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June 1st, 2009
12:43 PM ET

Separation anxiety: mom's first night away from baby

By Shahreen Abedin
CNN Medical Senior Producer

Leading up to Mother’s Day this year, I suspected my husband was planning something, but I had no idea it would be by far, one of the biggest parenting challenges I would face to date.

On Tuesday the weekend before, Daddy came home and announced he and I were going on a special night on the town on Friday, complete with fancy dinner, Star Trek movie (I don’t mind admitting I’m a fan), and … an overnight hotel stay in the city, sans the munchkin.

It was to be our first time leaving him alone the entire night, and while I appreciated the thoughtfulness of my hubby’s planning, I was immediately gripped by the anxiety of letting go. We had just gotten the hang of leaving our 18-month old son with a sitter on weekend nights, but never for the whole night. I told my husband that I needed a couple of days to think about it.

The plan was that our nanny, whom we all completely love and trust, would take the little man to her home in the afternoon, and he’d stay there overnight. On paper, it was a great arrangement. She has a dog which I knew he’d love, an amazing park in her neighborhood, and although she’s not family, she loves him to pieces and we had no doubt in our minds that he would be well-cared for and have a fun time.

However, my biggest fear had not yet been addressed: He’s never been to his nanny’s house before, and he was going to wake up in a room where he’s never awoken and wonder if his parents have given him up for good. He’s not really talking yet – just a smattering of words and phrases – so how will they know if he’s anxious or scared out of his mind and just can’t say so?

I knew that sooner or later, this day would come. We would need to let the baby stay elsewhere overnight so we could have some much-needed parental down-time. Focus on our relationship as husband and wife, and put the mommy-daddy show on the backburner. I went to my trusty “What to Expect the Toddler Years” book, and felt better when I read that waiting till he was older would not necessarily guarantee it’d be easier (and in fact could be worse), and that toddlers can only learn to be ok with separation when they experience it firsthand. Cognitively, I knew that it would ultimately be good for him because the time away would be good for me, and that usually it’s the parent who has more of a problem with separation than the child.

I knew all this, and I knew that we had even done all the right things leading up to this point: we started out only leaving him at home for a short while with a sitter, then we’d be gone for longer periods at home, and now we can even take him over to someone else’s house for an evening and he has still been just fine, no meltdowns. Timing-wise, he wasn’t going through any dramatic processes like potty-training or weaning from the bottle, so we were good on that front too.

Armed with all this knowledge, I finally agreed to the arrangement. I was proud of myself for getting to this point mentally and emotionally, and I was finally starting to get really excited about the fun night out with my man, just like old times before this life of sleep deprivation, sticky hands, and crayon on the carpet.

As my son waved happily at me, blowing his sweet little good-bye kisses my way, I did cry, as hard as I tried to hold it. When the door shut, I totally bawled for a good two minutes. These were tears partly from the of fear I felt welling up again inside me, but also tears of sadness from knowing that parenting - although joy-filled for most of the ride - is also a life-long process of grieving over letting go of your child, step by step.

Our toddler ended up having a great time, by the way. And so did we, I’m proud to say. Now we’re preparing to take longer trips away from him. So I’m looking for some advice on what’s helped you get through this whole ‘letting them go overnight’ thing – any tricks that helped ease the process, any traditions that have made the experience fun and relatively painless for you and your child? I need all the help – and reassurance! – I can get.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


March 24th, 2009
01:34 PM ET

Holy cow: the wide impact of eating red meat

By Shahreen Abedin
CNN Medical Senior Producer

Last weekend, as a special treat for my family, I grilled up some lovely filet mignon steaks for dinner. To my surprise, our 16-month-old LOVED the beef, which we cut up into thin juicy slices for him. He literally gobbled it up. Beaming, my husband made some comment about the baby being a true Texan like his daddy.

Flash-forward to this morning’s medical news headline: Red meat will make you die sooner.

National Cancer Institute researchers studied 500,000 people and found those who reported eating the highest amounts of red meat (about a steak a day) had a 30 percent greater risk of dying compared to those who ate the lowest amounts of red meat (which was on average about a kid’s hamburger a day). The study considered ‘red meat’ to mean all forms of beef and pork products, including processed forms like sausages and yes, bacon.

The point of the study was not necessarily to eliminate all red meat from your diet, but to enjoy it in moderation. No prob.

But aside from the health argument, I’ve been more troubled about what Barry Popkin, a nutrition epidemiologist, discussed in his editorial published alongside the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. He focused on the environmental impact of how much meat we eat, an argument that’s starting to make me less comfortable about chomping down on a cheeseburger for lunch today.

