The Healthy Nook - UAF Student Health & Counseling


The University of Alaska Fairbanks Student Health and Counseling Center provides medical and counseling services to the UAF campus students. Our articles are written by staff members and are to help keep students informed about good physical, mental and emotional health.

Other updates will help keep students informed of our outreaches and events they may be interested in participating in.

Ask our medical or counseling professionals anything related to medical or mental health

Say Ahh Hypothyroidism by Donna Patrick, ANP

Say Ahh   Hypothyroidism

 

Q: What is hypothyroidism?

A: Hypothyroidism is the medical term for when a person does not make enough thyroid hormone.  It is a condition that makes you feel tired. The thyroid gland in your neck makes thyroid hormone. This hormone controls how the body uses and stores energy.

Q: What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

A: Some people with hypothyroidism have no symptoms. But most people feel tired. That can make the condition hard to diagnose, because a lot of conditions can make you tired.

Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Lack of energy
  • Getting cold easily
  • Developing coarse or thin hair
  • Getting constipated (having too few bowel movements)
  • Menstrual irregularities in women

If it is not treated, hypothyroidism can also weaken and slow your heart. This can make you feel out of breath or tired when you exercise and cause swelling (fluid buildup) in your ankles. Untreated hypothyroidism can also increase your blood pressure and raise your cholesterol—both of which increase the risk of heart trouble.

Q: Is there a test for hypothyroidism?

A: Yes. Your health care provider can test you for hypothyroidism using a simple blood test.

Q: How is hypothyroidism treated?

A: Treatment for hypothyroidism involves taking thyroid hormone pills every day. After you take the pills for about 6 weeks, your blood will be retested to make sure the levels are where they should be. The dosage may need to be adjusted depending on the results. Most people with hypothyroidism need to be on thyroid pills for the rest of their life.

Tagged: uaf chcuafhealth and counselingstudent health and counseling centersay ahhsay ah Donna patrick

Source: uaf.edu

Tagged: depressionchcUAF Health and Counselingcounseling

Source: uaf.edu

What does L-Carnitine have to do with Fatigue & Nerves

                                                         CARNITINE, FATIGUE, AND NERVE FUNCTION

A substance needed for cellular energy production is L- carnitine. This quasi amino acid is normally found in the body, and is easily interconverted from one form to another. Some is obtained from eating red meat and dairy products, and the body can also synthesize it from other dietary amino acids. A few people with specific medical conditions have actual deficiencies which are alleviated by supplementation; for this reason it is sometimes called vitamin B(t). It has been tried as treatment for many other situations. It is sometimes touted as beneficial for body building; unfortunately, there is no evidence that it helps athletes or otherwise healthy people perform better when exercising, nor with weight loss. There is some evidence that some (not all) people with fatigue due to hepatitis, celiac disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, advanced age, multiple sclerosis or cancer can obtain modest relief when taking a supplement. One cause of male infertility may also be improved, as could some persons with certain types of heart disease, and those taking the seizure medication valproic acid. One small study (ie, statistically not very significant) indicated slight benefit in diabetic weight loss when combined with orlistat, an over the counter medication that blocks fat absorption.

 Larger studies need to be done to provide more solid evidence of benefit from L-carnitine supplementation.  Supplementation has been reported for fatigue in vegans, persons with ADHD, anorexia or Lyme disease; no studies have been performed in persons with these issues except with ADHD due to the fragile X syndrome, in which case it may be helpful.

Consumption can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, heartburn, gastritis, diarrhea, and a fishy body odor. L-carnitine should not be consumed as a supplement by persons with thyroid disorders or a history of seizures without consulting their medical provider.

Another form of L-carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine, is used for several nerve-related conditions. There is some evidence of improved cognition in those with mild age-related (over 65) or chronic alcoholic-related cognitive impairment, and in depression in the elderly. Doses tested ranged from 1500 to 4000 mg daily, divided into 2-3 doses.  Pain from diabetic neuropathy may be decreased with the higher doses of this form of carnitine.

