On April 14, 2013, Hannah Fusfeld lost her voice, and within a couple of hours she was visibly ill. It was the first day of what would become nearly four months of missed school days, ice-skating practices and time away from and inability to communicate
with her friends, family and community. Hannah’s illness made it impossible for her to communicate even her most basic needs. She was eventually diagnosed with combination of mononucleosis, or mono, and whooping cough.
Hannah and her family saw three different doctors before deciding they needed to look for help outside Green Bay. After nearly four months with no voice at all, Hannah and her parents found the
NorthShore Voice Center.
Aaron Friedman, MD, Otolaryngology, and
Christine Buth Martin, Speech Therapist, helped give her back her voice in one three-hour session.
Hannah’s mom, Bonnie Lee Fusfeld, shares the experiences of the entire family, the downs and eventual ups, in their NorthShore Patient Story:
As a parent, when your child is ill, there is a vise that grips your heart. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, the constriction of fear is present every second of every day. The constant unanswered questions like, “What are we missing?” and “What
hasn’t been found yet?” are isolating.
After four months of what seemed like constant questions, it felt like a gift to sit in Dr. Friedman’s office and have him research Hannah’s history, assess, accurately diagnose and then, not only provide treatment, but actually show us what was happening.
Dr. Friedman scoped Hannah with a type of scope that had not been used on her before. He videotaped what was happening in the musculature of Hannah’s vocal cords; he taught us about our daughter’s health problem.
The word “healer” gets bandied around a lot these days and means many things to many people. To me a healer is someone who opens the door for change to occur, someone who creates hope. Dr. Friedman did this the first time he sat down with us. Christine took
that opened door and pushed it wide open. Christine not only treated Hannah with vocal massage and literally unthawed her vocal cords, but she helped us, as a family, unthaw as well. Fear, worry, hope, joy and laughter all came into that room and Christine
facilitated that without being intrusive. She was only kind, compassionate and extremely skilled.
This experience has been a tremendous gift to our family, a gift that quite literally saved us. We had the understanding of friends, business associates and Hannah’s educational community and her KICKS Synchronized Skating family but it was still extremely
Our family still has some hurdles to overcome. It’s been a year since the onset of Hannah’s illness and she’s doing great. She’s 17 now and back in school full time. She’s looking for colleges and works as a coach at the skating rink and as a receptionist
at our local chiropractor’s office. And, she is skating again. Hannah is active and busy but she still has challenges, like making sure to watch her fatigue level, but she is learning. We are learning too. We are learning how to guide a 17-year-old young woman,
who is heading into adulthood, on how to make good health decisions for herself. Hannah knows even though she is recovering, she is still building her strength. For example, a two-day flu for most would take Hannah down for a week—she has to learn to manage
that. And sometimes she just doesn’t have the strength to do it all, but the amazing thing is that she keeps trying, she keeps going. That is what I respect most about my daughter: no matter what knocks her down, she just picks herself back up and moves forward.
Thank you to the
Cornerstone Community Center for graciously donating ice time during the filming of our NorthShore Patient Story.
As part of National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month,
Demetrius Maraganore, MD, Chairman of Neurology at NorthShore, shared some of the findings of his ongoing research into the genetic factors that influence Parkinson’s disease progression and outcomes. He also tells us why research like this is so important
for Parkinson’s disease patients and their families:
Why is funding for and research into Parkinson’s disease so important?
It’s important because the treatments that we have available don’t prevent Parkinson’s disease (PD) or slow or halt its progression. PD is characterized by progressive motor and cognitive impairment. PD patients have a seven-fold increased risk of
nursing home placement and a two-fold increased risk of death. The annual cost of PD in the U.S. exceeds $23 billion. Presently 2% of people will develop PD during their lifetime, and the prevalence of PD is expected to double by 2030. The cumulative burden
of PD to society is and will be staggering. Our patients and their families deserve methods to predict, prevent and halt PD and those will only come through research.
How long have you been conducting research into Parkinson’s disease?
