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FDA recommends dosing changes for specific anemia drugs
June 24th, 2011
05:23 PM ET

FDA recommends dosing changes for specific anemia drugs

The Food and Drug Administration is recommending stricter dosing guidelines for Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) - a synthetic protein that stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells - because they can increase the risk of cardiovascular events like heat attack, stroke, thrombosis, even death.

ESAs are commonly used to treat anemia and help reduce the need for blood transfusions in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or who have had chemotherapy or other major surgeries. The drugs in question are Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp, all made by the California-based biotechnology company Amgen.

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June 24th, 2011
04:45 PM ET

June 24th, 2011
03:53 PM ET

Protecting Justin in the face of Medicaid cuts

This week, Dr. Sanjay Gupta examines New Jersey’s proposed cuts to Medicaid, a program that provides critical parts of the care the Genevieve Spielberg’s son, Justin, requires. For more on their story and the future of the federal insurance program, tune in to “Sanjay Gupta, M.D.,” 7:30 a.m. ET, Saturday-Sunday.

July 5, 2000, was going to be a magical day as my husband and I traveled to New York City for my scheduled C-section in great anticipation of welcoming the newest member of our family. Our 2-year-old son, Spencer, was going to be a big brother.

Little did I know that the same day our lives would change forever. After a normal pregnancy including tests, sonograms and an amnio, I delivered a baby boy who I only saw briefly, but during that time noticed his angulated thumbs which was surprising as my vision without my glasses is not the greatest.

To this day I remember saying, “What’s with his thumbs?” as the 90-degree angulations were not typical, but alas they whisked our Justin away and all hell broke loose.

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Tri Challenge: My Father's Day duathlon
June 24th, 2011
12:18 PM ET

Tri Challenge: My Father's Day duathlon

All the hard work and hours of training for the NYC Tri were tested like never before on Father's Day weekend. A fitting holiday to challenge myself because my children were the reason I entered the Tri Challenge.

My coach was out of town and so was my wife with our two oldest daughters at Dance Nationals in South Carolina, so I dropped off my youngest daughter at her abuela's house, grabbed my super powered CNN jersey and went off to the race.

As I pulled out of the driveway I remembered the words of my coach Eric, "This is a gift to yourself" and immediately I felt a rush of excitement run through me as I drove toward Moss Park.

I arrived, checked in and got my race kit. My first duathlon was about to begin. The run was on dirt roads in the woods and the ride was completely flat but I learned a ton of do's and don'ts as a newbie.

The top three things are be prepared, be patient and be ready to adapt.

Newbie Tip #1: Know the course before you race
I had no clue which direction the course would go which added a lot of extra stress and took most of my mental energy as I focused on  staying on the right course. Next time I will be prepared.

Newbie Tip #2: Pace yourself
At the start of the race everyone took off. I had to realize I had my own pace which built up as the race went on. I had to be patient with myself and my own pace.

Newbie Tip #3: Go with the flow
The ride was flat and the run was on dirt. This is the total opposite of what I had been training on so I had to adapt quickly.  It was a change in the landscape and I had to go with it.

Overall, I finished strong. I won second place for my age division which was a total shock. I have my coaches to thank for the great advice and preparation over the past few months.  I felt great and realized all the hard work is truly paying off.


Five diabetes myths, busted
June 24th, 2011
09:47 AM ET

Five diabetes myths, busted

David Kendall, M.D., is the chief scientific and medical officer of the The American Diabetes Association. The group’s 71st Scientific Sessions begin Friday in San Diego, California, with presentations of the latest research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes.

Each year diabetes accounts for more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combined. While diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) is ever more manageable because of advances in medication, a better understanding of blood glucose monitoring and new technologies for delivering insulin, uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes still remains the leading cause of blindness in adults, kidney failure and amputation.

There are many myths about diabetes - myths that can do much harm. Many believe that diabetes is “just a touch of sugar,” or only something we develop in later life.
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Filed under: Diabetes

What the Yuck: Gym machine germs
June 24th, 2011
08:02 AM ET

What the Yuck: Gym machine germs

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: What's the worst thing you can catch from the machines at the gym?

Probably the worst thing is the staph bacteria MRSA (short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), the "superbug" that can cause a very aggressive and difficult-to-treat skin infection, which can invade the blood.

This bug, which is resistant to most kinds of antibiotics, is spread through close contact - athletes on a sports team sometimes spread it to each other. What's scary is it can survive on gym machines between users. Wipe the equipment off with an antibacterial wipe before using it.

And if you have any open sores or wounds or skin irritation, stay away from the machines because your broken skin will make you more vulnerable to contracting something.


June 24th, 2011
07:25 AM ET

How do I lose weight on a gluten-free diet?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Asked by Mike of Colorado

I have celiac disease (gluten intolerance), and I am wondering how to lose weight given my restrictions in my diet.
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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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