JUL - SEP 2022 ISSUE 43
DIGITALLY ENABLED CARE The Future of Medicine
IT'S GOOD TO BE GOOD! ALTRUISM AND ITS IMPACT ON OUR HEALTH. SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER COPING WITH SEASONAL DEPRESSION. HEART-HEALTHY LIVING THE LIFESTYLE YOUR HEART WILL THANK YOU FOR.
is the ﬁrst step in winning THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER Cancer is often unpredictable but there is always something you can do to help reduce your risks. The Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society recommends and promotes screening for early detection of certain cancers. OUR SCREENING SERVICES INCLUDE: • • • •
Mammograms Clinical Breast Examinations Pap Smears Ultrasounds: Breast, Abdomen, Pelvic, Obstetric, Doppler, Thyroid • Biopsies • Prostate Examinations: DRE (Digital Rectal Examination), PSA (Prostate Speciﬁc Antigen) • Blood Tests • Consultations • Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) - A new way to test for colon cancer
OUR MOBILE CLINICS: The TTCS also operate Mobile Clinics which provide screening services throughout Trinidad and Tobago. These mobiles are available by appointment to business institutions for the beneﬁt of their staff and/or sponsored public health fairs. These are fully equipped to conduct Pap Smears, Clincal Breast Examinations and Prostate Examinations, PSA (Prostate Speciﬁc Antigen) testing.
GET REGULAR CANCER SCREENING. For more information on our screening services or to make an appointment
226.1221 or 800.TTCS firstname.lastname@example.org www.cancertt.com
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Dr. Richard Lutchman Amira Chenelle Mungal Andrew Wood Brandon Pereira Emma Reliason Kate Elias Kathryn Perry Mica Symone Sherine Mungal Tamara Milano Stuart Fraser Nathaniel Pinder Eidetic Ltd. Samantha Dhoon
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Welcome to Issue 43! We are always excited to bring another issue of U to you, our loyal readers, and what’s even more exciting is that we get to welcome new readers each time. We are consistently grateful for the people who reach out to us with thoughts on our publication, suggestions on the topics, or even questions on past articles. You continue to inspire us to always put only the very best behind this publication without comprising content, relevancy, and credibility. In every issue, we add to our diverse group of writers, bringing different perspectives on global health and medical topics, ensuring that our readers are left more informed and aware after each article. We truly believe that knowledge can be the key to health and that reliable information can impact the decisions that will empower us to take control of our wellbeing. Our commitment to staying current lives through this cover story on Digital Healthcare, which covers everything from telemedicine to medical apps and electronic healthcare. The intersection of technology and healthcare is not simply a concept that is being explored; there are already evidence-based programs that reveal its success. We hope our article enlightens you as it did us, and we are so eager to see how digitization can transform healthcare in the Caribbean so that we too can start to benefit from this new approach. There is much more in store for you in U43, but we’ll leave it to Amira to tell you more about them.
So, until we meet again, Stay Healthy and Stay Safe! SHERINE & STUART
DEAREST READERS, It is with pleasure that I introduce Issue 43. It is without a doubt that the team and I worked endlessly to bring yet another remarkable issue. Before I dive into what’s inside, allow me to thank our incredible list of growing advertisers who support and make possible this publication. It is through them we are able to produce engaging content for your reading pleasure. And to our subscribers, thank you a million times for always staying excited to see the pages of U. This issue takes you into the world of Digital Healthcare. Its evolution has been developing in the medical sphere for quite some time and the benefits continue to mount, especially now. Our cover story brings a perspective to the Caribbean that we hope would initiate further growth with technological advancements in the healthcare sector for patient care and the benefit of medical tourism. Also, in the pages, you will find articles on physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Here at U, we endorse a holistic approach to health and wellness. Our spiritual guide takes you down the road of altruism; it doesn’t just feel good to be good; it is good (for your health)! Andrew Wood, our favorite personal trainer, is all about working out outdoors for the summer and our nutritionist, Tamara Milano, is here to show you the way of veganism. Without spoiling too much, we also touched on a rare blood disorder, sleep, and living a life for your heart. Our summer recipes are here to please, and as usual, there is an article for everyone. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. May this knowledge enlighten you, bring a smile to your face, and overall, make you healthier.
Till next time, AMIRA CHENELLE MUNGAL
10 It’s Good to be Good! Our spiritual leader, Mica Symone, tells us all the health-related benefits of doing good. Altruism is a dopamine-releasing act, and this article encourages us to practice it more for the sake of everyone.
26 Are you SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Depression is a mood disorder that accompanies the seasons. If you’re down and unsure why it might just be the sun or the rain. Here’s what to know and how to combat SAD.
12 Digitally Enabled Care A concept that is not new to medicine but has only started evolving in the Caribbean. Our feature story covers telemedicine, medical software, and electronic healthcare. We’re discussing the merger between technology and medicine with the intention of stimulating its growth throughout the Caribbean.
18 Working OUT! Our personal trainer takes us outdoors in this issue. Fresh air, bright skies, sunlight… all things to look forward to during your workout. Suppose you’re someone who wants to spend more time outside or someone who wants to try a new technique or both, this article is for you.
30 Von Willebrand Disease Commonly inherited, VWD is a condition that makes you bleed more easily than normal and usually lasts a lifetime. This article educates you on the signs, symptoms, causes, and treatments.
32 Catching Zzzs Proper sleep is vital for human functioning. Too many of us succumb to tossing and turning when the night comes. This article is here with tips to help boost the quality of your sleep.
