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HEALTH MATTERS The Observer • March 2010

Students dish on cooking healthy treats / 4


Roadmap to women’s health: what you need to know / 6-7

Sound sleep is the thing dreams are made of / 5

Health Matters


MARCH 2010

table of contents


What’s in this issue

March 2010

HEALTHY OUTLOOK > Pine View students whip up healthy treats.................................................. 4 > Sound sleep is the thing dreams are made of............................................. 5 COVER STORY > Guidelines for women’s health from skincare to screenings...................6-7


HEALTH CALENDAR > Local events, seminars and support groups.............................................8-9 SENIOR MOMENT > Wii offers more than fun and games for seniors ..................................... 10

An Educated Approach to Fitness • Personal Training with Digital Progress Technology

PICTURE OF HEALTH > Tom Heatherman gives the skinny on a healthy lifestyle...........................11


Cutting Edge Technology

on the cover

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r. Kelly Hamel, an OB/GYN with First Physicians Group, monitors Lacey Knispel, who is 18 weeks pregnant. For guidelines on skincare and screenings for women ages 30 to 40, 50 to 60 and 70-plus, see page 6.


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forget to pass on any health tips you use, trends you have seen, local fitness and nutrition classes you love or a new medical procedure you want to share, etc., by e-mailing Managing Editor Jessica Luck at The next Health Matters will be published Thursday, April 15.

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vital stats > Colon cancer No. 2 in deaths

Colon cancer is the seconddeadliest form of cancer in the United States, yet more than 90% of cases can be cured if caught early. In 2009, colon cancer caused almost 50,000 deaths in the U.S.; colon cancer affects more than 10,000 people in Florida annually. Early detection and prevention can be achieved with regular colonoscopies. People who are most at-risk are those more than 50 years old, those with a family history of colon cancer and African Americans over the age of 45.

> SMH surgery goes live

Sarasota Memorial urologist Robert Carey, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., was one of two nationally recognized surgeons to perform minimally invasive cancer surgery and broadcast it live from the operating room to physicians at the Southeastern section of the American Urological Association’s annual meeting

in Miami. On March 11, Carey and his partner, Daniel Kaplon, M.D., performed a laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation of a kidney tumor and cryoablation on a prostate in a specially equipped operating room at SMH. Normally, surgeons cut out cancer by removing the entire kidney, along with lymph nodes and any suspicious cells in the surrounding area. But Carey says that can lead to complications and health issues, especially if cancer recurs in the remaining kidney. Radiofrequency ablation uses heat energy to destroy cancerous tissue at the site where it exists without affecting kidney function. “By observing the procedures live and seeing firsthand the benefits to our patients, we’re hoping more urologists will embrace newer, less invasive surgical techniques,” said Carey in a prepared statement. “For some patients, a traditional open surgery can cause greater morbidity and complications. A minimally invasive approach is their best chance of not only surviving an operation, but also maintaining a better quality of life.”

Fast facT


U•V•A and U•V•B rays

Number of physician office visits that Americans make annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, each person will see the doctor about three times a year. The most common reason for a visit is general medical examination; the most commonly diagnosed condition is essential hypertension.

> Track it down

currently conducting studies in the following therapeutic areas:

Meridien Research

health defined

902 million

The Florida Department of Health has launched an Environmental Public Health Tracking Network in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Web site allows users to track everything from Florida’s air quality to contaminant levels in drinking water to census breakdowns by county. For more information, visit HealthTrackFL/default.aspx.

