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Health & Medical

DIRECTORY Northern Illinois | 2019

Daily steps to keep your heart healthy





DR. AMANDA FRIEDRICHS With more than 10 years of experience, Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Friedrichs specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the many forms of skin cancer, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. She also offers Mohs surgery, giving patients a local option to have facial and more aggressive skin cancers treated. Along with treating medical conditions, she also performs an extensive array of cosmetic procedures to provide patients with a refreshed appearance and radiant glow.

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Minimize the appearance and discomfort of rosacea Skin is the largest organ in the human body. As a result, when skin is compromised, the results can be painful and noticeable. Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects a large number of people. The American Academy of Dermatology says rosacea begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. Rosacea may first appear on the nose and cheeks or the forehead and chin before spreading to other areas like the ears, chest and back. If simple blushing were the only symptom, people may be content to let rosacea go unaddressed. However, the AADA says rosacea has four subtypes that can cause more pronounced symptoms: • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: This causes redness, flushing and visible blood vessels. • Papulopustular rosacea: Redness, swelling and acne-like breakouts are hall-

marks of this type of rosacea. • Phymatous rosacea: When this occurs, skin thickens and has a bumpy texture. • Ocular rosacea: Ocular rosacea affects the eyes, which can become red and irritated. Eyelids may swell, and a person may have what looks like a sty. Treatments for rosacea vary depending on the type a patient has and its severity. The Mayo Clinic says treatment often involves a combination of skin care strategies and prescription medications. For example, the drug Brimonidine may be prescribed to constrict blood vessels and reduce redness. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and reduce bumps and pustules. Patients also are advised to take some self-care steps to reduce flare-ups. These include some easy techniques: • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, as UV rays can exacerbate flare-

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ups. • Use gentle products on the skin and avoid rubbing or touching the face too much. • Keep a log of what triggers redness and avoid those triggers. Specific foods, alcohol and certain cosmetics and other skin products may be triggers. • Use makeup to reduce the signs of redness. Green-tinted foundations and powders can offset red undertones. • Some people have found alternative treatments like gentle facial massage can reduce swelling and inflammation. Dermatologists can work with patients to develop treatment plans for their specific symptoms. Although rosacea cannot be cured, symptoms can be managed effectively.

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Dedicated to Alzheimers & Dementia Care Shaw Media • Summer Health & Medical Directory 2019 3

Screen time tied to health issues

(MS) Do you feel panicked if you leave home without mobile phone in hand? Do you find it difficult to sit in the house without browsing the internet on your devices? Are your children spending much of their classroom hours on tablets? Screen time has taken over most people’s daily lives, but at what cost? A 2014 report from Nielsen found that adults log a total of 11 hours of screen time per day. Delaney Ruston, a physician and creator of the documentary “Screenagers,” which explores young people’s use of digital devices, discovered kids spend an average of 6.5 to eight hours per day looking at screens. All of this time glued to digital devices has profound effects on physical and mental health, and many experts are advising people to cut back on the time they spend on their devices. Brain damage Multiple studies indicate that spending considerable time on screens can produce atrophy (shrinkage or loss of tissue volume) in gray matter areas of the brain, according to reports in Psycholo-

gy Today. These are regions of the brain where processing occurs. One of the most affected areas includes the frontal lobe, which governs executive functions like planning, prioritizing, organizing, and impulse control. Another vulnerable area is the insula, which is tied to a person’s capacity to develop empathy and compassion for others. Research also shows that white matter can be compromised, which translates into loss of communication between cognitive and emotional centers within the brain. Vision problems Staring into screens for extended periods of time can damage areas of the eyes and result in computer vision syndrome, which is characterized by trained eyes, blurred vision and headaches. The Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study, conducted by researchers and clinicians from the USC Eye Institute at Keck Medicine in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, has found that exaggerated screen time and insufficient sunlight exposure has more than doubled incidences of myopia (nearsightedness)

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among American children in recent years. Sleep disturbances University of Gothenburg psychologist Sara Thomée, a lead researcher into the effects of screen time on the body, says the blue light from digital devices suppresses the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, keeping people from having restful sleeps. Overstimulation Screen time can cause hyperarousal, which may be more notable in children than adults, according to research published in Psychology Today. Regular amounts of screen time can cause the brain to be in a state of chronic stress, which can short circuit the frontal lobe. This may lead to addictive behaviors, rage, inability to recover from minor frustrations, and hyperactivity. Screen time is profound and may be hurting minds and bodies. Many people have set goals to reduce the time they spend on electronics to improve their personal health.

