March 2012
Pamela Nathan

Kids with Crohns Struggle with Depression

Children with Crohns and Colitis (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) may have difficulty in school due to frequent absences that are largely the result of mental struggles such as depression rather than the disease itself, a new study finds.

Researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, had students aged 11 to 17 years with and without inflammatory bowel disease -- which generally takes the form of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis -- answer questionnaires about their mental health, school functioning and quality of life. Schools provided report cards and school absence information.

Children with the condition missed more days of school than healthy kids, and those who missed lots of school had lower grade point averages, according to the study.

Kids with inflammatory bowel disease were also at risk of "internalizing" problems, such as depression, according to the study. Kids who were struggling more mentally also tended to have more absences. Read more

Fish Oil Supplements May Help Ease Stress

There are several natural ways to cope with stress, such as exercise and meditation. However, a new experiment conducted in medical students suggests that omega-3 supplements may also help ease symptoms.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Omega-3 is a class of polyunsaturated fats that may benefit the health of the joints, heart, and other systems.

These compounds may also help reduce the body's levels of cytokines, molecules that are produced during times of stress and by inflammation. While inflammation can help the immune system, chronic inflammation and cytokine production can have negative effects. Read more

Omelets can Save the Day

Martha Rose Shulman tells us that for some time now the medical literature has been countering the myth that the cholesterol in eggs goes straight to the arteries and that eggs should be shunned by anybody committed to healthy eating.

She says that now studies have shown that only a small amount of dietary cholesterol passes into the blood and that saturated fats and trans fats have much bigger effects on cholesterol levels.

In fact, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, the only large study that looked at the effect of egg consumption on heart disease found no correlation between the two, except among people with diabetes, who were a bit more likely to develop heart disease if they ate an egg a day. Read more

Did You Know???

  • The Human Belly Button is Loaded with Bacteria?
    The belly button Biodiversity project, which is making a serious contribution to the understanding of microbial diversity, has found 1,400 strains of bacteria in 95 human belly buttons analyzed.
  • Dogs can Detect Blood Sugar Drops in Diabetics
    Trained dogs can detect a faint odor emitted by humans as much as 20 minutes before blood sugar drops to a critical level. Such drops, can cause diabetics to collapse or go into a coma if they do not receive medication immediately.
    Cost for a trained dog: valued at $20,000, but Dogs4Diabetics and other providers often require only $150 for people in need.
  • Hearing Loss is Linked to Kidney Disease
    54.4% of older people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) had some hearing loss, versus 28.3% of those without CKD.
    Reason: Toxins that accumulate during kidney failure can damage nerves, including those in the ear...and CKD and hearing loss share risk factors, including advanced age, high blood pressure   diabetes. people with CKD should be assessed for hearing loss.
  • Exercises to Relieve Heel Pain from Plantar Fasciitis
    Stretch calf muscles and the Achilles tendon by placing one foot in front of the other, and slowly squatting while keeping both heels on the floor. Lean against a table to maintain balance. when the heel of the rear foot starts to lift and you feel a stretch, hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs and do the other foot.
    Stretch the plantar fascia-the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot- in the morning by sitting in a chair   crossing your legs so that one foot rests on the opposite knee. Grab the base of the toes   pull toes towards the shin until you feel a stretch, then hold for 10 seconds. Reverse and repeat.
  • Foods with Fiber Added may not be as Healthful as Naturally Fiber Rich Foods
    Added fiber does not have the same effect in the body. Read food labels to find out how much total dietary fiber is listed- then look at the ingredients list to see where the fiber comes from. Avoid foods that include fiber additives, such as insulin, maltodextrin, and other unnatural-sounding ingredients. Choose fresh fruits   vegetables, whole grains,   legume, which are naturally high in fiber. If you are too busy to eat properly..consider a fiber supplement derived from natural psyllium husk.
  • Orange Juice and Apple Juice Affect Medicines
    Grapefruit juice often increases drug's potency, but orange and apple juice have the opposite effect- drinking them within two hours of taking certain medications can weaken the drug's effectiveness. These medications include beta-blockers for blood pressure, the allergy treatment fexofenadine, the antibiotic ciprofloxacin and the anticancer drug etoposide.
    Best: Avoid fruit juices for four hours before and after taking medicines. Drink a glass of water with medicines.

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