Page 1

February 1, 2011

Health The Examiner

• Tracey Shaffer Practice portion control – Page 9

Hyperbaric treatment gives children with mitochondrial disease their lives back – Page 4

• LARRY JONES Watch for frostbite – Page 6

wellness 2-6, 10-11 • Calendar 7-8 • NUTRITION 9

Page 2 Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Food service inspections l Jackson County The Jackson County Public Works/Environmental Health Division conducts inspections anywhere food is handled, prepared and served to the public for cities other than Independence.

Blue Springs

■ Asian Tiger, 1605 S. Missouri 7 – On Jan. 18, inspectors found cooked noodles, rice, chicken and egg rolls in the walk-in cooler and cook’s line refrigerator without date labels, corrected. ■ Papa Murphy’s Pizza, 2118 N.W. Missouri 7 – On Jan. 18, two personal beverage containers were found on prep tables in the kitchen, corrected.

Grain Valley

■ Grain Valley Truck Stop (Conoco), 723 Main St. – On Jan. 20, bottles of glass cleaner were found stored on shelves with bananas and food handling gloves, and motor oil was stored on a shelf above paper plates in the dry storage area, all were corrected.

Lee’s Summit

■ Peanuts L.S., 219 S.E. Main St. – On Jan. 18, inspectors found spray bottles on kitchen counter and in bar area that were not marked as to contents, corrected. There were sanitizer spray bottles stored in bar service area, on kitchen counter near a food prep area, and on a counter near food contact utensils, corrected. ■ Maggie’s Authentic Mexican, 100C S.E. Third St. – On Jan. 18, various containers of ready-

to-eat, potentially hazardous foods were found in the reach-in cooler without date labels, corrected. Chemical spray bottles without a label were observed around the establishment, corrected. ■ Panera Bread – 1305 Douglas St. – On Jan. 19, when asked, manager did not provide the maximum time allowed between cleanings of a food contact utensil, such as a slicer. It is 4 hours. Abated during inspection. ■ Spin! Neapolitan Pizza – 1808D N.W. Chipman Road – On Jan. 19, a cook was observed putting on gloves without prior hand washing, corrected. ■ Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar, 1806 N.W. Chipman Road – On Jan. 20, inspectors observed the bar dishwashing machine was not producing any detectable sanitizer in the final rinse. It was discovered that the detergent line and the sanitizer line had been swapped, corrected. ■ Michaels Lakewood Pub, 811 N.E. Lakewood Blvd. – On Jan. 21, in the walk-in, inspectors observed raw packaged meat stored above a container of cooked beef, corrected. ■ Siki, 601 N.W. Blue Parkway – On Jan. 21, a worker was seen in kitchen drinking a beverage and its container lacked a lid and a straw, corrected.


■ Gingers, 11555 E. 63rd St. – On Jan. 21, inspectors found raw meat stored over ready-to-eat food in reach in cooler, corrected. – Jillayne Ritchie

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011 Page 3


Many able to relate to stuttering in ‘The King’s Speech’ Decades before the Internet and Twitter documented every activity and utterance, King George VI of Britain had a problem, and as World War II neared, he could no longer avoid his public. The king had a speech problem. Oh, he knew the language. He just couldn’t speak the language smoothly, rhythmically. King George VI had speech dysfluency. He was a stutterer. Sufferers, even monarchs, experience shame and emotional pain. Speech dysfluency, what do you know?

True or false 1. Nicole Kidman stuttered as a child. 2. James Earl Jones, the voice of CNN, stuttered. 3. George Brett stuttered. Three million Americans have speech dysfluency, affecting four times as many males as females. More than 60 percent have a family member with the condition. In 2010, researchers at the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders announced the isolation of 3 genes involved in stuttering, supporting the role of inheritance in speech dysfluency. Usually speech dysfluency is detected about

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the age kids begin to talk. The telltale stammering, hesitancy and sudden stops that characterize stuttering generally begin between the ages of 2 and 5. It is estimated that 5 percent of all children experience a period of stuttering lasting at least six months. Fortunately, by late childhood 75 percent have resolved the problem. Less than 1 percent of adults stutter. There are three types of stuttering. Developmental stuttering is the most common type,

healthSHORTS Concert to benefit cancer patient A benefit concert for an Independence man with cancer will be held Feb. 5 at the Rick West Theater in Independence. An auction will be held at noon at the theater, 13801 E. 42nd Terrace S. followed by a music show at 8 p.m. The fundraiser will benefit 27-year-old

