The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 17, 1996 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 17, 1996
Page 11
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THURSDAY OCTOBER 17, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL Health INFERTILITY / C2 INTERNATIONAL / C3 CLASSIFIED / C4 c BRIEFLY Letter-writing contest promotes healthy aging A national letter-writing contest for Americans who are 50 and older challenges entrants to write about the positive aspects of growing older. In 200 words or less, contestants are to inspire future generations to improve their physical, social, mental or financial health. The best letter will be selected from five age categories with five winners from each state and the District of Columbia. A grand prize winner from each will attend an awards ceremony in May in Washington, D.C. „ Winning entries will be published in a commemoritive book titled, "Healthy Aging: Inspirational Letters from Americans." Television weatherman Willard Scott is contest spokesman, and the contest is supported by the U.S. Postal Service. Entry forms and more details are available at Salina's Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) office, 239 N. Santa Fe; phone: 823-3128. Pan depression lead to heart attack? DENMARK — Depression and heart disease seem to go hand in hand, but does one lead to the other? Researchers in Denmark have gathered data that suggest depression may be a contributing factor to cardiovascular problems. According to the Harvard Health Letter, the long epidemiological study divided individuals into groups according to their depression scores. The higher the depression rating, the higher the risk of heart attack. Impotence not only a man's problem Impotence can chill a relationship. According to Pharmacia & Upjohn, it affects 30 million men in the United States. And it's no picnic for their partners, either. Since women play a major role in management and treatment of impotence, it is distressing that a recent survey indicated 65 percent of women were unaware of impotence treatments and believed it untreatable. And there's a certain amount of guilt involved. i "Many women wrongly blame themselves for their partner's impotence, which can put a tremendous strain on the relationship. Therefore, it is extremely important that women arm themselves with the facts about erectile dysfunction and its management," said Karen Brash-McGreer, a licensed sex therapist. A new brochure especially for women is available, with information on causes, treatment options and 10 tips to regain fulfillment with an impotent partner. For a free copy, call 800-727-8984. New procedure may still Parkinson's tremors HOUSTON — Those suffering with Parkinson's disease may find relief in a new medical technique imported from Europe now being tested in the United States. Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and five other medical centers are studying how an electrode planted in the brain can ''turn off' the tremors that afflict Parkinson's patients. "The procedure — deep brain stimulation — is still in the research phase in the United States," said Dr. Richard Simpson. It involves putting en electrode in the thalamus, an area in the brain that controls motor signals from the brain to the muscles. The electrode remains in the brain, and the transmitter is implanted above the breast. Connecting wires run under the skin ih the scalp and neck. Surgery is done under local anesthetic and battery replacement is done as outpatient surgery. FDA approves new drug for schizophrenia WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug for schizophrenia recently that doctors say qpuld help patients who don't respond to existing medicines. ! Psychiatrists have high hopes for olanzapine, sold under the ftrand name Zyprexa, because it }s chemically similar to an older medicine that often proved best at controlling schizophrenia — except that many patients couldn't tjplerate its side effects and thus had to take less effective drugs. 1 Olanzapine appears to have the benefits of that older drug, clozap- jne, without the side effects, explained Dr. Alan Schatzberg, a ^tanford University psychiatrist. From Wire Service Reports FRED HUNT/Hays Daily News Paraprofesslonal Judy Wlndholz (left) gives 10-year-old Katie Kinderknecht an insulin injection before lunch at Jefferson Elementary School In Hays. Katie, who has diabetes, is the daughter of Hays residents Lynn and Vera Kinderknecht. Living with Hays grade school student requires close monitoring to keep illness in check By ADELE SHAVER The Hays Daily News HAYS — The easy smile of Jefferson Elementary School fifth-grader Katie Kinderknecht doesn't reveal how carefully she lives.. The 10-year-old daughter of Lynn and Vera Kinderknecht, Hays, has diabetes. With the hope that someday research will find a cure, Katie meanwhile carries on a busy schedule of school, dance lessons, basketball with her big brothers and other activities. At