Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stress Management: An Inexpensive Necessary Modality for Nurses from Nurse Together

Most nurses, as most people, often pay little or no attention to the cumulative effects that chronic daily stress has on their bodies, which materially affects their ability to care for themselves and, in turn, relate to and care for their patients, until it is too late.

Chronic daily stress also creates a significant threat to the emotional health of nursing staff, and since the degree to which a nurse is emotionally healthy affects the extent to which he or she can meet job expectations, hospital administrators, as well as the individual, must find modalities to manage these threats. Doing nothing will lead to increased insurance premiums for health insurance, workersʻ compensation insurance and general liability insurance, all of which materially affect the “bottom line” for the hospital, and greatly impact the “quality of life” of the nurse.

For the full article please go here.

Health Care Articles Blog

Please visit our new "Health Care Articles" BLOG


You are invited to submit your articles for consideration to be published.
Please send inquiries to: info@aihcp.org

5 Tips to Give Yourself a Break! from Huffington Post

There's a great lyric from the movie "Once" that goes like this: "... you have suffered enough and warred with yourself. It's time that you won." If you're up to something, your own business, raising kids or just about any pursuit, you'll be better off if you can stay positive and give yourself a break.

"Happy employees produce more than unhappy ones over the long term ... Moreover, they're not sprinters; they're more like marathon runners, in it for the long haul." ("Creating Sustainable Performance," Harvard Business Review, January-February 2012, Gretchen Spreitzer, Christine Porath)

Don't you want to be your own "happy employee"?

For the full article please go here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Continuing Education from Nurse Together

As Registered Nurses or Licensed Practical Nurses, fulfilling continuing education credits or units (CEU) is a requirement for the profession—it is necessary for relicensing. In certain states we are required to fulfill a certain number of CEUs every two years. Obtaining an education credit can be accomplished by reading a journal, attending a seminar, watching a video—any of these would relate to the practice of nursing. Completing CEU’s sounds like a wonderful idea, however, some members of the nursing profession disagree. After all, competence has been demonstrated by the proof of licensure and associated renewal, so mandating further credit hours seems redundant. To fully examine the debate: “Should Continuing Education be Mandatory?” consider the following pro versus con arguments:

For the full article please go here.

Boldly Going Where No Capsule Has Gone Before from H and HN

OK, so many of my get-rich-quick schemes haven't been what you would call blockbusters. My closest friends, family and even financial adviser scoffed several years ago when I came up with the idea for a new delicacy: Tuna on a Stick. Go ahead, laugh, but have you ever been to the Taste of Chicago? They sell everything on a stick at that exhibition of gluttony, so why not tuna? I had a grand vision of franchising all over Chicago, eventually expanding the menu to mackerel, red snapper, even Mahi Mahi (wouldn't you know it, a few years later when the Minnesota Twins' new ballpark Target Field opened, the concession stands boasted "Walleye Skewer" and "Pork Chop on a Stick").

More recently, I had the idea of creating a giant wiper blade that could descend from the top of a skyscraper to swoosh away the rain. Attach a hose or some sort of spraying mechanism and it also negates the need to have workers dangle hundreds of feet above the sidewalk with sponges and squeegees.

For the full article please go here.

Age-Related Memory Loss More Common in Men from Health.com

WEDNESDAY, January 25, 2012 — Men in their 70s and 80s may be more likely than women of the same age to develop the memory loss and cognitive problems that often herald Alzheimer’s disease, a new study has found.

In the study, which appears in the journal Neurology, Mayo Clinic researchers examined 1,450 elderly people in Minnesota every 15 months for an average of three and a half years. During that time, 7.2% of the men and 5.7% of the women developed the mental-function problems known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), with or without any accompanying memory loss.

The findings surprised the researchers because previous studies have suggested that more women than men ultimately go on to develop Alzheimer’s and other forms of full-blown dementia. The fact that men appear to have higher rates of MCI but lower rates of dementia may hold important clues for preventing or delaying cognitive decline, the researchers suggest.

For the full article please go here.

7 Reasons Working Too Much Is Bad For Your Health from Huffington Post

If you're the last one to leave the office, or constantly picking up an extra shift, you may see the benefits in that paycheck, but all those extra hours are also affecting your health.

A study released this week found that workers clocking at least 11 hours a day have a higher risk of depression than people working a standard seven- or eight-hour day. And that finding joins a host of others suggesting a link between clocking long hours and serious health problems.

Luckily, the weekend offers us a two-day respite from the stresses of all those long days. Below, we've compiled some of the ways working too much hurts your health, as well as a few of our favorite ways to

For the full article please go here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Benefits of Becoming a Health and Wellness Nurse Coach from Nurse Together

The amount of dedication provided by nurses is amazing. We are always there for our patients, sometimes going above and beyond our call of duty because we enjoy what we do, and find an amazing gratification from our work as a nurse.

What if you could take the benefits of nursing up a notch by using a more direct approach in helping our clients to live healthier lifestyles?

