Spinal Surgery Advances ∙ Your Hearing: Use it or Lose It! ∙ Out & About
Twin Tiers’ Source For Family Health TM
FALL 2012 · ISSUE 33
Eating in Season! Cancer Survivor Support!
Whooping Cough on the Rise Check us out online at www.HealthyLM.com and like us on Facebook! HLM • 1
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FALL 2012 · ISSUE 33
Table of Contents: Ask the Doctor ∙ 3 Hot Topic ∙ 4 Out and About ∙ 5 Surviving Cancer ∙ 6 Spinal Surgery ∙ 8 Your Hearing ∙ 9 Feldenkrais ∙ 11 Crohn’s ∙ 11 Stress ∙ 12 Family Focus ∙ 13 Healthy Recipe ∙ 14 Water Cooler Chat ∙ 14 Publisher/Editor Christopher Coyne Staff Writers Christopher Coyne Lisa M. Mayers Molly Morgan Stephanie Blodgett Carol Boughner Chris Strub Designer Howard Mitsakos Advertising Sales Chris Strub Printer Carr Printing, Inc.
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Healthy Life Magazine is a Division of Ad Elements, LLC 607.238.1560 To contact Healthy Life Magazine, email: firstname.lastname@example.org The information contained in Healthy Life Magazine is intended to educate and inform the local population about a variety of medical & health topics. The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge. This publication is not intended as medical, legal or regulatory advice. Healthy Life Magazine and its affiliates disclaim all liability arising from or related information contained in this publication.
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Ask the Doctor
The Return Of
by Christopher Coyne
Whooping Cough Y
ou may have heard your parents or older relatives talk about it, someone in the family had a horrific case, and it’s become part of the family lore. But you probably haven’t heard a lot of people talk about whooping cough in the present tense in quite some time, or maybe you have. Whooping cough, which had gone the way of polio in our collective memories, has made a remarkable and alarming comeback in homes and doctors’ offices across the country. Healthy Life talked to area family practitioner Dr. Marta Canfield of Arnot Ogden Medical Center about the resurgence of this once waning condition, also known as pertussis: why it can be so dangerous, warning signs to look our for, and how to protect our children. Dr. Canfield suspects there are many factors in today’s society that have contributed to reported cases of pertussis increasing dramatically in the past few years. Immunity wears off over time, so those who have had the vaccine in years past but are no longer immune may contract whooping cough. Those affected may not even know they have the disease until after they’ve already passed it along to a young child or anyone else who hasn’t been immunized. There is also the possibility of the disease being reintroduced into the country from immigrants or visitors from countries whose pertussis vaccination schedules differ from the United States. Whooping cough is a bacterial disease that is highly contagious and can last for months. The bacteria create sticky mucus in the airways that makes it hard to breathe, eat and drink. It’s easily spread through a sneeze or a cough of an infected person and is transmitted through droplets from the nose and throat to the mucus membranes of another’s mouth, nose or eyes. It’s less common, but still possible to contract it from droplets left on a surface and transmitted after one touches that surface and then his nose, eyes or mouth. Symptoms start like a mild cold: runny nose, congestion, sneezing, mild fever and dry cough. But after a week or two that cough can get much worse and result in spastic coughing attacks (sometimes accompanied by a wheezy ‘whoop’ sound’ — hence the name) that may provoke vomiting, cause red or blue face and, in severe cases, can even result in rib fractures. Infants are particularly vulnerable to more severe cases of whooping cough because their airways are smaller and less developed. Whooping cough in the very young can lead to pneumonia, seizure, encephalopathy and even death. Talk to your doctor about the proper immunization schedule for your child; usually DTaP is given in the 2nd, 4th, and 6th months — and then later in booster shots. Adolescents and adults who are going to be around infants should also receive booster shots as needed. HLM • 3
Important Information About Whooping Cough - No vaccination is 100% protective and even if you are immunized you can get whooping cough, and still pass the bacteria without knowing. - Besides the B. Pertussis illness itself, whooping cough can set up the person for secondary infections like ear infections and pneumonia. - We immunize to make the illness have less of an impact on our society, especially those that are at high risk for severe complications, such as infants under 1 year of age. - How to prevent whooping cough? Hand washing and covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze go a long way toward preventing the spread of this disease, as well as the flu and the common cold. - After being on antibiotics for 5 days you are no longer contagious; however, the cough may remain until the cilia in the lungs recover. - Getting vaccinated with Tdap — at least two weeks before coming into close contact with an infant — is especially important for families with and caregivers of new infants. - Getting the vaccine after being exposed will not help fight off the illness. - The cough is often worse at night. - It will start out like a common cold with runny nose, sore throat, low grade temperature but then progresses to coughing fits. The person may look fine in between coughing fits.
