HEALTHNET NEWS VOL. XV, NO. 3 FALL 1999
Lyman Maynard Stowe Library
University of Connecticut Health Center

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

UPDATE
- Healthnet's new homepage address
- New titles added to our Core Bibliography
- Interested in hosting a Healthnet workshop in your library?
NETNEWS
- More information on surgery
- Outdoor and wilderness health information
- Infant car seat buying guide for parents
- Diabetes information on the web
- Some important environmental sites on the Web
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
-Recently published consumer health books:
    *American Physical Therapy Association book of body maintenance and repair
    *Bipolar disorder : a guide for patients and family
    *Epilepsy and the family : a new guide
    *Feeding your child for lifelong health : birth through age six
    *Pervasive developmental disorders
UCHC RECENT ACQUISITIONS
   * Herbal medicinals : a clinician's guide
 



UPDATE

WE’VE MOVED . . .

…our homepage, that is.  Healthnet’s new Internet address is library.uchc.edu/departm/hnet.  If you go to our old address at www3.uchc.edu/~uchclib/departm/hnet you will be automatically directed to our new address.  Eventually, our old server will be taken out of commission so it’s important to link to our new address or risk being lost in cyberspace

NEW  TITLES  ADDED  TO  OUR  CORE BIBLIOGRAPHY

We’ve made several changes in our Core Bibliography of Consumer Health Reference Books.  Several titles now have new editions and three new titles have been added. The healthcare resource guide Navigating the Health Care System has also been updated.  Both are on our web site at   library.uchc.edu/departm/hnet/.

INTERESTED IN  HOSTING A  HEALTHNET  WORKSHOP  IN  YOUR  LIBRARY?

If you would like Healthnet staff to hold a workshop in your library, please feel free to call us.  We can offer a basic medical reference workshop, a session on using the Internet to answer consumer health questions, or other topics of interest to you and your staff.  Call Alberta at 860/679-4055 to discuss your interests.   If you’d like, we can also schedule a visit to your library to meet with your staff to discuss Healthnet services.

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                                              NETNEWS 

MORE  INFORMATION ON  SURGERY

The last issue of Healthnet News described YourSurgery ,  a web site with  information for  consumers on common surgical procedures.  Another useful site to add to your surgery bookmarks is adam.com

You may be familiar with the A.D.A.M. software programs on anatomy.  The A.D.A.M.  anatomy programs contain more than 9,000 separate full-color illustrations and are available in different skill levels for professionals and consumers.  In 1998, adam.com began to provide medical and health content on the Internet.

The adam.com web site is a general health and medical site.   “Health Illustrated” is a unique feature that has  information on  45 different surgeries.  Each description is accompanied by full color illustrations of the normal anatomy involved in the procedure  and how the procedure is performed.  Some of the procedures included are adenoid removal, kidney transplant, skin graft, replacement of digits, circumcision, and liver transplant.  Some non-operative procedures include condom application and barrier methods of birth control.  There is some duplication with the YourSurgery site, but both warrant consideration when searching for information about surgical procedures.

OUTDOOR  AND  WILDERNESS  HEALTH INFORMATION

Adam.com  recently added a new feature called Outdoor Health to their web site.  information on outdoor and wilderness  health issues.  This new feature offers advice outdoor and wilderness health issues from Dr. Paul S. Auerbach, Clinical Professor of Surgery in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University.   Dr. Auerbach is the editor of Wilderness medicine : management of wilderness and environmental emergencies (Mosby Yearbook, 1995), the medical community's definitive textbook on outdoor medicine, and author of Medicine for the outdoors : the essential guide to emergency medical procedures and first aid (Lyons Press, 1999), the bible of outdoor medicine for laypersons.

Featured on this web site is information on first aid principles and emergency care, major medical complaints such as fractures, dislocations,  and shock, and minor medical complaints such as bruises, wounds, bites and stings.

Activity related information offers guidelines on fishing and hunting safety with subtopics on avoidance of hazardous animals, wild plant and mushroom poisoning,  standard fire encounter principles, and other important  issues.  Environment related concerns include illnesses and injuries caused by cold (hypothermia, frostbite, snowblindness), heat related illnesses and injuries (dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat rash), and high altitude problems (acute mountain sickness, fluid retention).  Other topics in this section cover underwater dangers, weather related phenomenon and natural disasters, and dangers from animals, insects, and toxic plants.

This is a unique site with important information for those who spend time working or playing  outdoors.

INFANT CAR  SEAT  BUYING  GUIDE  FOR  PARENTS

The American Academy of Pediatrics web site has valuable information for parents on car seat safety for children. Featured is a  one minute car seat safety checkup, a buying guide to the newest models of infant and child car safety seats, a car seat shopping guide for children with special needs, and a policy statement by the Academy for physicians to use when counseling parents on car seat safety.    Also included is information on automobile air bag safety for children.

