HEALTH

HOW DO SOCIAL CONTRIBUTE TO MENTAL ILLNESS?

By: Daniel Pearce, D.O., FCOI, AAHIVMS

Comparison. We tend to think we are worth less than the images and stories we see online about others. We forget that others are leaving out the negative and maybe exaggerating the positive.
Fear of missing out (FOMO). We see all the wonderful things happening to others and we want those wonderful things so we feel we are cheated. This causes us to spend more time on social networks to make sure we are up to date. This can lead to addiction.
Substitutive Loss. We spend so much time on screens that we miss out on life. We don’t meet with other people in person, and therefore we feel lonely which causes depression. Loneliness is an important condition that causes much emotional and physical damage. It is much more work to be with others compared to turning on a screen. This will take some will power. So try to have FOMO about being with your friends and family.

Be aware of these problems with social media and screen time. Set limits on yourself and your kids. My wife and I try to take a walk at sunset during the hot season. If there is a proposed social occasion, I evaluate if I can move my other tasks so I can take advantage of it.

TASTE DIFFERENCES EXPLAINED
Some new research shows that some people prefer more of one taste to another. The 5 tastes are: Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Sour, and Savory (umami). My wife doesn’t like bell peppers or carrots much, but I do. She seems very sensitive to bitter tastes, but I am not. I have had to adjust my cooking to serve both our taste types.
In the future, using the taste profile of a person may help dieticians plan an improved diet that is satisfying. Maybe this can save relationships!
I’m fine with that, as long as it means more dark chocolate of ~59% cacao!
On top of this, our tastes change as we age. Preteens are very sensitive to many tastes and are more finicky eaters. It is a moving target.

FLU SHOTS PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S?
It has been shown that older adults who have some serious illnesses and had their flu shots regularly, had less risk of dementia from Alzheimer’s dementia. Now there is good evidence that the same risk was 40% lower for the general older adult population. A proposed mechanism is that the immunity generated by the vaccines causes cleaning of the brain to prevent the defects in this dementia.

STROKE RISK FACTORS LIST
Research shows about 90% of strokes are caused by risk factors that you can do something to lower them, including
1. Hypertension. Control it with lifestyle and medications
2. High blood fats. Control with diet and medications
3. Diabetes, Control with lifestyle and
medications
4. Atrial Fibrillation: a fast heart beat but irregular. Should see your provider. Some smart watches can diagnose this! Medication helps.
5. Structural cardiac disease. Like valve problems causing murmurs and weak heart. Talk to your provider regarding medications.
6. High body mass index, meaning overweight, and can be treated by lifestyle changes and medications and surgery.
7. Smoking which can be treated by following instructions on your phone: search for quitting smoking or tobacco CDC. They have many ways to help you.
8. Psychosocial issues: Depression, high stress can cause hormonal changes that promote hardening of the arteries. See your mental health provider.
9. Physical inactivity: Speed walking is free. This also causes
10. Unhealthy diet which causes many of the listed problems here and causes hardening of the arteries. Eat more plant-based foods. Avoid white starches.

ATTENTION SOCCER PLAYERS: BETTER BREAST SUPPORT PREVENTS KNEE INJURIES IN ATHLETES
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) goes from the back of one of the knee bones and attaches to the front of the other to prevent slipping of the bones too far.
Another story showed that women athletes do not get the weights and trainers/training that men get to prevent these injuries. That may be also why women have more ACL tears.
Then there are stories about transgender women athletes being thought of as cheaters.
Body alignment is important. If you have a bad hip or knee, then you use the other hip or knee more and when you walk you are not aligned so the hip forces are damaging the “good” hip or knee. Posture is important. Slouchers and having the head too forward damages several areas of the spine.

ESTROGEN DECREASES OLDER WOMEN’S DEATH RATE?
In 2002 one study caused prescribers to cut way back on estrogen therapy since the study indicated that it may lead to more cancers and heart attacks/strokes. This new, huge study of women more than 65 years old, showed reductions in death for estrogen, with or without progestin, and no big difference between oral, patch, or vaginal estrogen. The higher dose was associated with a slight increase in heart attacks or strokes and the progestin with or without estrogen slightly increased the breast cancer risk. We must keep in mind that the overall death rate was lower for estrogen users.

Keep those questions coming and be safe!

[email protected]

Daniel Pearce, D.O., FACOI, AAHIVMS
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine and HIV, Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine and Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine HIV, Hepatitis B,C, Transgender, Suboxone Specialist, Borrego Health (Riverside, San Bernardino, San Jacinto) Member, Coachella Valley Clinical Research Initiative
REFERENCES: Medscape®