Produce Study Reveals “Dirty Dozen” With Most Pesticides

Eating healthy is not easy.

You could make the effort to cook a balanced meal at home, cut down on junk food, and buy plenty of fruits and vegetables.

But how many of us think to look into what’s on the healthy produce we buy?

Apples
Apples ranked among the produce with the most pesticide residue in EWG’s study.Pixabay

Each year, the activism group Environmental Working Group lists the 12 fruits and vegetables they call “The Dirty Dozen,” produce with the highest amount of pesticide residue based on data from the Department of Agriculture.

Pesticides protect crops from insects and infections, but they are also known to cause a variety of health complications in humans.

This year’s list has bad news for clean eaters, as healthy veggies like kale, spinach, and celery all ranked among the worst for pesticide residue.

Kale came out looking particularly bad in this year’s study, as 92% of the samples tested had residue from two or more pesticides, even after being washed. The worst samples had residue from up to 18 different pesticides.

A shocking 60 percent of the kale samples still had Dacthal residue, a pesticide which was found to cause cancer in rodents.

On the other hand, EWG listed this year’s “Clean Fifteen” produce items with the least produce residue. It’s encouraging news for people who like avocados, pineapples, and cauliflower, which all made the healthier list.

If you’re concerned about pesticides on your produce, the EWG recommends shopping for organic produce. Even if you can’t afford those pricey varieties, they say there’s not much reason to fret about pesticides on your fruits and vegetables.

“The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure,” EWG researcher Carla Burns said in a press release about this year’s lists.

Organic vegetables are also not always free from pesticides either – usually they just haven’t been sprayed with synthetic pesticides.

Washing fruit and vegetables under cold tap water can help remove pesticide residue.

Here is the complete “Dirty Dozen” list:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

Here is the complete “Clean Fifteen” list:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Frozen Sweet Peas
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbages
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew Melons

[H/T: CNBC]

Will this study make you change your eating habits?

Study Shows Spending Time With Your Parents Helps Them Live Longer

A study that highlighted the plight of lonely grandparents also gave them a good excuse to guilt trip their kids into spending more family time together.

The research from the University of California, San Francisco revealed that loneliness is strongly connected to declining health as you get older.

The 1,600 adults followed by the study (with an average age of 71) tended to live longer when they had supportive friends and family members.

generations
Encouraging younger and older generations to interact has health benefits for everyone involved.brfcs – Pixabay

In the six years the study lasted, 23% of lonely participants passed away, while just 14% of people with strong relationships did. That’s despite the fact that the study controlled for health and socioeconomic factors.

The negative health effects of feeling isolated and alone are so well known that many countries are taking serious steps to help their loneliest citizens. The U.K. even appointed a minister focused on tackling loneliness.

Experts who weighed in on the study seem to agree that older people are often ignored or forgotten by younger friends and family members, who don’t have the social skills and consideration to look after their elders.

It seems unlikely, but new research also suggests that lonely grandparents could be the perfect companions for lonely teens and millennials.

A survey of 20,000 adults by the health service Cigna last year found that Gen Z (aged 18-22) and millennials (aged 23-37) rated themselves as the loneliest age groups.

Some technology experts say that social media obsession could make some people feel more alone, even though the apps and websites connect them to people around the world.

But while looking after children and grandparents can keep a person busy, having meaningful relationships with someone the same age as you is just as important.

Hopefully, you don’t need any special reason to invite your mom or dad (or grandparents) over for a family dinner once in a while, but it helps to think you’re keeping them alive to share their love just a little longer.

[H/T: NY Times, USA Today]

Do you try to spend time with your elderly relatives?

Mom Shares Dramatic Photos Of What An Allergic Reaction Really Looks Like

These days, concerns about nut allergies are so common that many parents say they’re exhausted by the constant warnings.

They gripe that their children are not allowed to bring certain snacks to school, and complain to each other about how hard it can be to plan for a birthday party.

But one mother’s shocking Facebook post is a good reminder to the rest of us that allergies should never be taken lightly.

Julie Berghaus. 41, was actually taking her 3-year-old daughter, Maren, for an allergy test when the little girl started to feel itchy.

She had only eaten a tenth of a cashew as part of the test, but soon Maren’s ears and then the rest of her body were painfully itchy. The doctor quickly realized Maren was suffering from anaphylaxis, an extreme allergic reaction which can be fatal.

During anaphylaxis, the body can go into shock as an allergy sufferer’s airway tightens, making it hard for them to breathe. And it takes as little as a few seconds for the symptoms to set in.

Berghaus says she chose to share a concerning photo of her daughter with an oxygen mask strapped to her face so other parents would understand that allergies are no joke.

“There was no drama. No nothing. No panic,” Berghaus told Today about the moments before her daughter’s attack. “She was playing on the iPad and scratching with the other hand.”

