Don’t let your Thanksgiving favorites leave you feeling guilty the
next day. Start things off right with veggie-packed appetizers that are sure to please even holiday food traditionalists.
Katrina Herrejon, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Adult Endocrinology Group, shares one of her favorite
Recipe makes 6 servingsServing size 2/3 cup
Ingredients: 2 cans artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained (16 oz.) 1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (4 oz.)2/3 cup cooked spinach or frozen spinach that has been thawed (4 oz.)2/3 cup white extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3 oz.)
Nutrition Information (per 2/3c serving):
Calories: 149Total Fat: 10Total Carbohydrate:
8Fiber: 2Protein: 6
Counting calories isn’t at the top of many to-do lists on Thanksgiving Day, and it
still doesn’t have to be. With a little planning and a few substitutions, your Thanksgiving can be a little healthier and every bit as delicious.
Katrina Herrejon, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at
NorthShore, breaks down this decadent day, sharing health tips for before and during the big meal:
Before the Dinner
At the Table
What do you do to keep holiday eating
We’re all busy and keeping tabs on the safety of our homes often falls by the wayside
when calendars fill up quickly with day-to-day activities like getting the kids to school on time and shuttling them back and forth to practices and events. But, it’s incredibly important to make time to ensure the safety of your home.
risks are easy to spot but there are some you can’t see at all. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous and because the gas is odorless and colorless, it's hard to detect without proper monitoring. Now that frigid temperatures have settled in for the
winter and furnaces are working overtime, it’s even more important to make sure your family is well-protected from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Leikin, MD, Medical Toxicologist, shares five household safety requirements:
Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home? How frequently do you check it?
The NorthShore Neurological Institute recently opened a new autonomics laboratory
with the assistance of Mayo Clinic experts. This emerging area of medicine identifies a rare nervous system disorder that can greatly impact the daily lives of patients. The lab comines the latest technology and a multidisciplinary team to offer patients comprehensive
care for complex autonomics disorders.
Alexandru Barboi, MD, Director of the Neuromuscular
and Peripheral Neurophysiology Program, answered questions on autonomic disorders and the new laboratory in Connections and continues his Q&A here:
What is the autonomic nervous system? The autonomic nervous system controls subconscious and visceral functions, such as heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration, swallowing and more.
What are some common symptoms of autonomic
disorders? Patients may have difficultly standing for longer periods of time, excessive dizziness, lightheadedness, exercise intolerance, gastrointestinal symptoms, bladder and sexual dysfunction and chronic pain. Because
symptoms can occur in so many different regions of the body, autonomic disorders are often very challenging to diagnose.
What does NorthShore’s autonomics lab offer? Our lab provides
state-of-the-art, noninvasive diagnostic testing. It’s one of the most comprehensive in the region. In addition to having sophisticated technology, the lab is staffed with specially trained technicians and a team of experts working together to diagnose
and develop individualized treatment plans for adults and children ages seven and older.
Who is generally affected by autonomic disorders? Does it happen more often at a certain age or to someone with an already existing disorder? Any age group can be affected. Both sexes, but it seems that women are more frequently affected early in life. It can happen in someone who is perfectly healthy but also in people that have an underlying medical condition like diabetes
mellitus or Parkinson’s disease.
Do autonomic disorders get worse over time? Is there a range, mild to severe? Yes they can get worse over time, ranging from mild to severe. They can be
At what point should a patient consider the possibility they might have an autonomic disorder? When should they consider testing? Any combination of thermoregulation, sweating,
cardiac, gut, bladder, sexual dysfunction and chronic neuropathic pain should be considered for an autonomic disorder. Testing always helps define the diagnosis, aids in planning treatment and establishes severity.
What causes an
autonomic disorder? Generally it can be caused by inherited or acquired disorders. The latter can be metabolic, inflammatory, traumatic, autoimmune and degenerative.
your interest in such a unique field? My background in internal medicine and neurology and the interplay between both fields.
What do you find most challenging about your work? The most challenging part is understanding how an autonomic disorder affects each individual and also understanding how this disorder affects their emotional health too. It’s about harnessing the whole person to actively manage
What do you find most rewarding? Definitely seeing patients improve, when they experience a return to having the “best day in my life that I can possibly have.”
As a doctor, when you see that moment in a patient, you never, never give up.
Don't just cut carbs! They are the primary source of energy for the human body, which means you can't do without them! When it comes to healthy diet that includes carbs, it's important to think in terms of quality over quantity.
experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem break down the carbohydrate--the good, the bad and the necessary--in our latest infographic. Click on the image below to view our full infographic on the importance of the carbohydrate in your diet.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a typically mild but highly contagious
viral infection most common in children under seven years of age. The illness is characterized by mouth or throat pain (due to sores), fever and a rash (typically involving the hands, feet, buttocks, arms and legs). The infection is caused by enteroviruses—most
often coxsackie virus A16—which are transmitted from person-to-person by oral contact with stool, saliva, fluid from skin lesions or respiratory fluids via coughs or sneezes. Herpangina, also caused by enteroviruses, is a cluster of symptoms characterized
by fever and mouth lesions (but no rash). These illnesses are particularly common in child-care settings because of the frequency of contact and germ sharing between children and inadequate handwashing—especially after diaper changes or toilet
use. The viruses can also be transmitted by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, like toys.
