Minnesota Monitor – Taking care of you, Minnesotans.

Inflammation: It Can Help You

28.09.2014 (9:03 am) – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

infmtSara watched the ball come toward her in the goal. She waited, waited, then dove. As she fell on the ball, knowing she had blocked the shot, she felt a sharp pain in her knee.

The tiny white-haired woman put aside the paper she had been reading and glanced at the clock: 6 p.m. Time to start dinner. With a deep sigh, she started to get up. As she started to stand, she involuntarily let out a sharp cry. Her eyes watered momentarily from pain, but she was standing. Her legs felt too bent and weak to hold her as she started toward her kitchen.

Ana had been sitting in the …

Resolving Conflict Is Always A Great Thing

10.09.2014 (8:43 am) – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

rciaJenny couldn’t believe how right the world felt. She and Danny had made up. Her mother had stopped nagging her. And her teacher had given her an A on her book report. What had happened to make them all change?

It all started with a speaker who had come to talk to the Students for the Environment club. Instead of talking about the ozone layer or acid rain, the speaker talked about the need for opposing groups in the town to come to an agreement on the proposed building of a multistory parking garage next to a downtown park. “The problem won’t be solved until we resolve the conflicts with …

Hepatitis Can Be A Killer

24.08.2014 (8:33 am) – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

htskDo you dream of taking an African safari, a trek in the Himalaya mountains, or a junk ride down a river in China? Do you plan a career in medicine? Do you eat oysters or dine in restaurants? Do you want a tattoo or pierced ears? If you answer yes to any of the questions, there’s something you should know. These diverse activities carry a common risk — hepatitis.

“Hepatitis” refers to any inflammation of the liver. Overdoses of alcohol, drugs, or toxic chemicals can cause hepatitis, but usually it stems from a viral infection. At least 70,000 cases of viral hepatitis are reported in the United States every year, and …

Accidents Happen, But Why Provoke Them?

07.08.2014 (8:20 am) – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

accdntIt’s no accident that the number-one threat to the health of teens and young adults is–accidents. Overall, teens are very healthy. Everyone assumes that. Very few teens die each year compared to other age groups. But of the teens who do die, the three leading causes of death–accidents, suicide, and homicide–don’t include one single disease.

Though the total number of teen deaths each year is low, these statistics are still tragic. (For each teen death, there are also 41 hospitalizations and 1,100 emergency room visits.) The accident statistics are especially tragic because the U.S. Surgeon General has estimated that as many as 50 percent of these accidental deaths and …

Good Teeth Mean Good Health!

28.07.2014 (6:55 am) – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

gtmghRaccoons in some parks and campgrounds have broken teeth, gum disease, and cavities from eating the remains of sandwiches, cookies, and other foods left by humans, says a recent report by University of Illinois animal experts. Humans are luckier. Fluoride in our drinking water, toothpaste, and other products, along with better brushing at home, has cut tooth decay in half over the last 20 years.

Many young children have never had any tooth decay. But teenagers haven’t done that well. By the age of 15, more that three out of four have at least one decayed tooth. Dentists believe we could do much better. Most of the problem, they tell …

Summer Problems Can Turn Into Fall Nightmares

07.07.2014 (6:43 am) – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

spBoy, this summer is going to be great,” said Rick as he cleaned out his locker. “It has to be better than last summer, when absolutely everything went wrong.”

“What do you mean?” asked Shelly.

“Well, we planned a driving trip from here to Seattle to camp at Mt. Rainier and then at Olympic National Park. The first crisis was that on the drive we got food poisoning from some lunch meat that wasn’t kept cold enough in our cooler. That ruined about three days. Then my little sister got burned when my younger brother poured charcoal starter on a fire while it was burning.”

“Was she burned badly? asked …

Your Immune System And You

28.06.2014 (6:33 am) – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

isBeginning in the weeks before your birth, a special miracle takes place inside your body. Specifically, your immune system is encoded with a basic message telling it whether each cell is “self,” and therefore friendly, or “not self,” and therefore a possible danger.

This important piece of information is key in the development of your body’s defense against disease. From this point on, any virus or bacterium that enters your body is seen as “not self” and the immune system rallies various defenses against it. Part of this defense involves “reading” the surface of the invading cell and calling for the reproduction of specific cells — antibodies — designed to fight …

Does Birth Order Matteer?

10.06.2014 (6:16 am) – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

dbomThe ancients had Zeus to blame for thunder, and Diana to thank for the fortunes of the hunt. Nowadays, we have our own myths to explain the world around us, along with a running argument about whether or not they are true.

Is it myth or reality, for example, that no pain means no gain? That you can raise your IQ by eating fish? That firstborn children are natural leaders?

Most experts agree that the first two statements are myth. But you can find authorities on both sides of the birth order debate. Some say your personality is dependent on whether you are the oldest child in the family, a middle …

Getting Enough Sun? You Shouldn’t Be

10.05.2014 (6:00 am) – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

gesTo young children, the sun is a friendly yellow smiley face, with lines around it.

To some of our ancient ancestors, the sun was a powerful god.

To medical researchers, the sun is a dangerous source of cancer-causing radiation.

It’s getting difficult to know just how to regard the sun. Gone are the days when we thought of it strictly in terms of the light and warmth it provides, the seasons it controls, and the crops it helps develop. Rather than just being there, the sun has become something we have to think about and deal with in our lives.

Like most other things, the sun has its positive and …