Brush your teeth after every meal. Floss regularly. Avoid drinking too many sugary beverages. There are plenty of things that we can do to help promote oral health. Yet for many of us, we brush our teeth without realizing how important a clean mouth is to
our overall health. In fact, your mouth can provide the firsthand view on nutrition and infections, both of which can affect the rest of your body.
Once our baby teeth fall out, we only get one set of teeth. With the proper prevention and care, most oral conditions and diseases can be avoided or greatly reduced. Mira Diora, DDS, and Jennifer Moy, Dental Hygienist, give the following tips to keep your mouth
healthy and clean:
How many times a day do you brush your teeth? Do you floss every day?
The months of training have come to a close and you’ve crossed the finish line. Now what?
Carrie Jaworksi, MD, Director of Primary Care Sports Medicine and a physician at NorthShore, offers her insight on what to expect after the race and how to recover adequately to ensure that you are ready to race again another day:
Immediately After the Race : Once you cross that finish line there are a handful of things that you'll need to do to help your body recover. Eat something! It’s important to replenish the energy stores you depleted during the race. Initially,
it’s best to start with a sports drink and food that is easy to digest. If you can’t tolerate sports drinks, then take bananas, yogurt and pretzels to the finish line instead. Gradually work up to a high-carbohydrate post-race dinner to further assist you
in replenishing your energy stores.
Taking a cold bath and icing your muscles is recommended to help prevent muscle soreness but don’t do that immediately. It is more important to keep moving in that first 30 to 60 minutes. You'll be tired but try to resist the urge to sit; instead, take a
long walk back to your hotel or car. Your body will thank you for it later.
The Next Day: You ran for a long time and chances are you are you'll wake up sore the next day. To help ease your muscle pain, plan ahead and schedule a massage for the days following the race. It will certainly help to alleviate your soreness
and speed your recovery. Plan on being sore for a few days. Take it easy while you are recovering.
Post-Event Emotions: You may feel down after the race. Think about it: You’ve been training for this event, both physically and mentally for months, and now it’s over. The early recovery period will likely be the most difficult transition
because you won’t be running and will have more time to reflect on your experience. There are several ways you can combat this: 1) Plan to meet up with your running friends the Saturday after the race to discusses personal experiences with the race. 2) Combit
to a new goal whether it's another race or even just to keep up with a regular running routine once you recover. 3) Splurge on a treat for yourself, from a new pair of running shoes to that racing watch you’ve been eyeing. Whatever you do, enjoy your downtime
and get some much-needed rest.
Preparing for the Next Race: How long should you rest before training for the next race? While your break time depends on your own level of experience with distance running, it’s recommended that you give your body at least one day off per
mile before running your next distance race. This means the earliest you should race again after a marathon is almost a month. Everyone should plan on a reverse taper over the first three to four weeks post-marathon. The first week post-marathon should be
mainly rest for three days, with some gentle jogging and cross training to round out the end of the week. By the weekend, most of your muscle soreness should be gone, so a longer distance may be reasonable. Remember to go slow and keep it to an hour at most.
After the first week post-marathon, you can begin to build more mileage based on your level of experience. Be sure to keep some cross-training days on your schedule to keep your body strong and injury-free. Any persisting soreness or undue fatigue may be
your body’s way of telling you it needs more time to recover. Be sure to listen to your body and adjust your training, or see your physician as needed.
How did you feel after the race? What tips would offer to others?
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one fact many of us may not be aware of is that breast cancer can affect both women and men. Men, just like women, have breast tissue, thus making it possible to also develop breast cancer. Breast cancer is not
very common in men, and most men who are diagnosed with it do not develop it until they are older (50 to 60 years of age). However, younger men can also develop breast cancer, making it very important to identify signs and symptoms. The incidence of breast
cancer in men is very low. Yet, a strong family history of breast cancer, particularly in younger family members, increases the risk of breast cancer in men. In patients with a BRCA genetic mutation, the age of diagnosis is younger. If present, the lifetime
risk of developing breast cancer in a man is approximately 6%.
David J. Winchester, MD, Breast Surgeon at NorthShore, identifies what men should look for to determine breast cancer:
Breast cancer is often diagnosed at later stages in men. If you notice any of the signs listed above, plan to reach out to your physician for evaluation.
Are you surprised that breast cancer affects men? What other information would you want to learn about on the topic?
It’s one thing for an elderly relative, friend or loved one to be forgetful from time to time, but if you begin
to notice changes in memory, thinking and problem solving you may want to consider getting him or her screened for Alzheimer’s disease. While the progression of this condition may vary from person to person, there are tell-tale signs to help determine diagnosis.
