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Health Topics

Below you will find information on some health topics of interest. Click on each topic for more information.

Health Topics

Cold and Flu

Catching a cold or the flu is a common occurrence during the winter months. The most common symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, tiredness, possible vomiting or diarrhea. The best thing to do if you get a cold is to stay home and rest especially if you have a fever, drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, and treat the symptoms with a over the counter medication such as Tylenol. Be sure to visit the Health Center if you are experiencing any symptoms or discomfort.

Cold and Flu Advice


Diabetes

Having diabetes can add to the stress of attending college. Whether you have Type I or Type II diabetes, it is essential to take care of your health. Make sure that your roommate knows that you have diabetes so that you will have help in an emergency. If you have any problems, be sure to visit the Health Center. Here are some helpful tools to help with ease the stress of having diabetes.

Drinking with Diabetes

Letter to Roomate

Students With Diabetes

Drug & Alcohol Abuse

Drug and alcohol abuse is a common problem on college campuses. Abusing drugs and alcohol can have a major negative impact on your life. The Health and Wellness Center provides outreach to students with an abuse problem through the HEART, CHOICES, OPTIONS, and BASICS programs. For more information on these programs please call 724-938-5507 or visit the Health and Wellness Center.

Nutrition

It is important to eat well to have a good overall health. Following healthy behaviors such as eating fruits and vegetables and drinking less soda will lead to a better overall well-being. Every month, a nutritionist visits our center to provide students with nutritional tips and essentials on subjects such as carbohydrates, low calorie diets, and “super foods.” Check out our calendar to see when she will be visiting next!

 

FDA Consumer Health Information

Office of Dietary Supplements

Simple Tips for a Healthy LIfestyle

Over the Counter Meds

It is very important to read the label on your medications to learn about the contents of the medication, any possible side effects, and how it will interact with other medications. The main parts of the label that you should read are:

  • Active Ingredients – what is in the medication
  • Uses – what the medication is used to treat
  • Warnings- when you should speak to a doctor, not use the drug, or stop taking the medication
  • Directions – how to take the medication
  • Other information
  • Inactive ingredients
  • Questions

Sleep

Sleep is an essential part of everyday life. It gives our bodies a chance to recoup from today and prepare for tomorrow. Most adults need about 7-8 hours of rest every night. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, about a third of the population does not get enough sleep every night. Whether it’s from working late, stress, or pulling an all-nighter for a test, many people are getting too little sleep.

Lack of sleep can have serious health consequences. It makes us cranky, clumsy, and unable to focus. We find ourselves nodding off in class, at work, or even behind the wheel. Sleeplessness also affects the body’s immune system, so it has a harder time fighting off illness. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It is extremely important to make sure that we hit the sack at a reasonable hour every night in order to have a healthier mental and physical state.

Almost everyone will have an occasional sleepless night. However if you find yourself frequently having a hard time sleeping, there could be another underlying problem such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Be sure to visit the Health Center to identify and treat the cause of your sleep disturbance.

STDs

About 25% of college students will become infected with some sort of sexually transmitted disease. Sexually transmitted diseases can be transmitted during any type of direct sexual contact. Some of the most common STDs are:

There are several ways to ensure that you do not become infected with an STD. The first thing to do is ALWAYS use a condom. Make sure you carry one, and never have sex without one. Another way to reduce the chances of infection is to limit your number of partners. Finally, make sure that you and your partner are tested for STDs. Some STDs never show symptoms so you may not even know that you have been infected.

The Health Center provides FREE STD testing to students several times throughout the semester. The test is completely confidential and tests for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Be sure to check out our calendar to see when the next STD clinic will be.

Stress

We all have stress sometimes. For some people, it happens before having to speak in public. For other people, it might be before a first date. What causes stress for you may not be stressful for someone else. Sometimes stress is helpful – it can encourage you to meet a deadline or get things done. But long-term stress can increase the risk of diseases like depression, heart disease and a variety of other problems. A stress-related illness called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after an event like war, physical or sexual assault, or a natural disaster. If you have chronic stress, the best way to deal with it is to take care of the underlying problem. Counseling can help you find ways to relax and calm down. Medicines may also help.

Emergency Stress Stoppers – These help you deal with stress on the spot. Some common stoppers are:

  • Count to 10 before you speak,
  • Take three to five deep breaths,
  • Walk away from the stressful situation, and say you'll handle it later.
  • Set your watch five to 10 minutes ahead to avoid the stress of being late.
  • Break down big problems into smaller parts. For example, answer one letter or phone call per day, instead of dealing with everything at once

The Science Behind Stress

Tobacco

Tobacco is bad for your health whether it is from cigarettes or snuff. It causes cancer and a variety of other illnesses. Second-hand smoke will also affect the people around you, as well. The Wellness Center provides educational information and help for those who would like to quit using tobacco. You can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (332-8669) for more information.

Smokeless tobacco and cigarettes cause a nicotine addiction. This addiction can make it very hard for people to stop. However, it is not impossible. Here is a guide that can help you go through the process of quitting. You won’t regret it!

  • Decide to stop – the first step is to make the choice to stop using tobacco.
  • Pick a quit date – decide when you want to quit
  • Slowly cut back – try to cut back to half your usual amount. If you always carry a pack or can, try leaving it at home. Use a substitute such as sugar free gum.
  • Build a support team – let friends, family and coworkers know that you are quitting so that they can support you. Warn them that you may not be yourself and ask them to be patient with you. Also suggest ways that they can help ease the rough transition

Quit Tobacco

New Health Issues

Some health issues are ongoing and eternal, but others are new, vogue, contemporary, or are experiencing recent breakthroughs and discoveries.  To stay abreast of current trends in health news and science, take a look at some of these sites:

College Health

Current Health Issues

The Health and Wellness Education Center is always looking for students' perspectives and opinions about current health trends and issues affecting college students.  If you have any thoughts or information on such issues that are not covered on this website, please feel free to contact Katie Johnson at joh3169@calu.edu and provide your input! 

Featured Article

This article from the Harvard Health Publications gives the top 5 reasons why people exercise: which are your reasons?

Check it out!