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Healing grief is a shared journey

“Confronting grief is a daily event in medical practice,” writes Dr. Victor S. Sierpina in his column. “Be there for those who grieve. You might not know what to say. That’s not important. Don’t run away because of your awkwardness or fear of saying something wrong or of your own pain. Be there for them. Healing grief is a group process and joined journey.”

Taste, food preferences might be shaped by genetics

Since the 1990s, scientists have known that some people are “supertasters” who experience many tastes with more intensity — sugar is sweeter and broccoli more bitter. As we begin to understand human genetics, scientists are finding biological foundations of different food likes and dislikes, Dr. Sally Robinson explains in her column.

This is what you should be eating and drinking after 60

Fancy a tipple? Research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston suggests that light alcohol consumption during later life helped improve people’s episodic memory if they did not have dementia. Needless to say, it’s important to drink only in moderation as you age. If you are concerned about this issue, speak to a doctor first.

Children are like a different species

“We tend to think children are like small adults in many ways, but in terms of energy utilization, they’re definitely not the equivalent of small adults,” write Drs. Norbert Herzog and David Niesel in their Medical Discovery News column. “They consume more energy than a pregnant person and even more than growing teenage boys. Unbelievable! Scientists have stated that in terms of burning energy, young children are like a different species.”

You might not have heard of vitamin K — but it's important

Vitamin K doesn’t cross the placenta, so babies are born with very little vitamin K in their bodies. To complicate their low levels, breast milk is low in vitamin K, Dr. Sally Robinson writes in her regular column. Since 1961, the standard of care is for newborns to receive one shot of vitamin K to prevent those complications. However, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of parents who refuse the intramuscular shot.

Keep yourself healthy with the sunshine vitamin

“Now that spring has sprung, get your dose of sunshine daily and keep yourself healthier,” Dr. Victor S. Sierpina writes in his regular column. “Nudist camps often claim to be health-promoting — and we may have something to look at there.”

Ouch! Dealing With Another Toe Cramp?

According to podiatrist Chanel Perkins, DMP, an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, what’s happening in the body when someone gets a toe cramp depends on the exact cause. One common reason according to Perkins is dehydration. Also, the lack of movement could be causing your toe cramping. “Lack of blood flow leads to low oxygenation and nutrition in the tissues, causing them to cramp,” she said.

Do hard things to improve your health

Undergoing physical and mental stimulation that creates the stress response in the brain for a short period of time (minutes to hours) has been shown to improve physical, mental and emotional health. “Do hard things,” Dr. Samuel Mathis writes. “Do something that will challenge you.”

photo collage of Dr. Joyce Muruthi, Dr. Kimberlyn Robinson, and Taylor Thurstonson with her newborn baby

UTMB featured in Community Impact

Patient Taylor Thurstonson recently shared how UTMB OBGYNs kept her and her baby boy safe during an unexpected 30-week delivery via c-section.

Long-haul COVID to remain with us in foreseeable future

While a reduction in the number of infections is good news, scientists and doctors are beginning to understand the chronic illness that lingers after COVID infection, called long-haul syndrome. Long-haul patients were infected and appeared to recover, but then chronic symptoms began and remained months after the infection. Extreme fatigue and debilitating brain fog are common symptoms, write Drs. Norbert Herzog and David Niesel of UTMB.

Vaccination slots filling up as Texas children ages 5-11 receive first COVID-19 vaccines

For months, Pearland realtor Gerald Hatter anxiously waitied on news that her 11-year-old daughter Bella Hatter would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. On Wednesday, one day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use for children ages 5-11, Bella received her first dose. She is one of 2.9 million children in that younger age group now eligible for the vaccine in Texas. In Galveston, UTMB opened its system for appointments Wednesday afternoon. Within 24 hours, 575 appointments had been scheduled, Jenny Lanier, UTMB’s director of ambulatory operations said. UTMB has as many as 6,000 of the pediatric vaccines available this week, Lanier said, with more coming.

A depressed woman sitting behind a couch

Substantial Mental Health Impact From COVID-19 Measures Found in New Research

Findings from new University of Texas Medical Branch research suggest a substantial mental health impact of COVID-related mitigation measures such as stay-at-home orders. The study, which was published today in the JAMA Network Open, found an increase in the use of psychiatric medications coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic among both men and women, with a substantially higher increase among women.

widescreen rendering of JohnSealy Hospital

Ribbon-cutting for renovated John Sealy Tower

The long-awaited renovation of the AB wing of John Sealy Hospital at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston Campus will mark its completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 3. Approximately 220,000 square feet were renovated across five different floors, which will house services for women, infants and children.

Neurosurgery doctors

Recognizing neurosurgery firsts at UTMB Health’s Clear Lake Campus

Surgeons at UTMB Health’s Clear Lake Campus recently performed the hospital’s first craniotomy for brain tumor removal and the first intracranial aneurysm clipping, which represent an expansion of services offered at the campus as the hospital continues to find new and innovative ways to provide world-class treatments to the growing communities it serves.

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