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Focus On Health A SUPPLEMENT TO TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWSPAPERS JUNE 19, 2014

Men’s Health

plus: • Sun Safety • Nutrition • Supplements • Relaxation and more


PAGE S2 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • JUNE 19, 2014

MAMMOGRAPHY goes

3D

New studies show that 3D Mammography can increase the detection of the most harmful forms of cancer by 40%, while decreasing the number of unnecessary callbacks by up to 40%.

SEE MORE with

3T

MRI

We offer 3T Wide-bore MRI at every office, which provides up to 10 times the resolution and speed of many scanners still in use today. 3T MRI enables us to visualize complex organs, like the prostate, with unprecedented detail.

ZWANGER-PESIRI

516 6 31

Z-W-A-N-G-E-R

www.zprad.com

3T & 1.5T Wide-bore MRI • 3D Mammography (Tomosynthesis) • Low-dose CT • Digital X-ray PET/CT • Nuclear Medicine • Biopsy • DEXA Bone Density • Fluoroscopy • Ultrasound Stony Brook•E. Setauket•Smithtown•Patchogue•Medford•W. Islip•Lindenhurst•Massapequa•Merrick•Elmont•Hicksville•Plainview 130987


JUNE 19, 2014 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • PAGE S3

Focus on Health

What’s inside…

TIMES BEacon rEcord nEWSPaPErS PUBLISHER Leah S. Dunaief GENERAL MANAGER Johness Kuisel EXECUTIVE EDITOR Rachel Shapiro EDITOR Heidi Sutton ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Kathryn Mandracchia

ART/PRODUCTION DIRECTOR David R. Leaman ART AND PRODUCTION Janet Fortuna Beth Heller Mason Wendy Mercier INTERNET STRATEGY DIRECTOR Rob Alfano

BUSINESS MANAGER Sandi Gross BUSINESS OFFICE Meg Malangone CIRCULATION MANAGER Courtney Biondo SUBSCRIPTION MANAGER Terri Caruso

Times Beacon record newspapers are published every Thursday. Address: PO Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733. Telephone: 751–7744. Email address: desk@tbrnewspapers.com; fax: 751–4165; website: northshoreoflongisland.com. Entire contents copyright 2014.

4 . . . . . . . . . . New treatment for varicose veins 5 . . . . . . . . . . . Natural ways to reduce acid reflux 6 . . . . . . . . . . . How to keep your family safe in the sun 7 . . . . . . . . . . . Cosmetic surgery gaining popularity in men 9 . . . . . . . . . . . Make a donation to good health 10 . . . . . . . . . Prostate cancer research update 11 . . . . . . . . . Health benefits of dark chocolate 12 . . . . . . . . . . Eating clean: a simpler approach to nutrition 13 . . . . . . . . . Identifying narcolepsy 14 . . . . . . . . . Foods to supplement men’s workouts 16 . . . . . . . . . Pediatric oral healthcare update 17 . . . . . . . . . How to save on prescription drug costs 18 . . . . . . . . . Five important nutritional supplements 19 . . . . . . . . . Relaxation techniques to calm your nerves

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PAGE S4 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • JUNE 19, 2014

Jefferson Obstetrics and Gynecology • Obstetrics

l Women’s a n o i s C fes

• Gynecology

are

Pro

Focus on Health

• Menopause • Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery • 3-D Ultrasound • Natural Hormone Replacement

with a personal touch

Abigail Rockett W.H.N.P.-C

Wendy Farrar R.N. N.P.C., M.S.

Dreux R. Patton M.D.

Dreux R. Patton M.D. • Theodore L. Goldberg M.D.

Dr. Antonios P. Gasparis

Board Certified OB-GYN’s

12 Medical Drive • Suite A

225 Montauk Hwy • Suite 112

(Off Rte 347, just east of Rte 112)

(In Monarch Shopping Center)

631.331.4400

New treatment for varicose veins

MORICHES

V

631.878.5322

Hospital affiliations with J.T. Mather, St. Charles & Stony Brook DAY AND EVENING HOURS AVAILABLE

Prenatal Nutrit io n Open to All Patie Class nts

We participate with most insurance plans, including: Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Emblem Health, HIP, Oxford, NYS Empire Plan, Medicare, United Health Care and others!

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PORT JEFFERSON STATION

Ser ving the Communit y 29 Years

M a ssage & Ph ysica l T he r a Py ce n T e r

Professional Treatments for Men and Women a unique g r a d u aT i o n gifT $ 9 9 00

medical massage massage therapy reflexology deep tissue hot stone skin care microdermabrasion

R e l a x i ng m a ssage skin caRe pa R a f f i n h a n d t R e at m e n t

Photo from SBU

aricose veins affect more than 30 million adults in the U.S. aged between 18 and 70, with women twice as likely as men to develop the condition. These veins bulge and rise above the skin’s surface. They are often unattractive, uncomfortable and could cause further medical problems. Now, specialists at The Stony Brook Vein Center at Stony Brook Medicine have a new nonsurgical approach to rid patients of their problem veins. Varithena, a polidocanol injectable foam, is the first and only FDA-approved foam for the treatment of incompetent veins and visible varicosities of the great saphenous vein, GSV system. Varithena also improves the symptoms and the appearance of these troublesome veins. “Varithena sets a new standard for the treatment of both the symptoms and the appearance of varicose veins,” says Antonios P. Gasparis, M.D., professor of surgery, Vascular Surgery Division, Stony Brook University School of Medicine and director of The Stony Brook Vein Center at Stony Brook Medicine. “It provides comprehensive therapy for

the widest range of varicose veins — incompetent GSV, accessory saphenous veins, and visible varicosities of the GSV system both above and below the knee.” Treatment with Varithena is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure that only requires an ultrasound machine and standard medical supplies. Dr. Gasparis uses a small needle to inject the foam straight into the vein. The foam displaces blood from the vein to be treated and then causes the vein and the inner lining of the vein to close. This procedure requires no anesthesia or sedation. Varithena is even less invasive than current therapies which require thermal energy to injure the vein wall. “Patients undergoing treatment with Varithena can return to normal activities and work following the procedure,” said Gasparis. Post-treatment, the patient will be required to wear compression stockings for two weeks. Patients are encouraged to walk around the same day with minimal restrictions. For more information, visit stonybrookmedicine.edu.

