6 Ways College Women Can Protect Their Health

The start of college means it’s time for young women to take charge of their health.

Dr. Aparna Sridhar, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles, offers several tips in a university news release.

Know your health status. Talk to your parents and your doctor to make sure you’re up-to-date with health screenings, shots and prescriptions. Ask about the status of allergies and other health issues.

Know how to get health care on campus. Find out the location of the closest health center that accepts your insurance.

Keep track of menstrual cycles. Being aware of your cycle will allow you to provide specifics to doctors if there’s an issue. “When I ask my patients when their last period was, the first thing they do is open their cellphone. Many women are tracking their cycles through apps now,” Sridhar said. You might also want to track your mood, cramps and birth control use.

Don’t tolerate sexual abuse or violence. One in four undergraduate women is sexually assaulted on campus. Consult the campus website or your dorm’s resident assistant for help reporting an assault.

Follow good hygiene habits. Change sanitary protection as recommended.

Beware of urinary tract infections. “Drink plenty of water to flush out your system and talk to your doctor if you have pain and frequent urination with burning,” Sridhar said. “If neglected, these can lead to kidney infections.”

SOURCE: University of California, Los Angeles Health Sciences, news release

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Mental Illness in College Students Increased 16%

One in four young adults, between the ages of 18 and 24, have a diagnosable mental illness. Mental illness and health issues in college students have increased dramatically since 2000.

More than 11 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated for anxiety in the 2016 and more than 10 percent reported being diagnosed or treated for depression.

64 percent of young adults who are no longer in college are not attending college because of a mental health related reason, according to the CSC. Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder are the primary diagnoses of these young adults.

A.P.A Symptoms of Diagnoses

Depression Symptoms:

  • Behavioral: Changes in sleep habits, sleeping more or difficulty sleeping. Appetite changes, including either a loss of appetite or overeating
  • Mood: Sadness, feelings of being overwhelmed, feelings of hopelessness, and feelings of powerlessness
  • Cognitive: Seeing a glass ‘half-empty,’ having trouble concentrating and paying attention, resulting in difficulty in reading and completing work tasks

 

Anxiety:

  • Mood: fearfulness
  • Behavioral: irritability,  sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, muscle pain and tension, headaches, frequent upset stomach or diarrhea
  • Cognitive: trouble concentrating, feelings of stress and apprehension

Bipolar Disorder:

  • Mood: mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, or loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Behavioral: irritability, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, crying, excess desire for sex, hyperactivity, impulsivity, restlessness, or self-harm
  • Cognitive: unwanted thoughts, delusion, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, or slowness in activity

Without adequate treatment, young adults experiencing a mental health issue are more likely to receive lower GPAs, drop out of college or be unemployed than their peers who do not have a mental health challenge. 

Get the help you or your friends need as soon as possible.

According to mental health research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

  • One in four students have a diagnosable illness
  • 40% do not seek help
  • 80% feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities
  • 50% have become so anxious that they struggled in school 

What You Can Do

  1.  Be aware of yourself and others for these symptoms
  2. Be an active listener
  3. Avoid criticizing or belittling
  4. Reach out for help (know the proper channels/people)

Click on Best Colleges for more information about what you can do and helpful resources.

 

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Solar Eclipse – Your Hospital is Open and Prepared to Care!

Solar Eclipse Preparations

Before you and your friends were talking about the eclipse, over a year ago, Madison Memorial Hospital has been carefully planning for this event. Not only are we open this weekend, but we are prepared to care for you and all of your guests! To give you an idea, a few of the preparations are listed below:

  • Fully staffed with all E.R. doctors and surgeons on call
  • Capacity to care for about 500% more emergency victims, and partnerships with community partners for additional assistance.
  • All other positions ready and on call
  • Helicopters, if needed
  • Extra food and water

If you or your guests have an emergency, be careful in traffic! Consider taking some of the back roads to arrive at the hospital in a reasonable amount of time. Poleline Road and Barney Dairy Road are possible alternate routes. Google maps can help determine the best route for to help you beat traffic.