Marta Canfield, MD Arnot Medical Services Addison Primary Care Center Addison, NY
The Advantages of Eating in Season!
by Chris Strub
As summer turns to fall, seasonal crops are quickly changing. While the sweet tastes of summertime may be comfortably familiar, continuing to eat produce that’s out of season in our region may have undesirable effects on the health of you and your family. Sure, nowadays you can get most any vegetable just about any time of year—but are you getting the optimum taste and nutritional benefits from those foods? Fruits and vegetables that are not in season may travel up to 2,500 miles before they reach your kitchen table. They’re also often harvested before they reach full maturity, which can cause vitamin degradation and significant nutrient loss. Research has found that seasonal eating clearly has nutritional ramifications. A study conducted on dairy cows in London in 1997 found that iodine in pasteurized milk was higher during the winter, while the milk’s beta carotene content was higher in the summertime – a direct correlation with the cows’ diets. Eating in season brings a natural variety to your diet as well. Like to sprinkle blueberries on your breakfast cereal during the summer? Try switching to pomegranate in the fall — and when winter rolls around, bring on the grapefruit! Stocking fresh fruits and vegetables that are timely choices can bring a sense of excitement as your favorite season – no matter which season it may be – comes to an end. There are plenty of healthy, local options to keep around the house as autumn arrives: Cranberries: Cranberry beds are flooded in the autumn to facilitate harvest. Onions: Sweeter onions harvested in summer develop a sharper flavor into the fall. Zucchini: A great low-calorie source of folate, potassium and vitamin A. Potato: The world’s fourth-largest food crop (after wheat, rice and maize) is a fall staple. Broccoli and Cauliflower: The kids may shudder, but the anticarcinogenic properties are important. Pumpkin: Don’t be scared: this backyard vegetable is low in calories and filled with antioxidants.
You can find many of these seasonal treats at a local farmer’s market, which do extend into the autumn months. Now in its’ 16th year, the Wisner Farmers Market, at Wisner Park, runs Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through September; the Elmira Eastside Farmers Market, at West Lawn of the Holiday Inn on Water Street, runs Fridays, 3 to 6 p.m., through mid-October; and the Grove Park Farmers’ Market, at Grove Park, runs Mondays, 3 to 6 p.m., through Oct. 29. At Riverfront Centennial Park, the Corning Farmer’s Market runs Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October. 4 • HLM
Out & About in the Finger Lakes! Here are just a few of the great things coming up this Fall that showcase all that’s wonderful about the Finger Lakes Region:
Potato Fest 2012
September 14-16, 2012 This family event in Savannah, NY features a kid’s corner, activity center, giant flea market, amusement rides, tractor-pull, exhibits, a parade, live music, potato art and great food! There’s a car show on Saturday from noon to 4pm. Bring a carload for $5 admission. Free parking at 1770 Route 89 North in Savannah, for info call 315-365-2522.
Harvest Hoedown September 15, 2012
Celebrate the harvest season by heading to the Montezuma Winery in Seneca Falls. Kick up your heels to old fashioned country fiddlin’ music. See the beautiful fall foliage that New York State has to offer, and savor the foods of the season. There’s a farm market of local seasonal produce and wine. Plus there’s fun for the kids including a petting zoo and more. For information, go online to www.montezumawinery.com.