My research in Parkinson’s disease (PD) started in 1989, when I was an honorary clinical and research fellow to the late Professor C. David Marsden at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, England. Dr. Marsden was the founder of the
international Movement Disorders Society and its official journal, Movement Disorders. His associate, Professor Anita Harding, was a pioneer in the field of neurogenetics. Together, we launched the first genetic studies of Parkinson’s disease.
That has remained the focus of my research, including for 20 years on the faculty of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and in the four years that I have been Chairman of Neurology at NorthShore. While my research at Mayo focused on identifying genetic factors
that contribute to the cause of PD, my research at NorthShore has focused on understanding how those genetic factors influence disease progression and outcomes. Our research aims to develop methods to predict outcomes in PD, and to use that information to
improve neurological health.
Why have you focused the bulk of your career on the study and treatment of Parkinson’s?
As a clinician, it’s very gratifying that there are many treatments that we can employ in the first many years to reduce the burden of the disease on patients and families. However, I recognize that the benefits of the existing treatments wane with
time, and I’m driven by the sense of urgency to identify the factors that contribute to the progression of Parkinson's disease. Our goal is to target those factors so that every individual patient can have the best possible outcome.
For more information on the NorthShore Neurological Institute and the research being done at NorthShore, click
Fresh spring rolls are a quick way to boost your intake of nutrient-dense foods. Simply purchase the pre-made
rice papers (spring roll wrappers), fill with your favorite vegetables, roll, and enjoy. You can add lean protein like shrimp, chicken breast or tofu to make spring rolls a more filling snack or a meal. Low sodium soy sauce is a perfect accompaniment to
these healthy treats.
Certified Diabetes Educator at NorthShore, shares her recipe for healthy spring rolls three ways:
Spicy: Serrano pepper, radish, lettuce and green onion
American: Avocado, carrots, zucchini, red pepper and basil
Shrimp: Shrimp, cucumber, bean sprouts and cilantro
Reasons to Love Spring Rolls:
Nutrition Information Spicy:
Total Fat 1g
Total Carbohydrate 9g
Nutrition Information American:
Total Fat 3g
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Nutrition Information Shrimp:
Total Fat 1.5 g
Total Carbohydrate 9g
*Nutrition information may vary based on brand of spring roll wrapper used.
April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers just might bring seasonal allergies. Don’t suffer the sniffles, sneezes, and itchy, watery eyes of seasonal allergies without fighting back. Our springtime infographic
highlights some allergy basics and provides tips to help you combat seasonal allergy symptoms in your home.
Click on our
infographic for more information and useful tips.
It can be challenging to choose the right over-the-counter pain medication. While the choices are many, it’s very important
to make a decision based on your symptoms and other medical issues. Not all pain relievers are created equal, and knowing the difference between various types can be very helpful.
Before taking any medication, you should consult with your physician and/or pharmacist. Additionally, you should carefully read labels for warnings and other information. This is especially true for combination products used for treating
pain and other conditions, such as colds, allergies, arthritis and muscle aches.
Acetaminophen and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are the most commonly used over-the-counter pain medications.
The main difference between the two is that NSAIDs help reduce pain, fever and inflammation. Acetaminophen only reduces pain and fever.
George Carro, Pharmacist at NorthShore Evanston Hospital, helps clarify the differences between these common over-the-counter pain relievers to help you make a better, more-informed decision:
Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) tends to be milder on the stomach. Keep in mind that acetaminophen will not help with inflammation. Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in many other medications, including cold and flu preparations. Be sure to
read all labels carefully so you do not exceed the recommended maximum daily dose of acetaminophen.
Safe for Children? Acetaminophen is generally considered safe for use in children. Always be sure to confirm proper usage and dosing information with your pediatrician.
Side Effects? Liver toxicity, including liver damage and failure, can be associated with improper use of this drug. Alcohol consumption in combination with acetaminophen use may increase this risk.
