The Weirdest Health Headlines of 2017

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One of my favorite things to do is make notes of weird, bizarre, and otherwise nutso health headlines that make the news throughout the year.  Believe it or not, there is some truth to some of them!  (Definitely not all, but some.)  Here were a few that caught my attention in 2017:

WHO to Officially Recognize Video Gaming Disorder as a Mental Health Problem
Gaming is an official disease, and classified as a mental health disorder. The symptoms include anxiety, withdrawal symptoms and antisocial behavior as well as the obvious, becoming non-productive! This disorder will surely generate a lot of money for companies who can “treat” the condition, which by the way, impacts the same parts of your brain as alcohol, porn, gambling and shopping.

Do Hair Dyes Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer?
In the study I read, the answer isn’t a clear yes or no regarding prostate cancer. This type of headline is not a new one. Researchers have been trying to clearly define the risks of certain chemicals in hair dye, and find out which colors are most toxic. Certain compounds called “aromatic amines” are found in high concentrations in hair dyes and we know they do trigger cancer growth in lab animals; however, it’s not as clear with humans. Though several population-based studies do suggest higher rates of leukemia, non-Hodgkins lymphoma or multiple myeloma in women who use hair dyes, the highest risk is actually seen in hairdressers who experience more bladder and blood-related cancers (like those listed above) but remember, they work with these chemicals all day long, so exposure is high.

Eating Cheese Every Day May Protect Your Heart
I’m not sure why, but this headline cracked me up! If there’s a “cheese gene”, I sure have it because I adore cheese. If you too are a lover of fromage, this will give you a new excuse to make Baked Brie with Blackberry Compote.  Mmm!  I’ve made cheese platters that are so pretty, they’re Instagramable, but I’m usually too busy eating to post the pics.

Researchers suggest that eating about an ounce and a half of cheese every day could help to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke! It isn’t going to “protect your heart” in my opinion, as it’s loaded with casein and saturated fats, but I’ll still mentally award an A+ to the researchers for making me drool. FYI, if you have MAO genetic SNPs (or take MAO inhibitor drugs), avoid cheese due to the tyramine content, as it can provoke a headache or worse!

Putin’s Habit of Bathing in Deer Antler Blood: A Scientific Investigation
One, I don’t believe he did that, and two, I don’t want to talk about something this absurd.

Libby Trickett Experiencing a Pregnancy Side Effect We Never Even Knew Existed
Olympian swim champion Libby posted pictures of her toenails on social media, her big toenails are breaking, chipping and essentially coming off. This can happen due to the changes in hormones during pregnancy, it’s not that uncommon as the baby ‘sucks’ the calcium and other minerals out of mother for its own developing bones, while simultaneously impacting thyroid, progesterone and estrogen hormones. (Libby’s nails will grow back.)

Weird Health Benefits of Stress
It’s true that a little stress can temporarily improve your mental sharpness, but chronic stress can deplete your adrenals, so I’d say it’s best to minimize your stress levels as much as you can. Stressful situations increase bonding with friends, relatives and your spouse. That’s why if you’re stuck in an airport overnight, you might make new friends after sharing the experience. The reason is short term stress boosts oxytocin, a bonding hormone. Further, people are forced to rescue you, if not physically, then emotionally. Stress can even become the glue in an otherwise unhappy marriage. The trouble with this is, some people thrive on stress in their life because it victimizes them, provoking others to give them attention and affection.

Low Thyroid Levels Affect a Woman’s Fertility
Agreed, this very topic was covered in one of my books in 2010, seven years ago! It just made headlines in 2017. Low thyroid can definitely contribute to infertility, miscarriage and premature births. It’s easy to test for and repair.

What health headlines grabbed your eye this year?  I’m sure there were plenty that I didn’t even hear of. Wishing all of you a happy and healthy 2018!