Primarily, we’re talking about the toll on our planet resulting from mass raising livestock in the giant, assembly-line meat factories where animals are fed then processed before they show up in the grocery store, all neatly packaged and ready for the grill. And it’s not just an issue here in the U.S., where total gross consumption of meat and dairy foods is double or even triple of what people in lower-income countries eat. Elsewhere in the world, industrial livestock production is growing more than twice as quickly as the traditional methods, where cows just graze on grass out in the fields.

These animals consume huge amounts of energy and water. We use two to five times more water to grow grain for these animals than just to raise the crops that we eat ourselves. One source estimates almost a quarter of the world’s water goes to livestock use. Amidst global food shortages – where 800 million people on our planet go hungry every day - the majority of corn and soy grown on this earth go to feed these animals.

On top of that, there’s the issue of water pollution. In the U.S., raising livestock accounts for more than half of the erosion of our soil, half the antibiotics consumed, a third of pesticides used, and a third of the total discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus into surface water, says the editorial.

Plus, these animals generate massive volumes of greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere. The U.N. estimates that livestock are responsible for almost a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions – much more than what the cars and trucks on America’s roads account for.

Despite these facts, I know I’m still going to be looking forward to our first big “grillfest” of the season, just as soon as this weather gets a bit warmer. However, on a daily basis, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be going easier on the red meat, for reasons that go beyond my own family’s health.

Just wondering – are you just as bothered as I am about the environmental consequences of our meat eating habits? We’d like to hear your thoughts.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


January 23rd, 2009
10:52 AM ET

Tempering television for tots

By Shahreen Abedin
CNN Medical Senior Producer

This weekend, we took our 13-month-old to a dinner party where we were lucky enough to put the munchkin to sleep and stay up late with the grown-ups and play board games. It was so much fun, especially because we didn’t have to rush home to relieve the baby sitter. We rolled in around 2:30 a.m. Yay for us being cool parents who can manage taking the baby out and staying up late.

Come Sunday morning, different story. Baby boy woke up at 7 a.m., and my sweet husband (who usually plays with the baby on weekend mornings so I can sleep in) asked me to get up with the little one for a change. Barely awake, I took the baby into the living room, turned on the TV, and let my kid watch "Blue’s Clues."

Go ahead, call me a bad mommy. I’ve called myself that too for the same reason, even though I swear I’ve done it only when I’ve been too tired to keep the baby entertained after working all day or being seriously sleep deprived, or too busy because the office is still calling me or I’ve got a deadline to meet. Regardless, I still feel the guilt, because the American Academy of Pediatrics says no TV before age 2. Research shows kids under 30 months don’t gain any benefit from watching TV aside from being able to mimic what they see (no matter how “educational” the programming may be). And, there have been a ton of studies documenting real problems when small kids watch TV. For example, a 2007 study in the journal Pediatrics found early childhood attention problems by as early as age 3; every additional 50 minutes of watching in a day caused a measurable negative impact on the child's ability to focus later. Other studies have linked toddler tube time to problems with vocabulary development, etc.

Only when they hit preschool age do they actually stand to benefit from small amounts of educational TV, but the negative effects don’t go away when kids are older. Just last month a review of 173 different studies was published, finding a strong correlation between TV, movies, video games, other types of media exposure, and long-term poor health effects such as childhood obesity, smoking, drug abuse, teen sex, and bad grades.

But it does feel better to know that I’m not alone and in fact, I’m one of the "better" moms (at least in this respect!!!). A 2007 study in the Archives of Pediatric Medicine found that by 3 months of age, about 40 percent of kids regularly watch TV and by 24 months, the proportion shot up to 90 percent (results were based on a survey of over 1,000 American parents of kids under 2). Most of those kids started to watch by about 9 months, and they were clocking from an hour to one and a half hours daily, on average. Experts say that if the parent is interacting with the child during the TV watching, at least that improves the quality of the time, but this study found that parents watched along with their child only about one-third of the time, so the others were basically relying on the TV to serve as an electronic baby sitter.

When I talked to Dr. Laura Jana, spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and a working mom herself, the first thing she did was tell me I wasn’t a bad mother. The parents who sound troubled and guilty about media exposure aren’t the ones she worries about, because at least they're aware that it's a problem. I started to feel a little better. I mean, it’s hard to have a full-time job and raise healthy kids all at once, and occasionally you’re going to have to resort to other means in order to have time to take down the laundry or throw dinner together or catch a few ZZZs in order to function at a human level. I figure, the key is to not make it a regular practice, and to limit the amount of time spent at once (like 15 to 30 mins max for a young child if at all possible). Jana suggested that if you’re going to let your tot watch TV for whatever reason, at least make sure it’s not a program containing violence or adult themes. And she suggests extending the TV experience into other learning formats. So, for example, buy a Blue’s Clues book and use it to reinforce what happened during the program.