NSAIDs—Aspirin (Bayer®), Ibuprofen (Advil ®or Motrin®), Naproxen (Aleve®) and others—can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Safe for Children? As with any drug for children, it is recommended to discuss proper usage and dosing information with your pediatrician. Please consider the following for use in children:
Side Effects? The most common side effects include stomach and kidney problems. It is recommended to take all NSAIDs with food to help minimize stomach irritation. If you have heart conditions, stomach ulcers or blood disorders, please consult
with your physician before taking these medications.
No drug—prescription or over-the-counter—is without risks. Always consult with your physician if you have any questions or concerns about your medications. Our NorthShore pharmacists can also answer questions and help you make informed, over-the-counter
pain reliever selections.
National Doctors’ Day was established to honor physicians and the profound impact their work has
on patients and the larger community. There are too many doctors at NorthShore worthy of recognition to honor each individually, so we extend our thanks and congratulations to each and every one for their individual achievements and the excellent care they
always strive to provide.
We regularly hear from grateful patients, like Paul Upchurch, who want to find a way to honor their doctors. Paul developed a pancreatic tumor that required a highly complex surgery. After meeting with several doctors, he eventually found his way to
Mark Talamonti, MD, Surgical Oncologist at NorthShore.
Today, Paul is doing well. This year, he honored Dr. Talamonti and the exceptional care he received with a donation to support the groundbreaking research being done at NorthShore. He shared his NorthShore patient story with us:
“Nearly two years ago, I discovered that I had a tumor on my pancreas that required a highly complex surgery and long recovery period. I knew I needed to get better to be able to take care of my family. I met with several doctors, but I knew Dr. Talamonti
would be my surgeon during our very first meeting."
“Dr. Talamonti’s approach was to treat me as a whole person, not just a disease. Through his research, he was able to develop an individualized treatment plan based on my health history and the makeup of my tumor. The surgery was every bit as tough as Dr.
Talamonti had said it would be. But my story ended happily. Today, I feel better than ever. I’m extremely grateful to Dr. Talamonti for his work and research in individualized medicine. I thank him for saving my life. I look forward to celebrating Dr. Talamonti
for many Doctors’ Days to come.”
It’s patients like Paul who make the work of healers such as Dr. Talamonti possible. If you would like to make a gift of your own on Doctors' Day please click here. Your
gift can support research or programs in a clinical area of your choice. If you have a NorthShore patient story to tell, email email@example.com.
There are many risk factors for colon cancer that are beyond your control—being over the age of 50, family
history of colorectal cancer, personal history of polyps, inflammatory intestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. There are, however, risk factors you can mitigate by making some simple and some not-so-simple changes to your lifestyle.
Susannah Spiess, MD, Gastroenterologist at NorthShore, encourages everyone to make these healthy lifestyle changes to help lower
the risk for colon cancer:
Eat a high-fiber, low-fat diet. Studies have shown that diets high in fat and lower in fiber may increase your risk for developing colon cancer. These same studies also indicate an increased risk for those who consume large quantities of
red meat regularly. Shift the focus of your diet away from meat, particularly red meat, and give fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains top billing on your plate.
Get up and move. This doesn’t just mean 30 minutes of exercise a day. Get up and move throughout the day. An inactive, sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of developing colon cancer. If you spend most of your day sitting behind a
desk, stand up and move every 20 minutes or whenever possible.
Lose weight. Changing your diet and increasing your activity level will work wonders on your waistline as well. Obesity significantly increases one’s risk for not only developing colon cancer but also dying from the disease if diagnosed.
Break the habit. It’s a terribly unhealthy habit. Smoking increases your risk for a number of serious health issues, from lung cancer and heart disease to stroke and, you guessed it, colon cancer. The time to break the habit is now.
Cut back. The excessive consumption of alcohol raises your risk for several types of cancers, including cancer of the colon and rectum. Monitor your daily and weekly consumption of alcohol and ensure that it is no more than 14 units of alcohol
per week and no more than three in any single day.
Get a colonoscopy. While adopting these lifestyle changes could reduce one’s risk for colon cancer, screening colonoscopy is the only proven method of preventing the disease.
