Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Scientist debunks health hoaxes with viral parody video

Jonathan Jarry's video about a fake cancer-curing moss has been viewed over nine million times. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Is heading a football bad for your health?

Study of retired players hopes to provide a definitive answer on the risks of repeatedly heading the ball. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Editing human embryos 'morally permissible'

An independent inquiry gives go-ahead to genetically altering human embryos, but advises caution. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Parents warned over 'toxic' slime

Consumer group Which? is concerned the popular children's products are not being properly vetted. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Hot summer leading to 'toxic' algae

Blooms have flourished during the warm spell but they pose a health risk to humans and animals. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Heatwave causes spike in insect bite calls to NHS

Horsefly bites are painful and can lead to a skin infection that may require antibiotics, say doctors. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Adenomyosis: Pain '10 times worse than childbirth'

Three women describe living with the intense pain and heavy periods caused by adenomyosis. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Monday, 16 July 2018

Mental Health is Not Just the Absence of Mental Illness

In an increasingly globalized and mediatized world, in which mental illness is one of society’s most discussed cultural artifacts, Colleen Patrick Goudreau’s words ring out: “If we don’t have time to be sick, then we have to make time to be healthy”.

With the prevalence of mental health problems, it is clear why. Mental health issues are one of the leading causes of the overall disease burden globally, according to the World Health Organisation. One study reported that mental health is the primary source of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds.

Compared to previous generations, mental illness is now said to surpass the effects of the Black Death. The root causes of the unprecedented rise in people directly affected by mental illness, and the cost of this, can be considered across at least three levels of analysis.

If we don’t have time to be sick, then we have to make time to be healthy.

Colleen Patrick Goudreau

At the first level of analysis, the root cause of mental illness is an amalgamation of heredity, biology, environmental stressors, and psychological trauma.

Notions of specific genes being responsible for illness have been supplanted by those of genetic complexity, where various genes operate in concert with non-genetic factors to affect mental illness. That is, health-relevant biology and mental health impact each other in a complex interplay, which is inherently social.

Despite the importance of understanding the social underpinnings of biological risk factors for mental illness, there is a relative paucity of research investigating this topic. Research that does exist, is nevertheless engrossing. For example, one study, of many, found that social isolation leads to increased risk of coronary heart disease. Since low levels of social integration are related to higher levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation related to coronary heart disease, social integration is posited to be a biological link between social isolation and coronary heart disease.

Moreover, social support affects physical perception. In a landmark study, researchers demonstrated that people accompanied by a supportive friend or those who imagined a supportive friend, estimated a hill to be less steep when compared to people who were alone.

Mental health, like physical health, is more than the sum of functioning or malfunctioning parts.

At the second level of analysis, the complex bio-social interplay scaffolding mental illness points to the fundamentally chemical underpinnings of human thinking and emotion.

With recent advances in neuroscience like Clarity, we are now able to make the brain optically transparent, without having to section or reconstruct it, in order to examine the neuronal networks, subcellular structures, and more. In short, we can examine mental illness from a biological perspective.

The depth and complexity of the bio-social root of mental illness, however, paints a more nuanced picture than discussed thus far. With such pioneering work, there is an increasingly popular assumption that the brain is the most important level at which to analyze human behavior.

In this vein, mental illness perpetuates itself by virtue of the fact that people often consider it to be biologically determined. In turn, a ‘trait-like’ view of mental illness establishes a status quo of mental health stigma by reducing empathy. Such explanations overemphasize constant factors such as biology and underemphasize modulating factors such as the environment.

At the third level of analysis, the obsession with seeing mental health in terms of mental illness reveals the fallible assumption that mental health is simply the absence of mental disorder. However, the problematic landscape of mental health draws on a far wider set of working assumptions. That is, mental health, like physical health, is more than the sum of the functioning or malfunctioning parts. It is an overall well-being that must be considered in light of unique differences between physical health, cognition, and emotions, which can be lost in a solely global evaluation.