Many nurses are turning to health and wellness coaching in various fields, such as patient education and disease management. For people who wish to have a more personal contact with the options available to their circumstances, as well as those aiming to effectively manage various life changes, health and wellness nurse coaches are the next logical step in their search for better health and wellbeing.

For the full article please go here.

5 Health Tests You Need to Ace This Year from Yahoo News

No matter how fit you are, you can't change health risk factors like your genes, your family history, your race, or your age. Other aspects of your lifestyle count, too, including how you manage stress and your eating habits. The best way to safeguard your long-term health is to catch troublesome issues early, so ask your doctor about adding these screenings to your calendar.

There are no early symptoms of high BP (hypertension), but the longer it goes unnoticed--and untreated--the more damage occurs to your heart and blood vessels, upping your chances of a heart attack or stroke. With every birthday your risk goes up. Your favorite foods also play a role, with salt, saturated fats, and too much alcohol being top aggravators. Certain medicines can also raise BP.

For the full article please go here.

Working Long Hours Doubles Depression Odds from Health.com

WEDNESDAY, January 25, 2012 (Health.com) — Working long hours appears to substantially increase a person’s risk of becoming depressed, regardless of how stressful the actual work is, a new study suggests.

The study, which followed 2,123 British civil servants for six years, found that workers who put in an average of at least 11 hours per day at the office had roughly two and a half times higher odds of developing depression than their colleagues who clocked out after seven or eight hours.

The link between long workdays and depression persisted even after the researchers took into account factors such as job strain, the level of support in the workplace, alcohol use, smoking, and chronic physical diseases.

For the full article please go here.

5 Surprising Reasons to Drink Water from Yahoo News

Of all the food and beverage choices you face every day, what's calorie-free, virtually cost-free, and, oh yes, essential to keeping you alive? Plain ol' water. But those aren't the only reasons to drink it.

"Water drives basic body performance," says Beth Reardon, director of nutrition for Duke Integrative Medicine, part of the Duke University Health System. "All of the systems in the body require water for proper functioning, and so do 90 percent of all chemical reactions in the body."

Here are the top five reasons to quench your thirst with water.

For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cut Your Risk of Diabetes from Huffington Post

Do you eat the typical American diet, high in soft drinks (including diet soda), white flour, French fries and processed meats like cold cuts and hot dogs?

Eating that way can increase your risk of developing diabetes by 300 percent.

Are you carrying around extra weight? That raises the risk of getting diabetes a lot. A woman who is mildly obese -- for example, weighing 190 at 5'6" tall -- has a 55 percent chance of getting diabetes. A man who is mildly obese, for instance, who weighs 225 pounds and is 6 feet tall -- has a 57 percent chance of developing diabetes.

This can be prevented, and I will share with you the exciting research on nutrition and foods that can help prevent and reverse diabetes in a moment. But first, a closer look at the problem.

For the full article please go here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Nurses Coping with Daily Stress: 10 Strategies from Nurse Together

In an ideal world, the nurse would arrive to work well rested, would have all of her personal affairs intact so as not to interfere with her work, and she would never need to go out for a smoke break. She would have an ideal body weight with a healthy and consistent diet. The nurse in the ideal world would always have the opportunity to take a lunch break, would be successfully climbing the career ladder, would not need to take prescriptions to help with mood, sleep or stress, and would endure a whole shift without any physical pain. In this imaginary utopia, nurses would watch out for each other and would always be there to assist one another, they would encourage each other routinely, and they would also be immune to being scoffed at, ignored or demeaned by any other healthcare worker.

For the full article please go here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nurses, Take the Stress and Expense Out of Fitness from Nurse Together

NurseTogether.com has partnered with Tanya Stroh Training Solutions to bring you NurseTogether.GetInShapeForFREE.net, a brand new fitness and exercise website that features our national “6 Week Shape UP Challenge for Nurses.” This complete fitness program was created and designed by certified personal trainer and fitness expert Tanya Stroh with her Sequential Progression approach to fitness. The website is completely FREE and available to nurses who have the desire to be fit and healthy. Tanya's philosophy has always been that a fit and healthy lifestyle is a process that you build upon; that is why her approach to exercise is so effective. Her clients have successfully improved and achieved their health and fitness goals because of this approach. And now with NurseTogether.GetInShapeForFREE.net, so can YOU! Log on everyday to get your brand new fitness routine and your daily ‘fitness facts videos!’

For the full article please go here.

In denial: Why we’re still stressed

Stress in America, the American Psychological Association’s annual survey, came out last week.

The results were not particularly shocking. Large numbers of Americans are stressed out. Many, extremely so. And far too many are failing to take adequate action to alleviate the stress in their lives.

All of which led my editors to wonder: If we recognize the negative health implications of high stress levels - heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and depression, among others - then why are so many of us doing such a poor job at managing it?

The answer, according to the experts I consulted, may be a sort of willful blindness known as the “optimism bias.”

For the full article please go here.

