Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Health Newsletters at the Patient Health Library, January 2014

Here are highlights from recent health and wellness newsletters at the UCSF Patient Health Library.  To see the entire articles, visit the Patient Health Library.

Not all information is free and not all of it is online!

Consumer Reports on Health

January 2014
-How to build stronger bones, pp.1,4-5
"Some people need supplements and medications to reduce their risk of breaks, others can protect their bones through tweaks to their diet and exercise routine, and by keeping close tabs on several other conditions that affect bone health."
-How to find a doctor you can trust, p.11
"You're going to have to cobble together information from a variety of sources."

Duke Medicine Health News

January 2014
-Novel anticoagulants have many advantages over Coumadin, but they aren't perfect, pp.1-2
-Risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy, revisited, pp.5-6
"The findings are nuanced, showing that the risks and benefits of HRT differ according to a woman's age and health status."
-Treatments for migraines, p.7

Harvard Health Letter

January 2014
-Easy stretches for aching shoulders, p.4
-Simple steps to get happier and healthier, p.5

Harvard Heart Letter

January 2014
-Answers about aspirin, pp.1,7
-Lower your heart attack and stroke risk with a flu shot, p.3
-Understanding cardiovascular pain, p.5
-Coconut oil: supervillain or superfood? p.7

Harvard Men's Health Watch

January 2014
-Total hip replacement and the older man, pp.1,7

Harvard Women's Health Watch

January 2014
-Ways to preserve youthful skin without cosmetic surgery, pp.1,7
"The first step is to slow the pace of further damage by staying out of the sun and by wearing adequate sun protecting whenever you are outside."
-Why having a pet is good for your health, p.3
-What the Affordable Care Act means for you, p.6
"Under the ACA, you'll now be able to get a number of preventive services without a copay."

Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50

January 2014
-Sex after a heart attack, p.5

Mayo Clinic Health Letter

January 2014
-Belching and gas, p.6

Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter

January 2014
-Are you getting enough B12 to fight mental decline?, pp.1,3
-Eat right for a strong immune system, p.7

UC Berkeley Wellness Letter

January 2014
-When to be anti-antibiotics, p.3
-Around the world with grains, p.4
-The buzz on electric toothbrushes, p.5
"Replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head on an electric brush) every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed."

Special Issue Winter 2014: Guide to lifelong fitness

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.

The “seasonal flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. During this time, flu viruses are circulating in the population.

An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

Almost everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. It’s especially important for some people to get vaccinated. Those people include the following:

People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu. This includes:
  • People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People 65 years and older.
  • People younger than 5 years (and especially those younger than 2).
People who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications. This includes:
  • Household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
  • Household contacts and caregivers of infants less than 6 months old.
  • Health care personnel.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
  • Influenza vaccine is not approved for children younger than 6 months of age.
  • People who have had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine should generally not be vaccinated.
 There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. These include:
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with or without a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated).
  • People who developed Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
[Source for all of the above: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine]

Where can you get a flu shot?

Contact your primary care doctor's office or your local pharmacist to see if they offer flu shots.

Adult Immunization & Travel Clinic: AITC is a non-profit, fee-for-service clinic that is part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. AITC is committed to providing convenient, knowledgeable, personalized, and cost-effective immunization services for travelers, students, new employees, immigrants, and other members of the community. Information is available at

HealthMap Vaccine Finder

Cold or Flu?

Treatment for the Flu

When to Call Your Doctor About the Flu

[Source: UCSF Medical Center]

Monday, January 6, 2014

Making Your Resolutions Stick

New Year’s resolutions—they’re easy to make but easier to break. Why is it so hard to make the healthy changes that we know can help us feel better and live longer? And why is it so hard to make them last?

The Patient Health Librarian has compiled the following tools that can help you remove the barriers to making good habits a part of your life:

Making Your Resolutions Stick
[Source: American Psychological Association]

How to Create Healthy Habits
[Source: NIH News in Health from the National Institutes of Health ]

Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Outlook
[Source: UCSF Medical Center]

Behavior Modification Ideas for Weight Management
[Source: UCSF Medical Center]

Passing on Healthy Habits to Your Children
[Source: American Academy of Family Physicians]

Healthy Sleep Tips
[Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine]

Adopt Good Sleep Habits
[Source: Harvard Medical School]

Healthy living
[Source: MedlinePlus]