SmartHealthToday: How much caffeine is too much? Some ideas to help you evaluate your habit

By Shelly Reese SmartHealthToday Baby, it’s cold outside and that extra cup of hot tea or coffee sounds soooooo appealing. Can you indulge or should you take a pass? Americans love their caffeine in all its myriad forms – 80 percent of U.S. adults consume caffeine every day, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The typical adult consumes about 200 mg in a day, according to the FDA....

Rural Blog: Repealing Medicaid expansion provision of ACA could leave more rural hospitals at risk

Repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could lead to an increase in the number of vulnerable rural hospitals, Shawn Radcliffe reports for Healthline. A report by the Chartis Center for Rural Health found that in states that expanded Medicaid in 2014, 36 percent of rural hospitals had a negative operating margin in 2015, compared to 47 percent in states that didn’t expand the program....

Kentucky Health Issues Poll: Health insurance still uncertain for two in 10 state adults age 18-64

The latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) shows that, despite big gains in getting Kentuckians covered by health insurance, 21 percent of Kentucky adults still don’t have stable coverage. According to the poll, 12 percent of Kentucky adults 18-64 remain uninsured and another 9 percent who currently have insurance said they had been without it sometime in the prior 12 months. KHIP is an annual...

Lester Walters’ heart was ‘broken,’ so UK HealthCare doctors gave him an artificial replacement

By Allison Perry Special to KyForward Relaxing in a recliner in the corner of his ICU room, Lester Walters is all smiles. His red hair askew, he casually jokes with his wife and the nurses who come in regularly to check on him. The 59-year-old Berea native is waiting to be listed for a heart transplant, but he’s already one step ahead of most patients on the list — as of Dec. 12, 2016, Walters...

SmartHealthToday: Happy Valentine’s Day — here are some tips on showing how much you really care

By Shelly Reese SmartHealthToday This Valentine’s Day, show your partner you really care by looking out for his or her health.   Here are some ideas straight from Cupid himself: Ditch the candy and roses. Try sending a sumptuous fruit bouquet instead. It’s sweet and beautiful and – because your sweetie won’t feel guilty about indulging – much less likely to end up next to the coffeepot at...

SmartHealthToday: For your good heart health, don’t overdo the salt — here are some foods to avoid

SmartHealthToday Team It’s almost automatic. You sit down to a meal and the first thing you do is reach for the salt shaker. While salt is an essential part of your diet, too much is not a good thing – especially when it comes to your heart. Your body needs a careful balance of salt and water to operate efficiently. Too much salt is bad for your heart According to the American Heart Association...

Study by liberal-leaning research group says repeal of ACA would cost Kentucky nearly 56,000 jobs

Repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would not only take away health insurance from thousands of Kentuckians, but would also cause the state to lose about 55,949 jobs or nearly 3 percent of the state’s workforce, according to a new report from a liberal-leaning research group. However, the report presumes that there would be nothing to replace the law, which Republicans have...

SmartHealthToday: For young father Matt Richard, world’s smallest pacemaker was big solution

SmartHealthToday Life threw a dramatic curve ball to Matt and Krissy Richard of Fort Thomas. The drama started on a Thursday morning, as Krissy prepared breakfast for their four, young children. When Matt walked downstairs, she quickly realized something was very wrong. “He was very confused. He kept saying, ‘I woke up at the wrong point. I feel like I need to go back to sleep,’” remembers...

Lexington Health Department alerts parents to new pertussis cases at Clays Mill Elementary

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is continuing to work closely with Fayette County Public Schools following three new confirmed case of pertussis, or whooping cough, at Clays Mill Elementary School. There are now five total confirmed cases, following previous reports from Jan. 20 and Jan. 31. Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. It affects...

Fayette County Health Department seeking nominations for Rice Leach Public Health Hero award

It is time to nominate people for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero Award. The award, now in its 14th year, is for individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents. Criteria for the selection of the award include: — Exemplary leadership and diligence in promoting public health; — Remarkable...

