With Halloween “creeping” up and followed closely by Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are a lot of treats to contend with.
Here are the strategies that seem to work best for my family:
While the options may seem endless, selecting your primary care physician—typically a doctor who practices Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice—may be one of the most important health decisions you can make. Not only will you build a relationship
with this physician over time, but he or she can provide you with preventive care that may help improve your overall health.
Everyone may have different preferences when it comes to choosing a doctor. Similar to hiring for fit, selecting your primary care physician can be a similar task. One thing to keep in mind: It’s best to choose a physician before you need one, this way you
can build a relationship and share your health history without having to rush to a decision.
John Revis, MD, Internal Medicine physician at NorthShore, provides some quick tips on what to consider when selecting your primary care physician:
How long have you had your primary care physician? What qualities do you look for in a doctor?
Do Downward-Facing Dog, Plank, Warrior I and Child’s Pose sound familiar? While you’ve probably heard of at least one of these popular yoga poses, maybe you’ve even done a few of them yourself.
Yoga—originating in India—is a practice that has been around for centuries. Yoga is a vast body of knowledge which includes physical exercise done through the practice of yoga poses, breathing exercises to calm the nervous system, meditation practices to focus
the mind, dietary practices to detoxify the body, herbal oil massages to nourish the skin, philosophy for living a peaceful life and the Science of Ayurveda (The Indian Medical System which includes Ayurvedic Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Herbs and Ayurvedic Massage
Therapies). Yoga is an entire system of self-care and self-realization which was one of the first paradigms of Energy Medicine known to man.
Hatha Yoga is a type of exercise, that when done correctly, can be good for people of all ages and physical abilities. Polly Liontis, Yoga Instructor (Certified by the Himalayan Institute and a Licensed Massage Therapist/LMT), identifies some of the health
benefits of practicing yoga:
Have you ever practiced yoga? What are some of your favorite poses?
Brush your teeth after every meal. Floss regularly. Avoid drinking too many sugary beverages. There are plenty of things that we can do to help promote oral health. Yet for many of us, we brush our teeth without realizing how important a clean mouth is to
our overall health. In fact, your mouth can provide the firsthand view on nutrition and infections, both of which can affect the rest of your body.
Once our baby teeth fall out, we only get one set of teeth. With the proper prevention and care, most oral conditions and diseases can be avoided or greatly reduced. Mira Diora, DDS, and Jennifer Moy, Dental Hygienist, give the following tips to keep your mouth
healthy and clean:
How many times a day do you brush your teeth? Do you floss every day?
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one fact many of us may not be aware of is that breast cancer can affect both women and men. Men, just like women, have breast tissue, thus making it possible to also develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is not
very common in men, and most men who are diagnosed with it do not develop it until they are older (50 to 60 years of age). However, younger men can also develop breast cancer, making it very important to identify signs and symptoms. The incidence of breast
cancer in men is very low. Yet, a strong family history of breast cancer, particularly in younger family members, increases the risk of breast cancer in men. In patients with a BRCA genetic mutation, the age of diagnosis is younger. If present, the lifetime
risk of developing breast cancer in a man is approximately 6%.
David J. Winchester, MD, Breast Surgeon at NorthShore, identifies what men should look for to determine breast cancer:
Breast cancer is often diagnosed at later stages in men. If you notice any of the signs listed above, plan to reach out to your physician for evaluation.
Are you surprised that breast cancer affects men? What other information would you want to learn about on the topic?
It’s one thing for an elderly relative, friend or loved one to be forgetful from time to time, but if you begin
to notice changes in memory, thinking and problem solving you may want to consider getting him or her screened for Alzheimer’s disease. While the progression of this condition may vary from person to person, there are tell-tale signs to help determine diagnosis.
Felise Zollman, MD, Neurologist with NorthShore, recommends looking for the following warning signs for those who may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD):
While it can be normal to have any of these problems occur once in a while, they become concerning if they begin to affect the person’s daily life.
Along with warning signs, Dr. Zollman also outlines some of the most common risk factors for developing this condition, including:
Do you know someone with Alzheimer’s disease? What recommendations would you have to others who are just finding out someone they know has this disease?
Prostate cancer is one of the common cancers found in men (especially in those over 65). Although diagnosis of any type
of cancer can be scary and lead to feelings of uncertainty, in most cases, prostate cancer is slow growing and can be easily managed and treated when identified at its early stages.
Michael McGuire, MD, Urologist at NorthShore, offers the following tips to men about determining their risk and identifying prostate cancer:
While there are mixed reviews about when you should receive the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, it is important to talk to your physician about any of your health concerns during your annual visit.
Do you know if your family medical history includes prostate cancer?
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and an important time to recognize that this disease is the 5th leading cause
of cancer deaths in American women. The cause of ovarian cancer is poorly understood, and in addition, ovarian cancer can be much more difficult to detect than other types of cancer.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer may be vague and may mimic other common women’s health conditions. Women and health professionals may attribute symptoms to menopause, aging, stress, changes in diet or depression. This may result in a delay in the diagnosis of
ovarian cancer. The most common symptoms include:
Carolyn Kirschner, MD, Gynecological Oncologist at NorthShore, identifies some strategies available for women:
Have you known someone with ovarian cancer? Do you know if it’s in your family history?
Concussive injuries in sports have been a hot topic for a number of years. As of July 2011, a new Illinois
State law requires that any athlete who exhibits the signs of a concussion must be removed from that practice or game, and cannot be returned to play until he or she has been cleared by an appropriately trained healthcare professional.
However, the law makes no mention of academics and most youth athletes will attend school before they are cleared to return to the field of play. Our attention should then turn to addressing the issues of injured students.
A concussion occurs when a person suffers a blow or force to the head that results in changes in his or her mental status; this includes confusion, disorientation, memory or mental cloudiness. The individual may complain of headache, dizziness, nausea, visual
changes or fatigue, and may experience problems with attention and memory.
It is often difficult for a newly concussed student to manage the demands of school and their grades may suffer if their injury is not appropriately addressed. If a student athlete suffers from a concussion the following steps for an optimal recovery are recommended:
Relief from migraine headaches can come in many different forms – from pain medication, preventative drugs, massage
and acupuncture to at-home remedies including relaxation techniques and proper sleep.
Approximately 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men in the United States suffer from migraine headaches. Those who are able to identify “trigger” sites on the head or face where the migraine pain starts or localizes may be able to consider a plastic surgery
treatment option. Botox, traditionally used to relax facial muscles to reduce wrinkles, can also be used to relax muscles around the nerves that may trigger migraines.
Michael Howard, MD, a plastic surgeon at NorthShore, works closely with our neurologists to evaluate candidates for migraine headache surgery. Dr. Howard identifies some
of the factors that may help determine if a patient is a good candidate for this surgery:
Do you suffer from migraine headaches? Do you know your trigger sites?