Outbreaks occur most often in summer and fall but can happen anytime, especially if your child is in daycare. Kenneth Fox, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, shares symptoms parents should watch for and outlines ways you can make your child more comfortable while the virus runs its course:
Symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease:
Symptoms of Herpangina:
Fever and mouth/throat pain usually last three to five days. Other symptoms, like mouth sores and rash (with HFMD)
can last up to seven to ten days. The virus is shed orally for one to three weeks and in stool for two to three months after infection. While there are no cures for HFMD or herpangina, there are things you can do to make your child more comfortable during
those first few days, as well as reduce the risk for dehydration which can occur because of pain and difficulty swallowing.
What can parents do?
Keep little ones hydrated. Try Pedialyte or Gatorade to keep
their electrolytes up. Also popsicles, ice chips and other frozen treats can replenish fluids while also helping with pain.
Reduce pain or fever. Use Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen but check age-appropriate dosages before administering.
Make swallowing easier. Eliminate salty, spicy or acidic foods to avoid further irritating mouth sores. Consider providing a variety of soft foods, like yogurt, pudding and rice. And always rinse mouth after meals.
is not always possible to prevent your child from contracting hand, foot and mouth disease, you can reduce his or her risk, and your own. Here are some ways to keep your kids healthy and prevent the spread of HFMD in your home:
If your child does get hand, foot
and mouth disease, watch for these signs of complications:
Have questions about hand, foot and mouth disease or any other pediatric illness? NorthShore's new online community,
The Parent 'Hood, has answers. Join today to connect with other parents in the community as well as our expert physicans. Click here to start now.
Domestic abuse is a pattern of violent behavior used to control a partner—spouse,
boyfriend, girlfriend—and it can happen to anyone at any age and at any point in the relationship.
For many men and women who experience abuse at the hands of a partner, leaving isn’t easy. Domestic abuse is a form of control and it
can be extremely difficult for a victim to break free. There are many reasons why a victim might stay in an abusive relationship, from a fear of heightened violence to a belief that they, the victim, are to blame.
Often support and encouragement
from a friend may help the victim find the strength to seek help. Do you think you might have a loved one, friend or coworker who might be suffering abuse at the hands of a partner? The Domestic Violence Committee at NorthShore
shares the signs of abuse you shouldn’t ignore:
There is help available for victims of domestic violence. If you believe someone you know might be suffering in silence, help them find the information they need.
Click on the sites listed to be directed to their pages:
Apna Ghar is a Chicago-area agency for immigrants from East India.
Safe Place is a Lake County-area agency that offers counseling/shelter.
Evanston YWCA offers counseling/shelter.
Friends is a Chicago-area agency.
Lifespan is a Chicago and Des Plaines-area agency.
Shalva is a Chicago-area
agency for Jewish families.
IL Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers resources statewide.
Smoking is more than just a bad habit; it’s the leading cause of preventative death worldwide. Each year, close to 400,000 people in the U.S. will die from smoking-related diseases like lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.
of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, NorthShore University HealthSystem has created an infographic that explores the harmful effects of smoking and the big health benefits of quitting. Make
today the day you break a deadly habit and begin to look forward to many healthier years ahead.
Click on the image below to be directed to the full infographic.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. If detected
and treated early, prostate cancer survival rates are high and associated with good functional outcomes. Brian Helfand, MD, PhD, Urologist
at Northshore, answers questions about prostate cancer risk, PSA values, early signs and symptoms, recommended screening, as well as current treatment options for prostate cancer and recovery after treatment.
What is a normal PSA? I always tell my patients that you should compare your PSA to what is "normal" for your age group. Most men age 50 and younger have a PSA below 0.7ng/ml. For simplicity, you could use a cutoff of 1.0ng/ml. It’s important to point out that having a
PSA value that is above your age group does not mean that you have prostate cancer. It does, however, mean that you are statistically at a slightly increased risk for being diagnosed with the disease. For that reason, you should continue to be screened with
PSA on an annual basis at least.
There are other factors that should go into the interpretation of PSA before deciding to perform a prostate biopsy and these include: PSA values that have been rising over time, family history of prostate cancer,
African-American heritage and history of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Remember, PSA is not a perfect test but it has saved many lives and it’s still the best test for prostate cancer screening.
Guidelines for median PSA levels by
If there is a family history of the disease,
does that increase your risk? When should someone with a family history of the disease begin screening? Prostate cancer is one of the most inheritable of all cancers. As such, risk factors that are most associated with prostate cancer are first-degree
family history (father, brother, uncle, etc.) and race (i.e. African-Americans). Based on statistics, a man with a first-degree connection to the disease is almost two times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than a man without a family history.
