRE), and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test.

Dr. Peter Dodds, the chairman of the Norwalk Hospital Department of Surgery, shared that the free screening serves as a way of bringing awareness to the importance of regular prostate cancer screenings.

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

New Moms Can Avoid Diabetes by Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding has long been regarded as the best source of nourishment for infants. Beyond just providing babies with the nutrition that they need, however, breastfeeding is also a way for new moms to become healthier as well, according to a study shared on Time.com.

breastfeedingA study led by Dr. Eleanor Bimla Schwarz at the University of Pittsburgh concluded that women who do not breastfeed are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as moms who do. While the statistical evidence reveals a significant gap, the reason behind this gap is still unclear.

Scientists speculate, however, that the extra pounds that women gain due to pregnancy may have something to do with it. New moms who would like to shed the extra pregnancy weight are advised to breastfeed, as breastfeeding helps them lose abdominal fat gained during pregnancy more efficiently. The practice, it seems, does more than just allow a mom to get back into shape faster; it also keeps them healthier.

Schwarz shares: “When you look at mammals, you have to consider lactation as part of the pregnancy experience…  When women don’t breastfeed after pregnancy, or lactation is curtailed or prematurely discontinued, women end up retaining more fat than they would have if they breastfed. Then the mother’s health can suffer.”

Studies have determined that breastfeeding can increase a mother’s response to insulin and allows her to break down glucose more effectively, as well as regulate sugar metabolism. Furthermore, hormones that promote growth hormone activity, which can affect the levels of insulin, are inhibited by lactation.

Alcohol Testing Substance Abuse

Dangers of Alcohol Poisoning

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Drinking might be an ordinary thing to do for most people — but if you are a binge drinker, or imbibing a dare, or just partying heavily, you should be aware that an overdose of alcohol can happen in the body.

The “toxic” in the words alcohol intoxication happens when a person ODs on alcohol. An active ingredient such as ethanol in alcoholic drinks can hinder brain activity by affecting the nerve cells that control breathing which results in a respiratory depression. When this happens, breathing becomes shallow and slow, carbon dioxide accumulates and then a person slips into a coma, stops breathing, and dies.

too much alcoholIt is hard to determine whether one has had too much alcohol since an overdose is not usually obvious to people around. The consequences of guzzling too much will not immediately be felt by the drinker that even when he has already taken a fatal dose, he can still be social and upright. The amount of alcohol considered dangerous varies from person to person. Factors like body mass and gender can make it hard for doctors or police to measure the degree of intoxication.

There isn’t much that a doctor can do when a person overdoses on alcohol. Time is the only element that can tell whether the body is capable of metabolizing the alcohol in the blood stream. Doctors can help the patient to breathe by inserting a breathing tube and then, wait.

When an individual survives alcohol poisoning, there are risks of long-term damages associated with it.  Aside from physical injuries like car crashes and falling that happens with simultaneous use of drugs and alcohol, permanent brain damage is also possible. This happens when the victim stops breathing and there isn’t enough oxygen supplied in the brain. When airways are blocked due to vomiting, complications in the stomach and lungs could take place too.

Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Neurological Risks Associated with Teen Drinking

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The cost of early heavy drinking may extend far beyond the time that drinking takes away for studies, developing social skills or even for other growing-up related tasks.

teen drinkingStudies show that early drinking causes damage to developing brains like that of teenagers. In fact, some reports have been published telling parents that they should be worried if young children or adolescents are drinking since alcohol abuse does injury on younger brain cells more than it does to those of the adults. This corrects the presumption that people can drink heavily for years before a significant damage can happen to them in later years.

This might explain why those who start drinking early become alcoholics as they age.  An astounding 47% of those who start drinking at age 14 become alcohol dependents at some time in their life compared to only 9% of those who wait until they turn 21 before they start drinking.

Research done in San Diego also showed that alcoholic teens perform poorly in school. They have difficulty dealing with attention focusing, verbal and non-verbal memory, and exercising spatial skills like those of reading a map or assemble a precut bookcase. “There is no doubt about it: there are long-term cognitive consequences to excessive drinking of alcohol in adolescence,” said Aaron White, an assistant research professor in the psychiatry department at Duke University.  Dr. Scott Swartzwelder, a neuropsychologist at Duke also adds that “teenagers can drink far more than adults before they get sleepy enough to stop, but along the way they’re impairing their cognitive functions much more powerfully.”

