Summer is a great time to be outdoors and to take advantage of the weather. With the temperature changes and increased
sunshine, come some summer safety concerns. Julie Holland, MD, a pediatrician at NorthShore, shares a few quick tips on how you can ensure your family stays
safe this summer:
What do you do to keep your family safe and healthy during the summer? What are some of your favorite family activities?
Leafy greens, those delicious garnishes, salads, and side dishes, are packed with
many of the most important nutrients needed to feel and stay healthy. They provide vitamins and minerals, as well as a good helping of fiber to strengthen your body and help to prevent future diseases. It is recommended that women eat 1.5
cups per week and men eat 2 cups per week. The good news is that each of these greens has less than 100 calories and packs a nutritional punch with plenty of vitamins A, C and K, along with minerals like iron and calcium. You can begin to improve the strength
of your immune system, the functions of your organs and more just by adding these vegetables into your diet.
MD at NorthShore shares some of the best leafy greens options for your diet to maximize nutrition and boost your health:
How do you fit leafy greens into your daily servings of vegetables?
Do you remember how you handled your last acne breakout? There are dozens of products
on the market to choose from, as well as more and more home remedies that promise to make pimples disappear fast. In reality, a lot of these products and techniques are incorrect. Even though approximately 40 to 50 million people affected by acne just within
the United States alone, knowledge about the condition still varies. There are still several misconceptions and myths about acne and treatment that many people still believe to be true.
Shani Francis, MD, Dermatology at NorthShore, is helping to dispel these myths so that patients can focus on what’s really best when it comes to their skin:Myth: Only teenagers get acne.Fact:
Approximately 25% of adult men and 50% of adult women suffer from some form of acne. The causes can range from fluctuating hormones (which can be related to menopause, pregnancy, menstruation or stress), medication or face and hair products. Adult acne, just
like any other, can be managed with a proper skincare routine, including daily sun protection, and help from a dermatologist. Myth: Acne is caused entirely by genetics.Fact: While genetics does play a role
in how acne develops, there are also lifestyle changes you can make to control your breakouts. Staying hydrated, maintaining a well-balanced diet, getting enough sleep and avoiding surfaces with germs are some of the ways you can avoid acne-causing bacteria,
increased oil production within the skin and hormonal imbalances that can cause pimples. Newer research has also linked spikes in blood sugar to some acne outbreaks, which could indicate that lower carbohydrate diets are better to help control flares.
Myth: Tanning can clear or prevent acne breakouts, while sunscreen clogs pores. Fact: Just the opposite. Excessive tanning of any kind is harmful to the skin, and is also particularly irritating to acne. The exposure
to UV rays will really dry skin out, which can actually lead to future breakouts. On the other hand, many sunscreens (made to reflect UV rays) contain zinc oxide, which fights against the bacteria which causes acne. There are, however, some sunscreens that
can irritate acne, so it’s important to do your research to find the best products for your skin. Generally, sunscreens labeled as “oil free” or “non-comedogenic” will be best. Everyone’s skin is unique, so it may be necessary
to try several before finding the right one. Some companies even have products with SPF, makeup AND acne medication.Myth: Acne is caused by dirt or grease that hasn’t been washed off properly.Fact:
Acne starts from within the skin and takes time to form; blackheads and whiteheads occur when glands within the skin produce too much oil and/or become clogged within the pore along with acne-causing bacteria and dead skin cells. When the keratin protein (from
the dead skin cells) builds up in the pores and is exposed to air, it turns black, becoming a blackhead, while build up within the pore that isn’t exposed becomes a whitehead.Myth: Washing the skin several times a day with
skin products is the best way to fight acne.Fact: Washing your face too much can rob your skin of the natural oils it’s producing, which may cause it to create more, and could potentially leading to more breakouts. The same can
be said for using harsh scrubs, exfoliates and toners with an alcohol base. You can prevent dryness and irritation by gently washing your face no more than twice a day. A dermatologist can help you determine which skin products and treatments will work best
for your skin type.Myth: Popping pimples helps get rid of acne faster.Fact: Popping a pimple before it’s fully formed will risk pushing the bacteria further into your skin and spreading it to other
unaffected areas of your face. Along with spreading the infection, popping your pimples may also lead to permanent skin damage and scarring. It’s best to let the pimple heal, which should normally take about a week or two. In darker skin, pimple popping
can also worsen discoloration, which without medication can take several months to resolve.