When I’ve discussed this topic with friends in the past, invariably someone says something like, “Well when I was a kid I watched TV all the time, and I turned out just fine.” So now I’m calling on you parents out there. Do you let your small kids watch TV? How often, and do you feel guilty about it? What are your reasons for letting them do it? Is the "no TV" rule for kids under age 2 an unrealistic goal, given all the things parents have to juggle (including their sanity)? Did you watch a lot of TV as a small child, and if so, do you think it had a positive or negative effect on you?

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


December 19th, 2008
10:30 AM ET

Facing a normal life

By Shahreen Abedin
CNN Medical Senior Producer

It’s hard to imagine not being able to go to the grocery store, or even step outside to the mailbox, out of fear of humiliation or name-calling by random strangers. And yet the woman who underwent the first successful face transplant in the U.S. two weeks ago endured these challenges on a daily basis, according to her doctors. She was robbed of a normal life when she suffered a severe trauma to her face; she lost 80 percent of it: the middle of her face was gone, as was her right eye, nose, and upper jaw bone. She could not smell, taste, and had trouble speaking and communicating. The medical team said it took 20 years of preparation, 22 hours of surgery, and months of tireless preparation using microsurgical techniques for the medical team to hook up blood vessels, nerves, and all the tiny tissues, with hopes of restoring one woman’s dignity and quality of life. Her sibling wrote a letter to doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, saying how overwhelmed they were to think of the patient finally on the road to returning to a normal life.
Isabelle Dinoire underwent the first partial face transplant in France in November 2005

Isabelle Dinoire underwent the first partial face transplant in France in November 2005

But how normal can it be? Imagine looking in the mirror and seeing someone totally different – the face of the transplant tissue donor? No - that’s not really what happens, as we've seen in the case of Isabelle Dinoire, the French woman who underwent the very first partial face transplant in Lyon, France, three years ago. Although today she doesn’t look like she did before her face was mauled by her dog, she also doesn’t look like the transplant donor; she has a different visage altogether. She faces a lifetime of taking anti-rejection drugs, and was reported to have twice experienced violent reactions to the new tissue, and the drugs caused infection and even kidney failure.

The Cleveland Clinic docs strongly emphasized that this isn’t just a cosmetic procedure (although it does involve plastic surgery), and they were very careful about picking the right person. After exhausting all other possible treatments, and after rigorous physical and psychological evaluations, she was chosen to receive the transplant. But it’s just a matter of time before they do the first full face transplant, and surely down the line, the procedure will become more and more frequent.

Do you foresee regular, healthy people (with lots of money!) undergoing face transplants just for the heck of it? If so, do you have a problem with it, moral, ethical, or otherwise?

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


December 1st, 2008
03:39 PM ET

Will antibiotics help the ache?

By Shahreen Abedin
CNN Medical Senior Producer

I'm typing this blog entry while sitting on an airplane.  Haha, just kidding.  I'm a mom of a now 1-year old who got off a plane a few days ago when I flew home to Dallas for Thanksgiving.  I couldn't imagine tap-tapping on a laptop while also trying to feed and keep the little one calm and happy in that a cramped little airplane seat! 

Along with being near-impossible, it would've been one more thing to push me towards the edge of losing it altogether.  There is just SO much to worry about when flying with baby – are his bottles ready? How do I time lunch and what's he going to eat? Did I bring enough toys that are entertaining enough but won’t disturb others? And oh yeah this is a fun one: Is he going to get sick this time too? 

See, the last two times we flew with the munchkin, he ended up getting an ear infection.  I don’t know if it’s because, like many adults, the re-circulated air in the cabin during cold and flu season, along with the close quarters with so many sniffly, coughing people allowing the virus to cling to trays and seats– just makes him more susceptible to getting a cold?  That stuffiness from his cold (a viral infection) can lead to fluid backing up in a child’s ears, thereby setting the scene for an ear infection, which is bacterial (those infections are usually only treated with antibiotics if they last a few months).

Or is it something else about the experience of flying to a different house, surrounded by different people, sleeping in an unfamiliar bed, etc., that makes his immune system go wonky? 

