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On ‘Sound Medicine’: Acetaminophen overdoses, transplant recovery, and obesity-related health issues

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“Sound Medicine,” covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It’s also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

How easy is it to overdose on acetaminophen? Many people may unknowingly be placing themselves in danger by taking too many drugs containing acetaminophen, the common active ingredient in Tylenol and other pain medicines. Current recommendations suggest that adults take no more than 4,000 milligrams in a 24-hour period; one extra-strength Tylenol capsule alone contains 500 milligrams. Laura James, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas joins “Sound Medicine” host Kathy Miller to discuss the health effects of an acetaminophen overdose and how widespread this problem is among adults.

What is the relationship between kidney stones and obesity? In 1994, only one in 20 Americans developed kidney stones. Today that figure has risen to a startling one in 11. Charles Scales, M.D., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar in the departments of urology and medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, recently published his study of this trend. This week on “Sound Medicine” he discusses the suspected reasons behind the increased incidence of kidney stones in America and how obesity and diabetes increase the likelihood of kidney stones.

Can autism be attributed to metabolic disorders during pregnancy? In April 2012, a study published in the journal Pediatrics suggested a connection between obese mothers and autistic or developmentally delayed children. Leading child development experts have agreed that these findings are interesting but that it is premature to suggest a solid link between obesity and autism. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, director of the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, shares her views on the validity of these findings and their implications for women and pregnancy.

What does the transplant recovery process involve? Patients with end-stage liver failure only have one treatment to turn to, transplantation. Patricia Scott, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, who brings a unique perspective as a two-time liver transplant recipient, comments on the common symptoms of liver failure and how she eases the process of recovery from a liver transplant as an occupational therapist.

“Sound Medicine,” co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is aired on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

“Sound Medicine” is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: WLRH (Huntsville, Ala.), KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).