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Sound Body

Weekly half-hour program, Fridays at 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. on WXXI Reachout Radio

Sound Body is a weekly program of information to help you manage your overall health and well-being. Topics have included Migraines & other headaches, Diabetes diagnosis & tips; Dental Health; Mental Health & Aging; Lowering Cholesterol; The Elephant Cure; Nutrition & exercise; Health Care Proxies and Living Wills.

Ways to Connect

Sound Body #2116: The Science of Addiction 04/16/21

Apr 12, 2021

For a species wired for survival, we have an odd habit of getting addicted to things that can kill us. New research is revealing why - and opening the door to desperately needed cures.

Ancient wisdom and recent research show that we can breathe better - enhancing our athletic performance and overall well-being along the way. Many exercises for different types of breathing are highlighted, as well as the importance of learning to breathe mostly through the nose instead of mouth breathing.

Why aren’t dentists a separate branch of medicine - like cardiology or dermatology? Bad oral health has been linked to heart problems, diabetes and cancer. Also, is Covid-19 causing teeth to fall out in some long haul survivors? Also, copying with dental anxiety.

42% of the American population is obese, yet fat bias continues to create negative outcomes at the doctors office. Patients put off going to a health care provider when they fear being shamed for their weight. Doctors misdiagnose patients because of their bias and ignore symptoms that may have nothing to do with obesity. Public health initiatives, and medical research continue to suggest that losing weight will create better health outcomes, while ignoring the long-term failure of this approach.

O, the Oprah Magazine, describes fear as inevitable. “Life gets scary sometimes. But although you can’t escape fear, you can manage it, conquer it, and even befriend it with this wise advice”. Articles on how to fear less and live more.

The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is an at-home test for colon cancer is a pleasant alternative to colonoscopy for lower-risk patients. FIT is safer than a colonoscopy, with a lower risk of complications and Covid-19 exposure, and does as good a job. Colon and rectal cancer is on the rise in younger people - prompting the American Cancer Society to lower the screening age for colorectal cancer to 45 for people with average risk. Also, Dr. Mike ranks the most and least accurate Medical TV shows.

Experience L!fe magazine has the stated mission of “empowering people to become their healthiest, happiest, most authentic selves, and supporting a balanced, deeply satisfying way of life”. Readings from the January/February 2021 issue include articles on how exercise may prevent or slow vision loss; how fear is an expression of our love of life, and embracing vulnerability can help us face fear; how giving up sugar for a year provided one man with many health benefits, including weight loss.

A personal essay written for the New Yorker about living with a spouse who experiences hallucinations due to Lewy Body Dementia. Poet John Matthias cares for his wife of 50 years as she hallucinates more and more, sleeps and eats less, and ultimately arrives at an assisted living facility during Covid-19.

Our lungs are fragile organs open to the outside world that guard us against pathogens, allergens and pollutants. But even with their ultimate importance to provide the breath of life - it is still public health initiatives that protect our lungs more than any medicine or treatment yet available. The novel coronavirus is only the latest challenge after many outbreaks of tuberculosis.

With better pain relief, customized ball-and-socket joints, refined scanning tools and increased use of robotic surgery - replacing a hip is not the fearsome thing it was once, or even what it was 10 years ago. Also, an article outlining what happens on the day of hip replacement surgery, and in the recovery period after surgery.

The elderly aren’t the people who feel the most isolated, especially during a pandemic. Five myths about loneliness, tips on how to stay connected while social distancing, and how social isolation is very hard on people with dementia.

Sound Body #2105: Vaccine Virtue 01/29/21

Jan 25, 2021

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout begins, adults need to be aware of other vaccinations to keep up to date. Herd immunity protects those who aren’t able to take a vaccine for health reasons, but only when the vaccination rate is at or above 95%. Also, a surprising link between tattoos and immunity.

While 2020 exposed plenty of cracks in our national health care system, there were lots of other medical breakthroughs to recognize that may pave the way for a healthier future for all of us. AARP Magazine looks at a number of breakthroughs in treating diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, vision loss, heart disease and lung disease.

Constant noise in the head - such as a ringing in the ears not associated with any external source, is called tinnitus. This my be caused by loud noise, medications that damage the nerves in the ear, impacted earwax, middle ear problems, and aging. There are strategies for managing tinnitus, but there are not drugs or herbal supplements to treat it. A new device that applies a technique known as bimodal neuromodulation is available in Ireland and Germany

The Coronavirus can cause insomnia, nightmares, and long-term changes in our nervous systems. But, an article in The Atlantic magazine suggests, sleep could also be a key to ending the pandemic.