Healthy volunteers Alzheimer’s disease Diabetes Irritable bowel syndrome DPN (Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy)

We all know to slather on the sunscreen before going outside, but what exactly are we protecting ourselves against? UVA (Ultraviolet-A) and UVB (Ultraviolet-B) rays are both ultraviolet radiation from the sun that can lead to skin damage and possibly skin cancer. UVB rays cause sunburns, while UVA rays penetrate deeper under the skin to cause wrinkles and other signs of aging. UVA rays can also exacerbate the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays. Sunscreen effectiveness is rated on an SPF (sun protection factor) scale. A sunscreen with an SPF 15 means that it prevents reddening of the skin 15 times longer than if no sunscreen 1105 53rd Ave. East Suite 203, Bradenton, FL 34203

• Loose dentures • Single tooth • Teeth in an Day

Craig M. Misch DDS, MDS, PA Louis B. Chaykin, MD Board Certified Endocrinologist

were used. SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 50 blocks 98%. No sunscreen can block 100% of UVB rays. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or after contact with water. Even though sunburns indicate UVB damage of the skin, there are no indicators to determine how much UVA damage has occurred. Look for sunscreen with the words “broad spectrum” to make sure you are getting protection from both types of UV rays. *Information courtesy of The Skin Cancer Foundation

Missing Teeth? Dental Implants

Study participants may receive compensation for time and travel.


Health Matters

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Health Matters

MARCH 2010

healthy outlook π

Young chefs take natural steps to cooking The students who spend Tuesday afternoons at the Pine View Kids Cooking Club can taste the difference between processed and organic granola. They know that fresh chicken contains more nutritional value when it’s not dripping with grease served by fast-food chains. They even favor natural agave nectar and honey over processed sugar.

The cooking club meets the first Thursday of every month in the multi-purpose room at Pine View. Each month, club President Sandra Waliczek introduces students to a new recipe. Her mission is to teach students how to prepare quick, healthy snacks for themselves. “Cooking was always a hobby of mine,” the ninth-

Photos by Loren Mayo

Sophie Landry stirs the chocolate into the oatmeal and other ingredients while Kathleen Kohler watches.

grader said. “I thought I would share how important healthy cooking and eating is.” She uses well-known recipes, such as banana bread, fruit pizza and pierogi with strawberries, but increases the overall nutrition of the recipes by substituting organic and natural ingredients and discusses the benefits of each with the students. During their last meeting March 4, the group made exotic-fruit cupcakes with cream-cheese icing. The dried fruit used in the cupcakes contains a high iron content. “I see a major difference in eating organic food,” said fifth-grader Jack Fitzgerald. “For one, I like the fact that the food is healthy. I also like knowing I’m eating natural stuff and knowing what’s in it is good for me.” After researching low-calorie foods, Walcizek noticed a vast difference between

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Exotic-fruit cupcakes Ingredients: 1 cup organic quick-cooking oatmeal 1 cup organic puffed rice 1/2 cup chopped exotic dried fruits such as pineapple, mango and papaya 1/2 stick organic butter 2 ounces organic dark chocolate 1/4 cup pecans 1/4 cup agave nectar Icing: 2 tablespoons honey 8 ounces organic cream cheese

Rebekah Golden measures out one-fourth cup of pecans. dishes she serves to students in the club and what the cafeteria offers. “My favorite part of making the cupcakes is mixing the cream cheese with the agave nectar,” said thirdgrader Ashley Campbell. “I love eating healthy, and organic foods taste really good. I wish this club met every single day!” — Loren Mayo

Directions: 1. Line a muffin pan with paper cups. 2. In a bowl, combine the oats, puffed rice, dried fruits and pecans. Mix. 3. Put the butter, agave nectar and dark chocolate into a saucepan and gently heat until melted. 4. Stir above into dry ingredients and mix until they are well coated. 5. Spoon the mixture into paper cups. Topping: 1. Mix together cream cheese and honey. 2. Spread icing over cupcakes. 3. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

