Physical Health

Katie Peikes/IPR

Native American activists say they see a void in northwest Iowa as their people try to heal from alcoholism, drug abuse and traumatic experiences. They built a sweat lodge over the weekend in Sioux City that they hope will inspire people to seek out the healing they need.

The Death Midwife

May 23, 2018
Photo of workshop by Donna Belk and Sandy Booth

In recent years, there has been expansion of palliative care, which is medical care that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness.  There also has been increased availability of hospice care, which is designed to give support and comfort to people in the final phase of a terminal illness. There’s a new movement in end of life care called death midwifery.

flickr / RelaxingMusic

White House physician Ronny Jackson’s nomination for Secretary of Veterans Affairs has exposed the widespread use of alertness drugs and sleeping pills among Washington officials and white house staff. During this hour of River to River, guest host Charity Nebbe talks with Dr. Eric Dyken, of the sleep disorders program at the University of Iowa about sleeping pills, wakefulness drugs and other new sleep research. 

stu_spivack / Flickr

The human brain has substantially different dietary needs than other organs, and new research suggests that diet may play a large role in the development of dementia, obesity, and even ability to sleep.

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with neuroscientist and nutritionist Lisa Mosconi, whose new book, Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power, explains how diet affects brain power and health.

Mosconi says that if she had to pick one food that’s best for brain health, she would say caviar.

New Year, New Tools for Health Assessment

Jan 8, 2018
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode [cropped]
gyro2 —

There are a lot of different tools designed to monitor fitness. From the low tech-scale and body mass index (BMI) calculations, to the high tech dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) body scan, which is designed to measure body fat and more.

In this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores an aspect of physical health that many people examine this time of year. With new goals for fitness or weight loss, she talks about fitness assessments new and old.

Get Better Sleep

Oct 24, 2017
Andrew Roberts / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

A seven-year-old Kentucky boy recently slept for eleven days straight. This hour, hear about the medical mystery that has doctors baffled. On this River to River program, host Ben Kieffer talk with sleep expert and neurologist Dr. Eric Dyken of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics about the boy's dangerous slumber. 

Dyken says there is limited information about this case, and he does not have the medical records that would allow him to know more.  But he compares this with a case he did see in Iowa which was a case of viral encephalopathy.

John DC Anderson / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

In under three years, Mike Glenn went from needing glasses to complete vision loss. In this Talk of Iowa segment, host Charity Nebbe talks with guests about conditions that can lead to adult vision loss or severe impairment. Glenn lost his vision to diabetic retinopathy. Nebbe also talks with Archie Rodin who has gradually been losing his sight to macular degeneration.

Melanie Levi / Flickr

Stories of extraordinary weight loss make gripping television, but the kind of fast and furious weight loss viewers love to see doesn’t tend to last.

“The body was equipped to defend against weight loss, and that makes maintenance of weight loss during dieting an exercise extremely difficult," says Dr. Allyn Mark of the University of Iowa. "This is true not only with the contestants in the biggest loser…but it’s also true of individuals who diet to lose modest amounts of weight.”

Penn State / Flickr

Sepsis strikes more than a million Americans every year. Between 28 and 50 percent of those patients will die.

"People are getting all kinds of procedures that are altering their immune system and their ability to handle these infections, and so what we see is that infections are actually going up and we're getting significant number of deaths," says Dr. Patrick Schlievert, professor and chair in the Department of Microbiology at the UI Carver College of Medicine. "The funding and the understanding that goes with that has not kept up with it."

Phil Roeder / Flickr

Research shows that living in a walkable community is good for your health, good for your kids, and good for the local economy, but it can be a struggle for cities to develop infrastructure towards better walkability.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion on what it means for a community to be walkable, the impact it can have, the barriers to walkability, as well as the pros and cons of skywalk systems.

Guests on today’s program include:

Carl Wycoff

As outdoor playtime has dwindled for many kids in the United States our understanding of the importance of that time has grown.

"Kids are 71 percent less involved in outdoor activities now than they were ten years ago," says Dr. Stuart Brown, founding director of the National Institute for Play. "To me it's a public health issue. The benefits of play need to be understood both for personal health, brain development, and social competency. We don't somehow see play as being connected to that and yet it is."

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

Gym class used to be as simple as learning the rules to a sport, practicing that sport, playing a scrimmage, and moving on. Now, the bar is set a bit higher. Charity Campbell is a physical education teacher at Norwalk Middle School. She says physical education has shifted to instilling habits that go beyond the classroom.

"As we're making that shift with our health crisis today, we're making sure our students are active the entire class. We're giving them a variety of activities to try and do, but not perfect the skills."

Flickr / ceiling

The benefits of exercise are well documented, but it can difficult to make time to hit the gym. But when developing a good workout schedule, is it more important to focus on forming habits on how you exercise, or habits that make you decide to exercise?

According to ISU health psychologist L. Alison Phillips, it's the latter. She says strong patterns that prompt you to initiate exercise are key to frequent workouts. 