Insomnia In The U.S. Is Still A Pressing Public Health Problem, Study Shows from Huffington Post

Sleep is a major problem for many Americans, according to a new report that acts as a kind of "state-of-insomnia" in the U.S. The review, published online Thursday night by the medical journal The Lancet, finds that nearly a quarter of adults are unhappy with their sleep patterns, while up to 10 percent meet the criteria for full-fledged insomnia -- putting them at a greater risk for depression, hypertension and diabetes.

"Insomnia has traditionally been trivialized," paper co-author Charles Morin, Ph.D, a sleep researcher and professor at the Universite Laval in Quebec City, told HuffPost. "Now that we know a little bit more about its long-term consequences, it's getting a bit more attention."

More attention, maybe, but experts agree that insomnia remains a pressing public health problem.

To better assess just how pressing it is, researchers studied several scientific databases, synthesizing findings from major original studies, meta-analyses and systemic reviews from the last five or so years.

For the full article please go here.

5 Intriguing Facts About Intuitive Eating From Huffington Post

For the full article please go here. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Evelyn Tribole, one of the co-authors of Intuitive Eating. For professionals who work with eating issues, she is like a rock star. Evelyn and her co-author, Elyse Resch, were among the first authors to provide a clear alternative to dieting. They wrote a compelling book to help people understand why it is important to throw away the fad diet books and stop obsessively stepping on the scale. The approach is compassionate and healing. It has been a lifesaver for men and women around the world who struggle with their eating, weight and body image.

In a nutshell, intuitive eating has taught people how to plug back into their bodies. It's using your natural, internal wisdom to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. As we all know, this is much easier said than done. Yet, people who have learned intuitive eating skills will attest to the fact that it can be done.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

In Cardiovascular Disease, Is It The Alcohol Or Polyphenols In Red Wine That Benefits Patients? from Medical News Today

Observational epidemiologic studies relating wine and alcohol to health all suffer from the fact that they, of necessity, compare people who prefer certain beverages, but not the beverages themselves. While there have been many intervention trials in animals, randomized trials in humans are less common. Randomized crossover trials, in which each subject receives all interventions in sequence, can be especially important as they tend to avoid baseline differences among subjects and can detect effects of different interventions with smaller numbers of subjects.

This study by Chiva-Blanch G et al, just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, included 67 male volunteers in Spain who were considered to be at "high-risk" of cardiovascular disease on the basis of increased BMI, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, or other risk factors. About one half of the individuals were taking ACE inhibitors, statins, aspirin, and/or oral hypoglycemic drugs, so the results of this study may be especially relevant for patients in the real world.

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Food For Memory: 5 Foods That Age Your Brain from Huffington Post

A healthy diet is about more than keeping yourself fit and free of heart disease, wrinkles and impotence (yes, all are related to food!). It's about preserving your memory, too.

For instance, eating high amounts of saturated fat -- more than four grams in an hour -- can raise the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood, which can stick to your arteries, and, even worse, turn on inflammatory genes that result in those wrinkles, poor organic quality, and you got it, that gunk in your brain that makes your memory be less than it is now.

The same arterial plaque buildup from this saturated fat -- we call it a food felon -- that leads to heart disease is a major culprit for vascular dementia -- when the brain neurons become inflamed or don't get enough oxygen and blood flow. Inflammation and lack of oxygen (resulting from that donut or sugary soda) result in accelerated memory loss.

This gives serious meaning to the phrase "eating to forget."

For the full article please go here.

Gossip Could Lower Stress And Prevent Exploitation, Study Suggests from Huffington Post

Gossip may not be as evil as society makes it out to be, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, found that gossiping can actually lower stress, stop exploitation of others and police others' bad behavior.

The study included four experiments, all of which included a game with a cheater who hoarded points.

Researchers found that when people in the study saw someone acting badly, their heart rates increased. But researchers found that it helped their heart rates when they were able to share what they witnessed with someone else, particularly to warn them of the potential exploitation.

For the full article please go here.

How Three Top Yoga Masters Find Balance, Both On and Off the Mat from Huffington Post

share this story
Get Healthy Living Alerts
Sign Up
Submit this story

The other day in yoga class I was pretty pleased with my bound triangle pose when the teacher suggested we scooch our back foot forward and then raise the front leg into the air. I pushed my leg closer and found what I thought was my balancing point, but let's just say trying to lift my other leg was a very humbling experience.

Balance has always been my strong suit, so I wasn't totally surprised by the negative, self-judging commentary that quickly ran through my mind. What was unexpected was how long it stayed in there -- quite a few hours, I'm reluctant to admit -- until I was finally able to disconnect my awkward center of gravity from my self-worth.

I know that living our yoga both on and off the mat is challenging. After all, I based my entire novel around that idea. But my recent self-flagellation got me to wondering how more adept yoga masters triumph over such trials -- and if they even have them in the first place.

For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Experts’ Guide to a Healthier You from Health.com

By Jamie Beckman
From Health magazine

So you’ve resolved to kick your healthy living up a notch in the new year. Good for you!

