‘Tis the season to have a hard time taking care of yourself. There is no busier time of the year, for you and for me. My office is filled with over-indulgers and those “afflicted” by the holiday spirit. It can begin at Thanksgiving and last well into the New Year. Too much food, too much drink, too little rest, and too much stress. This is the time of year when many of us voluntarily and deliberately indulge, while simultaneously neglecting our need for exercise, relaxation and sleep. So, what do we do about this holiday quandary? Read more »
Talk about an incentive to hit the gym and eat right. Recent research finds that women who have a low risk of cardiovascular disease also tend to look younger than their actual age. (So, when was the last time you had your blood pressure checked?) Read more »
The recent outbreak of meningitis on two college campuses has parents nervous. I often get asked, “If my child got vaccinated are they okay?” The answer unfortunately is not always – this outbreak was a type of meningitis not covered by the vaccine we have in the U.S. But let’s start with the basics first.
What is meningitis?
Meningitis is a serious, sometimes life-threatening infection of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It is one of those very serious diagnoses that if suspected in the ER, we act on quickly – usually with a spinal tap to look at and test the fluid around those membranes and immediate IV antibiotic treatment. Many different types of germs can cause it. One of the most serious bacterial meningitis infections is due to a bacteria called Neisseria meningitides, also called meningococcal meningitis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2009 there were about 2,000-3,000 cases in the U.S., resulting in about 110 deaths. It is an aggressive infection that can be fatal within 24 hours. Other serious forms of a meningococcal infection occur when the bacteria gets into the blood stream and causes sepsis, often with gangrene of extremities. Survivors can have permanent brain damage, deafness and kidney failure and require limb amputations. Read more »
You always hear that old saying “The third time’s a charm” when someone’s going through a tricky process. It might be true for finding the right relationship or career move, but this saying absolutely does not apply to chemo. The third round of chemo was the absolute hardest I have been through so far. Fortunately there was no nausea, but I was derailed by the intense body aches and pain in my mouth.
I got through the pain of the past month – even though I wanted to cry most of the time, I made it through. The mental battle this time was harder to get over than anything else. Reality and acceptance have sunk in with this third round of treatments. I simply can’t shake off the side effects and continue to pretend I just have a cold. Read more »
A teenager in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) most likely won’t walk again because of a preventable tragic accident. Riding his bike without a helmet changed his life forever.
Millions of Americans ride bikes each year, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than half wear bicycle helmets and thousands of people suffer bicycle-related head injuries each year.
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If you have one (or two or more) stubborn dark hairs on your chin, cheek or lip, you’re not alone. It’s common among women of all ages, and particularly after menopause – because they’re a result of hormones. Read more »
If you happen to contract the flu this season, do not despair – there are a few simple steps you can take to get yourself back on the road to wellness. Read more »
As the days get shorter and colder, a bowl of squash soup sounds like just the thing! Winter squash, unlike its summer equivalent, can be harvested very late into the fall and has a longer storage potential, which provides its cornucopia of nutrients all through the autumn and winter. Best of all, winter squash is high in colon-cancer combating fiber and low in calories — filling you up without filling you out. Read more »
I recently heard someone say that they can’t afford to eat healthy, a statement I have heard from others as well. When I asked this person to explain why she felt that way she gave me as an example the fact that a burger in a certain fast food restaurant cost a dollar while a dinner salad in the same restaurant was $5. I almost fell over when I realized that she was using fast food as a benchmark for dietary choices and cost!
The truth is that, other than those fast food “specials” offered to lure customers into the store, healthy food can be just as affordable, if not more so, than processed and prepackaged foods when you know how to plan, shop and prepare properly. Here are my top tips: Read more »
Before you head out to the mall this holiday season, remember to think before you buy. The act of shopping can create powerful feelings very similar to those experienced in other potentially addictive behaviors like gambling, taking drugs, drinking alcohol – even work or exercise. Although these behaviors are all very different, the underlying dynamics can be very similar.
A simple way to think about it is that any potentially addictive behavior provides distraction from unpleasant, painful, or otherwise difficult or overwhelming emotions. It gives the person something else to feel instead of troublesome emotions like sadness, dread, hurt, guilt or emotional pain. Read more »