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Refreshing Facts about the Margarita

Refreshing Facts about the Margarita

What is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

Fans of the “Wendy Williams Show” will have to watch re-runs for nearly a month, because the media maven is taking a three-week hiatus to treat her Graves’ disease

>> Read more trending news 

She made the announcement on air Wednesday, revealing that her doctor is requiring her to take a break from work to “get her levels and medication in sync,” a show representative told People

>> Related: Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves' disease

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years, in addition to hyperthyroidism...A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

Learning about the illness for the first time? Here’s what you should know. 

What is Graves’ disease?

It’s an immune system disorder that is caused by the overproduction of the thyroid hormones, according to the Mayo Clinic. In healthy adults, the thyroid function is regulated by a hormone released by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. For those with Graves’ disease, a thyrotropin receptor antibody takes on this role, overriding the work of the pituitary gland and causing overproduction of the thyroid hormones. 

What are the symptoms?

Common signs include anxiety, irritability, tremor of the hands, weight loss, heat sensitivity, thyroid gland enlargement and rapid heartbeat. 

Patients also experience Graves’ ophthalmopathy, where inflammation affects the muscles and tissues around eyes. The condition can cause bulging eyes, light sensitivity, double vision or even vision loss. 

Some also have Graves’ dermopathy, which is the reddening and thickening of the skin, particularly on the shins and tops of the feet. 

>> Related: Wendy Williams cancels talk show for the week due to flu 

How is it diagnosed?

Doctors generally conduct a physical exam to check the size of the thyroid. They also order blood samples to determine the levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is usually lower for those with Graves’.

Physicians also administer ultrasounds and imaging tests to view images of the thryroid, eyes, and iodine uptake patterns. Iodine is needed to produce thyroid hormones.

How is it treated?

Some have radioactive iodine therapy, where patients take radioactive iodine by mouth. The iodine seeps into the thyroid cells and the radioactivity gradually destoys the overactive ones. 

Patients often are prescribed anti-thyroid medications, which can limit the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones. Beta blockers are also available. While they don’t stop the production of thyroid hormones, they do block some of the Graves’ disease symptoms. 

Who is affected?

It affects 1 in 200 people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Women are more likely to be diagnosed, and people younger than age 40 generally develop it. 

>> Related: Watch: Wendy Williams faints on live TV

Rappers Missy Elliott and Rapsody as well as former president George H. W. Bush also have Graves’ disease. 

Mysterious, unknown humming noise driving residents crazy for years

Residents of a Canadian town have been plagued with a bizarre humming noise for years and say it’s completely wreaking havoc on the city.

>> Read more trending news 

The persisting humming has been going on for years and has been described as a similar sound as a truck idling or distant thunder. Some residents even say that the noise has damaged their quality of life and people’s health. Residents have also called the Canadian House of Commons and complained of headaches, irritability, depression and sleeplessness from the noise.

Some residents even claim that the odd sound has been bothering their pets and has rattled windows in their homes.

But it’s not just limited to the city of Windsor, Ontario, either. The New York Times reports that it can be heard on the Detroit River and there have even been reports from McGregor, Ontario, 20 miles to the south.

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But, tracing the origin of the noise has been difficult because, apparently, not everyone can hear it. It could also be difficult to get the government to do anything about the hum as regulations typically only cover decibel levels that could lead to hearing damage or loss. Though, Dr. Darius Kohan, a neurotology at Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital said that it is unlikely a low-frequency hum could cause damage to one’s hearing.

Sleuths have been looking for answers as to where the hum is actually coming from and have reportedly narrowed it down to furnace operations on Zug Island near the Detroit River. United States Steel, which operates the furnaces, have allegedly been “uncooperative and secretive” when it comes to inquiries about the hum.

Though Mike Provost, a resident of the city refuses to give up and has devoted six years to running a Facebook page that focuses on finding the source of the hum and debunking theories about it.

>> Related: All aboard: Disney Cruise Line looks for workers to man its ship kid clubs

I’ve got to keep going,” he told the NYT. “I’m not going to quit this.”

Alleged Florida high school shooter has $800,000 inheritance, reports say

The alleged gunman in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week in Parkland, Fla., has an inheritance from his adoptive parents worth $800,000, according to news outlets.

>> Read more trending news 

But Nikolas Cruz, 19, who now has a public defender at taxpayer expense as his attorney in his murder case, cannot access the money until he turns 22, the Miami Herald reported.

Cruz was charged with 17 counts of murder last Thursday, a day after allegedly opening fire inside the high school with an assault-style rifle.

>> Related:Hundreds of students walk out in mass protest, march to Parkland high school

The large amount of money could prompt a judge to review the estate and possibly make the money accessible for Cruz’s defense.

The Public Defender’s Office asked a judge Tuesday to review the inheritance, the Herald reported,  to help determine if any of the money can be used in his defense.

