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Health Tips #71 ~ [Issue 0605-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Jun 10, 2005 19:33 PDT 

* Pain Reliever Warning

When taking more than one over-the-counter medication, checking all
the labels for extra analgesics is a good way to guard your health.
Getting more than the recommended dose of certain over-the-counter
pain relievers can increase your risk of harmful side effects.
However, straight pain relievers are not the only medications that
may contain analgesics. Some multiple formulation products, such as
certain cold medicines, may contain them, too, so check all labels.

* Cherries Ease OA Pain

Recent studies by USDA researchers revealed that fresh Bing cherries
may contain anti-inflammatory properties that could potentially help
ease osteoarthritis pain. In the study, people who had eaten cherries
for breakfast had lower blood levels of C-reactive protein and nitric
oxide, both of which are markers of inflammatory disease. The causes
of arthritis are unclear. However, people who are over the age of 65
are most likely to have osteoarthritis, a painful joint disease
characterized by the wearing away of protective joint cartilage.
Several lifestyle factors may increase the risk of arthritis or
arthritis pain. These include excess weight, weak thigh muscles,
excessively heavy physical activity, and joint injury or stress.
Having a family member with osteoarthritis also may slightly increase
your risk of developing it.

* Lactose Intolerance

Between 30 and 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, meaning
that they have low levels of the enzyme required to break down
lactose, the natural sugar found in milk. The degree of intolerance
varies widely, however, and being lactose intolerant does not rule
out eating all dairy products. In fact, foods such as hard cheeses
and yogurt will not cause symptoms. That is important to remember so
you still get the needed amount of calcium for your body. People can
have varying degrees of intolerance. A lot of it has to do with
individual sensitivity; that relates, in part, to how much actual
lactase is in their intestines. For example, some people can have a
glass of milk and get symptoms of bloating and diarrhea, and for
others a tablespoon in their coffee, for example, can cause problems.
It just depends on their personal threshold. Individual variation
also affects how quickly symptoms develop; they can occur soon after
eating or the following day.

* Drinking Alcohol Increases Pancreatitis

Drinking alcohol has been on the rise in Britain, and as a result so
has the rate of acute pancreatitis, doctors say. A study published in
the British Medical Journal finds acute pancreatitis has doubled over
the past 30 years, particularly among young adults. Acute
pancreatitis, mainly caused by alcohol abuse and gall stones, can
cause a sudden attack of severe upper abdominal pain, often with
nausea and vomiting lasting for about 48 hours. Pancreatitis has a
poor prognosis and death rates since 1970 have not improved because
there have been no major innovations in treatment. The study finds
death rates in the first month after hospital admission were 30 times
higher than in the general population of the same age.
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