Monday, February 21, 2011

National Eating Disorders Week

Did everyone get a chance to check out the Health Services table in Alliot this afternoon?

If not, I will recap a bit on the awareness we are trying to create on the St. Mike's campus about eating disorders because this is National Eating Disorder Week.

I was watching the Today Show the other morning and they had a great panel discussion on the growing concern of eating disorders, some of the driving forces, and how it is very much related to self-esteem. They were saying that 90% of women say at least one negative comment about their physical appearance every single day and the average American women actually puts themselves down 13 times a day.

13 times!!

A poor self body image and low self-esteem is many times a precursor for the deadliest mental eating disorder.
What is an Eating Disorder?
-An eating disorder is when a person obsesses over their weight and food, whether it be an insufficent or excessive intake of food--any abnormal eating habits.

This is a serious issue among college-aged students.

Did you know? 1 out of 4 college-aged women has an eating disorder?

I will highlight 3 here.

Anorexia-not eating enough to keep a healthy weight body weight

Physical Warning Signs:
  • weight loss

  • loss of menstrual cycle

  • extreme fear of gaining weight

  • tired and weak

  • depress, low self-esteem
Eventually...anorexia can lead to:
  • damage to heart, brain, and kidneys

  • not able to have children

  • brittle, weak bones

  • problems with hair, nails, and skin

  • death from cardiac arrest, starvation
Bulimia-eating too much in one sitting then vomiting, taking laxatives or exercising a lot to get rid of the food

Physical Warning Signs:
  • usually at or near normal weight

  • teeth lose enamel, cheeks swell, hands and fingers start to calluse

  • loss of menstrual cycle

  • tired and weak, fainting

  • depressed, low self-esteem
Eventually...bulimia can lead to:
  • erratic heartbeat and heart damage

  • cramping, constipation, or nausea

  • irritation or bleeding of the throat from vomiting

  • problems with hair, nails, skin

  • brittle, weak bones

  • death from cardiac arrest or ruptured stomach
Binge Eating-eating too much at one time on a regular basis

Physical Warning Signs:
  • usually overweight, obese

  • feels out of control

  • frequent weight changes

  • depressed, low self-esteem
Eventually...binge eating can lead to:
  • damaged overall health

  • increase risk for type 2 diabetes

  • increased risk for heart disease

Did you know: if BARBIE were to be proportionately turned into an actual size person, she would be 6 feet tall, 100 lbs, and wear a size 4. She would have a 21' waist.

That is NOT normal. According to her measurements, she would not even be able to hold her head, neck, or back up. She would literally have to crawl. She would not have her monthly period either.

Why are we idolizing Barbie? She can, in no way, be real. She's a piece of plastic.

Love Your Body, Love Your Life*

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Health Talk w/ Louise!

Name: Louise Rosales

Title: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner

Louise serves the St. Mike's campus by diagnosing, conducting therapy, and/or prescribing medication to students who have psychiatric disorders, mental health conditions, or substance abuse problems. She provides a student with a psychologic evaluation with the support of psychotherapy.

She received her undergraduate and masters degrees at Fairfield University. She completed her post-masters work at UVM in Psychiatric Nursing.
She has worked at St. Mike's for 13 years as a Family Nurse Practitioner, which she still continues to do. She started working as the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in 2007.

Most commonly seen on campus?

-The majority of students who see Louise are seeking therapy for anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or substance use and abuse.


-Yes, it is FREE at Health Services.


Louise is available in Health Services on Thursdays from 9:30-3:30. If a student were to seek help outside the campus community, it could take anywhere from 8-10 weeks to setup an appt elsewhere--you will usually be in that week.
Appointments for Louise are through referalls by the Nurse Practitioners at Health Services or the Personal Counseling Center. Call Health Services to make an appointment at 802-654-2234.

What to expect.

-The first initial appointment is around 1 hour--the person will be asked a number of questions concerning their history, health, current situation, reason seeking help, etc.
-Each follow-up appointment is 20-30 minutes.

St. Michael's has an excellent support system not only at Health Services but also with the Personal Counseling Office. Click here to access their homepage! Both of these offices are happy to open their doors to any member of the St. Mike's campus community.

Be Well!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Grosssssss, right?

Up in Vermont we are always throwing around the word FROSTBITE, but do we even really know what it is?

Frostbite is the freezing of body tissue, usually skin, that forces the blood vessels to contract that causes a loss of oxygen to the affected body parts. lose feeling in the area and the color changes in the tissue.

-Occurs most commonly in feet, hands, nose and ears.
-In bitterly cold temperatures and high winds, it only takes a few minutes of exposure to get frostbite.
-Serious frostbite CAN lead to amputation
-frostbite can cause PERMANENT cold sensitivity
-If you are in frostbite worthy conditions, constantly check. It is sometimes tricky to detect because the affected areas become numb and sensitive to the cold temperatures.

Numbness in the affected area
Tingling, blistered, swollen, or tender areas
Area will redden on light skin, lighten on darker skin
Pale, yellowish, waxy-looking skin
Frozen tissue that feels wooden to the touch

First Step ---> If you think you or someone else is beginning to develop frostbite, immediately move indoors if possible.

Second Step ---> Warm the affected area-but DO NOT RUB OR MASSAGE, it can cause further damage. Instead, re-warm the body part by placing it against a warm body part or blowing warm air on the area. You can also slowly immerse the area in warm water (104-111 degrees F) or use warm blankets. DO NOT EXPOSE TO INTENSE HEAT such as a open fire, stove, or heating pad.

Helpful Hints:
  • Increase circulation as much as possible. If you're skiing, wiggle your toes on the chair lift.
  • Do not wear cotton clothing. Instead wear a loose, breathable fabric.
  • Always wear the usual hat, mittens, gloves, turtle, toque, headband, scarf, etc
  • Check out the Wind Chill Index as a guideline.

Another Helpful Hint:

  • Contrary to popular belief, a brew or shot of whiskey actually does NOTHING to warm us up in cold temperatures.
  • Alcohol, caffeine, and smoking decrease circulation. Instead we are actually letting more blood flow past the surface of the skin, where the cold outside air can snag more heat from our core. So, not a good idea in this situation.
Moral of the blog: when you are running around in a skirt and leggings, polo, or tshirt around the 3's this weekend--think of the hands above. You are not invincible.

Are You SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder

(I don't know whose baby that is)

What is it?
SAD is a type of depression that affects people during different times of the year, specifically in the winter months. It is commonly referred to as the "winter blues."

Loss of Energy
Social withdrawal
Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
Weight gain
Difficulty concentrating and processing information

Though experts cannot completely explain the cause of SAD, many believe it to be directly related to a lack of sunlight.

Is there a Treatment?
Many doctors will prescribe a light therapy, psychotherapy, or medication

And guess what? Health Services offers LIGHT THERAPY! You can come down to Health Services in the basement of Alumni (or also the Personal Health Counseling Office in Klein) anytime during office hours and sit by the your homework, relax, chill out, anything you want to do. There is wireless so you can even creep facebook if you'd like. Anything really... and it's FREE

Using light therapy, also called phototherapy, you sit a few feet from a specialized light therapy box so that you're exposed to bright light. Only 30 minutes is needed each session. Light therapy mimics outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood.

Do you feel like the SNOW will never go away? and the SUN will never shine all day ever again?

Me too!

Come relax at Health Services. Might as well try it...