PlaneTalk masthead, cleaned, 12-10
March 2016
News You Can Use

A Sweet Assortment
     If fresh fruits are good for us, why should we limit our consumption of fruit juice?
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Old-style text reading How sweet it is      The long-term health effects of using artificial sweeteners are unclear, but some experts advise using them sparingly.
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   The more sweets we eat, the more our brain craves them. Learn about this phenomenon, and some tips for regaining control.

Travel Well
     If you become constipated when you travel, understanding why could help you avoid problems on future trips.
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Passport on a world map      Here are tips for staying healthy while visiting distant or developing countries.
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     Before booking a cruise, you may want to check out the ship or cruise line company's record on the CDC's database of sanitation inspections. Additional precautions before and during a cruise will help you enjoy a healthy trip.

Working Out
Man using an elliptical trainer      Elliptical trainers are easier on your joints than running and provide a great aerobic workout. After mastering the proper form, you can adjust the machine's settings to focus on developing your endurance or specific lower-body muscles.

Succinctly...
     Which distractions appear to be the most dangerous while driving?
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     Test your knowledge of antibiotics with this quiz. (Bonus question: Why should you keep taking an antibiotic until it is all gone?)
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     Psychotherapy can be a helpful component of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatment, according to a recent analysis. This four-part article describes the role of the mind and stress relief in IBS.

The World A-Whirl
Spinning globe      If you someday experience a spinning sensation, you may have "benign paroxysmal positional vertigo" (BPPV). Typically persisting for several days or weeks, this unpleasant condition is common, especially in seniors. Some doctors are insufficiently informed about BPPV diagnosis and treatment. Learn about the condition so you can advocate for proper care, if necessary.
     If you experience recurrent BPPV, your physician or physical therapist may teach you how to do the treatment maneuver at home. You may also want to ask if this alternate technique would be appropriate for you.

For Cat and Dog Lovers
Close-up of dog & cat      If you are like a great many other people with pets, you may fail to recognize that your dog or cat is too heavy. Roughly half of American dogs and cats are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of diabetes, heart and kidney diseases, arthritis, and other health conditions.
     How can you tell if your four-footed friend is overweight? This article describes an easy way to check, and simple, positive steps for bringing down a chubby pet's weight. Additional tips are available here.
     Your pet will feel better, live longer, require less expensive veterinary care - and love you just as much. In fact, a recent study suggests cats that have slimmed down may become more affectionate.

Cancer Surgery
Sign pointing to a hospital      When possible before any surgery, it is best to seek out a surgeon and a hospital that often treat patients with your condition. Frequent surgeries of the same type allow a surgeon and hospital staff to become more expert in the procedure and after-care, increasing your odds of a successful operation and smooth recovery.
     Cancer patients now have a way to check how frequently surgeries for 11 types of cancer are performed at any California hospital. The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) has collected and published data from 2014. This copy of their data file has been reformatted to simplify use by our Santa Clara County readers. 
     All prospective hospital patients may be interested in another CHCF service, CalQualityCare, which rates hospitals according to patient experience, safety, and re-hospitalization.
Once upon a time...
Tire swing
 ...magazines and TV had no ads for prescription drugs. Then the pharmaceutical industry, claiming advertising would help health care consumers become better informed, successfully lobbied Congress to change the law. 
     Why do the American Medical Association and other health care experts recommend reinstating the ban on direct-to-consumer advertising?
     Do you feel better informed?
In This Issue
Once upon a time...
"Be-You-tiful" Tweens & Teens
Events
Hummingbird
    All events are open to the public. Some events require pre-registration.
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.  * Fee for participation
^ Scroll down the linked page
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Disabilities conference for parents & professionals (flyer; brochure)
San Francisco - Sat., Mar. 5
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San Jose - Tues., Mar. 8
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Mountain View - Tues., Mar. 8
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Palo Alto - Tues., Mar. 8
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For parents of children with disabilities:
.. San Jose - Wed., Mar. 9
.. Santa Clara - Mon., Mar. 14
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Palo Alto - Thurs., Mar. 10
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San Jose - Thurs., Mar. 10
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Living well with diabetes (6-week class begins)
Sunnyvale - Fri., Mar. 11
Mountain View - Mon., Mar. 28
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Nutrition during & after cancer treatment
Mountain View - Mon., Mar. 14 & Wed., Mar. 16
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Cancer detection & therapy (presented in Mandarin)
Mountain View - Wed., Mar. 16
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Anxiety in kids
Los Altos - Wed., Mar. 16
Palo Alto - Wed., Mar. 16
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Sunnyvale - Thurs., Mar. 17
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San Francisco - Sat., Mar. 19
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Mountain View - Sat., Mar. 19
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Mountain View - Tues., Mar. 22
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Santa Clara - Thurs., Mar. 24
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San Jose - Sat., Mar. 26
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Mountain View - Thurs., Mar. 31
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San Jose - Tues., Apr. 5

 

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"Be-You-tiful" Tweens & Teens
    All Santa Clara County middle and high school students are invited to share their thoughts about beauty in a poem or essay. Submissions to a writing contest sponsored annually by the Eating Disorders Resource Center are due by March 25. Cash prizes will be awarded.
 
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