Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category
Friday, February 12th, 2016
Adapted from: Harvard Medical School’s This Week @ Harvard Health
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition in which the macula, the part of the eye that’s responsible for your sharpest and most detailed vision, begins to thin and break down, causing vision loss. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.
There is no surefire way to prevent AMD. However, there are things you can do to delay its onset or reduce its severity. Here are 5 of our favorites:
- Smoking can speed up AMD damage. If you smoke, quit.
- Sunlight is thought to possibly promote AMD. Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats.
- Research also suggests that certain nutrients help prevent macular degeneration. Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and dark-green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, collard greens, and kale. The latter are especially rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are key for eye health.
- If you have intermediate or advanced dry AMD, or any stage of the “wet” form of AMD, ask your doctor about supplements. For example, people at high risk of developing the advanced stages of the “wet” form of AMD may lower their risk by taking high-dose combinations of antioxidant vitamins and minerals.
- It’s unclear whether omega-3 supplements are beneficial for AMD. But eating fish and other foods high in these nutrients may still be worthwhile for preserving optimal vision and overall good health.
For more information on keeping your eyes healthy, see The Aging Eye, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
Adapted from MedlinePlus (Health Day)
A recent study may explain why children with Asthma tend to suffer cold systems after a school long holiday or break. Experts believed that environmental factors, such as air quality was the culprit. Researchers analyzed asthma-related hospitalizations of children across Texas for seven years. The study concluded that the school year calendar was the primary cause. Researchers found that when children are not at school for a long period, they will be less likely exposed to other children with colds and their immunity decreases. When they return to school, there is an increase in their exposure to cold viruses and their immune systems are not ready. For more information, please visit: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157134.html
Asthma in Children
Monday, February 1st, 2016
Adapted from: NIH News in Health, February 2016 issue
Check out the February issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. To search for more trusted health information from NIH, bookmark http://health.nih.gov.
Infertility Treatments and Children’s Development
Help for Rare and Undiagnosed Conditions
Featured Website: NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
Please NIH’s website http://www.nih.gov/ for current authoritative health information.
Saturday, January 30th, 2016
MedlinePlus posted a warning from the World Health Organization last week entitled “Zika Virus Expected to Spread North Through U.S.: WHO“.
As this is an emerging threat with new updates daily, here are a couple of websites to consult for the latest news:
And the NIH Director’s blog is always good for health news, plus MedlinePlus’ Latest Health News page.
As of January 27 there are also two new Medical Subject Headings available for searching MEDLINE/PubMed: Zika Virus Infection and Zika Virus.
Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
MedlinePlus, the National Institutes of Health’s website for patients and their families and friends, just launched two Facebook pages. Find us at https://facebook.com/mplus.gov (English) and https://facebook.com/medlineplusenespanol(Spanish). You can help promote the launch by liking our page and using the following posts on Twitter and Facebook.
Saturday, January 9th, 2016
Check out the January issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. To search for more trusted health information from NIH, bookmark http://health.nih.gov.
Blood Pressure Matters
Keep Hypertension in Check
Early diagnosis and simple, healthy changes can keep high blood pressure from seriously damaging your health. Read more about hypertension.
Online Weight Management Gets Personal
NIH Body Weight Planner
It’s always a good time to resolve to eat better, be more active, and lose weight. NIH now offers a free, research-based tool to help you reach your goals. Read more about the NIH Body Weight Planner.
Breastfeeding May Help Health After Gestational Diabetes
Substance Abuse in Women
Featured Website: Health E-cards
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Monday, January 4th, 2016
Adapted from the CDC:
If you happen to work outside during the winter months, there are many risks. Some of these risks may be easier to detect than others; therefore, it is important to be prepared.
If you work in the cold, several layers of loose clothing is recommended. Layering provides better insulation than otherwise.
Wear gloves to protect your hands, and a hat/hood for your head. If your environment is wet, waterproof shoes with good traction are recommended. It is also important that your clothing does not interfere with your eyesight.
