July 29, 2012

Digging Deep on Diet and Drug-induced Diabetes

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:16 pm by mknight1130

Where would we be without our medicines? I ponder this question. Women and men can choose when to have families with birth control. People who are diabetic can manage their conditions and even use medication to control blood sugar. Drugs can save lives by treating individuals with cardiac diseases and problems. Children who would have failed school, can receive stimulants to treat attention deficit disorder, making it possible to learn and to have more choices in the future. Patients can transform the quality of their lives by using medication to manage moods, as  Listening to Prozac, by Peter Kramer, attests. At the same time medication can have unintended consequences, including drug-induced diabetes. Medications that adversely affect how blood sugar is regulated may lead to a poor blood-sugar regulation or drug-induced diabetes. This can be more noticeable when taking some prescription medications over a long period of time. How can you learn about prescription drug interactions? Here are two sites:

The Food and Drug Administration, FDA reports adverse effects of prescribed medications and addresses safety concerns at the website: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm . The MedWatch site provides information on recalls, news on drug risks, a place to report negative interactions with drugs, as well as a friendly database to search for specific drug interactions. This site also tracks unlawful prescription drugs sold over the Internet, warning customers of potentially dangerous suppliers. The FDA maintains the website, providing a more objective viewpoint to medications, as the FDA is not in the business of selling or distributing drugs or medical products for a profit. As a medical regulator and a more neutral party, The FDA and its MedWatch site provide accurate assessments on the medication.

PubMed, an electronic, biomedical, article archive maintained by the  US National Library of Medicine, provides quality research information. The novice and the expert will find information about current studies and trends, including documentation about drug-interactions and diabetes. Pubmed provides a snapshot  summaries on  trends and studies . Readers can search over 21 million records to identify the information that is needed. The search tool makes it easy and quick to retrieve terms. Similar articles to a topic searched, can be found pretty fast, in part due to a controlled vocabulary, MeSH or Medical Subject Headings. For those on the run, with a mobile phone and internet access, the mobile version of Pubmed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/ offers ready access from almost anywhere.

We need to understand medications as much as we need them to help us manage parts of our lives. We need to understand how prescription drugs will benefit us and their risks, especially as they are prescribed for the same person over a longer period of time. Drugs can contribute towards impaired sugar regulation and diabetes. To manage diabetes, we need to exercise, eat healthily, cease to smoke, minimize or cut out alchohol, and reduce processed sugars and foods. Doctors give us this good advice and it holds true today. In addition we need to be aware of how many prescribed drugs we take, their benefits and their interactions. The two sources above help in this understanding.


February 18, 2009

Ethics and Legal Responsibilties in Blogging

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:10 pm by mknight1130

Last night, the Oregon Special Libraries Association met over chocolate to discuss ethics. Several themes emerged from the discussion, including legal issues, confidentiality, and industry based expectations. We ran through some ethical scenarios and talked about what should be upheld by the Special Library’s Association (SLA).

My mind has been churning about this discussion, especially about how it pertains to blogging. I think blogging can seem very private and non-transparent in that opinions are transported over bits, instead of through face to face interaction. As many blogs tend to be public, I believe it is important to be aware of the ethical and legal implications in blogging.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together a resource describing legal/ethical blogging issues, Legal Liability Issues at http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal. As an information source, EFF, a non-profit organization, has significant credibility. The EFF was designed to preserve freedom of speech and to advocate for consumer rights. The EFF website describes the legal ramifications of blogging in an accessible FAQ format. Complicated legalese is stated in plain English. It also clarifies implications when moderating the comments
on a blog.

Another way to look at blogging ethics, is through the journalist eyes. After all,a blog provides information in the public view. Journalists are major players in informing the public on various issues, regardless of medium. To make sure a blog is fair, thorough and honest, it is well worth visiting the Society of Professional Journalists at, http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp. This code is translated into a blogging code of ethics by the Cyberjournalist.net at http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/000215.php.

After visiting the EFF and Society of Professional Journalists sites, I have a new appreciation about blogger responsibilities and the ethical implications in providing information. I can see that this information will continue to be beneficial as I develop my career as an information professional.

February 6, 2009

Out of Print Books and the MIT Press Bookstore

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:08 am by mknight1130

About 10 years ago, I took a position as a book seller for the MIT Press Bookstore, http://web.mit.edu/bookstore/www/index.html. Surrounded by scholarly materials on linguistics, computers, technology, history, cognitive science, art and architecture; I was in awe of this learning environment. At this time, every December, staff members got to pick a free book as a holiday gift. My mind would churn through the titles. Many, such as High Noon and Hal’s Legacy appear on my bookshelf.

We had quite a collection of Out of Print books at the MIT Press bookstore. These books were hard to get at the average bookstore, because they were no longer being published, and it was hard to find a distributer. As a bookstore associated with the MIT Press, meant that the collection of MIT Press books was quite robust. Even still, there were some titles no longer in stock and well desired by collectors.

So, I and the other booksellers got introduced to Powell’s Books Search Results, http://www.powells.com/s?header=Advanced%20Search (Moving to Portland had not entered my mind at that point). We relished this search engine because it was flexible. It is still a great search engine today. First, the class of book can be identified: used, new, ebook, and rare, among others. Second, there is an option to enter an ISBN – a standard, unique number that distinguishes one title from another. Third, there is the option of format: paperback, electronic, audio, DVD…etc.
Also, there are additional options for publisher, section and exact title. This further narrows the search and eliminates numerous extraneous records.

The Powell’s search results displays a list of titles. Upon clicking further, the basic information (e.g. title, price, book cover). Some titles come with a synopsis including the publisher’s comments and general reviews. Towards the bottom of the record, includes all the publishing details. The user can rest assured, after using the Powell’s search engine, that a appropriate book will be found in a timely manner.

I have since left my days at the MIT Press Bookstore behind, in Cambridge MA. But, I am so glad to know about Powell’s search engine to sate my cravings as a bibliophile.