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Today in Health - 4/2/14

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Today in Health, we are going to focus on the remarkable ways your body reacts to your surroundings. As a school that focuses in health care, we are always consumed by the impact of things around us on our bodies. You would be surprised at how something as little as believing something will happen can affect what will actually happen. The big articles we will discuss today are involving the impact of stress on seasonal allergies, how your brain can stop you from over hydrating and how placebos can make you feel better – no drugs required!

If you are one of the many people who suffer from allergies, you know how troublesome and draining they can become. When allergies strike, the headaches, sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes consume you and at times make it difficult to complete your daily tasks. That can get pretty stressful, right? Well, a new study shows that added stress can actually make allergies worse. Ohio State University researchers observed 179 participants over a 12 week period and tracked those with allergy flare-ups and their stress levels. Many people with allergy symptoms reported that within days of an increase to daily stress levels, they experienced allergy flare ups. Read more at “Are allergies made worse by stress?”

So, stress levels can increase your allergy symptoms, but you have the power to overcome that. It is said that drinking a lot of water can help flush allergens and you cannot get enough water, right? Wrong. While the average person tends not to drink enough water every day, there is a point when you have had enough. A new study led by The University of Melbourne and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health discovered that there is a “stop mechanism” signaled by the brain that tells a person to stop drinking water when no longer thirsty. It also showed that the parts of the brain involved with emotional decision-making were activated when people drank water when becoming thirsty and also when asked to keep drinking water when no longer thirsty. Read more at “The brain’s mechanism knows when to stop drinking water

Ok, well our brains are pretty smart, but can we trick our brains? Yes! The placebo effect has been researched and studied for decades. Did you know that a 2010 survey of more than 400 doctors showed that 56% of them had actually prescribed placebos to their patients? The brain is extremely powerful, but sometimes just believing something is working can be enough to make you function better. In a new study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology, a group of 164 students was told that they were hooked up to equipment that studied their sleep behavior. One group was then told they had gotten above-average sleep, while the other was told they had gotten below-average sleep. A test showed that regardless of how well the students actually slept, those told they had received quality sleep out performed those who were told they slept badly. Read more about the results of this study at “3 Ways to use the placebo effect to have a better day

Overall, our bodies are always affecting how we feel and think. Do something in exchange to help your body – start exercising, eat right and reduce stress. If you find yourself unhappy and stressed at work, maybe a new career is what you need. The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP) offers health care training in a variety of allied health fields such as medical assistingnursing, and more. Read about CHCP programs available at ground campuses and online.