34 Dragon Fruit 20 Ecotherapy Destination Tobago’s highest waterfall beautifully cascades down three levels, attracting locals and foreigners to its cool, crisp, and calming water.
22 Sampling Veganism Vegan this and vegan that. We’re seeing it everywhere. Veganism has been growing in popularity, and for a good reason. It’s tempting to try, but where do you start? Tamara, our nutritionist, gives you the perfect guide for sampling veganism.
Pitaya, strawberry pear, or dragon fruit, whatever you know it by, we know this fruit catches your eye. Our fruit-loving founder is here with all of this superfruit's nutritional facts and health benefits.
36 Heart-healthy Living A lifestyle that your heart will thank you for is what this article is all about. It explains heart health and gives you the rundown of the steps you need to take to boost your heart health.
| GIVING IS HEALING
It's Good to Be Good. Giving is healing. When you go out of your way to help others and are willing to take selfless actions to benefit others, you begin to unlock surprising health benefits. Altruism can remind you of what is truly important in life. At its best, giving can be a physically transformative experience that leaves you feeling more connected, compassionate, and healthy. When you give to those less fortunate, it can have a profound and unexpected impact on your sense of self-worth and physical wellbeing. In a world that is often focused on material possessions and personal gain, giving of yourself - your time, energy, and resources - can be a powerful act.
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Studies have shown that people who give regularly are less likely to experience anxiety and
depression, and they also enjoy better overall physical health. Clearly, there’s more to altruism than meets the eye. By simply being kind and generous to others people have reported higher levels of satisfaction with their lives. Another benefit to acts of kindness is that it triggers a spike of endorphins in the brain, which have powerful mood-enhancing effects. The more you give of yourself to others without conditions, the more happiness and joy you will feel. It can also help to reduce pain in the body. To be charitable is to invite positive energy into your life which counteracts any negativity that you may be facing. This has a knock-on effect on your health as it reduces the chance of disease taking form and it improves your mental state.
GIVING IS HEALING
Altruism Endorphins aren’t the only plus when it comes to being benevolent. You can experience a release of dopamine, also known as the feel-good chemical that interacts with the pleasure and reward center of the brain. This neurotransmitter and hormone can decrease inflammation as it reduces the dominance of cells Th1 and Th17. The benefits are endless. From feeling more motivated to lowering blood pressure, philanthropy and altruism are one of the best forms of medicine. It’s good for you and your community, whether you’re helping out at a soup kitchen or raising money for charity everybody wins. You reap what you sow, so when you give to others you end up giving to yourself in body, mind, and
spirit. Not only will you feel good while doing social good but you’ll also live longer, giving you more time on this earth to continue paying it forward. According to a study led by Doug Oman of the University of California in 1999, participants aged 55 years and older who volunteered for two or more years were 44% less likely to die over a five-year period than those who didn’t the facts speak for themselves. Offering service to others not only makes someone else’s day, but you are also doing your own body and mind a world of good. So next time you're feeling down or disconnected, consider reaching out to those in need. The act of giving may just be the key to finding lasting happiness, peace, and a resounding improvement in your health. 11 | u
| DIGITAL HEALTHCARE
A TRANSFORMATIVE HEALTHCARE ECOSYSTEM; 12 | u
Digitally Enabled Care.
WRITTEN BY AMIRA
Technology is amazing. There is no doubt about that. Technology applies scientific knowledge using techniques and processes to manipulate and enhance the human environment. Whether it’s our personal, work, or social life, we all benefit from technological advancements in one way or another. For a moment, envision ‘quality healthcare.’ Whatever came to your mind, I know technology contributes to the concept of high quality. When the two worlds combine, we experience digital healthcare. 13 | u
| DIGITAL HEALTHCARE
WHAT IS DIGITAL HEALTHCARE? W
DIGITAL HEALTHCARE TODAY. D
Digital health encompasses mobile health (mHealth), health information technology, wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine services, and personalized medicine. Digital health or digital healthcare is the intersection between healthcare and technology that transforms the healthcare field by incorporating software and hardware services. Health technologies utilize computing platforms enabling a wide range of uses, from general wellness to diagnostics to medical products.
On theme with quality healthcare, digital health innovations are patterned to be time effective, accurate, and efficient. This is digital health as we practice today:
By no means is this a new inclusion to the medical sphere, but it is one that continues to revolutionize healthcare, especially today.
T THE IMPORTANCE OF DIGITAL HEALTHCARE. D Digital healthcare stands to perpetuate growth not just in the quality of healthcare but in practicality. With technological advances, digital healthcare will enable considerable scientific breakthroughs of new therapies, disease preventions, and treatments and impart safer and more efficient patient care.
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Think about patients with hypertension. A simple blood pressure cuff from any pharmacy can indicate whether a patient’s blood pressure is increasing or decreasing. And the same goes for a patient with diabetes and their glucose monitor. Basic medical devices, for years, have guided thousands of patients to leading healthier lifestyles and prioritizing health. Digital health has created an ecosystem that supports all patients, and imagine; we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. If we consider the overwhelming possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI), robotic caregivers, medical data, etc., the healthcare sector will continue to transform with value-additions for both patients and the health market.