DIABETES  INFORMATION  ON  THE WEB

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which there is too much sugar in the blood.  It affects about 6% of the population in the United States - over 10 million people - and approximately 2,200 people are diagnosed with diabetes each day.  Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.  Complications  include stroke, blindness, kidney disease,  poor circulation leading to amputation of the leg,  painful nerve damage, and heart disease. Left untreated, diabetes is fatal.   Although there is no cure for diabetes, the disease can be controlled by diet, medications, and exercise,  and weight loss.

There are many excellent sources of information on diabetes on the Internet.  Several of the most notable ones include:

American  Diabetes Association
This site offers information for both patients and professionals.  It features general information for patients on how diabetes is diagnosed and treated, understanding lab tests, a risk assessment for diabetes, guidelines and advice on nutrition, exercise and weight loss, clinical practice guidelines, and current news stories.   ADA books may be ordered online and the site includes a buyer’s guide to diabetes products.

Joslin Diabetes Center
The Joslin  diabetes library includes general information on the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Other features include information on meal planning, genetics and diabetes, monitoring blood sugars, facts about insulin, and nutrition and exercise.  The site includes discusson groups for patients and families, diabetes in the news, current research, and ordering information for publications and videos.  The site is for patients, their families, and health professionals.

MedlinePlus
This is the National Library of Medicine’s consumer health web site that  includes information on diabetes from the federal government and health organizations.  Topics covered  are disease management, understanding gestational diabetes, diagnosis, and prevention and screening. Provides links to titles and summaries of research articles appearing in medical journals.

National Institute of Diabetes and  Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)  –
Part of the National Institutes of Health, the NIDDK offers information on diabetes diagnosis and treatment.  Special topics include diabetic eye disease, diabetic neuropathy,  complications of the disease, alternative therapies for diabetes,  foot care, end stage renal disease, and more.  A diabetes dictionary is also included.

Rick Mendosa’s Diabetes Directory
Rick Mendosa is a free lance journalist and medical writer who has diabetes.  He developed this web site to help people who have diabetes find up-to-date information manage their disease.  The site includes links to  diabetes related organizations, universities, hospitals, and research centers, government sources of information, and personal web sites.  Also included is extensive information on the glycemic index and articles by and about people who live with diabetes.  Sometimes difficult to navigate, but loaded with information.

SOME  IMPORTANT ENVIRONMENTAL SITES ON THE WEB 

The Emergency Planning and  Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) mandated public access to information on hazardous substances and the release of toxins by companies and businesses in the United States.  The Right to Know (RTK) Network  was established in 1989 to help citizens locate information on the release of toxic substances in their communities.  It  provides free access to numerous databases, text files, and conferences on the environment, including a  toxic release inventory database, a database of chemical accidents, an index of facilities regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, and a database of Superfund sites.

Each of the databases, for the most part, may be searched by geographic location, name of manufacturing facility, name of chemical, or type of industry.   Not all manufacturers in the United States are listed since individual companies may not be regulated by the EPA. It is possible, for example, to get a listing of all companies in  Connecticut regulated by the EPA, a report on the chemicals they’ve released back to 1988, and any accidental chemical releases reported.  Searches may be entered for individual cities and may be limited to a single database or all of the databases on the RTK site.

The Toxic Release Inventory database of the RTK Network includes links to company profiles compiled by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) , a not-for-profit environmental advocacy group.  EDF’s mission is to help protect the environmental rights of citizens, which include  clean air, clean water, healthy, nourishing food, and a flourishing ecosystem.   The EDF web site includes information on global warming, a guide to buying products that produce less trash,  facts on lead in china dishes, and other similar environmental issues.

One outstanding feature on the EDF site is their Scorecard (link is on lower left-hand corner) for individual companies and facilities that release environmental pollutants.   Included is community specific information on major environmental problems, a pollution  locator with rankings, a database of chemical profiles, and listings of chemicals grouped by their health effects.  Users can enter a zip code and obtain information on the major polluters in a specific  area.  For instance, a search of the 06030 zip code yields a listing of companies in the area with profiles of the specific chemicals they release into the environment.  Each profile includes a ranking for the company on its major chemical releases or waste generated.   Rankings are shown for four major categories: total environmental releases; cancer risk score; noncancer risk score; and air releases of known carcinogens.   Scores are shown on a graph with ratings from cleanest/best facilities in the United States to dirtiest/worst facilities.

