Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Health Newsletters at the Patient Health Library, September 2011

Not all information is free and not all of it is online!  The UCSF Patient Health Library subscribes to a number of health and wellness newsletters that are not otherwise free to the public.  Here are some highlights from recent newsletters.

To see the entire articles, visit the Patient Health Library!

Harvard Health Letter, September 2011
-More than the usual forgetfulness: mild cognitive impairment, pp.1-2
-Adult food allergies, pp.4-5
-Stress and overeating, p.6 

Harvard Women's Health Watch, September 2011
-Bioidentical hormones, pp.1-3
-Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), pp.4-6
-Napping boosts cognitive function, pp.6-7

Nutrition Action Newsletter, July/August 2011
-Dairy – Hero or Villain? pp.9-11

Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, September 2011
-Special report: Are you eating enough fruit? pp.4-5
-Strenuous exercise linked to fewer “silent strokes” in the elderly, p.8

UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, August 2011
-Red flags about pain relievers, pp.1-2
-What to look for in energy bars, p.5

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mold and your health

Molds On Food: Are They Dangerous?
[From the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service]
Has a helpful chart showing what foods may be salvaged and what should be discarded.  For example:
Hard cheese - Cut off at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot (keep the knife out of the mold itself so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese). After trimming off the mold, re-cover the cheese in fresh wrap.
Soft cheese (such as cottage, cream cheese, Neufchatel, chevre) - Discard
Crumbled, shredded, and sliced cheeses (all types) - Discard
Soft fruits and vegetables (such as cucumbers, peaches, tomatoes) - Discard
Hard fruits and vegetables (such as cabbage, bell peppers, carrots) - Cut off at least 1 inch around and below the mold spot (keep the knife out of the mold itself so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the produce).

A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home
[From the U.S. EPA]
Includes information on:
   -Mold Basics
   -Mold Cleanup
   -Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips
   -Dealing with Hidden Mold

Facts About Molds
[From the CDC]
What are the potential health effects of mold in buildings and homes?

Mold exposure does not always present a health problem indoors. However some people are sensitive to molds. These people may experience symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation when exposed to molds. Some people may have more severe reactions to molds. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Immunocompromised persons and persons with chronic lung diseases like COPD are at increased risk for opportunistic infections and may develop fungal infections in their lungs.

In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.

How do you get the molds out of buildings, including homes, schools, and places of employment?

In most cases mold can be removed from hard surfaces by a thorough cleaning with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Absorbent or porous materials like ceiling tiles, drywall, and carpet may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. If you have an extensive amount of mold and you do not think you can manage the cleanup on your own, you may want to contact a professional who has experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes. It is important to properly clean and dry the area as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
   -Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners.
   -Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
   -Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
   -Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Emergency Preparedness Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed
[From the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)]
Information  on:
-Making a basic emergency supply kit
-Making a plan in case of emergencies
-What you should know in the event of emergencies ranging from biological threat to earthquake to tornado to flood to wildfire and more.
-Planning for your pets
-Much, much more

Preparedness Fast Facts
[From the American Red Cross]

Emergency Preparedness and You
[From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)]

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Resources for Caregivers

Support for Family Caregivers of Loved Ones with Serious Illness
[From the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine]
Especially see the Orientation to Caregiving Handbook and Tools for Caregivers.

Caregiving & Support
[From the UCSF Memory and Aging Center]

As a caregiver, what can I do to make caregiving easier on me?
[From the American Academy of Family Physicians]

Caregiver Health
[From the American Medical Association]

So Far Away: Twenty Questions and Answers About Long-Distance Caregiving
[From the National Institute on Aging]

Additionally, come into the Patient Health Library to read the following articles:
-Caregiving at a distance in the September 2011 issue of Consumer Reports on Health
-Adjusting goals, avoiding self-blame lowers stress for caregiviers in the September 2011 issue of DukeMedicine HealthNews