Although there is some debate regarding the routine use of PSA screening, I’m a firm believer that if there is a family history, one should start undergoing annual PSA screening by the age of 40.
After treatment, how often should a patient
return to their physician for further tests and screenings? After surgery, patients should have an initial post-operative PSA in about four to six weeks and then every three to four months (based upon their urologist's preference). After
two years of having an undetectable PSA, I suggest my patients get PSAs every six months.
Are there preventative measures that could potentially reduce one’s risk for developing the disease? It’s possible that
a heart-healthy diet low in fats and simple sugars may help reduce one’s risk of developing prostate cancer. There is emerging evidence that obesity is a driving factor for benign growth of the prostate (referred to as BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia)
and that it could also contribute to one’s risk for prostate cancer. Extra weight may also make it harder to detect the disease until it is advanced. Obesity also is thought to contribute to prostate cancer recurrence. That’s why it’s important
for men to realize that a heart-healthy diet can help keep their prostates healthy too!
How likely is a patient’s sexual function to be affected after treatment? What surgical options result in the best possible outcome as far as recovering
sex life? I tell my patients that your post-operative sexual function is significantly related to your age and pre-operative function. In general, treatment for prostate cancer (radiation or surgery) has never improved a man's erectile
function. However, if a man is young, not diabetic or obese and had good erectile function prior to surgery, he has a very good chance of having normal erections post-op.
I believe that good, nerve-sparing surgery significantly helps with the recovery
of erectile function. This can be done by a urologic surgeon who is trained in the technique and frequently performs the operation. In addition, I believe that all men should start (at minimum) a rehabilitation program before and immediately after surgery
that helps to recover nerve function. This could involve taking drugs like Cialis before and after surgery.
If you do suffer from sexual dysfunction after prostate cancer treatment, what can you do to aid/improve recovery? Unfortunately,
there is no universal solution for every man but there are many different options that are available for treatment of sexual dysfunction after surgery. Prostate cancer patients should have an assessment of psychological function and desire for sexual activity
following surgery. Many men get nervous about intimacy following surgery and an evaluation by a trained professional can help relieve a lot of this anxiety.
If there are erectile issues after treatment, many men respond to simple medical therapies
like Viagra and Cialis. This is often a starting point. If you fail to respond to these therapies, other interventions such as a vacuum erection device or injection therapies can be used to obtain an erection. As always, regular exercise and a heart-healthy
diet help increases your chances of a successful recovery.
What are the differences between robotic laparoscopic surgery and conventional open prostatectomy in terms of recovery? I think the answer is surgeon experience. There
are many urologists who can perform open surgery with excellent outcomes (great cancer control, erectile function and continence). And there are many urologists who can perform robotic surgery with similar outcomes. It’s most important to be treated
by an urologist who is comfortable and experienced with a radical prostatectomy. Having said that, robotic surgery has recently become the most commonly used surgical intervention for prostate cancer. When compared to open surgery, robotic surgery offers significantly
less blood loss and a shorter hospital stay. Although not proven, it’s likely that the robotic surgery offers increased visualization of the area by the surgeon which provides an opportunity to spare more nerves and create a nice connection between the
bladder and urethra. These are both associated with increased erectile function and increased continence.
What does active surveillance involve? Why would someone choose to do that instead of actively treat their cancer? We have
come to a "new era" of understanding prostate cancer and realized that many men have prostate tumors that may not harm them during their lifetime (benign-type prostate cancer). This is because many prostate tumors grow very slowly and other medical problems
may ultimately harm a man before the prostate cancer spreads
Unfortunately, there is currently no diagnostic test that can tell whether one has a lethal prostate cancer or more benign-type tumor; therefore, we have developed a program of surveillance
in which we avoid treating patients with prostate cancer until there is evidence that it has an aggressive component. This involves actively and regularly monitoring men through the use of PSA tests and prostate biopsies. While this does increase the number
of times that a man is evaluated by an urologist, it avoids overtreatment, like unnecessary surgery or radiation that could cause erectile problems and/or incontinence. Currently, NorthShore University HealthSystem has the largest program in the Midwest.
Pumpkins aren’t just for decoration. They can and should be eaten too! Pumpkins
are high in fiber and vitamin A, which can protect your vision, and full of flavor but still low in calories. So, when you head to the store or patch to grab one or two to meet your Halloween needs, don’t forget to snatch up one more for a healthy, tummy-warming
Nothing says, "It's autumn!" quite like a warm, hearty bowl of soup. Katrina Herrejon, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Adult Endocrinology Group, shares her favorite recipe for pumpkin soup:
Recipe makes 4 servingsServing size 1 cup
*Store bought 100% pumpkin puree can be substituted if fresh pumpkin is unavailable. If using pre-made pumpkin puree skip
to step five on the instructions.
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 266Fat: 13gCarbohydrate: 30gFiber: 7gProtein: 7g
Do you have a healthy, yet delicious pumpkin recipe
you traditionally make this time of year?