Health & Wellness


Acid Reflux Caused by Too Little Acid, Not Too Much...

Learn the truth about acid reflux and the natural methods you can use to treat it.

Acid reflux is an extremely common health problem. So common in fact, it affects one out of two of you watching this video. Other terms used for this condition are gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), or peptic ulcer disease. Typically, acid reflux is thought to be caused by having too much acid in your stomach.

This is a serious medical mistake that affects hundreds of millions of people.


Vitamin D deficiency linked to more colds and flu

© iStockphoto/TommL
Is sunshine more than just a home remedy for a cold? New research suggests it may be: In a study that will be published tomorrow, people with low levels of vitamin D - also known as the "sunshine vitamin" - were more likely to catch cold and flu than folks with adequate amounts. The effect of the vitamin was strongest in people with asthma and other lung diseases who are predisposed to respiratory infections.

People with the worst vitamin D deficiency were 36 percent more likely to suffer respiratory infections than those with sufficient levels, according to the research in this week's Archives of Internal Medicine. Among asthmatics, those who were vitamin D deficient were five times more likely to get sick than their counterparts with healthy levels. And the risk of respiratory infection was twice as high among vitamin D-deficient patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than in lung patients with normal levels of the vitamin.


Does modest dress among Arab-American women promote vitamin D deficiency?

© Ranoush via Flickr
Vitamin D is the vitamin du jour these days, with many doctors urging more sun exposure following years of campaigns advising us to cover up and use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. Many of us, especially in cloudier areas, don't get enough of the sunshine vitamin. The elderly and post-menopausal women are more at risk for deficiency, as are those who live in northern climes.

But today comes news that one group seems to be at particular risk, doctors report in the journal Endocrine Practice. Arab-American women who wore the hijab (a Koran-derived dress code that includes a scarf or veil over their hair and modest dress) and didn't get enough vitamin D through their diet had half the levels of the vitamin of those who didn't adhere as closely to the dress code. There was no difference in rates of health problems linked to vitamin D deficiency, such as bone or joint pain or breaks, or muscle weakness. The study involved 87 women in Dearborn, Mich., which has a large Arab population.


Fear-mongering? Swine flu: what you need to know

Several hundred people in Mexico and 20 people in the US have come down with a new kind of swine flu. People are concerned because some of those infected in Mexico have died, and because this is the kind of virus that could become a serious worldwide epidemic.

Should I worry about this flu?

That depends on two things: how severe the flu is, and how far it spreads. Its severity is still unknown. Those who died in Mexico were young adults who don't often die of flu, so we know this virus can be serious. But it isn't always bad: the cases picked up in the US were mild. Outbreak investigators are now trying to find out how many people have had the virus, and how many of those were seriously ill, to get an idea of how bad it is.

Will it spread to where I live?

That depends on two things: whether the virus is transported to where you live, and how efficiently it spreads between people. So many people travel globally now that, as long as this virus keeps infecting people, it is unlikely not to get to where you live. Some countries are already using infrared cameras to spot people with fevers on flights from affected areas. But that won't stop it entirely, since five days can pass before an infected person shows symptoms, and the virus can spread before symptoms start.


Engineers develop 'e-mosquito' to test blood

An "Electronic Mosquito" could replace invasive methods of drawing blood samples from diabetics to check glucose levels.

The common method of drawing blood from fingertips and using glucose testing strips and metres can be painful, inconvenient and time-consuming.

Now, electrical engineers at the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary have patented a device called the Electronic Mosquito or e-Mosquito, a patch approximately the size of a deck of cards which contains four micro-needles that "bite" sequentially at programmed intervals.

The needles are electronically controlled to penetrate the skin deep enough to draw blood from a capillary, but not deep enough to hit a nerve, which means patients would experience little or no pain. The patch could be worn anywhere on the body where it could obtain accurate readings of capillary blood.


Career women have flatter figures, reduced fertility

In a bid to gain professional success, women could be risking the pleasures of being a mother. A recent study has revealed that work stress can upset the fertility of women and reduce their chances of having children.

Researchers at the University of Utah carried out an international comparison of women in 37 different populations and cultures.

On comparing the waist-to-hip ratio of the women, researchers found that those who had successful careers were more likely to have flatter figures. Career women are more likely to look like Keira Knightley than Marilyn Monroe.

Previous studies have linked curvaceous figures (where the hips are 30 percent or larger in circumference than the waist) with improved fertility in women.

Heart - Black

Nation of Lost Souls

Marcia Martel calms herself as she tells her story to the Star in Timmins.
Timmins - The last time Marcia Martel saw her mother at home, it was late summer and she was a chubby little Indian kid of 4. She doesn't remember much because she was crying and clutching the tall grass as strange people pulled her away. She was scared of the police and didn't understand why she was being taken from Beaverhouse First Nation on Lake Misema in northeastern Ontario.

Forced into a waiting boat, she sat down. She'd been taught "little children rules" for the water. She fixed her gaze on her mother standing alone against the house until the image was only a speck and then, nothing.

She couldn't stop crying. She felt so worthless, she says, "I knew God Himself didn't want me."


12 Kids Hospitalized After Drinking Tainted Water

Santa Clarita -- Lab results on water bottles that made a dozen students ill at a junior high school in Santa Clarita could be ready later today, according to county health officials.

The students got sick Thursday afternoon after drinking from contaminated water bottles that came from a vending machine at La Mesa Junior High School.

The FBI is investigating how the tainted water bottles got into a vending machine but they say the bottles do not appear to have been tampered with.

It was not immediately clear what the bottles contained, but it appeared to be a "bleach-like substance," county inspector Steve Zermeno said.


China confirms first human cases of bird flu

BEIJING - China confirmed its first three human bird flu cases Wednesday, including two fatalities, as Asia-Pacific leaders called for better co-operation to head off a potential pandemic before the winter flu season arrives.


US: Study finds 'danger zone' for child deaths near military bases

Researchers have found what they call a "danger zone" in which kids are more likely to die from abuse and neglect.

The study, which reviewed 300 child deaths dating back to 2000, found abuse-related child death cases are disproportionately clustered in neighborhoods that stretch from South Tacoma to the military bases along the Interstate 5 corridor.

"The one factor that is interesting is it's around the military bases, even though in our research we found that these cases are not related to the military," said lead researcher Tom Stokes.