So, why do we as a society ponder solving mental illness, which should have been targeted long ago, far more than we consider improving mental health? In part, because when we think of mental health, we think of raising the mean positive mental health of a population, more than closing the implementation gap between prevention, promotion, and treatment.

Cumulatively, social environments are the lubricating oil to biological predispositions, which influence mental health, such that mental health and physical health should be considered holistically. In this vein, national mental health policies should not be solely concerned with mental disorders, to the detriment of mental health promotion.

It is worth considering how mental health issues can be targeted using proactive behavioral programs. To achieve this, it is pivotal to involve all relevant government sectors such as education, labor, justice, and welfare sectors.

In a diverse range of existing players, many nonprofits’, educational institutions’, and research groups’ efforts contribute to the solution landscape of mental health promotion. In Ireland, for example, schools have mental health promotional activities such as breathing exercises and anger management programs. Nonprofits around the world are increasingly seeing the value of community development programmes and capacity building (strengthening the skills of communities in so they can overcome the causes of their isolation). In addition, businesses are incorporating stress management into their office culture.

We think of raising the mean positive mental health of a population, more than closing the implementation gap between prevention, promotion and treatment.

The pursuit to empower people to help themselves joins up these social ventures to teach us that promoting mental health is optimized when it is preventative, occurring before mental illness emerges, and when it is linked to practical skills within a community. Furthermore, these social ventures exemplify how different types of efforts (government, nonprofit, business etc.) cater to different populations, from children to corporates.

While these social ventures bring hope to the future and underscore the importance of sustainable change, there are still too few programs effectively targeting people, who want to maximize already existent positive mental health not just to resolve or cope with mental health issues. If we continue to take such pride in our successful problem finding and solving of mental illness that we ignore mental illness prevention and mental health promotion, we are at risk of increasing the problem we are trying to solve.

References

Heffner, K., Waring, M., Roberts, M., Eaton, C., & Gramling, R. (2011). Social isolation, C-reactive protein, and coronary heart disease mortality among community-dwelling adults. Social Science & Medicine, 72(9), 1482-1488. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.03.016

Lozano, R., Naghavi, M., Foreman, K., Lim, S., Shibuya, K., & Aboyans, V. et al. (2012). Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 380(9859), 2095-2128. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(12)61728-0

Schnall, S., Harber, K., Stefanucci, J., & Proffitt, D. (2008). Social support and the perception of geographical slant. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(5), 1246-1255. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2008.04.011

Image via Wokandapix/Pixabay.

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Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Cardiff woman who is allergic to water

Cherelle Farrugia, 25, breaks out in a painful rash every time she comes into contact with water. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Saturday, 14 July 2018

The eye doctor who could not see the stars

Dr Andrew Bastawrous has invented an app that has been shown in clinical trials to help more children see clearly. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Friday, 13 July 2018

Mental health: Wait for therapy added to teen's anxiety

"Massive" pressure on mental health services for young people is put down to over-referral by schools. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Thailand cave rescue: First footage emerges of boys in hospital

The boys are seen in hospital, as reports say they were sedated for their cave rescue. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Iceman's last meal was high-fat, high-calorie feast

Mountain goat, red deer, cereal grains and a toxic fern: What our ancestors ate 5,000 years ago. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Peter Baldwin: Type 1 diabetes test backed after boy's death

Beth Baldwin campaigned for change after her son Peter died from Type 1 diabetes complications aged 13. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7bn damages in talc cancer case

It is the largest payout over allegations that Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products cause cancer. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

TOWIE star: 'I bought cannabis oil for my friend'

Former TOWIE star Danielle Armstrong says she bought cannabis oil for her friend who was dying from breast cancer. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Cave rescue: The Australian diving doctor who stayed with the boys

The expert caver gave the OK for the boys to dive their way out and was among the last to leave. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Food and music - caring for people with dementia the Caribbean way

Valerie Paragon has created an African-Caribbean cultural setting at a Birmingham care home. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Emerging sex disease MG 'could become next superbug'

It can lead to an infection of the reproductive organs in women that can cause infertility. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Stopping type 1 diabetes from birth

Experts believe they may have found a way to prevent the condition from developing in at risk babies. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Immediate stop to NHS mesh operations

Mesh must not be routinely used to treat women with stress urinary incontinence, NHS England told. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Cave rescue: Eight rescued Thai boys in 'good health'

Officials say they hope to get the remaining four boys and their football coach out on Tuesday. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Salisbury poisoning: What is Novichok?