Michael Smith, who is battling cancer that forced doctors to amputate his left leg. Smith has a wife and two young daughters. Tickets to the show are $16. Three bands will perform and food will be served. For ticket information, call 816-478-9100 or Patty Eckel at 816-808-3085. –Michael Glover

occurring as the child’s verbal language skills are emerging. Neurogenic stuttering occurs after a stroke or other brain trauma. Psychogenic stuttering can occur with thought or reasoning problems or after an emotionally traumatic event. Developmental stuttering, once thought to be a dysfunction of the tongue, vocal cords or breathing, is now recognized as a neurologic problem. Studies using advanced brain imaging technology such as PET scan and functional MRI indicate that there are characteristic changes in the brains of stutterers, lending credence to the idea that stuttering is brain-based. Although the speech pattern of stuttering is commonly recognized, the complexities of language are so great that a comprehensive evaluation is needed for proper diagnosis. Speech-language pathologists have advanced education and are trained to provide special testing to confirm diagnosis and determine type. There is no cure currently available for speech dysfluency. However, early intervention has shown to be effective in decreasing stuttering severity and duration. This may involve speech therapy,

cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling and education. There are no drugs currently approved by the FDA specifically for stuttering but some medicines used for epilepsy, depression and anxiety are prescribed. Drug therapy alone has been largely proven ineffective. Gene therapy likely will figure in future treatment. Colin Firth won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the stuttering King George VI in the film “The King’s Speech.” Both he and the film have been nominated for Academy Awards. The film profiles the relationship between the king and his speech therapist. Gradually, under his therapist’s tutelage and after great personal effort, the king overcomes his dysfluency. This brings him confidence to make public appearances and address his people through radio. The millions afflicted with speech dysfluency no doubt can relate to the king’s frustration and shame. Hopefully they find inspiration in his triumph.

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Page 4 Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Hyperbaric therapy gives family new lease on life

By Clare Howard

ter focuses on treatment of autism, cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, mitochondrial disorders, chronic fatigue, traumatic brain injury, attention deficit disorder and more. Health insurance did not cover treatment for Sydney and Austin. The charge at the center for a month of daily treatments was $5,000 for one child and half that for the second child. Treatment is typically a series of 40 sessions lasting one hour each, two times a day. After just three sessions, the Williams family saw something unusual.

GateHouse News Service

Finally, a turning point

By the time Scott and Gerri Williams brought their two young children to see Dr. Zahangir Khaled in 2007 at his Methodist Medical Group Pediatric Gastroenterology practice in Illinois, their lives were unraveling rapidly. Khaled was the fourth GI doctor the family had seen. “Austin and Sydney had been typical, noncomplicated pregnancies. But when Austin was 1 year old, he started regressing,” said Gerri Williams. She left her job as a registered nurse to care full time for their children, who were sick for long periods of time and regressing physically and academically. The family saw doctor after doctor, trying to get a diagnosis for their mysterious illnesses. Today, Austin, 10, and Sydney, 8, are different children with an optimistic prognosis. Khaled is hoping their remarkable improvement can influence medical practice in the future.

Back at their motel room, Austin and Sydney pushed each other. Then they began shoving each other. They had never had the energy to roughhouse before, and the parents were stunned. “After the third treatment, Sydney was hungry. She gobbled lunch like she had never eaten before. She used to wake up at night screaming with stomach pain and throwing up. After the third treatment, she slept all night,” Gerri Williams said. At the Wisconsin center, the children received pressurized oxygen therapy in a large steel chamber together. Back home, the family’s church and community helped with the purchase of a $25,000 soft cloth chamber set up in their family room. Now the children have about three treatments a week at home. They have been weaned from most medications. Their physician at the Cleveland Clinic expects their progress will continue.

Kids with mitochondrial disease typically don’t live past 10, but Austin and Sydney Williams are thriving with treatment

Starting point First, he prescribed probiotic supplements for the children to improve the beneficial bacteria in their digestive tracts. He also started them on an elimination diet, reducing foods that might be causing allergic reactions. Even so, the illnesses continued unabated. Ultimately, the family ended up at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where the children were diagnosed with mitochondrial disease. Austin had already been diagnosed with autism. “We were told most children with mitochondrial disease don’t live past 10,” Gerri Williams said, explaining the disease prevents cells from using food to generate the energy necessary for life.

