Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

The Importance Of Medical Conferences

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Nothing stays the same. Change is the only thing that is constant in the world. From the environment to the people, everything changes, which is why we should all try our best to keep up with all those changes. Keeping yourself updated is especially crucial in the medical profession where people’s lives are at stake from one simple mistake. It is no wonder there are medical conferences on a regular basis as clinical and scientific studies and research are never-ending as well. Newer drugs are likewise developed that has a major impact to how medical management is carried out. Medical conferences allow medical professionals to mingle with their colleagues and listen to key speakers discuss important updates that will soon be put into practice apart from giving them a chance to discuss all these changes by themselves.

We have seen it time again where one practice is rendered obsolete because of scientific developments that show a different way of doing things. It’s the same with the things we do today, we aren’t 100% sure that they will still be the norm years from now. Medical conferences make way for people in the same circle become familiar with each other, which in turn can also help them collaborate with one another for a better understanding of a particular issue or case because when you look at it, the medical profession is one big community of medical professionals who are responsible in upholding the health and well-being of the general public at all times.

Speakers generally set a medical conference’s tone, and despite its humble beginning, CMSC has never needed to invite a speaker outside its membership, Halper said. Particularly in the study of MS, the average attendee considers the lecturers exceptional and therefore worth the admission.

That sort of esteem doesn’t make the job any easier. Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, knows what it feels like to be the focus of attention for thousands of the world’s leading doctors in a particular field. A self-described introvert, she has been a staple lecturer at the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s annual meeting (IDWeek) since its inception in 2012. Although the pressure is high, she said, the risk is worth the reward. “There’s no greater feeling than coming off the podium and having people say, ‘That was a great talk,” Walensky told MD Magazine®. “There’s a fulfilling component to that.”

(Via: http://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/-improving-health-care-conference-by-conference)

It may sound like a lucrative profession for many but doctors, in particular, spend years studying about medicine including clinical internship so they are exposed to the patients first-hand and they get to apply what they learned in theory to actual patient management. We are well-aware about the importance of medical conferences but the speakers are also key on how these updates are effectively communicated to the recipients. A well-attended and well-received conference can help disseminate information faster rather than send out email or letters about these changes, which is really crucial if the information needed must be shared to a lot of people the soonest time possible.

The panel of experts and medical veterans will lead “dynamic tutorials, lectures, and workshops” and talks will start with the basic concept of AI and continue to advanced deep-learning technologies and trends in healthcare.

Organizers said the goal of the meeting is to engage busy healthcare professionals “in riding the gigantic waves of AI in healthcare to a brighter tomorrow.”

Organizers include the AHMC Health Systems (Alhambra Hospital Medical Center and its sister hospitals in Southern California), the National Health Research Institutes and Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, Allied Pacific IPA and Network Medical Management.

(Via: http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/the-first-international-conference-of-ai-in-healthcare-icaih-starts-today-at-the-langham/#.WqEtO-hubIU)

It is even more crucial for doctors and other allied professionals as technology is also a key factor in the delivery of healthcare services. It is a given that the medical world should embrace these tech changes as wherever you look in the hospital are machines and gadgets that aid in the delivery of medicines and treatments that are even able to save a dying person’s life. And with the rapid pace technology keeps on pushing forward, we’d like be seeing more medical conferences that don’t solely discuss medical issues but as well as how technology fits in the picture such as artificial intelligence that seems to be the direction we are heading at. Learning never ends and we’ll keep on adapting to these changes if it means our species can survive no matter what changes this planet goes through.


Focus On The Youth’s Mental Health

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Even if mental health isn’t something tangible to the naked eye or easily observable nor measurable, it does not mean it is not important. Whether you are young or old, it is important to not only be physical healthy but to be mentally healthy as well. Many of our internal struggles can significantly weigh you down and prevent you from realizing your fullest potentials because others are oblivious to the fact that you are silently fighting your inner demons. Despite the continued advances in technology, some things still remain the same or perhaps even get worse with the passing of time. The more we get hooked to technology we are, the more isolated we become from the real world. Many people spend hours glued to their smartphones and no longer lead an active social life unlike people in the past who actually had to go out and meet and talk to people if they wanted to connect at all.