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JUNE 19, 2014 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • PAGE S5

Focus on Health

Natural ways to alleviate acid reflux combat acid problems. Stick to lean poultry that is baked, broiled or grilled. Remove the fatty skin, as it may cause digestive issues. Use natural digestion enhancers. Remember those homespun remedies Mom used to whip up when you had an upset stomach? They can be equally effective for acid reflux. Ginger root has long been used to calm the stomach. Ginger can be made into tea or added to recipes and smoothies. Fennel, a licorice-flavored vegetable, may improve stomach function. Some people like to eat it after a meal to aid digestion. Parsley has been used as a medicinal herb to settle the stomach for thousands of years. Parsley can add flavor to meals and serve as an attractive garnish. Stock up on apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has uses beyond flavoring in favorite recipes. It also can soothe acid reflux symptoms. It’s believed the vinegar plays a role in maintaining healthy bacteria in the stomach, and that this bacteria eases digestion. Try mixing one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into four ounces of water to drink before, during or after a meal. Apple cider vinegar also can be spread on salad. Practice portion control at mealtime. Overindulging at mealtime can cause intestinal discomfort, which may

Lovelier Legs Fellow American College of Surgeons

Specializing in:

We would like to congratulate Dr. Richard Miller on his retirement and thank him for 38 years of service to the Three Village community

EXPERT SPIDER VEIN TREATMENT

Patients are only seen by a physician who is board-certified in Dermatology by the American Board of Dermatology

Plus ELVeS™ (Endo Laser Vein System) The latest procedure

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405 East Main Street • 474–1414 Visit Our Website at www.mdvein.com

acid to maintain digestion. Chewing gum when water is not available can stimulate saliva production. Saliva is naturally alkaline and can counteract the overproduction of acid.

Peter A. Klein, MD, FAAD Adam J. Korzenko, MD, FAAD David I. Silverstein, MD, FAAD

We provide office-based treatment for Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

AS SEEN ON CABLE TV

Stock photo

Before reaching for medication, consider a few lifestyle changes to alleviate acid reflux.

Port JEffErSoN DErMAtologY

Jerry G. Ninia, MD, RVT, FACPh

• Injection-Compression Sclerotherapy • Foam Sclerotherapy • Ultrasound - Guided Sclerotherapy • Ambulatory Phlebectomy • Endolaser Vein Therapy • Cutaneous (Skin) Laser Therapy

contribute to acid reflux. Opt for more frequent and smaller meals instead of larger infrequent ones. Also, remain upright for two to three hours after eating to promote good digestion. Elevate your head. If acid reflux symptoms tend to strike at night or while you are lying down, elevating your head in bed can help. Use pillows to prop yourself up or find another way to keep your head elevated until symptoms subside. Shed some pounds. Many doctors recommend weight loss to alleviate acid reflux. Losing 10 to 15 pounds can decrease pressure on the stomach and the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the muscle at the band of the stomach and esophagus. Quit tobacco products. Smokers have a higher incidence of GERD than nonsmokers, so quitting smoking may help alleviate acid reflux symptoms. Even if stopping smoking has minimal effect on your acid reflux, it will still improve your overall health. Drink more water between meals. Water hydrates the body and flushes out toxins that can build up in the digestive tract. Water also may help dilute stomach acid. However, do not drink tons of water with a meal, as this may stimulate the stomach to produce more

American College of Phlebology

We are Welcoming New Patients at our Port Jefferson Station and Patchogue Locations 631.928.7922 6 Medical Drive Suite D Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776

631.475.8249 285 Sills road Bldg 8, Suite D Patchogue, NY 11772

www.portjeffersondermatology.com

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A

cid reflux is one of the more common, not to mention painful, side effects of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. There is no cure for acid reflux, but there are ways to manage the condition and prevent permanent damage to the esophagus. Many people rely on proton-pump inhibitors, or PPIs, to keep acid reflux at bay. PPIs are among the more commonly prescribed medications for acid reflux, and while they may be beneficial for short-term treatment of acid reflux, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently cautioned against prolonged use of PPIs. Many acidstopping medications can inhibit nutrient absorption, reduce resistance to infection and may cause vitamin deficiencies. They also have been shown to increase the risk of bone fractures and dementia. Rather than taking medication, some people might be able to make certain lifestyle changes to relieve acid reflux. Pay attention to the foods you eat. Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits and even raisins, can increase the amount of acid in the stomach. Choose foods that are less likely to aggravate symptoms and can alleviate pain and flare-ups. Foods that will absorb acid are safe bets. For example, oatmeal is a filling, hearty food that can


PAGE S6 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • JUNE 19, 2014

Focus on Health

Congratulations to Dr. Howard Brand named to Castle Connolly’s Guide to Best Doctors NY Metro Area in Endocrinology 1992–2014 And Congrats on your oral presentation at the International Congress of Endocrinology June 2014

Sound Endocrinology

2500 Nesconset Hwy Bldg 3C Stony Brook, NY 11790 Dr. Howard Brand Dr. Theofanis Mitsinikos Board Certified in Endocrinology Board Certified in Endocrinology & Clinical Lipidology Dr. Nicoleta Ionica Dr. Monika Datt Board Certified in Endocrinology Board Certified in Endocrinology LouAnn Holden, NP, CDE (certified diabetes educator)

We Specialize in:

• Gestational Diabetes • Ultrasound Guided Fine Needle Aspiration of Thyroid Nodules • Continuous Glucose Monitoring • Insulin Pump Training • Thyrogen testing for Thyroid Ca • Metabolic Bone Disease • Boniva and Prolia Injections • Endocrine Clearance for Bariatric Surgery Emergency appointments available within 24 hours

For A CoNvENIENt APPoINtMENt

(631)751–2400

Stock photo

We accept new patients and participate in most insurance plans.

Don’t you deserve the best?

Don’t get burned this summer:

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Do You Have Psoriasis? Volunteer For a Study! Looking for people ages 18 years and older to participate in a clinical research study testing an investigational medication. This study is being conducted at DermResearchCenter of New York, located in Stony Brook, New York.