Where to start? "It’s a combination of lifestyle habits that makes the difference," says Susan Love, MD, president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. So we polled top docs for totally doable tricks that offer big benefits.

For the full article please go here.

Destress your life in 10 easy steps from CNN

(CNN) -- The gloomy days of January can be the most miserable and stressful of the year, but it doesn't have to be this way. If you follow this ten step guide to destressing your life, then the next few weeks just might become the most serene and fulfilling ones of the year.

One step should be carried out on each of the next 10 days. They're based on the ideas found in the international best-seller "Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World."

The book uses a program based on mindfulness meditation developed by us at Oxford University in the United Kingdom to relieve anxiety, stress, exhaustion and depression. Mindfulness has proved in some clinical trials to be at least as effective as drugs or counseling for dealing with these conditions.

So what is this mindfulness?

For the full article please go here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cancer Treatment With Minor Side Effects from Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Jan. 6, 2012) — Side effects are currently the biggest problem with any cancer treatment. A Norwegian biotech company is drawing closer to the goal of creating a treatment which kills only cancer cells, leaving other cells unaffected.

It is not difficult to find a drug that destroys cancer cells. The problem lies in the fact that a drug's active substances kill not only diseased cells but also other cells in the body. This is why the side effects accompanying traditional cancer treatment are often so severe.

Trying to eliminate side effects

The dream of any cancer researcher is to come up with a medication that works solely against a cancerous tumour -- without adversely affecting the rest of the body.

For the full article please go here.

7 Steps to Make Healthy Living a Lifetime Habit from Huffington Post

1. Accept the need to change.

You must take responsibility for your present condition and understand that you are not a victim of your past but claim the power to shape your future. No matter what may have held you back (late-night snacking, cocktails after work, no time to exercise, depression, emotional eating, fatigue, poor eating habits or sugar addiction) you still have the power today to change the choices you make for your future. If you want a different outcome then you must accept that what you've been doing up until now is not working, so you must make a change. The only person that can change your life is you.

2. Make the essential connection to honor your mind, body and spirit as a whole.

You are a whole person that consists of mind, body and spirit going through life, craving to feel balanced. If areas in your life such as career, relationships, finances, creativity, home cooking, spirituality, joy, social life, home environment, education, health and physical activity are off-balance then your body will respond. You must learn to listen to your body and take the time necessary to reclaim your balance. If you keep going on auto-pilot, ignoring the signals that your body gives you, then you'll end up sacrificing your health and happiness. Some of those stress and off-balance signals are headaches, migraines, poor digestion, constipation, anxiety, depression, increase appetite, loss of appetite... and the list goes on. Discover the problem -- don't ignore it, or it will develop into a bigger health problem. When you take care of yourself first you will be stronger and more capable of taking care of everyone else.

For the full article please go here.

It's Time to End Our Obsession With Positive Thinking from Huffington Post

"Don't worry, be happy."

This well-meaning piece of advice was the chorus of a popular 80s song by Bobby McFerrin. It also probably represents the general philosophical attitude of western society in terms of how to maximize our quality of life.

There is a wonderful intuitiveness to such advice. Worry and other negative thoughts cause negative emotions, which are not pleasant. Conversely, happiness and thinking positively feel good. Easy choice, right?

"Think positively" and "the power of positive thinking" have become trademark slogans in our society. From self-help magazine articles to motivational speakers to friends and family, it has become folklore wisdom -- fill your mind with positivity and you shall reap the mental health benefits.

For the full article please go here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coffee Drinkers At Reduced Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes from Medical News Today

Why do heavy coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a disease on the increase around the world that can lead to serious health problems? Scientists are offering a new solution to that long-standing mystery in a report in ACS' Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry.

Ling Zheng, Kun Huang and colleagues explain that previous studies show that coffee drinkers are at a lower risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90-95 percent of diabetes cases in the world. Those studies show that people who drink four or more cups of coffee daily have a 50 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. And every additional cup of coffee brings another decrease in risk of almost 7 percent. Scientists have implicated the misfolding of a substance called human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) in causing Type 2 diabetes, and some are seeking ways to block that process. Zheng and Huang decided to see if coffee's beneficial effects might be due to substances that block hIAPP.

For the full article please go here.

10 Techniques to Increase Motivation and Willpower from Huffington Post

For many of us, the New Year represents a time to reflect upon and resolve to follow through with healthy changes we want (and need) to make. In the beginning, keeping up with a new exercise or eating plan, for example, generally comes pretty easily. Motivation and willpower are high -- quite evident by the packed gyms we see every January. But after a few weeks, motivation tends to lag and willpower runs dry, and we revert to our former, less-healthy ways. For most people, it's not intuitively obvious what to do to preserve our resolutions and reach our goals, but cognitive behavior therapy (a form of psychotherapy that targets maladaptive and unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviors) can help boost our ability to stay on track (and get back on track when we lapse).