The most vulnerable to the cons of technology are today’s youth. They are basically just learning how the world works but they are already exposed to a lot of things that they are not yet ready for because of their overexposure to social media. While there are many things you can do online, it has its perils too and they easily fall prey because they have access to the web even without their parent’s supervision. After all, most kids today have their own smart gadgets that they are free to use at will and a WiFi connection is almost part of every household’s utility today. Since most of these young children and teens are active on social media, they are vulnerable to cyber bullying and face the backlash of a violent and oppressive online community where they have no power over.

Beginning next year, elementary, middle and high schools in New York state will be required to include mental health education in the health curriculum.

“New York State is the first state in the country to do this and I think that’s phenomenal. We are taking the lead and setting an example on what to do and how to help these young people,” said Karl Shallowhorn, director of community advocacy for the Mental Health Association of Erie County and Compeer Buffalo.

Shallowhorn also serves on the board of the Mental Health Association of New York State, which pushed for legislation to require mental health education, and is now working with the NY State Department of Education to develop the curriculum.

(Via: http://www.9news.com/news/education/mental-health-education-required-for-ny-students/489238713)

Many adults are starting to realize the impact of technology most especially social media to the youth. Depression is a mental condition from which most youth suffers from without their parents or guardians knowing because they keep it to themselves. They either stay cooped up inside their rooms and foregoing any social interaction with others, so they intentionally alienate themselves from people who can possibly help them in their attempt to protect themselves from more harm. Aside from their tech use, schools today are also stressors for most students as they have to deal with all sorts of peer pressure, expectations, and bullying among others although this is no longer new as it is the reality for everyone who were once students themselves in their youth.

Experts say parents play a pivotal role in changing the conversation when it comes to their kids’ psychological well-being. Here are a few ways to spot if your kid is dealing with a mental health issue and how to realistically help them through it:

Look out for striking changes in behavior.

Nguyen says that drastic changes in mood ― especially in a month or a shorter period of time ― could be a sign that something bigger is at play. This can include withdrawing from social activities kids once loved, or displaying anger or sadness more than usual. Teens who might be engaging in self-harm may wear longer sleeves, even in warm weather, Nguyen added.

“That’s a huge red flag,” she said. “It’s kind of hard because these things correlate with puberty and sometimes adults are like, ‘Oh, my kid is just going through those shifts.’ It gets hard for parents because this period of time is so muddy.”

(Via: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/youth-mental-health-report_us_5a0d02c4e4b0b17e5e13f4f4)

Again, it boils down to having an open relationship between parents and their kids. Younger and older children are all at risk even if they face different challenges according to their ages. Parents should be sensitive and observant of any changes to their children’s behavior because there will definitely be red flags that will tell you something is definitely wrong even if they are not speaking up about it. Let us never overlook our mental health no matter your age because our sanity is the only thing that keeps us going in this crazy world we live in. It’s essentially what gives you the will to move forward no matter how difficult life gets. But of course, we are only human. Our mental health will deteriorate at certain points in our lives but it does not mean it is the end of the world for you. You can rise above the anxiety, depression, or whatever it is that is mentally weighing you down and live a happy life that does not rely on other people’s approval.


Problems With Chinese Medicine

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For centuries, Chinese medicine has reigned supreme when it comes to promoting and supporting man’s good health. It has almost never failed everyone who tried it and until today, many people still put their faith in age-old Chinese recipes that has cured diseases in the past in the absence of modern medicine. The problem is that many claims it is not as effective as it once was as there has been one casualty after the other – all of which took a Chinese medicine of sort to relieve them of a medical condition they have. The likely reason why this happened is that as recipes are passed down from generation to generation, some may tweak it a bit that results in a change in efficacy or may even trigger some adverse reactions in this case.

Other factors we need to consider is that what’s in Chinese medicines with herbs aren’t as well documented as any medicine you can buy from the pharmacy. You can’t really tell how its ingredients react to one another. And then there is the possibility that an individual is also taking other supplements or drugs that can react to the Chinese herb. Sometimes, side effects are minor and can be tolerated, other times it can cost you your life. It’s probably what happened to these poor people who unknowingly got treated with Chinese medicine and they happen to be allergic to some components of the medicine.

Early on a snowy, winter morning in January 2012, Wu Xiaoliang, a 37-year-old farmer, stopped by his local doctor to remedy a headache. At a small clinic near his village he received two injections made from traditional Chinese herbs. Hours later, villagers saw him struggling to prop himself up on his moped as he drove home. By noon, he was dead.

What killed Wu was later described in an autopsy report as a “drug allergy.” But doctors couldn’t pinpoint what he was allergic to because the shots he was given contained dozens, if not hundreds, of different compounds extracted from two herbs.

