SRC-1 Gene Variants Linked To Human Obesity

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From The Baylor College of Medicine…..

BaylorCollegeMaintaining a healthy body weight is no simple matter. A better understanding of how the body regulates appetite could help tip the scale toward the healthy side. Contributing toward this goal, a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Cambridge reports in the journal Nature Communications that the gene SRC-1 affects body weight control by regulating the function of neurons in the hypothalamus – the appetite center of the brain.

Mice lacking the SRC-1 gene eat more and become obese. SRC-1 also seems to be involved in regulating human body weight. The researchers identified in severely obese children 15 rare SRC-1 genetic variants that disrupt its function. When mice were genetically engineered to express one of these variants, the animals ate more and gained weight.

“The protein called steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) is known to participate in the regulation of body weight, but its precise role is not clear,” said co-corresponding author Dr. Yong Xu, associate professor of pediatrics and of molecular and cellular biology and a researcher at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. “Here we explored the role of SRC-1 in the hypothalamus, a brain area that regulates appetite.”

The researchers discovered that SRC-1 is highly expressed in the hypothalamus of mice, specifically in neurons that express the Pomc gene. Pomc neurons are known to regulate appetite and body weight.

Further experiments showed that SRC-1 is involved in regulating the expression of Pomc gene in these cells. When Xu and his colleagues deleted the SRC-1 gene in Pomc neurons, the cells expressed less Pomc and the mice ate more and became obese.

The researchers also explored whether SRC-1 also would play a role in regulating human body weight.

“We had identified a group of severely obese children carrying rare genetic variants in the SRC-1 gene,” said co-corresponding author Dr. I. Sadaf Farooqi, professor of metabolism and medicine in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow.

Working together, Xu, Sadaf Farooqi and their colleagues found that many of the SRC-1 variants in the obese children produced dysfunctional proteins that disrupted the normal function of SRC-1. On the other hand, SRC-1 variants in healthy individuals did not disrupt SRC-1 function.

saladheartsmallFurthermore, mice genetically engineered to express one of the human SRC-1 genetic variants found in obese children ate more and gained weight. This is the first report of SRC-1 playing a role in the hypothalamus in the context of body weight control.

“By providing evidence that bridges basic and genetic animal studies and human genetic data, we have made the case that SRC-1 is an important regulator of body weight,” Xu said.

Other contributors to this work include Yongjie Yang, Agatha A. van der Klaauw, Liangru Zhu, Tessa M. Cacciottolo, Yanlin He, Lukas K.J. Stadler, Chunmei Wang, Pingwen Xu, Kenji Saito, Antentor Hinton Jr, Xiaofeng Yan, Julia M. Keogh, Elana Henning, Matthew C. Banton, Audrey E. Hendricks, Elena G. Bochukova, Vanisha Mistry, Katherine L. Lawler, Lan Liao, Jianming Xu, Stephen O’Rahilly, Qingchun Tong, UK10K consortium, Inês Barroso and Bert W. O’Malley. The authors are affiliated with one or more of the following institutions: Baylor College of Medicine; University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories; Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science; Huazhong University of Sciences & Technology, China; Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge; University of Colorado – Denver and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

For a complete list of the sources of financial support for this project, visit this link.

 

Study Reports Emerging Triggers Of Rare Food Allergy In Infants

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News from the Baylor College of Medicine…..

BaylorCollegeA study led by the section of immunology, allergy and rheumatology in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine researches an uncommon food allergy known as ‘food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome’ (FPIES) that occurs mostly in infants. The findings of the study determine the responsible foods triggers, as well as the characteristics and management of FPIES. 

“One of the main problems with FPIES is that it can be challenging to diagnose,” said Dr. Aikaterini Anagnostou, associate professor of pediatric allergy at Baylor, director of the food immunotherapy program at Texas Children’s Hospital and the lead researcher in the study. She stressed that FPIES symptoms can mimic other illnesses, such as viral gastroenteritis or sepsis in infants.

“I often find that this condition is misdiagnosed and that many people are not aware of it,” Anagnostou said. “There is also a significant delay in the diagnosis, and I have heard many stories from patients coming into my clinic and raising all of these concerns. The aim of our study is to further investigate FPIES, and to raise awareness of this uncommon food allergic disorder.”