This blog will be the first in a series designed to teach you specific cognitive (thinking) and behavioral skills that will help you increase your motivation and willpower whenever it begins to lag. I will use dieting and healthy eating (and weight loss maintenance) as the major example, but the techniques I will describe may be applied to other goals as well: sticking to a budget, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and becoming organized, to name a few common ones. Below you will find a list of essential skills. I will describe how to implement them throughout this series.

For the full article please go here.

7 Steps to Make Healthy Living a Lifetime Habit from Huffington Post

1. Accept the need to change.

You must take responsibility for your present condition and understand that you are not a victim of your past but claim the power to shape your future. No matter what may have held you back (late-night snacking, cocktails after work, no time to exercise, depression, emotional eating, fatigue, poor eating habits or sugar addiction) you still have the power today to change the choices you make for your future. If you want a different outcome then you must accept that what you've been doing up until now is not working, so you must make a change. The only person that can change your life is you.

For the full article please go here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reduce Costs by Increasing Value to the Patient from H and HN

By Jeffrey D. Selberg January 12, 2012

Encouraging healthier behaviors, respecting patients' time, coordinating care, promoting smart shopping and reforming payment systems — all will provide better value to the patient and lower costs.

An all-too-familiar institutional response, when facing the challenge of reducing health care costs, is to reduce health care benefits. But that approach entails limiting access to care, lowering health quality, and increasing out-of-pocket costs for patients — all of which run contrary to better health and better care at a lower cost.

A better way — and one that aligns with patient-centered care — is increasing value to the patient. We can do that by reducing waste and rewarding quality.
The Scope of the Waste Problem

Noriaki Kano, the renowned expert on quality management known for his leadership on customer satisfaction, identified six categories of waste in health care that are especially relevant: delay, rework (performing the same task a second time), overproduction, movement (unnecessary transportation of people, products or information), defects, and waste of spirit and skill.

For the full article please go here.

Cancer Deaths - Enormous Drop Over Last 20 Years, USA fro Medical News Today

Over the last twenty years, more than one million deaths from cancer have been avoided, researchers reported in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Death rates for the most common cancers, including colon, breast, prostate and lung cancers have been dropping steadily year after year. However, some rarer cancers, such has kidney, thyroid, liver and pancreas cancers have seen death rates and total incidences rise.

In its annual report, titled "Cancer Statistics 2012", plus an accompanying article "Cancer Facts & Figures 2012", the authors estimate how many new cancer diagnoses and cancer deaths there will be this year in the USA.

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nurses, Be Stress Free in 10 Seconds from Nurse Together

The term stress refers to any demands either physical or emotional placed on the body. It is the body’s normal mechanism to kick up our metabolism and energy to meet the body’s demands. It readies us for the emotional and physical challenges we face throughout our lives. Some degree of stress is an advantage that peaks our performance by heightening awareness and stimulating the body. Then why is stress so bad for us? As nurses, you all know the answer to that question, and you see the effects of stress every day in the work you do and the patients you care for that are victims of prolonged stress that has led to disease. You also work in incredibly stressful environments, not only because of the responsibility you have to your patients, but also the pressures of the modern healthcare environment. In order for you to stay healthy, you need to control your stress.

In reality, stress for the most part is an unrealized fear. Most of what we worry about and are stressed about never comes to bear but we worry about it anyway. I love this quote from Marcus Aurelius:

For the full article please go here.

What Your Looks Say About Your Health from Health.com

Good looks, good health?

By Karen Pallarito

Good health often is reflected in an attractive, youthful appearance. So you might be tempted to blame aging and stress for facial lines, unsightly fingernails, or hair loss when, in fact, these flaws can signal underlying health issues, says integrative medicine specialist Molly M. Roberts, MD, of the Institute for Health & Healing, in San Francisco, and president of the American Holistic Medical Association.

"It'll start by whispering, then it'll start talking, and, if you don't pay attention, it'll start yelling and shouting, and then you've got an illness,” she says.

Here are 15 physical signs that trouble may be lurking beneath the skin's surface.

For the full article please go here.

Type 1 Diabetes Reversed With Stem Cells From Cord Blood from Medical News Today

Stem cells from cord blood "re-educated" the immune system T cells of people with type 1 diabetes so their pancreas started producing insulin again, thereby reducing the amount of insulin they needed to inject. These are the findings of a study led by Dr Yong Zhao, from University of Illinois at Chicago that were published online on Tuesday in the open access journal BMC Medicine.

Type 1 diabetes develops when the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing islet beta cells in the pancreas. As a result, the body can't make insulin, causing blood glucose to reach dangerous levels and damage all the organs in the body.

For the full article please go here.

The Neuroscience Of Optimism from Huffington Post

By Christoph W. Kon

Ask a bride before walking down the aisle “How likely are you to get divorced?” and most will respond “Not a chance!” Tell her that the average divorce rate is close to 50 percent, and ask again. Would she change her mind? Unlikely. Even law students who have learned everything about the legal aspects of divorce, including its likelihood, state that their own chances of getting divorced are basically nil. How can we explain this?