Who:

People ages 18 and older with stable plaque psoriasis

What:

An investigational topical medication or placebo (inactive substance) for 28 days 6 clinic visits over the course of 12 weeks All participants seen by a board certified doctor No cost for study related drugs and procedures Qualified participants will be compensated for time and travel

Where:

DermResearchCenter of New York Stony Brook Medical Park 2500 Route 347, Building 22A Stony Brook, NY 11790

TO SUBSCRIBE Please call 631.751.7744 or Subscribe on line at northshoreoflongisland.com

©129504

Elyse Rafal, M.D.

For more information, Please Call 631-689-1900

how to keep your family safe in the sun

A

fter the long, cold, snowy winter, everyone is looking forward to a day at the beach, an afternoon by the pool or just catching a few rays in the backyard. Maribeth Chitkara, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and pediatric hospitalist, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, is one of Long Island’s most committed advocates for summer safety and skin cancer prevention. She says there is a right way and a wrong way to enjoy the summer, and is now sharing all the steps to keep families safe. “There are three things everyone needs to know about sun safety,” said Dr. Chitkara, “Number one is, there is no safe level of sun exposure.” Dr. Chitkara reminds, if you are outside, you need sunscreen, period. “The recent claims that it is important to spend short periods in the sun unprotected in order to get vitamin D are medically unfounded,” said Dr. Chitkara, “because we cannot separate out the benefits of sun exposure from the damage it can cause. I recommend getting your vitamin D from foods and supplements, not the sun.” Most people know that it is important to use a sun protection factor of 30 or higher, but what they may not realize is that they also need a sunscreen that protects against ultra-violet rays as well as UVB. “When choosing sunscreen, look for a broad spectrum product that protects against both,” said Dr. Chitkara. Recent studies suggest that the organic compound oxybenzone may

have some harmful long-term effects. “We don’t know definitively, but check the ingredient list on the back of your sunscreen bottle and use an alternative if possible.” Other ingredients to look for are zinc and titanium dioxide. Each offers superior protection because they actually form a physical barrier to harmful rays. Her second sun safety tip is to know how to be appropriately protected. She says you need to apply a minimum of one ounce of sunscreen every several hours. “This is much more than most people typically use,” said Dr. Chitkara. “I recommend putting on a full layer of sunscreen 20 minutes before you leave the house, then a second layer once you get to the beach or the pool. Think of it like painting a wall. You need a base coat to start, then another coat for full and even coverage, then spot touch-ups to finish off.” And the third? She says to dress your children in swim shirts, so as to protect your child’s upper arms, shoulders, back and chest without having to continuously apply sunscreen. “These types of shirts typically offer a universal protection factor of 50 or higher, and are particularly effective if your child is in and out of the water all day.” “Stony Brook is deeply committed to awareness, prevention and screening of skin cancers,” said Dr. Chitkara, adding that Stony Brook has collaborated with local and national organizations dedicated to the promotion of sun-safe practices and the prevention of skin cancer.


JUNE 19, 2014 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • PAGE S7

Focus on Health

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Cosmetic surgery gaining popularity in men

row’s feet, dilated blood vessels, brown spots -- men don’t like the signs of aging any more than women do. In the past few years, more men have opted for cosmetic procedures than ever before. In 2012, more than a million men opted for cosmetic treatments such as injections that relax facial wrinkles as well as other nonsurgical procedures, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. To turn back the clock, they are choosing nipand-tuck procedures, soft tissue fillers, liposuction, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, and lasers or intense pulsed light procedures. One of the more popular choices is antiwrinkle treatment. Since Botox received Food and Drug Administration approval back in April 2002, it and its successors have become the drugs of choice in wrinkle reduction. These treatments are a derivative of the botulinum toxin, the same bacteria that causes botulism. Botulinum toxin is one of the more powerful neurotoxins discovered. Because it deadens nerve impulses and relaxes muscles, it is widely used to relax the face in areas where wrinkles are prevalent, thus reducing the appearance of wrinkles as well. The types of facial lines that are most often treated with these products are the

ones that appear when one is frowning or squinting. Frown lines, wrinkles on the forehead, crows feet and the like are frequent treatment areas. Areas on the lower half of the face are sometimes treated, but it’s controversial due to the risk of damaging important facial nerves.

It is important to weigh the risks associated before making the commitment to the treatments. Furthermore, it is important to visit a qualified cosmetic specialist, dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon for the administration of any botulinum toxin.

Three Village Women’s Health,

It’s Spring...

Is proud to announce

Are Allergies Keeping Your Family Indoors?

Jane So, M.D. has joined us in the practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology Deborah Morgan Davenport, M.D. Arlene E. Kaelber, M.D. Maxine L. Spicer, M.D. Philip A. Schoenfeld, M.D. Diana P. Leon, M.D. Loren Lyons, W.H.N.P. Evangeline Goodman, W.H.N.P.

We can help you enjoy the great outdoors again. I NDIVIDUALIZED T REATMENT

Stock photo

Anti-wrinkle treatments are becoming more popular among men.

These procedures are relatively safe when administered by a skilled person. They are known to temporarily erase wrinkles for 3 to 6 months. Many people find a boost in self-esteem after receiving a treatment. Many others have gotten compliments about looking younger or happier, especially if wrinkles created an angry or sad expression to the face. Injections are less expensive than other cosmetic surgery. As with any drug treatment, there are side effects that may negate the benefits of treatment. These can include drooping of eyelids, swelling, redness or bruising at injection sites, and infections. Faces also may lack emotions and limit a person’s ability to communicate effectively. It’s when the botulinum toxin spreads outside of the treatment area where severe side effects can occur that might be life threatening. These include all-over muscle weakness, hoarseness, loss of bladder control, problems swallowing or breathing and other side effects. Because this is a medical procedure, it is important to have a medical professional administer the product in a medical setting. “Botox parties,” where an unskilled technician performs the injections can be risky for all involved.

FOR

C HILDREN & A DULTS

Seasonal Allergies • Asthma • Food Allergies Sinus Conditions • Hives • Cough

SPEAKS SPANISH • NEW PATIENTS WELCOME

Diane Hoffman Cymerman, M.D.

