Belching, hiccuping and related issues are common complaints among patients. Dr. David Johnson of Eastern Virginia Medical School explains the distinction between normal and abnormal belching, and discusses the behavioral component of what's known as supragastric belching -- meaning it isn't serving an important physiological function. Yet, belching and the related condition of air swallowing aren't easily treated. Interventions could include drugs or speech therapy. Hiccups, meanwhile, are associated with a spasm of the intercostal muscles and diaphragm. Hiccups are common, but a persistent issue can signal a serious health problem and should be evaluated by an expert.
Some women mistakenly believe that colorectal cancer primarily affects men, but the disease is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the U.S. A colonoscopy is the best screening tool for colorectal cancer, which can be successfully treated if it's found early.
Overweight people who ate a low-carb diet lost more pounds than those who ate a portion-controlled, low-fat diet, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. At 12 weeks, the low-carb group had lost 4.2 pounds of fat versus 2 pounds for the low-fat diet group. But when it came to maintaining the weight loss, both diets were about the same.
Congress is evaluating how much the government pays insurance companies to provide health services beyond traditional care. Plans that offer Medicare Advantage services, such as prescription drug coverage and eye exams, receive more money than other plans, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that cutting payments to the Medicare Advantage program could save $65 billion over five years.