Madison Memorial Hospital is prepared to help you with any situation this weekend as your trusted and chosen hospital!

Stay safe and enjoy the solar eclipse!

Visit rexburgeclipse.com for more information.

 

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Strengthen Sleeping Habits: 12 Steps to Sound Slumber

1 in 3 adults does not get enough sleep, according to the CDC. Are you 1 in 3?

In August 2017, Dr. Steve Kay, a professor of neurology at USC, discussed the effects of technology on sleeping patterns. 

Dr. Kay said, “Looking at tablets or smartphones can actually cause significant sleep disruption. When your eye is exposed to blue light, your brain suppresses the production of melatonin – the hormone production our brain produces at night normally rises in the evening, peaks at midnight and then goes back down.” 

The presence of any artificial light at night can potentially damage your sleep cycle, but the blue light has been proven to be the most disruptive. Putting your phone on night mode will diminish the blue light to a softer pink light. This may help you to fall asleep easier. 

Not enough sleep, or even too much, may cause:

  • obesity
  • mood disorders
  • heart disease
  • hypertension
  • lower your life expectancy.

Also, the National Sleep Foundation researched in 2006 that only 20% of adolescents get the recommended nine hours of sleep on school nights, and 45% sleep less than eight hours on school nights.

Two consecutive nights of less than six hours could leave you sluggish for the following six days. Researchers also found that staying up an extra hour, even if followed by a full night’s sleep, is correlated with a slower performance the next day. – Standford Medicine

The Following May Help Sleeping Habits

#1 Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, and Other Chemicals that Interfere with Sleep

Avoid caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and some pain relievers) for four to six hours before bedtime. Similarly, smokers should refrain from using tobacco products within 3 hours of bedtime. It is best to limit alcohol consumption, and especially to avoid drinking within 3 hours of bedtime.

#2 Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment

A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound slumber. Lower the outside noise with earplugs or a “white noise” appliance. Keep the temperature between 60 and 75°F and the room well ventilated. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows. (Remember that most mattresses wear out after ten years.) If a pet regularly wakes you during the night, you may want to consider keeping it out of your bedroom. Keeping technology and work material out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.

#3 Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine

Ease the transition to bedtime with relaxing activities an hour or so before sleeping. Take a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), read a book, watch television, or practice relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities like doing work, discussing emotional issues. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness. If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down—and then putting them aside.

#4 Go to Sleep When You’re Truly Tired

#5 Don’t Watch the Clock; Turn the Light Away

#6 Use Light to Your Advantage (When possible, follow the natural light to help your internal clock’s sleep-wake cycle) 

#7 Keep Your Internal Clock Set with a Consistent Sleep Schedule

#8 Nap Early—Or Not at All (If napping, keep it about 30 minutes and before 5 p.m.) 

#9 Don’t Eat Before Sleeping   Finish dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid foods that cause indigestion. If you get hungry at night, snack on foods that won’t disturb your sleep, perhaps dairy foods and carbohydrates.

#10 Balance Fluid Intake (Avoid waking up thirsty and night-time bathroom trips)

#11 Exercise Early (Exercise at least three hours before bed or earlier)

#12 Follow Through

Meet Keasi Toki, a sleep technician at our sleep lab!

Some of these tips will be easier to include in your daily and nightly routine than others. However, if you stick with them, your chances of achieving restful sleep will improve. That said, not all sleep problems are so easily treated and could signify the presence of a sleep disorder such as apnearestless legs syndromenarcolepsy, or another clinical sleep problem. If your sleep difficulties don’t improve through good sleep, you may want to consult your physician or a sleep specialist.

If you are interested, we, at Madison Memorial Hospital, have a sleep lab.

Go to http://madisonmemorial.org/sleep-study-lab/ to schedule your appointment.

 

 

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