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) This is the collection of internet-connected medical devices that work to monitor and track patient care. Devices equipped with Wi-Fi allow machine-to-machine communication, which means that your doctor can monitor your health remotely, loved ones can track their loved ones admitted to hospitals, and wearable devices such as smart watches can send information to your caregivers instantaneously. This category of digitally enabled healthcare is what we know as telemedicine. Telehealth E-health, m-health, or telehealth has and continues to be a remarkable tool for many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of digital communication technologies, including smartphones, computers, tablets, etc., bridge us to non-emergency medical care without contamination risk. We can chat, video call, or telephone healthcare professionals for advice from home or the office, even on the beach. (All of which I’ve done). Augmented Reality Augmented reality (AR) innovations significantly influence doctor and patient education. With AR technologies, professors can generate 3D portrayals of patient problems, removing the guesswork associated with cases. AR also facilitates the development of smart hospital automation, a growing design within the healthcare industry. Blockchain Blockchain stores medical data, including patient logs, in an incorruptible, secure way. Patient data is appropriately governed and shareable only with authorized parties such as laboratories, pharmacies, and physicians. Furthermore, it is access to patient data in real-time with security.
A MOUNTAIN OF BENEFITS. Digital tools present a more comprehensive approach to healthcare; providers have a more efficient method of providing care, and patients have more control over their medical outcomes. Here are some benefits to consider: 1. Utilizing the IoMT saves time and costs for both doctors and patients. 2. Telehealth allows access to healthcare at any given time without compromises in safety for doctors and patients. It also brings medical attention to patients with disabilities and in rural areas. Telehealth is notorious for convenience. 3. Augmented reality presents doctors and students with creative learning techniques, which only strengthens their medical knowledge and aptness to provide quality care. 4. Blockchain not only allows your healthcare providers to access your medical records easily but also helps them to provide longitudinal healthcare. It gives them the ability to track your health across extended periods, following any progressions with illnesses. This digitally enabled software supports preventative care for patients. 5. Digital health technologies open healthcare options that reduce inefficiencies, improve access, reduce costs, and increase quality. 6. Digital healthcare creates more personalized medicine for patients.
R REGULATIONS OF DIGITAL HEALTH CARE. D Patients, practitioners, researchers, and medical industry firms are all heavily involved in the development of
digitally enhanced care. In addition, the efficacy of clinical advancements remains closely monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with many devices and systems being FDA approved, authorized, or cleared. The FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) constantly provide clarity on the benefits and risks of digital health.
T THE CARIBBEAN AND DIGITAL HEALTHCARE. D Technology ministers throughout the Caribbean and the Inter-American Development Bank continually urge Caribbean countries to harness the potential of technology within the healthcare sector. Undertaking a digitally inclined healthcare system in islands such as Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, The Bahamas, etc., will not just provide higher quality healthcare to patients but boost medical tourism. Beautiful countries with outstanding healthcare - an initiative we should all partake in.
CONCLUSION. C Healthcare is essential to human wellness, and technology is advancing faster than we can fathom. The one thing that this article emphasizes is how beneficial the matrimony of technology and the healthcare system is. The more medical professionals embrace the transformation of healthcare and the more we as patients insist on the evolution of the care we receive, the healthier we become. If we think about it like that, I can only conceptualize a superior quality of life for all.
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CREATI VE OU TDOOR WOR KOU TS
Working OUT! WRITTEN BY ANDREW
Contrary to what you might believe, working out does not have to take place in a dark and dungy gym. Instead, it can take place in a variety of different environments, from an outdoor park or swimming pool to a mountain or home office. With many deficient in vitamin D globally, one of the most beneficial environments to exercise is outdoors under the sun; not to mention, it’s downright fun! With endless creative ways to workout, it can be difficult to decipher which best suits your goals, objectives, and preferences. For those looking for guidance on ways to workout outdoors, in particular, this article is for you.
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What follows will be a detail into several creative (and, of course, fun) ways to workout outdoors under the sun. Give them a try and find out which one you like best; just don’t forget your sunscreen! Let’s JUMP right into it…
C R E AT I V E O UT D O O R WO R KO UT S
BEST CREATIVE WAYS TO WORKOUT OUTDOORS! When the sun is shining and the skies are blue, who wouldn’t want to take their workout session outdoors?! Luckily, you can! In fact, there are endless ways to do so and none of them rely on your experience or fitness levels.
JOIN A RECREATIONAL SPORTS TEAM Whether it’s football, cricket, beach volleyball, or outdoor tennis, joining a recreational sports team in your area is not only a great way to get in a sweat but to meet new like-minded people in the process.
Here’s a detail into the best outdoor workout activities that you can implement into your exercise regimen so that you can get the best of both worlds; vitamin D and a great sweat!
Not to mention, being part of a team, whether recreational or competitive, is a great way to improve accountability and commitment; two imperative characteristics when seeking to improve your fitness and overall health.
HIKE TO A WATER HOLE This is arguably my favourite on the list, for you not only get in a hike but you also have the opportunity to swim; it’s a double whammy! Not to mention, you’re likely to enjoy some great views during the process.
SEEK OUT A PARK BENCH And no, we’re not suggesting that you sit on it!
While many view exercise as a one-dimensional activity with one purpose, which is to get fit, it also boasts the purpose of improving one’s mental health as well. By exercising outdoors, particularly in the mountains during a hike, you get to enjoy all that is nature, intaking more natural oxygen, experiencing breathtaking views, and shocking your system with cold water immersion if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a natural spring. Though this all might sound trivial, it’s amazing what this type of activity can do for your mental AND physical well-being.
