July-August 2017
In this issue

This article on grieving for a pet may be comforting and helpful if your animal companion has recently died, or may soon. Issues of particular concern to seniors and parents are included, and more advice for parents is located here.
If you slip up and get too much sun, here are ways to lessen sunburn pain
The CDC recommends doctors prescribe, and patients take, hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin), and other opioids for no more than 3 days.

When and how should you talk to your pre-teen or teen about pornography? 
If a teen or adult abruptly loses consciousness, call 911 and begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Following the two simple steps in this humorous video will double or triple someone's odds of survival after cardiac arrest. 
Learn the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and what to do if they occur.
What are "natural," "cage-free," or "omega-3" eggs? This guide to egg carton terminology is spot-on, despite the author's wacky sense of humor.

Fish Oil & Cardiovascular Disease
Because a recent research review found that fish oil does not appear to prevent heart disease or strokethe American Heart Association (AHA) is not recommending fish oil supplementation for the general population. However, the evidence suggested fish oil supplements may be beneficial if you have already had a heart attack or if you have heart failure.

If you take fish oil, tell your doctor, and purchase supplements displaying the USP Verified emblem. (The only independent testing of supplement quality and purity is conducted by USP - not the FDA.)

This study did not review the impact of eating fish, but the AHA still recommends eating fish frequently for cardiovascular disease prevention.

Shopping for a Car?
If you are in the market for a vehicle, you might like to learn how different models fared in tests of crashworthiness and other safety features conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). You can find safety reports by searching for each model by name . IIHS also lists its "Top Safety Picks" for all types of vehicles from 2006 to 2017.

Since consumers rarely test drive cars at night, especially not away from city lights, IHSS's evaluations of headlight performance are particularly helpful. There are the headlight ratings for many 2017 pickup trucks and mid-size SUVs. For other vehicles, headlight ratings may be available in their respective safety reports.

Families with young kids will find evaluations of individual vehicles' LATCH systems, booster seat ratings, and other helpful guidance. IIHS also provides guidance for parents of teen drivers and lists safer used cars for teens. You might even prefer one of the safe "teen" vehicles for yourself.
Men are especially prone to gout, which often runs in families. If you are concerned about developing it, a recent study found that men who had followed the DASH ("Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension") diet were more likely to remain gout-free.

Dietary advice for gout sufferers has evolved as scientists have learned more about what causes attacks. The Mayo Clinic's current dietary "dos and don'ts" are easier to follow than older guidelines.

Comprehensive gout information is available here.

Tweak an Rx, Save Money
Some new and reformulated drugs are minimally better - but far more expensive - than older drugs. This article concludes with a chart of medications for high blood pressure, allergies/hay fever, arthritis, migraine, bipolar/schizophrenia, or high cholesterol. If you take one of them, ask your doctor about switching to the suggested lower-cost alternative. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars per year.

Clickbait "News"
Much nutrition "news" in the popular media is clickbait journalism: stories about poor-quality research on popular topics such as chocolate; reports on preliminary studies on animals or very small human populations; and inaccurate or unbalanced presentations of clinically valuable research. Clickbait articles do a much better job of creating ad revenue for news media than providing useful information to consumers.

Health News Review (HNR), a favorite resource for PlaneTalk's editor, critiques the work of health journalists. Below are links to HNR discussions of some recent flawed reportage. We hope the following statements will correct any misconceptions created by those popular media reports.
  • Whole grains are still recommended over white bread.
  • Cooking with vegetable oil does not mean you can skip taking a statin if you have, or are at significant risk for, heart disease. (Learn who should take a statin.)
  • Olive oil probably offers little-to-no protection against Alzheimer's disease. (There are better ways to cut your risk.)
  • Chocolate should be eaten as an occasional treat, not treatment for atrial fibrillation.
  • Your risk of breast cancer will not be significantly raised by drinking alcohol occasionally. (Here is how to lower your risk.)
C. Diff
Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs) usually occur after antibiotics have disturbed the normal balance of gut bacteria. If you ever have a CDI, do not take an anti-diarrhea drug to counteract the severe diarrhea it causes. Doing so could cause a serious complication.

If you, or someone you care for, has had a CDI, you probably know CDI often recurs. This information for lay people and health professionals on treating CDIs and preventing recurrences may be helpful.

Readers unfamiliar with fecal microbiota transplantation may want to learn more about this increasingly common treatment for a number of digestive disorders.
From the PlaneTalk Editor's Desk
PlaneTree Health Library's board of directors, staff, and volunteers are pleased to welcome Lise Dyckman as our new executive director, and excited to have her expertise and skills at the helm as our online services evolve. You can read about her background and goals in this announcement.

All Star Award badge
In May, PlaneTree received an "All-Star Award" for our newsletter from Constant Contact, the service we use to publish PlaneTalk. The award "recognizes the most successful 10 percent" of their 600,000+ customers. A major reason for our selection was your engagement: our subscribers open PlaneTalk more often than most nonprofit newsletter subscribers do, and click on our links far more often.

Your interest in the news we report and the events we publicize is always gratifying. If you would like to share any comments or suggestions about PlaneTalk, please email planetalk@planetree-sv.org.  

Every August, we take a break from producing PlaneTalk, so your next issue will arrive on September 1. By then the Showcase of Miniatures, will be fast approaching on October 7 and 8. We hope you too are planning to enjoy this annual fundraiser for PlaneTree. 

Have a healthy summer!

Aleta Kerrick, editor 
Community Events

All events are open to the public. Some require pre-registration.
.....* Fee for participation
.....^ Scroll down the linked page

Mountain View - Thursdays
San Jose - many dates 
Los Gatos - Thursdays
San Jose - Sun., 7/9
Sunnyvale - Mon., 7/10
Mountain View - Tues., 7/11
Mountain View - Tues., 7/11
San Jose - Wed., 7/12 & 8/9
Palo Alto - Thurs., 7/13
Respite care for kids with disabilities & their siblings
San Jose - Fri., 7/14 (repeats Fri., 8/11)
Los Gatos - Sat., 8/5
Medicare basics
Mountain View - Sat., 7/15
Palo Alto - Wed., 7/19
Sunnyvale - Tues., 7/18
San Jose - Thurs., 7/20
Down syndrome (national convention for family, professionals, & individuals with Down syndrome)*
Sacramento - Thurs., 7/20 - Sun., 7/23
San Jose - Sat., 7/22
Sunnyvale - Thurs., 7/27
San Jose - Fri., 7/28
Palo Alto - Sat., 7/29
San Jose - Sat., 7/29
Palo Alto - Tues., 8/8

Saratoga - Fri., 8/11
Art therapy for cancer patients ^
Palo Alto - Thursdays, 8/15, 8/22, & 8/29
San Jose - 6-session class begins Wed., 9/6

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