Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stress Affects Millions

Chances are you, like millions of other Americans, are feeling stress right now. Stress is part of the body's natural instinct to protect itself and it affects us all. While stress is a natural reaction, too much stress can cause life threatening health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and even depression.

So how do we keep stress at bay? Exercise! Overwhelming evidence continues to prove that exercise is a tremendous tension reliever and helps people better cope with stress. Maintaining a healthy diet also goes a long way in reducing stress but experts believe that you get the biggest relief from stress by exercising.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

7 Ways to Relieve Stress

Below are seven wonderful ways to bring stress relief effortlessly into your life.
1) Prepare your next work day before you leave. Take a few minutes to make a to-do list, get organized and clean up before you leave. This will help you not think about work later in the evening. When you do come back to work, you'll feel like you're in control of the situation, and you can handle it.
2) Bring snacks to ease the "Comfort Food" cravings that often go hand-in-hand with increased stress levels. Try to keep three or four snacks on hand. Different items can include peanuts if you like something salty; string cheese if you have a craving for protein; a *small* amount of chocolate for the sweets cravings.
3) Frequently wash your hands. Stress suppresses the immune system, making you more susceptible to cold viruses and other germs. Frequent hand washing is your best defense against these germs and viruses.
4) Put on some music. "Heart," a British medical journal recently published a study that showed slow or meditative music is a proven stress buster.
5) Go jump in a lake! The "International Journal of Stress Management" published a recent Swedish study that found floating in water will trigger the body's relax response. 80 percent of those studied reported improvements in depression and stress from floating in water.
6) Keep your work at the office: The "Journal of Marriage and Family" published a recent study that found increased stress when cell phones and pagers at home spilled over into people's family life. If you can't turn off your cell phone or pager when the workday is over, screen calls and limit work-related cell phone calls. Checking e-mails only during work hours also brings stress relieving benefits.
7) Make like a pretzel and twist: A simple night-time spinal twist can help you get a better nights sleep by alleviating built up tension in your lower back. To do the twist;
- Sit on your bed with legs crossed.
- Place your right hand down on the bed behind you and rest your left hand on your right knee.
- Sit up straight, inhale for four to eight counts and lengthen your spine as you breathe.
- When exhaling, gently twist toward your right hand without straining your neck. - Hold in this position for four more full breaths. With each inhale, lengthen your spine. Gently deepen your twist with each exhale.
- Repeat on the opposite side.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Pharmaceutical giant Shire, the makers of Adderall, is seeking U.S. approval of a longer lasting adult ADHD drug, SPD465. SPD465 contains the same amphetamine compound found in Adderall XR but the new formula is said to control ADHD symptoms for up to 16 hours.

If approved, SPD465 will be the first longest acting stimulant medication for adults with ADHD.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Remove Tonsils, Get Rid of Adhd?

Children who have their tonsils removed are more likely to improve behaviorally and less likely to display ADHD symptoms, recent University of Michigan Health System research shows.

Researchers say their findings show a growing amount of evidence indicating that children with inattention, hyperactivity, or sleepiness during the day may benefit from a tonsillectomy.

In this study, 22 children were diagnosed with ADHD at the start. 50 percent of the children no longer displayed ADHD symptoms one year later after the tonsillectomy.
Researchers link disrupted sleep and breathing problems to ADHD symptoms. Interruptions in sleep cause the brain to wake up, often without the person realizing it. These interruptions are believed to affect the child's behavior throughout the day.

Tonsillectomies were once as common as ADHD is now. In past decades over a million children received tonsillectomies. Tonsillectomies are now performed on a few hundred thousand children each year. Maybe not so coincidental, this research points out, is that ADHD rates continues to climb.

Based on these findings, researchers urge parents of children with behavioral problems to look first for possible sleep problems before placing an ADHD label on the child and resorting to amphetamine drugs.

Children who snore or have other nighttime breathing problems should be thoroughly evaluated for sleep problems. If sleep problems are evident, parents should consider a tonsillectomy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lighten Up To Lighten Up Your Mood

New research shows that light therapy works better for Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) than depression medications.

For eight weeks Canadian reseachers gave 96 people either placebo light therapy along with Prozac or 30 minutes of daily light therapy plus a placebo drug. Researchers found equal benefit from both treatments. However, those receiving true light therapy reported improved moods in the first week. It took the Prozac group two weeks to report equally improved moods. While both groups reported equal benefit in mood, the side effects were not equal. People in the Prozac group reported Prozac side effects of agitation, diarrhea, and trouble sleeping while those in the true light therapy group reported no side effects.

To help ease Seasonal Affective Disorder, researchers suggest sitting for 30 minutes a day in front of a device that emits a 10,000 lux glow if natural lighting is not available.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stressed At Work?

A recent survey of 2,500 workers revealed that more than half work under a great deal of stress. While finding that people are experience work-related stress might not be earth-shattering news but the cause of the reported stress was surprising.
Overbearing or interfering boss are not near as stressful, the study found, than coworkers. It seems that people were twice as likely to report stress and mental duress from their fellow workers.

Coffee in Moderation Improves Concentration

Pennsylvania State University researchers found that one to two cups of coffee can help with your concentration. That's good news for those who drink just one or two cups of coffee in the morning. Now here's the bad news; Drinking four or more cups of coffee will likely cloud your memory.

In this newly released coffee study, 45 men were given caffeine capsules that equaled to 1 1/2 cups of coffee, 3 1/2 cups of coffee, or a placebo. Those who had the equivalent of 1 1/2 cups were twice as accurate in memory tests than those who had 3 1/2 cups or had no caffeine at all.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Obesity and Depression

A new research study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry reveals that an obese person is twenty five percent more likely to have depression or anxiety than a non-obese person. It is also said that the likelihood may be as high as forty four percent among educated Caucasian Americans. The study did not show whether obesity leads to depression or vice versa, but it shows with certainty that the association works in both directions. Researchers also found that an obese person has a twenty five percent higher risk factor of having a substance abuse disorder sometime in their life. The study shows the importance of finding a connection between the two because it is so common and it has a significant impact on health care systems. They reported that the average American has a thirty percent chance of being obese. And twenty percent of Americans are diagnosed sometime in their lives with depression. The Harvard Medical School study is based on an in-person survey among 9,125 adults. This is the largest and most representative study of the two problems in the U.S. population. This study also linked the problem in both genders. They also believe that stigma accounts for some of the relationship due to the fact that in groups were obesity is less socially normal, there's a greater association with depression and vice versa.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Alternative Methods for Depression

According to recent studies, people who are depressed and over sixty five tend to try complementary or alternative medicine more often then others. Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that 34.9% used alternatives compared to the 26.5% who didn't suffer these mental symptoms. Using prayer as a form of alternative or complementary method increased the number to 81.7% and 64.6% of those without. But fewer tan 20% with anxiety or depression didn't use either for help. Researchers say many go undiagnosed because they feel it's a natural part of aging and doesn't require treatment.