Routine blood work can be done to test whether or not you have high cholesterol. The challenge for many lies in determining
what the numbers mean and what risks you may be at for developing other health conditions, including heart disease.
This blood work measures three different components:
The general standard for healthy levels state your LDL should optimally be below 100, HDL should be above 40 for men and above 50 for women, and your triglycerides value should stay below 150. So what can you do if your levels are a little high?
Jeffrey Marogil, MD, Cardiologist at NorthShore, offers the following suggestions for keeping your cholesterol in check:
Do you know what your cholesterol levels are? Have you made any changes in your diet or lifestyle to reduce them?
Does it ever feel like you just can’t put on enough lotion during the winter months to keep your skin from being dry? With the
cold temperatures and icy walkways, winter can be tough on your body. And, it can be just as hard on your skin.
Dry, sometimes even itchy and flaky skin is a common condition for many when temperatures begin to drop. While the cooler outdoor temperatures may be one of the leading causes for dry skin, there are a handful of ways you can help keep your skin soft and well
Stephanie Mehlis, MD, Dermatologist, provides the following tips for reducing dry skin:
What skin products do you swear by to heal dry skin?
Snoring can impact more than just a restful night of sleep for you and a partner. Snoring is a condition that is caused
by the narrowing of the airways and relaxation of muscles in the back of the throat. When chronic, it can reduce the amount of oxygen being supplied to the body, put unnecessary stress on the heart or cause you to stop breathing.
Snoring can be an indicator of other health conditions. For example, sleep apnea—a condition that nearly half of chronic snorers have—can often be linked to cardiac and pulmonary diseases.
Alfredo Gonzalez, MD, Cardiologist at NorthShore, identifies the following symptoms to help determine if you have a sleep disorder:
How many hours of sleep on average do you get a night? Do you know if you snore?
A lot can change with our bodies over time, and it’s normal for our vision to be one of these changes as we get older. Some of the first
signs of changing vision come in the form of needing reading glasses to view smaller print and requiring better, brighter lighting. Some people may also notice that they have trouble making out certain colors as well as trouble focusing on objects.
Some of the most common eye conditions to appear in elderly individuals include:
There is a lot that can be done to prevent and manage common eye conditions.
Joshua Herz, MD, Ophthalmologist, gives the following advice on what to look for to identify eye problems early:
Many eye conditions and diseases do not have symptoms. For this reason, it’s important to see an eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
What do you do to keep your eyes healthy?
Let’s put the heart back into February. Aside from Valentine’s Day, this month is a great time to give some heartfelt
attention to our cardiovascular systems. Small changes can be made to your day-to-day routine to help keep your heart in shape.
Hani Salti, MD, shares the following advice for ensuring a healthy heart:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through their
Million Hearts™ Initiative identifies the “ABCS” of improving cardiovascular care: Aspirin for those at risk; Blood pressure control; Cholesterol management; and Smoking cessation.
How do you keep your heart healthy?
Not all health conditions need to be treated with prescription or over-the-counter medications. In fact, in some cases,
herbal remedies and supplements can help relieve symptoms and improve health.
While there is no “magic” supplement or “quick fix,” it is important to discuss any new treatment method (herbal or not) with your physician. This will ensure that no unwanted side effects or drug interactions will occur. To learn more about herbs and supplements,
Leslie Mendoza Temple, MD, Director of NorthShore’s Integrative Medicine program, offers the following herbal alternatives:
Do you use herbal remedies to help relieve common health concerns? What works for you?
So often when we are making meal choices, we don’t skip a beat to think about the health implications our decisions have on our body. Eating
a well-balanced, nutritious diet is one way to stay healthy, and being diligent about making smart choices day-after-day can also help you feel better (both physically and mentally). Along with these benefits, eating right can help reduce your risk of illness
February is Heart Awareness Month and a great time to focus on your cardiovascular health while still enjoying what you eat.
Kimberly Hammon, Registered Dietitian, gives some nutrition tips on eating right for your heart:
Kimberly shares one of her favorite, healthy recipes to get you on track for a healthy heart.
Easy Chicken Pot Pie:
Cook time: 45 minutes
1 2/3 cups frozen mixed vegetables (thawed)
1 cup cooked chicken (cut-up)
1 can low-fat cream of chicken soup (10 ¾ oz )
1 cup reduced-fat baking mix
½ cup low-fat or skim milk
1/6 of Pie: 180 calories, 3 grams of fat, 13 grams of protein, 420 mg sodium.
Source: Texas Cooperative Extension
What is your favorite healthy recipe?
Do you know the feeling of having pain and not being able to do much of anything to reduce or minimize it? Managing chronic
pain can be difficult and frustrating, especially when over-the-counter medication just doesn’t seem to relieve symptoms.
James Grober, MD, Rheumatologist, suggests some methods for helping to reduce pain:
Chronic pain often cannot be cured, but when managed properly its effects on your body and lifestyle can be minimized. As with any change in your routine, please consult with your physician if pain worsens or persists.
What pain management techniques work best for you?
It’s not a topic we like to think or talk about, but whether we plan for it or not, each of us will reach the
end of our lives at some point. “I wish we knew” is a phrase that medical professionals hear all too often when loved ones are in the difficult position of making medical care decisions for someone who is unable to speak for himself or herself.
Rev. Nancy Waite, Chaplain, Director of the Spiritual Care and Music Therapy Department, provides the following tips on how to start thinking about and planning your end of life wishes and preferences:
Do you have an Advance Directive?
Advance Care Planning is the process of reflecting on, discussing and planning for a time when, due to illness or injury, you cannot make your own medical decisions. This process is vitally important for the purpose of assisting your loved ones and
your physician to provide you the best care when you cannot make your own decisions. Through this process you can create a plan. This plan is called an
Advance Directive. There are two main types of Advance Directives: the
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, and the Living Will. Both are legal documents.
Some of the most common illnesses that send us to the doctor’s office can be easily treated with medications; however, there
isn’t an easy, one-stop solution for every sniffle, cough or infection.
While antibiotics are one of the most frequently prescribed medications for a variety of conditions, they are not a cure-all for everything. In fact, for many common illnesses caused by viruses (flu, colds and sore throats), antibiotics are not recommended.
So when do you know if an antibiotic will help relieve symptoms?
Dirk Killelea, Manager of the NorthShore Evanston Hospital Pharmacy, offers his insight on antibiotics, including when you should take them and when you shouldn’t:
How frequently do you take antibiotics?