Hurricane Maria’s Legacy: Thousands Of Puerto Rican Students Show PTSD Symptoms

Food shortages, damaged homes, fear of death, loved ones leaving. The cumulative stresses of Hurricane Maria contributed to thousands of schoolchildren developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, in Puerto Rico, according to a study published Friday.

The study in JAMA Network Open found that 7.2% of the students reported “clinically significant” symptoms of PTSD. More girls tended to show signs of PTSD than boys.

Researchers surveyed 96,108 public school students five to nine months after the 2017 hurricane. The cohort included youth in third through 12th grades across different regions of the island.

The Puerto Rico Department of Education — which partnered with the Medical University of South Carolina for this study — is using the data to target areas with the greatest need for mental health services, the study said.

Maria, which struck the island as a Category 4 hurricane in September 2017, killed an estimated 2,975 people within the American commonwealth. Residents struggled to access clean water and some remained without electricity nearly a year after the storm.

It had dramatic effects on the students. Nearly 46% said their home was damaged. More than 32% experienced shortages of food and water. And roughly 58% reported they had a friend or family member leave the island. The effects did not vary based on where the students lived or their families’ income.

Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo, a clinical psychologist at the Medical University of South Carolina and the study’s lead author, said the findings show the breadth and indiscriminate nature of the devastation.

“That just speaks to how big Maria was, how destructive Maria was island-wide,” she said. “And it didn’t matter what your income was or your location was on the island — you were affected.”

Similar problems have been reported among children in other parts of the Caribbean also affected by hurricanes in 2017.

Congress is at a stalemate in passing an aid bill that would send more resources to Puerto Rico and other areas affected by natural disasters. President Donald Trump has expressed his reluctance to provide more money to the island.

The trauma caused by a natural disaster can manifest itself in a variety of ways, said Frank Zenere, district coordinator of the crisis management program at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, who was not associated with the study. Family units can break down through divorce or domestic violence, he said. Young children can revert to thumb-sucking or wetting the bed. Teens sometimes try to exert control by acting out or turning to drugs to self-medicate.

To be sure, Zenere said, most people who survive a natural disaster do not develop long-term mental health conditions.

“They’re distressed by it. It has impact on their life — yes,” said Zenere, who helped coordinate mental health efforts in Puerto Rico in Maria’s aftermath. “But the great majority are not going to develop psychiatric illness.”

Zenere said the differences by gender found among students reporting symptoms of PTSD align with existing literature — boys are more likely to act out, while girls are most likely to show depression and anxiety.

The study’s authors said the loss and disruption caused by Maria contributed about 20% toward the youth’s symptoms of PTSD. While the researchers did not measure what other circumstances played a role, Orengo-Aguayo said, other “protective factors” — like eventually securing basic needs and community support — influence resiliency.

Notably, Orengo-Aguayo said, the level of PTSD symptoms reported in the study is lower than what was expected. Some studies show up to a third of children will develop chronic symptoms after surviving a natural disaster, the authors wrote.

Familial ties or the fact that the study was conducted several months after the storm could have played a role in the children’s resilience, she said. Or the children might still be attuned to trying to survive.

“What we might be seeing is that children at that stage were still focused on getting access to basic needs,” she said.

Regan Stewart, a clinical psychologist at the Medical University of South Carolina and a study co-author, said the team has secured two grants from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to continue work on the island for at least three more years. It plans to use telehealth to expand access to mental health services and train school staff and mental health professionals on trauma-focused interventions.

However, public schools in Puerto Rico are burdened by economic constraints. The island — already facing a budget crisis — closed 300 schools over the past two years due to a lack of enrollment exacerbated by Hurricane Maria.

Zenere said school staff members are among those who need to be cared for first, “because they’re going to be the glue that keeps it together for that classroom of 20 children or so.”

Kaiser Health News

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Lala Kent’s Fiance Heads to Hospital With Heart Attack Symptoms Amid 50 Cent Feud

Lala Kent’s fiancé, Randall Emmett, headed to the hospital with chest pain amid the couple’s feud with 50 Cent.

According to a text message conversation posted by the rapper on Instagram on Friday, April 26, the movie producer was having health issues as their disagreement — over Kent and money — escalated.

“I said I’m sorry fofty [sic] I’m heading to emergency room Im not doing well Please don’t text me anymore,” Emmett, 48, wrote according to the screen grab. “This is too much for me I’m so hurt and not feeling well Now my ex is f–king with me after your post this is very bad for me on all levels going to er to make sure not having heart attack. Please fifty no more.”

