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?
They may be crawling around in airport waiting areas, public transportation, department stores or hotel rooms before making their
way into your home. Bed bugs—per their name most commonly found in, besides and near your bed—can be extremely hard to identify and costly to extinguish. While they don’t typically move far from their blood source, these bugs have become an increased problem
in the United States.
Felissa Kreindler, MD, points out some ways to avoid bringing these pests into your home and how to identify a problem:
Have you or someone you know been affected by bed bugs? Are you surprised to learn of all the public places they may be found?
It’s easy to overlook the potential dangers that everyday products in our home may have on our health. We get used
to storing cleaning supplies in lower cabinets, leaving toothpaste out within reach and letting our medicine cabinets fill up—often not thinking about the potential risks many of these products can pose to our families. According to the American Association
of Poison Control Centers, the vast majority (nearly 90%) of all exposures occur at home.
Jerrold Leikin, MD, Medical Toxicologist at NorthShore, provides a short list of some of the most dangerous household products and things that lead to exposure:
Dr. Leikin recommends the following to help reduce your risk of exposure:
If you or someone you know has been exposed to a poison, call the Illinois Poison Center immediately at 1.800.222.1222. For more information about poison prevention and exposures, visit the
NorthShore Medical Toxicology website.
How do you safeguard your home to reduce poison exposure?
There’s been more coughing, sneezing and sinus congestion this year than in years past, and it’s no surprise as the flu
season has been off to a strong start since late fall. Hospitals and medical offices across the country have seen an uptick in office visits and confirmed cases. Over the last month, NorthShore has seen a significant spike in hospital admissions of patients
suffering from flu or flu-like symptoms.
Despite the peak in flu cases, there are some things you can do to help reduce your chances of getting infected. Nancy Semerdjian, Chief Nursing Officer at NorthShore, offers the following suggestions to help beat the virus this season:
It isn’t too late to get a flu shot to help mitigate your chances of getting the flu; however, it is important to note that it may take a couple of weeks for the vaccination to take full effect.
What flu remedies do you have? Have you gotten a flu shot this year?
Does it seem like you make a lot of trips to see your pediatrician? Regardless of the reason—the sniffles,
a high fever, an infection or something else—it is a good idea to make regular visits to the doctor. These appointments, along with any “back-to-school” check-ups, are not only important to your child’s well being, but also can help physicians identify health
risks and preventive measures.
Alison Galanopoulos, MD, NorthShore-affiliated Pediatrician, identifies some of the common health concerns that a pediatrician can often identify during regular visits:
How frequently do you take your child/children to the pediatrician?
It’s hard to avoid the temptation of having something sweet—whether it’s an after- dinner treat, a mid-afternoon snack or something you indulge in to reward yourself for a hard day’s work. Like most things, in moderation, sugar shouldn’t lead to any long-term
health concerns. However, when consumed in excess—both in its natural form and processed form—sugar can lead to some very serious health conditions.
Mary Bennett, RD, LDN, CDE, a diabetes educator at NorthShore, identifies some of the health concerns that excess sugar can lead to:
The American Heart Association has set a limit for consumer consumption of sugar, which includes:
How do you control your cravings for something sweet? What is your favorite alternative snack?
Every year at our four NorthShore hospitals we give patients more than 18,000 blood components. Keeping in mind that a single trauma patient in the emergency room may need more than 20 units of red blood (the equivalent of 20 donations), the need for donors
is always present.
Why not consider giving someone the gift of life this holiday season? Donating blood is a quick, safe and painless process that can help to make a big difference in someone’s life. Not to mention, one pint of blood can save up to three lives.
Not everyone is eligible to donate blood. In general, donors must be healthy, at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and not have a medical history of certain cancers, diseases or infections. A full list of guidelines for eligibility can be found
on our website:
Jim Perkins, MD, Director of NorthShore’s blood banks, offers the following advice on donating blood:
Did you know?
You don’t have to travel far to donate blood. In fact, you can conveniently donate blood and platelets at Evanston Hospital. For more information about donating blood at NorthShore, visit
Do you know your blood type? Have you ever donated blood?