Psychologists have documented human optimism for decades. They have learned that people generally overestimate their likelihood of experiencing positive events, such as winning the lottery, and underestimate their likelihood of experiencing negative events, such as being involved in an accident or suffering from cancer. Informing people about their statistical likelihood of experiencing negative events, such as divorce, is surprisingly ineffective at altering their optimistic predictions, and highlighting previously unknown risk factors for diseases fails to engender realistic perceptions of medical vulnerability. How can people maintain their rose-colored views of the future in the face of reality? Which neural processes are involved in people’s optimistic predictions?

For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

7 Heart-Healthy Foods from Health.com

The heart smart diet

From Health magazine

"Certain key foods can dramatically reduce your heart disease risk," says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Add these superfoods today for a healthier heart.

For the full article please go here.

Americans hit the brakes on health care spending from MSNBC

U.S. healthcare spending barely rose in 2010 from record-low recession levels, as high unemployment and the loss of private health insurance forced many Americans to delay or forego medical treatment, government officials said on Monday.

Spending edged up 3.9 percent, bringing the total size of the U.S. healthcare system to $2.6 trillion, or $8,402 per person, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, and published in the journal Health Affairs.

Growth in 2010 was only a slim 0.1 percentage point higher than the 3.8 percent recorded in 2009, which was the lowest rate recorded in half a century. Per capita health spending in the United States is still the highest worldwide.

"It's absolutely clear what's going on," said William Galston of the Brookings Institution. "People's budgets have been hard-hit, and even if they have 20 percent co-pays from their insurance companies, that 20 percent may still be too much."

For the full article please go here.

Has Yoga Lost Its Soul? Part I: Selling Out and Innovating from Huffington Post

From the Mountain to Wall Street

Gone are the days of the loin clothed yogi meditating alone on a mountaintop, unless of course said loin cloth is made of wickable polyester blend, fits your body like a glove and retails for $100 a pop and the yogi in question has worldwide appearances and a DVD series purchasable on Amazon.com. Oh, and don't forget to check their Twitter feed.

In the ancient tradition of yoga, a teacher's modest living requirements were provided by their students. "Some may offer the teacher a bag of rice, a small bowl of sugar, some clothes, a place to rest, whatever one's capacity was," said Sister Sukanya of the spiritual organization Brahma Kumaris. "The teacher just shares the knowledge with the students... there was no commercial interest involved, the only interest was the transferring of knowledge."

For the full article please go here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pain Management in the Elderly: 7 Things to Consider from Nurse Together

Improved management of chronic pain can significantly reduce disability in older adults, according to an issue of the What's Hot newsletter from The Gerontological Society of America.

Pain in aging adults has historically been poorly reported, recognized and managed. There has been a lack of identifying pain as a real problem in the elderly, particularly in long term care facilities and patients with Alzheimer's or other dementias.

We know how pain can affect us in our daily activities: A terrible headache or backache will limit our activity, decrease our concentration, and affect our mood. We can take an over the counter or prescription medication, use heat or ice, and reduce or resolve the pain, and go on with our day.

For the full article please go here.

Junk Food: The Bane of Health and Health Providers By John W. Bluford from Hospitals and Health News

Editor's note: John Bluford, president and CEO of Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, Mo. and immediate past chairman of the American Hospital Association, is guest blogging today.

When you journey to the safety net hospitals and clinics that serve some of the neediest Americans, you will invariably find yourself in the heart of the urban core.

Nearby you will see establishments such as liquor stores, convenience stores and fast food restaurants. But more significant is what you typically will not see: grocery stores that offer a wide variety of healthy foods at affordable prices.

This is certainly the case at the urban core campus of Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, MO., where I am the president and CEO. TMC is one of the most crucial safety net hospitals in the Kansas City area, providing services to more than 56,000 medical home patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension and obesity.

For the full article please go here.

Visualizing wellness for 2012 from CNN

(CNN) -- The last time you went to the doctor's office, you probably got some numbers representing your pulse, blood pressure, maybe even cholesterol and weight. But what does that really mean for you?

Alexander Tsiaras, founder of theVisualMD, wants you to be able to see the processes that are making you as healthy or as sick as you are and act on that knowledge. TheVisualMD has detailed, colorful libraries that visualize aspects of sickness and health based on real medical data, and it is now presenting a new tool for breaking bad habits in 2012.

The new program, which launched this week, is called "The 9 Visual Rules of Wellness." Each rule is accompanied by a slew of videos, visualizations and interactive graphics. More components of wellness rules will be rolled out every Monday over the next several months until April 9.

For the full article please go here.

5 Ways You Waste Time and How to Stop from Huffington Post

When surveyed, the most popular subject on which HG life coaching clients wanted coaching was time management. So I am dedicating today's blog to helping you stop squandering your time and feeling out of control about it. We live in an age where you can't possibly get everything done. It's time to accept that. But, I still want you to get a lot of dreams accomplished and feel great about what you do with your days. It's important to face the fact that time is the currency of life and it's sacred. You cannot accomplish everything, but you can accomplish a lot of what is important to you with awareness, smart thinking and good promises. Now, read on for five ways you waste time and how to stop.