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healthy outlook π

At a glance: Pillow talk Both the number of hours a person logs a night and the quality of sleep affect overall health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 74% of American adults experience sleep problems a few nights a week or more. Problems can range from trouble falling asleep or staying asleep to disorders such as restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. Lack of sleep (39% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep on a weeknight) can affect productivity day-to-day, mental and physical health and overall wellbeing. The brain controls sleep through two processes: restorative sleep, which occurs based on how long a person has been awake; and timing of sleep in a day-tonight cycle. We are most tired between the hours of 2 and 4 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. based on internal circadian clocks. Sleep is broken down into two stages: NREM (non-rapid eye movement), which occurs 75% of the night; and REM (rapid-eye movement), which occurs 25% of the night. NREM sleep occurs in four stages. Stage 1 is light sleep; stage 2 is when breathing slows, the heart rate is regulated and body temperature goes down; and stages 3 and 4 are the most restorative and are


when energy is regained and hormones for growth and development are released. REM sleep first occurs 90 minutes after falling asleep and increases in cycles throughout the night. This type of sleep is necessary for brain function and is also the stage in which people dream. Establishing a pattern of waking and sleeping will ensure that a person enters all stages of sleep, which allow both the body and mind to function optimally. — Jessica Luck



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Health Matters

MARCH 2010

70s and up

cover story π

Roadmap to women’s health A skincare routine is vital no matter what your age, says Dr. Heidi K. Anderson, a dermatologist with DOCs.


30s and 40s Do 1. Use sunscreen consistently. Minimize your times of exposure — especially during midday; incorporate wide-brimmed hats and glasses; and invest in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing. Use an SPF 30-plus and ensure that it covers both UVA and UVB wavelengths. Reapply. 2. Develop a skincare regimen. Use cleansers with gentle exfoliants that assist with cellular sloughing to brighten, smooth and moisturize the outer layer of skin. Ingredients such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids

Sarasota doctors share guidelines on how to protect and renew your skin, when to get recommended screenings, symptoms to watch, family history concerns and questions to ask.

50s and 60s

By Loren Mayo are helpful. 3. Expect physiological changes of aging. Decreased skincell turnover; lower levels of hormones and growth factors; irregular pigmentation, dryness and fine lines; child-bearing rashes, pigmentation and stretch marks; and hormonal acne can occur. 4. Invest in a wrinkle treatment. Start with retinoids, which can reverse aging changes and induce neocollagenesis; and include antioxidants in the form of vitamin C and E, green tea and lipoic acid, which protect cells from toxins and decrease inflammation. 5. Moisturize. Focus on the thinner skin of the eyes and face. Combine antioxidants or alpha and beta hydroxy acids into emollients for benefits.

Things to watch 1. Tanning parlors — stay away. 2. Melanoma is the second most common carcinoma and is most commonly found on the back of the leg. Perform periodic self-examinations to become familiar with your skin and pattern of moles and freckles. Consult a dermatologist if any changes are noticed. 3. Learn your ABCDs of moles: Asymmetry — one half unlike the other; border — irregular, scalloped or poorly defined; color — varies from one area to another with shades of tan, brown and black and white, red or blue; diameter — some melanomas can be smaller than 6 millimeters; or a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest is changing in size, shape or color.

Are Your Dentures Loose?

DO 1. Continue sunscreen and skincare routine. Continue cleansing with exfoliants. Periodic chemical peels can give a renewed appearance. 2. Expect physiological effects of aging. The skin’s metabolic rate is slower with decreased cellular turnover, decreased collagen and elastin production and lower levels of hormones and growth factors. Cellular damage can accrue due to UV light and environmental exposure and can lead to inflammation and free radicals in the skin. Skin is often drier and thinner, with greater redness and pigmentation. Expect deepening of wrinkles. Hormonal changes will affect the skin, causing

dryness, changes in pigmentation and acne. 3. Invest in a wrinkle treatment. Nutriceuticals can supplement volume loss with vitamin D3. Laser photo facials with antioxidants such as vitamin E and C can mend sun damage that causes vascularity and pigmentation. Retinoids, tripeptides, pentapeptides and a fractionated laser can boost decreased collagen production. 4. Moisturize. Focus on the thinner skin of the eyes and face with hyaluronic acid products. Things to watch 1. Median age for melanoma diagnosis is 59. 2. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Look for nonhealing sores and red scaly spots. 3. Get a head-to-toe skin exam annually.