Although these two forms of carnitine can be interconverted by the body, because research has been done on one substance or the other, that product should be used. The cost of these products can vary wildly; comparison shopping is recommended. In addition, and as is true with all supplements, the FDA does not regulate these products for purity or to ensure they contain what they claim.

REFERENCES

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, accessed 9/24/2012

Up-to-Date, accessed 10/9/2012

Tagged: L-carnitineFatigueNervesJune ThomassonUAF CHCChcUAF

Source: uaf.edu

check out upcoming events: Lose to Win, Food Bites, Say Ahh columns, NEW Arctic Rock Therapy Radio broadcast 91.5 KSUA and so much more →

Check out your UAF Student Health and Counseling Center serving students across the UAF campus and providing quality medical care and professional counseling services.  474-7043 for an appt.

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Check out ARCTIC ROCK THERAPY on KSUA 91.5

NEW RADIO SHOW: Arctic Rock Therapy, the official radio show of the UAF Student Health and Counseling Center, and the ONLY heavy metal mental health radio show in the arctic!

The show will be on Fridays from 2-3pm.

If you ever have any events/services for UAF students that you would like announced on our show, please email them to Jessica McKay at jcmckay@alaska.edu.   We will announce them on the air.  We are open to announcing any events/services for UAF students.
 
The show will be on Fridays from 2-3pm, starting this Friday.
 

Tagged: chccounselingrockarctic rock therapyUAF Health and Counseling

Source: facebook.com

Geographical Bodies by Mary Matthews →

One of our own Mary Matthews, Director of Disability Services.  Her artwork.

Fall Semester - Classes and Services begin Thursday, August 30.

The UAF Student Health and Counseling Center will be in full swing on Thursday, August 30th, when classes begin.  This is our official start date for medical and counseling services.  If you need an appt. please call 474-7043.

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Source: uaf.edu

HEALTH FAIR NEXT WEEK

Health Fair with Your UAF Student Health and Counseling Staff

Wednesday, April 25 at MBS from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.  Thursday, April 26, at the Wood Center from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.  Don’t miss out.

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Source: uaf.edu

Vitamin C by June Thomasson, PA-C

Vitamin C

This vitamin is probably the vitamin most consumed, for the most indications, for the longest time in the US. Starting with Linus Pauling’s ground-breaking research, the American vitamin industry has taken off; it has been said that Americans have the most expensive urine in the world! Unfortunately, there still is incomplete research on the actual benefits of supplementation with vitamin C other than curing scurvy. The vitamin is vital to a number of physiological functions; the nonspecific symptom of fatigue could be the first symptom of deficiency. One study suggested 30% of the population is deficient due to poor eating habits; consumption in the diet is still the best source. The recommended daily allowance for men is 90 mg daily, non-pregnant and non-nursing women is 75 mg daily; users of tobacco should consume an additional 35 mg vitamin C daily. About 90 mg  is contained in 1/2 cup raw sweet red pepper, 1 large kiwi fruit, 1 cup orange juice (recently opened, see below), 1 cup strawberries, or 1 ½ c cooked broccoli, green peas or kale.

 

Vitamin C is very frequently used to prevent or treat the common cold. Since Dr. Pauling’s small study in Swiss school children on a ski holiday, amazingly little further research has been done.  A Cochrane review of studies in 2000, (the most recent of those included in my sources) concluded that high doses (1-3 grams daily) might decrease the duration of cold symptoms by one to one and a half days in some patients, although doses over 2 grams are more likely to cause stomach upset and diarrhea. That review found that vitamin C taken to prevent colds doesn’t help.

Other possibly effective uses include to decrease sunburn (orally or topically with vitamin E), to slow progression of atherosclerosis  (though this may be true only in specific populations), decrease risk of gout, and to decrease risk of developing mouth cancer (but no other cancer). Taken with iron pills, vitamin C does increase the amount of iron absorbed from supplements. 