“West Side Story” October 29-30, 2012
From the first note to the final breath, West Side Story soars as the greatest love story of all time and remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre. At the Clemens Center in Elmira. For tickets and information call 607-734-8191 or go online to www.clemenscenter.com/broadway. HLM • 5
Old Fashion Halloween October 20, 2012
This event, sponsored by the Cayuga County 4H, features face painting, coloring contests, apple bobbing, pumpkin painting, carving and other fun for the kids. There’s a costume parade at 3pm with prizes awarded. Enjoy refreshments, music, and tours of the museum, too! Admission and parking are free, but donations are accepted. Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum at 6880 East Lake Rd. in Auburn, NY. For info, go online to www.cayuganet.org/agmuseum.
by Lisa M. Mayers
You’re Not Alone! T
remendous progress has been made over the past two decades in diagnosing, treating, and even curing many cancers. While it remains a very serious and life-threatening disease, many of those who are diagnosed with cancer now go on to live a healthy, cancer-free life. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society there are more than 13 million cancer survivors living in the United States (as of January 1, 2012) and it is estimated that by the year 2020, that number will increase to as many as 18 million survivors. Cancer survivors do face some special needs however, to recover and stay healthy, particularly in the first year or two following active treatment. “As our patients complete their treatment, we work with them individually to provide a plan of care going forward that is tailored specifically to their needs,” explains Laura Balmer, ANP, AOCNP a Radiation Nurse Practitioner with the Falck Cancer Center at Arnot Ogden Medical Center, in Elmira. “Not only does the care plan ensure ongoing support and monitoring, but knowing that there is a plan in place can be very reassuring to the patient.” Many survivors find that from the point of diagnosis, through much of their treatment they are so focused on doing what they need to do to heal – often a combination of tests, surgeries, chemo and radiation – that it is only after those treatments end that they begin really processing the emotional aspects of their disease. “For months, sometimes longer, cancer patients are undergoing active treatment and seeing their health care providers on a constant basis. Then, treatment ends and there may be months that pass without a doctor’s visit. Survivors can suddenly feel vulnerable and alone,” cautions Balmer.
Fear of recurrence, anxiety about getting back out into the world, coping with the unknowns of a “new normal” and what to expect going forward, as well as issues such as financial stress due to the cost of treatment or going an extended period without income can catch survivors off guard when treatment ends. “Strong emotions are to be expected when a person’s treatment ends. We always do our best to reassure patients that it is completely normal, and to let them know that we are still here for them,” says Balmer. “An oncology social worker is available to patients during and after treatment for emotional support, as well as practical needs such as finding resources to help with insurance co-payments and the cost of medications.” When you are part of a survivor’s personal support network, it is also important to understand that they will need your support long after treatment ends. Often survivors feel like the support they received so generously and abundantly during treatment evaporates the day treatment ends – just when they often need it the most. Understanding that this is the case will help you stay present and available for those you love. In addition to the emotional issues survivors must deal with once treatment ends, there are often lingering or long term physical side effects as a result of cancer treatments. Fatigue can last for more than a year after treatment is complete, as the body heals from all it has been through. The fatigue can be minimal and resolve in weeks or months, or linger in a 6 • HLM
more profound way, impacting a survivor’s quality of life for much longer, depending on the individual and their specific circumstances. De-conditioning of muscles contributes to the fatigue, reducing physical stamina. Depending on the age and physical condition of the individual when they began treatment and the course of treatment they received, restoring muscle health and strength can take time. “Proper nutrition is essential when recovering from cancer and the associated treatments. Your body needs quality nutrients, particularly protein, to rebuild itself. A higher calorie, higher protein diet is generally recommended for at least six months following treatment. If a patient’s appetite lags we can prescribe appetite stimulants,” says Balmer. Exercise is also important in alleviating fatigue and rebuilding muscle strength and stamina. Simple things like walking and stretching can be a good way to start getting back to your normal activities and lifestyle. Physical activity also contributes to a positive outlook and helps to keep worry and stress at bay. While fatigue can be a normal side effect of cancer treatments, it’s important to let your health care provider know if it becomes extreme during or after treatment, making it impossible for you to maintain the normal activities of daily life.
Many survivorship issues are very specific to the age, condition, and treatment an individual receives – whether that’s radiation therapy, chemo therapy, or surgery. The younger a person is when they are diagnosed and treated, the longer and more closely they will be followed by their medical team for long term side-effects and possible recurrences.