the same time, she must maintain a sometimes delicate and possibly dangerous balancing act. No one else in Katie's family has the disease, which occurs when the body is unable to properly use sugar. There arel several different forms of diabetes. To keep her blood sugar levels steady, Katie must eat carefully chosen meals and snacks at six regular times every day, test her blood sugar level and give herself insulin shots. She gets help from family, friends and staff at school. Katie's condition is described as "brittle," meariing it's hard to control. Her blood sugar levels "can go from very high to very low very fast," said her teacher, Liz Kolacny. Kolacny was also Katie's teacher in second grade, when she first became sick and was diagnosed. Jefferson Principal Gary LeCount, paraprofessional Judy Windholz and Kolacny Deficient pancreas suspected in Type I By The Hays Dally News Type I diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile- type diabetes, occurs when the pancreas* produces less insulin than normal for the body or stops making insulin completely. Sugar used as food by the body can't get into individual cells because insulin is needed to allow sugar to penetrate the cell walls. The leading theory concerning Type I diabetes is that the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed by the person's own bpdy. Another theory is that a common virus goes to the pancreas and attacks it. Proteins on the virus are similar to the cell walls on the pancreas that make insulin. Antibodies made by the body to fight the virus attack the pancreas instead because they appear similar. Type II diabetes, also known as non- insulin diabetes or adult-type diabetes, occurs when a person develops insulin resistance. Cells in the body decide they don't want sugar. Insulin then builds up in the blood stream, not because the body doesn't produce enough insulin, but because the body stops using it. Type n diabetes usually develops in overweight people, who are often able to control it with diet and exercise. Signs of diabetes include: frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue, headaches, difficulty concentrating, lack of energy, irritability, difficulty with eyesight, sores on the feet, and numbness. have all been involved in ensuring Katie receives a rapid response to her medical needs. "I'm amazed at how good she is at letting us know. When she's low, she's low," Kolacny said. Katie's symptoms came on gradually during the summer before she started second grade. "That first week of school, her symptoms escalated," her mother said. Katie became very ill and went into the hospital fatigued, with weight loss, increased urination, thirst and weakness — classic symptoms of diabetes. The cause of Katie's loss of insulin-making ability may have been from a virus picked up in childhood that settled in her pancreas, Vera said. The pancreas makes insulin in a healthy person. Katie's mother, who is a nurse, has a telephone in her office and Katie calls her every day at lunch. "I usually know what I need to take," Katie said. Katie does all her own finger sticks, four to six times a day, and takes four insulin shots a day. Sometimes more. See DIABETES, Page C2 Newly developed insulin acts faster By LAURIE MCEWEN The Hays Daily flews HAYS — At the turn of the century, people with diabetes died. Sometimes their blood sugar climbed so high they suffered a diabetic coma. Sometimes they basically starved to death. No one knew what caused the problem. It wasn't until 1889, when two German physicians discovered the existence of a sugar-regulating substance in the pancreas, that doctors first realized diabetes was caused by a bodily deficiency. Dr. Bret Timmons of Hays Family Practice Center said researchers at the University of Toronto were able to isolate, and prepare that substance from pigs and cows. That substance became known as insulin, and it was used for the first time in 1922. While some diabetics had reactions from the impurities of the animal insulin, it was better than nothing, Timmons said. In 1978, American scientists developed synthetic insulin, which is almost identical to human insulin and causes fewer problems than the animal substance. Scientists have since been able to devel- "You simply dial in the amount on the insulin pen and then push a button." Dr. Bret Timmons Hays Family Practice Center op short-, medium-and long-acting insulin. Diabetics take medium- or long-acting insulin at night, and short-acting insulin in the morning and before meals. Timmons said a new, very short-acting insulin was developed this year that enables insulin to be taken by diabetics when they eat or right after they eat, instead of 30 minutes before. Since the insulin dosage depends on the amount of food and type of calories consumed, this is a great boon for the parents of children with diabetes, because parents can feed a child, count the calories just eaten, then give the correct insulin dosage. For most diabetics, insulin