Smoking is an unhealthy habit that can be hard to break. While we’ve all heard of the many ways quitting can be made possible—cold turkey, medications, nicotine patches and gum, or therapy—it often comes down to one’s determination and ability to make changes.
It is important to understand that it is never too late to quit smoking. Even if you’ve tried to quit before and haven’t accomplished it, you can still find success quitting in the future. Stacy Raviv, MD, a NorthShore pulmonologist, gives her insight on
how quitting can improve your health:
Have you tried to quit smoking? What methods worked for you? What didn’t?
A dash of salt here and there for flavoring can’t hurt, right? While moderate amounts of sodium in your daily diet are fine, it’s often easy to eat more than necessary. Look on any label – especially those of pre-packaged and more-processed foods—and sodium
is almost certain to be one of the ingredients.
The American Heart Association recommends 2,300 mg daily as the highest daily acceptable level, and if you are over 51 years, African American or have heart disease including high blood pressure, the recommendation is 1,500 mg.
Too much salt can lead to health problems, including cardiovascular disease particularly hypertension. For this reason, it’s never a bad idea to learn some quick ways to pass on the salt.
Mary Bennett, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at NorthShore, offers the following tips to help reduce your daily sodium intake:
What do you do to limit your sodium consumption? What is one salty food you couldn’t live without?
At one time or another, most women experience an irregular menstrual cycle. While regular for some women may be every four weeks, the length
between cycles will vary between individuals. However, most women get their period every 21-35 days.
Inconsistency often isn’t something to cause concern. In most cases it is due to a hormonal imbalance, which can be normalized with medication, such as birth control.
Sangeeta Senapati, MD, Endoscopic Surgeon at NorthShore, shares some of the causes of irregular menstrual cycles:
If you experience consistently irregular menstrual cycles it may be worthwhile to consult your physician.
Have you ever had an irregular period?
Our ears are sensitive – a single loud blast (such as a gunshot or explosion) or repetitive exposure to loud noises can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. It’s important to learn what sound levels are healthy to reduce impact on your hearing. While
there’s ongoing debate about the harm of frequent use of MP3 players, the effect on one’s hearing is still unknown.
That said, there are some things you can do to help prevent hearing loss. Michael J. Shinners, MD, a fellowship-trained specialist in otology/neurotology and NorthShore physician provides his insight on protecting your hearing:
What do you do to protect your hearing? Have you ever noticed a change in your hearing from being exposed to a loud sound (blast or music)?
Many juices are advertised as being nutritious, and kids love juice, so parents happily provide it, believing it is a healthy choice. However, juice does not provide the same nutrition as a piece of whole fruit, and has been linked to obesity and tooth decay.
Juice should be given in moderation and should not be thought of as a substitute for healthier choices like whole fruit, milk or water.
If you choose to give your child juice, Sara Wiemer, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, offers the following suggestions for maximizing its nutritional value:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following servings of juice:
If you’ve had young children, you’ve probably received a note from their teachers or administrators saying that there has been an outbreak of lice at school. Head lice are a very common problem for preschool, kindergarten and elementary students. In fact,
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 6-12 million infestations occur a year among children ages 3-11.
While typically not known for spreading disease, these parasites can be a nuisance to identify, treat and exterminate. Felissa Kreindler, MD, shares her insight on warning signs for detecting and treating head lice:
Have you or your kids ever had lice? What did you do to get rid of them?
With Halloween “creeping” up and followed closely by Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are a lot of treats to contend with.
Here are the strategies that seem to work best for my family:
While the options may seem endless, selecting your primary care physician—typically a doctor who practices Family Medicine, Internal Medicine or General Practice—may be one of the most important health decisions you can make. Not only will you build a relationship
with this physician over time, but he or she can provide you with preventive care that may help improve your overall health.
Everyone may have different preferences when it comes to choosing a doctor. Similar to hiring for fit, selecting your primary care physician can be a similar task. One thing to keep in mind: It’s best to choose a physician before you need one, this way you
can build a relationship and share your health history without having to rush to a decision.
John Revis, MD, Internal Medicine physician at NorthShore, provides some quick tips on what to consider when selecting your primary care physician:
How long have you had your primary care physician? What qualities do you look for in a doctor?
It can often be a relief when you finally get your infant down to sleep for the night (or even just a couple of hours!). A parent's worst nightmare is learning that your baby stopped breathing in his or her sleep.
Although rare, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can happen even when all the right safety measures are practiced. The exact cause of SIDS is unknown and there often isn't much that can be done in advance to avoid it. SIDS is most common in infants less
than six months of age.
Even though there may not be much that can be done to avoid SIDS, it is important for parents and caregivers to practice bedroom safety measures to reduce the odds of other injuries or problems. William MacKendrick, MD, Neonatologist at NorthShore, provides
the following recommendations for putting an infant to bed safely:
How do you promote safe sleeping conditions for your baby?
Do Downward-Facing Dog, Plank, Warrior I and Child’s Pose sound familiar? While you’ve probably heard of at least one of these popular yoga poses, maybe you’ve even done a few of them yourself.
Yoga—originating in India—is a practice that has been around for centuries. Yoga is a vast body of knowledge which includes physical exercise done through the practice of yoga poses, breathing exercises to calm the nervous system, meditation practices to focus
the mind, dietary practices to detoxify the body, herbal oil massages to nourish the skin, philosophy for living a peaceful life and the Science of Ayurveda (The Indian Medical System which includes Ayurvedic Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Herbs and Ayurvedic Massage
Therapies). Yoga is an entire system of self-care and self-realization which was one of the first paradigms of Energy Medicine known to man.
Hatha Yoga is a type of exercise, that when done correctly, can be good for people of all ages and physical abilities. Polly Liontis, Yoga Instructor (Certified by the Himalayan Institute and a Licensed Massage Therapist/LMT), identifies some of the health
benefits of practicing yoga:
Have you ever practiced yoga? What are some of your favorite poses?