This should be enough warning for parents to be conscious of their children’s activities. They might overlook something as simple as adolescents experimenting on alcoholic drinks. Before it becomes too late, find activities that can help develop self-discipline to discourage early alcohol abuse.

Celebrity Substance Abuse Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Paris Hilton Arrested, on Cocaine Charges This Time!

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Heiress Paris Hilton ran into trouble with the law again after she was arrested on Friday night, this time on charges of cocaine possession, in Las Vegas. Over the summer, Ms. Hilton was also apprehended twice, both occasions due to pot-related charges.

paris hiltonThe heiress’ arrest was confirmed by a spokesperson from the Las Vegas Police. Ms. Hilton was riding in a car that was stopped by police, because they saw what they suspected was marijuana smoke coming out of its windows.

The driver, who was a friend of Ms. Hilton’s, was arrested for drug possession. Police said that cocaine was eventually found in Ms. Hilton’s possession after authorities had further interaction with her. She was detained at the Clark County Detention Center; she was released at 2:30 in the morning, Pacific Time, on Saturday.

Over the summer, Ms. Hilton was apprehended on suspicion of marijuana possession, although the case against her was dropped. Only her friend was charged, after the latter confessed to owning the marijuana. Then, a couple of weeks later, she was also apprehended in France after less than a gram of marijuana was discovered in her purse.

Ms. Hilton spent 23 days in jail after pleading no contest to charges of alcohol-related reckless driving in 2007.

Las Vegas Background Screening

Substance Abuse

Drug Cartel Dumps 72 Bodies Near US Border!

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The Mexican Marines uncovered 72 bodies dumped in a Mexican Ranch near the US border. It is so far the biggest single discovery of its kind in the continuing war of Mexico against drugs. The bodies were found at the Tamaulipas state, about 90 miles from the Texas border.

drug cartelAuthorities recognized 58 bodies of men and 14 bodies of women at the site. After a series or firefights between the marines and gang members, casualties were declared in both camps with three from the drug group and one from the marines. There were several gang members arrested while some still managed to escape.

The discovery of the bodies was first made known by a man who approached officers guarding a nearby checkpoint. He was able to escape and was wounded but still managed to give authorities information leading to the area which the troops were able to locate thru air surveillance. While they were flying near the area, shots were fired on them from the ground by the drug cartel members. In the aftermath of the fight, marines seized bullets, assault rifles, combat uniforms, and vehicles with forged license plates.

Alejandro Poire, a senior national security officer, told media that most of the victims were immigrants from countries like Ecuador, Honduras, Brazil, and El Salvador who were kidnapped as they made their way to the Texan border. The wounded man who gave authorities the information was, in fact, an Ecuadorean now confined at a hospital in Mexico.

Mexican cartels have moved into human smuggling in the last few years. They kidnap immigrants from the border and extort money and services from them. Some are forced to carry narcotics with them across the border while some are made into hitmen which serves their group.

Health & Wellness

Get Your Dose of Anti-Oxidants from Black Rice!

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There is another source of anti-oxidants that you may want to put on the dinner table – something that, in ancient times, only royalty was allowed to eat, at least according to a Chinese legend shared in a feature on CNN.com.

Black rice, for the ancient Chinese, was regarded as tasty and nutritious – but its rarity elevated it to food fit only for emperors. Fast forward to today, and black rice has retained the same qualities as in ancient times; the difference is that now, there are researchers who are working towards turning black rice into a dish that is more accessible to everyone – not just royalty.

black rice puddingBlack rice, like its cousin brown rice, contains bran rich in anti-oxidants, found in the outer layer that ends up getting removed in the milling process that is employed to produce the more common white rice. However, black rice-bran contains a plus factor: anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins are purplish-red pigments that are also found in grapes and blueberries. Anthocyanins have been related to such health benefits as decreased risk of hear disease and cancer, as well as improvements in memory.

As in brown rice, however, not everyone will be a fan of black rice. American Dietetic Association spokesperson Marissa Moore, R.D., shared that some people found it difficult to incorporate brown rice into their diets due to the fact that it tasted different and was chewier. In comparison, black rice is even chewier and more intense than brown rice.

Black rice is available in the United States in such supermarkets as Whole Foods.

Alcohol Testing Substance Abuse

DWI Charges Slammed Against Mankato Mayor John Brady

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When police received a call about a hit-and-run incident at Golden Valley around 1 pm last weekend, they didn’t expect the alleged driver of the vehicle reported was Mankato Mayor John Brady.