shots are needed four times a day. They must also check their blood sugar four times a day. A new insulin pen has been developed that enables diabetics to more accurately give themselves the correct insulin dosage. "You simply dial in the amount and then push a button," Timmons explained. While conditions vary from patient to patient, there are several factors that a diabetic must control. Timmons said that's why it's important for diabetics to be seen by a doctor a minimum of every six months. Most should be seen every three to four months. People with diabetes who are riot monitored by a doctor can develop heart disease at a young age because high blood sugar in the body can damage organs. Establishing a routine, such as eating the same amount of food and exercising the same amount at the same time each day, is important. "The more regular your diet and exercise, the easier it is to keep your sugars in normal range," Timmons said. If a diabetic keeps his blood sugar within normal, exercises, eats a proper diet and visits their physician regularly, he can live a healthy, normal life, Timmons said. MEDICINE DR. PAUL DONOHUE North America Syndicate Fibromyalgia easily mistaken for arthritis Dear Dr. Donohue: I am a woman, 72, and am being treated for arthritis. But now my doctor says I have fibromyalgia. How does this differ? What can I expect from now on? — P.E. Dear P.E.: Fibromyalgia is widespread muscle pain and deep fatigue. The problem is detected by probing the patient's body at known pain trigger points. Although distinct from arthritis, which is by definition a joint problem, fibromyalgia can be mistaken for arthritis. Early-morning stiffness marks both, for example. However, the joint swelling sets arthritis apart. Fibromyalgia will not cripple the patient, and it causes no permanent damage. The best thing for fibromyalgia is an exercise program. Start slow and within your ability, and build up gradually. Rome wasn't built in a day, and fibromyalgia wasn't conquered in a few weeks. Your doctor might try a bit of amitriptyline to restore sleep cycles, which fibromyalgia can disrupt. Next to exercise, restoration of sleep cycles is the best treatment for the ailment's deep-fatigue aspect. Your chronic fatigue syndrome report is on the way. Dear Dr. Donohue: Please discuss a rare form of glaucoma for me — narrow-angle type. It is the kind that comes on suddenly. How rare is this exactly? — M.K. Dear M.K.: The narrow-angle type of glaucoma makes up 10 percent of all cases. It's called "narrow-angle" because of a tiny fold formed at the juncture of the iris and lens, where trouble starts. In the angle lies a canal that drains off excess inner-eye fluid, maintaining a healthy pressure within. Forces exerted in opening and closing the pupil to accommodate light intensities alter the angle size and hence the width of the drainage structure. In a few cases, the canal might close entirely and stay that way. Fluid soon builds, damaging the optic nerve. Restoring canal drainage is vital to saving eyesight. Today, a laser technique permits easy access for reopening a narrowed canal. The more-common form of glaucoma is the open-angle type. Here, the eye fluid pressure rises from either a fluid-buildup problem or a different form of drainage inefficiency. You usually can treat open-angle glaucoma with eye drops. Glaucoma is detected two ways. An ophthalmoscope allows a bright view of the optic nerve, allowing the doctor to determine if it has been damaged by excess pressure. Or a pressure-sensitive device applied to the eyeball permits precise measurement of the fluid pressure within. There's absolutely no reason why glaucoma need ever go undetected today. It should be part of any annual examination. Optometrists are an important secondary line of defense, measuring eye pressure as part of the lens-prescribing process. Dear Doctor: Can cranberry juice cause kidney stones? — D.B. Dear D.B.: Most kidney stones are calcium and oxalate. Cranberry juice has oxalate, as do chocolate, nuts, beets, spinach and tea. If you never have had a kidney stone, you can drink all the cranberry juice you want. On the other hand, if you have had a kidney stone identified as the calcium-oxalate type, you should ease off on all oxalate-rich foods. Dear Dr. Donohue: My daughter has Sweet's syndrome. A rheumatologist is treating her with prednisone. It's not helping. Please tell me more about this syndrome. — D.S. Dear D.S.: Sweet's syndrome might be one of the autoimmune illnesses, although in 20 percent of cases a hidden cancer is found. The syndrome, named for a' British doctor, is characterized by painful raised bumps on the limbs, face and neck. The patient gets a fever, and joint pain often occurs. Women age 30 to 60 are th$ usual targets. Give prednisone a chance. It can take more than a month for effect. SUGGESTIONS? CALL SHERIDA WARNER, LIFE EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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