Take a Closer Look at Depression
by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read and think about the December 2017 article concerning anxiety and depression.  That story, which was the first of a three-part series on the conditions, focused on recent news briefs concerning anxiety and depression.  Now, with part 2 of the series, we’ll look more deeply at the details of depression.             Depression affects the whole person, including the body in general, the nervous system in particular, as well as moods, thoughts, and behaviors.  Depression creates effects in eating and sleeping patterns, self-concept, and a person’s reactions to the people and events in his/her environment.             Depressive symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years.  There are several types of depression with varying numbers of symptoms and frequency and duration of occurrence.             Common symptoms of any type of depression include the following:…
Everyday Help for Anxiety and Depression

By Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health disorders in the United States, especially among women.  Each condition is worthy of its own article and will get one in the upcoming few weeks, but first, let’s begin our investigation of anxiety and depression by taking a look at some of the recent news pertaining to these two conditions.  Then, in January, we’ll dive deeper into each condition with more in-depth information.
Recent News about Anxiety and Depression:
            •  There really are good reasons for adult coloring books; they are not just a fad.  Among other benefits, coloring produces relaxing alpha brain waves, which can cut stress in half in 10 minutes, thereby relieving feelings of anxiety.  The repetitive motion and fine motor control needed to color are thought to produce the calming alpha brain waves, according to British researchers.
            •  P…

Effective Strategies for Diabetes Prevention and Treatment

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

The topic of diabetes is a large, multifaceted health issue with physical, emotional, and financial ramifications for the U.S. and the world.  For the purposes of this article, we’ll take a peek at some of the many ways we as individuals can help prevent the disease from starting or can help treat diabetes if it is already present.             Shortly, we’ll look at a number of ways we can help ourselves to escape diabetes’ grip, but first, let’s examine some of the latest scientific studies that give us new clues about reducing diabetes risk and/or more successfully treating the disease if it is currently affecting ourselves or our loved ones.
Recent Scientific Studies:
            •  The first and perhaps most interesting study hails from the Netherlands, where researchers found that people with diabetes who were exposed to a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit for six hours per day had a 43% increase in insulin sensitivity …
Four Important Things Everyone Should Know about Lung Cancer Screening during Lung Cancer Awareness Month

By: Rubina Abrol, M.D.
Physician Leadership American Lung Association Houston, TX
Every five minutes a woman is told that she has lung cancer, and yet only three percent of women consider the disease a top-of-mind concern. Lung cancer is the nation’s leading cause of cancer deaths, and this year 14,500 Texans will be diagnosed with the disease. During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative is highlighting the new availability of a lifesaving tool – lung cancer screening.
Part of the reason that lung cancer is so deadly is that many patients don’t experience symptoms until the cancer has spread and developed into late stages, making it more difficult to treat. While anyone can get lung cancer — which is caused by smoking, radon, genes, particle pollution and hazardous chemicals—lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan is a powerful tool to…

Breast Cancer Awareness, Prevention, and Screening

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

October is breast cancer awareness month, and with one in eight women likely to become breast cancer victims at some point in their lives, October is the perfect time to increase our awareness of this serious problem and learn more about breast cancer detection and prevention.             As women grow older, the risk of breast cancer increases.  Nearly 8 out of 10 breast cancers occur in women older than age 50, according to American Cancer Society statistics.  That’s not to say that younger women can’t get the disease also.  In fact, an alarming number of young women in their 20’s and 30’s have had to deal with the numerous scary aspects of breast cancer, such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, drug side effects, and the possibility of death or, at least, infertility due to cancer treatment.             The various contributing causes of breast cancer are not all known at this time, and therefore, no definite way to preven…
What We Can Do to Preserve Cognitive Health

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

Note:  Regular readers of this blog may have wondered, “What happened to Part 3 of the August topics on vaccines, travel tips, and foot health?”.  The short answer, in two words, is Hurricane Harvey.  The third installment of the August story was due to be published the last week of August.  Unfortunately, this writer was too busy securing property and getting ready for Harvey’s arrival to submit the final installment of that health topic. Harvey may have delayed a whole lot of everyone’s progress, but the hurricane will not stop this blog from covering the health subjects outlined for the year.  To get “back on track”, we’ll look at Alzheimer’s disease in September and breast cancer in October.  The foot health story will appear before year’s end, probably during the second half of November.  Early November is devoted to diabetes awareness, prevention, and treatment.  Because diabetes…

Important Vaccines, Healthy Travel, and Happy Feet (Part 2)

Part 2 of Vaccines, Healthy Travel, and Foot Problems

by Darra McMullen, Women’s Health Network Writer/Researcher

Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read the first “installment” of this month’s article, which came out at the beginning of August.  If so, you’ll know this month, we’re looking at three topics, each of which has so much information pertaining to it, that it seemed best to divide the story into segments for easier reading.  As we continue our investigation of important vaccines, healthy travel tips, and troublesome foot problems, we should first take a look at an important caution regarding vaccinations.


Important Caution:
Often times, people are tempted to ease the resulting pain from a vaccine by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.  Actually, that’s not a good idea from the standpoint of producing maximum immunity from the disease for which you were vaccinated.  Anything that reduces the body’s immune response, such as ibuprofen, or even ice, can potentially r…