Have you made an appointment to get your first colonoscopy? Find out more
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, claiming nearly 29,000 men and women
each year. It is surpassed only by lung cancer. Colon cancer also happens to be one of the most preventable cancers. Studies have shown that a colonoscopy can reduce the risk of developing and dying from colorectal cancer by 90%. A colonscopy can enable a
physician to identify and remove polyps before they even become malignant.
David Labowitz, DO, MPH, Gastroenterology at NorthShore, addresses some of the damaging myths about colonoscopy that discourage many from getting this
lifesaving procedure when they should:
Myth #1: The “prep work” is terrible.
You do have to empty your colon before a colonoscopy. This is the hardest part of the exam, but the most important. I always tell patients that without a good prep, it’s like driving through fog—you cannot see where you are going. However, the prep does not
have to be a terrible experience. The day before the procedure, you should stop eating solid food and consume only clear liquids; however, you can have more than just water. Incorporating variety—tea, Jell-O, sports drinks and broth—into your 24-hour clear
liquid diet will help make it more bearable.
The most common complaint is the volume of colonoscopy prep electrolyte solution that must be consumed to clear the bowels. To make this easier, we actually split the drinking of the prep into two different time periods (the evening before and a couple of
hours before the procedure). This not only is an easier way for patients to accomplish the prep, but has been shown in national studies to be a better way to prep for the procedure. Think about the prep this way: the cleaner your colon, the faster and easier
the procedure the next day. Unfortunately, if your colon isn’t clear because you have failed to drink the solution, polyps and lesions could go undetected or the results could be inconclusive. Further, the procedure may need to be repeated. It’s all about
doing it right the first time.
Expert Tips! Make the Prep a Little Easier
Myth #2: The procedure is painful.
A colonoscopy is a very tolerable procedure. Further, it does not take very long and most of the time is completed within 20-30 minutes. Before the procedure begins, you will be given a sedative to help you relax. In fact, most patients will sleep
through the entire procedure and wake up not remembering any of it. Those who remain awake during the procedure report nothing more than slight cramping or pressure in the abdomen, similar to the feeling of having a bowel movement.
Myth #3: It’s embarrassing.
Our NorthShore gastroenterologists perform over 35,000 GI procedures each year—the majority being colonoscopies—so they have a lot of experience making sure patients are as comfortable with the process as possible. Patients can also make an appointment with
their gastroenterologist before the procedure to meet face to face and ask any questions that will help them feel more comfortable.
Myth #4: There is a high risk of complications.
Complications during or after a colonoscopy are very rare. The bottom line is your risk of developing colon cancer is far higher than your risk of suffering a complication due to a colonoscopy. It is, however, important to schedule your colonoscopy
with a physician who is certified to perform this procedure.
Myth #5: Colonoscopies aren’t necessary for women.
Colorectal cancer affects men and women in nearly equal numbers. It’s not a man’s disease; therefore, screening colonoscopies are for everyone. Women need to schedule their first screening colonoscopy starting at age 50, just like men. More than 90% of colorectal
cancer is diagnosed in people who are 50 or older. Those with a family history of the disease and other risk factors—a history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), history of polyps, type 2 diabetes, obesity and smoking—might need to start screening early
and undergo screening more often. Ask your doctor when you should begin screening.
For more information on colonoscopies and to make an appointment, click here.
This year, spring clean your diet, too. "Clean" eating means to create a balanced diet of fresh, unprocessed foods with the central focus on fruits and vegetables. The health benefits of clean eating are many, such as possible weight loss and the reduction
of one's risk for diabetes and some types of cancer, including colon cancer.
The experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem have created an infographic that illustrates the benefits of clean eating and breaks down the most important clean eating guidelines. Click on the image below to view the
Spring is on its way, which means athletes everywhere are emerging from
hibernation and throwing on their running shoes. Before you join their ranks, follow along as
Adam Bennett, MD, Sports Medicine at NorthShore, answers our sports-injury prevention questions, from what changes you should make to your diet if you’re in training, to what you should do if training starts to hurt:
If you experience pain while in training for an athletic event, what are your options?
