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  • Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nanny to the stars Connie Simpson, also known as Nanny Connie, shared an interesting tidbit about her celebrity clients.She told Good Morning America that they're just like the rest of us."They’re parents too, and I love each individual person the same," she said. "What I’ve learned is that all parents have the same struggles."Her clients have included Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, and John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. She talks about her methods in a new book, The Nanny Connie Way.Celebrity or not, there are a few tips that can serve any parent in the early days of baby's life. Here are her top three:1. Pay attention to that sleep deprivation.2. Buy plenty of diapers.3. Breastfeeding mothers need to be drinking plenty of water."Parents, it’s all about that nucleus -- and you’re it," she told GMA. "Children need their parents."As for nanny myths, Simpson said there are plenty. But what does she think is the biggest one?"The biggest myth about being a nanny is that children sleep through the night and a person like me is not needed," she said. "Well, you are wrong. I am very much needed. If it’s not me, it needs to be your grandmother or your cousin or someone who can help you with that sleep deprivation, because it’s real."Nanny Connie has just launched a new app with augmented reality, so now any parent can have access to her expertise.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Seniors recovering from trauma after being admitted to hospitals may be more likely to have falls when taking prescribed opioids, according to a new study.While opioids are commonly used to manage acute pain, they can have harmful side effects, particularly for seniors. In this study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, those who had filled an opioid prescription within two weeks preceding their injuries were 2.4 times more likely to have suffered a fall."Taking opioids is like drinking alcohol" and there are side effects, according to lead study author Dr. Raoul Daoust. It’s important to remind people to use caution.Elderly people who are prescribed opioids should be encouraged to take as few as they need and be careful when moving around at home, added Daoust, who is an emergency medicine researcher and clinician at Sacré-Coeur hospital in Montreal.In this study, researchers looked at a decade of hospital records between 2004 and 2014, for almost 68,000 people older than 65 in Quebec, Canada, who were admitted to the hospital after a trauma -- a catch-all term that generally includes falls, car accidents and penetrating injuries.Falls were the most common type of trauma in this patient population. The average age of the patients was about 81 years old and the majority, 69 percent, were women.Opioids help the brain manage pain, but can lead to drowsiness and dizziness in some people, the authors said. This combination of symptoms, they added, may affect balance and make falls more likely, particularly in older people.The authors attempted to rule-out other common causes of falls like alcoholism, weakness, recent cancer diagnosis, and use of other medications that cause abnormal balance.While this study cannot clearly state that opioid use causes falls, the authors argue that there is a clear link between the two in people over the age of 65.One other concerning finding of this study: Patients with recent opioid use had a slightly increased risk of in-hospital death. While the study did not find a specific reason, the authors suggest that opioid use could be an overall marker of fragility and poor health in an older population.Opioids are potent narcotics that have the power to effectively treat severe pain when used appropriately. But doctors and patients alike should remain aware of their side effects and be particularly careful with their use, especially for seniors.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- No one likes to be cold enough to shiver, but what if being cold could actually increase your metabolism, improve blood sugar and help you lose weight?A study done on mice at the University of Tokyo supports this idea. The researchers found that a certain type of cells called beige fat can actively break down fat and sugar to improve insulin sensitivity and increase metabolism. Beige fat was also found to help regulate energy balance.Where do these fat cells come from? Exposure to cold for long periods of time can “stress” the body into turning the bad fat that most people have into good fat.Some types of fat are goodWe have three types of fat -- brown, white and, now we are finding out, beige.Brown fat, which is the fat we are born with that allows babies at birth to go from a warm uterus of 98 degrees Fahrenheit to room temperature of around 74 degrees. This fat is not associated with health problems. It got its name because it looks brown under a microscope due to its containing many mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells that produce energy. Mitochondria contain a protein called UCP1 that breaks down fat to make heat.Brown fat is usually found in the neck, upper back and around the spinal cord and is responsible for burning calories in order to generate heat. As we get older, we lose this good fat.White fat is the opposite. It lacks those energy-producing centers, mitochondria, and is the most common type of fat for adults. It insulates and cushions our