Do 1. Continue wearing sunscreen. 2. Continue to remedy dry skin with moisturizers, hyaluronic acid products, antioxidants and alpha and beta hydroxy acids. 3. Protect and renew dry skin with TNS recovery complex, believed to stimulate collagen secretion, promote cell growth and neutralize free radicals. Things to watch 1. From 2002 to 2006, the median age of death for melanoma was age 68. 2. Sixty percent of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is derived from precancerous lesions. 3. Know if your medications cause sun sensitivity. 4. Get a skin exam annually, more often if you have a family history of skin cancer.

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> SCREENINGS 40s and 50s


1. Annual: See an OB/GYN or internist annually. 2. Blood work: Get a comprehensive metabolic panel. 3. Pap smear and pelvic exam: Starting at age 21, get one annually. After three normal paps, tests can be done less often. 4. Cholesterol test: Start at age 20 and discuss with a doctor or nurse. 5. Baseline mammogram: Should be done at age 35 if you have a family history of breast, ovarian, uterine and/ or colon cancer. 6. Complete eye exam: Get one at least once between ages 20 and 29 and twice between ages 30 and 39, or if you have a problem with your eyes. 7. Hearing test: Starting at age 18, then every 10 years. Things to watch: Family history of breast, ovarian, uterine and/or colon cancer

Questions to ask 1. Contraception, birth control and STD prevention 2. Overall reproductive planning

1. Mammogram: Initial screening should be done starting at age 40, then annually from age 50 to 74. 2. Pap smear and pelvic exam: Continue annually if abnormal; after three normal paps, tests can be done less often — usually every three years. 3. Diabetes (blood glucose or A1C test): Start testing at age 45, then every three years. 4. Menopause: Average age is 51. 5. Colonoscopy: Procedures are done at age 50. 6. Dexascans: Checks for osteoporosis should be done at age 50. 7. Complete eye exam: Get one at age 40, then every two to four years as advised by your doctor.

60s and 70s

1. Pap smear and pelvic exam: At age 65 or 70, some doctors stop doing pap smears. 2. Mammogram: Still necessary at annual checkup. 3. Colonoscopy: Every five to 10 years, depending on polyps.

8. Hearing test: Get one every 10 years; starting at age 50, get one every three years. Things to watch: Osteoporosis risk factors include family history, Caucasian ethnicity, smoking, frailness and decreased physical activity.

Health Matters

Our gold medal smiles speak for themselves.

Questions to ask 1. Continue use of birth control if you have no plans for childbirth. 2. Address any irregular periods or pre-menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, sleep disruption, vaginal changes, weight gain and loss of libido. 3. Medication use and effects. 4. Hormone replacement for menopause; post-menopausal women should be tested for bone density. 4. Bone density screen: Those age 65 and older should get a bone-mineral density test every two years. 5. Dexascan: Get one at age 65 if not done earlier.

Questions to ask 1. Vaginal dryness 2. Uterine or bladder prolapse

Meet the experts The following health-care professionals were consulted for the article.


> Dr. Heidi K. Anderson, board-certified derma-

tologist with DOCs, located at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Institute for Advanced Medicine

When it comes to creating gold medal smiles, no one delivers like Dr. Christine Koval – Sarasota’s leading dentist specializing in cosmetic enhancements and dental rehabilitations. In fact, in the past four years alone, she’s been awarded 19 Gold Medals in the Annual Smile Gallery Competition presented by the Florida Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Of course, the real winners are Dr. Koval’s clients who get to enjoy a lifetime of confidence that comes with having a beautiful, healthy and natural-looking smile.

