Photo by Dan Meyers

Everyone has stress and difficult emotions on occasion, and this is completely normal. Mental illness, however, is any condition that makes it difficult to function in daily life. It can affect relationships or job performance, and is caused by any number of complex interactions within the human brain. Mental illness can range from anxiety to mood disorders like depression, psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, eating disorders, or addictive behaviors.

Studies have shown the economic costs of untreated mood and anxiety disorders among moms exceeds $14 billion dollars through the first five years of a child’s life alone, and fewer adults experiencing psychological distress are being treated by a mental health professional. Of those reporting foregoing mental health care, 13% said they could not afford the cost of care, 12% reported that their insurance would not cover it, 10% indicated that fear or embarrassment kept them from seeking care, and 8% reported that they did not know where to get care.

The United States is facing a growing

Read more

Photo by Katherine Hanlon

This past Mother’s Day launched the 21st annual National Women’s Health Week. Led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, the goal is to empower women to make their health a priority and raise awareness of the steps one can take to improve their health .

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends many common measures, such as proper health screenings, staying physically active, eating healthy, and promoting other healthy behaviors. Healthy behaviors include getting enough sleep, being tobacco-free, washing your hands, not texting while driving, and wearing a seatbelt, a bicycle helmet, and sunscreen when appropriate. The Office on Women’s Health website has specific suggestions for women through their 20s to their 90s.

Women can face difficulty accessing healthcare depending on where in the country they are, being believed or taken

Read more

Vaccines are a vital part of healthcare at all stages of life and offer the best protection available against many potentially devastating illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages parents to follow an immunization schedule for babies and young children, protecting them from fourteen life-affecting diseases. Pre-teens and teenagers should begin to inoculate against meningococcal diseases (meningitis or septicemia) and HPV (Human Papillomavirus, which can lead to cancer). Adults should continue to protect themselves with a yearly flu shot, tetanus updates, and later in life the shingles and pneumonia vaccines.

An important element of immunization awareness is to protect our populations through “herd immunity” — when a high percentage of a population has immunity against a contagious disease either from vaccination or having the disease that they protect individuals who have not developed an immunity. Babies are protected by their mother’s immune

Read more

Americans are currently experiencing an epidemic caused by a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. At the time of publishing, there are over half a million cases of COVID-19 in the United States and more than 20,000 Americans have died. While the numbers continue rising by tens of thousands every day and more states are issuing shelter-in-place advisories or mandatory quarantines, Americans are confused amid misinformation from prominent figures and are at particular disadvantage due to the culture of avoiding going to see a healthcare provider because of high costs.

The first U.S. case of COVID-19 was discovered in late January. By the end of February, there were 24 cases and one American death. In the first few weeks of the outbreak testing was very limited, sometimes as few as 300 for an entire state. It then took time for health officials to realize that the tests they received were flawed, lacking critical components and delivering faulty results

In late February, a Seattle team researching the flu found they could test for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but were running

Read more

Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the United States and is found in more than 600 different prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, including pain relievers, fever reducers, and sleep aids as well as cough, cold, and allergy medicines. Over 50 million Americans use a medicine that contains acetaminophen each week. It is safe and effective when used as directed, but taking more than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends taking no more than 4,000 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period.

Here are four important steps to follow when taking any over-the-counter or prescription medicines:

  1. Always read and follow the labels on your medicines. Never take more medicine than the label says.
  2. Know if your medicine contains acetaminophen. It is important to check the active ingredients listed on the labels of all your medicines to see if they contain acetaminophen.
    1. On over-the-counter medicine labels, the word “acetaminophen” is written on the front of the package or bottle, and is highlighted or in bold type in the active ingredient section of the Drug Facts label.
    2. On prescription medicine labels, acetaminophen is sometimes listed as “APAP,” “acetam,” or other shortened versions of the word.
    3. In other countries, acetaminophen may be called paracetamol. There is no therapeutic or chemical difference between acetaminophen and paracetamol.
    Never take more than one medicine that contains acetaminophen at the same time. Always ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions about your medicines.

    If you drink three or more alcoholic drinks a day or if you have liver disease, talk to your healthcare provider before taking acetaminophen as you may be at greater risk for liver damage. It is also important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking medicines containing acetaminophen if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you take blood thinners.

    It is advised that you stop taking acetaminophen

    Read more