Sound Body #2101: Covid Care 01/01/21

Dec 28, 2020

Researchers are discovering why many people with Covid-SARS-2 lose their sense of smell - some for the duration of symptoms, while others experience this loss for 6 months or more. Also, the Mayo Clinic offers advice on how to care for yourself or a loved one at home while recovering from Covid-19 symptoms, and what symptoms suggest the need for hospitalization.

Sound Body #2052: Toxic Positivity, 12/25/20

Dec 21, 2020

Toxic positivity, or the idea that we should only focus on positive emotions and the positive aspects of life can be detrimental to our mental health. Toxic positivity can encourage people to stay silent about their struggles, and foster more loneliness by preventing someone from connecting authentically about the ups and downs of their life. Ignoring our collective trauma from the coronavirus pandemic, does not take away the anxiety and loneliness, it just prevents us from creating meaningful actions to help deal with our isolation and fear.

Once thought to be a disease only for gluttonous aristocrats, gout is now tormenting the masses.  A historical context of the diagnosis and treatment of gout, as well as the role it has played in some notable historical events. Also, what to eat, and what not to eat if you suffer from gout.

Decades into his fight with Parkinson’s disease, Michael J. Fox has been doing the magazine and talk show rounds talking about his newest memoir “No Time Like The Future”. In it he writes about how he lost his usual hope and optimism a couple of years ago during his “darkest moment”. In a People magazine he article he talks about this dark time, and what his life is like living with Parkinson’s. Also, a medical mystery from the Washington Post about a woman who fell 30 times in three years.

The Essential Guide to Medicare is a consumer guide to Medicare. It includes sections on the history of this single-payer government program, how and when to apply  for Medicare, what is included in the different parts of Medicare, decisions for choosing the correct plans, how Medicare compares to other plans around the world, and links to government help services.

Artificial Intelligence applications are creating algorithms for detecting eye diseases, detecting a cough from someone who has Covid-19 but is asymptomatic, and for other health-related diagnosis. Smart health devices have come a long way from just counting steps - they now can track sleep cycles, monitor EKG, oxygen saturation, and blood glucose levels, as well as providing many other fitness and health related data. Also, an article on the veracity and usefulness of Covid-19 testing.

Researchers are finding that Autism Spectrum Disorder may be linked to - or even cause by - irregularities in the microbiome found in the human digestive tract. The microbiome may also play a role in all kinds of brain disorders, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression.

The human immune system might be better at fighting off Covid-19 than some studies may lead us to believe. Also, a look at how nanoscopic pathogens other than the coronavirus can make you sick.

The Bill of the Month is an ongoing collaboration between Kaiser Health News and NPR. This crowdsourced investigation dissects and explains medical bills every month in order to shed light on U.S. health care prices and to help patients learn how to be more active in managing costs.

Medieval Europeans didn’t understand how the plague spread. Their response to this threat wasn’t so different from our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, an article from Scientific American on how Covid-19 death counts are tabulated.

Soap and water are good at destroying the coronavirus, but also destroy microorganisms that are beneficial to humans. In this book review from the New Yorker magazine, two books about the living and permeable ecosystem of our skin are explored in a way that could make some people a little squeamish.

People with poorly controlled diabetes are more susceptible to more severe infection, whether it’s Covid-19, influenza, or tuberculosis. Elevated blood sugar directly impairs immune function. Also, going for regular eye exams is important for people with diabetes. Articles from the October 2020 issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine.

Human behavior, including the wearing or shunning of masks, will determine the Covid-19 pandemic’s ultimate toll. To understand different behavioral choices a New England Journal of Medicine article looks at scientific mistrust and free-market principles, the polluted information environment, how beliefs shape our personal identity, the health fallout of economic devastation, and tribal norms.  Also, an article on how the pandemic has changed our beauty habits in ways that can be better for skin, hair and nails.

Mushrooms have been used medicinally for centuries, and now they may provide us with innovative environmental solutions as well. Fungi including Reishi, lion’s mane and Chaga are gaining popularity in the wellness world

Real Simple magazine offers tips on how to relax and find ways to keep calm during these turbulent times. Also, a quick look at the difference between Covid-19 symptoms and seasonal influenza.