> Dr. Kelly Hamel, OB/GYN with Sarasota

Memorial Hospital First Physicians Group of Sarasota

> Roni Marino, PA-C with Sarasota Memorial Hospital First Physicians Group of Sarasota > Dr. Mabel Gonzalez Novo, Family Practice, M.D., with Intercoastal Medical Group

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700 John Ringling Blvd • Sarasota, Florida 34236 (941) 361-7181 • SMITH CARE CENTER AT PLYMOUTH HARBOR • LB-SBO Health Matters March 2010 • 4.875x6 GRIGSBY DESIGN • 561-80-3047 • ANNE@GRIGSBYDESIGN.COM


Let us Help!

Diabetes Education Sessions — take place from 1 to 2 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. the first Monday of the month. The 1 to 2 p.m. session takes place at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Blackburn Point Center, 929 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. The 6 to 7 p.m. session takes place at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The sessions are open to diabetes patients and their families. Call 917-7777. Eating Healthy for Life Sessions — begin at 6 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of the month, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Blackburn Point Center, 929 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. The class is taught by a registered dietician and will include information about healthy eating behaviors that promote weight loss. Cost is $200 per session. Call 917-7777. Low Back Pain — takes place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. April 14, at The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch, 7333 Scoland Way, Sarasota. Drs. Rafael Miguel and Paul Satia will speak about treatment and rehabilitation for low back pain. RSVP by April 13. Call 941-9177777.

MANATEE classes/seminars ‘Da Vinci Surgery: The New Era of Surgical Techniques for Gynecologic Cancers’ — takes place at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 23, in the auditorium of Manatee Memorial Hospital, 206 Second St. E., Bradenton. Drs. Stacey A. South and A. Jothivijayarani will discuss minimally invasive surgical techniques that can now be used to treat many gynecologic cancers. Seating is limited. Call 1-800-816-4145. Colon Cancer Sympsium — takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, in the Cancer Resource Room of Blake Medical Center, 2020 59th St. W., Bradenton. An expert panel will discuss how to best prevent, diagnose and treat colon cancer. Free lunch provided. Reservations are required. Call 1-888359-3552 for details.

EVENTS Mitral Valve Dinner Lecture — takes place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the Dolphin/Pelican Room of Blake Medical Center, 2020 59th St.


March for Babies — takes place from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 27, at J.D. Hamel Park, at the corner of Gulfstream Avenue and Marina Jack Plaza, Sarasota. The annual four-mile walk raises funds to improve the health of babies through programs of research, community services, education and advocacy. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. Call 813-287-2600 or visit www. Yvette’s Bayfront Boot Camp — takes place at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 27 and Saturday, April 10. (Classes are held every other Saturday.) The group meets at the “Unconditional Surrender” statue at the bayfront. The class includes stretching, a walk/run over the Ringling Bridge and strengthening session afterward. Class is free and open to the public. Call 376-9599 for information. Healthy Kids Day — takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 10, at the Sarasota County Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. The event will provide information on how families can live a healthier, safer lifestyle. Activities will include a Nintendo Wii tournament, emergency-vehicle tours and healthy food and drinks. The first 500 families will receive a backpack filled with outdoor toys and healthy living information. Admission is free. Contact The W., Bradenton. Dr. Alessandro Golino will present this free lecture and dinner for patients who have been diagnosed with heart murmur or mitral valve prolapse. Reservations are required. Call 1-888-359-3552. The Beat Goes on — takes place from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, in the Dolphin/Pelican Room of Blake Medical Center, 2020 59th St. W., Bradenton. The program is designed for Heart Institute Alumni, their families and those interested in Heart Healthy Living. Call 798-6258.

screenings Vision screenings — take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at Manatee County Health Department, 410 Sixth Ave. E., Bradenton. Call 748-0747. Free Heart Smart Screening — takes place from 7 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 23 in the Dolphin/Pelican Room of Blake Medical Center, 2020 59th St. W., Bradenton. Screenings will include fasting glucose, full cholesterol/lipid panel and blood pressure. Reservations are required. Call 1-888-359-3522 to make an appointment.