Instead, using a simple park bench as a mechanism for your workout proves that you don’t need all that much to achieve an effective workout. While you can certainly bring additional exercise equipment to incorporate into a given park bench workout, the necessity for it is most definitely lacking. While you have creative autonomy over devising a given workout using the park bench, here are a few exercise ideas to consider when drawing up a park bench HIIT workout: - Incline Pushups - Decline Pushups - Step Ups - Bench Jumps/Box Jumps - V-Crunches - Tricep Dips - Incline Mountain Climbers To further increase your level of activity, consider walking or biking to the park instead of driving. FINAL THOUGHTS Whether it’s a cardiovascular workout, a leisurely activity, or a muscle pump that you’re after, all can be achieved outdoors. All that’s required is some creativity and willingness! Not only is it a great changeup from your standard indoor weight room regimen but it comes with several additional benefits, from vitamin D and fresh air to community and, most importantly, fun. If you’ve been unsure up to this point of what to do outdoors, hopefully, the examples above have shined a light on what’s possible. Give them a try and see how you like them. Heck, you might just find your new favorite activity in the process! 19 | u
Faing for Argyle WRITTEN BY BRANDON
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ocusing on ecotherapy, let’s zero in on the beautiful Argyle Falls and the green and absolutely refreshing environment surrounding it. Located in Roxborough, Tobago, Argyle falls is a three-level waterfall with its highest point being 54 meters (175ft). On your way to the waterfall, there is a small and serene 15–20 minute trek in which the trail is clearly marked for its visitors. Along the path to the waterfall, you will notice many natural beauties that tropical forests offer. Butterflies, tropical birds, and lush green forestry surround the area. Visitors have the option of taking a slightly bushier and more challenging path leading up to the second and third levels of the waterfall. Hiking further up the levels is recommended, as the real beauty of Argyle Falls can only properly be seen after getting passed the first cascade and the heavy mist it creates. The second level consists of several natural rock tubs that are very inviting just to lay in. For its more adventurous visitors, the option of climbing to the third level is available, and although it is the smallest pool, it is the deepest and very apt for swimming, diving, or vine swinging. This naturally therapeutic, calming environment can be beneficial for tourists and literally anyone who appreciates the beauty nature has to offer. Just closing your eyes and imagining the peaceful sound of the water is inviting enough.
Out of the long list of eco-therapeutic environments to visit in Tobago, Argyle Falls is rated among the top three! Oftentimes, stepping out of the real world for a moment and into nature can be a healing experience. Spending time in nature, disconnected from everything, has taught me so much about myself and how much I need to have a strengthened sense of wellbeing. For many people, environments such as the one at Argyle Falls are known to help reduce stress and anxiety levels in individuals to the point where the relief becomes noticeable. Something I realized about people and even myself is that when change is noticeable, especially if the outcome is positive, our brain lights up and suddenly starts to enjoy that alteration; whether it is physical growth because of going to the gym or mental and emotional growth that occurs in naturally therapeutic environments. Environments like the forest surrounding the waterfall or Argyle Falls itself are perfect. Other places such as the ocean or rivers tend to be beneficial. And yes, I know not everyone lives close to a forest, waterfall, or ocean, and that’s completely fine! However, for an environment to be considered therapeutic, you must know yourself and what environment helps relieve your tension most of all. In other words, you get to decide where and what works best. If it’s a beautiful waterfall on a tropical island, Argyle Falls might just be it.
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Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that has become increasingly popular over recent years, with more people becoming aware of its health benefits and environmental impact. Restaurants and grocery stores are introducing vegan options and alternatives, making it more accessible and appealing than ever to turn to a vegan lifestyle. But what exactly is veganism?
Helˢ ˿th Weight L˜s
At its core, veganism is a diet that eliminates all animal and animal-based products. This includes meat, seafood, eggs, dairy, and honey. However, veganism is also a lifestyle and philosophy— one motivated by ethics, animal rights, saving the environment, and the endless health benefits. Many vegans also avoid companies that use animal testing and animal products such as leather and fur.
Reduces the Risk ˗ Type 2 Diabetes
˨e Benefits ˗ Veganism The vegan diet has a long list of proven health benefits— if done correctly. Vegan diets can be just as unhealthy as the standard Western diet if you only eat processed foods and dairy-free sweets. A true vegan diet consists of whole foods that are high in fiber, micronutrients, unsaturated fats, and lean protein.
Pr˙otes Cardi˝ascular Health A healthy vegan diet decreases both cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Processed meat and deli, red meat, and dairy are foods with some of the highest contents of saturated fats, which can increase the risk of heart disease over time. Vegan diets are low in saturated fats and higher in unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds. These fats are part of a heart-healthy diet.
Imˡ˝es Diges˫˚ The vegan diet is rich in fiber, a critical nutrient for a healthy digestive system. Fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans, legumes, and whole grains generally have a high fiber content. Fiber reduces bloating, stabilizes blood sugar levels, helps maintain a healthy weight, and keeps the good bacteria in our gut healthy. A high-fiber diet promotes regular bowel movements, which also reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Having a larger portion of vegetables with your meal increases the volume of food on your plate and contributes little to caloric intake. Most vegetables contain lots of water and fiber, which help keep you satisfied, even though they contain few calories. Studies show that a vegan diet is a healthy choice for weight loss.
Obesity and weight gain are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Many studies show that a vegan diet helps with weight loss, which in turn helps reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The diet is also low in saturated fats and cholesterol, which helps protect against diabetes. The high fiber content also reduces blood sugar levels and inflammation.
