ICYMI: The 10 Best Health Stories from October

October 28, 2016
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick

The MD Magazine editors rounded up the 10 best stories from October – did you read them all?

Now that warm weather is a mere memory, most people have long forgotten about their efforts to keep their “summer body” in check. But that hasn’t stopped MD Magazine from talking with a physician about helping people finding the right diets for them. Other stories making list include: using Star Wars as a diagnostic too, HPV shot recommendations have changed in a major way, and helping women maintain a healthy sex life.

In addition to the video interviews and other news coverage, the editors at MD Magazine have been traveling to conferences this month:

  • The North American Menopause Society 27th Annual Meeting (NAMS 2016) in Orlando, Florida
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology 2016 Annual Meeting (AAO 2016) in Chicago, Illinois
  • Infectious Disease Week (IDWeek 2016) in New Orleans, Louisiana

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Sticks and stones may break my bones, but so could regular cannabis use, according to a study from The University of Edinburgh.

In the first study to look at bone health in marijuana users, it was discovered that people who regularly smoke large amounts of marijuana are more likely to suffer fractures due to reduced bone density.

>>> Continue reading this story.

As one of the most popular movie franchises in history, Star Wars has reached a wide range of people across the globe. Some have seen ways to apply lessons from the movies to help in the diagnosis of mental health patients.

Ryan C. W. Hall, MD, a professor at both the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida, discussed this topic during the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting (APA 2016) in Atlanta, Georgia.

>>> Watch the exclusive interview with Ryan C. W. Hall, MD

Many people try to touch their knees to their noses in stretches or popular yoga poses. Many others can’t imagine doing such a thing, due to painful rheumatic conditions and sports injuries that result in damage to the articular cartilage in their knees.

>>> Continue reading this story.

There are tons of diets aimed at helping people lose weight. A recent study looked at whether a fasting diet was the way to go for the best results.

Krista Varady, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago discussed the topic during the annual meeting of The North American Menopause Society 27th Annual Meeting (NAMS 2016) in Orlando, Florida. Varady said the diet may not work for everyone but under the right circumstances eating a diet of under 500 calories one day and eating whatever they want the next can help patients lose the weight they want.

>>> Watch the exclusive interview with Krista Varady, PhD

Scott Sigman, MD, is a team physician for the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Although he was not an author on the study discussed, he is a spokesperson for the Choices Matter campaign and frequently offers his patients non-opioid alternatives to combat the epidemic — which led to his interest in this research. The study included 500 adult patients who had either soft tissue or orthopedic surgery and were given short-term postsurgical prescriptions.

>>> Read the exclusive interview with Scott Sigman, MD

Though under lock and key, state prisoners are considered “hard to reach” when it comes to getting them into treatment for hepatitis C infection.

That matters, though 1% of the US population is known to be HCV infected, the estimated rate in the US prison population is 17%.

>>> Continue reading this story.

Even the most seasoned healthcare providers may not want to address the sexual health of their patients for any number of reasons. However, by asking a few simple questions, that is not an insurmountable challenge in care.

A recent survey looked at various aspects of this issue in the hopes of moving the field forward to help address their needs. Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, an author of the survey, discussed the importance of this research at The North American Menopause Society 27th Annual Meeting (NAMS 2016) in Orlando, Florida.

>>> Watch the exclusive interview with Sheryl, Kingsberg, PhD

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has long recommended that all kids ages 11 and 12 get three doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. While the ages haven’t changed, the recommended number of shots has.

>>> Continue reading this story.

New findings from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) may explain why many previous attempts to formulate a hepatitis C (HCV) vaccine have missed their target. By reproducing E2, a key viral protein component in HCV, in a laboratory, researchers were able to analyze its characteristics and identify the unique challenges it poses as a potential vaccine target.

>>> Continue reading this story.

As the main treatment in pain medication opioids are widely prescribed for patients who need them. Balancing that with the risk of addiction and abuse is something providers deal with on a regular basis.

John Stamatos, MD, director of Pain Management at Syosset Hospital, part of the Northwell Health System, discussed the role of opioids in his and other’s practices during a recent interview with MD Magazine. Noting the difficulty on staying on narcotics for a long period of time, Stamatos said there are steps that need to be taken to keep not only patients, but those around them as safe as possible.

>>> Watch the exclusive interview with John Stamatos, MD