It’s important that survivors play an active role in their post-treatment care plan. Laurie Balmer offers these tips: •Listen and make sure you understand your care plan, as outlined by your medical team at the end of treatment. • Ask questions – write them down before your visit and make sure they are answered so that you feel comfortable in your understanding of them. • Follow the advice of your care providers – keep all of your follow up appointments and continue with any prescribed medications or dietary recommendations. • Make any necessary lifestyle changes – smokers have a much higher rate of recurrence than non-smokers. Assistance is available to help smokers quit. • Maintain a healthy weight and a healthy level of fitness, through proper diet and exercise. • Stay aware of issues related to your own individual situation – if you experience symptoms that concern you, it’s better to ask about it than to worry about it. “Often patients and survivors have such a myriad of specialists that it can be overwhelming just knowing which one to call when a question arises, but the most important thing is to simply reach out. Any one of your providers will be happy to assist you and connect you to the most appropriate resource,” advises Balmer. Additional Resources for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers: www.cancer.org www.livestrong.org www.nccn.org www.asco.org Contributor Laura Balmer, ANP, AOCNP, Radiation Nurse Practitioner, Falck Cancer Center, Arnot-Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY
Collaboration A nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association
The operative word in health care.
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Most health care is delivered locally. Collaboration to address today’s health care issues and plan for tomorrow’s needs also should be local. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield collaborates with local businesses, community and civic organizations, educators, members and health care providers to make high-quality health care accessible and affordable for the people who live and work here. That’s why we’re here.
Spinal Surgery Redefined With the advent of new medical technologies, surgical techniques and treatment philosophies; surgery on the spine has entered into a new realm of what’s possible. More patients than ever can benefit from these advances, as the balance of ‘downside’ and ‘reward’ for many spine surgeries is now tipping in favor of ‘reward’. Healthy Life spoke to neurosurgeon Ross Moquin, MD of Empire State Neurosurgical Institute in Syracuse about the latest advances in spinal surgery, in particular how minimally invasive procedures are changing the field in profound ways. Dr. Moquin described minimally invasive spine surgery as a mindset as much as it is a technology. Advances in technology have led to rethinking how spine surgery can be performed. Years ago, large incisions were utilized to access the spine at all levels. Improvement in imaging technology has allowed surgeons to more accurately pinpoint the problem or what is called the pain generator. Once the exact cause of the pain has been determined, treatment can be directed specifically at that problem. Improvements in the actual tools and implants in spine surgery have allowed for a smaller surgical footprint when surgery is chosen. Not all back and neck pain can be treated by surgery. But, when deemed appropriate, spine surgery can improve patients’ lives by taking pressure off of nerves, stabilizing abnormal movement of the spine and correcting deformities of the spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery is a technology that restricts disruption of normal tissues when fixing the pain generator. The same surgical goals need to be accomplished, but they’re achieved in a less invasive way than through the older or more standard techniques. This benefits the patient through shorter recovery times from the procedure, shorter hospital stays and fewer complications such as infections and pain. In many cases, surgeries that resulted in hospital stays of a week or more, have been decreased to one or two days. The new minimally invasive technology allows the surgeon to see more through smaller incisions. More importantly, it allows the surgeon to accomplish as much or more through the same small incisions as they could have through the large incisions of the past. New imaging capabilities such as intraoperative x-rays and intraoperative CT scans also allows the surgeon to verify that the intended job has been accomplished. This new spinal surgery technology is perfect for our changing demographic environment. Less invasive techniques can benefit aging baby boomers who want to stay active into their later years. Problems such as spinal stenosis, a common condition in older patients, can be addressed through minimally invasive techniques and will allow the patient to return to more of an active lifestyle than would have been possible for previous generations. Minimally invasive technologies are also a significant improvement when treating bariatric spinal problems—problems related to obesity or in those significantly overweight. There will never be one technology or one procedure that will benefit all patients. Any treatment must be tailored to the specific needs and problems of that individual. Having more tools at the disposal of a spine surgeon will give more possibilities for a better outcome for the patient. Experience is showing what technologies will help in different situations. Most dramatic is the change in mindset brought about by the advent of minimally invasive spine surgery; it’s been a significant advancement in improving outcomes for patients with spinal problems. Contributor Ross Ryan Moquin, M.D. Empire State Neurosurgical Institute Syracuse, NY Johnson City, NY www.esnidoctors.com
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Your Hearing: USE IT or
Maybe you chopped wood for the first time, or played tennis for the first time in years—and you feel pain in muscles you didn’t know you had? The unexercised muscles are telling you that they’ve been neglected. For a lot of people, hearing loss happens when they neglect their own built-in hearing instruments. But unfortunately, your ears can’t always signal their deterioration to you with something as tangible as pain, and when your hearing goes—you can’t get it back. Healthy Life talked to Steve Mann, a NYS Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser at Ear to Hear in Elmira about the causes of hearing loss, what we can do to protect our hearing and the future of hearing aid technology.
