Patients With Eating Disorders Crying Out For Help, But In Bakersfield Services Are Scarce
Residents are having to go to different parts of the state to get comprehensive services. In other public health news: wildfires and heart attacks; decoding a baby's DNA; driving while under the influence; and STD testing.
The Bakersfield Californian:
How Many More Will Slip Through The Cracks? Navigating Bakersfield With An Eating Disorder
Paige Atkinson was trying to get better. During her junior year at Independence High School, she was trying to study for tests and navigate the obstacles high school is chock-full of, while battling something bigger: an eating disorder coming for her life. But fighting a monster like that with no weapons is challenging. Guidance counselors, therapists, nutritionists and dietitians, general practitioners, parents and teachers were all dead-ends. For Atkinson, it seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel didn't exist in Bakersfield. ... The resources in Bakersfield are scarce. And how many more will come up against the same resource blocks that Atkinson did? A Google search for eating disorder services and programs in Bakersfield will populate a list as robust as a phone book. But look closely and those rehabilitation services aren't specialized to eating disorders. Many are links to nutritionists and dietitians, which is a half-baked solution for treating a multidimensional problem like eating disorders. ... And there are only a few psychologists that specialize in eating disorders in Bakersfield. The Kern County Behavioral Health and Bakersfield Behavioral Hospital Health Care Hospital have wards for those in mental health crises, but none that are set up to handle the all-consuming, destructive monster of an eating disorder. (Meredith, 4/21)
Ventura County Star:
Study Links Wildfire Smoke To Heart Attacks
Smoke exposure from massive wildfires may ramp up the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and coronary disease, according to a new study. Researchers from UC San Francisco, the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reviewed more than 1 million emergency room visits in eight different California air basins in 2015. During a fire season that saw more than 800,000 acres burned, they found risks of several heart issues appeared to rise particularly high for people 65 and older. (Kisken, 4/21)
Los Angeles Times:
Decoding Your Baby's DNA: It Can Be Done. But Should It Be?
Maverick Coltrin entered the world a seemingly healthy 8-pound boy. But within a week, he was having seizures that doctors could neither explain nor control. They warned that he would probably die within a few months.“I remember my world just came crashing down,” said his mother, Kara Coltrin, 24. In October, Coltrin and her husband, Michael, began taking hundreds of photos of their son, hooked up to tubes and his skin purplish gray. Family rushed to San Diego from across the country to meet him before he died. (Karlamangla, 4/22)
Capital Public Radio:
Are You Too Stoned To Drive? New Phone Games Could Help You Decide.
As Californians take advantage of newly legal recreational pot, scientists are teaming up with app developers to solve some very tricky problems: how to identify weed impairment on the road, and how to stop people from driving high in the first place. A state law effective Jan.1 bans smoking or ingesting any cannabis product, including edibles, while behind the wheel. California Highway Patrol said officers are trained to detect impaired drivers, including those using marijuana, and that DUI penalties apply whether you’re smoking, eating or drinking. (Caiola, 4/20)
My Home STD Test Was A Positive (Experience, That Is)
When I heard about home testing for sexually transmitted diseases, I was intrigued. Who doesn't despise that particularly awkward conversation with their doctor? And who doesn't want to skip the waiting room and long line at the lab? A 15-minute procedure in the privacy of your own home. But the kits can get pricey. The kit I used is available online for $189 from a company called myLAB Box. Many other companies offer similar tests -- EverlyWell and LetsGetChecked, to name two. The kits cost anywhere from $100 to $400, depending on the number of diseases you're tested for. (McClurg, 4/20)