Hospitalizations continue The children continued to deteriorate. In addition to regular trips to Peoria, Ill., to see Khaled -- from their home in Chatham, Ill., it’s roughly a 90-minute trip -- the family started traveling to Peoria for more frequent hospitalizations. At one point, doctors were discussing whether to put the children on a ventilator, to

GateHouse News Service/DAVID ZALAZNIK (Top) Gerri Williams climbs into a soft-cloth hyperbaric chamber in her family room where daughter, Sydney, 8, waits. After years of deteriorating health, treatment in the hyperbaric chamber has changed what was a prognosis of death from complications of mitochondrial desease for Sydney and her brother Austin, 10. (Right) The Chatham, Ill., family turned to Dr. Zahangir Khaled when Austin’s and Sydney’s health had deteriorated dramatically and no solution could be found. help them breathe, and a feeding tube, to get some nutrients into their bodies. “We were meeting with Dr. Khaled constantly. It had gotten to the point Sydney couldn’t sustain life anymore,” Gerri Williams said. Sydney was vomiting constantly and losing her hair. Both children had continual illnesses ranging from GI upsets to ear infections, eye infections and sinusitis. She had pneumonia three times in six months. Austin was having seizures. Both children were listless and without energy.

Finding hope Gerri Williams, meanwhile, was spending long hours searching the Internet, looking for clues to explain what was happening. She stumbled across a glimmer of hope. “I was worried about talking to Dr. Khaled about what I found on the Internet. I asked his nurse first, ‘How would he respond?’” she said. The response was positive. Khaled encouraged the family to try hyperbaric treatment at the Wisconsin Integrative Hyperbaric Center

Almost ‘normal’

outside Madison, Wisc. They went there in May 2009, and treatment lasted the entire month. Scott Williams took a leave from his job as a police officer, and the family moved up to Wisconsin for the month. “Hyperbarics has been around for over 100 years. It’s used for wound therapy, stroke patients, post-traumatic brain injury, bone infections; but as for mitochondrial disease, the decision is not in,” said Williams. “But we were slowly losing our children. We were watching life drain out of them.” Hyperbarics is a combination of highly concentrated oxygen and pressure. Rather than relying on blood to distribute oxygen to cells, hyperbaric treatments use pressure to push oxygen directly into cells. The FDA has approved hyperbaric therapy for treatment of decompression sickness, gangrene, brain abscesses and injuries in which tissues are not getting enough oxygen. The Wisconsin Integrative Hyperbaric Cen-

“Our children have learned to play like normal kids,” Scott Williams said. A backyard swing set and climbing beams are now a favorite activity for these children who once lacked the energy even to play. The family had never been well enough for a family vacation, and they had never had the money because all of their income went to medical bills, supplements and special allergen-free foods. This summer, they were able to go to a water park and play miniature golf. “We have struggled and gone through turmoil the last 10 years. We want to share what we learned. We received the gift of our children’s lives. We’d like to share our experience to help others,” Scott Williams said. Khaled still treats the children and has witnessed their improvement. “It has been remarkable. Based on my clinical observations, I can see hyperbaric treatment is helping. No doubt,” he said. Khaled now strongly recommends hyperbaric therapy for children diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and hopes other hyperbaric therapy programs expand to include children with this diagnosis.

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Prevent frostbite by always dressing for the conditions In all the years I have been health director, this is the first time I am doing an article at a reader’s request. I received a call from one of our Independence residents who had seen children on television playing in the cold and snow without proper protection and asked that I write about the dangers of frostbite. Frostbite, by definition, is damage to tissues from freezing due to the formation of ice crystals within cells, rupturing the cells and leading to cell death. Skin and tissue found under the skin may freeze when exposed to very cold temperature. The most common frostbite areas of the body include the hands, feet, nose, and ears. Children are at greater risk of frostbite because they lose heat from their skin more rapidly than adults. If your skin appears to be white or grayish-yellow, feels cold, hard or waxy, it may be frostbite. Your skin may itch, burn or feel numb. If the frostbite is severe, blisters and hardening of the area may develop. As the area thaws the skin and tissue will be red and painful. According to Mayo Clinic, to treat frostbite, gradually warm the injured area. Protect your skin from further exposure. If you are outside and can’t get indoors immediately, tuck bare hands under the armpits. If you are wearing gloves, cover your ears with your hands. Do not rub the affected area and never rub snow on the frostbitten skin. If you are able, get indoors and remove your wet clothes. Gradually warm frostbitten areas. Wrap affected areas with a dry blanket or towel. You may put hands and feet in warm water, but the temperature should not exceed 100° F. When in doubt, call the emergency room. If the affected area includes the toes, do not walk since it will cause more tissue damage. If you are in a situation where refreezing may occur, do not thaw the frostbitten area. Wrap the

Larry Jones Larry Jones is director of the Independence Health Department.