Sarasota Family YMCA at 951-2916, Ext. 1078. Boot Camp Class — takes place from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Thursdays, at Hart’s Landing beneath the Ringling Bridge. The class is taught boot-camp style including exercises such as sit-ups, pushups and lunges. Bring a towel

Bariatric Surgery Support Group — meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of the month at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Blackburn Point Center, 929 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. Call 917-7777. Better with Age — meets from 10 to 11 a.m. the second Tuesday of the month, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota. The wellness club discusses the way to look and feel your best. Call 917-7777. Caregiver Connection — meets from 9:30 to 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month, at the Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota. Call 917-7777. CCFA/Crohn’s and Colitis Support Group — meets at 6 p.m. the first Wednesday of the month, in the Magnolia Room at Waldemere Medical Plaza, 1921 Waldemere St., Sarasota. Contact Natalie Rosenthal at 321-9747 or Lydia Chapdelain at 914-6244. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Fibromyalgia Support Group — meets from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. the second Sunday of the month, in the Education Classroom of Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. Call 966-1252. Early Stage Memory Loss Support Group — meets from 9:30 to 11 a.m. the third Thursday of the month, at the Center for Healthy Aging at the Senior Friendship Center Campus, 1900 Brother Geenen Way, Sarasota. Call 917-7197.

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screenings Memory Screenings — are available by appointment from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, at the Roskamp Institute, 2040 Whitfield Ave., Sarasota. Call 256-8018.

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of Sarasota, 5731 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. Reservations are required. Call 342-8083. Man to Man Support Group — meets from 2 to 3 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month, in the Waldemere Auditorium at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The group offers an opportunity for men who have experienced prostate cancer to discuss their concerns and successes and various available treatments. Contact the American Cancer Society at 3652858.

MS: Friends of Hope — meets from 6 to 8 p.m. the third Thursday of the month, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Institute for Advanced Medicine, 5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota. The group is open to multiple sclerosis patients and their families. Dinner is included at the meeting. Call 917-7777.




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Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Support Group — meets from 4:30 to 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month, in the Jacaranda Room of Waldemere Medical Plaza, 1921 Waldemere St., Sarasota. Call 9172636.

Caring Friends — meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Dolphin/Pelican Room of Blake Medical Center, 2020 59th St. W., Bradenton. The support group is open to cancer patients and their friends and family members. Call 798-6262. Pregnancy Loss Support Group — meets at 7:30 p.m. the first Thursday of the month, in Conference Room 2 in the Patient Tower at Manatee Memorial Hospital, 206 Second St. E., Bradenton. The group is open to anyone who has experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn loss. Call 746-5111, Ext. 58405.


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Stroke Support Group — meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of the month, in Meeting Room 4A/B, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. During part of the meeting, a special group will be available to family members. Call 917-7048.


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Healthy Heart Club Support Group — meets from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month, in the Education Classroom of Doctors Hospital

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Heart Failure Support Group — meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month, in the 7 East Tower Family Room, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Contact Susan Gaillard at 917-2114.


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Health Matters

MARCH 2010

senior moment π

Wii strikes up mental stimulation

One muscle that many people may forget to exercise is their mental muscle. Some local communities are using Wii Nintendo to combine physical and mental exercise. When the members of the Savannah Grand bowling group don their team jerseys and gather around the television to practice bowling on Nintendo Wii, they sound more like a cheerleading squad than a bowling group in an assisted-living community. “Go! Get ’em girl! Let’s get a strike!” shouts Angela Russo as she watches her teammate, 90-year-old Jo Paul, wind up and bowl her third strike of the game. A shared love of Wii Nintendo bowling brings these five women together to practice their skills and cheer each other on two to three times per week. They even had team jerseys made, red polo shirts with their names printed on them, for a tournament against Bahia Vista Oaks Lodge last year. Savannah Grand is just one of many Sarasota communities where Wii Nintendo games have become popular as a means of entertainment and exercise. Sarasota Friendship Center’s Sarasota campus began offering Wii in January 2009 and it has quickly become one of its most popular activities. Players can play on their own or attend the Friendship

Maria Amodio

Laurie Meyers lines up her shot in the pocket between the one and the two pins.