The main symptoms of FPIES include vomiting, lethargy, pallor and diarrhea, which are triggered by typical weaning foods such as cow’s milk, soy, rice and oats. Anagnostou explains that weaning foods are introduced to infants when they are being weaned off breast milk or formula and onto solid foods. In contrast to other food allergies, FPIES presents with a delayed reaction two to four hours after ingesting the food.

The study took place over a three-year period from 2015 to 2017 and included 74 infant cases of FPIES in the area. The findings reveal that rice is the most common trigger amongst children affected by FPIES in Houston (cow milk is the most common cause in other U.S. geographic locations). Rarer triggers such as banana and avocado also were identified as more common for this population. Anagnostou also reported that a significant percentage of children had multiple food triggers, an unusual observation for FPIES-related studies.

“It is difficult to ascertain why we see different triggers in this area,” Anagnostou said. “We suspect that this observation is related to different dietary and weaning habits, with certain foods preferred as weaning foods in our area compared to other areas in the United States.”

Additionally, Anagnostou reported a six-month delay in the diagnosis of FPIES in the Houston population. “This finding highlights once more how challenging FPIES can be to recognize and diagnose,” she said. “For instance, we found that 22 percent of infants in our study received a sepsis work-up because it is often difficult to differentiate between FPIES and sepsis in young infants, especially at initial presentation.”

Due to the profuse vomiting caused by FPIES, infants can experience dehydration or in more severe cases, go into shock during the acute phase of the disease. In more chronic cases, Anagnostou said failure to thrive and malnutrition may occur if parents do not seek medical help.

“Another new finding of our study was the significant percentage of infants at risk for malnutrition because the parents become worried about introducing other foods,” Anagnostou said. “As a result of this, infants may suffer from a very limited and restricted diet.”

Anagnostou said that consulting a dietitian is one of the crucial parts of managing the disease so that families can receive education on proper food introduction. Also key to managing the condition is fluid resuscitation for severe dehydration and oral rehydration for mild cases. Anagnostou notes that giving epinephrine will not work for this type of allergy.

After a diagnosis of FPIES is made, Anagnostou recommends avoiding the triggering food. Subsequently, the food may be tried in the hospital setting under medical supervision, every 12 to 18 months to assess whether FPIES is outgrown.

“Different people outgrow FPIES at different time points,” Anagnostou said. “The food can be tried in a controlled environment and if there is a reaction, it will be treated appropriately. If the food is tolerated and there is no reaction during the observation period, then it can be reintroduced into the diet.”

mombabyAnagnostou advises parents who notice repeat reactions (usually profuse vomiting) after introducing a new food into their child’s diet to seek medical help and potentially consider this diagnosis. “I am not suggesting that for every child that vomits after a food introduction the diagnosis will be FPIES,” she said. “Of course, there are several factors at play here and many other diseases to consider, but this is something to keep in mind if the reaction is consistent with certain food triggers.”

One of the reassuring facts about FPIES is that most children outgrow the disease once they are older and that it rarely carries into adulthood. Anagnostou said there have been a few recorded cases of adult FPIES, with the main triggers being nuts and shellfish.

“There is a lot of information that is still missing,” Anagnostou said. “We don’t know much yet about the disease’s mechanism or any specific risk factors that could predispose an infant to having FPIES. What is clear is that we need to raise awareness about FPIES so that we minimize the delay in the diagnosis, which can be a significant source of anxiety for families.”

The full study was published this month in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology journal.

High-fructose Corn Syrup Boosts Intestinal Tumor Growth In Mice

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine….

BaylorCollegeDoes sugar directly feed cancers, boosting their growth? The answer seems to be ‘Yes’ at least in mice according to a study led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine. Their study, published in Science, showed that consuming a daily modest amount of high-fructose corn syrup – the equivalent of people drinking about 12 ounces of a sugar-sweetened beverage daily – accelerates the growth of intestinal tumors in mouse models of the disease, independently of obesity. The team also discovered the mechanism by which the consumption of sugary drinks can directly feed cancer growth, suggesting potential novel therapeutic strategies.