injured area and get to the emergency room as soon as possible. There are degrees of frostbite similar to degrees of burns. n First-degree injury occurs when only the surface of the skin is frozen. This is called frostnip and includes itching and pain. Eventually the area becomes numb. n Second-degree injury occurs if freezing continues over a period of time. The skin may become frozen but the underlying tissue remains pliant and soft. n Third-and fourth-degree frostbite is deep freezing of skin and tissue. The deep freezing includes muscles, tendons, blood vessels and nerves. The extremity is hard and feels like wood. The area appears a deep purple or red and blistered. This severe frostbite could result is loss of fingers, toes or other extremity. Rewarming will be accompanied by a burning sensation. When the skin is pink and feeling comes back, the area is thawed. Sledding, snowball fights, building forts with snow is always fun for the children. Monitor your kids for frostbite or numbness in the extremities. The best prevention against frostbite is to dress for the weather.

Briefly l Health

St. Mary’s invites heart health author to speak Feb. 17 A best-selling author and national speaker on heart health will be talking at a free seminar on Feb.17 at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Joe Piscatella, author of 11 best-selling books, had cardiac bypass surgery for aggressive coronary disease at age 32. Since then, Piscatella has dedicated his life to a healthier lifestyle that has worked for more than 30 years

after the surgery. His message, “living healthy in a world” discusses diet, managing stress, exercising and keeping a positive attitude. Piscatella will be joined by Michael Liston, a cardiologist with Carondelet Heart Institute at St. Mary’s. They will take questions from the audience. Seating is limited for the free event. Make reservations by calling 816-228-3335. – Michael Glover

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 Page 7


healthCALENDAR Items for the Health Calendar may be e-mailed to or mailed to: The Examiner, P.O. Box 459, Independence, Mo. 64051, attention Jill Ritchie. The following items are for Feb. 2 through 8, unless otherwise stated.


Independence ART SALE fundraiser, presented by Centerpoint Medical Center Auxiliary, 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, outside Centerpoint’s cafeteria, 39th St. and Jackson Drive. Framed and ready to hang, landscapes, western, ethnic, sports, wildlife, floral and more will be available. Kansas City MISSOURI LEAGUE FOR NURSING INC. workshop, 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, St. Luke’s Northland. Topic: Customer service ­– Impact on retention. Cost, $125 for members; $160 for non-members, and an addition $15 if registering on-site. To register, call 573-635-5355 or visit

Addiction groups

Independence Straight Talk, Narcotics Anonymous, 8 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, First Baptist Church. Narcotics Anonymous Help Line: 531-2250. Living Free – Al Anon meeting, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 1723 Appleton Ave. 461-0039. Community Substance Abuse Committee, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Independence Police Building. Blue Springs ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, meetings available daily, most sessions are closed, and there are beginner meetings also, 1428-B W. U.S. 40 (behind Betty’s Diner). There is a total of 29 meetings per week. For times, call 228-7921. CHAPEL HILL AL-ANON, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday; 9 a.m. Saturday, 1428-B W. U.S. 40 (behind Betty’s Diner). BLUE SPRINGS ALATEEN, 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, 1428-B W. U.S. 40 (behind Betty’s Diner). Raytown NEW DAY AL-ANON, 10 a.m. Wednesday, Blue Ridge Trinity Lutheran Church. 353-5446.

Bereavement groups

To register, 325-7803. Blue Springs Break Time Club, sponsored by Shepherd Center of Blue Springs, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Timothy Lutheran Church. For older adults with some physical and/or mental limitations. A donation of $10 to the cost of the program is suggested. 228-5300.

Prenatal/Infant/Child programs

Independence WIC NUTRITION PROGRAM, for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or gave birth less than six months ago, 404-6460 or 257-2335. Blue Springs WIC NUTRITION PROGRAM, for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or gave birth less than six months ago, 220-1007. Blue Springs/Lee’s Summit Tough Love support group, for families dealing with unacceptable adolescent behavior, 7:30 to 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, First Christian Church. 913-492-1200. Moms & Moms-to-be prenatal and postnatal class, 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, Family YMCA. 224-9620. Kansas City WIC NUTRITION PROGRAM, for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or gave birth less than six months ago, 404-9740 or 923-5800.


Yourtake Independence Evening immunization clinics, 1:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Jackson County Health Department, 313 S. Liberty St. 404-6415. HEALTH SCREENINGS for those 50 years and older, 10 to 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Palmer Center. Screenings for blood sugar, blood pressure and diabetic foot screenings. Free. 325-6200. Blue Springs DIABETIC FOOT SCREENINGS, sponsored by St. Mary’s Medical Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, 11 a.m. to noon Thursday, Vesper Hall. Free. 228-0181.