Thankfully, doctors gave Maren shot of epinephrine (the medicine used in an EpiPen) and a Zyrtec pill before her reaction intensified.

Hives
Maren’s reaction turned even more severe as she broke out in hives.Julie Berghaus

Still, painful hives spread over the girl’s body, and she struggled to breathe before passing out. It took more shots and a steroid treatment before the reaction finally subsided.

“It only took about 10 minutes to get out of that dangerous zone,” Berghaus said. “It took about two hours to completely get the hives gone. She was fine. She was like nothing ever happened.”

Still, the reaction was dramatic enough to frighten Berghaus, who is an operating room nurse.

The mom from Frisco, Texas, also told other parents how to react if they see an allergic reaction like this in public:

Please if you are one of the people that cares for my child or spends time with her, be careful what you eat around her, what you give her, and DON’T be afraid to give [epinephrine]. She had zero side effects from the epi. It could save her life.

If you don’t know how to give a life-saving epinephrine shot, this helpful video will teach you.

[H/T: Today]

Were you surprised by how severe Maren’s reaction was?

New Generic Insulin Costs Half As Much – But Not Everyone Will Save

It’s an unfortunate fact of life in America that diabetes is an expensive condition to have.

Between 2009 and 2017, the price for a vial of fast-acting Humalog insulin tripled from $92 to over $270 dollars, and many patients who rely on this medicine to survive now find themselves pinching pennies to afford it.

Compare those prices to a study that found the average patient’s yearly supply of insulin costs between $78 to $133 to produce, and you can see why many are outraged.

Insulin
Prices for some insulin products are 13 times higher than they were in the 1990s.jwskks5786 – Pixabay

Even if patients don’t pay full price at the pharmacy counter for the overpriced drugs, a public healthcare provider like Medicare or Medicaid often picks up the tab instead.

As activists protest insulin producers like Eli Lilly, and stories of patients rationing insulin make headlines, a newer, cheaper version of the same medicine has some patients feeling relieved.

Humalog’s producer, Eli Lilly, is finally rolling out a generic version of insulin at a reduced price: $137.35 a vial or $265.20 for a pack of five pens.

The new product is the exact same formula as Humalog, but rebranded as lispro “authorized generic” insulin.

The company’s CEO, David Ricks, wrote in a blog post that “patients, doctors and policymakers are demanding lower list prices for medicines and lower patient costs at the pharmacy counter.”

But many argue the new product is actually a PR move for Eli Lilly, after they were grilled by lawmakers in February.

Despite the savings this will offer some diabetes patients, critics say the price is still much too high. The discounted price will only see the new generic Humalog drop to its 2012 rate, while Humalog debuted at just $21 a vial back in 1996.

Insulin pump
Many patients who need insulin won’t save much until other products offer generic versions.jwskks5786 – Pixabay

Eli Lilly’s biggest competitors, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, have not announced matching plans to release generic versions of their insulin products.

There is also no generic product of long-acting insulin even in development at any of the three major companies.

Advocates for lower drug prices say it would take competing generic products from multiple companies to make a meaningful change in average insulin prices.

Eli Lilly has not announced when their generic insulin will be available, but have mentioned a summer 2019 release.

[H/T: ABC News]

Will you use the new generic version of Humalog?

Skull Infection From Cotton Swabs Caused A Man’s Seizure

It’s been called the most ignored warning label ever printed.

Check any box of cotton swabs and you’ll find this stern message: Do not put swab in ear canal. But most of us never even think twice about using these disposable swabs to clean the wax out of our ears.

Unless, that is, you’ve lived through the kind of horrifying experience one unnamed 31-year-old man featured in the British Medical Journal Case Reports did.

Cotton swab
Cotton swabs are not actually meant to clean your ears – despite how many people use them for just that.PDPics – Pixabay

The patient had been suffering from discharge and pain in his left ear for more than a week, before headaches, nausea, and vomiting set in.

His doctor assumed it was a nasty ear infection, and prescribed a course of antibiotics.

But when the man began forgetting names, feeling confused, and became fatigued, he checked in to a local hospital. Doctors there sussed out the fact that the patient had actually been living with ear pain and hearing loss for several years.

CT and MRI scans identified the cause of the man’s trouble: infected abscesses in his skull full of dangerous bacteria. A surgery to treat the infection found an even bigger surprise: part of a cotton swab stuck deep inside the man’s ear canal.

Brain scan
A broken cotton swab created an infection that eventually caused a seizure.BMJ Case Reports

The combination of the infection (called necrotizing external otitis) and inflammation caused by the cotton swab piece had caused the man to suffer a seizure.

If left untreated, the infection itself could have traveled to the base of his skull and killed him.

After treatment, the patient has made a full recovery, and the case study’s authors celebrated that he “is no longer using cotton buds to clean his ears!”

