Weekly Health Update Week of: Monday, May 8th, 2017

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
~ J.K. Rowling

Mental Attitude: Do Dental Visits Make You Anxious?
It is not uncommon to be fearful of going to the dentist, but there are ways to help minimize your anxiety. The American Dental Association offers the following tips to put you at ease: talk with your dentist about your anxiety; schedule your appointment at a time when you don’t expect to feel rushed or stressed; bring a pair of headphones and listen to music during your visit; and visualize yourself in a relaxing place during your appointment.
American Dental Association, April 2017

Health Alert: Morbid Obesity Doubles Risk of Early Death.
In this study, investigators tracked the weight history of over 225,000 participants over a twelve-year period and found the participants who were morbidly obese (greater than 35 BMI) were twice as likely to die from any cause, more than three times as likely to die from heart disease, and 50% more likely to die from cancer than those who maintained a healthy body weight throughout the study.
Annals of Internal Medicine, March 2017

Diet: Low-Calorie Sweeteners May Promote Fat Formation.
Researchers have found that consuming high amounts of low-calorie sweeteners can promote the formation of fat. In the first part of the study, investigators observed that stem cells exposed to an artificial sweetener showed an increase in the expression of genes that indicate fat production and inflammation. In the second part of the study, researchers found that adults who consumed low-calorie sweeteners experienced an increase in the transportation of glucose into cells as well as an overexpression of genes associated with fat production. The researchers suspect their findings indicate that low-calorie sweeteners may dysregulate metabolism in a way that boosts the formation of fat. However, they caution that further studies are need before any concrete conclusions can be made about the effects of low-calorie sweeteners on metabolism.
Endocrine Society, April 2017

Exercise: More Steps Equals Fewer Hospital Stays.
According to a recent report, older individuals can reduce the amount of time they will eventually spend in hospitals by walking an extra 4,300 steps per day. In the study, a team of Australian researchers analyzed data on 2,110 participants aged 55 and older and found that those who walked an average of 8,800 steps per day spent .36 fewer days in the hospital each year than those who took about half as many steps each day. Based on their findings, the researchers conclude, “Health interventions and urban design features that encourage walking could have a substantial effect on the need for hospital care, and should be features of health policy.”
Medical Journal of Australia, February 2017

Chiropractic: Manual Therapy Effective for Neck Pain.
This study included 92 patients who received manual therapy to treat their non-specific neck pain two times per week for three weeks. At the end of the study, the participants reported that manual therapy both reduced their neck pain and improved their physical function. Chiropractors are known for using manual therapies such as spinal adjustments and soft tissue massage in the management of patients with neck pain and other spinal conditions.
Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry (Russia), April 2017

Wellness/Prevention: Poison-Proof Your Bathroom.
The bathroom can contain many drugs and household products that can be harmful to children. To keep kids safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following: store medications inside a locked cabinet; safely dispose of all expired medications; store dangerous items separately from daily-use items, such as shampoo and toothpaste; do not take medication in front of children as they may try to copy you; never refer to medicine as candy; read medication labels before administering a drug; and if giving medication in the middle of the night, always turn on a light.
American Academy of Pediatrics, April 2017

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