Are energy drinks wreaking havoc on your digestive system?

178856680Monster, Red Bull and Rock Star are just some of the energy drinks on the market. These drinks are loaded with caffeine (any where from 75 to 200 milligrams — about the same as a cup of coffee), sugar/artificial sweeteners and other ingredients. Another way people get a quick hit of caffeine is from 5-Hour Energy drinks that concentrate up to 200 milligrams of caffeine into a two ounce drink.

So what impact do all those ingredients have on your digestive system? Caffeine is a stimulant that increases your motility, or the contraction of the muscles that propel contents in your gastrointestinal tract. Caffeine is also a diuretic that can cause dehydration especially for those who are prone to diarrhea. For some people, this can cause diarrhea. Caffeine can also make you jittery and anxious. Anxiety worsens symptoms of many gastrointestinal conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

There are about 30 grams of sugar in most eight-ounce servings of an energy drink. That’s the equivalent of more than seven teaspoons of sugar in one small eight-ounce can. For those with IBS and IBD, consuming excess amounts of refined sugar at one time may not be absorbed well in the intestines. The GI tract then draws water into the bowel to dilute and flush out the excess sugar, leading to diarrhea.

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When a marriage proposal on one knee is part of rehab.

Kyle Ziegler credits determination and MedRehab for making it possible.

UofM pic

Kyle and Katie Ziegler married on June 23, 2012

The U-M MedRehab program is celebrating 25 years of service. Here, cancer survivor Kyle Ziegler shares how he learned to walk again (and surprise his future wife, whom he married on June 23, 2012).

In the fall of 2007, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I was 18 years old, and I’d been dating my then-girlfriend Katie for a year and a half. I received inpatient chemotherapy at the University of Michigan Hospital from October 18th to October 30th, and was sent home for a break before I started another round of chemotherapy. On November 7th, I was readmitted because I had a rare reaction to one of the chemotherapy drugs. This lead to a chain reaction of issues. I was not able to eat or drink anything for about 6 months. It was so bad that when I was coherent, I would flip through the TV channels looking for food commercials.

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MedRehab helps 25-year-old stroke survivor get back on the move

Danielle credits MedRehab for getting her back on her feet and on the dance floor.

Danielle Jones, stroke survivor, credits U-M MedRehab with getting her back on her feet and on the dance floor.

The U-M MedRehab program is celebrating 25 years of service. Here, stroke survivor Danielle Jones shares how the program helped her get back on her feet.

At 25 years old I thought I had it all. I was studying for my Master’s degree in Secondary Education, coaching both a dance and high school cheer team, I also danced on a team and worked full time. In December 2010, my life as I knew it, was about to change drastically. I suffered a massive stroke. I was perfectly healthy. My right side was paralyzed and I lost my ability to speak. I spent two months at U-M Hospital, and then I was sent to MedRehab in March 2011.

When I first started at MedRehab, I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. After a few sessions, being at MedRehab felt like being with family. They knew exactly how to make someone going through something like that feel, even though they themselves had never had a stroke. It was a great experience working with the staff at MedRehab, but it was eye-opening. It was frustrating when I couldn’t do something that I wanted to do, but I just had to stay on track if I wanted to succeed. Every therapy session helped me along the way. Continue reading

Baby boomers targeted for Hepatitis C testing

Recently approved drugs make HepC treatment simple and more effective

The diagnosis was a surprise for Claudia Dionne: testing during her yearly check-up revealed hepatitis C. The liver-damaging virus was not causing symptoms but for the 4 million people in the United States with hepatitis C it can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and is the most common reason people need a liver transplant.

But research is changing what comes next for those who learn their diagnosis early. New drugs – Victrelis, Incivek, Harvoni, Olysio and Sovaldi — make treatment easier and more effective and in November, combination treatment of Sovaldi and Olysio was approved. Interferon-free oral combination therapy is available for almost all types of hepatitis C infection.

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The 2014 flu shot: What’s new and why get it now

vaccine imageNow is a great time to roll up your sleeve because the flu vaccine takes two weeks to kick in, says Elizabeth Jones, M.D., a family physician at the University of Michigan Health System’s Livonia Health Center. Everyone 6 months of age and older is encouraged to get their yearly flu vaccine, ideally in the fall.

More must-know flu season information

Needle-free season for kids. New this year, the nasal spray vaccine has become the preferred flu vaccine for healthy children ages 2-8. Studies suggest it may work better than a flu shot in younger children. But don’t delay getting vaccinated to find the nasal spray vaccine, Jones says.

A boost for seniors. Adults age 65 and older, there’s an alternative for you: a high-dose vaccine that new research shows is 24 percent more effective at preventing flu. As we age our immune system Continue reading

Do you want to know about financial ties your doctor may have with drug and medical device companies?

Sunshine Act surveyA new federal law requires that financial relationships between doctors and pharmaceutical (drug) or medical device companies be shared with the public on a government website.

Anyone will be able to use this website to see if their doctor has received such payments or other transfers of value.

This law is officially called the “National Physician Payment Transparency Program” or “Open Payments.” It is part of the Affordable Care Act. It is most often referred to as the “Sunshine Act.”

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