vital organs such as the kidneys and heart. This fat interacts with hormones such as cortisol, the stress hormone, and insulin. Having a lot of this type of fat is associated with heart disease, diabetes and many types of cancers.How do we get rid of white fat and get more brown fat?There have been many studies of how fat cells work. Humans were genetically made to survive in cold temperatures and to use fat as an energy source when food was hard to find.Over time, these genes have become less dominant. Now we store fat even though food is readily available. We have the luxury of warm temperatures all the time through heat in our homes.And, people are more likely these days to have an abundance of white fat, a symptom of an obesity epidemic in the United States.Researchers in the study of mice at the University of Tokyo found that long-term cold exposure can actually stress the white fat cells into developing more mitochondria and eventually becoming more efficient, calorie-burning beige cells. One group of mice was kept at 39 degrees Fahrenheit and another at 86 degrees Fahrenheit for one week. Without any change in diet, the mice that were kept at the lower temperature had more thermogenic activity -- meaning their cells were able to burn calories and stored fat to create heat.So how does it work?Shivering creates body heat short-term by warming up the muscles. In a long-term process called thermogenesis, brown fat cells create heat to keep the body warm. When you are cold for a long enough time, the white fat cells are forced to start acting like brown fat. This protein, JMJD1A becomes altered to JMJD1A and this white cells becomes a beige cell, which is thermogenic.For example, Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps spends much of his day in water of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond the calories needed to swim, his body is also losing heat to the cool water environment which is increasing his calorie breakdown even more.There is a broader significance to these findings, as the study shows that a molecular mechanism, which in this case occurs when a person is cold for a long-enough period, can affect how genes are expressed. In other words, as one of the study’s authors, Juro Sakai from the University of Tokyo and Tohoku University, believes, although a person’s gene sequence is determined at conception, lifestyle may be able to help determine how those genes are expressed."We believe that this is the first time that
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  • Courtesy Stratford Rehabilitation Center(DANVILLE, Va.) -- Avicia Thorpe is a "star" in her community.The former educator, who began teaching in segregated Virginia schools in 1933, celebrated her 110th birthday on April 16 to much fanfare.Along with her fellow residents of Stratford Rehabilitation Center in Danville, Virginia, Danville Mayor John Gilstrap and Vice Mayor Alonzo Jones attended the celebration along with her family and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sisters, activities director Kim Holley told ABC News.In between writing poems, some of which she read at her birthday party, Thorpe has learned a lot in her long life. And in fact, the former pastor's wife said she indeed believes in a heaven."I'm ready at any time when the Lord is ready to call me home," Thorpe told ABC News when asked what she's most looking forward to in this new decade of life."God has placed me here for a purpose and my purpose has been accomplished," she continued. "I’m still trusting in his divine guidance, but I'm ready anytime."Thorpe, who taught high school English for 33 years before retiring, said that if she can help someone then "I shall not be in vain.""I’ve seen and heard from people, and strangers, and my former students -- I stopped teaching 50 years ago and I still hear from my former students -- so I feel that I have accomplished that goal," she said.When asked the secret to living a long life, Thorpe said she's "just been careful" about what she eats and drinks. But she mostly credits her faith."Always trust in God. He should always be number one," she said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The majority of cosmetic procedures performed in the United States last year -- more than 15.7 million of the overall 17.5 million -- were considered minimally invasive and did not require major surgery, according to a new report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.The most common surgeries were breast augmentation, liposuction and nose reshaping.The most common minimally invasive procedures were botulinum injections (7.2 million), tissue fillers (2.7 million) and chemical peels (1.4 million), according to the ASPS.In 2017, there were about 350,000 noninvasive fat reduction procedures, also known as “body sculpting” or “body contouring.”These are FDA-approved techniques to target unwanted fat on a person’s stomach, hips and thighs.One “body-sculpting” technique is cryolipolysis. This process involves freezing fat cells close to the surface of the skin until the cells die and shrink away.It is meant to be a less-invasive alternative to procedures like liposuction.Side effects are typically temporary redness, bruising and numbness, according to a 2013 study from the German group Rosenpark Research in conjunction with Weill Cornell Medical College and Louisiana State University.Cryolipolysis is not necessarily a new idea, although its popularity has been growing since its development in 2009.Noninvasive fat