Nevertheless, I know my kid isn’t alone in his bouts with ear infections.  It’s the most common bacterial illness in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Young children are more likely to get these pesky infections because their Eustachian tubes are shorter, narrower, and more horizontal than for the rest of us, so they don’t drain as well.  Every year, over 5 million kids get ear infections, leading to over 30 million doctors’ visits, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

The first time it happened, I saw the telltale ear tugging, usually a sign of pain or discomfort, and then took him to a drug store clinic while I was still in Dallas, where he was prescribed antibiotics by a nurse practitioner.  The second time, we came home and his pediatrician said we could put him on antibiotics or just wait it out and see how he does.  See, the AAP (and I) are both concerned about antibiotic resistance.  Which is why the organization actually now recommends that doctors give parents the option of letting the kid fight the infection on his own for the first two or three days, observing how he does, and then prescribing antibiotics only if the symptoms don’t improve.  The academy says that about 80 percent of cases actually get better even without antibiotics.

On top of that, a study from this February, published in the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, found that antibiotics don't really work to get rid of the fluid that accumulates in the ear due to infections.  When I asked her about this, Dr. Laura Jana, spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and author of “Heading Home with Your Newborn,” said that yes, for 2 or 3 year olds, the trend is now for doctors to hold off on the antibiotics and let the child fight off the infection naturally.  But for babies under age 1 like mine, because their ability to hear is so intrinsically tied to the critical language skills that they develop during this period, doctors will still give them the amoxicillin to fight off the underlying bacterial infection if there's fluid buildup and inflammation, even if the drugs don’t work for fluid reduction.

For the pain, though, the academy still recommends ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  Dr. Jana also stresses the importance of follow up visits for the little tykes, to make sure that the fluid has indeed finally drained from the ears.

So I’m wondering – how many of you out there have chosen to wait it out and let your baby’s body duke it out alone, and how did that go for you? How many of you, like I was the first time, are more willing to put the baby on antibiotics if it could help, when they're in their first year?  Did you have any problems with antibiotic resistance later on?  And do you also deal with ear infections related to when you travel?  What was your experience?  And what are your most useful tricks for getting your small child to stay healthy and sane on a plane?

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


October 13th, 2008
10:47 AM ET

Ban the bink?

By Shahreen Abedin
CNN Medical Senior Producer

My husband and I recently took our baby to visit our hometown, Dallas, Texas, where his grandparents still live. We met up with many of their old friends, tons of "aunties" who couldn’t stop cooing over our little tyke who somehow already knows how to work a crowd.

I was a bit annoyed, however, when one of my mom’s friends tried to shame me for letting our baby suck on his pacifier. “Tsk, tsk. It’s bad for him” she admonished - she whom I haven’t seen in about 10 years. I blew her off; we get all kinds of unsolicited input, and I’ve learned to ignore most of it. But this one continues to irk me.

Her fear: that the baby will become addicted to his bink, and then one day, it’s hello orthodontist! She’s not the only one I’ve encountered with this view. Several of the nannies whom I interviewed were adamantly against pacifier use. Some were openly critical of it even though we had just met minutes before. So much stigma.

I’ve read all the pros and cons on the topic and I am unconvinced that it’s going to become a problem for us. We use it only when he’s going down to sleep, and we don’t let him keep it in his mouth for more than a couple of minutes after he awakens.

Some say that it’s better to let him use the bink instead of sucking his fingers, because at least you can take the bink away but once he’s used to thumb sucking, it’s a lot harder to halt that habit. Besides, pacifiers have been associated with lowered risks of SIDS .

And, they really, truly help our wee one sleep better. Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the parental lifesaver “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, includes sucking on a bink as one of the 5 “S’s” that help replicate the comforting experience of being in the womb for babies who are in their first months of life in the real world. Even though our baby is 10 months old, it still works like a switch that immediately helps him relax and melt into slumber. In fact, we didn’t give our baby a pacifier at first until we realized how much it helps to calm him, especially when he’s fussing in the car or has become so overtired that he can’t fall asleep anymore. Plus, I was breastfeeding back then and I read that it just works better not to confuse that little mouth near the beginning.

IMHO, getting baby to sleep is hard enough for most parents (except the luckiest among us), so I think, why not rely on some help from that heavenly silicone soother? Then again, we’ve all seen those 3- and 4-year olds, old enough to go potty by themselves, but unwilling to give up their binks.

Do you think it’s ok to use a pacifier and if so, how long should you let your kid use it? How do you help him let go of it when you decide it’s time? Have any of you forgone the passie and let your kids self-soothe with their fingers and if so, did you run into any problems or did it work like a charm?

