The thyroid gland—a small, butterfly-shaped gland found at the base of the neck—is the “Clark Kent” of endocrine organs. The thyroid’s actions are extremely powerful, but most people don’t know about its secret superpowers. An endocrine organ releases substances called hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones are carried to other areas of the body … Continue reading It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Your Thyroid Gland!
During American Diabetes Month in November, you may notice more people are talking about diabetes, a disease that affects 29 million Americans. It’s a great time to learn more about diabetes and the ways that you can decrease or manage your risk of developing the disease. Diabetes mellitus is a problem with how your body … Continue reading Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
Credit: iStock With Halloween next week, you may be planning to head to a haunted house or cozy up on the couch with popcorn and a horror flick. Either way, you’re probably hoping for a good scare. Enjoying the thrill of a scary movie or riding a rollercoaster isn’t the same as a real life-threatening … Continue reading The Physiology of a Good Scare
Morning sickness, swollen ankles and a growing belly are just a few of the many physiological changes that women experience during pregnancy. The changes we can see are just the tip of the iceberg. Blood volume, bones, heart rate, skin and many other parts of a woman’s body function differently during pregnancy. Pregnancy-related changes can … Continue reading Depression + Pregnancy = Diabetes?
As the days grow shorter, many animals, such as bats, bears and bees, begin getting ready to hibernate. It’s a process that allows animals to spend the winter months conserving energy by reducing metabolism, oxygen consumption and body temperature. So why don’t humans do it, too? Well, a new study suggests that some humans—specifically those … Continue reading Shhh … I’m Hibernating!
Want to learn more about physiology without going back to school for a PhD? Check out http://www.physiologyinfo.org. The website, hosted by the American Physiological Society, goes in-depth to explain the multi-faceted field of physiology to nonscientists. In addition to examining hot and emerging areas of research such as brain physiology, obesity and exercise, we … Continue reading Physiology for the Armchair Scientist
If you’ve been following along with the I Spy Physiology blog, you may be feeling like a physiology wiz. APS member-physiologists have developed a series of quizzes to help you test your physiology smarts and, perhaps, teach you something new. Visit http://www.physiologyinfo.org to take one of our systems quizzes (cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine or respiratory) or … Continue reading Pop Quiz: Test Your Physiology Knowledge!
When we have an extremely stressful experience, such as losing a loved one or being constantly bullied by a classmate, our body can react in different ways. Sometimes we overcome the psychological stress and come out stronger than before. Other times, we fall victim to the stress. These experiences build mental “toughness,” also called psychological … Continue reading Your Immune System Makes You Mentally Tough
Rapamycin, a drug used to prevent organ transplant rejection, may also turn back time—in dogs at least. A study is underway to see if rapamycin can delay aging in dogs, and the puppy-like energy of one canine participant, eight-year-old Bela, gives some hope that the drug might work. Rapamycin is one of several drugs prescribed … Continue reading The Anti-Aging Cure May Be in Your Medicine Cabinet
Reduced calorie diet and physical activity are common ways to help with weight management, but many might not be aware that yoga can also help. Researchers at the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic came to this conclusion after extensively reviewing the studies on the health impacts of yoga. According to the Centers for Disease … Continue reading Yoga Can Help You Mind Your Weight