“An increasing number of observational studies have raised awareness of the association between consuming sugary drinks, obesity and the risk of colorectal cancer,” said co-corresponding author Dr. Jihye Yun, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor. “The current thought is that sugar is harmful to our health mainly because consuming too much can lead to obesity. We know that obesity increases the risk of many types of cancer including colorectal cancer; however, we were uncertain whether a direct and causal link existed between sugar consumption and cancer. Therefore, I decided to address this important question when I was a postdoc in the Dr. Lewis Cantley lab at Weill Cornell Medicine.

First, Yun and her colleagues generated a mouse model of early-stage colon cancer where APC gene is deleted. “APC is a gatekeeper in colorectal cancer. Deleting this protein is like removing the breaks of a car. Without it, normal intestinal cells neither stop growing nor die, forming early stage tumors called polyps. More than 90 percent of colorectal cancer patients have this type of APC mutation”, Yun said.

Using this mouse model of the disease, the team tested the effect of consuming sugar-sweetened water on tumor development. The sweetened water was 25 percent high-fructose corn syrup, which is the main sweetener of sugary drinks people consume. High-fructose corn syrup consists of glucose and fructose at a 45:55 ratio.

When the researchers provided the sugary drink in the water bottle for the APC-model mice to drink at their will, mice rapidly gained weight in a month. To prevent the mice from being obese and mimic humans’ daily consumption of one can of soda, the researchers gave the mice a moderate amount of sugary water orally with a special syringe once a day. After two months, the APC-model mice receiving sugary water did not become obese, but developed tumors that were larger and of higher-grade than those in model mice treated with regular water.

“These results suggest that when the animals have early stage of tumors in the intestines – which can occur in many young adult humans by chance and without notice – consuming even modest amounts of high-fructose corn syrup in liquid form can boost tumor growth and progression independently of obesity,” Yun said. “Further research is needed to translate these discovery to people; however, our findings in animal models suggest that chronic consumption of sugary drinks can shorten the time it takes cancer to develop. In humans, it usually takes 20 to 30 years for colorectal cancer to grow from early stage benign tumors to aggressive cancers.”

soda“This observation in animal models might explain why increased consumption of sweet drinks and other foods with high sugar content over the past 30 years is correlating with an increase in colorectal cancers in 25 to 50-year-olds in the United States,” said Cantley, co-corresponding author, former mentor of Yun and professor of cancer biology in medicine and director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine.

The team then investigated the mechanism by which this sugar promoted tumor growth. They discovered that the APC-model mice receiving modest high-fructose corn syrup had high amounts of fructose in their colons. “We observed that sugary drinks increased the levels of fructose and glucose in the colon and blood, respectively and that tumors could efficiently take up both fructose and glucose via different routes.”

Using cutting-edge technologies to trace the fate of glucose and fructose in tumor tissues, the team showed that fructose was first chemically changed and this process then enabled it to efficiently promote the production of fatty acids, which ultimately contribute to tumor growth.

“Most previous studies used either glucose or fructose alone to study the effect of sugar in animals or cell lines. We thought that this approach did not reflect how people actually consume sugary drinks because neither drinks nor foods have only glucose or fructose. They have both glucose and fructose together in similar amounts,” Yun said. “Our findings suggest that the role of fructose in tumors is to enhance glucose’s role of directing fatty acids synthesis. The resulting abundance of fatty acids can be potentially used by cancer cells to form cellular membranes and signaling molecules, to grow or to influence inflammation.”

To determine whether fructose metabolism or increased fatty acid production was responsible for sugar-induced tumor growth, the researchers modified APC-model mice to lack genes coding for enzymes involved in either fructose metabolism or fatty acid synthesis. One group of APC-model mice lacked an enzyme KHK, which is involved in fructose metabolism, and another group lacked enzyme FASN, which participates in fatty acid synthesis. They found that mice lacking either of these genes did not develop larger tumors, unlike APC-model mice, when fed the same modest amounts of high-fructose corn syrup.

“This study revealed the surprising result that colorectal cancers utilize high-fructose corn syrup, the major ingredient in most sugary sodas and many other processed foods, as a fuel to increase rates of tumor growth,” Cantley said. “While many studies have correlated increased rates of colorectal cancer with diet, this study shows a direct molecular mechanism for the correlation between consumption of sugar and colorectal cancer.”