For centuries, Chinese have bought plant and animal parts from traditional clinics, and boiled them into bitter soups to treat colds, strokes and even cancer. But the Chinese medicine sector has modernized along with the rest of the country, with local manufacturers turning age-old recipes into fast-acting injectable drugs.

(Via: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-02/patient-deaths-show-darker-side-of-modernized-chinese-medicine)

Another major difference to how Chinese medicine is delivered in the past is that before, ancient Chinese had to drink soups or teas with these medicinal herbs. But today, Chinese drug makers have leveled up their game and they likewise upgraded these traditional medicines by giving them a modern feel – in injection form. Let’s not forget the fact how fast the effect of intravenous drugs are since they are directly injected into the bloodstream. For an ancient medicine with insufficient (if none at all) clinical trials to prove its safety and efficacy, the results can be disastrous.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is warning the public not to buy or consume two products promoted in Malaysia as traditional Chinese medicine, after two elderly women fell ill after taking them.

The two products – Wan Ling Ren Sem Chin Kuo Pill and Chong Cao Dan – contain undeclared Western medicinal ingredients, including a potent steroid called dexamethasone, HSA said in a press release on Thursday (Nov 2).

A woman in her 70s who had taken Wan Ling Ren Sem Chin Kuo Pill daily for four to five years for rheumatism and pain was hospitalised in the intensive care unit after experiencing severe breathing difficulty.

(Via: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/2-elderly-women-fall-ill-after-taking-products-marketed-as-9368678?view=DEFAULT)

While we have nothing against traditional medicine, just keep in mind that it has its risks too. Its ingredients are often undeclared. Most people who take Chinese medicine do not consult with a real doctor to get them assessed properly and determine if the products they are taking is not doing them more harm than good. Most of the danger comes from the continued modernization of this ancient practice. What those people who dabble with alternative medicine do not realize is that you don’t just develop a drug and formulate it into a preparation that is highly untested such as Chinese medicine shots because the dangers are fatal and can kill a person like what we are already witnessing now.


Rainbow Health: What Is It?

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Health is wealth. It’s been reiterated millions of times and we all know it by now. After all, we’ve been told about it from a young age and I am sure we already grasped its value over the years. While we are all aware of the importance of being healthy, our lifestyle says differently. In our prime, we are often deluded that we can conquer it all and we won’t easily succumb to diseases and ailments most old people suffer from. However, the times have changed and our modern lifestyle has put us at higher risk of certain conditions that even cancer has become so common right now regardless of your age.

Not all ailments go away on their own like the common cold and flu. There are also some that no amount of medication can cure. Think of HIV and AIDS. You’re a goner once you are diagnosed with this condition because there is simply no cure. Medical management is palliative, meaning it just offers the symptomatic treatment of the disease but nothing can be done about it anymore. And if there is any demographic that is increasingly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, it’s the LGBT community. Their active sexual relationships even with relative strangers have led to this rise in lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders afflicted with HIV/AIDS. Management has actually improved nowadays as patients diagnosed with it live longer lives but the fact remains you will eventually succumb to this condition sooner rather than later.

Two organizations that serve people with HIV and do public advocacy on health issues of gay, lesbian and other groups announced Tuesday that they will merge.

The move will combine the Minnesota AIDS Project, founded in 1983, and the Rainbow Health Initiative, a group started in 2001 that’s best known for conducting a health survey of the LGBT population.

The name of the new organization has yet to be determined, but the merger has been approved by the boards of both organizations and will take effect in early 2018. Leaders of the two organizations say they are not just joining forces but plan to expand their reach.

(Via: http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-aids-project-rainbow-health-announce-merger/449311003/)

When you say rainbow health, it stands for the health of the LGBT people or the rainbow community. We all know how prevalent HIV/AIDS is in their population and as such it has stigmatized them and made them suffer even more aside from the burden of the health risks they are facing especially when sexually active. Most people who die of AIDS are from the LGBT community. The government recognizes this trend and tries to intervene or at least help affected individuals cope with such a diagnosis. Unfortunately, federal help may be cut short depending on who is sitting in power and how they see LGBT in general.

These fears are well-justified: Trump recently announced his intention to cut significantly the budget of the AIDS Emergency Plan, a project intended to help victims of the epidemic worldwide, especially in Africa. According to the proposed cuts, funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is to be reduced from $6 billion to $5 billion starting next year. In June, six experts resigned from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, claiming that “the President simply does not care” about the disease and its consequences.