“The use of cotton buds inside ears is common and has long been recognized to cause several complications including trauma, tympanic membrane perforation, impacted earwax, infection and retention of the cotton bud,” they wrote.

And if you think this could never happen to you, you’re sorely mistaken. According to one study, 34 people are treated for cotton swab injuries in U.S. hospitals every day.

Earwax, also known as cerumen, is created by our bodies to clean the ear canal and protect it from bacteria. Our bodies just produce too much of it sometimes.

Experts warn that swabbing at ear wax can actually bury it deeper in your ear canal. So next time, reach for a washcloth to wipe away your ear gunk instead.

[H/T: Global News, Live Science]

Have you stopped using cotton swabs to clean your ears?

Heartbroken Dad Learned His Son’s “Crooked” Smile Was A Deadly Symptom

A couple from the U.K. are praying for a miracle after learning their little boy’s adorable smile was hiding a deadly condition.

Wesley Lacey, 28, told The Sun that his 3-year-old son Jack’s “crooked” smile didn’t concern him, at first.

“We didn’t take any notice because it was gradual, we just thought it was funny, but this is his new smile,” he said. Jack’s parents just guessed he was “seeing someone smiling like that and copying.”

Other symptoms – walking with outstretched arms, blinking frequently, and suffering night terrors – led Lacey and his wife Rebecca Oldham, 29, to seek help

Doctors soon discovered Jack had an aggressive brain tumor, diagnosing him with the very severe form of childhood cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

The tumor, which sits on Jack’s brainstem, is dangerous and difficult to treat. While Jack has only experienced symptoms for a few weeks, doctors say the tumor has been growing for several months.

The toddler is undergoing radiation treatments and chemotherapy, but doctors have given Jack a year or even less to live.

Lacey told The Sun he and his wife were “broken” by the prognosis.

“The news has been the darkest time of our lives,” he said, “I can’t even begin to think about him not being there. He hasn’t got any relatives who have passed away, there’s no one waiting for him.”

In the hope of making the most of their time together, Jack’s parents have started a GoFundMe page, both to cover Jack’s funeral costs and to make happy memories with him on fun day trips.

Wesley says that Jack “never stops talking, joking, and will play his little heart out, even when sick,” so hopefully the time he has left will be happy and carefree.

Visit the family’s GoFundMe page to support Jack during his cancer battle.

[H/T: The Sun]

We wish Jack and his family all the best.

Whoopi Goldberg Was “Close To Leaving The Earth” While Battling Pneumonia

For more than a month, fans of The View have been asking, “Where’s Whoopi?”

While it was revealed the Sister Act star was battling pneumonia, viewers became concerned after weeks without a health update from the talk show host.

Finally, Goldberg, 63, returned to the show in a video message on Friday, and told the audience she nearly died from her condition.

[embedded content]

“Hey, yes, it’s me,” she said. “I am here. I am up and moving around — not as fast as I’d like to be, but I am okay. I’m not dead.”

Goldberg revealed she “came very close to leaving the earth” when both her lungs were stricken with pneumonia and the disease turned septic.

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames a patient’s lungs, causing pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Sepsis is a dangerous response to an infection by the body’s immune system, which can damage organs and sharply lower blood pressure.

“Good news, I didn’t. Thank you for all of your good wishes, all of the wonderful things that people have been saying. Even people who aren’t huge fans of mine have actually been saying nice thing about me.”

Goldberg also assured her co-hosts that she “cannot wait to see y’all,” even though she could probably use a break from the stress of Hot Topics.

“This has been interesting and I’ll tell you about it when we’re all at the table. To everybody, see you soon.”

Goldberg was last seen on the show February 6, and her fellow hosts addressed her absence on February 20, revealing her pneumonia diagnosis.

Before Goldberg resurfaced, some fans were actually convinced she was preparing to host the Academy Awards in secret.

“She’s not even well enough to host this show right now,” Joy Behar quipped, “let alone the Oscars.”

It takes weeks for most patients to recover from pneumonia, so while Goldberg is on the mend don’t count on her to get back to work any time soon.

[H/T: People]

Get well soon Whoopi, we can’t wait to see you back on the show!

Grandmother Loses 40 Years Of Memories After Mysterious Headache

Kim Denicola is 56, but when she woke up in a hospital bed last October she was convinced she was only 17 years old.

The grandmother from Baton Rouge, Louisiana is still coping with memory loss that erased almost four decades of memories, after a headache caused her to black out in her church’s parking lot.

In a new interview with Inside Edition, Denicola described waking up in the hospital to questions from her nurses:

“She said, ‘Do you know what year it is?’ And I said, ‘Yes, it’s 1980.'”

In her mind, Denicola had just graduated taken her senior year exams and the president was still Ronald Reagan. She could not recall anything after that time in her life.

