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August 2nd, 2011
03:06 PM ET

Could I have been sexually abused?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Sarah from Chicago
I am wondering if I could have been molested as a child. I have this strong feeling that I was, but I can't remember anything. When I was young, 6 or 7, I used to make my dolls have sex. At 9, I began touching myself, even though I didn't know what it meant. I am now 29 and was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder last year. I know this condition often comes with a history of childhood sexual abuse. Could it be possible?
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Tri Challenge: The time has finally come
August 2nd, 2011
01:55 PM ET

Tri Challenge: The time has finally come

It’s hard to believe that the Nautica New York City Triathlon is this coming weekend.

It seems like just yesterday that we chose six iReporters to become members our 2011 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team, known as the "6-pack.” Their specific reasons for entering the contest varied, but all had a goal of making real, meaningful change in their lives. Since that day, watching their transformation, week after week, has been incredibly inspiring.

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Get Some Sleep: Avoid frequent leg cramping
Leg cramps usually involve sudden, intense pain, unlike RLS, which is usually a steady, uncomfortable feeling that lasts for hours.
August 2nd, 2011
12:19 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: Avoid frequent leg cramping

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs regularly on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

It is frustrating, to both patients and doctors, that modern medical science often lacks understanding of or treatment for common, everyday ailments.

One such ailment, leg cramps, is very common and yet poorly understood. It often plagues people at night, and therefore “sleep-related leg cramps” is recognized as a bona fide sleep disorder by the International Classification of Sleep Disorders.

Most people have had a “charley horse” and know that leg cramps can be quite painful. Leg cramps result from the sudden, intense and involuntary contraction of a muscle or muscle group. They usually occur in the calf muscle or the small muscles of the feet.
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Filed under: Pain • Sleep

Indoor mold poses key asthma risk for babies
August 2nd, 2011
12:18 PM ET

Indoor mold poses key asthma risk for babies

When infants are exposed to mold in the home, their risk for developing asthma more than doubles, according to a study published Tuesday in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. The study doesn't prove mold causes asthma, but it does suggest that exposure to mold during infancy is linked to the development of chronic inflammation of the lung airways, which causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

Previous studies have shown that mold spores can travel, according to lead study author Tiina Reponen, a professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati. But she says this is the first study to suggest mold exposure in children under the age of one seems to play a critical role in a child developing asthma. The risk went up even more if one of the parents had asthma, according to the research.

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August 2nd, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Human Factor: Building community with a space to play

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship –- they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. This week Darell Hammond shares how his tough childhood led to a drive to nurture community.

 

I didn't have what most people would call a "typical" childhood. In 1972, when I was 19 months old, my father said he was going to unload a truck, and he never came back. My mom was left to raise eight children by herself. She tried her best, but the bills piled up, and eventually my seven brothers and sisters and I ended up in Mooseheart, a group home west of Chicago.

To be honest, until the release of my recent memoir, "KaBOOM!", I never talked much about my childhood. I knew my earlier years weren’t “typical,” but I rarely saw myself as “underprivileged” or “disadvantaged.” Mooseheart provided me  two things that I believe proved formative in my career: a strong community and lots of outdoor space for playing.

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My concussion: Be nice to your brain
After a couple of hours of waiting in the ER, Liz gets an ice pack.
August 2nd, 2011
07:18 AM ET

My concussion: Be nice to your brain

Elizabeth Landau is a writer/producer for CNN.com. This is her story of recovering from a concussion.

I write about health issues every day but I honestly thought that concussions happened only to football, soccer and hockey players. Since kickball is the only sport I play competitively - and there's an obvious limit to how cut-throat an adult kickball game can be - I never considered that a serious head injury would happen to me.

But at kickball in mid-July, I was standing in my usual less-than-important position in right field when the other team's kicker sent the ball flying right toward me. Excited to be useful, I jumped to catch it. Unfortunately, so did one of my teammates, according to my friends who watched in horror.

They say we collided in mid-air, and the force of his body knocked me to the ground. But all I remember is seeing the ball, feeling pain, and suddenly struggling to breathe and speak.

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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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