Health Buzz: Is Your Cell Phone Making You Sterile?

9 Things to Know About Nurse Practitioners; Surviving the Big Uneasy: Stress

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Men, Don’t Keep it in Your Pocket

Your cell phone may be causing your sperm count to drop, according to a new study published in the journal Environment International. Researchers from the University of Exeter in the U.K. analyzed 10 studies and found that the data show men who keep their cell phones in their pockets have lower sperm counts and lower sperm motility than men who do not.

The studies included a total of 1,492 men and involved lab tests on sperm exposed to mobile phone radiation and questionnaires administered to men in fertility clinics. But while the analysis may seem alarming, experts aren’t convinced, saying that the studies the researchers analyzed were not rigorous enough, as many of them did not control for other variables that can affect a man’s sperm count.

“What we need are some properly designed epidemiological studies where mobile phone use is considered alongside other lifestyle habits,” Allan Pacey, a fertility researcher from the University of Sheffield in the U.K., told BBC News. "Until that time, I will be continuing to keep my iPhone in my right-hand trouser pocket!"

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9 Things to Know About Nurse Practitioners

You probably say "I'm going to the doctor" when heading to a health care visit, but it could well be "I'm going to the nurse practitioner" instead. When faced with the choice of primary care providers, you might like to know a bit more about this growing group of health professionals.

1. What they do. Nurse practitioners – who build on their registered nurse backgrounds with advanced education, certification and skills training – are licensed to practice independently. Like other RNs, they perform thorough assessments, but a nurse practitioner also has the ability to diagnose patients, prescribe their treatments and medications, and take charge of their overall care.

2. Where you find them. You can run into a nurse practitioner in any number of health care settings. Maribeth Capuno practices in the cardiology department at the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Centerin Virginia, where she sees "the gamut of cardiac patients" with conditions such as heart arrhythmia, coronary artery disease and heart failure, including patients with stents after heart surgery. Capuno, who is president of the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, also volunteers at the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia, where she provides general health care. [Read more: 9 Things to Know About Nurse Practitioners].

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Surviving the Big Uneasy: Stress

What’s the difference between a charging lion and being late for an appointment? From your body’s point of view, not much, writes U.S. News blogger Roger Landry. This is the key to understanding how stress can rot us from within. Nearly 100 percent of the stress you’re dealing with is caused by … you. Not that crazy driver who cut you off, or that job interview that’s coming up or that funny looking mole on your arm. It’s all your creation and, unfortunately, you’re not alone.

As Stanford University’s Robert Sapolsky, a neuroendocrinologist and internationally renowned expert on stress, says, “Most of us will live long enough and well enough to get seriously ill with a stress-related disease.”

Here’s how it works. We humans inherited a magnificent ability to respond to a life-threatening situation – our stress response. It’s called our "fight-or-flight" response, and that describes perfectly what it’s meant to do. Great, great, great-grandpa Bruno is walking along and a lion jumps out in his path. His body immediately releases catecholamines, including epinephrine, cortisol and norepinephrine, substances that make him able to perform like he had been at boot camp all his life. He has strength and speed he didn’t have a few seconds ago, and he can either take on the lion, or try to outrun him. This is a “do or die” thing, and it’s very powerful. Grandpa survives, and you’re here today because he did.

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