H˞ to Get ˥arted ˚ a Vegan Diet Starting a vegan diet can feel overwhelming, especially if animal products make up most of your meals. You might feel pressure to give veganism an all-or-nothing approach. Everyone is different, and cutting out all animal-based products in one day might work best for you. However, many people find it easier to make a gradual transition to the vegan diet. Introduce one vegan meal a day, or choose one day of the week when you eat fully vegan. Research some vegan versions of your favorite meals and try ingredients you haven’t before. Once you get more meal ideas and understand which foods you can and can’t eat, you’ll feel more confident and less restricted. You can also eliminate one category at a time— start with eliminating meat, then eggs, then dairy. If you love a specific food, such as cheese, and feel restricted or unhappy to stop eating it, then wait until you are ready. Veganism should be a positive lifestyle change, not a fad diet. Whatever your reason is for going vegan, the diet should never feel restrictive.
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V E GA N SW E E T P OTATO SO UP
This creamy sweet potato soup is a winner. It’s a one-pot wonder that is healthy, simple, and delicious. Feel free to add your favorite spices for more warmth or sweet based on your preference. Either way, you’ll be eating bowl after bowl.
YIELDS: 6 INGREDIENTS: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion (yellow or white) 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 1 teaspoon minced ginger ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ¼ teaspoon nutmeg 3 large carrots 4 large sweet potatoes 2 cups vegetable stock 14 ounces coconut cream (canned) ¼ cup almond butter Salt & black pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS: 1. In a large pot, sauté chopped onions, garlic, and ginger in olive oil. 2. Once the onions are slightly softened, add cayenne pepper and nutmeg and stir. 3. Incorporate the chopped carrots and potatoes then add in the vegetable stock and coconut cream, bringing to a boil. 4. Once brought to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer until the potatoes are soft and cooked. 5. Using an immersion blender, add in almond butter and blend until creamy. 6. Add salt and pepper to taste. 7. Enjoy! 25 | u
| SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER
UNDERSTANDING SEASONAL DEPRESSION IN A WARM CLIMATE WRITTEN BY
When you hear the words “seasonal depression” what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you automatically think of individuals living through cold, dark winter months with no social life or outdoor activities to participate in. While this is true - seasonal affective disorder can occur even if you live somewhere tropical and sunny. There are many myths surrounding seasonal depression in warmer climates. We’re here to bust them and give you encouragement knowing you are seen and heard.
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Coming to terms with seasonal affective disorder is the first step in learning how to overcome this debilitating disorder.
SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER
WHAT IS SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER?
SYMPTOMS OF SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER:
Seasonal affective disorder otherwise referred to as ‘seasonal depression’ is defined as a mood disorder that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern every year.
If you feel as though you may have seasonal depression, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms to look for. As we’ve discussed, watch for the time of year these symptoms tend to show up - as the timing is the most critical component for a diagnosis.
While many people experience seasonal depression during the gloomy, freezing months of winter, it’s not always the lack of sunlight that triggers symptoms of depression. 30% of people experience seasonal affective disorder during the summer months, or when they live in warmer climates.
WHAT CAUSES SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER? While psychologists are still on the hunt to figure out what causes seasonal depression when the sun is shining, it’s thought to be a combination of environmental, biological, and psychological factors. While summertime is often a time for fun, relaxing and exciting activities - if you’re already prone to depression, this may feel like too big of a change. In addition, people that suffer from seasonal affective disorder often produce higher levels of melatonin, accounting for extreme fatigue and low mood. This may make adjusting to longer days more difficult, affecting sleeping patterns and ultimately mood and behavior.
OTHER REASONS SEASONAL DEPRESSION MAY OCCUR, EVEN IF YOU LIVE IN A WARMER CLIMATE INCLUDE: • LONGER DAYS: This may cause exhaustion, or feeling as though you need to do more to fill your time. Both can interrupt your routine and sleep schedule and make you feel worn down and depressed. • BODY IMAGE ISSUES: If you live in a warmer climate it’s likely the hotter the temperatures get, the less clothing people wear. If you struggle from body image issues this can make the hotter months feel incredibly triggering. Feeling uncomfortable in your own body can make those hot days unbearable. • HEAT: If you live in a warmer climate, you know there are still months out of the year that are hotter than others. While some folks adore the high temps, others may feel incredible discomfort, contributing to symptoms of depression. • FEAR OF MISSING OUT: Living in a warmer climate, or experiencing seasonal depression during summer months means watching many people you know participating in outdoor activities, throwing parties, or engaging in social gatherings. This may trigger feelings of loneliness and isolation if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a social circle as such.
SYMPTOMS OF SEASONAL DEPRESSION INCLUDE: • • • • • • • • •
Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed Low mood Agitation Restlessness Insomnia Anxiety Little to no appetite Changes in weight Aggressive behavior
Symptoms of seasonal depression are often debilitating and can make everyday tasks seem overwhelming. If any of these symptoms disrupt your daily life, you may have seasonal affective disorder.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR MANAGING YOUR SEASONAL DEPRESSION: Thankfully, psychologists have made great strides in understanding this disorder and ways to cope with it. There are at-home treatments as well as assistance from medical professionals to help you overcome seasonal affective disorder. As long as the heat is bearable, getting outdoors even for a walk or to sit in the sunshine may have incredible benefits on your mental health. Don’t worry about doing these activities alone, you can take advantage of this time by bringing a book or journal along to tend to your feelings. In addition, ensuring you have a healthy sleep hygiene, and eating adequate whole foods are two ways to take care of your physical health, which in turn takes care of your mental health. If at home treatments aren’t helping, there are many different types of therapy options available. Talk therapies have been proven to be effective in identifying distorted thinking patterns and establishing more realistic, healthy ones.
