Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Listen to the stories behind substance dependence

English: Most significant possible long-term e...

English: Most significant possible long-term effects of ethanol. Sources are found in main article: Wikipedia:Ethanol#Long-term. Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template_talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

From the KevinMD blog of June 27, 2013

 

“You don’t have any idea what you’re dealing with, do you?” asked Mr. Johnson a mere two minutes into my interview. The scene is the Crisis Intervention Unit. The time is 3:00am. I have a feeling my breath is terrible. The hospital pizza I engulfed earlier in the evening has decided to stage a churning acidic protest in my guts. However, far worse than my half-closed eyes, my halitosis or my gastrointestinal distress is the fact that he’s absolutely right. Mr. Johnson is here because he has come to the realization that living sober is about as awful as living as an alcoholic. As a result, he has decided life is simply not worth living.

As a practitioner, patients caught in this double-bind are among the most frustrating to treat. They are living proof that substance dependence treatment can be quite shortsighted. The logic is charmingly simple and irritatingly simplistic: if you’re drinking too much, then you should probably stop. Once you stop, all will be better.

To properly understand the failure of this logic, we need to distinguish the brain from the mind. Although our medications and therapies are effective in removing alcohol from the brain, we are less successful filling the empty space left in the mind. Mr. Johnson’s alcohol use started as a coping strategy and slowly evolved into a way of navigating the world: a drink to take the edge off at a dinner party; a libation or five to take the edge off of a bad day at the office; a quick stop at the corner bar after work to steel himself against a troubled marriage and a wayward teen. Alcohol played prominently in the way his mind functioned for years….

 

Read entire blog post here

 

 

 

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Psychiatry, Psychology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Paleo diet for nutrition and long term health?

“the main reason is that early humans did not suffer from those chronic diseases is that they did not live long enough (life expectancy ~30-40 years). They were also physically active and had lower energy intakes than most people do today.”
Good observation

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RAND Shrugged | The Health Care Blog

The comments section was the most interesting part of this Web page.

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Workplace Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

High school years hard on adolescent health, with spikes in drinking, smoking and drug use: Canada study

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep fruit and vegetables in daylight to boost nutrients

Sounds like a lot of work, but an interesting article.
Also wondering, as one of the commentators, if by the time we get the food home, will these cycles matter?

Natural Products News and Updates

Current Biology published a study regarding the best way to store fruits and vegetables to obtain the most benefit. The study found fruits and vegetables follow a 24-hour plant clock. Food crops can alter the internal chemical level throughout the day in order to ward off pests. Storing fruits and vegetables under the light-dark cycles helps them to preserve more nutrients. Glucosinates, a chemical with anti-cancer property is produced by cabbage in the day; refrigerated cabbage on the opposite produced less glucosinates. Further tests revealed many other crops (e.g., lettuce, spinach, courgettes, sweet potatoes, carrots and blueberries) also follow the same light-dark cycle. Please share your thoughts on the result of this study. How do you typically store your fruits or vegetables?

For the full article, click here.

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | Nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

[reblog] Don’t use websites for child health, parents told

Don’t use websites for child health, parents told.

Reblog

PARENTS have been warned against the dangers of trying to diagnose their children’s health problems using the internet.


An online poll of 1,800 mothers in April conducted by the parenting website Eumom.com found that 43pc of respondents consult the internet first when their child presents with symptoms rather than going directly to a doctor or pharmacist.Close to half of Irish mothers are using the web to diagnose conditions, a new survey reveals.

But such a practice can cause unnecessary anxiety or result in a misdiagnosis, according to Dr Conor Fitzgerald.

“Firstly, if your children have a serious condition, it might go undetected and untreated without a professional, medical examination by a doctor. Secondly, internet searches often lead parents to believe their child might have a more serious condition than is actually the case, creating unnecessary worry.”

