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From American College of GastroenterologyFebruary 1, 2013

Top Story

  • Data support osmotic laxatives for constipation in elderly
    Osmotic laxatives, such as polyethylene glycol and lactulose, have the strongest supporting data for treatment of constipation in older patients, according to a literature review by researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Evidence to support the use of stool softeners, bulking agents, stimulants or prokinetic agents was limited, inconsistent or absent. MedPage Today (free registration) (1/29) Email this Story

Guide to Healthy Living

  • CDC: Vaccination rates for certain diseases "unacceptably low"
    CDC officials reported Tuesday that vaccination rates for certain diseases -- including pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis, shingles and whooping cough -- were "unacceptably low" among U.S. adults. "We are encouraging all adults to talk with their health care providers about which vaccines are appropriate for them," said HHS assistant secretary Dr. Howard Koh. Reuters (1/29) Email this Story
  • Report calls for U.S. to move toward preventive health model
    The nonprofit Trust for America's Health proposed shifting U.S. health care from a sick-care model to a prevention format, and while executive director Jeffrey Levi called it the humanitarian thing to do, economists disagreed with the group's assessment that it would reduce costs. Data show some preventive services may not improve an individual's health, and health policy expert Peter Neumann of Tufts University School of Medicine said that "prevention itself costs money, and some preventive measures can be very expensive, especially if you give them to a lot of people who won't benefit." Reuters (1/29) Email this Story
  • Cookbook author offers tips for gluten-free baking
    Cookbook author Martha Rose Shulman, whose sister is gluten intolerant, finds creating her own gluten-free flour for baking is better than using commercial mixes. She got some advice from Gluten-Free Girl Shauna James Ahern and used a mixture of 70% gluten-free grain and 30% starch to develop a banana-chocolate muffin recipe. Using a scale to weigh ingredients instead of measuring volume is especially important in gluten-free baking because it includes working with formulas, Shulman says. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/28) Email this Story

Diagnosis & Treatment

  • Technique may ID patients with GERD-induced asthma
    In a study of GERD-induced asthma, investigators used a specially designed catheter to measure levels of acid exposure in the patient's airway. Researchers from West Penn Allegheny Health System also reported in JAMA Surgery that GERD surgery helped relieve asthma symptoms. HealthDay News (1/25) Email this Story
  • Expert shares positive view on hepatitis C research
    The outlook for hepatitis C research is good, said Dr. Donald Jensen, director of the University of Chicago's Center for Liver Diseases, in this interview. Researchers are using the word "cure" when, previously, they would limit the discussion to a "sustained response," he said. The university has formed HCV CURE, an organization of patients who are willing to share their experiences with treatment to raise awareness. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (1/30) Email this Story

Policy Watch

  • Experts: Higher Medicaid copays may lead to deferred care
    Some health care experts believe a proposal to allow states to charge Medicaid beneficiaries higher copays for some services may lead the poorest people to delay getting needed care until their health condition becomes dire. The plan would give states a tool to discourage patients from seeking care at emergency departments for nonemergent issues and likely would affect hospital-based physicians more than office-based doctors, consultant Jennifer Kowalski of Avalere Health said. American Medical News (free content) (1/28) Email this Story

The Last Word

News and information from the American College of Gastroenterology

  • Foodborne illnesses: Protect your gut
    At some point in our lives, we've all gotten sick from eating contaminated or undercooked food. You can reduce your risk of developing foodborne illnesses by following a few safety tips. Learn more about the common types of foodborne illnesses and what you can do to protect your gut. Email this Story


Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."
--F. Scott Fitzgerald,
American writer

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"When I went gluten-free, I discovered more food than I knew existed. Amaranth greens! Ume plum vinegar! Turnips! If it didn’t have gluten in it, I ate it." -- blog post from Shauna on Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

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