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The birth control pill: what’s fact and what’s fiction

There are plenty of rumors about birth control pills, more commonly known as “the pill”: The pill makes women gain weight. Antibiotics will make birth control less effective. You have to take the pill at the same time every day. But what’s actually true?

Health Talk sat down with Sarah Westberg, Pharm.D., associate professor in the College of Pharmacy, to find the answers.

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When to say goodbye

Any pet owner can understand the heartbreak that accompanies the moment when their pet receives a grim health diagnosis. To many, pets become a member of the family: A cocker spaniel was a couple’s first “child.” A cat was a source of comfort to someone who was going through a difficult time. A golden retriever was the first one to greet his owner at the door, and the last to say goodbye.

And then the vet recommends euthanasia.

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Pharmacists play a prominent role in animal healthcare

Photo: Flickr user Robe, CC, https://flic.kr/p/5bgGb9

While pharmacists are well known for helping people with their medications, it’s often overlooked that they play a primary role in animal healthcare. While veterinarians prescribe animal medications, pharmacists have had an increased role in preparing and dispensing them.

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How to prepare your cat for a trip to the vet

Photo Credit: Erin McHenry

Like many pets, cats need regular examinations to maintain a good weight, test for parasites and infectious diseases, look for dental problems and to receive vaccines.

Veterinarians can often detect conditions before they become significant, painful and costly, but unfortunately, many cats go unchecked. This Saturday is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, and the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center is encouraging cat owners to take their cats to the vet so they can live long and healthy lives.

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UMN Expert: Rethinking chronic kidney disease care through improved electronic health records

Photo: CC, https://flic.kr/p/o3oLa4 NEC Corporation of America

Chronic kidney disease affects more than 20 million Americans, but primary care providers often miss the condition, because it tends to be asymptomatic and is associated with other important comorbidities, or chronic conditions.

Utilizing electronic health records (EHR) could help identify chronic kidney disease (CKD) sooner, and identify ways to better manage the condition, says University of Minnesota faculty member and researchers with the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP). Researchers gave recommendations to apply that concept in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology today.

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Improving Care for Peripheral Artery Disease in Rural Minnesota

Peripheral artery disease is a chronic condition causing blockages in the arteries that feed the legs. This deprives leg muscles of oxygen and often causes debilitating pain. People with the disease are at greater risk of heart attacks, strokes and amputations. The pain sensation gets worse with walking, which then limits patients’ ability and desire to be active. Approximately 20 percent of Americans over 70 have the disease.

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