Health & Fitness

Marijuana and the Soon-To-Be Mom

Pot and the pregnant pros and cons aren't clear


New research shows that pregnant women suffering severe nausea and vomiting turn to marijuana at more than twice the rate of pregnant women with less severe symptoms: 11 percent to 5 percent. The idea is that marijuana eases their queasiness. Other research indicates more pregnant women are using marijuana in general. National guidelines recommend against the use of cannabis during pregnancy, but the health effects aren’t totally clear.

Bad Baby Monitors
Some at-home baby monitors do more than just keep an electronic ear out for sounds of crying or discomfort. They also promise to detect low oxygen levels and pulses. Baby monitors don’t have to be approved like medical devices before being marketed. In a piece published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network, pediatricians tested two commercially available monitors that touted oxygen level detection. They found that one monitor was inconsistent at detecting low levels of oxygen and the other didn’t detect them at all, often displaying inaccurate pulses.
The same researchers had concluded from earlier research that baby monitors tend to heighten parental stress and have not been shown to benefit healthy babies.

Body of Knowledge
The average person can expect to inhale approximately 45 pounds of dust in their lifetime.

Get Me That, Stat!
The share of U.S. patients with HIV whose viral levels were suppressed with treatment has steadily grown, from 32 percent in 1997 to 86 percent in 2015, reports STAT, citing a new published study.

1 in 4: ratio of American adults who say they have a disability that affects major life activities
14: percentage of those citing a disability who said it involved mobility
11: percentage that involved cognition
6: hearing
5: vision
5: Number of times more common it was for a middle-aged adult living below the poverty level to have a mobility disability than a peer with an income twice the poverty level
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Stories for the Waiting Room
The opioid epidemic is getting bigger and diversifying. The Food and Drug Administration is now trying to tackle an offshoot problem: opioid prescriptions for pets. Veterinarians can prescribe opioids for treating pain in animals, though there is only one FDA-approved drug for use in animals.
Vets sometimes turn to human drugs when animal-approved drugs are ineffective or non-existent — and there’s worry that vets might do the same with opioids. The FDA has created a new resource for vets seeking alternative pain treatments and is advising them to be on the lookout out for people seeking opioids under the false pretense of treating a pet.

Doc Talk
Capillary refill: When a fingernail is pressed, the nail bed turns white. Capillary refill refers to the return of the nail bed to a pinkish color. Good “cap refill” time is two seconds or less.

Phobia of the Week
Ecclesiophobia: fear of churches

Number Cruncher
A single “create-a-face” pancake from IHOP (100 grams) contains 420 calories, 90 from fat. It has 10 grams of total fat, 15 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie diet, according to the Calorie Count database.
It also contains 40 milligrams of cholesterol (13 percent); 1,050 mg of sodium (44 percent); 72 grams of total carbohydrates (24 percent); 4 g of dietary fiber; 26 grams of sugar and 11 g of protein.
One guess: That created face is going to be chubby.

Never Say “Diet”
The Major League Eating record for green beans, French-cut, is 2.71 pounds in 6 minutes, held by a professional eater known as “Crazy Legs Conti,” whose pants, presumably, are more of a full cut.

Best Medicine
They’ve just found a gene for shyness. They would have found it earlier, but it was hiding behind a couple of other genes.

“Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.” — American comedian Redd Foxx (1922-1991)

Medical History
This week in 1818, the first blood transfusion in Great Britain using human blood (as opposed to animal blood) took place at Guy’s Hospital in London by Dr. James Blundell. The patient, Mr. Brazier, had an incurable scirrhous disease of the pyloric orifice of the stomach (a form of cancer) but was anxious to try the procedure nonetheless. Using an instrument of his own design, Blundell transfused 12 to 14 ounces of donated human blood into a vein in Brazier’s arm. For 30 or 40 minutes, there seemed benefit, as Brazier’s pulse and body temperature increased. However, he died 56 hours after the treatment. Ten years later, Blundell saved another patient’s life with a blood transfusion, but by then, others have already used the process successfully.

Last Words
“Why do you weep? Did you think I was immortal?” — King Louis XIV of France (1638-1715), who died of gangrene after reigning for 72 years. He was succeeded on the throne by his 5-year-old grandson.

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


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