As Us Weekly previously reported, the Vanderpump Rules star, 28, and the “Candy Shop” rapper, 43, got into a NSFW exchange on Instagram over the story of how she and Emmett first got together. 50 Cent posted a video of Kent telling costar Stassi Schroeder that Emmett sent her a car after “the first night we banged.”

The rapper, who starred in and coproduced the series Power with Emmett, captioned the video, “10 seconds left in the 4 quarter hoe’s are Winning. Do you want A range rover, yes, bitch yassss. Then just run out and suck a d–k. LOL smh.”

Kent — who got engaged to Emmett in September 2018, less than a year after they went public with their relationship — fired back in comments with, “She swears she’s a thug from south side Jamaica queens & she’s up in here watching Bravo. Someone has forgotten where they come from. Coming for me on the gram!? I smell fish coming from fifty’s direction.”

Lala Kent’s Fiance Randall Emmett Heads to Hospital With Heart Attack Symptoms Amid 50 Cent Feud
Randall Emmett and 50 Cent attend the House of Hype LIVEstyle Lounge on January 22, 2011 in Park City, Utah. Rodney Itier/WireImage

50 Cent claimed in his post that Emmett owes him a million dollars and he wants “the rest” of it by Monday.

In a second post on Friday night, he shared a screen grab of another text message exchange with Emmett, in which the Hollywood honcho said of Kent, “She is my fiancé and I asked you to be in My wedding last week.”

“What the f—k would you want me in your wedding for,” 50 Cent wrote back. “Like I ain’t got s—t else to do.”

He added in a caption that Emmett “sent me 250k today but I want all my money Monday,” adding, “if he ain’t got it he can put his Rolls Royce on the truck to NY.The friend s—t is over rated.”

On Saturday, April 27, the rapper shared a photo that showed the producer taking a selfie at an awards show as 50 Cent stood in the background and wrote, “look at this fool taking selfies, you better get me my money fool.”

Us Weekly has reached out to Emmett and Kent’s reps for comment.

Us Weekly

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Here’s why you’ve been feeling hay fever symptoms early this year

Uh oh…

cold remedies
REX

Words by Maisie Bovingdon

Hay fever sufferers have been warned to stay inside over the Easter bank holiday because pollen count will be at an all time high, with hay fever starting THREE weeks earlier than usual this year.

Yes, if you’ve been feeling the symptoms, this will explain it.

The UK was hit with the warmest winter on record – remember those unusually hot February days? Well, that has caused havoc for those allergic to pollen.

The rise in temperatures coupled with the dry and windy Spring days has created a breeding ground for pollen, and the mini heatwave earlier this year has triggered the early release of birch tree pollen, which affects one in four hay fever sufferers.

sleep trackers

Expert Doctor Jean Emberlin told Metro: ‘It was a very warm February and it certainly gave the trees a big boost in terms of catkin development.’

Thankfully March’s frosty mornings, which saw mercury plummet on the thermometer, may have saved us and halted a really REALLY early hay fever season, although it didn’t stop the dreaded months of sniffling and itchy eyes completely.

The hay fever season usually hits in the second week of April, but this year the dreaded sneezing and itchy symptoms started at the end of March, now going on for the next few months.

Now, time to stock up on tissues and hide from pollen!

The post Here’s why you’ve been feeling hay fever symptoms early this year appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Style Your Home’s Outdoors with All the Perfect Additions from MacKenzie-Childs! Save on Tables, House Letters & Chairs. Shop Now!

Maternal diet during pregnancy may modulate the risk of ADHD symptoms in children

A study suggest that the risk of a child developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be modulated by the mother’s diet during pregnancy. The research analyzed samples of umbilical cord plasma to quantify the levels of omega-6 and omega-3 that reach the fetus. The analysis showed a higher omega-6:omega-3 ratio to be associated with a higher risk of ADHD symptoms at seven years of age.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

SPECIAL DISCOUNT DEAL UPDATE:

First double-blind controlled trial of TNS shows reduced symptoms in some children with ADHD

Currently approved in Canada and Europe for adults with medication-resistant depression and seizures, trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) has been found to be an effective and safe means of treatment for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reports a new study.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

SPECIAL CHILDREN DEAL UPDATE:

Children with autism, co-occurring ADHD symptoms lag in key measures of independence

A pair of new studies has provided new insight into the challenges faced by children on the autism spectrum who exhibit symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to the findings, these children have difficulty with adaptive behavior, a key measure of independence.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

SPECIAL DISCOUNT DEAL UPDATE:

Acupressure Can Relieve Breast Cancer Symptoms

Acupressure Can Relieve Breast Cancer Symptoms

Acupressure Relieves Breast Cancer Treatment Symptoms, Study Finds

New American research has found that at-home acupressure could help women relieve some of the side effects of breast cancer treatment.