What's the most surprising fact about acne that you've learned?
Calcium is an essential nutrient—it builds strong bones
and keeps your body working like it should—but what do you do when you can’t or don’t want to drink a glass of milk? There are lots of healthy, non-dairy ways to meet your calcium needs.Kimberly Hammon, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, shares
six surprising sources of calcium:
Do you get your daily required intake
of calcium from a non-dairy source?
Note: The calcium in fortified foods varies greatly in its bioavailability (how well the body is able to absorb and use it), depending on the form of calcium used and how it’s affected by other
substances in the food. Most studies have found that the calcium in fortified orange juice is as well utilized as that in milk. But few other calcium-fortified foods have been tested in terms of their bioavailability, and none have been tested for their effects
on bone health.
More than 18 million American suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing is
interrupted during sleep. Anthony Barber, DO, neurologist at the NorthShore Sleep Center, answers questions about the condition, some
of the treatment options, and tips for how to best manage it:
What causes sleep apnea?Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a collapse in the muscles in the back of the throat (upper portion of the airway) while asleep. This area
is prone to collapse because it is held open only by muscle without any bony/solid structure. All of our muscles relax while asleep at night so a collapse occurs in all individuals, if the airway is crowded or narrowed to begin with then that collapse results
in the blockage.
What are the most common signs for sleep apnea? Can it be caused by stress?Stress cannot cause sleep apnea. Typical signs include sleepiness, un-refreshing sleep, morning headaches, trouble maintaining sleep,
heart burn at night or morning, sweating while asleep. Sleep apnea can potentially result in hypertension, diabetes, stroke, heart attack and increased risk of dementia.
Can sleep apnea be cured or only managed?The only true cure
is a tracheostomy (creating a hole in the neck). Other structural surgeries may also result in a "cure", but this is only about 45% of the time. Significant weight loss may also result in getting rid of sleep apnea, but weight isn't the only cause, so
it may result in only lowering the severity of the sleep apnea.
Can one (non-clinician) distinguish between snoring and apnea without doing a sleep study?Not really, unless long pauses in the breathing are noted at night. Diagnosis
of obstructive sleep apnea centers on if breathing while asleep is causing dips in the blood oxygen levels and/or short awakenings (called arousals). These events need to average 5 or more per hour to meet criteria for sleep apnea.
What is involved
in a sleep study? How long does it take? Does insurance generally cover it?Insurance question depends on why the study is being ordered and dependent upon insurance plan. Two types of studies are performed. A lab study is when you come into
a sleep lab at night (between 8:30 and 9:30 pm) and meet with a sleep tech who is in the lab the whole night. You have your own room with a normal bed (looks like a hotel room, kind of). You'll be hooked up to monitors on your scalp, with a belt around
the waist and chest. There are a lot of wires that get plugged into a box outside of bed (box is moveable if you need to use restroom). You'll sleep until 6 am. The other type is a home study in which you pick up a device, take it home, and wear it while
sleeping then bring back to the lab the next day. A home study is approved for certain patient populations, but is less sensitive.
What else is available for patients who do not like the cpap machines?Alternatives to CPAP that
insurance covers: an oral appliance (device worn while asleep that brings your lower jaw forward to help open back of airway), surgery (see above). Provent therapy is another option but not covered by insurance.
You can find more information
about sleep apnea and how to get tested at the NorthShore Sleep Center.
Read more answers from Dr. Barber on sleep apnea in our Sleep Apnea Chat.