It’s been about three months since Daniel Finney wrote his first column in the Des Moines Register about his efforts to lose more than 300 pounds. On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Daniel Finney about his weight loss journey.

"The little things are a tremendous life improvement," says Finney, referring to walking to the mailbox and household chores. "You go from dreading simple basic daily tasks to not really thinking about them, and you become really grateful of the fact that you are on this journey to recover."

wader / Flickr

When you stand in front of the mirror and look at your image can you see yourself as you really are?

Organizers of the Branstad administration’s fourth annual 1-K walk say they expect as many as half a million people to participate. 

Sasha Wolff / Wikimedia Commons

36 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, but understanding why exactly these types of headaches happen has been elusive. Until recently, scientists thought migraines were a vascular issue, caused by irregular blood flow to the brain, but Dr. Lynn Rankin of Unity Point Health in Des Moines says we’ve come to a new understanding in the last few years. Migraines are most likely a brain disorder that has to do with pain circuitry. 

Courtesy RADiUS-TWC

Just who’s to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic? Over the years, the finger has been pointed at parents, video games and vending machines, to name a few.

To the makers of the new activist documentary, “Fed Up,” the bottom line of blame lies with a simple substance poured into our diets every day: sugar. And the pushers of what this film calls a drug and “the new tobacco” are the food industry and our own government.

“What if our whole approach to this epidemic has been dead wrong?” the film’s narrator, TV journalist Katie Couric, says in the film’s open.

The Aging Challenge

Mar 25, 2014
Iowa State University Extension LIFE; used with permission / http://www.extension.iastate.edu/life

People are living longer, but are they living better, more healthy, more active lives?  Colin Milner is CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, and is visiting Iowa to talk about opportunities for governments, organizations, and individuals to take advantage to the changes that are ahead for people and communities.  Also on the program is Iowa State University Assistant Professor Sarah Francis, who also oversees ISU Extension's program Living Well Through Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise.

daniellehelm

Approximately 11 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder.  These diseases are hard to understand, difficult to treat and often deadly. 

Jeff Wasson

The Winter Olympics begin tomorrow, which got us thinking about the young athletes who will be watching the games... who may one day compete at state, national , or international levels.

Now more than ever, children and their parents are faced with the decision of whether or not to specialize in a sport at an early age – some children being only a few years old. Today on Talk of Iowa, we explore the concept of specializing children in sports.

Thomas / flickr

To keep a baby entertained, parents often need to introduce new objects or toys every few minutes. When you do that, you are not just distracting the baby, you are helping them learn about the world. In this archived edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe finds out about new research into how infants learn, and she talks with a life-long friend of Dr. Ignacio Ponseti about the Ponseti Method for correcting clubfoot.

Revisiting the Best and Worst Jobs of 2013

Dec 26, 2013
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

For 25 years CareerCast.com has ranked the best and worst jobs. Their rating is based on physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. 

Host Ben Kieffer revisits conversations with a biomedical engineer and an audiologist, two jobs that made the best list.  He also speaks to an oil rig worker and a newspaper reporter, two jobs on the worst list.

Library and Archives Canada

Humans developed in warm climates, but eventually our ancestors made their way into colder and more inhospitable regions.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with physiologist Kevin Kregel and anthropologist Robert Franciscus of the University of Iowa about how humans have acclimated to cold and challenging environments.

CDC

"For virtually any health outcome...

Iowa City Girls on the Run coach and mentor Kelly Teeselink today (Saturday) is running the North Face fifty Mile Endurance Challenge in Wisconsin. It's forested trails and steep hills hundreds of feet up. She says she’s fit to take on endurance races but three years ago she was not. After graduating from college she was unhealthy and had gained weight…

http://www.girlsontheruniowa.org/

David D / Flickr

Today we listen back to a show from September 2012 on how physicians can help their patients lose weight.

Have you ever been to the doctor and was told, "You really need to lose some weight."  While many of us  need to slim down, dropping the pounds is easier said than done.  Host Charity Nebbe speaks with Dr. Lawrence Apple who  studies the best and most efficient ways for physicians to help their patients lose weight.

BodyTel / flickr

Type II Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and in Iowa 7.5% of all adults have been diagnosed with the disease. Today on Talk of Iowa, we listen back to a conversation from last year about diabetes, Type I, Type II and gestational diabetes. We discuss risk factors, prevention, advances in treatment and find out what it’s like to live with the disease.

Curvatude / Jaye Gipson

What if you got hurt and went to see your doctor, but the doctor didn't take you seriously?

D. Sharon Pruitt / Flickr account

To keep a baby entertained parents often need to introduce new objects or toys every few minutes. When you do that, you're not just distracting the baby, you're helping them learn about the world.

Host Charity Nebbe finds out about new research into how infants learn, and the remarkable Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, the creator of the Ponseti Method for correcting clubfoot, is remembered by a life long friend.

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