The Best Apps for Managing Stress

Stress isn’t always a bad thing. In the short-term, low level stress can help us focus and improve our performance. It can give us the boost we need to finish a big project or make an important decision. However, I think we can all agree when we say that an overabundance of stress is the absolute worst.

First, a quick primer on stress: Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life.  When your brain perceives a threat (anything from a fast approaching deadline to a fast-approaching wild animal), it signals your body to release a burst of hormones that increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. This “fight-or-flight” response fuels you to deal with the stressful situation at hand. Once the threat (or stress-inducing trigger) is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal, relaxed state. However, given the nonstop complications of modern life,  many of us rarely return to that relaxed state, merely hopping from one stressor to another.

It’s easy to get stressed out from day-to-day demands. Luckily, there are healthy ways to manage your stress.

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Monday Morning Round-Up #8

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

Stanford and UC Berkeley researchers develop wearable sweat sensor as diagnostic tool via Mobi Health News 

In the form of a wrist-worn band embedded with flexibile sensors and microprocessers, researchers at Stanford and the University of California Berkeley are unlocking the molecular insights from sweat that could diagnose cystic fibrosis, diabetes and other diseases.

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Get the Most Out of Your iPhone with These Tips You Didn’t Know Existed

For many of us our iPhone is not just a phone, it’s an appendage. I don’t know what I would do without mine. When you realize all the things your iPhone can do that you didn’t even know about, you will love your phone even more! If you will be at COM today stop by room 211 at noon to learn a host of ways to get the most out of your iPhone at our monthly BYOL Lunch & Learn. If you can’t make it, here are three bonus tips you can start using today.

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Monday Morning Round-Up #7

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

American Heart Association survey finds patients uncertain about how to best manage their cholesterol via the American Heart Association

According to a new survey from the American Heart Association, nearly 90 percent of the patients with high cholesterol surveyed said they understood it was important to manage their cholesterol levels. But 45 percent said they weren’t confident in their ability to do so, and another 40 percent said they were confused about how to go about it.

How Apple, Google, and other tech titans aim to shake up the way we treat disease via Stat News

Silicon Valley has audacious plans for shaking up the way we diagnose — and cure — disease. But the life sciences are far more challenging than the tech titans of this world might realize: There are countless regulatory hurdles, health care delivery obstacles, and — most of all — the challenge of untangling the extraordinarily complex biology of the human body.

From physician to felon: A doctor warns how easy it is to be bribed via The Washington Post

On Tuesday, internist Michele Martinho spoke to a small audience at the Georgetown University School of Medicine as both a physician and a felon, her world upended by an aspect of medical practice for which she received no training despite all those years of education. She accepted monthly payments of $5,000 to refer patients to a New Jersey facility, Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services, for blood tests and other screenings. Such referrals are illegal in medicine because of the potential that doctors will put their financial interests ahead of the needs of their patients.

Incidence Trends of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes among Youths, 2002–2012 via The New England Journal of Medicine

More children are being diagnosed with diabetes every year — but the extent of those increases differs dramatically across ethnic groups. A new paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the incidence of type 1 diabetes in kids rose by 1.8 percent annually between 2002 and 2012. But in Hispanic children the rise was 4.2 percent. A similar trend was seen with type 2 diabetes: The annual rise was .6 percent for white children, compared to 3.1 percent for Hispanics, 6.3 percent for blacks, 8.5 percent for Asians and Pacific Islanders, and 8.9 percent for Native Americans.

Asbestos Deaths Remain A Public Health Concern, CDC Finds via NPR

A recent CDC analysis found that thousands of people are still dying each year from a type of cancer called malignant mesothelioma that is associated with inhaling asbestos fibers, even briefly or in small amounts. Even after decades of regulation, between 1999 and 2015 there were 45,221 mesothelioma deaths in the U.S. The majority of those who died were men.

