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Tri Challenge: Another gift from the Big Island
April 26th, 2011
06:55 PM ET

Tri Challenge: Another gift from the Big Island

Professional triathlete and two-time Ironman champ Tim DeBoom and his wife, former pro triathlete Nicole DeBoom, worked with CNN’s six novice triathletes last week in Hawaii, helping them train for the August 7 Nautica New York City Triathlon. They worked on the specific sports of triathlon, swimming, biking and running, as well as how to be more mentally tough.

The Big Island of Hawaii has given me many gifts over the past 20 years. Some have come as victories in the Ironman Triathlon, others as hard lessons learned through disappointment, and still more just from the beauty of exploring an incredible island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This past week, I received another unexpected gift from working with a group of people all training for their first triathlon.

When I first met the CNN 6-pack on the first morning of their trip, I could see and feel the nervousness in each of their faces. They were excited, but definitely a little unsure of what was ahead of them in the coming week.

Ironically, I was proud of them before we even started the first lecture. They were here. They had taken a chance, gone through the application process, and accepted this challenge. That was a courageous act. All of us are guilty of getting caught up in our own little worlds and letting our lives become unbalanced. Acknowledging that need for balance and then willing to make the tough changes to find it, takes courage. And to do it all under scrutiny, on national television, is downright brave.

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Get Some Sleep: Pregnant and tired
April 26th, 2011
01:31 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: Pregnant and tired

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs on Tuesdays on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.
Poor sleep is such a common complaint during pregnancy that probably many women and even their doctors think it's is a normal part of pregnancy.
While it is true that pregnancy has a significant impact on the quantity and quality of sleep, it is also true that many of the sleep problems that arise during pregnancy can be treated or ameliorated.

It is common for women to feel extreme sleepiness and fatigue in the first trimester, which is assumed to be secondary to rising progesterone levels because progesterone is known to have a hypnotic affect. Progesterone levels continue to rise throughout pregnancy yet in the second trimester most women report feeling more daytime alertness and they feel that their sleep quality is improved compared with the first trimester.

The third trimester ushers in a host of problems that are mostly connected to the increased girth. During the later months, women often experience shortness of breath and reflux because  their diaphragm is elevated, pressing on the lungs and the stomach. They also have to urinate frequently during the night. That alone is quite a disruption to sleep.

These are normal problems encountered during pregnancy and there is not a lot a doctor can do about it. However, there are other sleep problems that represent the emergence of a bona fide sleep disorder and these can be treated.
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Filed under: Pregnancy • Sleep

Ovaries after hysterectomy – keep or lose? More study needed
April 26th, 2011
12:02 PM ET

Ovaries after hysterectomy – keep or lose? More study needed

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that removing the ovaries during a hysterectomy is not bad for the heart, contrary to what other studies have found.

When a woman has a hysterectomy, surgery to remove the uterus, a decision has to be made about whether to also remove the ovaries. Doctors have known for years that taking out the ovaries reduces the risk of ovarian cancer but various studies have found conflicting results when it comes to the risks and benefits to the heart and bones.

This study looked at more than 25,000 women who are enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative, a long-term study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers found that women who had their ovaries removed  were no more likely to suffer or die from heart trouble, hip fractures or cancer than women who kept their ovaries.

But the lead researcher is quick to point out that there is no right answer for everyone.

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April 26th, 2011
10:31 AM ET

Human Factor: For budding NFL player, hope after tragedy

It is a blessing to be able to share my story with the world, because based on what happened to me, no one would have thought I would have made it. I am so thankful that I have my life after such a freak car accident.

This accident was the biggest life changing moment I have ever faced. Each and every day I thank God for saving me. I do not look at my accident as the most terrible thing in the world, but I think of it as my testimony for myself and others. You will always have ups and downs, but when you feel like life has just completely run over you, you have to work your hardest to prove your mind wrong.

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Filed under: Human Factor

Black people more likely than whites to spend with death looming
April 26th, 2011
12:03 AM ET

Black people more likely than whites to spend with death looming

Imagine you’re in the hospital with cancer. Would you rather spend everything you have to potentially live longer, or just forgo the costly medical treatment?

Your answer to that question might be influenced by your race.

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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