But Dr Fitzgerald, who has a GP practice in Lucan, west Dublin, said parents should always consult a GP if they are concerned about their child’s health.

However, he added the internet could be a useful tool once a diagnosis has been made by a doctor, whereby the patient can read up on their condition.

Irish Independent

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , , | Leave a comment

Does Technology Really Widen the Gap Between Minorities, Poor and the Disadvantaged?

When I was in Liberia, West Africa a few years ago it was hard not to notice how many Liberians had cell phones.
Have read quite a few articles since then on how just basic cell phones without apps can facilitate better health services, better communication about health prevention, screening, and such, and better health stats

 

health communication source

I saw this comment posted last week on a federal government health office group page in response to their announcement of their new app, the use of technology and the release of open data and big data on their website:

Screen Shot for Blog

Posts like these are not unique. It is a common argument for not using any technology methods for some health communication campaigns because of limited reach in populations without Internet access. In the case of the example above, reaching migrant workers is a challenge, no argument there. But is it really technology’s fault?

I’m a big advocate of boots-on-the-ground campaigns, but coupling a digital presence is better, even if it takes on a minor role. Of course no one can reach 100% of a population, whether online or offline. But we can improve reaching communities outside of the Internet by using the Internet.

Herd Immunity

While there is a lot said about the shortcomings…

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | health care | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aerial mosquito spraying study finds no immediate public health risks

Subject alerts

(University of California – Davis Health System 27 June 2013) In what researchers say is the first public health study of the aerial mosquito spraying method to prevent West Nile virus, a UC Davis study analyzed emergency department records from Sacramento area hospitals during and immediately after aerial sprayings in the summer of 2005.

Read EurekAlert Summary

Request the source article from Information & Research Services (QH Staff only)

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | environmental health | , , | 1 Comment

New Tick-borne Disease Documented in Northeastern United States

news@JAMA

A recently identified tick-borne illness has been detected in 2 patients in the northeastern United States, according to case reports published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine as the US tick season begins to ramp up.

In 1995, when Japanese researchers identified the pathogen that causes this illness, a new species of Borrelia bacteria called Borrelia miyamotoi, their work marked a new approach to identifying a novel infectious disease, according to an editorial published alongside the study. Most new diseases are identified after a person becomes ill, but these researchers sought to identify potential disease-causing agents in a known vector of other human pathogens, a tick of the Ixodes genus that transmits a related Borrelia bacterium that causes Lyme disease in Japan and elsewhere. The discovery subsequently led to the identification of B miyamotoi in ticks in Eurasia and North America. By 2011, human cases of illness associated…

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | environmental health, Public Health, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Yoga not too religious for school: U.S. judge

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Health News Items | , , | Leave a comment

The U.S. Health Disadvantage – Part 2: Possible Causes and Solutions

by Kirsten Hartil 

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care.”

At least according to Article 25 of The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so why does the United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, have some of the poorest health outcomes compared to other high income countries?

My previous blog, adapted from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health, described how the U.S. compares in causes of mortality and years of life lost with other high income and OECD countries. Here, as outlined in the report, I explore some of the social determinants of health that may explain this. Social determinants of health, as opposed to biological determinants (biology and genetics), describe the…

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Health Statistics, Public Health, statistics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dietary guidelines and the food industry

I’ve commented on this issue in previous blogs…

Weight Maven

pyramidOver at Eathropology, Adele Hite has published part 1 of As the Calories Churn. In it, she gets “down and geeky … with some Dietary Guidelines backstory” since 2000 noting that some involved may have thought that “the advice to Americans to eat more carbohydrate and less fat wasn’t such a good idea.”