In both sickness and health, it’s smart to have a primary care physician that you can check in with to help you feel your best. Whether it’s for tracking your weight and diet, managing a chronic illness or helping prevent disease, your primary
care physician [at your annual physical exam] is your partner when it comes to your health. An annual physical exam is one of the most important preventative measures you can take to keep you and your family happy and healthy.
HealthSystem has you covered when it comes to your annual physical exam. Our infographic below explains the benefits and importance of an annual physical examination. This infographic also provides you with quick tips so you can feel prepared and ready for
your appointment. Click the image below to view the full infographic.
Winter is long gone, and has taken all of the
slippery ice and freezing temperatures along with it. The beautiful weather and temperatures of summertime are perfect for constant outdoor activity, making this season seem carefree when it comes to outdoor safety. But wait! Even though summer seems like
the best time to exercise outdoors, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t hazards to be aware of. Working out in the heat and under the sun can be unsafe if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Michael Ladewski, DO, Sports and Family Medicine Physician at NorthShore, breaks down some of the key points you should think about when preparing
a successful and mindful summer workout:
What is your favorite way to exercise in the summer?
The 4th of July is approaching fast,
which means it's time to prepare a big holiday meal. It's easy to forget nutrition when it comes to a celebration, but healthy meals can be just as delicious.
Katrina Herrejon, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, shares
her recipe for cheesy potato gratin that's going to be a hit at your next summer bash.
Recipe makes 5 servings
IngredientsFlorets from ½ a medium-sized
head of cauliflower (10oz) 1c milk5 sprigs of summer savory (0.2oz)1 clove of garlic, skin removed½ tsp salt¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground 2 medium russet potatoes (14oz)3oz of Gruyère cheese,
gratedCooking spray Instructions
To prepare the cauliflower puree
To assemble and bake the gratin
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 182Fat: 6gCarbs: 22gProtein: 4gFiber: 10g
To see a free live demonstration of this recipe, join us at the Chicago Botanic Gardens for their Garden Chef Series. Katrina will be recreating her recipe on Saturday, July 4th at 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm, with samples!
Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and requires an aggressive
approach to treatment; however, melanomas are not the only type of skin cancer nor are they the most common. Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), which originate in the basal cells, or the deepest layers of the epidermal skin, are the most common type of skin cancer.
BCCs grow slowly and there is little risk that they will spread to other areas of the body. Yet, they should be taken seriously because treatment, if it comes too late, could require serious, often disfiguring surgeries and invasion into the nerves, which
can become painful.
Since BCCs develop in the deeper layers of the skin, they may appear minor on the surface of the skin while the tumor beneath could be significantly larger. If a tumor becomes too large, skin grafts and complex cosmetic procedures
might be required to repair the damage caused from the tumor’s removal.
How can you identify BBC in its early stages? Dr.
Shani Francis, Dermatologist at NorthShore, describes some common signs:
It is important to talk to your doctor or dermatologist about any changes you notice in your skin. Early detection of a BCC is paramount
to avoid difficult follow-up care and potential plastic surgery.
The warmer temperatures of late spring and summer mean more outdoor family time, from BBQs to pool parties,
but it’s important to make sure that time is safe for you and your kids. Most of us know to practice vigilant sun safety during the hottest months of the year, when the sun’s rays are at their most intense, but sometimes we forget it’s also
very important to protect against dangerous insect bites. Warm temperatures are just as appealing to insects as they are to Chicagoans ready to leave a long winter behind.
Most mosquito bites are irritating but otherwise harmless; however, some mosquitoes
can transmit encephalitis and West Nile virus, which can cause severe illness with symptoms like headache, high fever and bodily weakness. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, which can be treated if recognized early, so look for flu-like symptoms and possible
rashes. Left untreated, Lyme disease can cause joint and muscle pain, fatigue, heart problems and neurological issues.
Kreindler, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, shares her tips for preventing insect bites and protecting against the illnesses they can cause all summer long:
How do you protect your family from summer insect bites?