People who live successfully with hearing loss must develop the ability to laugh at their mistakes. This helps to make family friends and coworkers feel more at ease. Using self-deprecating humor to relieve tension and laughing with others is an expression of kinship and social bonding. When you’re losing your hearing: You find you don’t hear what you used to pretend you didn’t hear. Your friends will trust you with a secret. But, you probably didn’t hear it in the first place. People appreciate that they don’t have to talk about you behind your back; as long as they keep smiling while they face you. You can’t hear your partner snoring anymore. Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were taking a walk one fine March day. One remarked to the other, “Windy, ain’t it?” “No,” the second man replied, “it’s Thursday.” And the third man chimed in, “So am I. Let’s get a soda.” HLM • 9
For most people, hearing loss is gradual enough that it goes undetected. It’s only when someone else tells us that we should get our hearing checked that we realize that…maybe we should get our hearing checked, and Mr. Mann says that men tend to put off getting checked longer than women. You can’t get your hearing back once you lose it, but if you detect loss early enough, there are things you can do to protect what hearing you do have. Much hearing loss is caused by exposure to loud noises in work environments or anywhere else. So obviously, if that’s the case, a person should do what they can to reduce exposure to those noises, but, interestingly Mann says the solution is NOT silence. The nerves that give us our ability to hear need to be stimulated, otherwise they’ll wither like those unused muscles we spoke of earlier. We need to be exposed to some sounds to keep our hearing sharp. Keep your brain healthy as well. Your hearing is a function of the brain, and continued stimulation of the brain will keep all portions strong, including the part of your grey matter that controls the sense of hearing. Stay active, play word games, do puzzles— anything that works out your brain will help preserve your hearing. But if it does come time to look into getting a hearing aid, Mr. Mann says that today’s hearing instruments are worlds away from the hearing aids of old! Hearing instrument technology allows for some amazing options to those with hearing loss. They are smaller, more precise and more customizable than ever before. With bluetooth and Wi-Fi capability, hearing aids can now be linked directly to telephones, televisions, computers and more. But remember, even if you don’t think you’re losing your hearing, it’s worth the peace-of-mind to have your hearing checked. Preserve your hearing while you can, and use it or lose it! Contributor Steve Mann, NYS Licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser, Ear to Hear, 2064 Lake Road , Elmira, NY
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The Truth About Crohn’s Disease As recently as ten years ago, most people had never heard of a condition called Crohn’s Disease. Today, we’d venture to guess that most people have not only heard of it, but know someone that has it. But what do we really know about this disease, and what can be done about it? Even with its increased presence, Crohn’s is still a relatively misunderstood disease; and Healthy Life thought it would be helpful to pass along some of the facts and myths about a condition that affects more and more Americans every year. (According to Crohn’s and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America: disease may affect as many as 700,000 Americans. Men and Women are equally likely to be affected, and while the disease can occur at any age, Crohn’s is more prevalent among adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35.)