Felise Zollman, MD, Neurologist with NorthShore, recommends looking for the following warning signs for those who may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD):
While it can be normal to have any of these problems occur once in a while, they become concerning if they begin to affect the person’s daily life.
Along with warning signs, Dr. Zollman also outlines some of the most common risk factors for developing this condition, including:
Do you know someone with Alzheimer’s disease? What recommendations would you have to others who are just finding out someone they know has this disease?
Prostate cancer is one of the common cancers found in men (especially in those over 65). Although diagnosis of any type
of cancer can be scary and lead to feelings of uncertainty, in most cases, prostate cancer is slow growing and can be easily managed and treated when identified at its early stages.
Michael McGuire, MD, Urologist at NorthShore, offers the following tips to men about determining their risk and identifying prostate cancer:
While there are mixed reviews about when you should receive the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, it is important to talk to your physician about any of your health concerns during your annual visit.
Do you know if your family medical history includes prostate cancer?
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and an important time to recognize that this disease is the 5th leading cause
of cancer deaths in American women. The cause of ovarian cancer is poorly understood, and in addition, ovarian cancer can be much more difficult to detect than other types of cancer.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer may be vague and may mimic other common women’s health conditions. Women and health professionals may attribute symptoms to menopause, aging, stress, changes in diet or depression. This may result in a delay in the diagnosis of
ovarian cancer. The most common symptoms include:
Carolyn Kirschner, MD, Gynecological Oncologist at NorthShore, identifies some strategies available for women:
Have you known someone with ovarian cancer? Do you know if it’s in your family history?
Concussive injuries in sports have been a hot topic for a number of years. As of July 2011, a new Illinois
State law requires that any athlete who exhibits the signs of a concussion must be removed from that practice or game, and cannot be returned to play until he or she has been cleared by an appropriately trained healthcare professional.
However, the law makes no mention of academics and most youth athletes will attend school before they are cleared to return to the field of play. Our attention should then turn to addressing the issues of injured students.
A concussion occurs when a person suffers a blow or force to the head that results in changes in his or her mental status; this includes confusion, disorientation, memory or mental cloudiness. The individual may complain of headache, dizziness, nausea, visual
changes or fatigue, and may experience problems with attention and memory.
It is often difficult for a newly concussed student to manage the demands of school and their grades may suffer if their injury is not appropriately addressed. If a student athlete suffers from a concussion the following steps for an optimal recovery are recommended:
Relief from migraine headaches can come in many different forms – from pain medication, preventative drugs, massage
and acupuncture to at-home remedies including relaxation techniques and proper sleep.
Approximately 20 percent of women and 10 percent of men in the United States suffer from migraine headaches. Those who are able to identify “trigger” sites on the head or face where the migraine pain starts or localizes may be able to consider a plastic surgery
treatment option. Botox, traditionally used to relax facial muscles to reduce wrinkles, can also be used to relax muscles around the nerves that may trigger migraines.
Michael Howard, MD, a plastic surgeon at NorthShore, works closely with our neurologists to evaluate candidates for migraine headache surgery. Dr. Howard identifies some
of the factors that may help determine if a patient is a good candidate for this surgery:
Do you suffer from migraine headaches? Do you know your trigger sites?
Urologists treat all conditions involving the urinary system in both men and women, including the kidneys and bladder.
They also treat all conditions involving the male genital system (prostate, penis and testicles).
While urinary incontinence and bladder infections are some of the first conditions that may come to mind, urologists treat other major diseases, including cancer, kidney stones, infertility and sexual health concerns.
Even though urological conditions differ in severity, they are relatively common. The American Cancer Society estimates that urological cancers –of the bladder, kidney, prostate and testicles—account for nearly one quarter of all cancers in the United States.
In infants and children, abnormalities of urological organs occur more commonly than in any other organ system.
Charles Brendler, MD, Co-Director of the John and Carol Walter Center for Urological Health, identifies some of the key preventative measures for maintaining urological
What are you doing to reduce your risk of urological conditions? What other questions do you have about urological health?
Breathing isn’t something that many of us ever have to actively think about or struggle with – unless maybe we’ve pushed
ourselves too hard in a workout. However, asthma—a common disorder affecting more than 34 million Americans—caused by an inflammation of one’s airways can significantly impact breathing.
There are many different treatment and coping mechanisms available for those who have asthma.
Rachel Story, MD, Allergist at NorthShore, provides some brief information about what can be done to help prevent and reduce asthma symptoms:
What do you do to manage your asthma conditions? Has your asthma improved as a result?