How a negative partner might be afflicting your health


To help you Mind Your Body after age 45, here is the latest in health news from the past week.

An estimated one in 10 American adults report depression. For people who haven’t responded to current depression treatments, there hasn’t been much new under the sun. But scientists have recently identified how ghrelin, a hormone with natural antidepressant properties, works inside the brain and stimulates appetite. At the same time, they found what they call “a potentially powerful new treatment for depression” in the form of a neuroprotective drug known as P7C3. Obviously more work is needed to expand upon these findings, the study authors said, but some news is good news within the mental health field.

New research has found that if the carotid arteries that supply oxygenated blood to your head and neck narrow—even if you don’t have any symptoms associated with it—your learning, memory, thinking, and decision-making could be impacted. Until now, doctors worried about narrowing as a risk factor for stroke. Narrowing occurs from a buildup of plaque, that same troublemaking substance that wreaks havoc in the body’s other arteries. Stay on top of your cholesterol numbers with regular check-ups with your healthcare provider.

I often ask celebrities how they “sustain a positive mental outlook, ‘get happy,’” in my Mind Your Body interviews. The benefits of such a robust view of life are well documented, and now there’s new information that finds being optimistic and having an optimistic spouse are associated with better health. It’s further proof that spouses play a role in promoting health. Moral here? If your partner is negative, you’re stressed, worried, or depressed because of it, and you’re developing physical problems, time to consider making changes. I believe, from personal experience, that this research is true. So, as Pharrell sings, please be “happy”!

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