Do you think prescription drug commercials make people wrongly believe they have medical issues?

Support groups

Independence Domestic violence group for men, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Family Conservancy of Eastern Jackson County. 373-7577. ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP, 10 a.m. Tuesday, Villages of Jackson Creek-Memory Care. Free and open to the public. Call Monica Benson, 478-5689. Multiple Sclerosis, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Red Lobster. 833-4151. Moms Off Meth, 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, First Christian Church, Room 206. Free. Terri, 210-9574. CARETAKER’S OF PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER’S, 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Comprehensive Mental Health Services. Call Pat Aldridge, 254-3652, Ext. 222.

Barbara Myers Blue Springs “No, I don’t believe that. I’m just very, very healthy and don’t have any conditions that they’re advertising.”

Continued on Page 8

Theresa Cooper Independence I think (the commercials) are very suggestive, and it causes a lot of drug addictions that are needless. For me, Jesus Christ is my healer.

Blue Springs Widowed Persons support group, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Annex A. 2240677 or 229-8093. Independents Singles Ministry grief support group, 7 p.m. Tuesday, First United Methodist Church. 228-3788. Adult Bereavement support group, sponsored by St. Mary’s Medical Center, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. several times throughout the year, Vesper Hall. To register, 655-5490. Other Infant loss group, sponsored by Carondelet Health. 655-5582.


Independence MATERNITY UNIT TOURS, Centerpoint Medical Center. Call 751-3000 for dates and to register. Food handler/manager permit training classes, food handler classes, 3:30 p.m. Thursdays at Truman Memorial Building, 1 and 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Independence Health Department. There is a fee.

Gary Cooper Independence I think so. They talk you into having the symptoms they’re advertising. – Jeff Martin

Page 8 Tuesday, February 1, 2011


healthCALENDAR Continued from Page 8 SARCOIDOSIS support group, 7 p.m. Thursday, Trinity Episcopal Church. Call Jon Egger, 309-0381. ALZHEIMER’S support group, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Fairmount Community Center. 254-8334. Caring Communities Divorce and Step Family, 6:30 p.m. once a month, days vary, Blue Hills Elementary School. 796-6290. Blue Springs Overcomer’s Outreach 12-step, 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Blue Springs Assembly. 229-3298. Arthritis lecture series, 10 a.m. Thursday, Family YMCA. Topics: Fibromyalgia, living with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and more. 224-9620. CHADD (Parents of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder), 7 p.m. Tuesday, Care Net Clinic. Call Jessie Roggenbach, 228-6222. CANCER support group, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, First United Methodist Church, Room 100. Call 2298108. PARENTS OF NICU BABIES, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, St. Mary’s Birthing Center. Moms delivering at other facilities are welcome. 655-5574, option 5. Breastfeeding, offered by St. Mary’s Medical Center, 10 a.m. Thursday, 206 Mock Ave., Suite 101. 655-5574. CARDIAC REHABILITATION support group, Thursday, St. Mary’s Medical Center. Time varies, call 655-5433.

CHRISTIAN 12-STEP RECOVERY PROGRAM, 7 p.m. Friday, Blue Springs Christian Church. Call Steve, 229-7311, Ext. 243. Buckner Caring Communities ADHD Parents, 7 p.m. Thursday, 13 Sibley Road. Call Ms. Gordan, 650-4415. Lee’s Summit Self-help group for people with Multiple Sclerosis, 7 p.m. Thursday, Cass Browning Community Center. Call Pauline Felkins, 524-7702. Raytown Autism and ADHD, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, First Baptist Church. Call Johnna, 525-2931 or Janet, 4788117. Dietary Intervention Network for Autism (D.I.N.A.) meeting, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, First Baptist Church. 419-3705. Kansas City EMPOWER KIDNEY DISEASE CLASSES, 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Truman Medical Center-Lakewood. Call 842-0076 to register.

Weight management

Independence TOPS Mo. 291, 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Monday, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. 461-0811. TOPS Mo. 251, 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, Maywood Baptist Church. 478-0723 or 252-2392. TOPS Mo. 331, 5 p.m. Tuesday, College Park Community of Christ. 254-7075.