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Achieving a Pain-Free and Healthy Body The first years of our lives are spent exploring how our different body parts relate to each other and the environment. Without this learning we would not know how to move our extremities in order to roll over, sit up, crawl and walk. This body sense, or kinesthetic awareness is known as proprioception. It’s the brain’s ability to sense the relative positions and movements of different body parts. Because of proprioception, you know exactly where your hand is in space even with eyes closed. Coordinated movement depends on it and improving proprioception is a way to improve performance and reduce pain. How proprioception works is via the brain mapping the body, just like lines on a map that represent roads. Each part of the body has a separate part of the brain dedicated to moving and sensing that body part. So, we have hands and then virtual hands in the brain. Body parts communicate with the virtual parts of the brain through mechanoreceptors, which are microscopic and located throughout the body. When stimulated they send a signal through the nervous system to the part of the brain devoted to sensing that part of the body. As a result the brain creates many maps of the body and decides what is happening and how to move. The brain uses the map to make decisions about how to move, so it’s important to have a good, detailed body map in order to improve movement. The Feldenkrais Method®, www.feldenkrais.com is specifically designed to cause beneficial changes in the maps and improve proprioception. The Feldenkrais Method is taught in two modes. Awareness Through Movement® is a group class in which students are verbally guided, learning to move in a more effective way so that you can do all kinds of ordinary activities better, ie., reaching. The lessons do not tell you how to breathe or walk, how to sit or stand. They teach you how to become your own measure for efficient movement. You learn how you move, where there is tension in your body, and where you exert unnecessary effort. With this knowledge, you will develop new and effortless movements. The other mode is known as Functional Integration®. The individual lies on a low padded table fully clothed, while the certified practitioner slowly moves the person’s body in a pattern tailored to the individual. Contributor Joanie Collin, GCFP, 607-215-2857 HLM • 11
Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory condition of the digestive tract that, along with ulcerative colitis falls under the heading of IBD, or Inflammatory bowel disease. In the simplest terms, with IBD the body’s immune system attacks harmless bacteria that aids in digestion causing inflammation. It is NOT the same as IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, which is a functional disorder of the intestines. Crohn’s can occur anywhere in the digestive tract from the mouth on down, but most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine. The most common symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.
What’s the cause of Crohn’s Disease?
That’s a tough one. There are many theories; factors such as diet and stress can aggravate Crohn’s disease, but are not thought to cause the disease on their own. Research suggests that heredity, genetics and environmental factors may contribute to the development of Crohn’s, but the science is still not definitive. It’s this uncertainty that makes Crohn’s difficult to initially diagnose. Once it is diagnosed however, it’s important to follow doctor’s recommendations, as without treatment Crohn’s can result in many very serious health issues—some that may require surgery.
What is the cure for Crohn’s?
As of right now, there is no scientifically proven medical cure for Crohn’s disease. Although some people have experienced easing of their symptoms by altering their diets in different ways, there is no ‘miracle’ diet to cure Crohn’s. There are medical treatment options, however, that can control inflammation, manage symptoms and prevent damage caused by inflammation. Crohn’s is a chronic disease that may lessen or worsen in severity over time periods, but will always be present. The good news is that with a good strategic medical plan, and vigilant adherence to that plan, along with frequent check-ups, a person with Crohn’s disease can live a productive, happy life. For more information on Crohn’s Disease and IBD go online to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s website at www.ccfa.org. Additional info from www.fda.gov.
Why you are feeling it in your gut.
by Christopher Coyne
We are living in very stressful times - enough to give anyone heartburn! But, is there a link between the two? There is…but it’s a tricky one. Did you ever notice that you get “butterflies” in your stomach before having to deliver a big speech or presentation? Or, perhaps pains in your stomach when work and life seems to get tough? It leads many to believe that our gastrointestinal health is intimately connected to our emotions. Stress has always been thought to be one cause of stomach ulcers, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease and other gastrointestinal problems. It is actually proven that bacterial infections and underlying inflammation are the ones to blame for stomach problems, not stress! A recent survey found, the majority of people who had experienced acid reflux claimed that stress was the trigger. The explanation for this: “Hypervigilance,” also recognized as the act of becoming more sensitive to and having greater awareness of physical symptoms when stressed. People may not notice
symptoms if they’re not stressed. It has also been suggested that people who are stressed have lower levels of prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance that helps to coat the lining of your stomach and protect it from acid.
Certain drugs can block the production of prostaglandins including ibuprofen and naproxen. These drugs have also been known to cause stomach problems such as nausea and ulcers. The key here is to reduce stress! Easier said than done, but the truth is, stress reduction will lead to less heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems. There are things you can do to help alleviate stress - the best one being exercise. This could mean walking for half an hour a day or even a yoga class. You should make it a point to devote time to yourself at least once during the day whether it’s reading a book, walking or a bubble bath. Creative hobbies such as writing and painting are also great stress relievers. Healthy habits go a long way in battling stress. Do yourself and your stomach a favor…Reduce Stress!