While Trump remains a major target of the LGBT community, the core struggles of AIDS victims have shifted considerably since the disease changed from being an epidemic that cut down tens of thousands of young people in America with harrowing speed, into a chronic illness for which preventive treatment is available. Surprisingly, the historical narrative that the new exhibition presents emphasizes a series of positive AIDS-related developments, the most prominent of which was the expansion of the idea of domesticity to include political assemblies, communal centers and cultural hubs.

(Via: https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.812347)

The odds may be high but the rainbow community is more united now than ever and they have been actively fighting for their rights in all corners of the globe. And if there is one right they are most concerned about, it has to do with their health. Like everyone else, the LGBT community deserves the right to basic healthcare services and they should not be alienated or ignored because of their sexual orientation and preferences. Politicians should put aside their biases and look after the needs of their constituents or extend help where help is needed as long as they can. It’s the reason why rainbow health persists to be an issue in the US because the leaders don’t always see everybody eye to eye and as a result, come up with legislations or policies that neglect the needs of some whether it is intentional or not.


Marijuana Breakthrough In Pennsylvania

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Marijuana has always been a sensitive issue in society. Even back to the hippie days, those who are pro-marijuana struggled in making others listen why weed is unlike other illegal drugs that are risky and dangerous to one’s health. Well, there is probably a reason why the authorities were doubtful of marijuana’s beneficial health effects especially if they can see hippies getting high and doing all sorts of crazy things because the weed made them do that. It’s because the weeds grown in the past were high on THC, the cannabinoid that gives you a natural high and is probably responsible for giving weed the stigma of it being a dangerous substance people should not mess around with.

However, there have been a lot of newer developments over the years. Weed growers are no longer just breeding THC-rich marijuana plants but ones rich in other cannabinoids as well such as CBD. By now, we all know that CBD is the important component of medical marijuana as it offers a lot of medicinal benefits minus the negative aspects of traditional marijuana that is related to getting high and addicted.

This development in the marijuana industry has prompted government officials and medical experts to give marijuana the time of day leading to where it is now – to be even prescribed by doctors in the treatment of various medical conditions because it has proven that it’s not a useless plant after all. Read the rest of this entry »


Are These Yoga Trends Here To Stay?

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In a world full of junks and majority of the population are becoming overweight or obese, getting fit is not an easy thing to do or maintain. Eating right and living healthy are considered as novelties right now when almost everyone prefers to eat in fast-food and consume bags of chips along with bottles or cans of soda endlessly. Those who realize that they have a big problem in their midst make a conscious effort to take care of their body and live healthily despite the abundance of temptations in their surroundings.

There is more to yoga than meets the eye. You can do yoga by yourself or in groups and still enjoy the same benefits. However, like everything else, there are trends that pop up now and then that may or may not always last long. Among the most recent yoga trends involve drinking wine. It sounds too good to be true, right? But yes, it is a thing now in places like Italy, California, Hawaii, and Mexico. If you aren’t a fan of yoga, the thought of drinking wine may motivate you to start stretching those aching muscles and do your body some good after all the abuse it has to bear day in and day out.

Sixty minutes of yoga can be restorative, sure, but the practice of yoga itself can also be solitary, says Morgan Perry, founder of Yoga Unwined in New York City, who also has an advanced certificate through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Throughout her Vinyasa-style classes, she sprinkles in wine facts and ends with a meditative tasting. It’s a good plan: A tasting at the tail end of yoga class provides a built-in happy hour with people you already know you have a lot in common with, and these connections give you more than just a solid squad—research has proven tight social ties keep blood pressure and BMI in check, and even increase longevity.

You’ll get double the zen.

It’s no surprise that wine gives you that breezy, free feeling after a long week. This calming sensation is, in part, attributed to the lower alcohol content in wine compared to hard alcohol, says Victoria James, a sommelier and the author of Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé. “The alcohol content in wine is 12 to 14 percent on average, versus 30 to 40 percent for tequila. This allows your body to slowly relax and adjust to the alcohol levels at a better pace,” she explains. With a meditative focus on breath and movement, yoga also helps us release tension, decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol, studies have shown. Read: A double whammy of calm.