Spring Reading List: Find Your Motivation

It’s HSL Book Club Day! This spring we’ve been reading Drive: The Surprising Truth Abut What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink. Drive explains how traditional motivators used in business (think carrots and sticks) don’t always work to get people to do what they need to do, and how some people are just not wired to be motivated by such extrinsic rewards. Today we’re sharing some other good reads to keep your motivation engine humming.

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Working Outside: Making it Work for You

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 11/19/15.

Feeling a little down sitting at your desk? Or is the stress of the day making you irritable and overwhelmed? The remedy may be closer than you think – a short stint outside could be just what the doctor ordered!

In 2005, Richard Louv coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder” to describe the feelings of anxiety and depression that many people feel when they spend too little time outside. There’s a reason we all fondly remember recess from our childhood – taking a brief break from the hard chairs and florescent lights of our offices and classrooms can make a huge difference in our health and mood. This beneficial time outside is something adult Americans are largely missing. Read on to discover the health benefits of taking your work outside, as well as some tips on how to make working outside possible and productive.

COM

The College of Medicine Health Sciences Campus has plenty of greenspace to take advantage of!

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5 Reasons to Eat Seasonally

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on March 24th, 2016. 

As you walk through the produce aisles of your favorite grocery store, you may notice different fruits and vegetables on display sporting messages like “At Seasons Peak!” or “Now In Season!” throughout the year. If you’ve never thought about grabbing those veggies while they’re hot, maybe you should! As National Nutrition Month slowly comes to a close, take a moment to introduce yourself to the concept of Seasonal Eating, and the benefits of adopting this nutritious habit.

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5 Ways the Natural Medicines Database Has Your Back

If you’ve ever found yourself wandering down the aisles of your local grocery store staring pensively at the rows upon rows of vitamins, natural remedies and supplements, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to determine if any of these products can safely support your health and wellness goals. To wrap up this month’s focus on nutrition, we’d like to introduce you to a database you may not know much about which can help you tackle those tough questions. Here are some ways the Natural Medicines database can help you out, and why you should add it to your arsenal of reliable health resources.

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Monday Morning Round-Up #6

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

Study: App-based visits seem viable for post-surgical follow-ups via Mobi Health News

Women recovering from breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy may be just fine checking in with their doctors via their smartphone rather than having to visit in person, a small study published in JAMA Surgery suggested.

Facing significant yellow fever outbreak, Brazil appeals for more vaccine via Stat News

Brazil, in the grips of an unusually large yellow fever outbreak, has asked for millions of doses of vaccine from an international emergency stockpile. The body that maintains and manages the stockpile, the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision, has approved the release of more than 3.5 million doses of the vaccine, according to the Brazilian office of the Pan American Health Organization.

Experimental Stem Cell Treatment Leaves Three Women Blind via Kaiser Health News

An experimental treatment — which blinded three women after stem cells from abdominal fat were injected into their eyes — was advertised on a government-run clinical trial website but lacked proper safeguards, researchers reported Wednesday. The report in the New England Journal of Medicine notes that the procedures were part of a national rise in the number of clinics harnessing stem cells from fat to treat a variety of diseases — even though many have not been proven to work.

New evidence shows that the lungs are a site of platelet biogenesis via Nature

Our bone marrow is constantly churning out platelets, but researchers have turned up new evidence the lungs are pumping out tons of platelets, too. Platelets are the smallest type of blood cell circulating around the body. In a mouse study published in Nature, researchers found platelet-producing cells called megakaryocytes churn out nearly 10 million platelets per hour.

Harvard researchers develop low-cost, smartphone-based male fertility test via Mobi Health News

Scientists have developed a method to test for male infertility that doesn’t require much more than a smartphone. By building an app and pairing with a custom-made 3D-printed case that can magnify sperm and reveal the number of sperm and their motility, researchers at Harvard Medical School affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General have devised a cheap, quick and convenient way for any man to perform his own semen analysis.