“Our findings also open new possibilities for treatment,” Yun said. “Unlike glucose, fructose is not essential for the survival and growth of normal cells, which suggests that therapies targeting fructose metabolism are worth exploring. Alternatively, avoiding consuming sugary drinks as much as possible instead of relying on drugs would significantly reduce the availability of sugar in the colon.”

didyouknowWhile further studies in humans are necessary, Yun and colleagues hope this research will help to raise public awareness about the potentially harmful consequences consuming sugary drinks has on human health and contribute to reducing the risk and mortality of colorectal cancer worldwide.

Other contributors to this work include Drs. Sukjin Yang, Yumei Wang and Justin Van Riper with Baylor, Marcus Goncalves (lead author), Changyuan Lu, Jordan Trautner, Travis Hartman, Seo-Kyoung Hwang, Charles Murphy, Roxanne Morris, Sam Taylor, Quiying Chen, Steven Gross and Kyu Rhee, all with Weill Cornell Medicine, Chantal Pauli with the University Hospital Zurich, Kaitlyn Bosch with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, H Carl Lekaye with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Jatin Roper with Duke University and Young Kim with Chonnam National University.

– This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Stand Up 2 Cancer, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and the National Cancer Institute.

The Art Of Mindfulness

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brainSubmitted by the Baylor College of Medicine….

The practice of mindfulness has been a hot topic recently, but what does mindfulness actually mean and how does one practice it? One Baylor College of Medicine expert discusses this.

“Mindfulness is the art of paying attention with a purpose and without judgement,” said Dr. Monica Alzate, licensed clinical social worker and assistant professor of family and community medicine. “Essentially, the idea is to be in the moment and become aware.”

Research has shown that mindfulness techniques work to help prevent, reduce and even eliminate physical and mental health symptoms, Alzate explained. These techniques also have been proven to be very helpful for people with anxiety and depression as well as those with anger management and concentration issues. Research is being done to study why mindfulness works.

“We still do not know exactly how or why mindfulness techniques work, but we know that they do,” she said.  

For example, one experiment showed that a group of people who practiced mindfulness based stress reduction for eight weeks had positive changes in the structure of the brain, such as increase in hippocampal thickness (involved in memory, learning, and modulation of emotional control), and decrease in brain cell volume in the amygdala (responsible for fear, anxiety, stress). Other studies have shown changes in gray matter volume and density, as well as in activation levels of the insula, which is involved in the process of awareness. These changes have been observed through neuroimaging studies using Electroencephalogram and Functional MRI.  

There are several types of mindfulness exercises that Alzate recommends practicing. They include:

Five senses exercise: For this exercise, you decide which of the senses you want to focus on for five minutes. For example, if you choose sight, then you would focus on picking out five objects you have never noticed before or if you choose hearing, you would then listen to five things you have never paid attention to before. You can do this exercise while simultaneously practicing abdominal breathing.

Body scan exercise: For this exercise you use your mind to scan your body all the way from the crown of your head to your toes. When doing this exercise you should try to exhale through your nose as it helps relax you more. This exercise can be as short as five minutes or as long as 30 minutes.

Mindful eating exercise: This technique involves focusing on the food you eat and can be helpful for people with eating issues. For this technique, you take a small piece of whatever you are going to eat in your hand and observe it without judgment. After observing it, you pick it up, put it close to your ear and move it around so you can hear the sound that might come from the food’s texture. Eventually, you put the piece of food in your mouth and you slowly feel the food as it breaks down and, lastly, you swallow it. The idea of this technique is to help people slow down and pay attention to what they are eating and to be present while doing so.   

brainthinkingAlzate emphasized the importance of practicing mindfulness techniques before you need to use them and suggested practicing with a mindfulness expert so you can learn how to properly execute different techniques.  

“You have to learn the exercises and practice them properly when you are not experiencing stress, that way when you need them you know how to do them,” she said. “Many people wait until the moment that they need to use a technique to start using it, but this will not work. Training helps the brain get used to how you are going to react when you practice a mindfulness technique. You cannot learn a new thing in a moment of stress.”