Interestingly, an Eathropology commenter notes that earlier efforts on our dietary guidelines had their own back stories too, linking to the story of the 1992 food pyramid. Luise Light, former USDA Director of Dietary Guidance and Nutrition Education Research and responsible for the 1992 food pyramid writes that the actual published guide was “vastly different” from what was drafted (emphasis mine):

When our version of the Food Guide came back to us revised, we were shocked to find that it was vastly different from the one we had developed. As I later discovered, the…

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | Nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] The Chemicals Women Wear with Additional Resources

Reblog

THE CHEMICALS WOMEN WEAR

We think it’s a treat for our skin when we exfoliate, moisturize and polish, but are we actually making ourselves sick? A recent study estimates that the average woman wears 515 chemicals a day — from eye shadow ingredients linked to cancer to perfume ingredients linked to kidney damage.

The average American uses 10 products every day, and chances are, they don’t know what’s in them. Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found extremely high levels of lead in lipstick. In addition, recent research from the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed that teenage girls are exposing themselves to potentially hormone-altering substances by engaging in that seemingly innocent coming-of-age tradition of applying makeup. Yet, despite the dangers, women need to bathe and groom — and most women like a little extra color on their faces. So what can you do to stay healthy and still look good?

“It’s simple: Read the labels and be a smart shopper,” says Leann Brown of EWG. “Buy from companies that disclose their formulations.” Since producers aren’t required to make their ingredients public, many choose not to. “A company that discloses all ingredients will have lower risk than cosmetics with mystery ingredients,” says Brown. These products are likely to be equally effective — your hair will be just as smooth, your cheeks just as bright — but without the lurking health hazards.

chemical_skincare1




When shopping, there are a few key ingredients to be avoided. However, due to lax regulation, you may find them in products marked “organic” and “all-natural,” so be on the lookout. Here is a list of common toxic ingredients to avoid:


  • FD&C Color Pigments
  • Fragrance
  • Alcohol (Isopropyl)
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Parabens

This research information is for informational and educational purposes only. Please consult a health care professional regarding the applicability of any opinion or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and no statement should be construed as a claim for cure, treatment or prevention of any disease.


Compliments of Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH

Preventive Medicine & Public Health
http://www.kshamicamd.com

Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH is a Preventive Medicine Physician involved with merging Media with Health, Open-Source Education, Herbal Medicine, Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness, and Love. She works on many initiatives bridging the global digital divide of health care education.

Related Resources

From the Library guide Cosmetics, Esthetics and Fragrances by Librarian Rhonda Roth

Cosmetics Dictionary (with ratings)

Cosmetics Database
From their About Page
“It’s our mission at Environmental Working Group to use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. We launched Skin Deep in 2004 to create online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal care products. Our aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold. Our staff scientists compare the ingredients on personal care product labels and websites to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases. Now in its eighth year, EWG’s Skin Deep database provides you with easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market. At about one million page views per month, EWG’s Skin Deep is the world’s largest personal care product safety guide.”

David Suzuki  Icon
Search for “cosmetics from an environmental angle”

It’s Your Health – Cosmetics and Your Health Canadian content
        Government of Canada website. Health Canada’s cosmetic and personal care site regulates manufacturer labelling, distribution and sale of cosmetics.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Cosmetics
           Safety information from the FDA on various cosmetic products provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tips for a Chemical free summer (part 2)

Dr. Ibby Omole ND

I would hope that after reading my first blog, some of you would have rushed out to replace your Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen with something that is a little bit better for your health.

Pesticides are a significant source of toxicity. People are exposed to pesticides via food and the environment in particular lawn care. While research is usually focused on massive pesticide exposure, low dose long-term pesticide exposure is difficult to capture. Not to mention the fact that pesticide residue has been linked to everything from hypospadias to decreased intelligence, learning and memory in children. Children are particularly vulnerable because of their immature organs, rapidly dividing and migrating cells, higher metabolic rate and smaller size.

Ways to decrease pesticide exposure.

1. Eat locally and organically. Summer is the perfect season to do this. Farmer’s markets are filled with everything from organic produce to baked goods and plants. Summer is also…

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, environmental health | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Endocrine Disruption… Huh? Why Should We Care?

