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?
Author: April Williams, MS, RCEP Exercise Physiologist
Eating before you exercise is like fueling up your gas tank to get you from Point A to Point B. It allows you to get through
your workout from start to finish with enough energy. A pre-exercise meal serves a variety of purposes, including:
What to Eat Before Working Out
What you should eat prior to working out will vary from person to person. It will be trial and error to determine what works for you and your routine. As a rule of thumb, you should look for foods that are easily digestible, and often high in carbohydrates
and low in fat, such as: toast, bananas, dried cereal, crackers, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, fig bars, and/or small servings of peanut butter, jam or honey.
What to Avoid Eating Before Working Out
There are many foods that should be avoided before you exercise. You will want to limit high-fat sources of protein, such as greasy foods like fries and cheeseburgers. Instead, choose smaller portions of turkey, hard-boiled eggs or low-fat milk. Be careful
with sugary foods and beverages as they can give you a sugar high prior to exercise and may leave you without the necessary energy to finish your routine. Stay away from anything that is high in fiber, as this type of food could cause gastric upset during
What to Eat After Working Out
Eating after you exercise can help you recover faster from your workouts. Chocolate milk or yogurt is a perfect post-workout option because each contains carbohydrates and protein. The protein will help build and repair muscle, and the carbohydrates will help
replenish glycogen stores that were used in your workouts. Some other options to help refuel your tank could include: fruit smoothies made with yogurt or milk and a handful of pretzels, juice with string cheese and some crackers, or bowl of your favorite
cereal and a banana.
What are some of your favorite snacks for before and after workouts?
The holiday season is often an exciting and much anticipated time of year. This season—for all its fun and festivities—often
comes with long lines, burdensome traffic, inclement weather and various pressures leaving you to feel stressed out and overwhelmed.
For many of us the holidays are nerve-wracking. Some attribute the stress to having to spend time with family, travel and excessive spending. But, in reality, the holidays are difficult because our self-talk, that never-ending commentary going on in our heads
that manages to rob us of joy and happiness. Below are three habits you can practice before, during and after family gatherings that will help with the process. Remember, it's not that people and situations make us feel badly, it's our self-talk about people
and situations that cause our negative emotions.
Robert Farra, PhD, Psychologist at NorthShore, provides the following strategies to help make the holidays truly merry:
Do you get stressed out during the holidays? What do you do to reduce it?
Now is the time when our shopping lists for holiday giving may include items for children of varying ages. While walking through the aisles, you’ll see plenty of new toys along with many of the tried-and-true classics (like building blocks and dolls). With
all the options out there, how do you know which toys are best suited for what ages?
The most colorful or cute toy on the shelf doesn’t always make it the best choice. It’s worthwhile to recognize that children of varying ages have achieved different development milestones. Just as you wouldn’t give an infant a LEGO® set, you also wouldn’t
buy a four year old a teething rattle.
Kenneth Fox, MD, a pediatrician at NorthShore, gives the following recommendations when shopping for age-appropriate toys:
Play is essential to a child’s physical, cognitive, social and moral development. Toys, books and experiences that enrich creative play make wonderful gifts for the season and support healthy child development all year long.
Can you remember a time when one of your children received a toy not well suited for his or her age? What did you do?
Walk into any public restroom and you’re certain to see a sign stating that employees must wash their hands before returning to work. Hopefully you know that this sign applies to more than just employees—you should be washing your hands after going to the
Not only does washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds help wash away the dirt and grime, it also helps remove germs including viruses and other potentially harmful bacteria.
Becky Miller, MD, Infectious Disease Physician at NorthShore, gives the following tips on the importance of washing your hands:
How many times a day do you wash your hands? Do you wash them more frequently when you’re sick?