Weekly Health Update
~ Henry David Thoreau
Mental Attitude: Menopause “Brain Fog” Is Real.
Women commonly complain of forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and thinking clearly when going through menopause. Researchers often refer to this as “brain fog.” In a new study, investigators used standard tests to gauge memory skills, along with functional MRI scans to track brain activity, in 200 men and women as they performed memory-focused tasks. The researchers found that women with lower levels of estradiol—a form of estrogen produced by the ovaries that naturally lowers during menopause—performed worse on tests involving memory.
Journal of Neuroscience, October 2016
Health Alert: Can High Cholesterol Cause Arthritis?
High cholesterol may harm more than just the cardiovascular system. Using mice, researchers have found that high cholesterol levels trigger mitochondrial oxidative stress on cartilage cells, causing the cells to die, ultimately resulting in the development of osteoarthritis. The research team also found that the development of osteoarthritis slowed when the mice received treatment to lower their cholesterol levels. Dr. Thoru Pederson, the Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal comments, “Just when we thought all the angles on osteoarthritis had been uncovered, a new lead like this comes along.”
The FASEB Journal, October 2016
Diet: Are You Getting Enough Iron?
Iron is an essential nutrient for optimal health. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the following dietary sources: lean cuts of pork, beef, chicken, turkey and fish; pinto and kidney beans, soybeans, and lentils; breakfast cereals fortified with iron; rice enriched with iron; spinach and other vegetables that are dark green and leafy; and iron-enriched breads that contain whole grains.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, October 2016
Exercise: Exercise Can Help Those with Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. As a result, type 1 diabetics need to take insulin by injection or via a small tube inserted under the skin and attached to an insulin pump. In a new small study involving six type-1 diabetics, investigators found that aerobic workouts led to better blood sugar control, less insulin use, and fewer high blood sugar events.
Cell Transplantation, October 2016
Chiropractic: Musculoskeletal Pain Common Among Cancer Surgeons.
A survey of 176 oncology surgeons reveals that fatigue, discomfort, stiffness, and back pain are commonly reported by such practitioners. Furthermore, nearly 20% of the surgeons surveyed reported occupational injuries that required treatment. The researchers conclude that changes to workplace ergonomics and surgery duration should be considered to aid in reducing such symptoms.
Journal of American College Surgeons, September 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Prevent Raking Injuries.
Raking leaves can often leave you with an aching back. Each year, over 76,000 Americans injure themselves while raking leaves or using other manual garden tools. University of Pennsylvania researchers advise the following to help prevent injury: warm up and cool down before doing yardwork by performing trunk rotations and shoulder and wrist stretches; clear away debris to avoid falling; use a rake of appropriate size for your height and strength; wear gloves to avoid blisters; be sure to wear shoes that are skid-resistant so you don’t slip and fall; avoid twisting motions, and don’t throw leaves over your shoulder; ease strain on your back muscles by raking towards you; bend at the knees with your back straight to pick up leaves or bags; and take breaks as raking is an aerobic activity.
Penn Medicine, October 2016
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