Seriously "Sensitive" to Pollution

Many of us have no idea what “those people” are talking about when they mention endocrine disruptors. Sounds like something foreign and insignificant, or at least it did to me, until something caught my attention a few years ago.

It turns out that the endocrine system is a hugely busy and important system in our bodies, one well worth looking into and trying to understand. When we start to understand how important this system is, we might start to notice how we are (unwittingly) damaging ourselves, or rather, being damaged, because there are so many endocrine disrupting chemicals allowed into our daily lives now.

It is so much easier to stop causing harm (in whatever ways we are able) when we understand what the problems are, and so difficult, if not impossible, when we remain oblivious. In this case, sticking our heads in the sand will not only harm us…

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Future of Food?

FOOD, FACTS and FADS

 “What we eat has changed more in the past forty years than in previous forty thousand”.  Eric Schosser, Fast Food Nation

In the beginning of the 19th century, the vast majority of Americans were farmers.  In the beginning of the 20th century, most worked in factories. In the beginning of the 21st century, the fastest growing segment of the economy was service jobs, especially in the food service industry. About fifty cents of every dollar Americans spent on food was spent in a restaurant, predominantly fast food.  Food preparation changed dramatically from home cooking to processed food, in other words, we relied on others more and more to cook our food for us.

 We evolved our sense of taste to help us survive – edible plants generally taste sweet – deadly ones bitter.  With the rise of processed and fast food, a new industry was born, the…

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Infographic: How to Get 30 Minutes of Exercise at Your Desk

Who actually has time to exercise? As life gets busy, taking care of yourself is usually the first thing to move to the back burner. But to help you out, we looked at the average work day, and realized that there’s lots of potential for exercising at work, you just need to get a little creative.

This infographic has a series of circuits that will get your heart pounding at your desk. Good luck, and let us know what you think of the plan.

 

Million Ideas

30 Minutes at Desk_circuit work out_millionideas

Who actually has time to exercise? As life gets busy, taking care of yourself is usually the first thing to move to the back burner. But to help you out, we looked at the average work day, and realized that there’s lots of potential for exercising at work, you just need to get a little creative.

This infographic has a series of circuits that will get your heart pounding at your desk. Good luck, and let us know what you think of the plan.

30 Minute Desk_Thumbnail

Related Posts: Infographic: Conquering Workplace Wellness, Workplace wellness: 5 tips to stay healthy in the office

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | Workplace Health | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Yorker Article on New Models of Long-term Elder Care

Your local library might subscribe to this. Call ahead and ask for a reference librarian!

 

As Our Parents Age

If you can locate a copy of The New Yorker May 20, 2013 article The Sense of An Ending by Rebecca Mead, it’s well worth reading because of its focus on new models of providing care to fragile elders with dementia illnesses in nursing homes. The article extensively describes the Beatitudes Campus in Arizona, but it also mentions The Green House Projectand the Pioneer Network. The Beatitudes model and The Green House Project  share many approaches.

So I was excited during dinner with friends last month when one of the people at the table, a neurologist, mentioned The New Yorker article, saying how excited he was to learn about new models that completely change the way we deliver care  to fragile elders, especially those with memory impairments. After he spoke at length about the article — which I had not read yet — I shared information and my…

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July 14, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Privacy Threats When Seeking Online Health Information

From the 8 July 2013 JAMA Internal Medicine article

Patients increasingly use the Internet to access health-related information for which they are not charged.1In turn, websites gather information from those who browse their sites and target advertisements to them. Yet this business model masks a more complicated picture.

A patient who searches on a “free” health-related website for information related to “herpes” should be able to assume that the inquiry is anonymous. If not anonymous, the information knowingly or unknowingly disclosed by the patient should not be divulged to others.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 11.37.45 AM

The full text is not available online.
However, it might be available at a local public, academic, or medical library. Call ahead and ask for a reference librarian.

 

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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