What Seniors Should Know Before Going Ahead With Elective Procedures

For months, Patricia Merryweather-Arges, a health care expert, has fielded questions about the coronavirus pandemic from fellow Rotary Club members in the Midwest.

Recently people have wondered “Is it safe for me to go see my doctor? Should I keep that appointment with my dentist? What about that knee replacement I put on hold: Should I go ahead with that?”

These are pressing concerns as hospitals, outpatient clinics and physicians’ practices have started providing elective medical procedures — services that had been suspended for several months.

Late last month, KFF reported that 48% of adults had skipped or postponed … Read more

Functional dyspepsia: Causes, treatments, and new directions

Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a common condition, loosely defined by some physicians as a stomach ache without a clear cause. More specifically, it is characterized by the feeling of fullness during or after a meal, or a burning sensation in the mid-upper abdomen, just below the rib cage (not necessarily associated with meals). The symptoms can be severe enough to interfere with finishing meals or participating in regular daily activities.

Those with FD often go through multiple tests like upper endoscopy, CT scan, and gastric emptying study. But despite often-severe symptoms, no clear cause (such as cancer, ulcer disease, or other inflammation) is identified.

Acid reflux, the stomach, and the small intestine

Because there is no clear cause for symptoms, treating FD is challenging as well. The first step in treatment is usually to check for bacteria called H. pylori that can cause inflammation of the stomach and small intestine. … Read more

Six Takeaways Of The KHN-AP Investigation Into The Erosion Of Public Health

Local and state public health departments across the country work to ensure that people in their communities have healthy water to drink, their restaurants don’t serve contaminated food and outbreaks of infectious diseases don’t spread. Those departments now find themselves at the forefront of fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

But years of budget and staffing cuts have left them unprepared to face the worst health crisis in a century.

KHN and The Associated Press sought to understand the scale of the cuts and how the decades-long starvation of public health departments by federal, state and local governments has affected the system meant to protect the nation’s health.

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How to help your young child cope with the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for all of us, and this includes our youngest children.

It’s easy, and tempting, to think that infants, toddlers, and preschoolers aren’t affected by the pandemic. The truth is, though, that that life has changed for them, too — and for some of them it has changed dramatically. Even if the change is mostly positive for them — such as having their parents home all the time — it’s still a change that can be confusing and unsettling. Young children are less able to understand the nuances of all of this; for them, the world truly is all about them. And they also have very acute radar when it comes to the emotions of their caregivers.

As a pediatrician, I’ve been hearing from families about young children who are having trouble sleeping, whose eating habits have changed, who are crying or throwing tantrums for … Read more

How We Reported ‘Underfunded And Under Threat’

To assess the state of the public health system in the United States, KHN and The Associated Press analyzed data on government spending and staffing at national, state and local levels.

What reporters found was a mix of survey and budget data, each measuring a slightly different concept of “public health.”

Some datasets track only state public health systems, not agencies that operate at a county, city or regional level. Other data, including some from the U.S. Census Bureau, covers spending on all non-hospital health care. Public health efforts are mixed in with the costs of providing local medical transportation, running community clinics and offering mental health services.

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