Carried out by researchers from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, the new study looked at the effect of acupressure on symptoms experienced by breast cancer survivors after treatment had ended, including chronic pain, anxiety, depression and poor…

View On WordPress

WomensHealth.com

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Cuba ‘acoustic attack’ mystery continues as study offers more details on US diplomats’ symptoms

It started with a phone call that Dr. Michael Hoffer said he had never received before in his career — not even after serving 21 years in the military.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Health

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Endometriosis: A guide to symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and more

The chronic condition can feel overwhelming, so we asked some experts for their help and insight

endometriosis

Endometriosis affects one in 10 of us, and an estimated 1.5 million women in the UK alone. But despite it being so widespread, there’s little awareness of what the condition entails (it’s not just heavy, painful periods) and how it can be managed.

With this in mind, we grilled a couple of ‘endo experts’ to help you better understand the condition. So whether you think you may have endometriosis, have just been diagnosed or simply want to learn more, read on for an in-depth guide.

What is endometriosis?

‘Endometriosis is the growth of endometrial-like tissue (the lining of the womb/uterus) outside of the uterus,’ explains Dr Anita Mitra, aka the Gynae Geek. ‘This is commonly on the ovaries, bowel, bladder and – in rare cases – on the liver and lungs.

‘The tissue responds to female hormones throughout the menstrual cycle as it would if it were in the womb; it thickens and then begins to fall away as it would during a period. However, because it’s not inside the womb with an escape route, it causes irritation, inflammation and often excruciating pain.

‘Eventually, it can cause scar tissue to develop, which in turn causes the normally mobile internal organs of the pelvis to become stuck together, further adding to the pain. Endometriosis can be staged during surgery according to where it is, how much there is and how much scar tissue is present. Stage I – minimal, Stage II – mild, Stage III – moderate, and Stage IV severe.’

Endometriosis symptoms

endometriosis

‘A lot of people think endometriosis is just heavy, painful periods; while that can be true, and it’s probably the most common symptom, it can be a whole lot more than that,’ explains Anita.

The most common symptoms include pain in your lower tummy or back, severe period pain that stops you doing normal activities and difficulty getting pregnant, according to the NHS.

‘Symptoms also depend on where exactly tissue is growing,’ Anita continues. ‘For example, excruciating pain on having your bowels open could be a sign that it’s growing on your bowel. Endometriosis also commonly causes bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, and the presence of scar tissue can make having sex painful.’

Diagnosis

Diagnosing endometriosis can feel like a long process. After seeing your GP, you’ll be referred to a gynaecologist and will also need an ultrasound. ‘Endometriosis doesn’t show up on scans or blood tests, but it’s important to do a scan for other causes of pain,’ Anita explains. The scan can pick up other signs of the condition, such as a certain type of cyst with a classic appearance.

‘A normal scan doesn’t rule out the diagnosis however – the only definitive way to diagnose is endometriosis through a laparoscopy, keyhole surgery that involves putting a camera through your belly button to look directly inside your tummy.’

How to treat endometriosis

endometriosis

The good news is that the condition is completely treatable through medication and surgery. ‘Surgery will sometimes be performed at the time of diagnosis, and involves releasing adhesions [fibrous bands that form between organs and tissue] and removing or destroying deposits and cysts,’ Anita explains.

‘This should always be performed by a specialist in endometriosis surgery and, although many people will notice an improvement, there is a high rate of recurrence in symptoms post-surgery.

‘Many surgeons will advise some form of hormonal therapy, such as the contraceptive pill, Mirena coil, or injections of something called a GnRH analogue. This is also an option for people who don’t want or need surgery; the aim is to block the hormones that cause tissue to grow and shed every month, thus reducing the amount of pain and bleeding.’

Endometriosis pain management

Anita advises that painkillers can be used, but when endometriosis pain is at its worst they may not be that helpful. ‘But it’s definitely worth a try,’ she adds. ‘Hormonal medications are the next step because they stop the build up and shedding of endometriotic plaques, which is a cause of a lot of the pain.

‘One of the biggest problems I see is constipation, which is surprisingly common because a lot of us don’t drink enough water or eat enough fibre. Constipation can make endometriosis pain worse, as it can make your stomach quite bloated and pull on the scar tissue, but it also means you need to strain more to open your bowels – which for many women is already incredibly painful. So simple things like increasing fibre and fluid intake could see an improvement in symptoms.’

