Mental Attitude: The Brains of Preterm Babies Benefit from Breast Milk.
Premature infants who are fed breast milk within their first 28 days of life have better brain development than those without access to breast milk. Investigators followed 180 preterm infants from birth to seven years old and found a link between increased breast milk consumption during NICU hospitalization and larger deep nuclear gray matter volume at full term and better IQs, academic achievements, memory, and motor function by age seven. Lead author Dr. Mandy Brown Belfort adds, “Our data support current recommendations for using mother’s milk to feed preterm babies during their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hospitalization.”
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, July 2016
Health Alert: Many Women Weigh Too Much Before Pregnancy.
United States health officials say that more women are starting their pregnancies heavier than ever before. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 50% of women who became pregnant in 2014 were either overweight or obese when they conceived. The findings are concerning as two complications of being overweight or obese before and during pregnancy are high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Dr. Siobhan Dolan, a medical adviser to the March of Dimes advises all women to see a doctor before becoming pregnant to help “become as healthy as you can prior to pregnancy. A lot of being healthy before pregnancy is prevention, and a healthy weight is part of prevention.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 2016
Diet: Looking for More Energy?
Making nutritious and healthy food choices can help you power through the busiest days. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests the following to improve your diet: eat every three to four hours to boost metabolism and to keep from becoming too hungry; watch portion sizes and avoid overeating; eat a balanced diet that includes lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and healthy fats; avoid foods such as sodas, energy drinks, and coffee loaded with sugar that can make energy levels sag; and drink plenty of fluids, such water or tea without sugar.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, August 2016
Exercise: Exercise Therapy for Hip Arthritis.
A recent study investigated the effectiveness and safety of Tübingen exercise therapy for improving hip muscle strength among 120 hip osteoarthritis sufferers. This type of exercise focuses on movements to strengthen muscles and improve body awareness, balance, and flexibility. After a twelve-week program that included both group sessions and home exercise, participants experienced a significant positive effect on hip muscle strength. Overall, the researchers report they found the program to be feasible and safe with no reports of therapy-related adverse events.
Modern Rheumatology, August 2016
Chiropractic: Manual Therapies Help Seniors with Cervicogenic Headaches.
In this study, researchers compared the effects of manual therapies, such as those delivered in a chiropractic setting, with usual care in the treatment of older adults whose headaches are the result of cervical dysfunction. Participants in the manual therapy group reported significant reductions in headache frequency following their eleven session treatment plan, which did not occur in patients in the usual care group. Additionally, these benefits persisted up to nine months later when the study’s final follow-up occurred. Those in the manual therapy group also experienced reductions in headache intensity and duration, as well as improved cervical range of motion and quality of life scores.
Spine Journal, August 2016
Wellness/Prevention: Use Your Neti Pot Safely.
A Neti pot can be extremely helpful for clearing clogged sinuses as well as offering relief from uncomfortable nasal congestion. The Food and Drug Administration offers these guidelines for proper use: wash and dry your hands before use, thoroughly clean the Neti pot and dry before each use, use clean water (distilled, filtered, or boiled) to create the saline rinse solution, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Food and Drug Administration, August 2016