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Health TO YOUR

Mid-valley Newspapers

February 2012

A guide to wellness and healthy living in the Mid-Willamette lamette Valley

STAT Quick reads about health topics in the news

Chronic toll The sunny fact that Americans are living longer, more productive lives has a dark side: More of us than ever live with chronic illnesses that are not only a drag on sufferers’ time and energy, but on the nation’s pocketbook. The Institute of Medicine recently put a dollar figure on the cost of caring for chronic illness in the United States — $1.5 trillion yearly, fully three-fourths of annual health care spending. A panel of experts called on policymakers to do more to prevent and track the big nine chronic diseases that most drain the nation’s wallet. Among the chronic health conditions on the American medical landscape, nine dominate, the Institute of Medicine report says. They are arthritis, cancer survivorship, chronic pain, dementia, depression, Type 2 diabetes, post-traumatic disability, schizophrenia and hearing and vision loss. — Los Angeles Times

Fitness signs

If you want to get to your love’s heart through the stomach, try making this honey-lime salmon for a candlelit dinner. JEN MATTEIS | TO YOUR HEALTH

Recipes for love Prepare a heart-healthy meal for your Valentine By JEN MATTEIS or Valentine’s Day, why not prepare a heart-healthy meal to show your loved ones that you care about their health as well as their taste buds? Fish is a good choice for a main dish. According to guidelines provided by Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout or herring twice a week can help prevent coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the United States among both men and women. Other heart-friendly tips include baking foods instead of frying them, and cooking food in oils low in saturated fat, such as olive oil or canola oil. Foods that are low in calories and high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains – including whole-wheat breads, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa — may reduce your risk of heart disease. When in doubt, look for the American Heart Association’s heart-check mark on food packaging. For dessert, don’t worry about straying too far from tradition. Flavonoids, an antioxidant found in dark chocolate, promote healthy blood vessels, reduce levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol and may prevent heart disease. Choose chocolates that are minimally processed and contain few ingredients — those are probably the best-tasting, too. Many other foods such as apples, red wine and cranberries are also rich in flavonoids, while honey, blueberries, beans, blackberries, fruits and nuts are good sources of heart-healthy antioxidants.

— Los Angeles Times


Heart-Healthy Recipes: Basic Hummus Serve with pita bread or assorted vegetables for dipping. Ingredients: 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained, or 1½ cups cooked garbanzo beans, drained 1/3 cup sesame paste such as tahini Juice of 1 whole lemon (or lime) 1-2 fresh garlic cloves, diced

What does it take to make people more physically active? Maybe just a sign. Signs posted in buildings prompting people to take the stairs instead of the elevators proved successful in getting them to hoof it, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Signs were placed in three multistory buildings in New York: a three-story health clinic, an eight-story academic site and a 10-story affordable housing building. The signs featured a pictogram of a man walking up stairs with text that read, “Burn calories, not electricity. Take the stairs.” Researchers tallied 18,462 trips up and down the stairs at the various sites. Right after the signs were posted, stair use increased 9.2 percent at the health clinic, 34.7 percent at the academic building and 33.6 percent at the affordable housing site.

Obese pets America’s obesity crisis is spreading — to our pets. About 53 percent of the nation’s cats and 55 percent of dogs are overweight. And more than one in five of those fat animals is clinically obese, meaning at least 30 percent above normal weight. That’s the, um, skinny from a study released last week by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Fat cats and dogs are much more likely to wind up with expensive health problems, veterinarians say. The answer is not to buy a bigger doghouse or Sansabelt collar, vets say. Instead, feed your furry friends less and exercise them more. — Los Angeles Times

Toothpaste trouble Honey-lime salmon with quinoa and oven-roasted broccoli satisfy your taste buds and enrich your heart. 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (may need a little extra if too dry to blend) 1/2 teaspoon salt Place all ingredients into food processor or powerful blender. Blend until smooth, mixing as needed to help process. Makes two cups. Keep chilled. Will store for four to five days.

slices of lime. Bake for 15 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily. Squeeze extra lime juice over salmon to taste. Top with freshly ground pepper if desired.