For the full article please go here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs Expected in 2012 via Yahoo News

Bionic limbs, a smart mouthguard to monitor athletes for concussions, and genetically modified mosquitoes designed to reduce disease are among the Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2012 selected by a panel of Cleveland Clinic doctors and scientists during its annual Medical Innovation Summit.

Here’s a look at the amazing therapies and game-changing technologies expected to dramatically reshape healthcare—and save lives—this year:

For the full article please go here.

Small Business: Doctors going broke via Yahoo News

Doctors in America are harboring an embarrassing secret: Many of them are going broke.

This quiet reality, which is spreading nationwide, is claiming a wide range of casualties, including family physicians, cardiologists and oncologists.

Industry watchers say the trend is worrisome. Half of all doctors in the nation operate a private practice. So if a cash crunch forces the death of an independent practice, it robs a community of a vital health care resource.

"A lot of independent practices are starting to see serious financial issues," said Marc Lion, CEO of Lion & Company CPAs, LLC, which advises independent doctor practices about their finances.

Doctors list shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, rising business and drug costs among the factors preventing them from keeping their practices afloat. But some experts counter that doctors' lack of business acumen is also to blame.

For the full article please go here.

Vietnam surgery removes tumor twice man's weight from CNN

(CNN) -- A Vietnamese man is recovering in the intensive care unit Friday, a day after surgery that completely removed from his right leg a tumor twice his body weight, according to the hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.

The growing tumor had rendered the patient, Nguyen Duy Hai, virtually immobile until his surgery.

The excised tumor weighed 180 pounds (82 kilos), according to the hospital, a bit less than the 200 pounds (90 kilos) estimated before surgery.

Hai, 31, of Da Lat City, has Von Recklinghausen's neurofibromatosis, said Dr. Jean-Marcel Guillon, chief executive officer of FV Hospital, where the 12-hour procedure was performed.

For the full article please go here.

12 Nutrition Swaps for 2012 from Huffington Post

It's a new year, and plenty of us are resolving to lose weight, exercise more and eat less. I'd like to propose a resolution makeover... Don't just aim to eat less and deprive yourself, instead upgrade what you are currently eating to give your body the wholesome, energizing foods it needs. Below are 12 small diet swaps you can do that will add up to a big payoff for weight loss and optimal health...

For the full article please go here

Thursday, January 5, 2012

When eating healthy turns obsessive from CNN

In a vegan café in New York City, Nisha Moodley pushes a glass crusted with the remnants of a berry-açai-almond milk smoothie across the table and begins listing the foods she excised from her diet six years ago.

"Factory-farmed meats; hormone-laden dairy; conventional non-organic fruits and vegetables; anything hydrogenated; anything microwaved," the slender 32-year-old health coach says. "I would not eat irradiated food; charred or blackened foods; artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweetener; MSG; white rice; sugar; table salt; or anything canned.

Back then, a typical breakfast for Moodley consisted of buckwheat mixed with seaweed, raw cacao powder, flax oil, and flax seeds. Lunch was usually homemade brown rice with lentils, fresh vegetables, and kale, followed by a mid-afternoon snack of homemade flax-seed-and-buckwheat crackers. And for dinner, a salad with garbanzo beans, avocado, carrots, beets, and mushrooms.

Moodley initially adopted this diet to address recurring bad digestion. But her commitment to healthy eating -- something to be commended, ordinarily -- turned into an obsession that took over her life. "I was terrified of food that didn't fit within my idea of what was healthy," Moodley says. "I was terrified of cancer, of dying."

For the full article please go here.

Jumpstart Weight Loss Resolutions With Yoga from Huffington Post

Every year, one of the top New Year's resolutions is to lose weight -- and for a good reason. According to the CDC, two out of every three Americans are overweight or obese. We're in the midst of an obesity epidemic and the numbers are increasing worldwide. Many of us are affected by this epidemic, either personally or through our families or friends.

Studies show that successful weight management depends on a healthy lifestyle. The conventional prescription for achieving and maintaining your best weight is still the healthiest -- through lifestyle education, eating a healthful, balanced diet, cutting calories and 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

For the full article please go here.

6 Things Patients Can Do to Improve Health Care from Huffington Post

It seems that the majority of people agree that the health care delivery system in this country is badly broken and in need of revamping. I must admit I am extremely dismayed at the huge numbers of people who point a quick finger at "money hungry" doctors as the main reason that the system is failing. Until you have run a medical practice and have paid the expenses necessary to run it, that opinion is baseless and dangerous.

While we can all agree that there are "bad apples" in every line of work, the "bad apples" in medicine simply are not the reason that we are in the crisis we find ourselves in. This is a gross oversimplification of a complex issue and one that is extraordinarily unfair to the dedicated physicians that serve the public. However, I will also say that physicians have every right to earn a great living and, just like everybody else in a capitalist system, deserve to be paid commensurate with their expertise, commitment and drive to succeed in their field.