Laura Foster explains how the Novichok nerve agent works and what to do if you think you've been exposed to it. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Monday, 9 July 2018

Trump denies US opposition to WHO breastfeeding resolution

US negotiators reportedly threatened retaliation against nations supporting a breastfeeding measure. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Aptamil investigating baby milk formula complaints

Mums say their babies have been sick after the recipe of a popular formula milk was changed. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

'Babies given solid food sooner sleep better'

Giving solids as well as breast milk at three months resulted in fewer sleep problems for some babies. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Danone investigating Aptamil baby milk formula complaints

Parents are complaining that the new version of Aptamil formula is making their babies ill. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Carseview patients 'pinned to the floor' and 'bullied'

A BBC investigation is told face-down restraint was used violently and repeatedly at a mental health unit. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

How hospices care for the terminally ill

How hospices provide vital end of life care for patients and their families. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Sunday, 8 July 2018

'Sometimes we need help'

Gavin didn't leave his flat for four years because of his weight, but gastric band surgery gave him hope. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Thai cave rescue: The physical effects of being trapped

A doctor specialising in treating people in difficult environments explains the impact of being trapped underground. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Womb cancer: 'I could have suffered less with earlier diagnosis'

It is the fourth most common cancer in UK women but few know the symptoms to look out for. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

HIV vaccine shows promise in human trial

The "mosaic" vaccine produced an anti-HIV immune-system response in tests on 393 people. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

If Roe v Wade is overturned, will abortion become illegal in the US?

As Donald Trump looks to introduce a "pro-life" judge to the US Supreme Court, 100 Women looks at what will happen to abortion laws if Roe v Wade is overturned. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Friday, 6 July 2018

NHS at 70: The lifelong friendship of nurses

Sybil and Mary started nursing when the NHS was founded and have been best friends ever since. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

'I never thought I'd be alive to pay back my huge debt'

A mental health charity says people with debt problems are twice as likely to develop major depression. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Glasses made to measure... for $1

Buying glasses with the correct lenses can be expensive - but it doesn't have to be this way. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Thursday, 5 July 2018

What the NHS means in one word

BBC News asked 70 people to sum up what the NHS means to them in one word. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

NHS at 70: Who was health service founder Aneurin Bevan?

A look at the life and times of the man considered to be the architect of the NHS. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

From GPs to AIDS: 70 years of classic NHS films

To mark the years of the NHS, the BFI has released a collection of rare public health films. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Emilia Clarke pays tribute to nurses after death of her father

Best known for her role in HBO's Game of Thrones, she has become a Royal College of Nursing ambassador. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

UK weather: Having solar urticaria means I'm allergic to the sun

Emma has solar urticaria which means her skin breaks out into hives when she stays in the sun for too long. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Dad 'breastfeeds' his newborn daughter when mum can't

Thousands share images of a father "breastfeeding" his daughter using a tube, syringe and fake nipple. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Give your bones a workout, public told

We should all be doing strengthening exercises as well as aerobic activity, a report says. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Sperm quality improved by adding nuts to diet, study says

Men who ate about two handfuls of nuts a day improved sperm count and vitality, a study finds. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

NHS at 70: Aneira Thomas the first NHS baby

Aneira Thomas arrived at one minute past midnight on 5th July 1948, at Glanamman hospital in west Wales. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The challenges faced by doctors with disabilities

Hannah and Kelly are two doctors with the same disability but very different experiences of life in medicine. via BBC News - Health Read More Here..