Recipe by Jen Matteis

Oven-Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients: 1 pound fresh broccoli crowns, rinsed and Recipe by Samaritan Health Services trimmed 11/2 teaspoons minced garlic Honey-Lime Salmon 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce This salmon baked with honey and lime 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil 1/4 teaspoon black pepper works well with a simple steamed vegetable 3 tablespoons chopped unsalted, unoiled such as broccoli or asparagus, served alongnuts, such as almonds, pecans or walnuts side brown rice or quinoa. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse broccoli, Ingredients: trim stalks into 1/8-inch-thick chunks and 1 salmon fillet, 1/2 pound to 1 pound, cut cut florets into bite-sized pieces. Place in a into two portions mixing bowl and toss with soy sauce, oil, 1 tablespoon honey pepper and garlic. Sprinkle the chopped nuts 1 lime evenly into a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Olive oil Place in the oven three to four minutes until Black pepper nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from oven Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place fillets skin-side down onto a foil-lined and mix in the broccoli. Roast 10-12 minutes until broccoli is tender. baking sheet coated with olive oil. Drizzle Recipe from the American Heart Association honey over salmon. Top salmon with thin

A dab of toothpaste has long been a favorite home remedy for clearing up pimples. But could it also cause them? Despite suspicions from some zit-stricken folks seeking answers on online advice forums, dermatologists say there’s no reason to blame toothpaste for acne breakouts. What toothpaste can cause, however, is irritation or allergic reactions in people with certain sensitivities, resulting in rashy bumps around the mouth or, perhaps, rosacea, a chronic condition of redness and skin sores that might be confused with traditional acne, said Dr. Richard Gallo, chair of the dermatology department at the University of California at San Diego. People who are worried they are allergic to toothpaste ingredients should see a specialist who can test reactions to the specific ingredients, Gallo said. — Chicago Tribune


To Your Health

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

So much sodium

Learn to relax Take a deep breath for your health BY JEN MATTEIS TO YOUR HEALTH

Adrenaline is a wonderful hormone when you need it. Released under stressful situations, it speeds up your breathing and your heart rate, preparing you for “fight or flight” situations. However, in a world with few physical predators to fight or flee from, chronic stress can become a problem. According to the American Heart Association, negative effects range from headaches to difficulty sleeping, anger and an increase in unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking. Chronic stress can also cause irregular heart rhythms, temporary spikes in blood pressure and arterial damage, which could contribute to heart disease. Relaxation is the key to reducing stress. Calming activities such as gentle exercise, meditation and yoga slow down your adrenaline output, reducing your heart rate and rate of breathing. According to Troy Maddux, a licensed massage therapist with Living River Therapeutics in Corvallis, most types of massage reduce stress. Massage also paves the way to future stress-relief by providing a behavioral standard. “I think the most useful way that massage relaxes us is by teaching us what it is to be relaxed,” he said. “Most of us are usually wound up pretty tight.” Maddux recommends a mixture of techniques for reducing stress, such as walking, yoga, tai chi or stretching. Even sitting down and taking a few deep breaths can help. “Take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds, and then let it out slowly and easily,” he recommended. “If

5 EASY WAYS Meditate: Just five to 10 minutes of meditation a day can help stress levels drop. Go for a walk: Exercise releases endorphins, giving your mood a boost. Listen to music: Any type of music can reduce stress, provided you enjoy it. Journal: Writing about what stresses you can help improve your mood. Laugh: Laughing increases — and then reduces — your body’s stress response. you do that several times you’ll find that you are more relaxed. That’s a really simple thing that anyone can do.” Certain visualization exercises can also promote relaxation. “You can close your eyes and you can visualize a wave of relaxation starting at your toes, flowing up through your feet and your knees and your thighs, and feel this healing wave flowing up through your body. As you do that you’ll feel all your tissues and your organs settling down,” Maddux said. Don’t stress out too much about proper technique, even with massage. Maddux said it’s pretty easy to pick up on the other person’s cues of what feels good, especially if you know them well. He recommended attending a massage class or simply picking up an instructional book. “Anyone can massage people to their benefit,” he said. “It’s mostly common sense and using feedback from the other person. “We all need massage in our daily lives,” he added. “It’s a great way to remind your body and your mind what it really is to be relaxed, to be at peace.”

Bruises are a part of life for everyone BY BARBARA MAHANY CHICAGO TRIBUNE

A bruise, quite simply, is the booby prize that comes with life’s lumps and bumps. It’s what you see when blood leaks out of blood vessels into tissues of skin, mucous membranes or other organs, including muscle and bone. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about, merely the dark side of bumbling your way through the day. You’re more likely to bruise if you suffer from a vitamin C deficiency, underlying genetic disorders, alcohol abuse or side effects of certain medications, says Dr. Javette Orgain, vice speaker of the American Academy of Family Physicians. But anyone who knocks up against an unforgiving force — be it car door or coffee table — is gonna sport that telltale bruise. If you bruise easily, ask your doctor to: • Conduct a thorough history and physical exam. • Determine your standardized bleeding score (a ranking system to organize your bleeding history and avoid overlooking common inherited disorders). • Order blood work, including complete blood count with platelet count,

peripheral blood smear, prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time. If there’s no underlying disease causing bruising, consider: • Boosting your daily vitamin C intake. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, is known to strengthen and help repair cell walls. You don’t need megadoses, says Orgain, just make sure you’re meeting the minimum daily requirement — 90 mg for men, 75 mg for women. • Steering clear of medications known to cause easy bruising, such as Plavix, Coumadin and aspirin (ask your doctor if there are smart substitutes). • Cutting your alcohol consumption. • Clearing the clutter around your house, so you have less to bang into. If you’re older or have thinning skin, wear thicker clothing. Can you hasten fading? Try Traumeel, a homeopathic ointment that lots of folks insist fades the blues. But, fact is, there’s little that will hasten fading, which takes anywhere from two to three weeks, says Orgain. Hit that bump with ice soon as you can after impact, but then sit back and watch the color show.



customer checks out the ready-made food section at a grocery store in Cincinnati last week. Nearly all Americans consume much more sodium than they should, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Feb. 7. Most of the sodium comes from common processed and restaurant foods. Salt is the main source of sodium for most people, and sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke.

Heart health at any age BY JENNIFER ROUSE TO YOUR HEALTH

Your heart: It starts beating just four weeks after conception and keeps on ticking, beating 100,000 times in a single day. And if you’re lucky, it will beat tirelessly more than 2.5 billion times in your lifetime. Most of the time, we don’t give this miraculous organ a single thought, just trusting in it to do its job. But according to the national Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the No. 1 killer in America, affecting more Americans than all forms of cancer combined. That sounds scary, but here’s the good news: in many cases heart disease can be prevented. Here are tips from heart experts on how to care for your heart throughout your life, from its first beat to No. 2 billion.

At 5 years old You might think that kids, at least, are safe from heart disease. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for today’s children. According to the American Heart Association, soaring rates of childhood obesity mean that children as young as age 3 are now showing indicators for heart disease later in life. What can a parent do? Mostly, it comes down to putting nutritious food on the table, to limiting TV and computer time, and especially to being a good example, said Tom Marker, director of cardiac rehabilitation and echocardiography at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. “Kids really care about what their parents and their teachers tell them. They want to do those things,” Marker said. “What you learn in childhood is what you carry with you throughout your life.” Even if kids frown about eating vegetables or brown rice, the fact that those foods are there — and that they see their parents eating right and exercising — helps define what’s normal for them. “You can give them a lifetime of feeling that the day is not complete without exercise, just like brushing their teeth before bed at night,” Marker said. “Once it’s ingrained, you don’t have to do that much.”

At 15 years old As you move into the teenage years, it’s important that healthy lifestyle choices continue, or start if they haven’t already. According to a report in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, your weight at age 18 tracks with your risk of developing vascular disease and diabetes later in life. A rare but serious heart condition that tends to affect young people is called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sometimes referred to as an enlarged heart. It’s the undetected disease that

GETTING SCREENED Finding out what your numbers are — how your body is handling things like cholesterol and glucose — is an important step in keeping your heart healthy. You can’t start fixing a problem if you don’t know you have one. There are several ways people can go about assessing their risk for heart disease: • If you already have recent scores from a blood test, you can go online to a “heart health profiler” at www.sam You’ll be prompted to enter your cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, weight, family history, and other information. After completing the assessment, the tool will tell you what your “heart age” is, as compared to your age in years. It provides details about your 10-year risk of heart disease, your biggest risk factors, and tips on lowering your risk. The assessment is free, but it does ask participants to enter their name, date of birth, address, and email address to receive their results. • Samaritan Heart & Vascular Institute offers free screenings each year. Spots for the 2012 screenings are already filled, but you’ll be able to sign up for next year’s free spaces starting in January 2013. Clinics are offered in Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Lincoln City and Newport. Beginning in 2013, call 541768-4752 to sign up for a free screening. • You can walk in to a hospital with no appointment and get a complete lab work up done for about $50, no doctor’s order required. Testing is offered at Samaritan hospitals from 8 a.m. — 5 p.m. on weekdays. The cost is as follows: total cholesterol is $12; lipid panel is $20; and lipid panel with glucose is $22.

— Jennifer Rouse killed Oregon State football player Fred Thompson in December. “It’s the most common cause of death in young athletes,” Marker said. The disease often doesn’t manifest itself with any symptoms, and as such most people don’t get tests such as an EKG or echocardiogram, which might be able to identify the condition. It’s currently not recommended that all young athletes get such tests — they are expensive, unnecessary for most teens, and may not catch 100 percent of cases, Marker said. However, a teen who has any family history of sudden deaths, or who has other symptoms, such as heart palpitations or spells of light-headedness, should get a more advanced screening.

At 25 years old By young adulthood, most of the eating and exercise habits you developed during childhood will have begun to make their effects known. It’s also possible that you may have picked up

some other habits along the way. If you smoke or drink heavily, it’s time to stop. Smoking by itself — even if you’re at a healthy weight and you stay active — is considered an independent risk factor for heart disease and strokes. Drinking excessively — more than one or two drinks a day for men, or one per day for women — can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and other health problems. As an adult, it’s also time to assess your risk factors for heart disease, if you haven’t already. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults age 20 and over get their cholesterol levels checked every five years. You might need to be more vigilant, depending on your personal and family health history. Do you have family members who have had heart attacks or who have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol? “If you have these genetic factors, that family needs to be more focused,” Marker said. A trip to your doctor for a blood test can set your mind at ease. Ask for a test that includes total cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides and blood pressure. Once you know your numbers, you can see whether you’re on track for continued health or not. And if you are beginning to show some less-than-ideal factors, you still have time to make changes.

At 55 plus years old You may have heard that if you’re over a certain age, you should take a baby aspirin every day. While aspirin can be beneficial for preventing stroke and heart attack in some cases, it’s not a cut-and-dried decision, Marker said. “It varies depending on who you are,” he said. “If you already have the disease, or you’re at risk, then maybe you should be on an aspirin.” For other people, he said, it’s important to weigh out the risks taking an aspirin a day could cause, such as an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. It hasn’t been shown that an aspirin a day provides enough benefit in general to make it worth it for everyone.

For everyone At all life stages, a focus on the basics of a healthy lifestyle is what really counts for helping your heart, Marker said. That means eating lots of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. It means maintaining a healthy body weight. It means being physically active most, if not all, days of the week. And it means periodically checking your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugars to make sure they’re in a healthy range for you. “These are simple things,” Marker said. “It might get complex in the details, but not really. It’s mostly common sense stuff.”

To Your Health

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


To Your Health Feb 2012  

guide to wellness and healthy living in the Mid-Willamette.