SEASONAL DEPRESSION DOESN’T HAVE TO HOLD YOU BACK: If seasonal affective disorder seems to run the show behind the scenes, take heart knowing it’s treatable and in some cases - preventable. Understanding your symptoms and when they occur can help you become more aware of when you might begin to feel triggered. Proactive steps along with showing yourself kindness and empathy will go a long way in overcoming this disorder. Remember, if self treatments aren’t working there are many mental health professionals who dedicate their entire lives to helping you rid seasonal depression once and for all. 27 | u
| YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, WE HAVE ANSWERS
U ANSWERED BY DR.
What is monkeypox? Monkeypox is one of the latest emergences in the world stage of viruses. It is spread initially from animals to humans and is similar to the smallpox virus. It usually presents as a skin outbreak of a pimple or blister-like rash, which generally encompasses the entire body and starts mainly from the face. The viral rash is usually accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
How does family history affect my health? Your family history is essential when it comes to your health. It would give you and your health care provider a fair idea of diseases to look out for in you (the patient). It can also provide many valuable key points in preventative medicine. E.g., if Susan’s mother has diabetes, she could be screened for diabetes before a diagnosis or before complications begin to set in. Also, some diseases are genetically linked, and one condition that shows a solid familial preference is cancer, whether it be breast cancer or colon cancer. In conclusion, family history is a significant part of any medical interview and is an integral factor in instituting better overall health.
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| VON WILLEBRAND DISEASE
VON WILLEBRAND DISEASE WRITTEN BY
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SUPPOSE YOU HAVE CONSTANT AND EXCESSIVE NOSEBLEEDS, ANEMIA, OR EVEN HEAVY MENSTRUAL BLEEDING EACH MONTH. IN THAT CASE, YOU MAY WANT TO TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT VON WILLEBRAND DISEASE.
VON WILLEBRAND DISEASE
| BLOOD DISORDER
WHAT IT IS Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) is a chronic and genetic blood disorder that prevents blood cells from clotting properly due to low blood clotting protein levels. One of these proteins is an adhesive plasma glycoprotein called Von Willebrand Factor (vWF).
The disease is rarely life-threatening in Type 1 and Type 2 cases; however, it can commonly cause anemia, a chronic iron deficiency disorder. If you’ve had anemia for most your life, you should consider getting tested for VWD.
The disease is almost always inherited; however, there have been cases of some patients developing the disease later in life.
What makes Von Willebrand Disease dangerous is the excessive bleeding episodes, either through nosebleeds, the gums, menstruation, or an open wound or cut. The patient loses large amounts of blood frequently due to low or dysfunctional levels of vWF in the blood.
It's the most inherited blood disorder in humans. After his findings and description of the disease in the 1920s, it was named after the Finnish physician Erik von Willebrand.
3 TYPES OF VON WILLEBRAND DISEASE In Type 1, there are low levels of vWF in the blood but it’s not severe enough to cause excessive bleeding. Type 2 contains dysfunctional vWF in the blood, and the patient can experience moderate bleeding. The most severe and the rarest is Type 3, with a total or near absence of vWF in the blood and the bleeding is excessive. Hemophilia and Type 3 Von Willebrand Disease are clinically very similar. Proper blood testing and symptom checking determines which disease Type they may have.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
If not appropriately treated, the disease can also impact cardiovascular health, leading to blood clots in the heart, causing stroke or heart attack down the road.
TREATMENT OPTIONS There is no cure for Von Willebrand Disease. However, many successful medications and treatments have been used to lower bleeding and symptoms. Desmopressin is the most common treatment for Type 1 sufferers. It’s a synthetic hormone medication that boosts vWF levels and mitigates prolonged bleeding in patients. Oral contraceptives have also been used to treat Von Willebrand Disease, because they reduce heavy bleeding during menstruation. Other treatments include clot-stabilizing medications, application medication for open cuts and wounds, and factor replacement therapies.
Some common signs and symptoms of VWD are: • • • • • • • • • •
Anemia Bruising Nosebleeds Bleeding gums Heavy periods Heavy bleeding from cuts Blood in stools Blood in urine Heavy bleeding after surgery Poor cardiovascular health
EACH PATIENT IS DIFFERENT Knowing which treatment is right for treating VWD will depend on the severity of the case, response to previous treatments and medications, family medical history, and talking with a doctor. Despite there being no cure for VWD, with the appropriate treatments, medications, and healthy lifestyle, patients with Von Willebrand Disease have been able to live healthy, safe, and happy lives.
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CREATING A HEALTHY SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
OUR BODY AND MIND ARE INCREDIBLY DEPENDENT ON SLEEP. WE NEED REST TO RESTORE POWER AND PROCESS THE EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE DAY. IN ADDITION, SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL FOR BRAIN FUNCTION, AND A LACK OF IT CAN LEAD TO VARIOUS CONSEQUENCES.
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CREATING A HEALTHY SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
To say the least, sleep is an essential part of the day, so it is imperative to have uninterrupted circadian rhythm cycles. The quality of your sleep will also impact the kind of day you have. So how do you ensure you wake up fresh and ready to go? This article preps you to maximize the quality of your sleep. Keep reading to discover how to create a healthy sleep environment, what happens when you don't sleep well, and what factors aside from your bedroom setup can contribute to better sleep at night.