“I apparently was married,” she said. “I had a wedding.” But Denicola had no memory of that day, her husband David, their children, or her grandchildren.

“When I looked at him, he had tears in his eyes,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh man. Something’s not right here.’ He said, ‘I’m your husband.'”

Even the woman staring back at her in the mirror was a surprise to Denicola.

“When I woke up, [I thought] I was about to turn 18,” she said. “I looked in the mirror [and thought] ‘This is not 18.'”

So far, stories from family and photographs of her forgotten years have failed to jog Denicola’s memory. She had to relearn how to use a computer, and also rediscovered modern technology like cell phones.

“The last TV I remember was a box on the floor, and you had to go up and change the channel,” she told Metro.

There were more upsetting lessons to learn as well: Denicola had to find out her parents had died all over again. She told Fox 8 that she was in tears “for days” after doctors revealed how much time she had lost.

Doctors say she suffers from transient global amnesia, a type of sudden memory loss. While the condition normally gets better with time, Denicola is still waiting for her memories to return months after her blackout.

It’s a serious possibility that some of her “lost time” will never return, but the thought doesn’t worry Denicola. “If the memories don’t come back, I can make new ones,” she said.

“Maybe one day I’ll get those memories back,” she told Metro, “maybe I won’t. But I’m taking each day as it comes.”

[H/T: Inside Edition]

How would you react if you woke up thinking it was 1980?

Martha Stewart Launches New Cannabis Oil Business

With a career that has lasted for decades, it’s harder to name a business Martha Stewart hasn’t had a hand in than all the industries where she made her mark.

The bestselling cookbook author, TV host, businesswoman, a much more unveiled a new side business that could raise some eyebrows this week.

But with everything she knows about food, edible cannabis products are probably a safe bet for this magazine maven.

Stewart, 77, announced she is now an adviser on cannabidiol (CBD) oil products for the Canadian company Canopy Growth.

CBD is a chemical derived from cannabis plants (in Canopy’s case from hemp). Unlike the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not make you “stoned,” but instead causes a “body high” sometimes described as a warm, soothing sensation.

The TV host will help the company develop a line of CBD oil products for pets, and eventually help them branch out into edible CBD products for people.

Stewart has cleared the air in past interviews, saying that she does not use marijuana but doesn’t mind people who do

“So someone smokes marijuana? Big deal!” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I haven’t heard of anybody dying from cannabis.”

Stewart herself owns several Chow Chows, bulldogs, cats, ponies and horses, so she probably knows what kinds of products pet owners are interested in.

Investors are obviously excited about Stewart joining forces with the company, because Canopy’s stock jumped following her announcement.

“I am delighted to establish this partnership with Canopy Growth and share with them the knowledge I have gained after years of experience in the subject of living,” Stewart said in a press release about her new gig.

Snoop Dogg Martha Stewart
Snoop Dogg and Stewart are both working with the same cannabis company.VH1 / Viacom International

She might know a thing or two in the subject of cannabis too, after co-hosting Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party with her friend Snoop Dogg.

Canopy Growth’s subsidiary, Tweed, has their own partnership for marijuana products with Snoop Dogg called Leafs by Snoop.

While we’ll have to wait and see what Stewart and her business partners have to offer, we bet her magic touch will make some cats and dogs very happy.

[H/T: Delish]

Would you try CBD oil products made with help from Martha Stewart?

Nurse Saves Her Own Life By Spotting Heart Condition Before Doctors

Katie Barber from Long Island has an interesting credit to include on her resume: she’s seen medical professionals at work from both sides of the hospital bed, as both a nurse and a patient.

Plus, Barber managed to save her own life by identifying a medical emergency before her doctors.

The 25-year-old put her education to good use after being treated for a hip injury in 2018. While it was an old wound, the hip fracture started bothering her last year and Barber went under the knife to repair it.

After the surgery, Barber was told to rest for two weeks before starting physical therapy. That’s when she noticed her shortness of breath.

“Being a nurse, I started to wonder if this could be deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE),” Barber told MDW Features.

“I never thought something like this would happen to me, but I went to the hospital just to be safe. Well, I’m glad I went because it turns out I had a right leg DVT with bilateral PEs.”

Deep vein thrombosis is a type of blood clot that’s associated with slowed blood flow, and it often strikes patients after a hip surgery.

If left untreated, the clot can block blood flow in the lungs and cause a fatal blockage called a pulmonary embolism.

Barber’s self-diagnosis turned out to be 100% correct, and spotting the symptoms early may have saved her life.

After more symptoms like dizziness emerged, doctors realized she also had a heart condition called junctional rhythm. Soon, Barber was back in the hospital, and an x-ray showed her lungs were filling with fluid.

In the end, doctors were forced to put Barber through surgery again, this time to install a pacemaker in her heart.