 

Studies don’t support use of vitamin C for acute bronchitis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes prevention, stroke, or “overall mortality”, ie death from any cause. More and larger studies are needed to clear up conflicting evidence regarding efficacy in hay fever, asthma, infertility, mental stress, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts.  Of interest are the results of a study in 2002 testing the amount of vitamin C in various ages and sources of orange juice. The study concluded that frozen orange juice consumed within one week of reconstitution is the strongest and most reliable [orange juice] source of the vitamin; all the juices lost about 2% of usable vitamin C daily once opened.  Ready-to-drink orange juice should be purchased 3 to 4 weeks before the expiration date and consumed within one week of opening.

 

Side effects usually don’t occur until daily doses of supplements exceed 2000 mg (2 grams). This is the dose recommended by the makers of EmergenC, which contains 1 gram in each packet. In some people, this amount can cause abdominal bloating and diarrhea, and increase the risk of kidney stones. Higher doses can trigger nausea and vomiting, heartburn, fatigue, headache and affect sleep. 

 

REFERENCES

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, accessed 4/10/2012

UpToDate, accessed 4/10/2012

JAmDietAssoc, 2002 Apr; 102(4): 525-9.

Tagged: Vitamin CJune ThomassonUAF Health and Counseling

Source: uaf.edu

Vitamin C by June Thomasson, PA-C

Vitamin C

 

 

This vitamin is probably the vitamin most consumed, for the most indications, for the longest time in the US. Starting with Linus Pauling’s ground-breaking research, the American vitamin industry has taken off; it has been said that Americans have the most expensive urine in the world! Unfortunately, there still is incomplete research on the actual benefits of supplementation with vitamin C other than curing scurvy. The vitamin is vital to a number of physiological functions; the nonspecific symptom of fatigue could be the first symptom of deficiency. One study suggested 30% of the population is deficient due to poor eating habits; consumption in the diet is still the best source. The recommended daily allowance for men is 90 mg daily, non-pregnant and non-nursing women is 75 mg daily; users of tobacco should consume an additional 35 mg vitamin C daily. About 90 mg  is contained in 1/2 cup raw sweet red pepper, 1 large kiwi fruit, 1 cup orange juice (recently opened, see below), 1 cup strawberries, or 1 ½ c cooked broccoli, green peas or kale.

 

Vitamin C is very frequently used to prevent or treat the common cold. Since Dr. Pauling’s small study in Swiss school children on a ski holiday, amazingly little further research has been done.  A Cochrane review of studies in 2000, (the most recent of those included in my sources) concluded that high doses (1-3 grams daily) might decrease the duration of cold symptoms by one to one and a half days in some patients, although doses over 2 grams are more likely to cause stomach upset and diarrhea. That review found that vitamin C taken to prevent colds doesn’t help.

Other possibly effective uses include to decrease sunburn (orally or topically with vitamin E), to slow progression of atherosclerosis  (though this may be true only in specific populations), decrease risk of gout, and to decrease risk of developing mouth cancer (but no other cancer). Taken with iron pills, vitamin C does increase the amount of iron absorbed from supplements. 

 

Studies don’t support use of vitamin C for acute bronchitis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes prevention, stroke, or “overall mortality”, ie death from any cause. More and larger studies are needed to clear up conflicting evidence regarding efficacy in hay fever, asthma, infertility, mental stress, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts.  Of interest are the results of a study in 2002 testing the amount of vitamin C in various ages and sources of orange juice. The study concluded that frozen orange juice consumed within one week of reconstitution is the strongest and most reliable [orange juice] source of the vitamin; all the juices lost about 2% of usable vitamin C daily once opened.  Ready-to-drink orange juice should be purchased 3 to 4 weeks before the expiration date and consumed within one week of opening.

 

Side effects usually don’t occur until daily doses of supplements exceed 2000 mg (2 grams). This is the dose recommended by the makers of EmergenC, which contains 1 gram in each packet. In some people, this amount can cause abdominal bloating and diarrhea, and increase the risk of kidney stones. Higher doses can trigger nausea and vomiting, heartburn, fatigue, headache and affect sleep. 

 

REFERENCES

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, accessed 4/10/2012

UpToDate, accessed 4/10/2012

JAmDietAssoc, 2002 Apr; 102(4): 525-9.