Serving you in two locations

LONG ISLAND ALLERGY & ASTHMA, PC 2500 Route 347, Stony Brook

news on demand northshoreoflongisland.com

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751–6262

Diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology Day & evening hours available • Participating in most insurances & HMOs

HERITAGE SQUARE CONDOMINIUMS 100-16S. Jersey Avenue East Setauket, NY 11733

BROOKHAVEN PROFESSIONAL PARK 285 Sills Road, Bldg 7D East Patchogue, NY 11772

Fax: 631-689-5742

Fax: 631-447-7033

Tel: 631-689-6400

Tel: 631-447-1032

Most insurances accepted

To Subscribe: Please Call 631.751.7744 or Subscribe online at www.northshoreoflongisland.com

LLP


PAGE S8 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • JUNE 19, 2014

FRUSTRATED? EXHAUSTED? CAN’T SLEEP?... THERE IS HOPE! ■ Is your SNORING keeping your partner awake at night? ■ Are you unable to tolerate your CUMBERSOME CPAP? ■ Gaining weight for no apparent reason? ■ Experiencing Cardiac Issues? ■ Aging Prematurely? ■ Feel EXHAUSTED during the day? ■ Can’t Sleep At Night?

Answering Yes to even one of these questions can mean you have Sleep Apnea! Dr. Steven Reichman has worked extensively with Sleep Apnea patients and continues to provide outstanding results. Dr. Reichman is one of the few doctors invited into the famous “Sleep Roundtable” and maintains extensive training in the management of Sleep Apnea. Don’t suffer through sleepless nights due to snoring and poor breathing… there is hope and you are not alone.

Call 631.751.6666 today for your COMPLIMENTARY Sleep Consultation and start your very affordable journey to Sleep Wellness and Total Body Health! Dr. Reichman is a member of The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine; A member of The American Dental Association, A member of The New York State Dental Association and a member of The Suffolk County Dental Society.

Call 631.751.6666

for a no charge review of your medical insurance benefits.

Dr. Steven Reichman, D.D.S.

2500 Nesconset Hwy 6A • Stony Brook, NY 11790 230 Hilton Ave., Ste. 213 • Hempstead, N.Y. 11550 (On the Garden City border) TOLL FREE #:1.844.RESTWELL (1.844.737.8935)

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SLEEPWELLNY, Ltd. • Steven Reichman, D.D.S.


JUNE 19, 2014 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • PAGE S9

Focus on Health

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Make a donation to good health

haritable giving means different things to different people. While some associate donations with money, clothing or other tangible goods, donations also can include vital parts of our bodies. Blood: Blood transfusions and supplementation are vital to treating injured patients. Blood also is necessary during routine surgeries. Having an adequate blood supply at the ready can be a matter of life and death for a person in dire need of a transfusion. In the United States, the American Red Cross reports that a blood donation is needed every two seconds. Blood is perishable, and the need is constant. Red blood cells only have a shelf life of 42 days and platelets just five days, so supply must be replenished constantly. Blood can be donated whole or as plasStock photo ma or platelets. Plasma is the yellow fluid in Blood supplies are at critical levels. Making a donation can help save a life. which blood cells are suspended. Platelets are smaller than white or red blood cells America says nearly 120,000 men, women neys, liver lobes, lungs, and bone marrow. and help the blood to clot. Many blood and children currently need lifesaving or- The National Living Organ Donors Founcollection centers will tell you that O blood gan transplants, and every 10 minutes an- dation Inc. says a living organ donation type is in the highest demand because O other name is added to the national organ can mean a more perfect match for the reblood, particularly O-negative, is compat- transplant waiting list. In addition to organ cipient, a longer transplant life and fewer ible with all blood types. But it also is the transplants, tissue transplants can save lives. medications. Living donors give patients blood type in the shortest supply. Certain organs and tissues can be trans- an alternative to waiting months or years Organs: The organization Donate Life planted from living donors, including kid- on transplant lists.

Men, women and children also can donate their organs upon their death. Drivers can declare their intentions to donate their organs by filling out information on the backs of their driver’s licenses, and individuals also can declare such intentions in their wills. Hair: Cancer patients facing radiation and chemotherapy treatments may lose their hair. Losing one’s hair can affect selfesteem. Certain organizations accept donations of human hair, which they fashion into wigs for those who have lost their own hair to cancer and other diseases. Burn victims also benefit from hair donations. The organizations Locks of Love and Wigs For Kids are two not-for-profit groups providing hair replacement solutions for those affected by hair loss. The cosmetic company Pantene has their own “Beautiful Lengths” donation program that also accepts hair donations. In order to donate to most organizations, a minimum hair length is needed and hair should be free of permanent color, bleach or other chemical treatments. Check with the organization for a full list of guidelines. Giving a gift of health by way of a blood, organ or hair donation can make a lasting difference in another person’s life.

Pain Management Center of Long Island

Manage Your Pain and Improve Your Quality of Life! Grand Opening: Pain Management Center of Long Island in Port Jefferson Ready for a compassionate and patient-centered approach to treat your chronic and acute pain? PMCLI offers you the latest medical technology to customize treatment plans for every need, using the latest treatments and procedures: • Spine management • Epidurals, including lumbar • Joint injections • Nerve blocks • General pain management

• Acupuncture • Prolotherapy • Radiofrequency • Implantable pumps • Neuroaugmentation stimulators

Now Accepting New Patients

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Most insurance plans accepted. Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am–4pm Patients will have access to comprehensive pain management options, including care in hospital and ambulatory surgery center settings with access to a variety of medication options, including anesthesia.

635 Belle Terre Road, Suite 203 Port Jefferson, NY 11777 631–331–7246 • www.pmcli.com

Dr. Jacob Rauchwerger, renowned for his innovative approaches to pain management will head the pain management team. Dr. Rauchwerger is board-certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine.

Other convenient locations Rockville Centre – Main Office – 516-764-7246 77 North Centre Ave # 202

Great Neck – 516-764-7246 600 Northern Blvd # 113

Commack – 516-764-7246 353 Veterans Memorial Highway # 303

PMCLI is a division of North American Partners in Pain Management


PAGE S10 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • JUNE 19, 2014

Focus on Health

STONY BROOK UROLOGY

Inflammation in prostate may reduce cancer risk

General Urologic Care For The Entire Family

D

WITH OFFICES CONVENIENTLY LOCATED IN BOHEMIA, EAST SETAUKET, HAMPTON BAYS, PATCHOGUE AND STONY BROOK.

■ Individualized, expert care. Our group of experienced and dedicated physicians, are all experts in their field offering the latest in the diagnosis and treatment of urologic diseases and conditions for men, women and children.