The main issue is to determine the cause of the pain. If the cause is muscle soreness, then more rest between runs or training may help. Additionally, some strength training via yoga, Pilates or basic weight lifting
may diminish soreness after a workout. If pain persists, seek medical care, which could include X-rays depending on the site and severity of the pain.
What causes shin splints and what is the best way to deal with them and still be able to exercise?
First order of business is to make sure that your shin splints are in fact, shin splints. Other causes of shin pain include muscle strains, stress fractures and tendinitis. "Shin splints" is a painful condition that occurs when the muscle attachments pull on
the periosteum (a membrane that covers bones) of the tibia, which leads to inflammation and pain. If you do have shin splints, anti-inflammatory over-the-counter pain relievers, intense stretching, deep tissue massage, gait analysis, modifying the type of
shoe you wear and rest days in your training program all may help diminish your symptoms. Formal physical therapy is an effective way to implement all of these strategies.
Are sports and recovery drinks after a workout or training better than simply drinking water? Do they aid recovery?Sports drinks contain glucose and electrolytes, which need to be replenished after sweating during training
or exercise. Sports drinks are probably not essential for exercise lasting 20 minutes or less. For exercise lasting longer than 20 minutes, research shows improved performance when utilizing fluids that contain glucose and electrolytes. Research also indicates
that ingesting carbohydrates and protein within 10 minutes of an intense workout improves recovery. I don’t have brand recommendations but I believe it’s a good idea to replenish with a drink that uses natural flavors and sweeteners and avoids ingredients
like high fructose corn syrup. Certainly anything with caffeine, which might dehydrate the athlete, is a bad idea. Please tell your kids not to drink soda pop after exercise.
Is it better to consume protein drinks or food sources of protein after a workout for muscle recovery?
I would guess they are about equivalent. The advantage of a drink is that you replenish fluids as well.
If you have an injury in your arms or wrists, such as tendonitis, what exercises could you do to increase strength without causing further injury?
This is a tough scenario but there are things you can do. Specifically putting resistance in your mid-forearm and keeping your hands and wrists relaxed can allow you to work out the major muscles of your upper body without irritating the tendons in your
wrists. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to pull this off try working with a personal trainer a couple of times and have him or her show you.
For those training for a marathon, half marathon or triathlon, do you have any diet and training recommendations?
My first recommendation is to consider implementing rest days as part of your training. I often suggest athletes work longer and more intensely one day and then allow for complete rest the next day. If that is too much rest, consider a two-days-on, one-day-off
schedule. Rest days allow for replenishment of glycogen stores in the muscle cells and fluid losses to be replaced adequately. As a result, athletes typically feel better on workout days and can push themselves even harder, which ultimately leads to a better
performance on race day.
In terms of a daily diet, avoiding fried foods, caffeine and alcohol is likely to bring benefit. If you sweat a lot, you may need to add salty foods to your diet. This is especially important if you cramp easily.
For those not in training but who still want a great workout, what would you recommend?
High-intensity interval training is likely the most effective way to improve overall fitness. For my patients who are frustrated with their ability to lose weight, I often suggest they incorporate high-intensity interval training into their workout routine.
Crossfit is a popular example, which works for some, but there are many ways to do this type of training.
If you are concerned about the risk of injury during strength training as an older athlete, what should you do? Are lighter weights with more reps better? Or, should you increase weight and reduce reps?
Most people don't realize the importance of resistance training to overall health. My only concern about injury is if you had arthritis in any of your upper extremity joints (shoulder, elbow, wrists). If you do have arthritis in these joints, then lighter weights
would be preferred. If you continue to lift to the point your muscles become sore the next day, it is unlikely you will lose significant muscle mass. My only suggestion is to vary the weight, repetition
or motion of your regimen so your body won’t adapt as easily. This will ensure maximum benefit from every session.
For more information on keeping your young athletes healthy, join us on
Thursday, March 20th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. for a Sports Medicine Symposium at Highland Park High School. We invite you to join us for a discussion on how to keep young athletes in optimum health and prevent injuries. For more information, call
Matt Castle at 224-765-2090.