BENEFITS OF A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP: • Proper sleep helps you function during the day • Sleep promotes healthy growth and development • Sleep is the most profound rest that the body receives • It helps muscles, bones, and skin recover from daily wear and tear • Rest is likewise vital for memory The amount of sleep you obtain is significant; however, the quality is often more important than the duration. Improper sleep hygiene impacts our overall health and wellbeing in many ways. Here are a few: • Poor sleep is often the cause of tiredness during the day • It affects your memory and focus • It causes proneness to chronic health issues, such as diabetes and hypertension. Research has proven that a lack of restorative sleep is associated with an increased risk of certain medical conditions and diseases, including early death. To get a good night's rest, establish an appropriate bedtime and stick to it.
CREATING A HEALTHY SLEEP ENVIRONMENT Here are some easy but essential tips to follow for getting quality sleep: 1. Make your bedroom an area to relax and unwind. Avoid taking electronics such as your computer, phone, or tablet into your comfort space.
2. Invest in blackout curtains to block any light from getting into your room. 3. Keep your bedroom cool at night - open the windows or let the air conditioner kick in before bed. You can also try using a sleep mask or ear plugs to sleep in a quiet room without distractions. When you have those basics nailed - great! However, a healthy environment won't necessarily guarantee you quality sleep. So here's what else to consider: 1. If you must use a computer or are working late, use the night mode of your screen so you won't disrupt your circadian rhythm, and you'll be able to fall asleep easier. 2. Are you a coffee drinker? Lowering caffeine consumption can aid in sleeping better. Caffeine "wakes up" your brain and makes you alert and more focused, but do you need it in the evenings? 3. Diet - eating a healthy diet is as essential for complete rest as a healthy one is for your general health and wellness. Many people struggle with sleep at night, and this can be the result of an unhealthy lifestyle and improper eating habits.
CONCLUSION Sleep is the process of our body and brain restoring themselves. It helps you get the energy you need and helps to rejuvenate your mind and body. Sleep is necessary for a healthy mind, body, and soul. During sleep, muscles relax, and organs process hormones and prepare for the next day. As we age, it becomes more challenging to get sufficient sleep. Therefore, creating the best environment possible for healthy sleep is crucial. Try the tips above and if you struggle with sleeping at night even after making changes to your bedroom, consult a doctor to find out what's causing the problem.
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| DRAGON FRU I T
Besties because you're sooooo
WRITTEN BY SHERINE
Not sure where it's been all my life, but my recent discovery (and by that, I mean in the last few years) of Dragon Fruit makes me feel like I've been living under a rock, especially when I learned that this superfruit had been around since the early 1800s. If I had to share my deep and personal thought about where the fruit came from, for a brief time I genuinely believed that humans created this fruit in a lab and then flooded the market and that's why it was suddenly so accessible, fashionable even, and so much in demand. And that was my truth for some time. Now don't judge me just yet because, according to legend, fire-breathing mythical creatures created the Dragon Fruit. People believed that Dragon Fruits were the last things that came out of a dragon’s mouth during the battle of the dragons. The fruits were then gathered and presented to the Emperor as a symbol of victory. Now isn't my belief sounding more and more plausible?
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While the Dragon Fruit can be identified by many names in different parts of the world, I guess that the scale-like layers of the skin and the spur-like tops may have had something to do with the name we are now so connected to "Dragon" fruit. It is also called Thang Loy in Thailand, Pitahaya in Israel, and Paniniokapunahou in Hawaii. The plant is a climbing cactus, botanically called Hylocereus. Despite its contemporary global spread, the Dragon Fruit is native to Mexico and South and Central America, and it was introduced to Asia in the 1800s. Several varieties and species of fruit are grown in several parts of the world, with Vietnam being one of the world's top producers. Asian countries cultivating the fruit include Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. The United States is a new entrant into the tropical fruit market and has also been producing Dragon Fruit commercially while experimenting with different varieties.
The main variety is, of course, the brilliant cyan fruit with either white, hot pink, or deep red fleshy insides with tiny black edible seeds. The taste intensifies as the color of the insides brightens. If you are yet to try Dragon Fruit, perhaps the kiwi is the closest in taste I can describe. If this description doesn't entice you enough to go out to get some Dragon Fruit, then here's some information that may be more compelling. First, it is said that the Dragon Fruit was grown to be eaten by royalty and the very wealthy, and if that's not enough, then this will surely be; The Dragon Fruit has many potential health benefits, including; - Rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, phenolic acid, and betacyanin. (These natural substances protect your cells from damage by free radicals) - Naturally fat-free and high in fiber - High in vitamin C (It can Strengthen your immune system) - Contains Prebiotics (Supports healthy bacteria called probiotics in your gut) - It may help lower blood sugar - It can boost your iron levels Although studies have reported some isolated allergic reactions, dragon fruit is generally safe to eat. In summary, we often hear about the benefits of fruits and plants, and because this fruit may be new to some of us, we are not always open to trying new things as factors like new textures and tastes are hardly attractive to many of us. Still, once you can put your hands on some Dragon Fruit, there are other ways that you can enjoy it, like incorporating it into your morning smoothie or even a fruit salad. Either way, don’t knock it till you have tried it and enjoy the benefits it can bring to your daily diet.
D R AGO N F RUI T SM O OT H I E
Dragon Fruit Smoothie RECIPE BY
Vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber… what a great way to start your day! All the hype around Dragon Fruit is entirely worth it and this smoothie recipe will prove it. It takes very little time to assemble and makes your tastebuds so happy.
Incorporate all your ingredients in a high-speed blender, blend, and drink.
INGREDIENTS: 1 1 2 1
cup coconut water cup orange juice frozen bananas dragon fruit or 2 packs of frozen dragon fruit 1 cup frozen blueberries ½ inch fresh ginger
*If you prefer a smoothie bowl, half the amount of liquid and add toppings of your choice (coconut flakes, almonds, strawberries).