She added that although abdominal breathing is not a mindfulness technique in itself, it is the first step of many mindfulness practices, and many people do not do it correctly. To help practice abdominal breathing, Alzate said you should start by lying down and putting a very light pillow or a stuffed animal on your abdomen with a pillow behind your head so you can see if the pillow or stuffed animal goes up and down when you are breathing. If it does, then you are breathing correctly. Once you have mastered this, then you can put a hand on your chest and a hand on your abdomen so you can actually start feeling your body when you are breathing. After you are able to do this comfortably, you can start practicing your abdominal breathing while you are sitting, standing and walking. It is important to be able to do abdominal breathing in all situations because you may find yourself needing it when you are sitting in your car stuck in a traffic jam or standing in the back of a long line.  

Once you have mastered how to properly practice mindfulness techniques, Alzate suggests downloading a mindfulness app so you have access to mindfulness resources at any time.

She cautions that for some people with higher anxiety levels practicing mindfulness alone may not be enough and she recommends seeking help from a mental health professional.

“Practicing mindfulness can be a great first step for any kind of change that you may want to accomplish whether it is a short-term change like refocusing during a meeting or a long-term change like managing an anger problem,” Alzate said.

Muscle Doesn’t Weigh More Than Fat – A Pound Is A Pound

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine

musclearmThe reassuring phrase ‘muscle weighs more than fat’ can be heard reverberating in gyms across the country, but how much truth is there to it? A registered dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine says not much.

“The simple answer is, it’s false. One pound is 16 ounces regardless of what the tissue type or product is,” said Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian, sports dietitian and assistant professor in the Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Baylor. “So, for example, a pound of marshmallows will occupy more space than a pound of raisins, but each weighs a pound.”

They key is that the way you look is going to be influenced by the type of tissue in your body, Anding said. Muscle is more compact than fat, so if you gain lean body mass, it is firm and occupies less space than fat.

Lean body mass is gained by consuming a diet adequate in protein, with protein distributed throughout the day at each meal, she said.

Examples of good sources of protein include:

1. Breakfast: eggs, yogurt, a glass of milk
2. Lunch: beans, lean protein meats, cheese
3. Dinner: Fish, quinoa, tofu, soymilk

In addition to eating adequate protein, Anding said that resistance training is the other important part of the equation.

“Training hard enough to fatigue the muscle signals the muscle to adapt and get stronger,” she said.

For examples of good resistance training workouts, Anding recommends consulting with a trainer who can teach you the proper mechanics of resistance training exercises.

Anding said that it can be frustrating when the numbers on the scale does not move.

“Let’s say you are reducing your calories, eating adequate protein throughout the day and strength training. You can lose 10 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle and the scale shows no change. If your goal is to lose body fat and get stronger, a traditional scale may not be your friend. Advanced body composition tools that determine the percentages of fat, muscle, bone and water in your body can give you a better assessment of body composition changes,” Anding said.

At the end of the day, Anding said that focusing on consistency with diet and exercise will lead to success.

How Learning Health Informatics Can Improve One’s Medical Skills

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By Monica Mendoza

doctorWhether you’re a newcomer or a veteran of the healthcare industry, you may have noticed that hospitals and other healthcare organizations like International Medical Insurance firms have made the shift from manual paperwork to digital recordkeeping, especially when it comes to patient records and documentation. This is nothing new, as many industries have long since adopted computer technology to help them with their paperwork as well as their business processes.

What is new is that this shift has given rise to an entirely new way of treating patient data besides simply storing it for future reference. It’s called Health Informatics, which is the usage of information technology to collect, manage, and analyze patient medical data. This information is used to improve the delivery of healthcare to any given patient. This new trend has had such a significant and positive impact on healthcare that an entirely new industry has sprouted from it, with hospitals now employing Health Informatics experts to take full advantage of its benefits.

What does health informatics have to do with you, though? Even if you’re not a health informatics expert, why should it be important to you? The truth is that, even if that’s the case, you should still learn about health informatics, especially when it comes to navigating the systems and technology involved. In doing so, you’ll be better equipped to take advantages of the concrete benefits health informatics offers to healthcare staff, as well as improve your medical skills.

Here are some examples in how that happens.

It helps you manage your patients’ medical records better and easier.

One of the biggest challenges in healthcare has always been keeping documentation updated and accessible. Paper records and charts can easily be lost, misplaced, or forgotten entirely before they can even be placed in a patient’s file, especially on a particularly busy day.

Important test results may also be misplaced by the patient before they can even be looked at by a healthcare professional. In addition, manually searching for a patient’s records may take up valuable time and manpower. All these can result in a flawed or inefficient delivery of healthcare that could cost the hospital or organizations revenue.