■ Convenient appointment

The wide range of general urology issues treated by our specialists includes: • Frequent urination • Urinary incontinence • Erectile dysfunction • Enlarged prostate

scheduling. All of our board certified urologists are available for consultation Monday through Saturday.  We accept most insurance plans and provide early morning and evening hours upon request.

stonybrookmedicine.edu stonybrookphysicians.com Stony Brook University/SUNY is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.

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For an appointment call: (631) 444–1910

LASER VISION CORRECTION SPECIAL $800 OFF* Complete Eye Care For The Entire Family Now Available in 2 Locations

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Corneal Disease • Glaucoma • Retinal/Diabetic Eye Care Refractive Cataract Surgery

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:

• DMV Vision Screenings • Glaucoma treatments that can reduce or eliminate the need for expensive drops • Refractive Cataract surgery with premium lenses which can eliminate the need for glasses for distance AND reading • Advanced treatments for Macular Degeneration to help preserve your sight • Cosmetic treatments to help you look and feel your very best

octors at the North Shore-LIJ Health System have discovered that increased inflammation in the prostate may predict reduced risk for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men, with an estimated 240,000 new cases diagnosed every year – it kills approximately 30,000 men annually. The prostate is a small gland that produces f luid that nourishes and transports sperm. When the cancer is detected early while still confined to the prostate gland, there is a much better chance of successful treatment – according to the American Cancer Society, a fiveyear relative survival rate is 100 percent when prostate cancer is detected early and there is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the prostate. Previous studies have found that chronic inf lammation contributes to several forms of cancer – an estimated 20 percent of adult cancers can be attributed to chronic inf lammatory conditions. To evaluate if inf lammation in the prostate increases the risk of cancer in the gland, Daniel Moreira, M.D., a urologist at the North ShoreLIJ Health System, and his colleagues conducted a clinical trial. They conducted a retrospective analysis of the REduction by DUtasteride of PCa Events, or REDUCE trial, including 6,238 men ages 50 to 75 who had increased prostate inf lammation with a negative biopsy (no cancer). They then underwent two more biopsies – one at two years and another at four years. At both two- and four-year intervals, the doctors found that those participating in the study who had higher levels of prostate inf lammation also had a lower risk of prostate cancer. These findings show that biopsies in prostates that are free of cancer and have high inf lammation may indicate

Photo from North Shore LIJ

Dr. Daniel Moreira

a lower risk for getting prostate cancer in the future. “Because we have shown that inf lammation has a predictive value, it should be routinely evaluated in prostate biopsies,” said Dr. Moreira. “Also, this research shows that patients showing inf lammation at an initial biopsy may be evaluated by their physician differently from with patients without inf lammation at an initial biopsy given their risk of subsequent cancer detection is lower.” For more information, visit northshorelij.com.

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JUNE 19, 2014 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • PAGE S11

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Health benefits of dark chocolate

any people associate healthy eating with foods that may not be so tasty. While desserts are not often considered the healthiest course of a meal, dark chocolate, when enjoyed in moderation, can be healthy. Dark chocolate can benefit the brain, heart and even teeth. Researchers have discovered just why dark chocolate packs such a healthy punch. Otherwise indigestible portions of the chocolate are converted by microbes in the digestive system. In turn, the chocolate is transformed into anti-inflammatory compounds. Researchers found that digestion in the stomach produces long molecules called polyphenolic polymers. These molecules are too large to cross the walls of the stomach to be used nutritionally. However, when the polyphenolic polymers meet lactic acid and microbes that inhabit the human colon, the polymers ferment and can be broken down further. These smaller molecules are then used by the body. The resulting material is anti-inflammatory and can prevent certain conditions, including cardiovascular disease, from developing. One of the pitfalls of dark chocolate is the sugar and fat content of a candy bar, which can overshadow the health benefits. But those who consume the major-

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Cocoa powder-derived pills may be used in the future to treat various health ailments.

ity of their dark chocolate in the form of unsweetened cocoa powder can avoid such consequences. Roughly two tablespoons of cocoa powder per day can produce the desired antiinflammatory benefits, and cocoa powder can be mixed into drinks, sprinkled over oatmeal and consumed in many other ways. Full-sugar, full-fat dark chocolate

bars and pieces should be enjoyed sparingly, although they are better for your health than milk or white chocolate. Interest in dark chocolate for its medical benefits has led researchers to study the efficacy of its anti-inflammatory compounds. A study is already underway to see if pills containing the nutrients in dark chocolate can replicate the many health

benefits, including helping to prevent heart attack and stroke. The pills are so concentrated they would be the equivalent of eating numerous dark chocolate bars, but without the negative side effects. The goal of the study is to see if chocolate can provide significant medical benefits without forcing consumers to eat so much sugar and fat. The study will be sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Mars Inc., maker of M&M’s and Snickers bars. The candy company has patented a way to extract flavonols from cocoa in high concentration and put them in capsules. Mars and some other companies sell cocoa extract capsules, but with less active ingredients than those that will be tested in the study. Some participants will get flavorless, coated pills that contain the cocoa flavonols, while others will be given a placebo. In addition to anti-inflammatory properties, dark chocolate contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, or PEA, the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. Taking dark chocolate supplements may help a person’s mind and body.


PAGE S12 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • JUNE 19, 2014

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Eating clean: Taking a simpler approach to nutrition

etrasodium pyrophosphate? Azodicarbonamide? Sodium benzoate? Most people will agree that you shouldn’t need a chemistry degree to read and understand what goes into your favorite foods. A simple glance at the average ingredient label, however, can be a confusing sight. This begs the question: If you can’t pronounce it, should you be eating it? One of today’s top food trends focuses on efforts to eat clean, which means selecting only foods that are made from simple, wholesome ingredients. If you want to clean up your family’s diet and take a simpler approach with the foods you buy, consider these three tips for eating clean. Read and understand ingredient labels. Checking the ingredient label is the easiest way to know which food products are clean and which are not, so make it a habit to check the label for every product while shopping, especially when shopping for breakfast foods that oftentimes are heavily processed. Because it’s the most important meal of the day, seek products that use fewer ingredients, all of which you recognize. What ingredients should be red flags? The top ingredients to avoid include: artificial or chemical preservatives or additives (such as sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate and calcium propionate), artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes (such as sucralose /or aspartame) and hydrogenated fats or oils (sources of trans fat).