reduction procedures, as a whole, increased 7 percent in the past year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.Other techniques use laser or ultrasound to heat and destroy fat cells.Dr. Darren Smith, a board-certified plastic surgeon, has performed multiple different types of “body contouring,” and finds that cryolipolysis is a “much better-tolerated procedure.”Instead of heating the cells, which is painful, cooling the cells makes them numb, Smith said.As with most cosmetic procedures, there is little to no reimbursement from insurance companies for cryolipolysis.According to Smith, prices for this procedure vary based on a person’s size and the area they want to treat.Smith says most people usually spend $1,000 to $3,000 on a cryolipolysis treatment.It’s hard to study the effects of such a treatment when the results are so subjective.After all, how do you measure a love handle? While one can technically measure the thickness of a fat pad, these numbers are likely inaccurate and may or may not actually reflect how a person feels about the size of their muffin top.The good news is that the cryolipolysis study conducted in 2013 showed a 73 percent patient satisfaction rate after cryolipolysis therapy.Dr. Smith states that most people are happy after one treatment, however, some people opt to have a second round.Overall, physicians believe that a person has the best results when they’re already near their goal weight range, exercising and eating well. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The hair-care aisle can be an intimidating place for those who don't know what they're looking for.To demystify the process of selecting a shampoo, "Good Morning America" spoke with celebrity hair stylists Brant Mayfield and Robert Lopez of Chris McMillan the Salon in Beverly Hills; Ashley Streicher of Striiike in Beverly Hills; and Michael Sparks of Cie Sparks Salon in Malibu about how to choose products and what to be aware of when it comes to higher-end brands.Their seven tips include:1. Consider your hair and your scalp Mayfield says that when selecting a shampoo, you have to find a type that's appropriate for your hair, but your scalp is something to think about too. For example, someone with an oily scalp may want to consider a shampoo with sulfates, he added, which strip impurities from the hair and get the oil out of the scalp. The important thing to do is obvious: read the label. "Most will say on the bottle what they're good for," he said.2. Sulfates are not necessarily the enemy: Ever since "Queer Eye" grooming expert Jonathan Van Ness declared war on sulfates, some fans of the show have expressed concern about their sulfate-filled shampoos. Not so fast, Sparks said. "Sulfates can strip the hair a bit, but at the end of the day, some of my clients want it because if shampoos don't have it, it doesn't suds up," he explained. "They feel like their hair is still dirty!" Mayfield agreed, noting that sulfates allow for people to get "a deep clean." However, he warned, people with extremely color-treated, frizzy or curly hair should look for sulfate-free shampoos, which won't be as harsh. "With a sulfate-free shampoo, you'll have to work harder to get your scalp and hair clean," he added. "You'll have to do a more rigorous massage to break free all that stuff, whereas a sulfate shampoo does it for you."3. Sometimes a splurge is worth it: Lopez is a fan of the higher-end brands Shu Uemura and Davines, and said he'll tell clients who can afford a bottle to use the pricey product every few days rather than every day to make it last longer. But in general, he added, he advises clients to splurge on conditioner instead of shampoo. "In general, conditioners are very good for the hair, especially for people who style their hair," he said.For Streicher, however, a professional-line shampoo is worth the investment. "A shampoo with minimal ingredients, not necessarily 'green' but a shampoo that is clean is ideal," she said. "Drug store shampoos are filled with a lot of 'fillers' like soaps and sulfates. I suggest investing in a nice shampoo and conditioner, something with minimal ingredients." StriVectin Hair and Sisley Paris Hair Ritual, which Streicher said "have proprietary ingredients focused on the scalp and scalp health," are two specific brands she loves.Mayfield also recommends splurging on products that could treat a specific issue. For example, he explained, those with scaling on their scalp might want to try DPHUE's apple cider vinegar scalp scrub."Talk to your stylist," Sparks added. "If your stylist is honest with you, he'll tell you a couple things that are worth it for your particular hair." (He often recommends his clients splurge on conditioning masks or texture sprays.)4. Drugstore brands can do the trick: "I'm a true believer in you get what you pay for but there are [good] products out there that are [less expensive]," Mayfield said. "Schwarzkopf is a professional line, but they're also making an affordable line of products called GLISS." He also praised shampoos and conditioners by L'Oreal Paris (a brand Lopez loves as well) and Neutrogena, while Sparks gushed about Suave Professionals -- a line he worked with on the show "Fashion Stars." "The price point was down but for the results they were getting, I really liked it," he said.5. Don't be afraid of dry shampoo: "Dry shampoo is great, especially for fine hair and oily hair but there are different ones to use: You can get rid of
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