(Via: http://www.shape.com/fitness/trends/combining-wine-tasting-and-yoga-class)

Yoga and wine are good for us even when done or taken separately as long as the latter is consumed in moderation. Also, wine is best tasted when you are focused in doing only one thing which is why it tastes so much better when you drink it during yoga sessions. Moreover, a vineyard setting is the perfect place to get lost and get into the yoga zen you so desperately want (need) and that glass of wine can help you burn fats faster than just doing yoga alone. So, try yoga instead if you need to lose weight if you aren’t such a fan of more rigorous exercise routines.

The strangest fitness trends are emerging. One of those strange fitness trends is called beer yoga, according to GQ Magazine. As seen in the below video, “beer yoga” features people sucking down sips of beer in the middle of performing yoga poses. Whereas some classes feature yoga participants drinking beer after the classes, other “beer yoga” classes show the yoga participants incorporating the beer bottles into their yoga poses.

According to Vice, beer yoga started out at Burning Man, and now it has caught on in Australia, Southeast Asia, and perhaps soon in the U.S. However, folks are warning about the dangers of holding glass beer bottles in your hand whilst trying to perform the tree pose in yoga classes. A slip or fall could result in injuries that likely wouldn’t have happened if the yoga participant didn’t have a glass beer bottle in their hands at the time.

The beer yoga trend joins the goat yoga fitness trend. As reported by WTOP, goat yoga began to trend about a year or more ago as the social media trend of performing yoga poses near goats took off.

Goat yoga, according to Syracuse.com, involves yoga adherents visiting farms or other places with goats roaming nearby. 

(Via: http://www.inquisitr.com/4207153/fitness-trends-for-2017-beer-yoga-goat-yoga-crawling-napercise-and-revenge-body-exercise/)

You’ll be surprised at how creative some people who start these trends are. But more than that, these people are actually just concerned about their well-being that they are willing to try just about anything no matter how absurd they may seem at first. Yoga, in particular, may not look that beneficial but it actually is. Assuming and holding certain poses does wonder to the body and provide immediate relief to tired and aching muscles that many people miss out on but oh so desperately needs.


Health Issues Affecting Children

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Children are a vulnerable group. They rely on their parents and guardians for support. But their health and well-being suffer as more parents struggle to juggle work, home, and other responsibilities. As a result, kids are left to amuse themselves with their gadgets or watch television to pass time. Most kids also have to deal with the issues they face daily on their own since their parents are often not around to guide them or listen to their stories.

We may take it for granted but neglecting children and not giving them the attention they need can make them more prone to different health issues. Both parent often works to provide for the family, so younger kids are usually left at daycare while older kids are free to do what they want, even engage in vices. Over time, it can lead to health and safety problems or even poor performance at school, worst, mental issues for those who have a hard time coping.

But an Ofsted follow up visit just three months ago said “children and young people are still not consistently receiving good enough services” and a Norfolk MP says he will present the new boss of the department with a dossier of concerns.

Meanwhile, we were also concerned that such a vital department, which clearly needs stability, is now on its fifth head in recent years. We sincerely hope Matt Dunkley, the newly appointed director, can give Norfolk children’s services the direction it needs to improve, and quickly.

(Via: http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/education/norfolk_s_children_s_services_you_can_t_fix_a_problem_if_you_don_t_admit_it_exists_1_4925126)

Moreover, child abuse issues are also on the rise, which is starting to alarm many. Cases of child abuse leave these children scarred for life.

“Every year, thousands of children in Oregon are abused or neglected. Some we know about because we read their tragic stories in our newspapers — and I know I can speak for all Oregonians when I say that any child who suffers abuse or neglect is one child too many,” Kulongoski said that year.

“As part of our collective responsibility to protect Oregon’s children, the state must strengthen our state child protective and youth authority services so that Oregonians have confidence that the children and youth who come into contact with those systems will be safe,” he said.

(Via: http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/5126903-151/report-child-welfare-agency-struggled-to-fix-problems)

Although rarely talked about, it is perhaps time to talk about children’s mental health because it is a growing threat to the community as suicide rates also keep on growing. Even people in authority who are supposed to offer help and support fail to do that. Hence, children take solace in their loneliness and feel even more depressed and suicidal.

Grace, 16, has been bullied for the past nine years, has moved schools twice, struggled with suicidal thoughts and taken medication for anxiety and depression.

At one point, she says, “there was no-one to turn to in the school and I felt so low I didn’t want to go on”.

According to research for BBC School Report, half of teenagers with mental wellbeing issues try to cope alone.

