Health Highlight

Your Weekly Wellness Update

Safety Tip

Do you experience ringing or noises in your ears? Do you find it difficult to follow a conversation in a noisy restaurant or crowded room? Do you find men's voices easier to understand than women's voices? You might be experiencing significant hearing loss. 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to noise and nearly 50% of 75 or older have significant hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased likelihood of falls and each year about 33 million Americans are injured badly enough to require medical attention. On average, the hospitalization cost for each fatal fall injury is around $18,000. Not sure if your hearing is 100%? Here is a quick paper quiz to test your hearing and here is a sample audio test. Additionally, the COE houses the UGA Speech and Hearing Clinic which offers comprehensive hearing evaluations and hearing screenings.
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Fitness Focus

In the usual cancer biopsy, a surgeon cuts out a piece of the patient’s tumor for laboratory examination. The procedure is invasive and puts the patient at risk for bleeding and infection. Recently, researchers in labs across the country tested what they refer to as a liquid biopsy - a blood test that looks at your DNA sequencing. Turns out, every growing cell sheds tiny pieces of DNA into the blood stream. Cancer cells do the exact same thing and every cancer has a specific mutation that can be tracked within your DNA. The hope is that a simple blood draw will enable oncologists to quickly figure out whether a treatment is working and continue monitoring the treatment in case the cancer develops resistance. Physicians also believe the less invasive, less costly procedure could change the way medicine tests the effectiveness of cancer treatment, the emergence of patient resistance to treatment, and in the future, be used for early diagnosis all together, as the test allows frequent monitoring of tumors as they spread and mutate or develop resistance to treatment. Currently, the only way to monitor the cancer growth is with biopsies and doctors cannot preform weekly biopsies due to the high risk of bleeding and/or infection.

Critics of the of the studies point out that there too few studies, the sample size is too small, and the studies only looked at a particular cancers like lung, colon and blood cancer. Furthermore, the blood test is tricky because cancer DNA only stays in your system for a few hours after the cancer cells shed. However, early studies show the blood test predicted recurrences of lymphoma more than 3 months before they were noticeable on CT scans.

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Money Matters

I've mentioned things you can do if you see a return on your taxes, but what about those of us who ended up owing money to the government this year? Well, I can't offer you the money but I can offer you the opportunity to save money! I present The Money-Free Weekend Challenge! The challenge follows these simple rules:

  • You are not allowed to spend any money on anything, no matter what.
  • You can use your utilities but no extra expenses on these utilities, meaning no renting movies on cable, no text messages that aren't already covered by your cell phone plan, etc.
  • Extra challenge each weekend: for example, try going an entire weekend without television or using your car, meditate once/day, or deep clean the room you spend the most time in.

Seem like an impossible challenge? Modify it for your lifestyle. Try not spending money on Tuesdays/Thursdays or just on Saturdays. Running out of ideas of what to do with all the free time? Here are 102 Things to Do on a Money-Free Weekend.
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DIY Spotlight

Want those baking sheets looking good? Click here!
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Take a look around. Do you see that person quietly reading, writing or drawing by him/herself? He/she might be an introvert. 1/3 of the population are introverts. Now, not everyone sitting in a corner is an introvert, but introverts crave low-key, quieter environments to feel completely engaged and are prone to being overstimulated by long, intense interactions with the world around them. The Introversion vs. Extroversion argument is about more than just social interaction - the argument is also about sensory stimuli. Extroverts crave activities which stimulate their senses with lots of social interaction and introverts are more likely to retreat to a quiet place but very happy to bring someone along with them. People often confuse shyness with introversion. However, shyness is a tendency to be hesitant and self-conscious when dealing with others for fear of social judgment. So someone can be introverted and not shy, while another person can be extroverted AND shy.

Common Myths About Introverts:

  1. Myth #1: Introverts are plagued by public speaking anxiety. Many studies found that public speaking is not an act of extroversion. Public speaking is a performance and many performers are hugely introverted (like Ingrid Bergman, Kerry Washington, Chris Cooper, Amy Adams, and Steve Martin).
  2. Myth #2: Extroverts are better leaders than introverts. Extroverts are much more likely to be attracted to and selected for leadership roles but they are not necessarily better leaders. Both types of personalities are equally successful in leaderships roles.
  3. Myth #3: Extroverts are better networkers than introverts. While extroverts many have more contacts, research shows this does not directly relate to a higher rate of job acquisition. Furthermore, introverts tend to have fewer yet more diverse friendships.

People misinterpret an introvert as someone who doesn't like to be around people, when in fact many introverts love to be around people - they just need alone time to fully engage and recharge. Moreover, studies show that solitude is a tool for self-renewal, insight and creativity. When psychologists look at the lives of the most creative people the results show these individuals have a huge streak of introversion. For introverts, solitude is a fundamental aspect of creativity, productivity and problem-solving.

The fact is, most people are ambiverted meaning a combination of introverted AND extroverted: quiet in some situations and loud in others, alternating between seeking the spotlight and staying in the background. Not sure if you're an introvert, extrovert or ambivert? Listen to this talk from Susan Cain on "The Power of Introverts" and take this brief quiz to find out!

Susan Cain: The power of introverts
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