December 2012

December 2012 posts

Nutrition for Young Athletes: Hit It Out of the Park

With the vague hint of spring in the air, many families are gearing up for the onslaught of practices and games that come with spring sports. As the kids strap on their pads and cleats again, keep in mind that a healthy athlete needs more than just good physical conditioning; fueling their bodies with proper nutrition is just as important to keep them competitive!

Nutrition is vital for the health of people of all ages and activity levels but young athletes have higher fluid and energy needs. Nutrition can also help prevent injury and keep your young athlete competitive. Help your young athlete become a nutrition champion before the starting buzzer even goes off!

  • For healthy bones...

There’s No Reason to Get (H)angry

Han•gry [ háng gree ]

  1. feeling very annoyed because you are hungry
  2. a combination of hungry and angry

We’ve all experienced it: the short temper that comes from being hungry, better known as being “hangry.” Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, eating can become a secondary priority. Unfortunately our brains and bodies aren’t meant to function without food and so we get hangry. Low blood sugar and a grumbling tummy can turn us into less than pleasant parents, partners and coworkers. So in spite of all the messages out there saying eat less, hear this message instead: Eat sensibly when you’re hungry. Here’s why (and how)...

Hitting the Sack Lunch Running

There are two truths most of us have to live with on a daily basis:

  1. We have to eat to survive
  2. Life is busy

These two truths together often mean that we grab for processed foods (chips, cookies, crackers) when we feel hungry. Other times, it’s just easier to order take-out or fast-food in between meetings, classes or appointments. Of course, these foods often have less nutritional value and more calories. With the New Year underway and many of us aiming to shed pounds or improve our nutrition, why not make a resolution to pack your lunch at least 3 to 5 times per week?

Packing your own lunch has many benefits including...


New Year’s Resolutions: Not Just for Adults

Jingle bells may no longer be ringing in your ears, but the constant barrage of New Year’s resolution pressure probably is! Yet for all the commercials that promise the next great way to shed pounds or get more physically active in the New Year, children are left out of the resolution discussion. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they shouldn’t be involved in setting healthy goals. Why not turn your New Year’s goals into a family affair?

For children, the goal shouldn’t be “pounds lost” but “healthy habits made.” Set an example for your children by not trying every fad diet but instead making a more concerted resolution to live a healthy lifestyle. Here are some fun ideas to involve your kids in your healthful resolutions...

Why you should have your hernia repaired

Do you have a groin bulge that seems to come and go, often absent upon waking in the morning? Or perhaps you already know you have a hernia? Hernias are very common and occur in approximately 1 in 4 males (less common in women), so chances are you or someone you know has or has had an inguinal hernia. The main question I always get asked is "should it be fixed?"  

As a general surgeon, I see 4-5 patients every week with a newly diagnosed inguinal hernia. Many are self-referred after discovering a lump in the groin, while many others are referred from their primary care provider after the hernia is discovered during the physical exam. After verifying that a hernia is the correct diagnosis (other possibilities are a groin strain, swollen lymph node, etc.), I have a discussion which addresses the aforementioned question. As an aside, these are very common and also found in the pediatric population (see a similar discussion by one of our pediatric surgeons)

To understand hernias...

Make a new year's resolution to be screened for colorectal cancer

We have come upon the time of year when we reflect back on the events of 2012 and look forward to new beginnings in 2013. About 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year and frequently these resolutions are health-related.

Why not let 2013 be the year you resolve to be updated on colorectal cancer screening?

Why should I worry about colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The average lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 5%. In the colon, cancer usually arises over time from abnormal polyps, called adenomas. This provides us the rare and life-saving opportunity to intervene and remove polyps to prevent cancer from developing. Pre-cancerous polyps or early cancers do not always cause symptoms, highlighting the need for routine screening.

Simply stated, there are large studies showing that screening for colorectal cancer prevents cancer. Screening saves lives. Screening detects cancer at an early and more treatable stage. How can you argue with that?

Who should be screened for colorectal cancer?

Regardless of your age, you should discuss any GI symptoms you are concerned about with your healthcare team.

If you are without symptoms...

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? (Tips for better hearing at the holidays)

The holidays are a busy time! Some love the hustle and bustle of the holidays and others can be worn down with to-do lists, shopping, planning and parties. Individuals with hearing loss can be especially impacted by the holidays if they are attending parties and group gatherings. They may be listening to unfamiliar voices and meeting people for the first time. Here are a few tips to support your family member through this busy time of the year.

Friends and family members can support someone with hearing loss in the following ways:

  • When attending group settings or restaurants, try to find a quiet area.
  • If you notice someone is not tuning into the conversation, try to repeat, rephrase or state the topic.
  • At times your family member may just need a listening break. Excuse yourselves and find a quite space to visit alone for a few minutes. Or better yet, participate in “people watching” and really give those ears a break!
  • Help with introductions by saying “you remember Bob, we met him last year at the holiday party.”
  • A little understanding can go a long way. If you are curious what your family member might be experiencing, listen to the hearing loss simulator and choose “speech in a restaurant”. I can guarantee you will be shocked to experience the impact of hearing loss on speech understanding. Imagine working that hard to understand speech for a few hours at the end of the day in a loud setting.

For individuals with hearing loss:

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