Support Experienced Counseling for Children, Teens and Families Laura Ter Poorten LMHC, LPC-S 631-751-2765 (office) 540-570-2989 (cell and txt) Lterpoorten@gmail.com Offices in Stony Brook Miller Place and Port Jefferson Station 134005

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Look for positive marketing. Terms like “premium” and “naturally raised” might sound nice, but in reality, they can be misleading. These types of terms are not regulated, so any food producer can use them loosely. Be aware of fancy packing and meaningless claims so you can make an educated choice instead. In addition to looking at the ingredient label, it’s smart to pay attention to what is being promoted on the front of packaging. Look for food products that advertise no artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, trans fats or sweeteners. Food makers who choose not to use these types of ingredients will typically take steps to highlight their absence from foods by advertising it on the front of products. Focus on fresh and frozen. Fresh, whole foods are a great way to eat clean, of course. Produce from a local organic farm is hard to beat. But in our often-busy schedules, eating and preparing fresh foods isn’t always possible. That’s why frozen options are smart alternatives. For example, frozen vegetables and fruits often provide superior flavor as compared to what you’d find in the produce section. That’s because processors typically freeze these foods using IQF technology (individually quickfrozen) that preserves flavor, freshness and nutritional quality. Frozen entrees and snack products can also be good solutions for busy families. While many frozen foods are stacked with artificial ingredients, there are clean options available at most grocery stores.


JUNE 19, 2014 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • PAGE S13

Focus on Health

STONY BROOK DENTAL MEDICINE

Leaders in Dentistry. Patient-Centered Care.

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Wake up to why you might be tired all the time

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ith busy schedules, it’s inevitable to feel sleepy once in a while. But habitually falling asleep during the day while watching TV, reading a book, or in the middle of having a conversation could be a sign of a serious sleep disorder known as narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that involves the brain’s inability to regulate sleepwake cycles normally. It affects an estimated one in 2,000 people in the United States, with symptoms typically appearing in early adulthood. Yet it is estimated that 50 percent or more patients with narcolepsy have not been diagnosed. “The symptoms of narcolepsy are not well-recognized, which can lead to misdiagnosis,” says Dr. Aatif M. Husain, professor of neurology at Duke University Medical Center. “By becoming aware of the symptoms of narcolepsy, individuals can have more informed conversations with their doctors, which may help lead to quicker diagnosis.” A recent study, in which researchers evaluated health care data of more than 9,000 narcolepsy patients compared to 46,000 controls, shows that people with narcolepsy are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other conditions

including sleep apnea, stroke and heart failure compared to the general population. There are five major symptoms of narcolepsy. Talk to a doctor if one or more sound familiar. Excessive daytime sleepiness - The primary symptom of narcolepsy, this symptom is characterized by the inability to stay awake and alert during the day resulting in unplanned lapses into sleep or drowsines. EDS is present in all people with narcolepsy. Cataplexy (muscle weakness with emotions) - A sudden, brief loss of muscle strength triggered by strong emotions like happiness, laughter, surprise, or anger. Sleep disruption - Frequent periods of waking up during sleep. Sleep paralysis - A brief inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up. Hypnogogic hallucinations - Vivid, dream-like events that occur when falling asleep or waking up. These symptoms vary from person to person and not all five symptoms must be present for a narcolepsy diagnosis. It is also important that family and friends understand these symptoms, as they may observe them and encourage their loved ones to seek medical advice sooner.

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PAGE S14 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • JUNE 19, 2014

Focus on Health

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iet and exercise go hand-inhand for adults looking to reduce their risk for heart disease and cancer. A great workout routine is made even better by a healthy diet, and a healthy diet is even more effective when paired with an active lifestyle. While that’s certainly not revelatory, men and women might be surprised to learn they have different nutritional needs, so a diet that might satisfy women’s needs will not necessarily do the same for men. When tailoring their diets, men should be sure to include nutrients that prevent prostate cancer and help them maintain muscle mass. The right nutrients also can help men boost their immune systems, prevent bone loss and strengthen their cardiovascular systems. While many foods provide nutritional benefits to both men and women, the following are some foods that can be especially beneficial to men. * Bananas: Rich in potassium, bananas can aid in protein metabolism, boost the immune system, help with the formation of red blood cells and help the nervous system operate at optimal capacity. Bananas are a great source of vitamin B-6, and because they’re so easily portable, bananas make a great midday snack or preworkout bite to eat on your way to the gym. In addition to providing ample potassium, bananas also are rich in magnesium, and diets rich in both potassium and magnesium can reduce a person’s risk of stroke. Though women suffer more strokes each year than men, the National Stroke Association notes that is likely because women live longer than men and stroke typically occurs at older ages. Stroke incidence is higher in men than women at younger ages, so men, especially those with a family history of stroke, should include bananas in their diet. * Broccoli: Broccoli can help men reduce their risk of heart disease and cancer, the No. 1 and No. 2 killers, respectively, of men 35 and older. Broccoli is a great source of a phytochemical known as sulforaphane, which can help men reduce their risk for both prostate and colon cancer. Broccoli also may help men lower their levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to an increased risk of stroke. * Soybeans: Soybeans can be an integral part of a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and such diets can help men reduce their risk of heart disease. In addition, soybeans contain a substantial amount of

isof lavones, which promote a healthy prostate and lower men’s risk of prostate cancer. Men should consider soy products such as soy nuts, soy milk and soy cheese to increase the nutritional value of their diets. * Oysters: Oysters are widely considered a delicacy, but few may know that oysters also make for a healthy addition to a nutritious diet. That’s because just a few oysters per day can deliver the recommended daily intake of zinc, a powerful antioxidant that research has shown can protect men against the kind of cell damage that leads to prostate cancer. Men may also experience improved sexual function by including more zinc in their diets, as research has shown that zinc can help improve sperm counts. * Whole grains: Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, which can help men improve heart health, build muscle and maintain a healthy weight. Whole grains that are rich in soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, are strong sources of B vitamins that help men lower their low-density lipoprotein, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. Whole grain products that contain at least three to five grams of fiber per serving can pack a powerful punch for men looking to improve the nutritional value of their diets. Men and women benefit differently from various nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and men might be surprised to learn just how healthy certain easily prepared foods can be.

