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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

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How social media is changing relationships with health care providers

When Pamela Ramom awoke from eye surgery in April, she exclaimed, “Oh my god, I’m going to cry.” Ramom had undergone LASIK and was overcome with the result. “I can see everything,” the 24-year-old remembered saying to no one in particular.

Ramom’s surgeon was Dr. Dagny Zhu, an ophthalmologist based outside of Los Angeles who specializes in cornea, cataract, and LASIK surgery. Zhu overheard Ramom and found her comments moving. Zhu asked Ramom if they could take a photo together to commemorate the moment, adding that she wanted to post the image on Instagram. …


The Health Diaries

‘When a black person is getting treated for a mental illness, it’s usually in an emergency room setting.’

There are many ways to live a healthy life. The Health Diaries is a weekly series about the habits that keep notable people living well.

They call her Dr. Jess. She’s a psychiatrist completing her residency at NYU, and she has a big mission: to bust mental health stigma.

Jessica Clemons, MD, first found her niche on Instagram a few years ago when she started asking her followers basic questions about mental health: Did they want to know more about how to combat anxiety? What about depression? She got dozens of positive responses and decided to use her platform to…


The Nuance

Beyond being a time suck, those highly curated Instagram posts can affect your well-being

Photo: Eaters Collective on Unsplash

Every week, the Nuance will go beyond the basics, offering a deep and researched look at the latest science and expert insights on a buzzed-about health topic.

Researchers have been writing about the so-called highlight reel effect of social media since at least 2014. The idea is that people tend to post mostly flattering or humblebrag-worthy stuff about themselves, and spending too much time absorbing these gilded depictions of other people’s lives could distort how you view your own.

The evidence backing this theory is mixed. Some of the early studies linked the highlight reel effect to symptoms of depression…


An age-old product gets a thoroughly modern, deeply weird, and potentially dangerous makeover

Illustration by Johanna Walderdorff

In Inner Hygiene, a medical history of constipation published in 2000, author James C. Whorton describes the 18th century advent of “patent medicines,” or herbal compounds that were unregulated, unproven, and peddled straight to the consumer. With ingredients like Chinese rhubarb and senna, many promised more regular bowel movements to those who consumed them — a quick solution that didn’t require a doctor’s visit to obtain.

“The products were advertised directly to the public as preparations very different from, and far superior to, the pharmaceuticals used by the [medical] profession,” writes Whorton. …

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

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