Thanks to the adoption of health informatics technology, all the patient information that you could possibly need is accessible in one place—your computer workstation. The digitization of patient records, test results, and pertinent personal data into a database allows you to learn everything you need to know about a specific patient with just one click. This allows you to keep track of their health more easily while also enabling you to share their current health status with other medical professionals.

The mobile devices connected to the health informatics network also ensure that the records are immediately and automatically updated when new data about the patient comes in, such as a new test result.

By learning about health informatics, you’ll be able to better navigate your way through the technology involved and thus be able to manage your patients’ records better.

It helps you reduce trial and error in the treatment of a patient.

Trial and error in healthcare can be a costly affair, both in terms of resources being spent needlessly as well as posing serious and avoidable risks to the patient’s health. Mistakenly prescribed medication and misdiagnosis, for example, can result in the patient suffering health complications due to side effects and unneeded medical procedures. It can even lead to the patient suffering a more grievous injury or condition than what they originally sought medical help for. Such events can lead to even costlier consequences, such as medical malpractice litigation and wrongful death accusations.

Health informatics can help you and other medical professionals avoid these consequences by providing you immediate access to the updated information you absolutely need, eliminating any guesswork when it comes to crucial moments in the treatment path of a patient.

For example, it can warn you when it detects that you’re about to prescribe something that they’re allergic to or will have dangerous interactions with medication they’re already taking. It can also help alert you to specific conditions that your patient has been treated for in the past, which could help in getting a more accurate diagnosis. These and other benefits can help ensure a favorable outcome for your patient as well as cut down on repeat visits and procedures.

By minimizing trial and error, health informatics can help you become more efficient in diagnosing your patients’ conditions and treating them for these conditions. This also has the added benefit of improving the quality of healthcare that you can provide, along with increasing the level of patient safety in your healthcare facility.

It helps you enable your patients to make informed decisions about their own health.

The favorable outcome of a patient’s treatment doesn’t hinge completely on the quality of healthcare that they receive, but also on the ability of the patient to comprehend their medical condition and the treatment options available to them. By having an adequate understanding of the overall picture, the patient can then make an informed choice about their health, which would then lead to their most desired outcome.

This understanding can only be provided by you, their healthcare provider. They will ultimately rely on you to help them understand their condition and the options that they can take in managing their condition. Depending on how many patients you manage daily, you may have difficulties in ensuring that every patient you treat is fully educated about their health.

Health informatics can assist you in this regard as well. As it gives you quick and immediate access to your patient’s health records, test results and other paperwork, you can easily answer all your patient’s inquiries as soon as you pull up their file. Also, since the information in their file is guaranteed to be up to date and as complete as possible, you will also be able to update them on their treatment path progress reliably and accurately. All of this can contribute to an easier road to recovery for your patient.

Conclusion

Health informatics may seem like something that’s better left to the technicians and computer staff to worry about. However, with all these clear benefits and skill improvements that health informatics brings, it’s clear that this could be the newfound element that could truly revolutionize healthcare as we know it. You may be neglecting your own career as well as your patients’ welfare if you simply ignore it or let the opportunity pass you by.

Shape America #BIGFEATS

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#BIGFEATS

May 1-7, 2018

National Physical Education and Sports Week

SHAPE America’s National PE & Sport Week, held annually from May 1-7, celebrates the value of effective physical education and sport programs in schools around the United States. This year, Shape America will be highlighting some of our exceptional members and rising stars who are accomplishing “Big Feats” with their work — and leaving their mark on health education, physical education and sport.

During this week, and the entire month of May, look for these inspirational success stories and take advantage of free activities, lesson plans and advocacy resources from SHAPE America that can benefit your school and community.

Looking for a cool idea for May Week?

Take part in Project ACES – the world’s largest exercise class, on May 2.

The Topic Of Self-Acceptance

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womanweightsThank you to the Baylor College of Medicine for submitting this article to YourHealthJournal.com…..

When it comes to self-acceptance and how we feel about our bodies, we can be hard on ourselves. So how can we improve our attitudes about our bodies? Baylor College of Medicine’s Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale gives her tips on how to achieve a positive self-image.