Center’s “Energize Your Afternoon” Wii and Karaoke party from 3 to 5 p.m every Tuesday. About 75 to 100 people play each month.

Virtual sports not only provide a new way for seniors to socialize and get physical exercise — they also keep their minds sharp. With Alzheimer’s becoming the fastest growing disease in the world, memory functioning has become an increasingly important topic. By age 65, one in eight Americans will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s, and by age 85, half the population will be afflicted. Michael Juceam is the owner of Right at Home, an in-home care-and-assistance agency in Sarasota, and the one who first introduced the residents of Savannah Grand to Wii bowling. “The greatest benefit of this game is being active,” says Juceam. “The more you stay active, the healthier you stay.” As we age, the brain produces fewer of the chemicals that enhance communication between brain cells, but studies have shown that muscular training can increase seratonin, a neurochemical that helps transmit messages through the brain. Nicci Kobritz, the founder of Youthful Aging Home Health, in

Sarasota, recently started the The Brain Academy, a program that incorporates the use of technology such as Wii in order to improve memory health. According to Kobritz, the social aspect of activities such as Wii Nintendo bowling is another essential component for maintaining memory function. “The socialization aspect is so important for good memory health and good mental health,” says Kobritz. “As people age, they tend to become withdrawn, but this kind of activity gives them something to focus on.” Kobritz also says that in today’s society, brain strengthening is more important than ever. “People are starting to be more health conscious at a younger age, but the one thing they’re forgetting is that the brain is a muscle,” says Kobritz. If that’s the case, then the ladies at Savannah Grand are certainly getting a workout. Paul, the oldest member of the team, shows a painstaking attention to detail while she helps her teammate line up a shot. “A little to the left,” says Paul, as she directs Alice White to move the cursor over just a centimeter. White delivers a beautiful shot, right in the pocket. “You should get 100 points for that one!” — Maria Amodio

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Health Matters


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Tom Heatherman True Heatherman recently embarked on a diet program designed by his doctor to lose the weight he’s struggled with for years — and keep it off. Age: 59 Occupation: Corporate communications director for Michael Saunders & Co. Weight-loss strategy: A diet program specially designed by his doctor to increase metabolism and maximize weight loss. What motivated him: “It was all vanity going in, but now it’s about a lifestyle. I watch everything that goes into my body. This was a real lifestyle changer.” What he’s eating: Heatherman’s 30-day diet consisted mainly of chicken, lean beef, vegetables, plenty of water and no soda or alcohol. “For the first seven or eight days, I was hungry, and then it stopped. I wasn’t just craving food all the time.” Personal triumph: “My blood pressure

has been borderline high, even on medication, for eight or nine years. Within two weeks of starting the diet, my blood pressure went below normal, so my doctor had to cut my medication in half. After another two weeks, he cut it in half again. I’m now on the lowest dose of medication possible, and yesterday when I had my blood pressure taken, it was 120/80.” Getting active: “Now that I don’t have an extra 30 pounds of weight on my knees, I’m cautiously getting back into running. I even went out and invested in some new shoes.” His advice: “I think this is the way to do it, with a doctor’s supervision. That amount of weight loss could be dangerous if it’s not done correctly.” — Maria Amodio

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Health Matters

MARCH 2010

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US for both men and women combined. This year, about 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed and 56,000 people will die from the disease. But, colorectal cancer is preventable and can be treated successfully and is often curable when detected early.

SCREENING SAVES LIVES Screening tests can help find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. All men and women aged 50 and older should be screened. Please join Intercoastal Medical Group to learn more about colorectal cancer and the guidelines for screening. Our highly trained and experienced gastroenterologists look forward to answering your questions.

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Health Matters March  

Health Matters March

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