The field of Medical Genetics has seen tremendous advancements over the years and is greatly impacting the way healthcare
is delivered. Despite this, one of the best “genetic tests” for guiding your personalized care and estimating risk is to know your family medical history.
By analyzing your family history, you can be alerted to an increased health risk whether it’s heart disease, cancer or another condition. If the risk is high enough, changes in medical management or further testing may be indicated to help personalize one’s
Peter Hulick, MD, Medical Geneticist offers his advice on how to track your family history to personalize your healthcare:
Do you have a family history of health conditions? How many generations of health information do you know?
You are getting sleepy, very sleepy. All hypnosis aside, hopefully when your eyelids get heavy, you yawn uncontrollably
and your head begins to nod up and down, you are not behind the wheel of a car.
According to the
National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll, a surprising 60 percent of Americans have felt sleepy and drowsy when driving. The reasons are many: you’ve had a long day at work, you’re powering through exits on a road trip to make it to your final
destination faster or you’re driving in the evening. No matter what the reason, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence,and puts both you and others at serious risk.
Neil Freedman, MD, Sleep Medicine specialist at NorthShore, offers his insights on how to stay alert at the wheel and avoid injury:
If you exhibit any of these symptoms while driving or know that you are too tired to drive prior to getting into the car, you should either not get behind the wheel, or pull over to the side of the road or to a rest stop.
Have you ever been too sleepy to be driving? What do you do to stay alert behind the wheel?
Getting in shape and thinking about your daily nutrition is now a little easier. The food pyramid has been replaced by
MyPlate visual, which is based on the most recent revision of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
There are three main focus areas for the new Dietary Guidelines.
Melissa Joy Dobbins, a registered dietitian at NorthShore, provides tips on how to put these strategies into action:
Foods to Increase:
Foods to Reduce:
For more helpful ideas to get your plate in shape, check out the
“Ten Tips” series.
What nutrition tips do you have? How balanced is your plate?
Pregnancy brings about many changes—both for the mother and baby. While most women have normal, healthy pregnancies, everyone is at some risk for problems.
Issues during a pregnancy can range in severity—from poor nutrition, nausea or fatigue to gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, infectious diseases or premature birth. With the proper planning, education and physician involvement, many risks can be greatly reduced
Scott MacGregor, D.O., gives his recommendations about what women can do both before and during their pregnancy to ensure a healthy self and baby:
What are some things you’ve done to prepare for a healthy pregnancy? What have you done during your pregnancy?
Have high-risk pregnancy questions? Join Dr. MacGregor for a live medical chat on Friday, March 16 at 1:30 p.m. He’ll answer your questions about risk factors, treatments and signs of high-risk pregnancy. Save the date and
submit your early questions today.
Cancer is hard on everyone—families, friends and especially on the individual—even if the outcome is successful. As advances in cancer treatments have led to more cancer survivors, the necessity for supporting and nurturing survivors through the end of treatment
and their cancer experience is necessary.
Carol Rosenberg, MD, Director of NorthShore’s Preventive Health Initiatives and Living in the Future (LIFE) Cancer Survivorship Program, provides the following tips to
help cancer survivors and their loved ones navigate the end of their battle with cancer. These help to ensure quality of life and long-term health:
Are you or someone you know a cancer survivor? What changes to your or their lifestyle have been made? What words of wisdom do you have for others?
Additional resources and useful information for survivors are offered on a monthly basis at the MRW Survivorship 101 seminars offered through NorthShore’s
Living in the Future (LIFE) Cancer Survivorship Program. These monthly educational workshops address major topics such as a lifestyle, psychosocial issues, genetics, and insurance and employability.
Colon cancer is one of the most preventable
cancers in the United States—nearly 90% preventable with colonoscopy. Despite this, it is the second leading cause of cancer death, affecting more than 29,000 men and women in this country each year.
Monica Borkar, MD, provides a list of risk factors that affect the development of colon polyps—and thereby, colon cancer—including:
Colon cancer starts as a polyp, or growth, in the colon. These polyps grow slowly over many years, and larger ones are more likely to be dangerous.
