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Are Boomers Less Sharp Than Previous Generations?  - web md

Are Boomers Less Sharp Than Previous Generations?

Looking at two decades' worth of data on U.S. adults, the study found generational differences in tests of cognitive function. That refers to essential mental abilities such as remembering, reasoning and problem-solving.
web md - 13 hours ago
School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19 - harvard

School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19

Summer activities are underway and some schools will be reopening come September. Does your child need a physical exam, or a form from the pediatrician? Here's how to think through the options for fulfilling these requirements. The post School, camp, daycare, and sports physicals: What to do in the time of COVID-19 appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 2 days ago
Young Black Americans at High Risk of Hypertension  - web md

Young Black Americans at High Risk of Hypertension

The study, of 18- to 44-year-olds in the United States, found that high blood pressure was prevalent across all racial groups: Among both white and Mexican American participants, 22% had the condition.
web md - 3 days ago
Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are - harvard

Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are

What are goosebumps? Why do we get them? Do they serve a purpose? Some of these questions can be answered, others can’t. But a recent study in mice links goosebumps to stem cells responsible for the regeneration of hair. The post Wondering about goosebumps? Of course you are appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
harvard - 3 days ago
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Another Effect of COVID: Lasting Hearing Problems?

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web md - 6 days ago
Study Reveals How Coronavirus Travels Indoors  - web md

Study Reveals How Coronavirus Travels Indoors

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web md - 6 days ago
Pandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season  - web md

Pandemic Could Complicate Hurricane Season

The average hurricane season has about 12 named storms, but up to 20 storms are being predicted this season, according to Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia.
web md - 6 days ago
New Study Shows Kids Are COVID Spreaders, Too  - web md

New Study Shows Kids Are COVID Spreaders, Too

Coronavirus testing performed in Chicago in March and April shows that children and teens tend to have as much virus in their nasal passages as adults, according to a research letter published online July 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.
web md - 1 week ago
One Disease Mosquitoes Don

One Disease Mosquitoes Don't Spread: Coronavirus

The researchers found that the new coronavirus can't replicate in three common species of mosquitoes -- Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus -- and therefore cannot be transmitted to humans.
web md - 1 week ago
Common Diabetes Meds Tied to Complication Risk  - web md

Common Diabetes Meds Tied to Complication Risk

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Yet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are Safe  - web md

Yet Another Study Finds Vaccines Are Safe

Vaccine hesitancy among Americans has been highlighted as a potential problem in the nation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with some experts concerned that too many folks simply won't get a coronavirus vaccine even if one proves safe and effective.
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Concussion Ups Odds for Many Brain Conditions  - web md

Concussion Ups Odds for Many Brain Conditions

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Survivors

Survivors' COVID Antibodies May Be a Powerful Gift

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WebMD Poll: Most Would Wait on COVID Vaccine

Fewer than half of people plan to get a coronavirus vaccine in the first year it’s available, and an even smaller group -- fewer than a third -- say they’ll get it in the first 90 days, a new WebMD reader poll finds.
web md - 1 week ago
In Rush to Publish, Some COVID Studies Not Reliable  - web md

In Rush to Publish, Some COVID Studies Not Reliable

Only 75 out of 664 clinical trials for COVID-19 -- about 11% -- have all the hallmarks of a scientific study that could be expected to produce solid results, according to the study published online July 27 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
web md - 1 week ago
Doctors Worry About COVID

Doctors Worry About COVID's Effects on Hispanics

While race and ethnicity data about the coronavirus isn’t complete, the reported numbers so far suggest Hispanic American adults of any race are disproportionately represented in certain coronavirus measures:
web md - 1 week ago
Will COVID Vaccine Trials Reflect U.S. Diversity?  - web md

Will COVID Vaccine Trials Reflect U.S. Diversity?

Although racial minorities, older people and those with underlying medical conditions are most at risk from COVID-19, they’ve historically been the least likely to be included in clinical trials for treatments for serious diseases. Will that change with COVID-19?
web md - 1 week ago
Another COVID Mystery: Why Some Fall Ill  Twice  - web md

Another COVID Mystery: Why Some Fall Ill Twice

Experts are puzzling over cases where people have had COVID-19 twice. There’s been no comprehensive study of cases like this, and no one knows yet whether reinfection is possible, especially so soon after someone has recovered.
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Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease? - harvard

Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease?

It has been known for some time that air pollution causes heart and lung diseases. Now, results from three different studies on populations in different parts of the world show an association between higher levels of air pollution and greater risk of cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. The post Does air pollution cause Alzheimer’s disease? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.
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I’m leaving Woohoo Inc - positive sharing

I’m leaving Woohoo Inc

I started Woohoo Inc back in 2003 so we have been spreading happiness at work for over 16 years. Our keynotes, workshops, articles, conferences, videos and books (download them for free) have reached millions of people all over the world. But something is wrong. For the last couple of years I have been unhappy at work and that won’t really … Continue reading I’m leaving Woohoo Inc →
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Eosinophilic esophagitis: A new food-related allergic condition on the rise?

Eosinophilic esophagitis: A new food-related allergic condition on the rise?

harvard - 7 months ago

In the early 1990s, doctors began describing a new condition affecting the esophagus of patients who were predisposed to allergies including food allergy, asthma, and eczema, and who were having trouble swallowing. Today, we call this condition eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).

What is EoE?

EoE is an allergic inflammation of the esophagus that causes a range of symptoms. Adolescents and adults most often experience it as difficulty swallowing, sometimes feeling like food moves too slowly through the esophagus and into the stomach. In some cases, food actually gets stuck (and may require urgent removal). Children and some adults primarily experience reflux symptoms and abdominal pain rather than difficulty swallowing.

In most cases, EoE develops as an allergic response to certain foods including wheat, milk, egg, soy, nuts, and seafood. If it is not properly diagnosed and treated, EoE may lead to permanent scarring or strictures (narrowing of the esophagus).

How is EoE diagnosed?

When EoE is suspected, generally the first test is an upper endoscopy, in which a flexible tube with a small camera and a light on one end is used examine the esophagus. The endoscopy usually reveals characteristic features of EoE, such as concentric rings and linear furrows or vertical lines, as well as small white spots or plaques.

The diagnosis is confirmed if biopsies from the esophagus reveal the hallmark increase in eosinophils. Eosinophils are a relatively rare type of immune cell that play a prominent role in allergic disorders including EoE and asthma.

How common is EoE?

EoE can affect both men and woman of any age, but it appears to be most common in men in their 30s and 40s. It is currently estimated that EoE may affect up to one in 2,000 adults in the US, and evidence suggests that the numbers have been growing. A recent review of nearly 30 studies in Europe and North America found that there has been a progressive increase in the number of new EoE cases, especially since the early 2000s.

The rise in EoE cases may be partly due to greater awareness of the condition and more widespread use of endoscopy. But a number of studies have confirmed a true rise in the incidence of the disease.

Why might EoE be on the rise?

The exact reasons for the rise of EoE are unknown, and it is especially puzzling that in many cases EoE results from an allergic sensitivity to a food that has been well tolerated up to that point.

There are several hypotheses about why EoE is increasing. Many of them relate back to the idea that EoE, and other allergic and autoimmune diseases, seem to correlate with decreased exposure to microbes and infections. Possible explanations that have been explored include:

  • The hygiene hypothesis: do fewer childhood infections equal more allergic diseases?
  • Microbial dysbiosis: has the modern/Western diet and lifestyle changed our microbiome?
  • Environmental factors: might changes in food production, genetic modification of crops, chemical additives, food processing, and pollutants play a role?
  • Declining frequency of H. pylori infection: might this common stomach bacteria (a common cause of peptic ulcers) be protective against some allergic diseases?
  • Increasing frequency of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): could acid reflux break the barrier of the esophagus and allow food allergens to stimulate the immune system?
  • Increasing use of acid-suppressing medications: does the use of antacids, especially early in life, change the microbes in the esophagus or somehow otherwise alter the risk of later food allergy?

How is EoE treated?

There are currently no FDA-approved treatments for EoE. Most people are initially treated with a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) antacid, which resolves EoE in up to half of cases. If this does not work, either a mild topical steroid or identification and elimination of specific dietary triggers is attempted.

When steroids are used to treat EoE, these are generally in a liquid formulation that is swallowed, rather than inhaled as they would be for asthma. Swallowed steroids act locally on the esophagus and are minimally absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. Although steroids for EoE are generally safe and effective, they do not lead to a long-term cure because the disease tends to come back as long as patients continue to eat foods that trigger the underlying allergic response.

Patients may also opt to identify their food trigger and eliminate it from the diet, and this represents a more definitive treatment approach. Unfortunately, currently available allergy testing does not accurately predict the foods that cause EoE. Trigger foods generally need to be identified using a process of food elimination and reintroduction. Wheat and dairy are the two most common triggers for EoE, and patients will often start by eliminating these two foods for about eight weeks. At that point, their symptoms are reassessed, and they also undergo a repeat endoscopy with biopsies to determine if the eosinophils have disappeared in response to the dietary changes.

Several medication therapies are on the horizon. These include better formulations of steroids and biologic medications that reduce the activity of eosinophils.

Summary

If you are having trouble swallowing or have experienced episodes of food getting stuck in the esophagus, particularly if you have other allergic conditions, discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Unrecognized or untreated EoE can lead to permanent damage to your esophagus.

For more information or to learn about strategies for living with EoE, visit the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders.

The post Eosinophilic esophagitis: A new food-related allergic condition on the rise? appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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