TOPS Mo. 24, 9 a.m. Thursday, New Walnut Park Church. 373-6146 or 650-5262. TOPS Mo. 100, 9 a.m. Thursday, Farview Restoration Branch. 356-5278. TOPS MO 0062, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Northeast Baptist Church. 254-9455. TOPS Mo. 892, 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church. 356-9219. TOPS Mo. 482, 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Calvary Presbyterian Church. 452-3029. Healthy Reflections, 10 a.m. Thursday, Sermon Center. 325-7370. Overeaters Anonymous, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Maywood Baptist Church. Handicap accessible. Call Wanda G., 833-2632. Love Me Slender, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Van Horn Health Source. 418-4070. CEA-HOW (Compulsive Eaters AnonymousH.O.W.), 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Unity Church of Independence, 14304 E. 39th St. 1-800-672-6715. Blue Springs TOPS Mo. 772, 10 a.m. Tuesday, First Baptist Church West Annex. 228-3741. SOS (Save-Our-Selves) Weight Management, 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, Vesper Hall. Participate in this weight management program and supportive group discussion. Cost, $1 per meeting. 228-0181. Lee’s Summit Overeaters Anonymous, 7 p.m. Monday, Unity Village, Administrative Building, Room 221. Call

Lisa, 833-2636. CEA-HOW (Compulsive Eaters AnonymousHOW Concept), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, First Presbyterian Church. Call Lisa at 679-7009 or visit Raytown Overeaters Anonymous, 4 p.m. Sunday, Quiet House, 65th and Elm. 353-2691. Other Overeaters Anonymous, a 12-step program for compulsive eaters. 913-383-5933 or WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE, 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. Tuesdays, or 7 to 7:45 p.m. Thursdays. Cost, $35 for 12-week class, with $25 going in the pot for top three losers. To register, 800-262-2152.

Women’s issues

Independence Women’s Empowerment Groups, sponsored by the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA), 6:30 to 8:30 Monday. For locations, call Karen Costa, 252-8388, Ext. 16. Other Hope House Inc. weekly support groups, open to any female who has been or is now involved in an abusive relationship. For times and location, call the hotline at 461-4673. –Jillayne Ritchie


Tuesday, February 1, 2011 Page 9

Portion distortion: tips to control how much you’re eating Eating smaller portions can be one of the easiest ways to decrease the amount of calories in your diet. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy when we live in a nation of super-sized meals. Our idea of an appropriate serving can get distorted. So, how do you know what a reasonable portion size is when you see it? I’ve come up with some tips to help you re-train your eyes. One way to get your portions right is the plate method. It’s simple and effective: Fill one-half of your dinner plate with vegetables, one-fourth with whole grains/breads and one-fourth with lean meat or protein (beans, eggs, tofu). This method is an easy way to approximate serving sizes without having to measure and gives your meal balance. Another way to estimate portion sizes by using comparisons to other household items. n 1 oz. meat: size of a small matchbox n 3-4 oz. meat: size of a deck of cards or bar of soap –recommended dinner portion n 3-4 oz. fish: size of a checkbook

Tracey Shaffer Food for Thought Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. E-mail her at n 1 oz. cheese: size of 4 dice

n Medium potato: size of a computer mouse n 2 tablespoons peanut butter: size of a ping pong ball n 1/2 cup pasta: size of a tennis ball n Average bagel: size of a hockey puck n Medium apple or orange: the size of a tennis ball n 1/4 cup dried fruit: a small handful To eat smaller portions: n Make your own individual servings by counting out chips, crackers, dried fruit, nuts, etc. and putting them in re-sealable bags. You won’t be eating mindlessly from a large bag that way. n Buy single portions of snack foods, especially sweets. Usually the urge to eat sweets is a craving, not true hunger, so a small bit will do the trick. n When eating out, ask for half of your meal to be packed up at the time of ordering. That way you are not tempted to keep eating, and you can eat the rest for tomorrow’s meal.

Are statins a free diet pass? DEAR DR. BLONZ: I have a theoretical question that came up in a discussion. Let us say that a person with elevated cholesterol takes a statin drug, and it works perfectly with no side effects to bring his lipid profile back into the normal range. Is there any reason, except for weight gain, why he should not eat high-fat, high-cholesterol foods? Thanks for your response. – S.F.I., Springfield, Ill. DEAR S.F.I.: Medications to control an elevated blood cholesterol level should not be thought of as a license to eat and live in an unhealthful manner. Taking a statin or any cholesterol-lowering drug is an artificial means to correct a symptom of imbalance in the body. Whether due to a genetic predisposition, poor diet and/or lifestyle factors, the cholesterol has becomes elevated for a reason. It makes little sense to then dismiss the problem with thoughts that a pharmaceutically lowered cholesterol level fixes everything. It may provide a means to correct the symptom, but it does not relieve us of the responsibility to treat our body with care. If you need the medication, by all means use it. But wouldn’t it be a worthy goal to make the appropriate changes so that the need for the medication were reduced or eliminate? DEAR DR. BLONZ: I have atrial fibrillation and need to avoid all sources of

