Mental Attitude: Over-the-Counter Painkillers May Alter Emotions.
A recent research review focusing on nonprescription painkillers found that these types of medicines can reduce a person’s ability to empathize with the pain of others, make some more willing to part with possessions, and can even impair information processing. Lead researcher Dr. Kyle Ratner writes, “In many ways, the reviewed findings are alarming… Consumers assume that when they take an over-the-counter pain medication, it will relieve their physical symptoms, but they do not anticipate broader psychological effects.”
Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, February 2018
Health Alert: Colonoscopy May Raise the Risk of Appendicitis.
Though colonoscopies are vital for detecting and removing cancer in the colon or large intestine, a review of the medical histories of nearly 393,000 veterans found that patients who underwent a colonoscopy had a 400% increased risk for appendicitis in the week following their procedure. However, despite this finding, lead researcher Dr. Marc Basson notes, “Colonoscopy is generally a safe test, and the risk of having appendicitis is lower than the risk of having some of the other complications.”
JAMA Surgery, January 2018
Diet: Hot Tea Linked to Increased Risk of Esophageal Cancer.
Drinking hot tea appears to raise the risk of esophageal cancer among men and women who also drink alcohol or smoke. A study involving more than 450,000 people found that individuals who regularly imbibed very hot tea in addition to a glass of alcohol each day are five times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than those who less frequently consumed either beverage. Additionally, the researchers found that smokers who drank a cup of tea a day had double the risk of esophageal cancer in comparison to nonsmokers.
Annals of Internal Medicine, February 2018
Exercise: Arm Exercises Improve Walking Ability Following a Stroke.
Arm training exercises appear to improve walking ability months and even years after having a stroke. In this study, investigators found that stroke participants who performed 30 minutes of moderate-intensity arm cycling training sessions three times per week for five weeks experienced significant improvements in their walking ability. The researchers explain that the nerves in the arms activate and adapt to improve function of the spinal cord in other areas of the body, including the legs. The results could have a significant impact on stroke rehabilitation.
Journal of Neurophysiology, December 2017
Chiropractic: Back Pain Is a Common Reason for Sick Leave During Pregnancy.
An analysis of questionnaires completed by 508 employed pregnant women revealed that back pain is the most common reason expectant mothers take long-term sick leave. Chiropractic care has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective treatment for women experiencing low back pain associated with their pregnancy.
Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, March 2018
Wellness/Prevention: Healthy Diet + Exercise Has Synergistic Effect on Weight Loss.
While adopting an exercise program or switching to a healthier diet can increase one’s chances for weight loss by about 500-700%, a new study involving 1,488 New Zealanders found that both starting an exercise routine and eating a healthy diet can boost one’s odds for losing weight by over 1,700%!
BMC Public Health, February 2018