Empower your diet:

5 super healthy super fruits to try now (BPT) - Nutritionists these days are urging people to eat more “super fruits,” the healthy and delicious fruit varieties believed to provide your body extra doses of important nutrients. While so-called super fruits aren’t necessarily supercharged with more vitamins and minerals than other fruits, they definitely pack a powerful nutritional punch. You can find a wide spectrum of super fruits to choose from in your Meijer produce department. Here’s a rundown of some fun and tasty options you may want to add to your diet. Acai berries: Pronounced ah-sigh-EE, these low-sugar grape-like fruits remind some people of chocolate. Research suggests eating them can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, lower cholesterol levels, help heal exercise-induced muscle injuries and reduce blood sugar in overweight people. They’re especially high in the antioxidant anthocyanin that’s linked to brain health and cognitive function; they’re rich in iron, calcium, fiber and vitamin A and they contain fatty acids that further skin elasticity and moisture retention. Drink acai juice or add the berries to smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, fruit bowls or homemade granola bars.

Blueberries: Studies show these juicy nuggets of antioxidant goodness can boost heart, bone and skin health; aid in blood pressure, diabetes management and cancer prevention and increase energy. One cup alone offers 24 percent of your daily allowance of vitamin C, and the sweet little treats are also high in iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K. Enjoy them straight from the carton or add them to waffles, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, muffins or sweet breads. Pomegranates: Split open the tough red rind of these amazing antioxidant fruits (looking for a rind that’s heavy and firm) and scoop out the delectable seeds that can range from slightly to very sour. Savor them straight from the fruit, freeze them for later or add them to juices, salads, yogurt, oatmeal or desserts. Consumption can help prevent or treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oxidative stress, hyperglycemia and inflammation, reports the National Institutes of Health. Jackfruit: Don’t be fazed by the spiky green or yellow rind that makes this look more like a vegetable. The

yummy inside is reminiscent of apples, pineapples, mangoes and bananas combined, and is subtle enough to be used in sweet or savory dishes. Jackfruit is packed with carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; studies show it can reduce the inflammation associated with obesity and diabetes. Vegetarians and vegans shred and season the fruit as a substitute for meat in dishes like tacos, curries, stews and soups; others enjoy it sliced into yogurt or oatmeal. The roasted or boiled seeds can be made into hummus or seasoned and eaten as snacks. Dragon fruit: Low in calories but rich in valuable ingredients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium, betalains, carotenoids and fiber, this pear-shaped fruit may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis. Studies show its prebiotic qualities promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Seek a bright red rind that’s slightly soft but not mushy, scoop out the sweet seed-speckled pulp and snack on it raw or add it to salads, smoothies or yogurt. Want to look further? Other fruits frequently categorized as super fruits include cranberries, tart cherries, kiwifruits, mangoes, figs, papayas, goji, mangosteens, pitaya and avocados. Learn more about the healthy and delicious options you can add to your diet at

Shaw Media • Summer Health & Medical Directory 2019 5

Daily steps to keep your heart healthy

(MS) Heart disease is a formidable foe. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease accounts for nearly 25 percent of all deaths in the United States each year. Issues relating to the heart affect both men and women, and an estimated 15 million adults in the U.S. have coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease. And heart disease is not exclusive to the United States, as the Heart Research Institute says that every seven minutes in Canada someone dies from heart disease or stroke. Such statistics are disconcerting, but they can serve as a wake-up call that compels people to prioritize heart health. Fortunately, heart disease is often preventable and people can employ various strategies to reduce their risk. Stop smoking right now One of the best things to do to protect

the heart is to stop smoking. The Heart Foundation indicates that smoking reduces oxygen in the blood and damages blood vessel walls. It also contributes to atherosclerosis, or a narrowing and clogging of the arteries. Eat healthy fats When eating, choose polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats and avoid trans fats as much as possible. Trans fats increase one’s risk of developing heart disease by clogging arteries and raising LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Read food labels before buying anything at the store. Keep your mouth clean Studies show that bacteria in the mouth involved in the development of gum disease can travel to the bloodstream and cause an elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for blood vessel inflammation. Brush and floss twice daily, and be sure to schedule routine dental cleanings.

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Get adequate shut-eye Ensuring adequate sleep can improve heart health. One study found that young and middle-age adults who regularly slept seven hours a night had less calcium in their arteries (a sign of early heart disease) compared to those who slept five hours or less or those who slept nine hours or more. Adopt healthy eating habits Changes to diet, including eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, can help you lose and maintain a healthy weight, improve cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure — leading to a healthier heart. Embrace physical activity Regular moderate exercise is great for the heart. It can occur at the gym, playing with the kids or even taking the stairs at work. A healthy heart begins with daily habits that promote long-term heart health.

Smoking doesn’t help your depression. Quitting can. Rebecca, age 57, Florida

For free help, call

1-866-QUIT-YES. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Shaw Media • Summer Health & Medical Directory 2019 7

BETTER CANCER CARE WITHIN REACH. Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital Cancer Center knows that nothing shakes up your world more than a cancer diagnosis. That’s why we offer the highest level of care close to home, while providing access to additional specialists and leading-edge treatments across the Northwestern Medicine health system. Call 815.756.5255 to schedule an appointment, or learn more at

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