Ed Blonz On Nutrition Ed Blonz, Ph.D., is a nutrition scientist and author. Send questions to: “On Nutrition,” Ed Blonz, c/o Newspaper Enterprise Association, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. E-mail him at caffeine. Unfortunately, I love chocolate, but now I can’t have it. My question is whether white chocolate is different, what it is made from and whether it contains caffeine. Thank you. – S.S., Healdsburg, Calif. DEAR S.S.: Chocolate comes from the seed pods of the cacao (kuh-COW), a tropical evergreen tree. The pods, which resemble papaya, are harvested, and the inner core of white beans, called cocoa beans, are removed. The cocoa beans get roasted and ground into a

thick paste called chocolate liquor. The liquor, about 50 percent fat by weight, then serves as the base ingredient in the manufacture of all forms of chocolate. The fat, called cocoa butter, is separated out and the solids are the cocoa powder. Caffeine is a natural component of cocoa solids. A 1.5-ounce bar of milk chocolate contains about 10 milligrams of caffeine, while a similar bar of dark chocolate can contain up to 30 milligrams. An 8-ounce cup of hot cocoa has only 5 milligrams of caffeine. By comparison, a cup of coffee contains 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine. White chocolate contains little if any caffeine, as it is based on the cocoa butter, not the solids. There is always a chance of a stray milligram or two, so it is unwise to speak in absolutes. There used to be imitation white chocolates that could be made with a variety of ingredients, including non-cocoa vegetable oils plus flavorings. In 2004, new FDA standards of identity for white chocolate went into effect requiring that it be made from cocoa butter, milk solids, a sweetener and other suitable ingredients such as vanilla or flavorings, but without non-fat cocoa solids. It shouldn’t be there, but I would continue to read labels and ingredient lists to be certain that no caffeine has been added.

Two meals for the price of one!

Munch‘em Crunch‘em Snack Mix Makes 16 1/2-cup snack servings All you need: 3 cups (about 4 ounces) reduced-fat cheese crackers (or similar) 3 cups (about 3 ounces) pretzel sticks, lowsodium if available 3/4 cup unsalted or lightly salted peanuts 1 cup raisins All you do: Add all ingredients to a storage-size resealable bag. Shake and flip the bag to mix. Measure out 1/2 cup portions into individual re-sealable bags. Nutrition Facts per serving: 211 calories, 10 grams fat, 26 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 159 mg sodium

Page 10 Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Simulator helps St. Mary’s nurses prepare for unusual births By Cyndi Fahrlander Carondelet Health

The nurses in the Birthing Center at St. Mary’s Medical Center believe practice makes perfect. That’s why they practice and prepare for the unusual and unexpected in baby delivery. They get to practice with simulators that can be programmed for a variety of complications. Practicing to handle such birth complications was virtually impossible until a World War II trauma physician began developing simulators for health education in 1946. By 2004, Gaumard introduced the first of a series of “tetherless” simulators, all controlled wirelessly to replicate a variety of complications that arise in birth. “Noelle” was the name given to the mother simulator, and the baby was named “Hal.” Prior to this technology, nurses learned on the job and from more experienced colleagues. Dianne Schaefer, RN, began her career in a military hospital, orienting with a 50-60-yearold nurse. “She had all kinds of horror stories that I prayed would never happen to me, but eventually would,” said Schaefer. “You just lived through it.” Even early on, the first simulators were not particularly sophisticated. The Birthing Center’s first Noelle did little more than mechanically deliver a baby, and it was up to the staff conducting the training to stage a problem birth. “We were quite creative in how we went about creating the other OB crises situations

that would happen.” Schaefer remembers. The latest Noelle breathes, talks and displays facial movements that, to an outsider, can appear a bit unnerving. St. Mary’s parent organization, Ascension Health, set a goal of eliminating any birth trauma or death by 2008. They surpassed that, in part to the sheer amount of training that is held here. Every three months, nearly every employee is expected to participate in a simulation. “The lab, respiratory therapy, the health supervisor, security, pharmacy and even the emergency room staff are involved. It’s not just the Birthing Center, it’s the whole hospital” says Schaefer. The initial training highlighted a lack of knowledge with ancillary staff, who may have only read about maternity crises. And, while the training is serious business, all efforts are made to assure new grads and professionals that it is a positive experience. No one gets harmed in the exercise. “The first one was a little nerve wracking, knowing you were being videotaped, and would watch it later,” said Jamie Parson, RN. “But we’ve grown accustomed to that.” Among the most common delivery problems are shoulder distocia, where the shoulders of the baby do not easily deliver, and hemorrhaging during delivery or post partum. Schaefer admits some health care professionals will never personally deal with every crisis that could arise in birth. But should almost anything happen, everyone knows their

