Scary Words, Forgetful Foods and other news

by DavalosMcCormack on December 15, 2008

You know that old kid’s nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”. Well, a new study says it’s wrong.

The study, published in the online version journal Public Library of Science: ONE, found that the label that is used to identify a disease can influence how serious people think the condition is.

For example, telling someone they have hyperhidrosis sounds much more serious than just telling them they sweat a lot. As if they didn’t already know! Or learning that you have gastro esophageal reflux disorder sounds much more ominous than being told you have heartburn.

The researchers say when people were given the more ‘medicalized’ term for the disease they thought it was more serious than when told the more commonly used name for it.

One of the reasons why it’s important to be aware of that is the fact that many advertisers use the medicalized name to make people think their problem is more serious than it is, and to encourage them to buy their medication to fix it.

Low Carb Diets Can Affect Your er.. What Was I Talking About?

Are you on a low-carb diet? If you can’t remember the answer is probably yes. A new study says diets low in carbohydrates may affect your memory.

Researchers in the psychology department at Tufts University found that when dieters eliminated carbohydrates from their meals they performed worse on memory-based tasks than when they included carbs in their diet.

They followed 19 women between the ages of 22 and 55, some of whom ate a normal balanced diet, others ate a diet with very low or zero carbohydrates. Then the women were given a series of tests over six weeks to measure their cognitive skills.

They found that women on the low-carb or no-carb diets showed a gradual decline on the memory-related tests compared to women eating carbs. They also found that the no/low-carb gals had slower reaction time, and their visuospatial memory (the bit of the brain that remembers where things are stored) was not as good.

So, low-carb diets may help you lose weight but because they deprive the body of glucose, which the brain needs for energy, it may also help you lose your mind. Not really a very good trade off is it.

Stopping Smoking Is Harder for Women

If you have ever tried to quit smoking you’ll know how difficult it can be. Tremendously hard in fact. Studies show the average smoker will make six separate efforts to kick the habit before they succeed. But now the Mayo Clinic says it may be even harder for women.

Women who are trying to stop smoking often report experiencing more intense withdrawal symptoms compared to men, including depression, irritability, anxiety and even lethargy. And to cap it all off they say it stops them concentrating and even adds a few pounds to their girth.

Those extra pounds, 5 to 10 pounds on average, can make women feel even more anxious so what do they do? Light up a cigarette.

So the latest issue of the Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource has some simple tips for women¬† on how to overcome these obstacles.

1) Set a quit date and stick to it

2) Choose something to help you such as nicotine gum or a patch. These can help reduce cravings and ease withdrawal.
3)  Get help. See a counselor or go to the American Cancer Society and talk to one of their experts, they can help you develop a personalized plan to quit.

4) Get support. Doing this is tough enough without trying to do it alone. Join a support group, get your family and friends to rally around. Anything to help you quit.

Those are not guarantees of success, but they’ll certainly tip the odds in your favor.

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