Thursday, November 3, 2016


The St. Louis Public Library has a new online entrance.  The website is changing on Monday, November 7.  The consumer health blog will no longer be updated at this URL; instead, please find new posts here.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Open enrollment begins again

Open enrollment in the federal healthcare marketplace at starts tomorrow, November 1.  You can get help from Certified Application Counselors from Affinia Healthcare
in the Locust Street Atrium of the Central Library on Tuesday mornings from 10 am to noon on November 15, 22, and 29.  They will also provide information and assistance with Gateway and Medicaid.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month (and World Diabetes Day is on the 14th), and as an early start, here's some information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, with pages on daily management, building a support network, complication prevention, and risk.

The American Diabetes Association has an online test you can take to see whether you are at risk of having diabetes.

For material you can hold in your hands, the St. Louis Public Library has plenty of options.

From the American Diabetes Association, there's the cookbook Magic menus for people with diabetes and the health book Ask the experts: expert answers about your diabetes from the pages of Diabetes forecast, and there are lots more cookbooks and health information books, including The 8-week blood sugar diet: how to beat diabetes fast (and stay off medication) by Dr. Michael Mosley and Diabetes meal planning made easy by Hope S. Warshaw, and currently on order: The case against sugar by Gary Taubes.

In books other than cookbooks or health advice, we have The complete diabetes organizer: your guide to a less stressful and more manageable diabetes life by Susan Weiner and Leslie Josel, The buena salud guide to diabetes and your life by Jane L. Delgado, and Diabetes rising: how a rare disease became a modern pandemic, and what to do about it by Dan Hurley.
We also have exercise videos like Yoga for the rest of us. Easy yoga for diabetes with Peggy Cappy.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Magazine Monday: Women's Health

The last of the health-related magazines found in the Science & Technology Room at Central Library, Women's Health has lots of diet and exercise articles, and also, in the November issue, features on

  • boredom 
  • nature
  • pets 
  • marijuana

In addition to the copy available to read at the Central Library, there are issues available for check out at the Schlafly branch.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wicked problems

What happens when a group of smart, driven people come together to think about "the world's wicked problems"?  This is one of them.  As they say about Problem 1, "For the homeless, no amount of health care can substitute stable housing."

Homelessness is the focus of GlobalHack VI, taking place this weekend at Chaifetz Arena.  "Participants will explore drastically different approaches to issues surrounding supply chain management, client management, and data sharing for social service agencies working to end homelessness."

Monday, October 17, 2016

Magazine Monday: Well Being Journal

Every other month a new issue of Well Being Journal becomes available at the Central Library, where you can scan and email articles to yourself for free!

"Heralding the integration of medicine with physical, mental, emotional, spiritual & social aspects of health" as the masthead says, this publication contains articles on alternative medicine and holistic well-being.

Recent issues have covered chemotherapy, chronic pain, Lyme disease, and dental health.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Light up (or down) your brain!

Artificial lighting interferes with the body's biological clock.  Blue wavelengths of light, which appears white, suppresses production of melatonin more than other wavelengths; electronic screens and energy-efficient lighting produce more blue light than incandescent bulbs.  This is fine earlier in the day when it promotes alertness and focus, but bad close to bedtime because melatonin is important for both quantity and quality of sleep.

The Harvard Health Letter has an article detailing the negative health effects of lack of sleep, as well as explaining how light effects our circadian rhythms.  The American Medical Association has an article on the dangers of high-intensity outdoor lighting, specifically blue-rich LED streetlights.   Blue light also increases glare, creating a nighttime driving hazard.

The first result to pop up in Consumer Health Complete when one searches for "blue light"
is "Seeing Blue: The Impact of Excessive Blue Light Exposure" by Heather Ford in the April 15 issue of Review of Optometry, which also discusses the health implications of blue light.

This blog post was inspired by a phone call recently fielded in the Science and Technology Room, which is happy to search for answers to all your health-related questions.