Submitted photo Nurses at St. Mary’s Birthing Center train for unusual deliveries on ‘Noelle,’ a simulator doll. role. That role often gets played in real life within days of a training session. It’s become called the “simulation curse.” “For the first eight simulations we did,

either that day or the week following we would have that exact same crisis,” said Schaefer. She said she can now joke with her staff about how lucky the mom who delivered at St. Mary’s that week was to follow Noelle.

Discrepancies in children’s liquid medication labels Recently, there was a very disturbing report that you may have read concerning the unreliability of the measuring devices used in over-the-counter liquid medications for children. Also, the directions on the labels of the pediatric medications were not always clear or consistent. There were 200 over-the-counter liquid pediatric products evaluated that were used to treat pain, cold symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms and allergies. Results of the study showed that 98.6 percent of the time there were inconsistencies between the dosing directions and the markings on the dosing device. For example, the dosing directions used tablespoons as a unit of measurement, but on the dosing device, only ounces were used. About a quarter of the medications did not include any type of measuring device. Plus, when the measuring device was included, 24 percent lacked the necessary markings on the device. Prior studies have shown that even when measuring devices are accurate, the dose given by caregivers is frequently inaccurate. In addition, the

Dr. Murray Feingold Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of The Feingold Center for Children, medical editor of WBZ-TV and WBZ radio, and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.

child’s unwillingness to swallow the medication results in much of the liquid never being ingested. Because improper dosages may have significant

consequences, the Food and Drug Administration has made recommendations concerning over-thecounter liquid products. For example, they should all include a measuring device. The directions that are provided should contain the same abbreviations and units of measurements that are present on the measuring device. Extraneous markings should not be on the device because they can cause confusion. Plus, the use of decimals or fractions should be avoided. Not mentioned in most of the discussions on the subject of medications for young children is, “What should you do when the child refuses to take the medication?” In these situations, babies or even 2-year-olds can keep their mouths closed so tightly that you just can’t get the liquid in. Accomplishing this may take some ingenuity on your part. Mixing the medication with something the child likes sometimes works. There are now many medications that have a variety of flavors, making them more palatable.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011 Page 11

Briefly l Health

Health watch: Easing kids’ cold and flu symptoms Any parent who has sat up through the night with a sick child knows easing the discomforts of cold and flu is the No. 1 priority. “Watching your child suffer, even if it’s from something as minor as a nose that’s sore and chapped from repeated blowing, is a terrible feeling for any parent,” says Dr. Tanya Remer Altman, a mother and pediatrician who is a best-selling author and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Dr. Tanya,” as she’s known to her patients and others, offers tips to help: n Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months and older, but ask your pediatrician about the nasal spray form for kids. It’s available for children 2 and older and provides the same protection and safety as the traditional flu shot. n Your mother probably swore by chicken soup, and she was on to something. Serving sick children chicken soup not only gives them the benefit of nourishment while their bodies are fighting a virus, but studies show it has anti-inflammatory properties as well. n Sore, chapped noses add to the discomfort of a cold, but tissues with lotion can help pre-

vent chapping from frequent nose blowing and wiping. Or try petroleum jelly or unscented ointment to soothe the irritation. n To relieve a stuffy nose, try a few drops of nasal saline and gentle suctioning. A coolmist humidifier and a liberal application of Vicks VapoRub on children older than 2 can also help, especially at night when lying down can make a child feel stuffy. However, never use Vicks on children younger than 2. n Frequent hand washing prevents the spread of viruses, but washing your hands a lot, especially in cold weather, can leave them dry and sore. Teach children to follow up with a soothing lotion, such as many fragrance-free varieties specially formulated for kids. n When your child’s throat is sore, he might be unwilling to eat or drink much. Offer a sugar-free fruit Popsicle instead. The coolness can help ease a sore throat and your child will get some hydration from the frozen juice. Finally, don’t overlook your own mental comfort and call the doctor if you feel your child’s symptoms are worrisome. “Most pediatricians would rather take a few minutes to reassure you that your child’s cold symptoms will improve on their own than to not have you call about your sick child who really needs to be seen,” Dr. Tanya says. –GateHouse News Service

Page 12 Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Health is a weekly publication on health and wellness in Eastern Jackson County.

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