Weekly Health Update
make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules.
Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”
~ Neil Gaiman
Mental Attitude: Head Injury Test Approved.
Traumatic brain injuries account for over two million trips to the emergency room in the United States each year and contribute to the deaths of about 50,000 people annually. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new computer software that will help assess the brain’s function after a serious head injury. The test is called the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) and is meant to be used by doctors to assess signs and symptoms of head injuries that could be concussions.
Food and Drug Administration, September 2016
Health Alert: Gestational Diabetes Increases Depression Risk Following Birth…
The National Institutes of Health reports that gestational diabetes (GD) “is a form of diabetes (high blood sugar level) occurring only in pregnancy, which if untreated may cause serious health problems for mother and infant.” A new analysis of data from the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies-Singleton Cohort reveals that nearly 15% of women who develop GD experience depressive symptoms following the birth of their child—a risk four-times greater than those who do not develop GD.
National Institutes of Health, September 2016
Diet: Vitamin A Compound May Fight Colon Cancer.
Vitamin A may play a role in suppressing colon cancer. In a new study, researchers found that boosting levels of retinoic acid (a compound derived in the body from vitamin A) in the intestines of mice with colon cancer slowed progression of the disease. Additionally, researchers found that colon cancer patients who had high levels of a protein that reduces retinoic acid in their intestinal tissue were more likely to have worse outcomes than other patients. Senior author Dr. Edgar Engleman adds, “Now that we’ve shown a role for retinoic acid deficiency in colorectal cancer, we’d like to identify the specific microorganisms that initiate these changes in humans. Ultimately we hope to determine whether our findings could be useful for the prevention or treatment of colorectal cancer.”
Immunity, August 2016
Exercise: A Sit-Stand Desk at Work May Help Maintain Weight Levels.
Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh examined the potential weight management benefits of sit-stand desks. The study included 18 participants and revealed that an individual can burn an extra 48.3-56.9 calories by alternating between sitting and standing during their workday. Lead researcher Bethany Barone Gibbs explains, “It is important that we understand standing at work isn’t going to burn as many calories as going for a brisk walk or a long run. However, our findings add to a growing field of research that shows the benefits of sit-stand desks, including increases in productivity and energy, and lower pain, blood sugar, and potentially blood pressure.”
Occupational Medicine, August 2016
Chiropractic: Social and Lifestyle Factors Involved in Low Back Pain.
A study that included 3,014 men recently investigated factors beyond anatomical abnormalities associated with low back pain in older men. Using questionnaires on lifestyle and low back pain, researchers found that anatomical abnormalities such as spinal fractures, metastases, spinal stenosis, and degenerative conditions could only partly explain symptoms and disability. The researchers also found an association between back pain and social and lifestyle factors such as lower education, lower self-estimated health, dizziness, and the use of walking aids. The study concludes that healthcare providers should be aware of these social and lifestyle factors when assessing older men with low back pain.
Age Ageing, September 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Play It Safe When Fishing.
Fishing can be relaxing, thrilling, and a great way to bring home some fresh fish for a healthy dinner. However, it is important to follow safety precautions while fishing. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation suggests the following to ensure safety: wear life jackets when on a boat or dock; never fish where signs note that it’s not allowed; bring safety gear such as a radio, cellphone, maps, water, and flashlights; wear footwear and clothing that is appropriate for conditions; use waterproof sunscreen; keep fishing knife blades covered until use and handle with care; and be careful when handling fish hooks when baiting or removing from fish.
Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, September 2016
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