In most cases people do not have symptoms, although common symptoms of colon cancer include:
National guidelines recommend that individuals with a lack of the risk factors listed above undergo colonoscopy at age 50. Colonoscopy for colon cancer screening—a 20-minute procedure—is the most important test to check for polyps and cancer, even before
symptoms arise, and leads to prompt diagnosis and treatment with an excellent survival rate.
Are you surprised by any of the risk factors listed above?
We don’t always have time in our busy lives to go to the doctor or pharmacy for common ailments (such as a cold, flu or upset stomach). In many cases you can help relieve symptoms with herbal remedies and treatment methods at home.
Leslie Mendoza Temple, MD, a NorthShore Integrative Medicine physician offers some at-home tips to help cure common illnesses:
What home remedies do you use? Have you ever tried any of these home remedies?
Eating disorders can be easy to miss in our busy, health-conscious and appearance-focused culture. However, they are
a serious problem affecting an estimated 7-11 million women and men in the United States. When left untreated, eating disorders may develop into a chronic, destructive, emotional illness with many physical complications. Friends and family members can help
combat this illness by offering support and being aware of early warning signs. Suellyn Alexander, Clinical Program Manager at
NorthShore Center for Eating Disorders offers some tips for friends and family members of someone struggling with an eating disorder:
Early warning signs may include:
Do you know anyone who struggles with an eating disorder? What have you done to help? What advice would you give to others? -- For additional online education and support resources, visit:
Further questions or concerns? Call
NorthShore Center for Eating Disorders at 847.480.2617.
The middle aged man sat cheering his favorite football team. Just after the game while sitting in front of his TV, he felt strange: lightheaded, sweaty, somewhat short of breath. He tried to stand, but felt worse. So he sat and re-gained his composure.
He noted a slight bead of sweat on his brow and felt like he just couldn’t take a full breath in. Other than that, he didn’t feel too bad at first.
So he waited a bit. “Maybe going outside will help,” he thought. He managed to walk outside and did feel a bit better for a while, but when he returned inside, he felt the same. Slowly, nausea overcame him and he had to go to the bathroom and get sick.
Again after that, he felt improved but never felt back to normal.
He waited a bit more and called his wife. He described to her what he was noticing as she googled his symptoms: some 399,478 search results appeared. She read the list to him: heart trouble, stomach trouble, neurological trouble – the possibilities seemed
endless. Uncertain what to do, they finally decided to call their family doctor.
“Do you have any aspirin in the house?” he asked.
They scoured their cabinets. “I can’t believe it!” she said. “No, we can’t find any.”
“Then why don’t you take him over to the Emergency Room right now to get checked out,” the doctor suggested. They thought about it a bit and because his symptoms had not resolved for over an hour and a half, they agreed.
Upon arrival to the emergency room, he was found to have a sustained heart rate of 206 beats per minute at rest – far outside the normal 50-100 beats per minute he should have had. The process to determine the cause and treatment were started immediately
and, gratefully, he left the hospital several days later with his treatment regimen in place.
So why should you care?
Because sometimes, despite all of the information available to all of us these days thanks to news agencies, public service announcements, smartphones, and instant search engines, heart disease can present in unpredictable, unimaginable ways. When it does:
denial is our worst enemy in providing effective treatment.
So if you’re not sure if your symptoms could be caused by your heart, don’t wait. Get it checked out.
More often than not, you’ll be glad you did.
-Wes Fisher, MD
Have questions about heart disease? Join Dr. Brian Shortal, cardiologist for a live
online chat on Thursday, February 23 from 12-1p.m. Submit your questions in advance.
What do you do to avoid slipping? Do have a preferred method for staying injury-free?
Our feet and ankles get a workout every day – even if it’s just from walking around the house or to and from the car running errands. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, one hour of strenuous exercise puts up to one million pounds
of pressure on your feet. Now imagine how much additional stress your feet and ankles can be subjected to when roads and sidewalks are icy and snowy.
Lan Chen, MD, an orthopaedic physician at NorthShore offers her insight on how to avoid a foot or ankle injury this season: