home-grown stories about fitness and healthy living
20 Fitness and Stories of inspiration 6 Fitness trends 10 Weight loss success stories 14,15 Orthodontics: not just for kids 18
24 Shingles: painful
26 Pets, good for the body and soul
28 Summertime myths dispelled
Healthcare in your neighborhood Now you don’t have to drive miles – or in some cases even leave your home – to experience a new level of healthcare convenience.
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A Novant Health network of top-notch primary and specialty doctors is right here in your neighborhood. And you can go online anytime to find a doctor and make an appointment.
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In addition, there’s Novant Health MyChart, which puts all your medical and prescription records at your fingertips – day and night – so you and your doctor are always on the same page. Sudden illness or injury? Talk for free with a nurse 24/7 via Care Now. Or go online and reserve your place at the emergency room at Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center. Or – if it’s a minor injury or illness – you can head to Novant Health PrimeCare for quick and affordable attention. Welcome to the local care you deserve – advanced, accessible and designed around you.
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Here’s to living well Most of us know the consequences of a high-fat, low-nutrition diet and a schedule that includes little or no time for exercise. However, we can avoid those consequences by making simple dietary and exercise changes which not only extend our lives, but can help us move better, sleep better and feel better.
contact us (336) 644-7035 • firstname.lastname@example.org location: 1616 NC 68 North • Oak Ridge, NC 27310 mail: PO Box 268 • Oak Ridge, NC 27310
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In this annual publication, we’ve included the stories of several people who have either recovered from serious illnesses, or taken steps to alter their lifestyles after receiving some early warning signs. We’ve also explored some of the latest trends in fitness that may appeal to even the most hardcore couch potato, and the health benefits of pet ownership. If you’re nearing the age of 60, you’ll especially want to take note of the article on Shingles and consider getting a vaccination to avoid this painful virus.
Always wanted straight teeth, for cosmetic or dental health reasons (or both)? Check out the article about the latest in orthodontic treatments, which definitely aren’t just for kids anymore. And think you know everything you need to know about poison ivy, sunburn, and tick bites? Take our “fact or myth” test and you’ll likely read at least something that may help you avoid – or at least treat these preventable nuisances. We can’t control everything, but there is much about our mental and physical health that we can control, so here’s hoping we’ve provided food for thought and inspiration for change if needed. Thanks to all the individuals who let us share their personal health stories, the health professionals who contributed to the articles within this publication, and the advertisers who made it possible. Patti Stokes, president/owner PS Communications
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Lives forever changed
Busted: A ''breastimony''
by Annette Joyce
Survivors say the best gifts come from the worst circumstances
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is an old adage and a not-so-old song. It’s also a mantra for survivors of serious illnesses. We want to thank the three local residents who shared the following stories about how frightening health situations made them stronger and better for what they’ve endured, and how their circumstances forever changed them.
In December 2010, Karen Barefoot had a routine mammogram. The doctor detected a tiny line resembling a grain of rice, but wasn’t terribly concerned; she did, however, suggest that Barefoot have a six-month follow-up exam. In June 2011, the Oak Ridge resident returned for the follow-up mammogram, which ultimately led to a biopsy and a diagnosis of breast cancer. The initial diagnosis was Stage 0 cancer with talk of a lumpectomy and five days of radiation. Within two days of that first diagnosis, Barefoot learned she would need a mastectomy. As her treatments progressed, a more aggressive cancer was discovered, and
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Barefoot went through both radiation and chemotherapy. Today, she is cancer-free. The fact that she had cancer is not what makes Barefoot’s story so compelling; it’s the remarkable way she has dealt with it. Now 59, Barefoot recently released a book, “Busted, An Uplifting Breastimony of God’s Grace.” It’s the story of how her strong love of God, deep faith and positive attitude eased her through a turbulent bout with breast cancer. It’s also her way of helping others deal with their own cancer battles. Barefoot’s gentle humor is sprinkled throughout the pages of her book, from her descriptions of the process
Barefoot sought ways for her experience with cancer to benefit others. “I looked for ways that God was trying to use this cancer with my family, friends and people at church,” she says.
Photo by Annette Joyce/PS Communications
beginning with the diagnosis of cancer through the treatments, to the photos of herself – particularly the one of her with a tiara perched on her bald head and a smile on her face with the caption, “Here she is, the Chemo Queen!” While her humor is evident, she does have a serious side, which involves her faith and love of Jesus. Barefoot says that both she and her husband Don came to Christ as adults. “When I fell in love with Jesus, I fell totally in love with Jesus,” she says. “I trust everything He allows in my life is there for a reason.” It’s that attitude that caused her to embrace her cancer rather than give in to depression and worry. Barefoot says it best in her book. “You may have heard the saying, ‘It’s not so much what happens to you, but how you respond to it that matters,’” she writes. “Most of the time we can’t control what happens to us but we make ‘fork-inthe-road’ decisions every single day. And each fork sets us up on a different path. “Almost every one of my doctors told me, ‘You will do well because of your positive attitude and your strong faith.’ My oncologists both told me that they can just about tell who will do well and who won’t when they first come in, just by their attitude.” Rather than feel sorry for herself,
Early on, she began documenting her journey on CaringBridge as a way to keep everyone informed. She soon discovered that her posts were also providing encouragement. In fact, her CaringBridge readers urged her to publish her book to provide inspiration for others who were facing similar battles. “If I was given the choice to turn back the clock and skip this year, I wouldn’t,” Barefoot writes. “God has made me clear out a lot of ‘stuff’ in my life in the past several years, but it was so He would feel more at home in my heart.” Barefoot continues to go for regular check-ups and relies completely on God to give her the strength to graciously handle whatever comes in the future.
Issues of the heart
listened to his heart. “He said, ‘You’ve got a very bad heart murmur and you’re going straight to the hospital,’” Moncourtois recalls. At the emergency room, the doctors diagnosed Moncourtois with atrial fibrillation – an irregular heartbeat. As the medical tests continued, the news grew progressively worse. “My heart was enlarged and fluid was building up in my chest cavity,” he says. “The doctor said I was in congestive heart failure. When I heard that, it was like someone punching me in the stomach.” An ultrasound revealed that he had “blown” a mitral valve. Surgery later revealed that an unknown birth defect was causing his aortic valve to function at only 20 percent. The doctors did what Moncourtois refers to as a “complete heart overhaul.” They repaired the mitral valve, replaced the aortic valve and sewed up a small hole in his heart.
Photo by Annette Joyce/PS Communications
Moncourtois says even though he woke up in the ICU experiencing the worst pain he’s ever felt, he feels fortunate that events transpired as they did. “If my mitral valve had not blown out and my heart had continued to work the way it was, I would have dropped dead of
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One afternoon in early June of last year, Lane Moncourtois, then 51, had spent the morning in his home office in Oak Ridge doing nothing more strenuous than paperwork. Without any warning, his heart started beating erratically. “It was very unnerving,” recalls Moncourtois. “I could actually see my heart beating through my shirt.”
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He had no other symptoms, so he decided to rest for a while. As the afternoon wore on, the irregular palpitations continued. Finally, he decided a trip to the doctor was in order. By the time he made it to the doctor’s examination room, Moncourtois’ heart beat was back to normal, and he was ready to chalk it up to stress or dehydration.
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a heart attack or stroke,” he says. “Right now I’m in better shape than I’ve been in five years, and I’ve lost about 20 pounds.” Moncourtois’ dance with death has resulted in both a change in his lifestyle and his outlook. His faith in God has grown stronger as he credits God’s grace with allowing his condition to be brought to light. “I’ve learned that the most important thing of all is to have faith in God,” he says. “I truly believe that with God everything’s possible.” It’s hard to imagine this man with the smiling eyes and booming laugh as ever being anything but positive, but Moncourtois says that before his illness he was a cynical person, and always looked at the negative. “Having a positive attitude changes everything,” he says, admitting that sometimes it’s hard to maintain that view. “I always try to remember what it was like waking up in that hospital and all the promises I made. I purposely choose to be positive.” He also purposely chooses to be grateful. During his illness, he says he came to fully appreciate his family. “I’m very grateful I have a great wife and great kids, too,” he says. “My advice to people is to not take things for granted. Your family, your health, everything you’ve got is a blessing or gift.” Something else he learned from his experience that he wants to share with others is to pay attention to their bodies. “You’ve got to listen to your body. Your body will tell you if there’s a problem,” he says. “The reason people choose not to respond to a problem with their health is that they’re afraid of inconvenience. They don’t want to inconvenience themselves or others. They just hope it will work everything out by itself.” Fortunately, Moncourtois did listen, and as a result, he’s able to share his experience with others. He says he worries himself much less with the insignificant things these days, choosing instead to focus on what is ultimately important – God, family and health.
Life lessons at a young age On August 30, 2008, 22-year-old Casey Stone married the love of her life. After returning from their honeymoon, she and her new husband Phillip began merging their separate lives into one. Little did Casey and Phillip know then that their life plans were about to be thrown wildly off course. It was only a few weeks later that Casey started noticing bruises. “My arms and legs were covered in bruises. But my mom had always bruised easily, so I didn’t think anything about it,” she says, mentioning one particularly large bruise that extended from her wrist to her elbow. Casey’s mother-in-law, Dawn Stone, saw the bruises and insisted that she immediately see a doctor. Although she felt fine, Casey obliged and visited her doctor the next day. After some tests, Casey was sent directly to the emergency room. Her platelets were dangerously low, and she learned she was at a high risk of bleeding to death (platelets help stop bleeding by forming clots when blood vessels are damaged); the normal platelet count for a healthy person is between 150,000 and 400,000 per microliter of blood; Casey’s count was 13,000. The next day, she checked into the hospital for a bone marrow biopsy and what she thought was an overnight stay. It would be a month before she saw the outside world again. Casey was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL), a rare and aggressive form of leukemia more prevalent in older people and children. From that point, events moved even more rapidly. Casey was given various treatment options. With no time to research or fully consider what they needed to do, she
Photo courtesy of Morgan Patterson
Phillip, Savannah and Casey Stone
and Phillip put their trust in God and the doctors, made the most informed decisions they could, and moved forward. Undergoing one test after another, Casey doesn’t remember much about those weeks in the hospital. What she does remember is the strength of her new husband and how her illness brought them closer together. “Phillip came every day. He was my rock, and he always knew the right things to say,” Casey says with gratitude. “It made our relationship stronger.” When the doctors were doing tests, Phillip was there. He jokes that since he
had seen so many bone marrow biopsies, he could probably do one himself. The only time he admits to getting a bit queasy occurred when the doctors had to cut back skin and muscle to insert the port for Casey’s chemo treatments. Along the way, more complications occurred. Besides Casey having a serious brain hemorrhage, the couple was also told they couldn’t have children. “We were crushed, and both of us just sobbed,” says Casey. “Everything (with the treatment) moved so quickly that we weren’t thinking about the side effects and didn’t ask.”
ART OF LIVING WELL
The couple attributes their strong commitment to each other and their faith to getting them through some of the worst times. “God’s plan was in action the whole time,” says Casey. On Dec. 1, 2008, Casey had a clear bone marrow biopsy, was declared to be in remission and released from the hospital. After two more years as an outpatient in chemotherapy, she is still in remission. Casey says her illness brought about many changes in her and Phillip’s lives. For one, she has a greater appreciation for the little things. “I appreciate my health more and realize how precious life really is,” she says. Phillip adds that it has made them more compassionate and grateful for the people in their lives, including strangers. “We got so much help from our families and people in our community. There were people who came to our benefit that we didn’t even know, and I got letters from people all over,” says Casey. She mentions a recent incident in
Lowes Foods, when an unknown woman came up, gave her a hug and told her how nice it was to meet her. The woman said she had been praying for Casey and just wanted her to know. Phillip and Casey are also most grateful for their sweet little girl, Savannah. As it turns out, they were given the wrong information that day in the hospital and later found out that Casey’s condition would have no effect on her ability to have children. Though they worried about the effects that Casey’s treatments might have on a fetus, Savannah, now 2, is as healthy as she is beautiful, and Phillip and Casey view her as their miracle baby. The Stones have just moved into a new home in Stokesdale and are thinking about the possibility of adding to their family. Phillip and Casey say they will always remember the lessons they learned through Casey’s illness. “It was scary, but it was probably the best thing that happened to me,” says Casey. “I think it’s a gift to learn so many (life) lessons early on.”
In our 25 years of serving the Triad area, we’ve learned that living well is an art to be enjoyed. As one of the only monthly rental communities in the Triad offering a progression of care, it’s good to know that wherever life’s journey takes you, with Kisco Senior Living, you have a place to call home.
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Getting — and staying — fit doesn’t have to be boring by Laura Pullins Though exercise is far too often something we fit into our daily routine on an optional basis, regular exercise is actually a necessity for a healthy body. Walking, running and lifting weights have long been the standard methods of staying in shape, but for those who want to add a little variety to their exercise regime – or maybe even something a little “zany” – the fitness industry likely has something just right for you. The following are brief descriptions of some of the most popular fitness trends sweeping the nation – some new and some combining new and old with an added twist.
Whether it’s a Color Run, combined Pilates and Yoga class, or taking a virtual bicycle ride on a Real Ryder or Expresso bike, the fitness industry has much to offer these days to keep your fitness routine both fun and effective. High Intensity Interval Training More than 3,800 fitness professionals were surveyed by the American College of Sports Medicine to identify the most popular fitness trends for 2014. Topping this year’s list is High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT involves a workout that alternates between short bursts of very intense activity, followed by short active periods of recovery. These group fitness classes typically last 30 to 45 minutes and combine
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Exercising with a professional trainer or instructor in a small group setting helps ensure you’re performing the movements correctly – and keeps you motivated. At left, participants work through an INSANITY class at Gold Standard Fitness in Summerfield.
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continued from page 10 a mixture of cardio and strength training, keeping your heart rate up and increasing your metabolic rate. Personal trainer Shaun T released the INSANITY exercise DVDs in 2009, and his 45-minute HIIT workout has been the craze ever since. In April, Gold Standard Fitness in Summerfield began offering INSANITY classes featuring the same plyometric drills as done in the DVDs. Currently, Gold Standard Fitness is the only facility in our area to offer these classes by certified INSANITY instructors. Another popular HIIT workout is Tabatas, which involves alternating between a high intensity exercise for 20 seconds and a 10-second rest. Tabatas classes are also available at Gold Standard Fitness. Despite how popular and effective HIIT workouts are, because of the higher risk for injury, it’s a good idea to use caution before jumping right in. If you
haven’t been exercising regularly, consult your physician first, and also consider working with a professional trainer or instructor in a small group setting who will closely monitor your movements to ensure you’re performing them correctly and not putting too much stress on your muscles, joints and heart. And finally, as with any type of exercise, it’s a good idea to vary HIT workouts with other types of workouts.
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“The human body PiYo instructor Leigh Hamilton leads participants in a combined Pilates/Yoga class at Proehlific Park’s family fitness wasn’t built for high center. PiYo blends high intensity Pilates and yoga-inspired moves for cardio, strength and flexibility training. intensity workouts. So if you train too often But that’s not to say high intensity or too hard, you’re going to get injured,” Yoga – in a constant interval training is bad. confirms Blaze Thompson, the adult state of evolution fitness director at Proehlific Park’s family Studies have shown that HIIT condiMoving up four spots to No. 10 on fitness center. tions your heart, increases fat loss, prethis year’s list of the most popular fitness serves muscle mass and stimulates the trends is yoga. Derived from the root of production of human growth hormones a Sanskrit word, yoga means “to join” or up to 24 hours after your workout. “to yoke.” This ancient art creates a bal-
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Andy Michels, owner of Oak Ridge Physical Therapy, sees both the benefits and potential risks of HIIT.
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“If someone enjoys high intensity exercise, that’s a good thing. But people who are less experienced with exercise, or those who have lived longer, may need to be more careful in order to prevent injuries from happening,” says Michels.
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now it’s become more of a respected practice,” Hart says. When presented in a way that children can understand, yoga instills discipline and focus, while counteracting stress and improving relaxation, Hart explains. Abandoning the Sanskrit terms, Hart introduces the names of the poses using animals and plants for inspiration. Poses like the “bedbug” or “rock” often trigger laughter from her energetic preschoolers. At the start of each class, Yoga Sproutz opens by practicing different types of breathing, such as “ocean breaths” or “bear breaths,” followed by individual and group poses, and then closing with a few minutes of meditation. While most Photo courtesy of Lisa Hart classes follow a typical style Yoga Sproutz offers a children’s yoga program that uses of yoga, Yoga Sproutz usually animals and plants for inspiration. doesn’t, as the poses and practice are modified to cater to the attention span of children. Pre-natal yoga, Ashtanga (Power Yoga), Bikram (Hot Yoga), and Vinyasa As for adult yoga classes, they’re (Flow Yoga), are some of the more available at dozens of fitness studios common practices, while other eccenthroughout northwest Guilford County, tric forms include karaoke yoga – to including Gestalt Studios in Summerstrengthen the limbs and vocal cords, or field, the Spears YMCA on Horse Pen antigravity yoga – poses and acrobatics Creek Road and Proehlific Park Sports practiced while suspended in the air. Complex and Family Fitness Center, also on Horse Pen Creek Road in northern And there’s even yoga specifically creGreensboro. ated for kids. Lisa Hart is a certified instructor of children’s yoga and the owner In addition to their Strength and Power of Yoga Sproutz, which offers a children’s Yoga classes, Proehlific Park offers PiYo, a yoga program that she takes on the road relatively new fitness practice that blends and teaches at several Guilford County high intensity Pilates and yoga-inspired preschools. As a yogi for 25 years and moves to offer a combination of full throta certified yoga instructor for 10 years, tle cardio, strength and flexibility training. Hart has witnessed a tremendous growth PiYo creator and celebrity fitness trainin the industry. er Chalene Johnson says on her website, “There’s a change in the way people look at it today. As recently as 10 years ago people feared it, and it was considered more of a ‘hippie thing,’ whereas
“PiYo gives you hardcore definition, intense calorie burn, and all-over strength – without weights, without jumps, and without destroying your body.”
Mud, paint and zombies When it comes to running, the fitness industry has come up with some very innovative ways to entice athletes by offering a change of course … fun runs. Nicknamed the “Happiest 5k on the Planet,” the Color Run is the single largest running event series in the United States, hosting more than 170 events in 30+ countries in 2013 alone. Founded in 2011, the Color Run promotes healthiness, happiness and individuality. The un-timed race draws thousands of participants, who are plastered with color at each kilometer of the course.
Greensboro resident Alexander Thomas participated in his first Color Run during Easter weekend. “I was impressed with the experience and I loved the environment that was created,” says Thomas. “The distance is perfect to allow anyone to participate, no
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big difference At age 38, Chris Johnson was a “walking heart attack” by Patti Stokes About a year and a half ago, Chris Johnson was the heaviest he had ever been in his life, and even walking short distances had become laborious. But at age 38, he was young enough that he thought he could keep pushing through with his busy schedule as chief of Summerfield Fire Department, husband, and father to his daughter Kaylee … until one day when he was going through his daily routine and began experiencing chest pain and having trouble breathing. Johnson’s father, who had been a diabetic and on dialysis, died in 2009. “Seeing what he had to go through was hard,” Johnson said. “But he was hardheaded and so am I. He didn’t take care of himself, and I didn’t take care of myself.” After visiting the doctor in January 2013, Johnson learned he was also a diabetic and had high blood pressure. “At 38, I was pretty much a walking heart attack,” he says.
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Realizing that if he didn’t take charge of his health his daughter might grow up without her father, Johnson decided “it was time.” “Kaylee means the world to me ... I just couldn’t think of not being around much longer because of her.” Johnson, who stands 6 feet, 3 inches tall and has the upper body style of a linebacker, says he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t overweight. But after taking the job of fire chief in 2008, a schedule filled with meetings, long, unpredictable workdays and late-night training sessions took his eating and exercise habits to a new low.
Photo by Patti Stokes/PS Communications
Chris Johnson, before losing 65 pounds over the last 14 months. “After Monday night trainings, we would often go to Taco Bell for dinner. Or I would go to Cookout for a milkshake with the guys, always late at night. I’m on (duty) all the time … I averaged about 56 to 60 hours a week, but that’s part of the job. What I had to learn was to do all that, but incorporate better habits.” Johnson thanks his staff assistant, Jenna Daniels, for helping him begin to make lifestyle changes and stick to them, and his wife for encouraging him along the way. “We had several talks. I don’t like working out with a bunch of people … I feel more comfortable working out by
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Just because it’s ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean you can eat double (or triple) the amount Portion control has played a big part in one couple’s journey to healthy weight loss by Patti Stokes Before deciding to take control of their weight, Tony Cooler, 41, and her husband Steven Lantz, soon to be 45, had what they considered a very healthy diet. As dedicated vegans for the last six years, they eat lots of vegetables, and no meats, dairy or other animal products.
After taking a sensible approach to weight loss just over a year ago, Tony Cooler is well on her way to reaching her ideal weight.
K id s
The couple, which describes themselves as “foodies,” approaches eating as an adventure and there are few things they
After Tony, at 5 feet, 4 inches tall, saw her weight climb to over 170 pounds, though, she decided a change was in order. Steven, who at 6 feet tall weighed 210 pounds, agreed to join her and together, they began assessing their eating habits. Through that assessment, they came to realize that while their food choices were in general very healthy (except for Tony’s weakness for Oreo cookies, and Steven’s weakness for potato chips), the amount of daily calories they consumed on average was far more than they burned. Okay, “calories consumed versus calories burned,” right? Yes, the
couple says – it’s really that simple. “We’re pretty good cooks, and pretty good bakers, and I really make a great brownie,” says Tony. “So, we were making really great brownies or cupcakes every week. And we were looking at the ingredients label, but not at the serving size label or the calories. We would say, let’s have pasta for dinner … and dump in a half box of pasta and not measure out the serving size.” “The one I bring up when we talk about weight loss is veggie burgers – they’re healthier than the normal burger, so we would say, ‘I’ll have two,’” Steven adds. “We’re not less full eating the one
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Primary care services • Caring for patients of all ages – infant to adult • Disease management and treatment • Wellness and prevention • Physicals • Immunizations for adults and children • Electronic medical records • On-site X-ray available at select sites • On-site laboratory • Same-day acute care appointments available • Secure patient portal allows you to view test results, schedule appointments and communicate with your provider • Minor office procedures including EKG, pulmonary function testing and minor skin procedures
New technology has adults coming
back to the orthodontist by Kristin Kubly
Braces aren’t just for kids anymore
At any orthodontist office, you will often see middle-aged adults sitting in the waiting room. Don’t assume these adults are parents waiting for a child, however – more and more, these adults are the patients. A survey by the American Association of Orthodontists found that the number of adult orthodontic patients rose 14 percent from 2010 to 2012. So why the sudden increase? The main reason: The old image of a mouth full of metal is no longer necessarily a reality in today’s orthodontia. While many young teen patients still get metal braces, new materials and technology are convincing adults to have their smiles perfected, even much later in life.
“I think the stigma was that metal braces are more for younger patients, and a lot of adults have been afraid to have that stigma,” says Dr. Matthew Olmsted, who recently opened his orthodontic practice in the Oak Ridge Commons shopping center in Oak Ridge. “Now with Invisalign or ceramic braces, there are more cosmetic options, so that way you can have the great smile you’ve always wanted without having the stigma preventing you from wanting to do it.” Aesthetics is not the only reason adults should consider orthodontia. “Crowding, which most people would consider a cosmetic issue, can create food traps and make it difficult to keep your teeth clean, and that can lead to gum disease and bone loss in the supporting structures around those teeth,” explains Dr. Mark Reynolds, an
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orthodontist with offices in Greensadult or the clear brackets that would it gives you the best working model.” boro and Summerfield. stain over time,” says Reynolds. “Now The digital scanner is a good option they’ve fixed that so we hardly ever Dr. Alan Irvin, an orthodontist with for someone considering Invisalign, which see staining with the braces.” offices in Greensboro and Eden, finds requires a series of 18 to 30 customthat adults come to his office to fulfill “We’ve had ladies get married made aligners that are replaced every a number of goals. “Often adults with their (clear) braces on, and in two weeks. "It uses light optics to scan are focused on one or two things. It some of the photos you can’t even the teeth with no radiation; it’s all just might be a functional issue, like they tell the braces are there,” Reynolds photographs,” explains Olmsted. “You can’t chew properly on one side. Or adds. “So even if you have more can have your Invisalign trays made and BEFORE it may be an aesthetic issue; they’ve traditional-type braces, the you don’t have to have the goop in your got a space somewhere they want aesthetics of them have mouth. It takes about 10 minutes longer, closed,” he says. “Or it may be that gotten so much better that but if you’re a gagger, it’s definitely the they’ve got one tooth that’s badly rotated they’re way less noticeable way to go.” and their dentist wants to do a veneer. If than they used to be.” It’s no wonder that with all the new we can get that tooth aligned better, they A new technology that has options, adults are heading to the orthocould do a much nicer job that will last made office visits easier is dontist now more than ever. longer and look better.” digital 3D imaging, which Reynolds describes a 35-year-old The orthodontic industry has recan create models of the patient who has seen dramatic improvesponded to this demand by creating mouth without having to use R ment since her first visit to his office. AFTE materials that enable adults to fix their impression trays. smiles without feeling conspicuous. “She is just about a year into it, and “We use the digital scanyou would never know she had any The Invisalign appliance has been ner for Invisalign and also for crowding,” he says. “Her gums are especially popular with older patients making some of our other appliances Photos courtesy of Dr. Alan Irvin healthy; she is able to clean her teeth so because it is so visually subtle. instead of taking impressions, which is Before and after photos of an adult Invisalign something a lot of people don’t like too much easier than when they were crowd“The Invisalign (appliances) are clear patient show an amazing transformation. much,” Irvin says. “It’s more accurate ed, and her bite’s comfortable. She’s like plastic trays that fit over top of the teeth, than any of the impression materials, so a whole new person. It’s amazing.” and they cover the entire surface of the tooth,” Olmsted says. “You go through Irvin says you will need to visit your a series of alignments over the course of orthodontist to see if Invisalign will work a year to two years to move the teeth.” for you. Not only is Invisalign more subtle, “Up front, the main thing you’re but Reynolds says the technology has looking at is whether or not the Invisadvanced greatly in recent years. align appliance is going to be able to “Invisalign has continued to improve. accomplish the same type of effective They’ve been around now for about 15 treatment and give you the same kind years, and they’ve come out with new of good results as you can get with fixed materials that mimic the function of the appliances, or braces,” he says. wires in the braces,” he explains. “And Even if braces would be more effective now they’re able to correct probably 75 overall, Irvin notes that sometimes adults percent of what you can do with braces.” will choose Invisalign in order to accomIrvin, an Invisalign Elite Preferred plish a particular cosmetic goal, such as The health and well-being of your infant, child or teen is your Provider, says Invisalign has a number of closing a gap in the front teeth. priority, and we’ve made it ours, too. From well check-ups and sports advantages. physicals to strep throat and stomach viruses, our board-certified Clear ceramic braces are another less “It’s much less intrusive into your physicians and staff are here for you. noticeable option that appeals to adults. lifestyle. You take the appliances out, so Stephen Kearns, MD “The ceramic braces are like a traditionyou can clean your teeth just as well with Laurie MacDonald, MD al bracket; however, they’re clear so you the Invisalign treatment as you can with can see right through it to the tooth, but no treatment, which isn’t really true with you still use the wire,” explains Olmsted. braces,” Irvin states. “You can eat pretty Novant Health Forsyth Pediatrics Oak Ridge The technology for clear braces has 2205 Oak Ridge Road, Suite BB much anything you want because you’re 336-644-0994 also improved lately. not going to break things off or cause nhforsythpediatricsoakridge.org wires to get pulled out. So from that stand“Clear braces used to stain quite a bit, point, it’s much more patient friendly.” so you were either stuck with metal as an
Kid-sized healthcare you can trust
1 Which activity burns more
test your knowledge:
fitness and health
calories for the average 160-pound person?
Thanks to the fitness professionals at Proehlific Park’s family fitness center for providing this fitness and health test.
A 25 minutes of steady-state treadmill running at 5 miles per hour B 20 minutes of a high-intensity, minimal-rest strength training circuit C 30 minutes of walking at 2.5 miles per hour D A 30-minute Pilates session
2 True or false: cardio burns more calories than strength training.
3 When exercising, you should ____ when your muscles contract and ____ when they lengthen.
A inhale/exhale B hold your breath/exhale C inhale/hold your breath D exhale/inhale
4 True or false: you can reduce cellulite through exercise.
5 Fact or fiction: exercise improves your ability to learn.
6 What is your “metabolism”?
7 Which is the most balanced exercise plan?
A Walking, weight lifting and yoga B Running, weight lifting and tennis C Running, kick-boxing and yoga D Running, weight lifting and cycling
8 True or false: the more you sweat during a workout, the more fat the body is burning.
Which of the following nutrients is known as the sunshine vitamin?
A Vitamin C B Vitamin A C Vitamin K D Vitamin D
10 When should you do stretching exercises?
A The rate at which you burn calories
A After your body is already warmed up
B The rate at which you eat or drink calories
B As a way to warm up your body before an aerobic or strength training exercise session
C The processes your body uses to convert or use energy D None of the above
C In the car on your way home from the gym
1. A – 25 minutes of steady-state treadmill running at 5 miles per hour burns about 256 calories. 2. False – In one university study, people burned just as many calories during a 30-minute weight training session as people who ran at a 6-minute-per-mile pace for the same amount of time. Another benefit of strength training is that it builds muscle, which burns more calories over time. 3. D – It is important to breathe during weight lifting exercises to provide oxygen to your muscles and reduce pressure inside the body. 4. True – Cellulite is fat and can affect everyone. The right calorieburning exercise and healthy nutrition can reduce the amount of cellulite on your body. 5. Fact – A study done in Germany found that people who ran sprints learned new words 20 percent faster. Another benefit is that exercise increases the production of stem cells, which increases the number of brain cells. 6. C – “Metabolism” is how your body converts or uses energy for activities such as breathing, digestion, building muscle, storing fat and circulating blood – things you need to do to live.
7. A – Walking, weight lifting and yoga would be the most balanced exercise plan because it has three different types of exercise: aerobic/cardio (walking), strength training (weight lifting) and flexibility training (yoga). 8. False – Experts with the American Council on Exercise say the amount you sweat is indicative of your body’s ability to maintain its normal body temperature. So it doesn’t correlate to how much energy, or calories, is being expended. 9. D – Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D1, D2 and D3. It can affect as many as 2,000 genes in the body. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression and weight gain. 10. A – Stretching your muscles prior to warming up can cause injury. You can do stretching activities as part of your warm-up, but only after you’ve already warmed up your muscles with an easy aerobic activity such as a few minutes of slow walking. Stretching is important to an overall fitness program and also diminishes soreness if done after strenuous aerobic or weight-training sessions.
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From L to R: Luke & Shannon Vandall of Charlotte, Caroline Thomas, Lauren Mack, William Mack and Alexander Thomas of Greensboro, and Ashley Mckinney of Lexington “painted the town” – or at least themselves – at the Color Me Rad run in Greensboro on April 18.
continued from page 13 Dr. Matt DeVaney
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matter how fast or in shape they may be. It was a fun, safe and a healthy way to spend the day with friends and family.” A new spinoff of Color Runs is Glow in the Park, a fun choice for night owls. Before the start of the race, which is late in the evening, runners receive a bag of glow-in-the-dark accessories to splatter themselves with. Throughout the course, participants brave “the rain storms of UV glow water and the dust clouds of neon powder,” covering themselves from head to toe; the event is followed by a dance party. Greensboro’s Glow in the Park event was held at the Greensboro Arboretum on May 24, but another Glow in the Park event will take place June 6 in Cary, North Carolina. For details, visit
www.glowintheparkrun.com for details. Perhaps the oddest fun run of them all is the Zombie Run, an apocalyptic race, similar to that of flag football. Humans begin the 5k with a life belt, navigating through simulated chemical spills and car crashes, desperately trying to escape the zombies hungry for their lives … or rather, for their flags. And if that doesn’t sound thrill-seeking enough, Human Movement Management, the production company behind the Zombie Runs, offers two advanced versions: Extreme and Black Ops. In the Zombie Run Extreme, also a 5k race, participants run through eight challenging obstacles, braving muddy pits and fighting off zombies, before reaching the finish line and celebrating at the after-party.
Last but not least is the Black Ops version – (warning: this is not for the faint of heart). On their website, HMM describes this version as, “The most extreme night run on the planet. 300 zombies. 10 obstacles. Fire. Smoke. Mud. 3.1 miles of insane terrain. All of this followed by a night of camping (in select cities), bonfires, beverages, food and more.” It’s puzzling why someone would subject themselves to such a night of terror, but people do. In fact, the Zombie Run at Kersey Valley in Archdale has already sold out of early registration tickets for the August race. Other tickets are still available and can be purchased at www.thezombierun.com. Spectators are invited to watch or visit the after-party (spectator registration is not required). “These type of events offer great camaraderie for participants, motivating people to work harder while still providing a challenge,” says Jamaal Johnson, a personal trainer at SNAP Fitness in Oak Ridge. Johnson has participated in several organized fun runs, including Rugged Mania, a 5k race through muddy obstacle courses, and Run the Ridge, an all-terrain fun run hosted by the Merchants Association of Oak Ridge.
Biking is booming Most commercial health clubs today have increased the amount of cardiovascular equipment offered, as fitness behaviors are changing to focus as much on heart health as on strength training. Exercise bikes are making a comeback, but with new functions and challenges to encompass a whole-body workout. At Gold Standard Fitness, the RealRyder indoor bike puts stationary bikes to shame. This bike tilts, turns and leans, taking indoor cycling to the next level by giving you an outdoor biking experience. Burning up to 20 percent more calories compared to stationary bikes, RealRyder expands your range of movement,
activates the core muscles and strengthens the upper as well as lower body. Another indoor biking experience can be found in the wheels of the Expresso bikes, available at Spears Family YMCA on Horse Pen Creek Road in Greensboro. This interactive biking experience offers more than 40 virtual tours of courses for the novice or experienced rider. Pedal through the Mayan ruins or travel to outer space. Take a relaxed ride or have a mountain biking experience – whatever your preference, there is a virtual tour available with Expresso bikes. On top of that, you can nurture your competitive spirit by competing with other Expresso cyclists across the world, racing against each other and your own best time.
Your family deserves remarkable care that’s close to home
To wrap up
If you’re looking for high-quality care for every member of your family, you don’t need to look far.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults exercise a minimum of 2.5 hours a week, combining vigorous aerobic activities with two sessions of strength training a week.
We’re here for you, right in your neighborhood, with the professional expertise and personal attention to ensure that your healthcare experience is truly remarkable.
If exercise isn’t already part of your daily routine, consider making small changes until it gradually becomes a habit. Start by routinely taking a short walk around the block and use cans of soup or beans (whatever you have in the cupboard) to lift weights. Who knows, you may even build up to running in a fun run (send us a picture if you do!) and to using your own body weight to push and pull yourself up (it’s a great way to strengthen your upper body). And if you’re into technology and want to track your fitness and eating routines, remember – there is always an app for that (more like hundreds)! Whether you’re a couch potato, a weekend warrior or a disciplined athlete who fits exercise into your daily routine, rest assured, the fitness industry has something for you. And though trends and fads will always come and go, the benefits of being healthy and exercising are here to stay.
For more information or to make an appointment, simply call the location that’s closest to home. We accept same-day sick appointments, too.
Novant Health Northern Family Medicine 6161 Lake Brandt Rd, Greensboro 336-643-5800 Chan Badger, MD Teresa Anderson, FNP Sara Carter Spencer, PA-C Carol Womble, FNP Novant Health Northwest Family Medicine 7607-B Highway 68 North, Oak Ridge 336-643-3378 Ashley Michaels, PA-C Chris Foster, FNP 5/7 - RA9706
with a tingling pain, followed one to five days later by a blistering rash on one side of the body, sometimes accompanied by fever, chills and headache. This uncomfortable and unsightly disease is shingles, and it affects one out of three people in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
next five days were very uncomfortable and painful. Then it transitioned to discomfort, and then annoyance, and then it finally went away.” When asked to describe what the pain felt like, Irvin had a hard time finding the words. “You can’t really compare it to anything unless you’ve had shingles because it’s nerve pain,” she says. “Searing is probably
Having had firsthand experience with shingles, Irvin is quick to encourage anyone at risk to get the vaccine. “I am going for my yearly physical in June, and the first thing on my list is to say, ‘Give me that vaccine,’” she says. Most people have no serious reactions to the vaccine; the most common side effects are redness, itching or swelling at the injection site.
Shingles: painful but preventable Vaccination encouraged for common virus Also known as herpes zoster, shingles is a viral infection of the nerve roots. It typically affects adults aged 60 and older who had the chicken pox as children. Other groups at risk include those with suppressed immune systems or those taking immunosuppressive drugs. The chicken pox virus stays dormant in the body and can be reactivated years later for reasons that are still not fully understood. So if you had the chicken pox as a child, the shingles virus is already inside of you. The CDC recommends that adults 60 and over get the one-time shingles vaccine. Photo by James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Local resident Laura Irvin recently recovered from her second case of shingles. “I had it about 12 years ago, and it was a much milder case,” Irvin recalls. This latest bout with the virus was worse, lasting about three weeks. “The first five days were pretty excruciating,” she says. “The
by Kristin Kubly
a good word. Your clothes can’t touch it. At night you don’t want your sheets on you.” Irvin went to the doctor three days after the symptoms began and started taking anti-viral medication, which likely shortened the length of the outbreak. Shingles itself is not contagious, but someone with an active case of shingles in the blister phase can pass the virus on to someone who has not had chicken pox. Once the blisters crust over, the person is not contagious.
“Early treatment has better outcomes,” says Weaver. “Because early treatment decreases the likelihood of postherpetic neuralgia, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of shingles.” An early sign is often an unusual burning on one side of the body. “Shingles generally develops in one localized area of your body, and is one-sided, or unilateral,” Weaver says. “Patients will experience a burning and tingling sensation, like a sunburn, before they see a rash,” continues Weaver. “That’s important to recognize because if they can get treatment early, within three days, then their likelihood of having long-term complications is reduced.”
So how can you reduce your chances of getting shingles? The CDC recommends that adults 60 and over get the one-time shingles vaccine, which is available at pharmacies and doctors’ offices.
Treatment consists of antiviral drugs, which can shorten the length and severity of the outbreak. Swift treatment is especially important for older patients, who tend to have more serious cases.
“The vaccine cuts down your chances of developing shingles by approximately 50 percent,” Weaver says. “And even if you’ve already had shingles, it still is recommended to get the shingles vaccine because you can get shingles again.”
If you do get shingles, get help immediately.
The rash usually lasts two to four weeks, but in some cases, complications can occur. Some patients develop postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN, which is nerve pain that continues in the spot where the rash occurred, sometimes for months or even years. Older adults are more likely to suffer from PHN.
Layne Weaver, family nurse practitioner at LeBauer HealthCare at Oak Ridge, agrees.
Medicare Part D plans typically cover the shingles vaccine. Most private insurance plans cover the vaccine for those 60 and over, but check with your provider to be sure.
“That’s because as we age, our immune system doesn’t fight illness as well,” Weaver explains. Weaver says the three most important facts to remember about shingles are, “Recognize the symptoms, early treatment, and get vaccinated.”
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Pets ~ good for the soul, and for the body Having a pet can not only add enjoyment to your life, but can come with tangible health benefits as well by Annette Joyce From the unconditional love offered by a big cuddly canine to the humorous antics of a couple of kittens tumbling over one another, pets provide hours of enjoyment for their owners. While dogs and cats might be the most common pets, people become attached to all sorts of creatures. A single
goldfish, a hamster or even a snake can become a beloved friend. Most people simply like the feelings a pet evokes and never consider the health benefits that pet ownership brings with it. Studies have repeatedly shown, however, that pets can help lower blood pressure, boost immunity, lessen anxiety and reduce depression. The American Heart Association notes that people who own pets – especially those who own dogs – have a reduced risk for heart disease. In addition, many pets help ease loneliness and promote social interaction. We spoke to some local pet owners to learn how their pets are making a healthy difference in their lives.
Lisa Powers of Summerfield describes her 6-year-old dog, Honey, as her “BFF” (Best Friend Forever). A lovable, honeycolored mixed breed with a “smiley face,” Honey has provided more than just love and companionship for Powers.
A registered nurse, Powers says Honey has helped her deal with a panic disorder, giving her the confidence to go places and try new things. “I’d gotten to the point where it was hard for me to do things and I wasn’t able to drive at night,” says Powers. “Honey is calm, cool and collected and she’s given me confidence. Psychologically, she’s provided a real boost.”
While Honey has enabled Powers to deal more effectively with her panic disorder, Powers is quick to point out that her dog has not been specifically trained to sense panic attacks. Since her case is relatively mild, she doesn’t need to rely on Honey to foresee a pending attack. “As a nurse, I can definitely see the benefits of using pets for therapy, but people need to be aware that pets don’t have the training needed for (most health issues),” says Powers. “If you have a medical problem, you need a dog that’s specially trained.” Powers is referring to the service animals that are used to help the
disabled and to detect certain medical conditions. These animals are carefully screened and receive extensive and specialized training. Numerous studies reveal that pets have a positive impact on reducing stress and anxiety. Powers’ son, Tim, recently finished his sophomore year at Ithaca College in New York and is back home in Summerfield. He talks about how pets were recently used to help college students deal with the pressures of final exams. A student in the college’s School of Music, Tim and his fellow classmates spent the last days of the semester frantically preparing for finals. During that time, a few of the students’ parents brought their dogs on campus and stationed themselves outside the music building for a few days during the week. Tim, along with most of the other music students, took the opportunity to spend time with the dogs to help relieve the stress of pending exams. Dealing with depression is another area where pets have proven to be a valuable resource. Just ask Rita Lewandowski, who was an Airman First Class in the U.S. Air Force for three years before being discharged in 2008. Lewandowski knew at the age of 13 that she wanted to be in the military. Photos by Annette Joyce/NWO
1. Lisa Powers’ dog, Honey, has given her more confidence and provided assistance in dealing with a panic disorder. 2. After being discharged from the military, Rita Lewandowski found that her border collie, Sarge, was the perfect cure for her depression.
She joined the Air Force at 17 and had her entire life mapped out right down to retirement, when she would leave active duty and become an ROTC instructor. Lewandowski’s plans went up in smoke, however, when the following year, at only 18, her heart stopped beating six times in three days and she was diagnosed with Bradycardia, a serious heart condition that requires her to have a pacemaker. Reconciling with the fact that she could no longer be in the military, she considered other employment possibilities but her heart condition was an obstacle for the careers she desired most. “When I came home, I was very depressed,” Lewandowski remembers. “I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was hard to relate to people.” Lewandowski’s friends were all military people, and when she moved to Oak Ridge to be near her parents, she had no friends of her own. Her saving grace was her now 8-yearold border collie, Sarge. “He was nonjudgmental and was there when I needed to talk,” Lewandowski says. “I spent a lot of time training him. That kept my mind off things and kept me from losing my sanity.” An animal lover by nature, Lewandowski also has two horses, three ducks and a guinea pig to keep her spirits up. She’s also currently going to school, working at the Veterinary Hospital of Oak Ridge and raising her 4-year-old daughter as a single mom. Photo by Annette Joyce/NWO
3. Alex Spain, a certified occupational therapy assistant, has taken her pug, Frank, to visit patients in nursing homes and retirement centers. Photo courtesy of Camp Carefree
4. Campers at Camp Carefree can cuddle various animals such as these baby goats.
After experiencing the positive effects of how a pet can transform a life, Lewandowski has decided to use her training skills to help others, especially military people. Her goal is to train service animals to help veterans overcome issues such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “I want to work for the military so much and this is one way I can stay involved,” she says. “My ultimate goal is to have this huge farm with therapy horses and dogs.” Pets also provide a way to deal with loneliness and sadness. No one knows this better than Alex Spain, a certified occupational therapy assistant. In her position, Spain has spent a lot of time working with geriatric patients in retirement centers and nursing homes. She often took her pug, Frank, along to entertain and cheer up the people she worked with. “Frank is really quiet and the patients enjoyed petting him,” she says. “Having him around often brought back memories for many of the people and just made them happy.” Nicki Ellis, the activity assistant at Countryside Village Retirement Community in Stokesdale, says that animals are used regularly as part of their activities. “Our administrator brings his dog in every day and we take (the dog) around to visit our patients,” she says. “Our patients love the animals and they get a lot of joy out of the visits.” She also mentions that they’ve had visits from a miniature horse and a few therapy dogs, as well. In addition, there’s a friendly feline that lives on-site.
4 The petting zoo at Stokesdale’s Camp Carefree has been a longtime favorite for the campers who have spent summers at this camp for chronically ill and disabled children. Camp founder Anne Jones says she learned early on about the health benefits of having pets. “There’s just something about the communication between pets and children,” says Jones. “These animals pro-
vide a calming effect and the children love being with them.” Jones says many of the campers come from the city and have never even seen some of the animals that reside at the camp. The small zoo includes llamas, alpacas, goats, donkeys, horses and sheep. She says they always try to have baby goats during the summer so the kids can cuddle and pet them. While the studies constantly tout pet ownership as a very healthy endeavor, not all pets are suited for all lifestyles. In choosing a pet, consider your schedule, how much extra time you have, the type of animal you like and the care you can actually afford. Do your research before you bring home any animal. Taking care of another creature shouldn’t add more stress to your life. Above everything, your pet should provide you with love and enjoyment. The health benefits are just an added bonus.
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Summertime health facts and myths Get the scoop on poisonous plants, sunburn and bug bites by Kristin Kubly Before you head outside to enjoy the summer days, be sure you know how to avoid typical summertime hazards. Dr. Chan Badger, physician at Novant Health Northern Family Medicine in Summerfield and Northwest Family Medicine in Oak Ridge, shares some advice about several summer maladies. We have added some myths and facts about these hazards to help you enjoy the outdoors safely this summer.
Badger sees many patients with poison ivy or poison oak rashes, and he cautions people about what they put on the rash.
“You would be surprised at all the stuff I have seen put on poison ivy,” he says. “People put Clorox on it to calm it down. I’ve seen people put gasoline or alcohol on it to dry it out.” These “treatments” only irritate the skin further, he says. His advice is to see a doctor if you are highly allergic to poison ivy. “The best treatment is usually steroids, either oral, injectable or topical,” he says. Other misconceptions abound about poisonous plants.
Myth: Poison oak causes a more
serious rash than poison ivy. Fact: Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac all have a sticky oil called urushiol, which causes a similar allergic reaction on your skin.
Myth: Poison ivy cannot cause a rash after the leaves fall.
Fact: All parts of the plant contain urushiol, even the leafless vine and roots.
Myth: It is possible to get poison ivy
from the air near the plant. Fact: You can’t get infected just by being near the plant; the rash comes from touching the oil. However, the oil can be transferred to you from clothing, work gloves, pet fur and yard implements – anything that comes in contact with the plant. Therefore, it’s important to wash clothes, tools and even pets if they may have been in contact with any poisonous plants. It is also possible to get a reaction from breathing in the smoke of burning poison ivy, which releases the oil into the air – a good reason never to burn it!
Myth: Poison ivy is contagious. Fact: While the rash can’t be spread from person to person, you can get it if you touch the urushiol oil on someone else’s clothes or skin.
Myth: “Leaves of three, let them be.” Fact: This adage is true for poison ivy,
but not poison oak or poison sumac. Poison oak has three to five leaves per cluster, and poison sumac can have seven to 13 leaves on a branch.
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Myth: Poison ivy only grows in trails
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Myth: Eating poison ivy will make you immune. Fact: This is a dangerous old wives’ tale with no factual basis. Eating poison ivy can cause serious allergic reactions.
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or deep in the woods. Fact: Poison ivy can grow nearly anywhere, including yards and gardens.
Did you know? • While North Carolina is one of the few states that has all three poisonous plants – poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac – poison sumac is rarely found in the Piedmont region.
Photo courtesy of CDC/Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr.
Poison ivy causes a red, itchy rash. • The sooner and more thoroughly you wash the infected area, the less likely you are to get a rash. If you can wash within 10 minutes or so, you may avoid a rash altogether. • Using a barrier cream or lotion that contains bentoquatam, such as IvyBlock, can keep the oil from touching your skin and prevent a reaction. • WebMD suggests using simple home treatments such as soaking the rash in cool water or using calamine lotion to ease the itching. You should not use topical antihistamine creams, anesthetic creams containing benzocaine, or antibiotic creams. These ointments can make the rash worse.
Badger says blistering sunburns can be very serious. “If you get blisters, you need to seek medical care,” he says. Doctors can prescribe Silvadene cream, which is used for burns. He also says, “Taking anti-inflammatories like Motrin actually will help a sunburn also because it cuts down on inflammation, and sunburn is just another form of inflammation.” He also recommends antihistamines like Benadryl to help with itching. The best way to avoid damage is to not get burned in the first place, however. Knowing the myths and facts of sunscreens can help protect you from damaging rays.
Myth: Getting a “base tan” can protect you from sun damage.
Photo courtesy of CDC/Robert S. Craig
Mosquitos can carry disease and make outdoor activity miserable.
Fact: Any sun exposure can damage
your skin. The brown skin from a tan is actually a result of your skin releasing melanin, or pigment, to try to protect the cells from more damage. And past tanning damage actually makes you more vulnerable to other effects of sun damage, i.e., skin cancer or wrinkles.
Myth: Clothing or a beach umbrella
will protect you from the sun. Fact: Sand reflects UV light, so even under an umbrella you still need sunscreen. Myth: Sun can’t get through windows. Fact: While glass typically filters out UVB rays, it cannot filter out UVA rays, which tend to penetrate deeper. So put on sunscreen when riding in the car!
Myth: You don’t need sunscreen if
it’s cloudy or cool outside. Fact: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, so people often get serious sunburns on overcast days.
Myth: Water-resistant sunscreens don’t need to be reapplied after swimming. Fact: All sunscreens, even waterresistant ones, need to be reapplied every two hours and any time after swimming and toweling off.
Myth: Not spending time in the sun
may cause vitamin D deficiency. Fact: Most light-skinned people need
Photo courtesy of CDC/Dr. Christopher Paddock
A common dog tick, typically found in our area. only about five minutes in the sun to produce the vitamin D they need. The SCF says further UV exposure can actually break down vitamin D compounds.
Myth: People of color don’t get skin
cancer. Fact: While people of color are less likely to get skin cancer than Caucasians, they are not immune. In fact, a very dangerous form of skin cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma is actually more common among darkskinned people.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease,” he says. “The truth is it’s very rare. Everybody thinks if they get a little red ring around where the tick inserted itself, then that means that there is an infection. Typically it’s just a local reaction to the tick being implanted there.” Badger says to seek medical care for an insect bite if you have flu-like symptoms. “Also, if you have any signs of cellulitis, like streaking up the leg, or any kind of tissue necrosis, the infection is potentially getting into the lymphatic system and into the bloodstream.” Getting the facts about mosquitoes, ticks and bees can keep you safe this summer.
Myth: There’s not much you can do
about West Nile virus. Fact: West Nile virus is typically transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. While there are no medications or vaccines for WNV, it can be prevented by wearing repellent containing DEET or covering up during high mosquito activity.
Myth: Ultrasonic devices and bug
zappers will repel mosquitoes. Fact: The Department of Entomology at Purdue says ultrasonic gadgets do not work. Bug zappers will kill mosquitoes, but they also kill many beneficial insects. The best control is to avoid standing water, where mosquitoes breed, around your house.
Myth: All ticks carry diseases. Fact: Not all ticks carry diseases, and generally ticks have to be attached for about 24 hours to transmit any diseases. That’s why it is important to check yourself carefully after coming inside. Deer ticks are most likely to carry diseases, but only about one in 1,000 American dog ticks carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Myth: Ticks die in the winter. Fact: Temperatures have to drop
below ten degrees for a long time before ticks start dying off, an unlikely scenario in North Carolina.
Did you know? • SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor – the amount of time the sunscreen will protect you from burning. So if you normally start to burn in about 20 minutes, a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will protect you 15 times longer, about five hours. • Most people don’t use enough sunscreen to get the full advertised SPF protection. You should apply one ounce, about a shot glass full; most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount.
Dr. Janet Dees Dr. Preston Lentz Dr. Jennifer Summer Dr. Kate Vapne Rachel Mills, PNP Donna Brandon, PA-C Join us on Facebook
Mosquito, tick bites
Accepting New Patients
2835 Horse Pen Creen Road, Suite 101 Greensboro
Badger sees more patients coming in with insect bites, especially tick bites, than any other summer malady. “People automatically think if they have been bitten by a tick that they have
(336) 605-0190 www.northwestpeds.com Summer 2014
continued from page 15
Greg Ebel, Jenna Daniels, Kirk Daniels, Chris Johnson and Ian Barnes participated in a 5k Mud Run this spring. Johnson says he still doesn’t love running, but “hates” it less than he did when he took it up 65 pounds ago.
continued from page 14 myself, but she said ‘No, we will do this together.’” Daniels, who had a baby in 2012, agreed to start working out with him at the fire station. “Having a partner willing to work with you and push you” has made all the difference, Johnson says. “There are times I want to give up and Jenna pushes me – and vice versa.” For example, Johnson says even though he “hates running,” he’s worked up to running some 5Ks, which was unthinkable a little more than a year ago. Though he hasn’t yet developed a love for running, he “hates running less” and says it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it used to. Eating at the right times of day and reducing portion sizes are the other key lifestyle changes Johnson has made. As to the health benefits of those changes, Johnson can attest to them and so can his wife, Melanie. “My wife will tell you, I can walk nonstop. She’s commented several times, ‘You know, there was a time we couldn’t have done this. Now, everywhere we go, we can walk.’”
Recently, Johnson’s doctor told him he had gone from being an “uncontrolled diabetic to a controlled diabetic.” His cholesterol and blood pressure are much lower, and he’s taking less medication. For Johnson, it isn’t just the big changes, but also the little changes that have made a big difference. Like cutting out the sweet tea and Mountain Dews he consumed daily. “I was drinking two or three 20-ounce sodas a day and never paid attention to them,” he says.
veggie burger now, it’s just that we’re not the overfull that we were when we were eating two.” Though Tony may still have her favorite Starbucks’ Frappuccino on occasion, and she and Steven may still have a bagel and topping at Panera’s, they’re much more aware of the caloric choices they’re making, and at the end of the day, their goal is to consume no more calories than they burned. Besides portion control and monitoring calories, the couple stopped saut��ing their food in oil, and instead now use vegetable stock or a low-calorie sauce. For Tony’s 30th birthday gift to herself, she succeeded in losing 40 pounds, and in a relatively short time period. However, the eating program she followed was very restrictive, and as soon as she veered off of it, she gained all of those pounds back, plus a few more. “I knew I had lost all this weight before, but I had done it in a stupid way,” Tony says. This time, she is taking a sensible approach to weight loss and is making choices that she can live with for a lifetime. “It’s a marathon and not a sprint,” she affirms. Besides common sense, portion control and monitoring calories, Tony and Steven rely on one other tool, which is a
Over the last 14 months, Johnson, who turned 40 in February, has lost 65 pounds. “In the beginning, my goal wasn’t about losing weight, but after I started losing, I decided to see how far I could take it,” he says, adding, “Without encouragement from Jenna and my wife, I don’t think I would be where I am. I tried to do things myself, but it didn’t work so well.” Losing another 40 pounds and someday running a Disney half-marathon are now goals Johnson sees as attainable – just as his goal of watching Kaylee grow up, and after retiring, to someday travel the country with Melanie.
BEFORE Steven Lantz, before and after losing 45 pounds
weight loss app, “Lose It.” The app seeks to help people “make the small, manageable changes that lead to big results.” Okay, reducing portion sizes and counting calories – is that it? Not quite. About six months ago, both Tony and Steven began exercising. Tony, who describes herself as “lazy,” now regularly does toning and strengthening at Pure Barre in Greensboro, and Steven does strength training with kettlebells and barbells. Tony has set her ideal weight goal at 130 pounds, and is well on her way to reaching it. After tipping the scales at 210 pounds a year ago, Steven is within five pounds of achieving his ideal weight of 160 pounds. But the couple says it’s not just about looking better, or about “thinness.” “Being skinny is not a good motivation to lose weight,” Steven confirms. “Lose weight to become more comfortable, to strengthen your body and place less stress on your lower back.” As to the health benefits of weight loss, for starters, they both say the other snores much less. Steven’s blood work a few months ago confirmed a significant drop in his cholesterol. And for Tony, the symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome that used to wake her up at night have vanished.
“There is nothing better than losing that 1 ½ pounds consistently versus losing 30 pounds quickly,” says SteAFTER ven. “Eating small amounts over a long period of time, and replacing bad things with good things has worked for us … but everything we’ve ever read or seen, it works for anyone, because it’s a simple concept – lessen the amount of calories and eat better food. You’ll remain full and you’ll lose weight.”
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