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A Little Family Organization
Saves a Lot of Stress
by Carol Boughner
School is back in session so get the family organized! Take some time to get everyone used to some new steps you can all take to cut down on household chaos, and reduce everyone’s stress levels. Here are some tips to organize your family’s life: Set up hooks for coats and backpacks for each person near the door where the family comes and goes frequently. Also, a second hook or tote underneath for hats, mittens, sneakers, lunchbox, etc. Put up hooks for key rings so you aren’t frantically looking for yours in the morning. Plan meals for every night of the week. Post the meal schedule on the refrigerator so whoever gets home first can start the preparation. If you can, make a few meals ahead on the weekend and freeze for the busy upcoming week. Use the crockpot so that dinner is ready when you get home. Home-cooked meals are cheaper and more nutritious than take-out. Have kids set the table or help clean up so that mealtime doesn’t take all evening. Save one art project and toss the rest. Children bring a lot of paperwork home from school and it’s impractical to save and store it all. Pick a few special items and toss the rest. Keep a bin labeled with each child’s name for their work or scan the pages into the computer and keep a digital file of your child’s school year.
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Before bedtime, walk through the house with your child and pick up everything left out. Make sure everything has its own place. Lay out clothes for the next day and make sure all dirty clothes are put in the hamper. Wash, dry, fold, and put away one load of laundry a day. You know when you miss a day, the laundry starts to pile up and seems overwhelming. Have a laundry basket designated for each family member. Teach children how to sort their own laundry and put into appropriate loads. Get children into the habit early of picking up their clothes. Teach the children how to put away their own clothes in the appropriate place. Sort the mail every day and immediately recycle all junk mail. Open the bills, remove the actual bill and return envelope, and throw away everything unnecessary in the envelope. Place all bills in “Bill Folder”. Pay the bills on the same day every month. Dispose of broken, empty and out of date items. Out of order telephones, obsolete computers and electronics, toys with missing pieces, unused or out-of-date cosmetics, broken appliances, etc., all need to be thrown away. Sometimes these items are stored in the hope of finding, fixing, mending, combining or selling, but they just end up gathering dust and taking up precious space. Throw away the unsalvageable and donate the salvageable. Take one Saturday every two or three months and go through the closets, drawers, attic, basement and garage and collect unused items and get rid of them. Posting a large calendar in a central location allows parents and children to know what is coming up that day, week and month. The calendar should have everything posted so there are no surprises. Set a good example and be on time to appointments, school, sports, events, etc. Teach children that being even five minutes late is disrespectful to those who are waiting. None of the above habits are too difficult to implement. Start small. Kids of all ages love to help out. Consider making one change every week. That way, as the school year rolls along, you will feel more organized. Maybe you will discover more time for family activities that you all enjoy. What may seem like a chore to you may be a fun activity for your child, especially since you are doing it together.
Pear & Pomegranate Salad
Water Cooler Chat To Nap or Not to Nap… An afternoon nap always sounds appealing…doesn’t it? For those suffering from insomnia an afternoon nap may not help; in fact, it may be counterproductive. If you don’t have a problem getting sleep at night, a 30-40 minute nap can work wonders to pull you through a long day. In fact, a study conducted in 2008 found that a 45-minute daytime nap can improve memory function and even lower blood pressure. If you have insomnia, naps present a problem, however. Although you might feel tired during the day, lying down to take a nap can perpetuate bad sleep habits. Even a small amount of sleep can reduce your nighttime sleep drive and becomes another period of fragmented sleep.
Benefits of Napping • Relaxation • Reduced fatigue • Improved mood • Improved performance, including quicker reaction time, better memory, less confusion, and fewer accidents and mistakes
Downfalls of Napping
3 cups green leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn 1 Bartlett or Anjou pear 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon prepared Dijon-style mustard 1/2 tablespoon honey ground black pepper to taste
Recipe Yields 2 Salads Divide the lettuce between two bowls. Halve and core the pear, then cut each half in slices. Divide the pear slices and pomegranate seeds among the two bowls and mix gently. Combine the vegetable oil, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the dressing thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the warm dressing over the salads and serve.
• Sleep Inertia-Feeling groggy and disoriented after waking up from a nap • Nighttime Sleep Problems • One study has indicated that napping is associated with increased risk of heart failure in people already at risk
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