Be prepared for cold weather, even if the temperature currently seems pleasant. Conditions may change quickly and you could suffer from cold-related illnesses and injures in 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hypothermia can be hard to recognize and can occur when your body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Mild hypothermia can result in confusion and lack of judgment. Early symptoms include shivering, fatigue, and loss of coordination. Due to the loss of heat, your body will stop shivering, skin may turn blue, eyes will dilate, breathing will slow and loss of conscious will occur. To prevent hypothermia, it is recommended to wear clothes in layers.
Frostbite occurs when a part of the body such as fingers, toes, nose and ears, freezes to the point in which tissue is damaged. If the body tissue cannot be saved, removal is recommended. You can avoid frostbite by being alert in a cold environment with layered clothing and hat, gloves, etc.
Other cold related injures include trench foot and chilblains. Trench foot occurs when your feet are wet and it is cold for an extended period of time. Moisture causes the loss of heat and poor circulation. Chilblains can occur due to cold weather damaging an individual skin. The result is broken skin, swelling, blisters, redness, and itching. Trench foot and Chilblains can occur in 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Therefore, if you work in the cold, please wear appropriate clothing for outdoor conditions. It is also recommended to alert your supervisor if you are not warm enough and seek attention. Cold temperatures can affect your judgment and reaction time. For more information, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/features/workingincold/ and for additional information about hypothermia and other cold weather injuries, see the NIOSH Fast Facts card, Protecting Yourself from Cold Stress[PDF – 576KB].
Saturday, December 26th, 2015
The NN/LM SCR offers a popular class entitled “Will Duct Tape Cure My Warts? Examining Complementary and Alternative Medicine” that covers the history and statistics about complementary and integrative medicine, as well as the best resources to find information about these therapies and practices.
The authoritative website is the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), from the National Institutes of Health. Formerly called the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it underwent a name change in December 2014 in order to reflect the Center’s research commitment to studying promising health approaches already in use by the American public.
The National Library of Medicine’s premiere consumer health website, MedlinePlus, is another excellent resource on this topic. MedlinePlus has a health topics page for Complementary and Integrative Medicine with several links to the NCCIH as well as to other authoritative organizations’ websites.
For finding research articles from medical journals, the NCCIH has partnered with PubMed on an automatic “complementary and alternative medicine” search filter, called “CAM on PubMed®.” When you type your search topic into this filter, PubMed will automatically retrieve scientific research articles in the area of complementary and integrative medicines.
So enjoy learning about acupuncture, magnets, zinc and everything in between! Keep an eye out for our “Will Duct Tape Cure My Warts?” class as a possible future activity, which we teach both in person and online via Moodle.
Saturday, December 19th, 2015
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the NIH, has developed a set of 2016 health planners – A Year of Health – tailored for four multicultural communities as part of its National Multicultural Outreach Initiative. The Hispanic/Latino Health Planner is also bilingual! An organization can order up to 150 copies of the health planner free of charge for their communities, while supplies last.
NIAMS is providing also some great images you can use in their social media toolkit for promotional purposes and have offered the following tweets:
- Each day is a chance to get healthier. Order your free 2016 health planners from @NIH_NIAMS today! http://1.usa.gov/1FU4Hh2 #NMOI2016
- Have you thought about your #health goals for 2016? @NIH_NIAMS can help with free 2016 health planners http://1.usa.gov/1FU4Hh2 #NMOI2016
The 2016 A Year of Health planners offer information on staying healthy and managing conditions of the bones, joints, muscles, skin, and pain based on proven studies. The planners also include information about other free publications that you can order or download if you want to find out more.
Sunday, December 13th, 2015
The Harvard Mental Health Letter recently published an article entitled “In Praise of Gratitude” which recognized the holiday season as being a good time to review the mental health benefits of gratitude. According to the article, gratitude is a “thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.” This can be applied to the past, the present, and the future and it is a beneficial thing to cultivate as a habit.
The research on the benefits of practicing gratitude is extensive: the article mentions the work of Drs. Emmons and McCullough and Dr. Martin Seligman. We are warned that although it may feel contrived at first, the mental state of gratitude grows stronger with use and practice. There are some ways listed to help us cultivate gratitude on a regular basis:
- Write a thank-you note: to others and occasionally, to yourself!
- Thank someone mentally: when there is no time to write a thank-you note
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Count your blessings: Pick a number — such as three to five things — to identify each week
- Meditate: instead of a mantra, try focusing on what you’re grateful for