The State of New Jersey Right to Know web site offers hazardous substance fact sheets from the RTK Network.  These fact sheets provide easy access to information on over 800 hazardous substances and help the user determine exposure, assess health hazards, and acquire emergency information.  The  files  are arranged alphabetically by common chemical name and are continuously updated.

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

The following consumer health books  may be of interest to public and health sciences libraries. They are not part of the UCHC library collection.

American Physical Therapy Association book  of  body maintenance and repair.  Marilyn Moffat and Steve Vickery.  Henry Holt & Co.,  1999.  288 p.  (ISBN 0-8050-5571-1),  $19.95 pap.

This is a health care manual, a fitness guide, and an exercise book all in one readable, attractive format.  Written by a professor of Physical Therapy at New York University in collaboration with a writer who specializes in patient education information, it offers a wealth of information for those who want to increase their muscle strength and flexibility and avoid major and minor injury at work and play.
The information is divided into three principal sections.  Part I consists of nine chapters, each devoted to a distinct part of the body such as the back, neck, and shoulder.  Each of these body parts is a relatively common site for both minor and major injuries.  Each chapter offers advice on how to deal with such injuries as well as how to prevent the injuries from occurring.  Part II covers prevention more thoroughly and describes the general functioning of the body part in question.

Part III is a clearly illustrated compendium of 200 exercises for building and maintaining strength, endurance, and flexibility.  Although some exercises require a set of hand or ankle weights, most require no special equipment. Many of the exercises are done seated or lying down.  The exercises can help individuals put together a personally tailored conditioning program to help in the rehabilitation process after an injury or to achieve more strength and flexibility.

An introductory chapter offers important cautions and other information essential to the proper performance of all of the exercises.  Two appendices provide quick reference to first aid information and useful tips for cardiovascular conditioning.  A recommended practical guide for those interested in achieving a higher level of physical  fitness.

Bipolar disorder : a guide for patients and families.  Francis M. Mondimore.  Johns Hopkins Press,  1999.    312 p. (ISBN 0-80186-118-7), $16.95  pap.

Psychiatrist Mondimore offers an exhaustive, scientific, and compassionate guide to the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of bipolar disorder, or manic-depression, a psychiatric disease that affects about 2 per cent of the population in the United States. Bipolar disorder is a serious mental disease.  Many patients are often incorrectly diagnosed and seek help from several different physicians before being identified as having bipolar disorder.   Approximately 15 per cent of those diagnosed with the disorder commit suicide; many more make suicide attempts.

Dr. Mondimore describes in detail the forms of bipolar disorder and  discusses the difficulties associated with an accurate diagnosis.  A summary of the diagnostic categories includes a discussion of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which lists criteria for the diagnosis of mental diseases.
A thorough discussion of the different treatments available for bipolar disorder includes the advantages, disadvantages, side effects, and other information to help patients make informed decisions.  Treatment with mood stabilizing medications as well as antidepressants, hormones, electroconvulsive therapy, and counseling and psychotherapy are all discussed in detail.  Separate chapters are devoted to  special topics including bipolar disorder in children, alcoholism and drug abuse, seasonal affective disorder, and the genetics of bipolar disorder .

Dr. Mondimore also offers advice and guidance to patients and their families on learning to live with and cope with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  He emphasizes the importance of confronting and accepting the illness, building support system of health professionals, families, and friends, and planning for emergencies.
A list of suggested readings and related Internet resources and a directory of support and advocacy organizations are included.

Epilepsy and the family : a new guide.  2nd ed.  Richard Lechtenberg.  Harvard University Press, 1999.  240 p. (ISBN 0-67425-897-5), $24.95.

Epilepsy is a  tendency to have recurrent seizures.  Seizures are episodes of disorganized electrical activity in the brain that can produce symptoms ranging from involuntary movements to loss of consciousness.  Like most chronic medical conditions, epilepsy not only affects the person who has it but also the person’s family. One out of every  two hundred people in the United States has epilepsy.

In this update of his 1984 classic, Dr. Lechtenberg, Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey,  focuses on coping strategies for persons who have epilepsy and their families.  He addresses marital problems that may occur as a result of living with a partner who has epilepsy, sexual dysfunction, and childbearing and inheritance.  He also discusses issues related to personality changes and violence, growing up with an epileptic parent and relationships with siblings.  Separate chapters discuss epilepsy in the adult and in the child.

Particular attention is given to updating information on diagnosis and treatment options and includes a guide to medications and their possible side effects.  Suggested readings and references are given for the main topics covered in each of the chapters.

