Ulcerative colitis: Does drinking alcohol make it worse?

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause the lining of the large intestine and rectum to become inflamed. There may be a connection between the condition and alcohol, which also affects the gut.

Some studies have appeared to show both harmful and beneficial effects of alcoholic drinks in someone who has ulcerative colitis (UC). However, newer studies mainly illustrate the detrimental effects of alcohol.

The recommendation is to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as a general rule. Alcohol irritates the digestive tract in similar ways to UC, and combining the two may make symptoms worse.

While some people with UC may be able to consume alcohol, others should avoid it altogether.

Full story at Medical News Today

How sleep and mood impact working memory

Two new studies assess how working memory — the memory we use on a day-to-day basis in decision-making processes — is affected by age, mood, and sleep quality and whether these factors impact memory together or on their own.

Working memory is the short-term memory that a person uses on a daily basis while navigating the world, assessing situations, using language, and making decisions.

As a person advances in age, this faculty tends to decline, but there are also other factors — particularly depressed mood and low sleep quality — that can affect it, both in the short and long terms.

Full story at Medical News Today

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder prevalence is very high in susceptible groups worldwide

A major new review of the world literature has found that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is 10 to 40 times higher in certain susceptible groups than the general population. These groups include children in care, people in correctional services or special education services, Aboriginal populations, and people using specialized clinical services.
FASD is a serious, lifelong, disabling condition that affects individuals from all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is caused by alcohol consumed during pregnancy. Alcohol is a toxic substance that can readily cross the placenta, resulting in permanent damage to the brain and other organs of the developing embryo and fetus. An estimated one in every 13 infants prenatally exposed to any level or type of alcohol will develop FASD; about 630,000 infants are born with FASD in the world each year.

Full story at Medical Xpress

Why No One Feels Rich: The Psychology Of Inequality

When Keith Payne was in the fourth grade, he realized he was poor. The epiphany came to him in the cafeteria.

“We had a new cashier in the line that day,” he said. “And when I got to the cashier’s desk she asked me for, I think it was $1.25. That was the first time that anybody had ever asked me to pay for my lunch because I’d always been on free lunch.”

Keith had been blissfully unaware that many of his classmates were paying for their meals every day. But now, he began comparing himself with his peers.

“It’s not like I was poorer the day after that than I was before. Nothing objective had changed. But because of that subjective awareness, now everything seemed different to me.”

Full story at npr.org

California Chef Aims To Help Restaurant Workers Prevent Suicide

At six-foot-three, Patrick Mulvaney is a commanding force in his busy kitchen at B&L in the Midtown neighborhood of Sacramento. As staff prepare for a large dinner crowd, the chef strides through the restaurant’s narrow back hallways, where the scent of roasted chicken wafts over dishwasher steam and clanking cookware. His gravelly speech is peppered with curse words, and he’s quick to make adjustments to a tray of hors d’oeuvres or a specialty cocktail.

But even when it’s busy, he says the servers, cooks and bartenders treat each other like family. And as “captain of the pirate ship,” as he calls himself, he says it’s his job to make sure they’re staying afloat in the chaos.

The chef has made a name for himself on the local and national culinary scenes, both for his widely praised farm-to-fork menus and for his leadership on causes such as homelessness and domestic violence. Now, he’s channeling some of his energy into suicide prevention.

Full story at npr.org