While ‘floaters’ are common with age, they may be signaling a more serious eye problem

By Claire Fraser Special to KyForward Have you ever noticed the sudden appearance of a black dot in your field of vision that moves around when you move your eyes? It could also look like a cob web. You try blinking but it just won’t go away. They can be quite bothersome especially if you’re trying to read or do other close work. What are floaters? A floater may appear as a dark gray or black spot,...

Comparing Kentucky Hospitals: Combining several ratings provide method to see where facilities rank

A federal agency, magazines and a consulting group have compiled ratings that allow comparison of hospitals. Now Dr. Kevin Kavanagh of Somerset-based Health Watch USA has compiled the ratings, allowing comparison of hospitals across rating methods. “It needs to be stated on the front end that the hospital industry is not happy with the current quality measurements,” Kavanagh writes for...

More than 70 percent of Kentucky adults who didn’t have health insurance in early 2016 were working

More than 70 percent of nearly 234,000 Kentucky adults who still didn’t have health insurance in early 2016 said they were working either part- or full-time. Nearly half had incomes low enough to qualify for Medicaid insurance, according to the latest snapshot from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s ongoing study of the Affordable Care Act implementation in the Commonwealth. Nearly...

Study says older adults with arthritis need just 45 minutes of moderate activity per week

Older adults with arthritis need 45 minutes of “moderate activity” a week to maintain functional independence, a study has concluded. That’s about one-third the amount called for by federal guidelines, which say people need 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. Only one in 10 older Americans with arthritis in their knees meet that guideline, says the news release from Northwestern...

Patient care, research and community service unite as twins face rare heart disorder

By Mallory Powell and Allison Perry Special to KyForward In 2015, identical twins Gardner and Jon Wes Adams, then in their mid-20s, both nearly died when their hearts suddenly stopped beating. The incidents happened months apart, but the cause was the same: Brugada syndrome, a rare, congenital heart rhythm disorder. Jon Wes’ heart stopped first, while he was running at The Arboretum at the...

Certified nurse midwives partner with women to provide health care with personal touch

By JoAnne Burris Special to KyForward Whether planning for a baby or entering the stages of menopause, every woman deserves a health care provider who respects her values, preferences and personal goals. The certified nurse midwife offers a range of medical services and expertise to support women throughout the female reproductive lifespan, not just through pregnancy and birth. Firmly grounded in evidence-based...

Foot Health: Do you have cold, painful feet in the winter that blister? You just may have chilblains

By Dr. Jamie Settles Carter Special to KyForward If the cold weather this time of year causes your feet to itch, burn and develop painful blisters, you may be suffering from a common condition called chilblains or pernio. Often confused with but different than frostbite, chilblains can occur on your face, hands as well as feet and toes.  Chilblains often effects those who are out in cold weather...

As national consumption increases, new book claims sugar is our nutritional enemy

For about decade as the century started, more and more Americans appeared to obey the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s advice to eat less sugar. But that trend of improvement has leveled off, according to statistics released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data show that about half of American adults drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily and...

Heart Month: UK HealthCare’s Gill Heart Institute goes red to focus on heart-healthy diets

By Laura Dawahare Special to KyForward In February, institutions around Lexington will celebrate Heart Month with activities that promote healthy habits such as exercise, smoking cessation, stress reduction and improved diet. UK HealthCare’s Gill Heart Institute will focus on ways to make your diet more heart-healthy with a celebration and information about simple ingredient substitutes that...

Lexington health advocates join national effort to save medical coverage from repeal efforts

Doctors, health care advocates, patients and community members joined the National Save My Care Bus Tour Friday to stand against any action to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away nearly 500,000 Kentuckians health care. At a press conference at the Lexington Public Library, community members sent a clear message to Washington: Don’t Take Away Our Health Care. Despite growing public opposition,...