Feeding your child for lifelong health : birth through age six.  Susan B. Roberts and Melvin B. Heyman.  Bantam Books, 1999.  352 p.  (ISBN 0-553-37892-9), $15.95.
This well-written guide to good nutrition for young children offers advice and information  for parents about what their children need to eat and how to feed them.  The authors, both specialists in pediatric nutrition, introduce the concept of metabolic programming – a  term used to describe “…the fact that foods eaten in childhood can have lasting effects on the way your child’s body grows and develops”.  An introductory chapter explains in detail this new concept and explores some of the myths about feeding children – one of which is that children left to their own devices will select a nutritionally balanced diet.  Other introductory chapters discuss why children eat the way they do and the key eight nutrients needed for proper growth and development.

Chapters cover breast-feeding and bottle feeding infants, helpful suggestions and advice on smart strategies for feeding children in different stages of development, food solutions for common problems such as obesity,  food allergies and intolerances, feeding the child who is ill, and the relationship between food and hyperactivity.  Sample menus, brief case histories, and recipes are used in each of the chapters. Appendices include a table of nutrient requirements with recommended food sources, growth charts, and an extensive bibliography.

Busy parents may feel that some of the recommendations offered are not practical (i.e. making homemade oatmeal bread or whole wheat sesame crackers) and that the author’s  recommendations are not workable.  Used as a guide and not a bible, parents may find many helpful, easy to follow suggestions that can improve their child’s overall nutrition and pave the way for better health in later years.

Pervasive developmental disorders.  Mitzi Waltz. O’Reilly & Associates, 1999.  567 p.  (ISBN 1-56592-530-0), $24.95.

The intention of this book is to  provide basic information for parents of children who have been diagnosed with pervasive development disorder (PDD), adults with PDD, and professionals working with individuals who have PDD.  Pervasive developmental disorders include specific disorders such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and Rett syndrome. The most common form of PDD, known as PDD-NOS (not otherwise specified) may also be called  atypical PDD,  autistic spectrum disorder, or autistic tendencies.  PDDs other than autism affect over 250,000 people in the U.S., one-third of whom are children.

The first two chapters provide an overview of all of the pervasive developmental disorders with special emphasis on PDD-NOS.  A thorough discussion is offered on how the disorder is diagnosed and includes information about who is qualified to determine a diagnosis,  obtaining a referral for a multidisciplinary evaluation, the types of tests  used in the evaluation., and what is included in the final report.  Subsequent chapters cover medical interventions, such as the use of medications to control PDD symptoms and therapeutic interventions, which may include occupational or physical therapy, speech therapy, relaxation techniques, and counseling.  Additional chapters cover insurance issues, education, family considerations, and living with PDDs.

Appendices offer a list of print and Internet resources for further information, a directory of support and advocacy organizations, information on drugs commonly prescribed to treat PDD symptoms, information on vitamin and herbal supplements often recommended for persons who have PDD, and sample tools for diagnosing PDD.  Chapter literature references are also provided.

This book is packed with information, but the author’s writing style tends to be wordy making it difficult sometimes to understand.  It is, however, an important reference  for parents of children with PDD and the professionals who work with them.

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UCHC RECENT ACQUISITIONS

The following titles were recently added to the UCHC Library and may be of interest to public and health sciences librarians.

Herbal medicinals : a clinician’s guide.  Lucinda G. Miller and Wallace J. Murray, eds.  Pharmaceutical Products Press:Haworth Press, 1998.  382 p.  (ISBN 0-7890-0466-6), $59.95.  UCHC Library Call # - QV 767 H534 1998

This guide is designed to help doctors gain an understanding of herbal medicines to better enable them to respond to questions their patients may have about using herbal products in place of or in conjunction with their medical treatment.

An introductory chapter provides an overview of how herbal remedies and nutritional supplements work and how they interact with conventional medicines. Separate chapters discuss the effects of  herbal products on the kidneys and the liver.  Subsequent chapters describe the use of herbal remedies for gastrointestinal complaints, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.  Additional chapters cover the use of herbal products for asthma, skin disorders, cancer prevention and treatment, and anxiety and depression. Gynecological and obstetric concerns regarding herbal medicinal use are also discussed. Each section includes case studies demonstrating situations in which patients use herbal products which either cause side  effects or which interfere with their medical treatment.  Situations are also illustrated in which doctors successfully use an herbal product in combination with a conventional medicine.  Each case history is followed by a discussion of relevant research related to the use of a specific herbal remedy for the medical condition under consideration.  Extensive references are given at the conclusion of each chapter.

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Healthnet News is written by Alberta L. Richetelle with the assistance of Judith Kronick. If you have questions about anything in the newsletter or about Healthnet services for Connecticut public libraries, please call 860/679-4055; e-mail address: richetelle@nso.uchc.edu.

© 1999 University of Connecticut Health Center. All rights reserved.