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Studies have shown that broccoli can help men reduce their risk for heart disease and cancer.


JUNE 19, 2014 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • PAGE S15

THIS Year DO YOU Want To reverse Disease? Want To Lose Weight? Feel Concerned You’re Locked Into Your Genes?

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“My pain has subsided considerably. But, I must tell you that I don’t think I would have made it this far without your help.  I was a mess when I first saw you, but you gave me a new sense of strength, new knowledge about nutrition and just a better regard for myself.” ~ Nurse Practitioner/ IBS and ulcerative colitis sufferer, age 62

“My cardiologist was so impressed with my results. By following Dr. Dunaief’s advice, I’ve been able to stop all three of my blood pressure medications. My heart palpitations, which were limiting my activities, have dramatically reduced in frequency, my energy levels have increased and I have lost 15 pounds in two months.” ~ Nurse, age 62 “I feel awesome after eating the diet, especially in the morning. I can’t believe how much has improved with such small changes. My cholesterol is normal, and my triglycerides dropped dramatically - almost 200 points! My blood pressure medication was stopped, yet my blood pressure is the best it has ever been.” ~ E.M., age 44

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PAGE S16 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • JUNE 19, 2014

Focus on Health

Healthbeat When it Comes to Braces, Timing is Everything. Dr. Jared Funt, DDS

When Should My Child Be Evaluated By An Orthodontist? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. While the vast majority of children will not need any orthodontic treatment at this age, a few will. Early treatment may allow an orthodontist to positively influence jaw growth, help guide permanent teeth into good position, and avoid more serious problems from developing. Some children, with appropriate early orthodontic treatment, will be able to avoid jaw surgery, having permanent teeth extracted, or permanent tooth impactions. But my child still has lots of baby teeth, and his/her dentist didn’t mention anything, why can’t we wait until they are older to have them evaluated? In addition to the reasons listed above, certain subtle bite problems will be better detected by an orthodontist. X-Rays taken at an orthodontic office are aimed at evaluating jaw and tooth development, while x-rays at the dentist are better at looking for cavities. Some emerging problems are subtle, and through an early orthodontic evaluation, you are giving your child the best chance to correct these issues before they become more serious and difficult to correct as they get older. Stock photo

What are some signs that I might see in my child that would indicate to me that they might be in need of some form of early orthodontic treatment? There are a few things that most parents can spot that would let them know an early visit to the orthodontist is a good idea. A child older than 5 with a thumb or finger sucking habit should be seen to allow the orthodontist to help coach the child into kicking the habit, before a more serious issue, like an open bite, develops. An obvious underbite, with the lower front teeth ahead of the upper front teeth is another thing a parent would see to prompt them to call the orthodontist. A large overbite, with upper teeth protruding, increases the risk of trauma to these teeth as kids knock into things and fall on hard surfaces. A child with a crossbite will sometimes position their lower jaw off to one side (termed a functional shift) and this situation, left untreated, can lead to asymmetrical jaw growth. These are just a few of the reasons an early visit to the orthodontist is a good idea.

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New recommendations for pediatric oral healthcare

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What are the odds that my kid will need orthodontic intervention this early in life? Pretty slim, but for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, its well worth the time spent at an orthodontic consultation to have piece of mind about it, and be certain that your child’s permanent teeth and jaws are developing as they should. Some orthodontic offices, my office included, offer free consultations, so it never hurts to visit the orthodontist early.

The American Dental Association is now recommending fluoride toothpaste be used on children’s teeth as soon as they emerge.

ental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. More than 16 million children in the United States alone suffer from untreated tooth decay, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As more and more children develop cavities, new advice is being offered to those who care for young children’s emerging and established teeth. The American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs has updated its dental care guidelines for caregivers. While it was once recommended to use water only or a nonfluoride toothpaste to clean teeth of the very young, the CSA now recommends the use of fluoride toothpaste even for young children, saying parents and other caregivers should brush their kids’ teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth comes in. “Approximately 25 percent of children have or had cavities before entering kindergarten, so it’s important to provide guidance to caregivers on the appropriate use of fluoride toothpaste

to help prevent their children from developing cavities,” said CSA chair Edmond L. Truelove, DDS. The CSA recommends that caregivers use a smear of fluoride toothpaste (or an amount about the size of a grain of rice) for children younger than 3 years old and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for children between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. The updated guidelines are intended to provide children with the full benefit of cavity protection while limiting their risk of developing fluorosis, which is a mild discoloration of teeth usually appearing as faint lines. Children should spit out toothpaste as soon as they are old enough to do so. Caregivers also are urged to take their children to the dentist when the first tooth erupts or no later than a child’s first birthday. Semiannual or annual visits thereafter should be the norm. Oral healthcare is important for people of all ages, including very young children with cavities. Learn more about preventative oral care by visiting ada.org.


JUNE 19, 2014 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • PAGE S17

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How to save on prescription drug costs

rescription drugs can be quite expensive, and even those who have health insurance often pay more than they need to. According to a 2012 Consumer Reports Best Drugs poll on prescription drugs, Americans routinely take an average of four medications per day, spending nearly $800 on drugs each year. Those who do not have health insurance may have to pay much more out of pocket. As expensive as prescription medications can be, there are still ways to save money on prescription drug costs. Comparison shop: Believe it or not, drug prices vary depending on the time of the year and even the pharmacy. A person can shop around for the most affordable medication just like they would when buying another product. Prescription drug apps enable you to search for discounts in your neighborhood. Read your bill: Medical coding and billing is not always accurate. Employees entering codes may put in the wrong information, inadvertently charging a person for the wrong medication. Treat your medical bills as you would any other bill and verify that the charges are correct. If you have any doubts, check the drug name with your doctor and then consult with

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the pharmacy to see if an error was made. Opt for generic medications: Generic versions of hundreds of brand-name prescription drugs are available and typically cost a lot less money. With a generic medicine you are not paying for marketing and advertising costs. These drugs are routinely tested for efficacy and safety. There is really no reason to select a name-brand medicine over the generic alternative, even

when it comes to over-the-counter drugs. Ask your doctor on your script to check the box for the generic option. Use a preferred pharmacy mail-order service: Certain insurance companies have negotiated discounts with mail-order pharmacies and pass on the savings to their members. Medicare and other government-sponsored plans may offer the same type of deal, and consumers can save