And a third said they were not confident enough to speak to a teacher.

At her lowest point, Grace made a “suicide video”, which she posted on YouTube.

“I’d get beaten up every week,” she says.

“Teachers wouldn’t do anything. I even heard the teachers talking about me behind my back.”

(Via: http://www.bbc.com/news/education-39267193)

Children all over the world, not just in the United States, experience bullying, harassment, and other forms of abuse that wreaks havoc with their mental health. Parents should step up and establish a warm and open relationship with their children right from the start so their kids grow up to be responsible, confident, and happy children who can take care of themselves in the outside world, even on their own.


Budget Cuts: Health Care Will Suffer In Case Of Outbreaks

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Health care is a basic service that the government should provide to its citizens. Healthy citizens can function productively and help in improving the economy. The people are also less likely to succumb to diseases in case of outbreaks because their immune system can fight off the infection with ease.

But over the years, health case costs are continually on the rise. Medicines, vaccines, and doctor checkups are becoming more expensive than ever. The big pharmaceutical companies continue to thrive as the health care system suffers from more budget cuts. Even health insurance has far less coverage but is more expensive than before.

Now, what happens when disaster strikes, like an outbreak perhaps? Are the government and the various health institutions prepared for such a scenario? Will they be able to control it and prevent further cross contamination or will we witness a bloody end? It is a scary reality as bioterrorism remains to be a threat from enemies of the state. American citizens can also get infected during travels in affected areas throughout the globe.

Is the world ready to defend against the next big infectious disease outbreak? It’s one of the biggest threats humanity could face. But experts who have reviewed reports on the global response to the massive Ebola outbreak that swept through West African countries for two years starting in 2014 say we’re “grossly underprepared” to handle a similar health crisis. 

A team headed by Dr. Suerie Moon, director of research at the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, published their findings from a review of seven major post-Ebola reports in the medical journal The BMJ at the end of January. The team concluded that, while progress has clearly been made by the world’s governments and the World Health Organization (WHO), for instance, there are gaps that could still leave millions of people at risk.

(Via: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-says-world-underprepared-ebola-level-outbreaks/)

In the event such an outbreak hits the U.S., will there be a large casualty? The answer is likely yes if the health care system does not receive the support and funding it needs from the government.

President Donald Trump is proposing big cuts to biomedical research as part of a budget to reduce discretionary spending at the Department of Health and Human Services by 23 percent — a move likely to provoke outcry from lawmakers, research groups, drugmakers and patients.

The proposal would cut the budget of the National Institutes of Health — which conduct and fund medical research — by $5.8 billion, or about 18 percent from 2017 levels. The Office of Management and Budget called the change “a major reorganization of NIH’s institutes and centers to help focus resources on the highest priority research and training activities.”

(Via: https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-16/trump-would-slash-medical-research-in-23-cut-to-health-budget-j0bvbruf)

And the country’s population is also at risk of getting sick from the more common and widespread infections and diseases we have faced over the last few years.

A multibillion dollar federal fund that helps prevent disease outbreaks and fights chronic conditions may disappear with a Republican plan to revamp the Affordable Care Act, worrying local physicians and county officials who say they rely on the money to sustain community health.

The GOP legislation, as it was released Monday, proposes cutting a piece of the Affordable Care Act called the Prevention and Public Health Fund – a store of federal money created to bolster immunization rates, disease surveillance, workforce training and community health education, among other programs. If the replacement legislation passes, county and state agencies throughout California will lose millions of dollars they relied on for public health efforts. Those governments also used the grants to prepare for emergencies such as Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, health officials said.

(Via: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article137303703.html)

Even medical professionals are worried about the long-term consequences of these drastic measures to the poorer citizens of the country who relies on the government for support.

Chapman said county health departments use the fund for much more than education. The fund has provided more than $28 million in vaccine supplies to the California Department of Public Health, which county health departments rely on to immunize children and adults, Chapman said. Without free vaccines available, low-income families may vaccinate at lower rates, increasing the likelihood that once-common diseases such as measles and polio will return.

The fund also supports laboratory capacity at the state and local levels so health departments can more rapidly diagnose infectious diseases and quarantine people to prevent their spread. Testing capacity was an issue during both the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and the Zika virus outbreak last summer.

The proposed cut to the fund alarmed state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, a pediatrician who called it a short-sighted move that could harm state and local efforts to respond to potential outbreaks.

