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Briefs: New technique could speed GI illness diagnoses

technique could speed GI illness diagnoses

A new microscopic technique could change the way problems such as reflux disease and colon cancer are detected. The technique, known as confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE), utilizes a tiny microscope on an endoscope to provide highly magnified images. This can help doctors immediately detect suspicious patterns and precancerous cells. That may eliminate the need for a biopsy for further diagnosis, where results may take up to a week to get.

What to do when the bugs bite

Summertime means more time outdoors, increasing the chance we'll get stung or bitten by insects. Here are treatment tips from the Southeast Texas Poison Center, in Galveston:

• Burning and itching from the bites of wasps and fire ants can be eased with a solution of 10 teaspoons of water and 1 teaspoon of household chlorine bleach.

• Scrape the skin or use tweezers to remove stingers left by bees. Squeezing and pulling on the skin can compress the venom sac left behind and thus release more venom.

For more advice, go to this Web site from the American Council on Science and Health: www.acsh.org/

publications.

Thyroid problem can boost weight

As much as 2 percent of the U.S. population may have an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, notes RealAge.com. This matters because your thyroid, a tiny gland at the lower front of your neck, produces hormones that control your metabolism. Too-low levels slow down everything, so your body burns fewer calories.

Purging to control weight dangerous

Girls who make themselves throw up to control their weight are putting their health at risk. A study analyzed data from nearly 2,800 high school girls in the National Eating Disorders Screening Program. Girls who vomited to control their weight one to three times per month were 1.6 times more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles than girls who didn't report such vomiting.

Site addresses menopause issues

Because women experience widely different

sets of physical and emotional symptoms due to menopause, they should discuss their situation with a health care provider. To optimize such office visits, an online questionnaire — the Menopause Impact Tool — has been developed. Women can print their answers to bring to their medical appointment. Go to www.copewithmenopause.com.

Compiled from Times staff, wires

Briefs: New technique could speed GI illness diagnoses 06/02/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 9:23am]
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