Mental Attitude: Stress Affects Women’s Recovery After a Heart Attack. Researchers analyzed data collected from 2,397 women and 1,175 men and found that women had more difficulty recovering from a heart attack than men, possibly due to the significantly higher levels of mental stress measured among the females in the study. The findings emphasize the need to consider how stress and other psychosocial factors can affect the recovery of patients following heart attack. American Heart Association, February 2015
Health Alert: Mercury Exposure May Be a Risk Factor for Autoimmune Diseases. Exposure to high levels of methylmercury is known to cause damage to the nervous system, and it can be particularly harmful to a developing fetus. Researchers now claim that even at levels considered to be safe, mercury exposure may be a risk factor for autoimmune disorders in women of childbearing age. They found that the higher the levels of mercury detected in women, the higher the levels of autoantibodies, proteins that are a characteristic of autoimmune diseases. Lead researcher Dr. Emily Somers explains, “The presence of autoantibodies doesn’t necessarily mean they will lead to an autoimmune disease. However, we know that autoantibodies are significant predictors of future autoimmune disease, and may predate the symptoms and diagnosis of an autoimmune disease by years.”
Environmental Health Perspectives, February 2015
Diet: Low Vitamin D Levels During Childhood Linked to Heart Risks. A multi-decade study found that low vitamin D levels during childhood are associated with a significantly higher risk for artery hardening in adulthood. The findings highlight the need to ensure children get adequate levels of vitamin D in their diet or through sun exposure.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, February 2015
Exercise: Why Should We Exercise? The Mayo Clinic lists seven benefits of exercise, which include the following: helps controls weight, helps combat chronic health conditions and diseases, improves mood, boosts energy levels, promotes better sleep, reduces stress, and it can even be fun! As a general rule, strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
Mayo Clinic, February 2015
Chiropractic: Resolution of Plantar Fasciitis Following Adjustments. In this case study, a 23-year-old woman with plantar fasciitis presented for chiropractic care. Her previous medical care included prescription orthotics, stretching, and Ibuprofen, all which failed
to resolve her heel pain and related symptoms. Her chiropractic treatment regimen consisted of adjustment to the spine and lower extremities, ultrasound therapy, taping of the foot, and neuromuscular re-education. Over the course of ten treatments, the patient noted improvements in both pain and function, supporting the benefits of multi-modal chiropractic management of plantar fasciitis. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, October 2014
Wellness/Prevention: Naps Improve Your Health. A new report claims that brief daytime naps can protect against the harmful health effects of a poor night’s sleep. The study included eleven healthy men and revealed that naps appear to return the hormones and proteins involved in stress response and immune function to more normal levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lack of sleep can increase the risk of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression, and decreased sleep is also linked to reduced work productivity, as well as an increased risk of traffic and industrial accidents. Study author Dr. Brice Faraut adds, “Napping may offer a way to counter the damaging effects of sleep restriction by helping the immune and neuroendocrine systems to recover. The findings support the development of practical strategies for addressing chronically sleep- deprived populations, such as night and shift workers.” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, February 2015
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