“When you erode our public health infrastructure, it’s going to curb our ability to respond effectively and quickly to health and safety,” he said. “It’s all about prevention. We need the capacity to track down and fight contagious diseases. When we don’t, people get sick and die.”

(Via: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article137303703.html)

It is too early to tell the effects of these policies being enforced by President Trump and the Congress. The health care system affects every single person in the country. People’s lives will be affected once the system can no longer provide the services they need because they do not have the money to fund it.


Mental Illness Can Put You At Higher Risk of Stroke

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The times are changing and many of us have a hard time coping with the demands of daily life. Social norms have also evolved, which has also affected gender roles. Depression is a rising health threat as the majority of the population feel that their efforts are not enough. We may all appear okay on the outside and post the good side of our days to social media but deep down we are hurting. The bad part about this is that many refuse to seek help even though it is obvious they are struggling on their own.

Stress is a major precipitating factor to many of today’s health conditions. From anxiety attacks to epilepsy to cancer, we can all blame stress for putting us at a higher risk than before. And more recently, the experts also discovered the relation between mental illness and a predisposition to having a stroke later in life.

Patients hospitalized or treated in the emergency room for depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychiatric disorders may have an increased risk for stroke, particularly in the 15 days following their psychiatric diagnosis.

This is reported by research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.

Researchers analyzed the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project database for California and found 52,068 stroke patients between 2007-2009.

Of these patients, 3,337 patients were hospitalized or treated in the emergency room for depression, anxiety, PTSD or another psychiatric disorder.

But why is that so? Why are we more predisposed to getting a stroke if we continually suffer from stress?

Psychological distress may send the body’s fight-or-flight response into overdrive, causing increased blood pressure — the No. 1 risk factor for stroke.

Psychologic distress may also cause changes within cells that trigger inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are thought to increase stroke risk.

Another possible explanation for the study findings, he said, is that when people experience psychological distress, they may forget to take medicines prescribed to reduce their risk of stroke.

(Via: https://knowridge.com/2017/03/mental-illness-might-increase-stroke-risk-study-shows/)

What’s even more surprising is that a person suffering from mental illness is at the highest risk of suffering from a stroke within the next couple of weeks after getting hospitalized.

People who sought care at a hospital for serious mental health conditions — such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder — faced a tripled risk of stroke following their visit, the study authors contended.

The risk started to decrease after 30 days, but remained twice as high for at least a year after the ER visit or hospital stay, the researchers said.

“We have known for some time that people who have a stroke seem to be at an increased risk for later on developing some sort of psychiatric illness, depression or post-stroke psychosis,” said study lead author Jonah Zuflacht. He’s a fourth-year medical student at Columbia University‘s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

“But what has been less studied is the inverse of that. Meaning, if you have some sort of psychiatric illness, does it increase the risk for stroke?” he added.

“And what we found is that if you are hospitalized for some sort of mental illness, your risk of stroke is increased, and it’s most increased over the two-week period following your hospitalization,” Zuflacht said.

(Via: http://www.webmd.com/stroke/news/20170223/study-links-psychiatric-disorders-to-stroke-risk#1)

Health professionals say that even previous patients acknowledge the link between their stress levels and their stroke attack.

“Based on my clinical experience in the hospital, I have noticed that many patients believe that stress for whatever reason — work, family, work-life balance — contributed to their stroke,” said Jonah P. Zuflacht, B.A., lead researcher and a fourth-year medical student at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.

“But the data to support a connection between stress and stroke is limited and often relies on a patient’s subjective recall of distress, which can bias results,” stated Zuflacht.

The takeaway is this:

Short-term stroke risk appears higher in patients hospitalized or treated in the emergency room for psychiatric illness.

Risk of stroke was greatest within 15 days of psychiatric diagnosis, declined with time, but persists for at least a year.

Healthcare professionals should listen carefully for signs of psychological distress in patients at risk of stroke.

(Via: http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2017/03/07/american-stroke-association-reports-psychiatric-illness-may-increase-stroke-risk/)

The bottom line is that stress is a major factor in your mental health and the risk of having a stroke. Life may be tough for most of us but you can always adapt stress-busting practices for your own sanity. If you are clueless on how to relieve yourself of stress, a simple deep breathing exercise works wonder.

Do not let yourself get carried away with your worries. Problems are only temporary. Help is available in case you need one. It may not be in the form of an expensive visit with a shrink, a friend whom you can talk to and provide support when you need one is just as good.