While 25 is awfully young to get a pacemaker, Barber says her health has improved dramatically since her surgery earlier this month. Now, she uses her pacemaker to illustrate how getting one can improve her patients’ lives.

Not many nurses can share firsthand knowledge about such a serious operation with their patients, so Barber’s case is really special!

You can follow Barber’s story on her blog, Nurse Katie, or her Instagram account.

[H/T: Fox News]

Follow Barber’s example: if you notice serious symptoms, tell your doctor!

Selma Blair Breaks Down In Tears Walking The Red Carpet With MS

With all of the glitz and glamor of the Academy Awards, and the endless stream of celebrity photos after the event, it was easy to overlook Selma Blair’s appearance at Vanity Fair‘s after party.

But walking the red carpet with a cane in hand was a huge moment for Blair, 46, as the event marked her first public appearance since revealing her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in October.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and incurable condition that damages the brain and spinal cord. Over time, MS can “flare up” with symptoms like blurry vision, pain, numbness, and balance problems, or cause lasting damage like paralysis.

While the Anger Management star has been upbeat about managing her symptoms and continuing to act in Instagram messages to her fans, she was overcome by emotion at the post-Oscars party on Sunday.

With a decorated cane for balance and her manager, Troy Nankin, by her side, Blair posed for photographs in a multi-colored dress with a cape and jeweled collar. At one point, Nankin appeared to wipe a tear from Blair’s eye as she held her pose for the photographers.

Selma Blair
Blair smiled through tears as she posed for photographers.Getty Images

“It took so much to come out,” she told the crowd through sobs, before turning away from the cameras and leaning on Nankin for support.

“There are moments that define us,” Blair wrote about the event on social media. “This is one of those indelibly watermarked in my heart.”

“I have become a different woman in the last few years, through struggles and the intense pride of motherhood. @vanityfair has always been a champion of mine, like Troy. And yet, I have not fully realized my capabilities as an actress.”

Blair, wrote that she first attended the Vanity Fair party in 2000, and said returning to the prestigious party after her diagnosis felt symbolic.

“I am still in an exacerbation so there was some nervousness,” she explained. Exacerbations or flares are periods when MS symptoms are more severe because of inflammation.

“I don’t do anything the way I was once able. I will though. I can regain much,” she wrote.

Posing for the cameras is something that many celebrities take for granted, but for Blair walking the red carpet again felt redemptive.

“I felt the warmth of the bulbs. The strength of my gown. [Troy’s] attentive touch. And still I hoped my brain could send signals for the remainder of my time there,” she wrote.

“And I sobbed. And I appreciated every single second. Every surprising tear, he was there. As he has always been. And that is the reason I could.”

Despite the everyday struggles of life with MS that she shares with her social media followers, Blair’s condition has not slowed down her career one bit. She’s set to appear in the Netflix series Another Life, and has two upcoming movies.

[H/T: Daily Mail]

Were you moved by Blair’s emotional return to the red carpet?

Smoker Uses His Obituary To Warn Others: “Quit Now”

Geoffrey Turner knows that his addiction to cigarettes killed him, but sadly the lesson came too late.

Turner, who claimed he began smoking at age four, wrote a moving open letter to other smokers urging them to drop the habit. And his message is especially meaningful – because it came from beyond the grave.

Quitting Smoking
Turner urged his fellow smokers to give up the deadly habit.Sarah Huiest

The 66-year-old New Yorker wrote his own eulogy before his death earlier this month, using it as a final warning to smokers not to make the same mistakes he did.

His obituary in the Albany Times Union described being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last November, and Turner put the blame for his condition squarely on his own shoulders.

“I was an idiot who made the same stupid decision, day-after-day, multiple times per day. I was a smoker and even though I knew it may eventually kill me, I chose to deny the truth to myself,” he wrote.

“The pain and suffering I caused my family was not worth the perceived ‘satisfaction’ that really did nothing more than waste money, separate me from my family, and eventually destroyed my body.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list a number of deadly health effects from regular smoking:

  • Smoking is the #1 cause of preventable deaths in the United States, causing 480,000 deaths each year, or almost one in five deaths.
  • Smoking increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease and lung cancer, or suffering a stroke.
  • Smokers are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels, as well as respiratory diseases of the lungs. (Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in America.)
  • Smoking can damage almost any organ in the body, and can cause cancer in almost any part of the body.

Turner is survived by his wife of more than four decades, five children, and four grandchildren. And while they made his life better, Turner’s eulogy acknowledges how many moments with his family smoking took away from him.

“At 66 years old, I lived a decent life, but there are so many events and milestones I will not be able to share with my loved ones,” he wrote.

“The moral of this story — don’t be an idiot. If you’re a smoker — quit — now — your life depends on it and those that you love depend upon your life.”

“Remember,” he signed off, “life is good – don’t let it go up in smoke.”