A very common worry is that there’s a link between endometriosis and cancer, or even that it is a type of cancer – possibly because pain is such a red flag for so many of us – but that’s not the case.

‘While there are a few small studies suggesting a possible link, there are no large, robust studies confirming a causal link between endometriosis and endometrial cancer,’ Anita says.

Endometriosis and diet

endometriosis

First things first: there is no need to eliminate entire food groups from your diet. ‘There are a lot of people who have read about cutting out dairy and gluten, although there’s no solid evidence that these worsen endometriosis’ Anita says.

‘But I think everyone should be treated as an individual – what might work for one person may not work for another. If you want to try it, by all means go ahead and try to keep a symptoms diary. But if this doesn’t improve your symptoms, there’s no need to cut things out of your diet for fear it’s making your endometriosis worse.’

Nutritionist Henrietta Norton is not only an expert in nutritional female health, but also on what it’s like to live with endometriosis, having been diagnosed in her twenties. After her laparotomy and laser treatment, she sought the help of a nutritional therapist, which she says changed her life.

‘Research continues to prove that nutrition and diet can be fundamental to managing the condition,’ she says. ‘Studies show that taking the right nutrients through supplements can reduce symptoms significantly – 98% of the women in one study experienced improvements.’

endometriosis

So, what is it worth trying to consume more of in your diet?  ‘Zinc and magnesium are used in abundance during states of both physical and mental stress; as endometriosis is a state of physical stress, the demand is even greater than normal,’ Henrietta continues. ‘Women can actually lose up to half their magnesium supply during menstruation.

‘Endometriosis sufferers often experience heavy bleeding during their period, significantly reducing stores of iron. This, along with the trace mineral molybdenum, is required for the elimination of oestrogen (it’s thought that endometriosis is characterised by a dominance of oestrogen), and without adequate iron stores the pain management process can also be affected.’

‘Women with endometriosis have also been reported to have a lower intake of carotenoids (found in vegetables like carrots, kale and spinach) and D-glucarate (found in cruciferous vegetables, which blocks beta-glucoronidase) than women without endometriosis.’

Wild Nutrition’s Endometriosis Complex was created with the latest research in mind to use as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to managing the condition, Henrietta says. ‘Using natural forms of nutrients that are efficiently absorbed and used by the body in combination with organic herbs [magnesium, methionine, probiotics and more], the curated formulation addresses the complex condition affecting the immune and digestive systems and hormonal stability.’

Can you get pregnant with endometriosis?

endometriosis pregnant

A common worry is that an endometriosis diagnosis means pregnancy is unlikely or even impossible. But is this actually the case? ‘Not always,’ says Anita. ‘Generally it depends on the severity, but saying that, we do see a lot of women with severe endometriosis on the labour ward delivering their babies, so it’s not impossible.’

Case in point: Despite being told that she would never have children, Henrietta now has three sons, all of whom were natural conceptions and healthy pregnancies.

‘I also see a lot of patients being diagnosed with endometriosis during the investigative process for infertility,’ Anita continues. ‘On further questioning, the vast majority report a long-standing history of the common symptoms, which is saddening to hear as they often say they thought it was normal, or something they just had to tolerate as part of being a woman.

‘This is why we need to get more comfortable with talking to our friends and families about periods and women’s health – to know what is normal and what might require further investigation. And it’s also a reason we shouldn’t leave potential gynae issues right up until trying to get pregnant.’

As part of her mission to educate women everywhere about their reproductive health, Anita is about to publish her first book, which you can pre-order nowThe Gynae Geek: Your No-Nonsense Guide to ‘Down There’ Healthcare tackles all of your burning gynae-related questions, from periods to smear tests to PCOS – it’s the definition of essential reading.

Day-to-day life

endometriosis

As with any condition, it’s important to listen to your body and know when it’s telling you to take it easy. ‘I have become acutely aware of how the foods I choose to eat and my lifestyle affect my symptoms,’ Henrietta says.

‘I understand the importance of slowing down, taking time to restore and just “be” in everyday life, which has a profound affect. I now use my symptoms as gentle reminders signalling me to slow down and to rest and digest.’

Things may feel very overwhelming – especially at first – but there are a number of support groups, helplines and online forums you can visit to get more advice and emotional support. Head to endometriosis-uk.org (Anita’s go-to patient resource) for more information.

Note that the purpose of this feature is to inform, not replace one-to-one medical consultations. For advice tailored specifically to you, always discuss your health with a doctor.

The post Endometriosis: A guide to symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and more appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Style Your Home’s Outdoors with All the Perfect Additions from MacKenzie-Childs! Save on Tables, House Letters & Chairs. Shop Now!