For the full article please go here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nurses and Stress: Does It Affect Your Skin, Hair, Nails and More? from Nurse Together

A nurse recently asked me, “I’m under so much stress and I noticed changes in my hair, skin and nails. Is there any connection?” The answer is a big, fat yes.

One reason for poor hair, skin and nail health is due to the over secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. When it’s over secreted, it will look to replenish itself by borrowing components from our estrogen stores. Estrogen is a hormone which keeps us youthful so when stores become depleted, we age faster. (You know how someone “looks like they’ve had a hard life?” That’s the physical effects of over secreted stress hormones).

For the full article please go here.

7 Myths of Online Learning from Nurse Together

I am a proud RN and (many years ago) attended a traditional classroom program to earn my nursing degree! In 2007, I graduated the University of Phoenix's online program with my MBA. I can attest to the many myths regarding online or distance education, and can affirm the FACT that these are simply myths.

For the full article please go here.

Should Doctors Be ‘Parsimonious’ About Health Care? From Kaiser Health Care News

A major medical group issued ethical guidelines on Monday that take the provocative position of urging doctors to consider cost-effectiveness when deciding how to treat their patients.

The American College of Physicians, the second-largest U.S. doctors’ group after the American Medical Association, included the recommendation in the latest version of its ethics manual, which provides guidance for some 132,000 internists nationwide.

“The cost of health care in the United States is twice that of any other industrialized countries and we are not providing care to as many people as they do in other places, and we don’t even have as good outcomes,” said Dr. Virginia Hood, president of the group. “So given that, we really have to look at ways of doing things better.”

For the full article please go here.

Calories Trump Protein For Weight Loss from NPR

When it comes to keeping off fat, protein sounds to some like a magic bullet.

For decades, people have been making the case that eating a lot more of it, as in the Atkins diet, or lots less of it, will change the body's metabolism, spurring weight loss.

But alas, it ain't so easy.

No matter how much or how little protein ate, volunteers on a high-calorie diet all gained weight, concludes a study published in the latest issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The people on the low-protein diet did gain fewer pounds: about 6 pounds over eight weeks compared to about 13 pounds for those on a diet with a normal protein and 14 pounds for the high-protein plan.

For the full article please go here.

Immune-Boosting Superfoods For Cold And Flu Season from Huffington Post

First that nasty cold knocked out the IT department, then your desk-mate started sniffling. At this time of year, there seems to be a perpetual virus going around the office. One way to help? Load up on superfoods that give your immune system a fighting chance, but don't wait until you're already feeling under the weather. Studies show that infection-fighting nutrients like zinc, selenium and beta-glucans work better before symptoms start, so load up on healthful foods now to keep your body's defense system strong throughout the season.

For the full article please go here.

20 Fitness Trends For 2012 from Huffington Post

It's 2012, you've made your resolution and got that new gym membership. Now what? A survey of 2,600 fitness professionals conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine ranked the top 20 fitness trends for the coming year. But before you roll your eyes, consider that the latest picks aren't just about what's faddish or in fashion -- selections are often based on new research in the field of sports medicine, as well as slow-growing business trends. In other words: many of these areas of consumer fitness are here to stay.

"We really wanted to answer the question for both the consumer and the health fitness professional," explains Walter R. Thompson, the Regents' Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health, who has been the lead author of the survey since its inception six years ago. "What should they make an investment in?"

For the full article please go here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

5 reasons EHRs need to 'grow up' from HealthCareITNews.com

With Medicare's push toward shared savings and accountable care organizations, healthcare business models are getting more complex, said Shahid Shah, software IT analyst and author of the blog The Healthcare IT Guy. And according to him, the industry needs software to implement these new models.

“Due to the new intricacies of organizational connections between different providers, standardization of workflows on existing EHRs won’t really be possible," Shah says. "Most EHRs are not up to the task of handling the complexities of newly shared accountability and what I call ‘patient team’ business models, so we need EHRs to become more social, more collaborative, and far more integrated than they are now, EHRs need to grow up from the adolescence of basic electronic typewriters and chart storage systems to mature real-time care coordination and collaboration platforms.”

Shah gives us five more reasons EHRs need to “grow up.”

For the full article please go here.

Top 10 Food Label Tricks to Avoid in 2012 from Huffington Post

After overindulging during the holidays, many of us have resolved to eat a healthier diet in the new year. But doing so means choosing the right foods, and too often misleading food labels prompt us to purchase items that we think are good for us but really aren't. Here are 10 common labeling tricks to be aware of as you beef up your diet in 2012.

For the full article please go here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Most Controversial Health Stories of 2011 from Health.com

By Amanda MacMillan

If there's one thing you can say about 2011 from a health point of view, it's that it wasn't boring!

From killer vitamins to Charlie Sheen's excesses to scientists flip-flopping on the dangers of cell phones and salt, our heads are spinning as we sort through the headlines.

Here are our picks for the year's most buzz-worthy stories—share yours on facebook.com/heal

For the full article please go here.