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a substantial amount of money by opting for mail-order service. Consider big wholesalers for prescriptions: You may think of Costco or Sam’s Club as your go-to place to buy 30-packs of toilet tissue, but these retailers also offer discounts on prescription drugs. Even nonmembers are allowed to use these warehouses for their prescription drug needs. Big wholesalers could give you the best deal on your pills. Skip the insurance sometimes: Consumer Reports says hundreds of commonly used generic medications can be purchased for around $10 for a three-month supply at various major chains. Program details vary, but consumers might be able to save a lot of money by using these programs and leaving their insurance cards in their wallets. Opt for OTC: In many cases, an overthe-counter medication may be just as effective as a prescription drug. Talk to your doctor about trying an OTC remedy before a prescription is written. Ibuprofen may relieve arthritis pain, and diphenhydramine could alleviate insomnia, all at a much lower cost than prescription drugs. Prescription drug costs can add up. But there are a number of strategies consumers can employ to reduce the out-of-pocket expenditures on medications.

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PAGE S18 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • JUNE 19, 2014

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ost American's aren't consuming enough nutrients from their daily diet. Only 1 percent of the population meets minimum standards of a balanced diet, according to a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A wellchosen supplement can benefit many people, especially those who are dieting, older than age 50, pregnant or following an exercise regimen. These five supplements should be on everyone's shopping list: Multiple vitamin: Nutrients are supplied as teams in food, so if your diet is low in one nutrient, it's a sure bet it's low in others, too. A multiple is a convenient, inexpensive way to supply a balance of nutrients, while avoiding secondary deficiencies that result when you take too much of one nutrient and crowd out another. For quality’s sake, stick with the major brands or with a product with the USP (U.S. Pharmacopeia) quality seal that guarantees high standards. Calcium and magnesium: You need calcium to keep your bones, skin, nerves and muscles in shape, while magnesium is critical for coping with stress, maintaining a healthy heartbeat and blood pressure. Unless you include at least three servings daily of calcium-rich milk products or fortified soymilk, and lots of magnesium-rich soybeans, nuts and wheat germ, you should supplement these two minerals. Calcium and magnesium are best absorbed and used when supplied in a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. You get some of these minerals in your diet, so you only need to fill in the gaps by taking a supplement with 500 milligrams of calcium and 250 milligrams of magnesium, if your multiple is low in these minerals. DHA omega-3: If you don't consume at least two servings a week of fatty fish (think salmon, mackerel or herring), then

take an omega-3 supplement. You need at least 220 milligrams of the omega-3 DHA, and possibly up to 900 milligrams a day to help support brain health. A recent study from the University of Oxford found that supplementation of 600 milligrams of omega-3s, and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in particular, was associated with longer sleep duration - 58 minutes of more sleep per night - in a subset of children, compared to placebo. Omega-3s are important for women who are pregnant or nursing. DHA is a building block of a baby's brain. In fact, 97 percent of the omega-3s found in the brain is DHA. A vegetarian and sustainable source of DHA from algae can be found in supplement form. Look for the life's DHA logo on the packaging to know you're getting a vegetarian source. Vitamin D: If you are an adult and your multi-vitamin or calcium supplement does not have at least 1000 IU of vitamin D, then consider a separate supplement since you can't get enough from food. Optimal intake is associated with lowered risk for muscle weakness, gum disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and certain cancers, including colon, breast, pancreas and prostate cancers. Vitamin E: Vitamin E functions as the main fat-soluble antioxidant, protecting cells, tissues and organs from damage. It also contributes to healthy blood flow by regulating the opening of blood vessels and preventing cholesterol from building up on blood vessel walls. The research continues to show other roles for this essential nutrient, such as a recent study that showed vitamin E may positively impact functional performance among participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Before incorporating any supplement into your diet, check with your health care provider.


JUNE 19, 2014 • FOCUS ON HEALTH • PAGE S19

Focus on Health tempting to address their stress on their own, the following are two popular relaxation techniques that may help relieve stress in a healthy way. Meditation: There are many types of meditation, but in general people who meditate employ certain techniques when meditating. These techniques may include maintaining a specific posture or finding a quiet, distraction-free location to meditate. Many practitioners of meditation choose to recite a positive mantra that they repeat throughout their session. While many people question the effectiveness of meditation, research has suggested that routine meditation sessions can alter the brain’s neural pathways and make a person more capable of combatting stress.

Meditation can reduce stress.

Yoga: Yoga has grown increasingly popular in recent years, and much of that can be traced to the multitude of health benefits that have been linked to this typically low-impact practice of the mind and body. The NCCAM notes that studies have suggested yoga is effective at lowering heart rate and blood pressure and can even relieve anxiety and depression. Those are beneficial side effects for sufferers of stress, which over time can contribute to high blood pressure and arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) and even cause people to worry too much about minor things or suspect bad things are about to happen. For more information about stress and coping techniques, visit atapa.org.

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Relaxation techniques to calm your nerves

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ince 2007, the American Psychological Association has commissioned an annual nationwide survey to examine the state of stress across the United States and understand its impact. The 2013 survey found that people continue to experience what they feel are unhealthy stress levels, with 42 percent of adult respondents reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past five years. In addition, 44 percent of survey respondents feel they aren’t doing enough to manage their stress, painting a potentially troubling future for people who cannot find better and healthier ways to manage their stress. While those figures marked a slight improvement from the previous year’s survey, it’s apparent that stress is still a considerable concern for people throughout the United States. Though many people unfortunately regard stress as an inevitable side effect of adulthood, it’s important that men, women and even children avoid characterizing stress as simply a byproduct of a difficult or successful life and career. Even momentary stress, often referred to as “acute stress,” like the kind that appears when stuck in a traffic jam, can have a potentially devastating impact on overall health. According to the American Institute of Stress, acute stress causes an increase in heart rate and stronger contractions of the heart muscle, and some medical professionals have suggested there is a link between repeated episodes of acute stress and heart attack. Regular use of relaxation techniques to reduce stress can help to counteract the effects of long-term stress, which the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine notes can contribute to depression, digestive disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, and insomnia. While it’s always best for anyone, and especially those people with heart disease, epilepsy, certain psychiatric conditions or a history of abuse or trauma, to consult their health care provider before at-


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Focus on Health - June 2014