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


September 15th, 2008
12:16 PM ET

Sharing the bed with baby

By Shahreen Abedin
CNN Medical Senior Producer

On Sunday we were hanging out with friends when I heard my husband say something that immediately raised red flags for me. “Yeah, by November the baby should be out of our room and in his own crib.” Gulp! About a month ago, he had voiced his desire to have our then-8-month old sleep in his own crib all night, but my compromise was to install a bed rail guard on one side, so we would have the option of putting the munchkin on one side of us, instead of between us.

Yes, we are co-sleeping parents. And apparently there are many opinions about co-sleepers among “crib-sleeper” parents, as highlighted in the current issue of Parenting magazine. ( read Parenting article). According to its national survey, nearly half of all crib-sleepers feel that co-sleeper parents are “irresponsible” and that they are putting their baby’s health at risk. Almost 40 percent think we’re spoiling the baby by not fostering an independent sleeper.

It’s always seemed unnatural to me that we would banish our small child to sleep alone. It was also more efficient for me to have him right there when I was breastfeeding throughout the night. And when my baby wraps his arms around my neck and snuggles with me, it’s clear that he feels secure and slumbers much better. Four other couples we know also share their beds. I’m not sure whether it matters that three of them are also of South Asian descent (like me), and the other couple is from Spain. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, since many cultures find it unusual to NOT sleep with your baby.

I understand that SIDS concerns are associated with co-sleeping, and that’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend the practice. (read AAP recommendation) That’s a safer stance to take than risking parents rolling over onto their babies in bed, causing harm or even death.

We started sleeping with him in the bed only after he was a couple of months old. When he was teeny he slept in the bassinet pulled up right next to me. And when he sleeps in the crib, since we never put him in our bed without one of us with him, we are careful about all of the other SIDS risk factors (read about SIDS) including keeping blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals out of the way, placing him on his back, and avoiding overheating.

From a safety standpoint, we’re doing OK. No smushed babies here. One of the tenets of co-sleeping that I do think is critical is that it’s based upon agreement by all three parties: both parents and the baby. If any one of these people is uncomfortable with the arrangement, then it’s time to give it up and put “baby in the corner” (crib, that is).

So, now I need to learn how to transition to this new arrangement and I need help. For you co-sleepers out there, what helped you make that transition, and when did you do it? Was it emotionally harder for you than it was for the baby? For you crib-sleepers, do you think parents like me are putting their own needs above the baby’s? If SIDS wasn’t a concern, would you still have a problem with it?

<strong>Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


August 18th, 2008
10:17 AM ET

When is it too early for potty time?

By Shahreen Abedin
CNN Medical Senior Producer

We have a new piece of furniture in our living room. It’s a potty chair.

It all started when I was browsing a parenting blog and came across a string on potty training. This mother was saying her kid started going in the potty at 9 months. And I thought, hey my baby’s almost 9 months - I should try this too! After all, I know when my baby is about to poop because he gets this unmistakable grimace. So I should be able to run him to the potty chair at the first sign. And besides, we know a couple who figured out that their 6-month-old daughter “goes” every day at 10:15 a.m., so that’s when they sit her on the toilet and so they never deal with poopie diapers – so cool, I thought!

I read all the product recommendation Web sites, figured out which one would best suit our little boy, and promptly went out and purchased a brand new potty chair. My mother-in-law happened to be visiting that week, so she was with me and in her very supportive, non-judgmental way, she went along with it all, waiting patiently for the sales associate to go pull out the non-gender specific colored model from the back. But later on I heard her on the phone with my aunt, and they both seemed to be chuckling. “Yes, he’s only 8 1/2 months, but she’s trying to potty train him,” she said.

When I talked to my own mom, she pointed out that my little one is a boy: “Boys take much longer to potty train, don’t you know?” No, I didn’t know. As a 33-year-old, I tend not to read too many books on how to do this whole parenting thing. I figure, I’ve absorbed enough along the way from other people’s kids to have the basic gist of it, and the rest can come from instinct or common sense.

When I tried putting the baby on the potty chair to get the feel for it, he seemed to be more interested in taking the pot part out and putting it on his head. That’s when I started to wonder if I was totally off the mark with starting this early, so I googled “potty training,” and found that a couple of the health authorities give some pretty solid tips on how to get your kid used to going in the potty, including the suggestion that you put the chair in the living room and let the baby sit on it, fully clothed, so he gets comfortable with it. We put ours right next to the Bumbo chair.

The sites also say that potty training usually doesn’t start until 18 months to two years. A whole more YEAR of this?? Please, folks – am I crazy to think our child might be advanced enough for his age to start going in the potty sooner? And am I really pushing it since he’s a boy – are boys really slower at this game?

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


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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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