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| LIVING FOR YOUR HEART
Heart-healthy Living WRITTEN BY
Heart problems and strokes are the leading cause of death worldwide, yet they're preventable. Even though lifestyle modifications can help with lowering the chances of heart disease, it may be hard to defy genetics. Yet there are ways to avoid or delay the issues if you learn to lead a healthy lifestyle, the lifestyle your heart with thank you later for.
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What is heart health? What can you do to have a healthy heart? And what to do to boost its health? This is what we are going to look at in this article.
WHAT’S THE ISSUE? If your heart is not healthy, you are at risk for various problems. Several of these problems go undetected for years, making prevention essential. High cholesterol and hypertension are two of the most common heart conditions. Both trigger the heart to work overtime and may also add to an early death. While these troubles may seem unconnected, they are relevant and should be dealt with. The good news is that most diseases are preventable. Let’s look at ways to boost your heart health and live a quality life.
LIVING FOR YOUR HEART
HOW TO BOOST YOUR HEART HEALTH Good overall health is vital for your health and well-being, and heart health is no exception. A healthy way of living has a well-balanced diet regimen and regular workouts.
ENJOY A WELL-BALANCED DIET A well-balanced diet plan is essential to a healthy heart. There are numerous heart-healthy foods, such as avocados and nuts. These foods have a high satiety index, they are high in healthy fats and have high fibrous content. It would also help if you reduced the bad fats in processed food. • Including low-fat dairy products and fish in your diet is also essential. The most effective heart-healthy foods are also naturally low in cholesterol. • Incorporate fish into your diet a minimum of two times a week and swap red meat for fish at least once a week. Also, try to eat more grilled and baked foods instead of fried or high-sodium foods.
• Although most people think of snacking as harmful, it can play a vital role in a heart-healthy diet. When snacking to satisfy your hunger, try to eat vegetables and fruits instead of crisps or other processed foods. • Lower your portion size and limit the intake of high-fat/high-sodium foods. For example, your daily allowance should be around half a cup of pasta, two ounces of lean meat, and 1/4 cup of nuts. • Did you know that chocolate and wine are good for the heart? Cocoa and red wine contain antioxidants, substances that work to protect your cells from damage. The research found that antioxidants increase HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) which can reduce the risk of blood clots. • We encourage you to start flossing more often because gum disease is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
EXERCISE REGULARLY The advantages of regular exercise for heart health and wellness can be numerous: Exercise improves muscular function, including the heart (remember, the heart is a muscle, too). During workouts, this improved function improves blood flow and reduces fatigue and reduces stress hormones which can add extra unnecessary stress to the heart. • Try to walk around 10,000 steps per day. That's about five miles. • Aim for at least 150 mins of physical activity weekly. Ideally, it should be 2 or 3 days of strength training per week as well as a few runs or anything that gets your heart rate high (you know it’s high when you’re out of breath). Any type of aerobic exercise (running, swimming, interval training, etc.) will improve blood circulation and lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure in the long run. Some extra things to consider: • Sleep well. Insufficient sleep leads to stress and bad habits which in turn lead to raised blood pressure, high cholesterol and high resting heart rate. • Socialise more. It is good for the heart and soul; the happier you are the less stressed you are. • Know your cholesterol and blood pressure. Get your lab tests done once in a while to monitor the situation; so many people have the fear of needles but getting your blood work done is so worth it. • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Smoking blocks your blood vessels with a plaque which restricts blood flow from and to your heart and increases the risk of a heart attack.
CONCLUSION Heart health is an important issue that can significantly impact your life. What's important to remember is that your heart is an organ that needs to be kept healthy and balanced so that it can continue to pump blood throughout your body and provide you with vital nutrients. That being said, there are numerous techniques whereby you can improve your heart wellness. Healthy lifestyle - eating a balanced diet, not smoking, not drinking too much alcohol, exercising regularly, and going to doctors when something is not right will boost your heart health and you will live a long and happy life. You’ve got this! 37 | u
TEN STATS on Digital Healthcare As telemedicine and telehealth services continue to grow in popularity, reports from surveys only suggest further expansion to digitally enabled care.
WRITTEN BY STAFF
91% of patients reported that telemedicine would encourage them to be more accountable for their health and to stay up to date with appointments.
When asked how satisfied patients were with their telehealth visits, 42% said they were extremely satisfied, 36% said they were satisfied, and 16% said they were neutral.
According to a 2022 survey, 38% of the US population received care via a telehealth service in 2021.
It is projected that by 2025, 43% of the US population will become regular telehealth users.
When asked which services patients will be willing to use telehealth, the responses reported 69% for common illnesses and 66% for follow-up visits.
49% of patients said they would use a telehealth platform for talk therapy and psychological assistance.
More than 60% of physicians reported that telehealth is “easy to use.”
68% of medical professionals reported that they plan to increase the use of telehealth within their practice.
10. 85% of physicians stated that telehealth services allowed them to increase timeliness, and 75% said they were able to deliver high-quality healthcare.
93% of patients are willing to utilize telemedicine to manage prescription refills.
(American Medical Association, 2022).
THE NEXT U October to December 2022
MASS MEDIA AND MEDICINE TELEVISION, RADIO, ADVERTISING, THE MOVIES, AND ITS INFLUENCE ON YOUR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH.
Fortified Foods The Benefits & Risks. I Feel how I Feel The world of Emotions.
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