The court filing specifically asked the judge to “determine whether the defendant is indigent.”

>> Related: Parkland students march at Capitol calling for tighter gun control laws

Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder in the deaths of 14 students and three adults, including teachers, in the deadly rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day. More than a dozen others were injured in the massacre.

Cruz was caught shortly after the shooting in nearby Coral Springs, Fla., and taken into custody without incident.

He’s jailed without bond.

>> Related: Dallas Mayor pro tem tells NRA it can hold annual convention someplace else

DirecTV to raise NFL Sunday Ticket prices, angering fans

DirecTV will increase the price of its NFL Sunday Ticket package by about 4 percent for the 2018 season.

The Tuesday announcement comes after DirecTV increased the price of the NFL Sunday Ticket basic package last year by 9.3 percent and the larger package by 5 percent.

>> Read more trending news 

The basic package for 2018 will be priced at $293.94, increasing from $281.94 last year, according to the DirecTV website. The larger package that includes the Red Zone Channel costs $395.94, up 4.5 percent from 2017, according to USA TODAY.

Here’s what NFL fans had to say about the increase:

What You Need To Know About Adam Lambert

What You Need To Know About Adam Lambert

Alabama police officer shot, killed; suspect dead

An Alabama police officer who was shot Tuesday night has died, authorities say.

>> Read more trending news 

Georgia’s law allows mentally ill to buy guns after 5 years

After the shooting deaths of 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, the public’s attention has once again shifted to the role mental illness plays in mass shootings and the role the government can play in restricting gun sales to those with mental illness.

>> Read more trending news 

Each year, Georgia provides the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the records of thousands of Georgians who have been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment. Their names are added to the National Instant Background Check System that gun sellers check before a sale. 

Unlike all other states, Georgia has a law that requires the removal of names from that list after five years. 

What was the purpose of that law and how many Georgians are now eligible to buy a gun who otherwise could not?

Read the full story at myAJC.com.

Don’t lose your tax refund falling for this IRS scam, here’s how to avoid it

sneaky new scam involving tax refunds is spreading, and it means you need to keep a close eye on your bank account.

>> Read more trending news 

There are several variations of the scam: unexpected refund deposits to your bank account using compromised bank routing information, suspicious paper checks coming in the mail and, in one case reported in Maryland, it appeared a fraudulent refund check had been deposited using a smartphone. 

According to the IRS, the victim will then receive a call or recorded message saying they need to return the funds to a collection agency-which is actually the scam account. 

If you pay the scammers, you will get a double whammy hit to your bank account when the IRS or your bank realize that the deposit was bogus and withdraws the funds.

>> Related: Bon-Ton going-out-of-business sales start at stores this week

The number of victims jumped from a few hundred to a few thousand in just days, after more tax practitioner data breaches, according to the IRS.

The IRS has these recommendations to avoid getting scammed:

If you notice a suspicious deposit, contact your bank to have the money returned to the IRS and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. 

If you receive a paper check, write “void” in the endorsement field on the back and return it to the location printed on the check. 

>> Related: Chipotle testing new ‘trendy’ menu option 

If you mistakenly cashed the erroneous refund check, submit a check for the full amount to the IRS location near you. 

  • ANDOVER – Internal Revenue Service, 310 Lowell Street, Andover MA 01810
  • ATLANTA – Internal Revenue Service, 4800 Buford Highway, Chamblee GA 30341
  • AUSTIN – Internal Revenue Service, 3651 South Interregional Highway 35, Austin TX 78741
  • BRKHAVN – Internal Revenue Service, 5000 Corporate Ct., Holtsville NY 11742
  • CNCNATI – Internal Revenue Service, 201 West Rivercenter Blvd., Covington KY 41011
  • FRESNO – Internal Revenue Service, 5045 East Butler Avenue, Fresno CA 93727
  • KANS CY – Internal Revenue Service, 333 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City MO 64108-4302
  • MEMPHIS – Internal Revenue Service, 5333 Getwell Road, Memphis TN 38118
  • OGDEN – Internal Revenue Service, 1973 Rulon White Blvd., Ogden UT 84201
  • PHILA – Internal Revenue Service, 2970 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19104

Cinemark theaters banning large bags

As of Feb. 22, moviegoers at Cinemark theaters won’t be able to bring in big bags when they go catch a flick.

The movie theater chain announced a change to its bag and package policy, stating that no bags larger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches will be allowed in theaters. will be allowed in cinemas.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the Cinemark website, the decision was made “in an effort to enhance the safety and security of our guests and employees.”

Incidents of shootings and other threats have been present at movie theaters in recent years, which may have impacted the policy change.

Still, the limit on bag sizes also means customers can’t sneak in as many outside food or snacks, something some moviegoers do to avoid paying high theater prices.

Based out of Plano, Texas, Cinemark has locations across the country and in Latin America. Theaters are in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington, among other states.

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