Turner’s daughter Sarah Huiest told Today she was as surprised by her dad’s obituary as everyone else, but grateful for the many positive responses it received.

“Many people, friends and strangers, have reached out to us regarding his words,” she said. “I heard from someone who said that they may be one of those reached before it’s too late.”

She revealed that her father quit for some years before picking up the habit again in the ‘90s, and warned his family members to never adopt the habit.

“He knew how much the family did not like it,” she said, “and he was vocal while we were growing up that smoking was bad and to never start.”

Turner even made a half-hearted attempt to quit smoking just a few months before his fatal diagnosis. While his realization came too late, hopefully his words will inspire others to finally break their habit.

[H/T: Today]

Do you know someone who still smokes, even though they know the risks?

Smoker Uses His Obituary To Warn Others: “Quit Now”

Geoffrey Turner knows that his addiction to cigarettes killed him, but sadly the lesson came too late.

Turner, who claimed he began smoking at age four, wrote a moving open letter to other smokers urging them to drop the habit. And his message is especially meaningful – because it came from beyond the grave.

Quitting Smoking
Turner urged his fellow smokers to give up the deadly habit.Sarah Huiest

The 66-year-old New Yorker wrote his own eulogy before his death earlier this month, using it as a final warning to smokers not to make the same mistakes he did.

His obituary in the Albany Times Union described being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last November, and Turner put the blame for his condition squarely on his own shoulders.

“I was an idiot who made the same stupid decision, day-after-day, multiple times per day. I was a smoker and even though I knew it may eventually kill me, I chose to deny the truth to myself,” he wrote.

“The pain and suffering I caused my family was not worth the perceived ‘satisfaction’ that really did nothing more than waste money, separate me from my family, and eventually destroyed my body.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list a number of deadly health effects from regular smoking:

  • Smoking is the #1 cause of preventable deaths in the United States, causing 480,000 deaths each year, or almost one in five deaths.
  • Smoking increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease and lung cancer, or suffering a stroke.
  • Smokers are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels, as well as respiratory diseases of the lungs. (Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in America.)
  • Smoking can damage almost any organ in the body, and can cause cancer in almost any part of the body.

Turner is survived by his wife of more than four decades, five children, and four grandchildren. And while they made his life better, Turner’s eulogy acknowledges how many moments with his family smoking took away from him.

“At 66 years old, I lived a decent life, but there are so many events and milestones I will not be able to share with my loved ones,” he wrote.

“The moral of this story — don’t be an idiot. If you’re a smoker — quit — now — your life depends on it and those that you love depend upon your life.”

“Remember,” he signed off, “life is good – don’t let it go up in smoke.”

Turner’s daughter Sarah Huiest told Today she was as surprised by her dad’s obituary as everyone else, but grateful for the many positive responses it received.

“Many people, friends and strangers, have reached out to us regarding his words,” she said. “I heard from someone who said that they may be one of those reached before it’s too late.”

She revealed that her father quit for some years before picking up the habit again in the ‘90s, and warned his family members to never adopt the habit.

“He knew how much the family did not like it,” she said, “and he was vocal while we were growing up that smoking was bad and to never start.”

Turner even made a half-hearted attempt to quit smoking just a few months before his fatal diagnosis. While his realization came too late, hopefully his words will inspire others to finally break their habit.

[H/T: Today]

Do you know someone who still smokes, even though they know the risks?

Doctors Stunned As Boy Born With 2% Of Brain “Grows” One

With one look at Noah Wall, you would never guess that there’s anything wrong with the boy’s health.

But the six-year-old from Cumbria, England is actually a living medical miracle, who has outlasted all of his doctors’ expectations.

Noah Wall
Doctors once thought Noah wouldn’t be able to breathe because of his damaged brain.Noah Wall – Facebook

Worrying scans of Noah when he was still in his mother Shelley’s womb revealed that he appeared to have no brain, and also seemed to have the birth defect spina bifida. Shelley, says doctors urged her five times to terminate her pregnancy.

Instead, she carried her baby to term. At his birth, doctors found that Noah’s brain was just 2% of its normal size, and worried the disability would always affect him.

It was predicted that Noah would never talk, see, hear, or eat on his own.

Noah Wall brain scan
Noah’s brain seemed to be flattened against his skull by fluid.ITV

But three years later, Noah had defied the odds again as his brain had somehow “grown back” to 80% of its normal size, with help from a shunt that drained fluid from his head.

Medical experts can’t agree on an explanation for Noah’s odd condition. Some think he had no brain at all, and it developed later than normal. Others think his brain had flattened into his skull because of fluid filling his skull.

Now six years old, Noah is a healthy and happy young boy who can do everything doctors said he never would and more, and his father Rob calls his life “a miracle.”

