Thursday, August 15, 2013

Health Benefits of Volunteer Work Shared by Michael Staisil

Michael Staisil encourages community works by anyone physically or fiscally capable of helping others. Not everyone has the money to donate to a cause or organization but even low-income individuals have volunteered to build a safe and strong community. As a successful business professional, Michael Staisil returned to Harvard Business School to encourage philanthropic work from staff, alumni, and students.

“People don’t realize there are many personal benefits associated with volunteer work,” says Michael Staisil. There are many positive emotions associated with volunteer work such as pride, a sense of accomplishment, and a satisfaction of seeing work well-done. “The same time people feel good about the work they do, they are also improving valuable skills like problem solving, management, and leadership,” says Michael Staisil. Volunteer work is also great for connecting with others and networking.

According to Michael Staisil, the benefits of working as a volunteer are still being researched. Volunteers come in all ages but the greatest benefit found amongst volunteers are typically with children. “The argument for the benefits of older volunteers comes from them having a sense of purpose and providing them a safe and secure social setting where they promote positive change,” says Michael Staisil.

Other benefits of volunteering have been simply labeled. “There are many benefits, not limited to overcoming stress, depression, and remaining healthier for longer,” says Michael Staisil. However, the health benefits of volunteer work cannot be forced. “The health benefit of volunteering is negated if you are doing the work out of a sense of obligation. The positive benefits of volunteering is correlated with feeling positive about what you do. If you feel forced then stress increases and that is not healthy,” says Michael Staisil.

If you are new to volunteer work, Michael Staisil says you should give it time – you may enjoy volunteering for one cause over another. His advice: “Look at different organizations, find a cause that interests you. If the effort interests you, you will enjoy your work as a volunteer,” says Michael Staisil.

For information on the health benefits of volunteer work, Michael Staisil recommends reading from the following sites:

Dr Alister George, MD has a special interest in Liver Disease

Message for coffee drinkers:

Dr Alister George, MD has suggested to his patients that they drink more coffee if they happen to have liver disease. Multiple studies all over the world have confirmed that many liver diseases tend to get a slower rate of progression when you drink more than 3 cups of coffee daily. This is true with decaf or caffeinated coffee. For patients with end stage Cirrhosis from Hepatitis C there is a 40% decrease in the rate of progression to liver cancer among coffee drinkers compared with non-coffee drinkers with similar disease. Even the progression of Chronic Hepatitis C to Cirrhosis is markedly slowed down by the drinking of more coffee. The take home message is that drinking coffee is conducive to better liver health and less damage to the liver from carious ailments. 

Dr Alister George, MD, Gastroenterologist in Thousand Oaks, California advises that the majority of persons with liver abnormalities, especially if your transaminases are elevated (i.e. AST or ALT), that you are better off drinking more coffee. Although scientist are not in agreement on exactly which conditions are most improved, or which ones slow down the disease process, it appears that it could be many years before all of the research is in, so until then enjoy your cup of coffee.

Vaccination with Hepatitis A and B

Dr Alister George, MD, a Gastroenterologist in the city of Thousand Oaks, California has been advocating that all of his patients with chronic liver disease regardless of the cause, should get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B. Dr Alister George, MD says this will prevent the acute worsening of an already diseased liver if they were to become infected by a relatively common infection that may be an otherwise simple liver infection; which is usually nonfatal. This simple series of vaccinations can prove to prevent serious illness and death in persons with moderate to severe chronic liver disease.

Message For commonly undiagnosed GI problems

Dr Alister George, MD advises that persons with bloating, abdominal distention, excessive flatulence and excessive burping after eating, may have a fairly common condition that is very hard to see on scans, endoscopy or ultrasound and other tests that are commonly used by most physicians. He says this condition is very common and may be mild or bothersome but can be debilitating in some persons. Dr Alister George, MD says this condition is relatively easily to treat and most of his patients with this condition do very well. In short, most specialists and almost all patients are frustrated by these symptoms after eating, and the experience is needless as local therapy and dietary modification may be exceedingly beneficial. 

Message for Fatty Liver

Dr Alister George, MD has been a strong advocate of a three-step approach to fatty liver. He says this has been universally adopted by most of his patients with this condition and that they have enjoyed great success with this strategy. Dr Alister George, MD says this approach has been clinically and biochemically useful in almost every person with Steatohepatitis. This is the most common cause of high liver tests among persons who are otherwise healthy.