“When it comes to how we view our bodies, social media can be a contributing factor, society plays a huge factor and then there are specific mental health conditions centered around eating disorders that can significantly impact body image,” said McIngvale, assistant professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor. “Additionally, the people we surround ourselves with can play a part in how we see ourselves.”

When it comes to seeing images on social media, McIngvale said the most important thing for people to remember is that we should not compare ourselves, especially to unrealistic images.

“Many times we compare ourselves to images that are airbrushed and filtered, which is not where we should be placing our importance or our significance,” she said. “Often when people go on trips, for example to the beach, one might get caught up looking at images on social media and think that is what they are supposed to look like in a swim suit, and they forget the real importance of the trip, which is to spend time with the people they care about.”

Doing activities you enjoy either with others or by yourself can make you feel healthier and improve your self-care greatly, McIngvale said. You have to transition your thinking away from traditional thoughts about how to view your body.

McIngvale recommends practicing positive self-talk. This can be done by reminding yourself that you are worthy, you are beautiful and also by being keenly aware that beauty is much more than the way you look on the outside.

“Beauty is not just physical. It is who you are as a person. It encompasses what you do for others and who you are as a part of society and your community,” she said. “It is important to remind yourself of your worth and of the things that you love about yourself.”

When you find yourself making comparisons to others, McIngvale emphasized that you should not feel that it is abnormal, because almost everybody does so and almost nobody feels like they are perfect.

familywalk“Often if I say to someone, ‘I want you to find one person’s body that you want,’ most people will actually say ‘I didn’t find that one person because I want her legs and I want her upper body and I want her stomach.’ The reality is that we all have areas of our body that we like compared to areas that we don’t like as much. It is about honing in on the qualities that you like about yourself, practicing acceptance and treating yourself better. Health is not synonymous with looks, we must remember that,” said McIngvale.

Body image is not rooted in substance, she explained. It changes every day and often even if we reach our ideal body goals, we still are not satisfied because we have a continuously unsatisfactory attitude toward ourselves. The focus should be on health and wellness not body image.

“Remember to think about your attributes that make you feel good and that are rooted in substance,” McIngvale said. “You should always be keeping yourself motivated about the traits that you love most about yourself and are most proud of about yourself. Often these qualities have nothing to do with looks but instead are focused on principles important to you and the way you define who you are and what you do.”

Project ACES Day Announced

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kidsjumpingJoin the world’s largest exercise class this May…..The 30th annual Project ACES global event will occur at 10 AM local time, Wednesday, May 2, 2018. It will be celebrated during May which is National Physical Fitness & Sports month.

On May 2nd, 2018 at 10 AM, all the children will either exercise, walk, jog, bike, dance, do aerobics, or a combination or all the above. Each school organizes its own participation assembly for the 15-45 minutes the program runs. There is no specific routine to follow, just have the children do some form of exercise at 10 AM. Feel free to be as creative as you would like. Many schools choose to invite local celebrities to the event and play music to accompany the activities. Organizers of local events can choose to get the whole school involved, or just selected classes. The majority of schools will get the entire school population outside on to a play field, put on music, and have everyone in the school have some fun by moving and exercising together.

If it rains, have a backup plan. Some schools have the student body go to the gym and do aerobics and calisthenics. Another option if it rains is to pump music over the PA system, and have the classes exercise in their classrooms. Invite the local media to cover the event. The children will love to see themselves in the newspapers or on TV. Proclamations from the Mayor’s and/or Governor’s office may also be read.

To learn more, please visit ProjectACES.com

Twice Is Nice: Enjoy Your Holiday Leftovers Safely

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine….

familysoccerOne of the best parts of a big meal are the leftovers, and according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, there are some important safety tips to follow when storing leftovers this holiday season.

“Ideally, your refrigerator should be between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian with Baylor. “If your refrigerator temperature is higher than this, then food safety is compromised.”

She also offered the following tips for storing leftovers:

* Promptly refrigerate leftovers in shallow dishes. Do not left leftovers cool off before putting them in the fridge. The longer the food sits out, the more likely it is to harbor bacteria. Food should be refrigerated within two hours of serving.

* When storing leftover turkey, make sure to take the stuffing out before refrigerating.

* Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.

* Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is correct. When heating up leftover gravy, bring it to a boil.

* Consider freezing leftovers to extend their food safety window