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“Even if his brain had been so squashed up, he’d be severely mentally disabled because of all that damage and look at him – he’s as bright as a button,” he bragged on Good Morning Britain.

Rob also revealed that he and Shelley are thankful they defied their doctors’ advice to keep Noah.

“I think possibly if younger people were offered that choice, they may have felt pressured into taking it,” he said.

“Because we’re older parents, we know our own minds and we’re positive people. We wanted to give Noah the chance of life.”

There are still more milestones for Noah to tackle, including learning how to walk despite his spina bifida. But with his incredible success so far, it seems like there’s nothing this special little boy can’t do.

[H/T: Newsweek]

Congratulations to Noah! We hope his health only improves even more!

Doctors Stunned As Boy Born With 2% Of Brain “Grows” One

With one look at Noah Wall, you would never guess that there’s anything wrong with the boy’s health.

But the six-year-old from Cumbria, England is actually a living medical miracle, who has outlasted all of his doctors’ expectations.

Noah Wall
Doctors once thought Noah wouldn’t be able to breathe because of his damaged brain.Noah Wall – Facebook

Worrying scans of Noah when he was still in his mother Shelley’s womb revealed that he appeared to have no brain, and also seemed to have the birth defect spina bifida. Shelley, says doctors urged her five times to terminate her pregnancy.

Instead, she carried her baby to term. At his birth, doctors found that Noah’s brain was just 2% of its normal size, and worried the disability would always affect him.

It was predicted that Noah would never talk, see, hear, or eat on his own.

Noah Wall brain scan
Noah’s brain seemed to be flattened against his skull by fluid.ITV

But three years later, Noah had defied the odds again as his brain had somehow “grown back” to 80% of its normal size, with help from a shunt that drained fluid from his head.

Medical experts can’t agree on an explanation for Noah’s odd condition. Some think he had no brain at all, and it developed later than normal. Others think his brain had flattened into his skull because of fluid filling his skull.

Now six years old, Noah is a healthy and happy young boy who can do everything doctors said he never would and more, and his father Rob calls his life “a miracle.”

“Even if his brain had been so squashed up, he’d be severely mentally disabled because of all that damage and look at him – he’s as bright as a button,” he bragged on Good Morning Britain.

Rob also revealed that he and Shelley are thankful they defied their doctors’ advice to keep Noah.

“I think possibly if younger people were offered that choice, they may have felt pressured into taking it,” he said.

“Because we’re older parents, we know our own minds and we’re positive people. We wanted to give Noah the chance of life.”

There are still more milestones for Noah to tackle, including learning how to walk despite his spina bifida. But with his incredible success so far, it seems like there’s nothing this special little boy can’t do.

[H/T: Newsweek]

Congratulations to Noah! We hope his health only improves even more!

The Weird Eating Habits That Helped Jimmy Kimmel Drop 25 Pounds

Lately, it seems like Jimmy Kimmel is everywhere.

When he’s not hosting the Oscars, he’s making us all tear up with updates about his son Billy’s heart condition.

And in between, he manages to find time to be an accidental viral video star, or to shoot the breeze with Ellen DeGeneres.

But with Kimmel constantly on our TVs and computer screens these days, it’s easy to forget just how different he used to look.

By his own account, Kimmel grew up as a binge eater, with a love for greasy food like pizza and chicken wings.

He blames his love for food on growing up with an Italian mother, and on living in Las Vegas – where the streets are lined with all-you-can-eat buffets.

But Kimmel says he never watched his waistline, or even owned a scale until he bought one on a whim in 2010.

When he stepped on, he was stunned to see he weighed 208 pounds.

Kimmel with guest Matt Damon in 2008.ABC

Around the same time, TV host Dr. Oz teased Kimmel for his size during an appearance on his show.

The next day, Oz called Kimmel back to tell him he was serious.

“I’m worried about you. You’re a young man. You have to take care of yourself,” the doctor told him.

“You know what?” Kimmel told Men’s Journal about the intervention, “Dr. Oz shouldn’t care more about my health more than I do.”

Kimmel’s first attempt to lose weight was dangerous and severe, but the TV host explains that “there’s no dipping my toe in the water” for him.

“I’m all the way in,” he explained.

That meant limiting himself to “two protein shakes and a very small dinner every day” for two months.

Afterwards, Kimmel “eased up,” moving to a strict 2,000-calorie-per-day limit.

The crash diet helped Kimmel shed weight quickly, but these days he has a more relaxed – but still bizarre – diet plan.

After Two Years In Hospital, Doctors Finally Share Good News For Conjoined Twins

When Jill Richards went in for a routine ultrasound in 2016, she had no idea what kind of long, stressful journey she was about to embark on.

The procedure revealed she was pregnant with a pair of twin girls. Normally that’s a cause for celebration, but her unborn children were conjoined twins.