Mankato Mayor John BradyThe mayor,61, was charged with fourth-degree driving while intoxicated, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, and having an open container of alcohol at his side while driving. When police first hailed his vehicle to stop,  Brady didn’t yield even after police emergency lights were on and instead struck another vehicle while exiting Interstate 39 to Hopkins Crossroad. He finally stopped after nearly hitting another vehicle and when police talked to him, his speech was so slurred that they thought he was speaking a foreign language.

When he was asked to get out of his car, he used the door to brace himself. Police then instructed him to take the sobriety tests upon his admission that he was drinking. He wasn’t able to do the test successfully and needed an officer to catch him from falling over. It was later found out that his blood-alcohol level was three times more than the legal limit at 0.24. There was a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka at the driver’s door of Brady’s vehicle too.

Brady has been the mayor of Mankato in the last four years and is seeking re-election this fall. For the cases filed against him, he is scheduled to face the court on October 13. A penalty of a maximum of 90 days imprisonment or a fine of $1,000 or both is behind each case charged on him. “We consider these kinds of charges very serious and very concerning,” Golden Valley City Attorney Francis Rondoni said. Hopefully, the mayor will be able to surpass all these predicaments for his political career is greatly at stake.

Alcohol Testing Celebrity Substance Abuse Drug Testing Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Judge Sets Path for Lindsay’s Recovery

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After Lindsay Lohan’s release from rehab, the judge handling her case set out a path paved for her full recovery and an end to her three-year-old drug cases.

Judge Elden Fox set up a program filled with therapy sessions and a 12-step program meeting for Lindsay’s full recovery. For the remaining 67 days of her sentence, Lohan will be expected to subject herself to drug and alcohol counseling, random drug and alcohol testing several times a week, and attend psychotherapy sessions.

Lindsay LohanIf Lindsay fulfills all these stipulations, the judge will allow her to leave Los Angeles permanently if she wishes and be on unsupervised probation. If things aren’t followed and she fails her tests, she will have to go to jail for 30 days for each violation that she makes.

Shawn Chapman Holley, Lindsay’s attorney, says that her client is eager to show that she can do all the things asked by the judge for her rigid outpatient rehab program. Despite the difficult schedule, her client will go back to working as she is scheduled to return on the big screen with the movie “Machete” by Robert Rodriguez showing on September 3rd.

“She is very serious about her sobriety,” Holley told the judge. “She has changed,” the lawyer said. “She’s healthy. She’s clear-headed. She is positive at looking forward.” Lohan, who was released hours earlier before her lawyer appeared before Judge Fox, opted to skip facing the court again.

His decision to agree for Lohan to be released from rehab was a result of all the medical reports that he reviewed in the course of the three-year-old case. Despite the intense regimen that he issued upon Lindsay, the judge gave her an incentive to succeed as he dismissed two drug counts which the actress pleaded guilty of in 2007.

Los Angeles Health Screening

Health & Wellness

Only 41 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries for LA

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If the announcement of the city officials of Los Angeles is to be upheld, there will only be 41 marijuana dispensaries left in the city – but dispensaries deemed ineligible are not taking the ruling sitting down.

medical marijuanaAccording to a report on the Los Angeles Times, there are only 41 medical marijuana dispensaries that were found to be eligible to stay in business under the city’s ordinance. The number, however, is so low that the process will reportedly be suspended, pending the ruling of a judge that it is legal. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge will be asked by the city attorney’s office to decide if the process being followed by the city is suitable.

PureLife Alternative Wellness Center is one of the dispensaries that have been found to be ineligible to continue its operations. The ruling did not sit well with Yamileth Bolanos, who runs PureLife: “I’m not going to take this lying down… This is ridiculous. They have screwed up one thing after another. Not once have they thought about the patients of Los Angeles.”

As of this time, there are almost thirty lawsuits from an estimated 85 dispensaries that are challenging the procedure that Los Angeles is following, which aims to limit the number of dispensaries. The dispensaries who filed the lawsuits are among the more than 400 dispensaries that have been shut down since the city adopted the process in January.

Los Angeles sought to trim down dispensaries operating in the city after it saw an increase in the number of dispensaries after failing to implement a moratorium that was put in place in 2007.

Los Angeles Health Screening