Right away, Richards and her family – including her husband Michael and their two sons – relocated from their home in North Texas to Houston, to be close to her pediatric surgeon.

Already, a team of doctors at the Texas Children’s Hospital were preparing for the birth.

Not just to care for the twins, but also for the dangerous surgery to separate them.

Texas Children’s Hospital

Richard gave birth to Anna Grace and Hope Richards in December of 2016.

The birth was a success, but the doctors could tell that dividing the twins with surgery would not be easy.

The girls, who weighed a combined 9 pounds, 12 ounces, shared a chest wall, heart lining, diaphragm, and liver.

Their bodies also posed a unique challenge for the doctors: the twin’s hearts were connected by a blood vessel that would have to be severed.

As the twins and their family waited for the operation, a team of doctors spent more than a year rehearsing and preparing for the risky procedure.

12 Weird Sounds Your Body Makes, And What They’re Trying To Tell You

As we get older, we get used to hearing a lot of unusual sounds from our bodies.

They pop, click, and gurgle whenever we have to move around, which can be a little embarrassing and annoying.

But with so many noises, it can be hard to sort out the dangerous ones from the simply annoying.

Here are 12 of the most common noises, and what to do if you hear them.

If it sounds like you’re making popcorn when you stand up, there’s nothing to worry about – you’re just getting old. As long as your popping joint doesn’t hurt, it’s perfectly healthy.

Our joints are full of a cushioning liquid called Synovial fluid. When we move, air bubbles in the fluid pop.

The noise is especially common in the neck or shoulder, because of our bone structure.

The noise is also the same one you hear when you “crack” your knuckles. And yes, that habit is harmless too.

Daniel Max – Flickr

We always say this means that you’re hungry, but that’s only half right.

The growling noise is caused when air and fluids are pushed out your digestive tract. The same movement just triggers when we’re feeling hungry.

If you notice the sound while experiencing constipation or cramps, it could be a sign of something more serious.

When you lay your head down on a pillow, you can probably hear a “whooshing” sound. This is the sound of blood pumping through the veins and arteries of your ear.

Now, if you notice the same sound when you’re sitting or standing, you may have a problem. It could be a sign of an ear infection, or allergies, so see a doctor.

Like snoring, these noisy outbursts could be caused by sleep apnea, or when your airway collapses as you’re lying down.

If you feel tired on days after your partner complains about the noise, it might be time to see a sleep specialist.

There’s A 1 in 10 Chance Your Stomach Pain Is Actually Endodemitriosis

Everyone’s biggest fear when stepping in a doctor’s office is coming out with an illness they never knew they had.

One of my friends had been complaining of intense stomach pain for months. She visited the doctor regularly to get blood work and was on stress pills for quite some time. She even got an endoscopy, where they inspected her stomach from the inside to see if there was anything wrong.

They discovered nothing.

After months of what she described as pure agony, my friend was referred to a gynecologist, who shed some light on what’s been going on.

Turns out it wasn’t her stomach that wreaking havoc on her health, it was her baby making parts.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, anyone who has their period is at risk of developing a condition known as endodemitriosis.

It’s estimated that 1 in 10 women have it, and they may not even know they do. Some women show obvious signs, like my friend, and others may not show any signs of the condition at all.

Some celebrities have been coming forward to speak about their personal struggle to raise awareness about this condition.

Dancing with the Stars dancer Julianne Hough recently opened up to E! News, revealing how she has been suffering “in silence.”

Singer-songwriter Halsey also has been suffering with the condition for years, saying she has had to go “backstage in the middle of my sets, or fighting back tears on an airplane, or even being in so much pain [that she] would vomit or faint.”

Scary stuff. Here’s all you need to know about this mystery illness:

If You Wake Up At The Same Time Every Night, Your Body Might Be Trying To Tell You Something

We all have our very own internal body clocks, and that can easily be disrupted if our mental or physical health is compromised.

While it’s not uncommon to wake up naturally in the middle of the night, oftentimes there’s an underlying reason that you’re not getting enough shut eye.

Bedtime is when your body recharges for the next day, but when we wake up, that energy cycle is interrupted, putting your overall health at risk.  

If you’re having trouble falling asleep between 9:00 p.m and 11:00 p.m, or wake up sometime between 11:00 p.m and 7:00 a.m, keep reading to see what you can do to get your best night’s sleep.

Do you have trouble sleeping before the clock strikes midnight? This is actually very common, and it doesn’t have to do with you being a night owl.

People who report having difficulty falling asleep between 9:00 p.m and 11:00 p.m tend to be overly stressed. It’s likely that your metabolism has slowed down and your brain’s amygdala is working overtime. This area of your brain is responsible for the fight or flight response.

Participate in some relaxation exercises before you sleep to calm your mind and increase oxygen flow in your body.

That what you need to do if you’re having trouble falling asleep. What if you’re waking up at a certain time during the night?