From losing weight to looking younger to feeling fit, there are many reasons people focus on their health. Choosing the right way to maintain a healthy lifestyle can be a daunting task; however, Southwest Orlando Bulletin’s 21st annual Health & Fitness Guide provides a plethora of advice from local experts to help readers achieve and maintain their varied health goals.
New Treatment Available for Prostate Cancer
by Richard Lotenfoe, M.D., FACS
Prostate cancer is still one of the most common cancers in men. We now realize that many of the cancers don’t need active treatment, such as surgery or radiation. However, if intervention is needed, the traditional modalities have been associated with significant, sometimes debilitating side effects such as erectile dysfunction and loss of urinary control. Refinements in techniques like robotic surgery have improved this, but a significant number of men still suffer from these complications. Recently, a relatively new treatment has been approved in the U.S. called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound. With this outpatient treatment, ultrasound energy is used to kill the cancer without the need for surgical incisions or radiation, and without blood loss. Potency rates are high, and, more importantly, incontinence rates are almost nonexistent. This minimally invasive procedure offers elimination of cancer while maintaining quality of life. HIFU has been available around the world for more than 15 years, and has a proven track record. It also allows for the most modern concept of focal therapy, where only the cancerous tumor is treated, and the remainder of the prostate is left intact. This results in minimal side effects.
Optimizing Pregnancy Outcomes
by Rebecca Murray, ARNP
Having a child is one of the greatest gifts we can receive. As the potential mother, you want to be able to achieve pregnancy when you desire to have a child, carry the unborn child to full term, and deliver a healthy baby. But that does not happen for everyone. Some women struggle to conceive or may experience the devastating tragedy of an early pregnancy loss. Although there are many causes of such events, hormonal imbalances can play a major role in the process of infertility, spontaneous early loss or premature delivery.
Also, toxins within our environment have the potential to accumulate in our bodies, act as endocrine disruptors, and can have negative effects on the health outcomes of the fetus. Time Magazine’s issue from Sept. 22, 2010, published an extensive article titled “How the First Nine Months Shape the Rest of Your Life” and wrote extensively on this subject.
Preparation is the key in optimizing pregnancy outcomes. Find out more from a medical practitioner that is knowledgeable in this area of medicine.
by Michael Steppie, M.D.
President, Medical Director
Skin cancer rates are skyrocketing, both in the U.S., where more than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed annually, and around the world. In fact, one in five Americans is diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lives. It is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. with more new cases than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
Skin cancer is a malignant condition that begins with the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Recent studies show it can result as an accumulative effect from sun damage (90 percent in the case of nonmelanoma skin cancers). Florida’s near year-round high temperatures mean we are all at a higher risk.
Since 1975, the skin cancer death rate among Florida residents older than age 50 has doubled, and in the past two decades alone, the incidence of melanoma among Hispanic Americans has risen nearly 20 percent — a particularly disconcerting statistic considering that melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
What are the different types of skin cancer?
• Melanoma is the most deadly of all skin cancers. It causes more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths. One American dies of melanoma almost every hour.
• Basal cell carcinoma is the most frequently occurring skin cancer. Although they are generally easily treated, BCCs tend to keep growing if untreated, and, in rare cases, can start to spread.
• Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most frequently occurring skin cancer. An estimated 65 percent of them arise in lesions previously diagnosed as actinic keratoses. Most are easily treated, but if not removed, some can metastasize and spread to distant tissues and organs, becoming life threatening.
• Actinic keratoses are pre-cancers that can turn into SCC if left untreated. They are often an early stage in the development of skin cancer.
Early detection of skin cancer is key.
Cure rates are high, and recurrence rates are low for cancers that are caught and treated early. It is important to check for changes in size, shape and color of pigmented areas.
The Skin Cancer Foundation highly recommends an annual full-body skin exam by a dermatologist.
Do Women Really Need Testosterone?
by John C. Carrozzella, M.D., ABAARM, FAARFM
All too often women hear statements like “My doctor says that I don’t need testosterone.” The reality is, that statement could not be further from the truth. For proper women’s health and well-being, testosterone is an essential hormone. Women with low testosterone suffer from many of the same symptoms as do men, chief among them, a lower sex drive and reduced sexual satisfaction. Additionally, they frequently complain of fatigue, have a lower self-esteem and feelings of self-worth, a more difficult time losing weight, and a lack of positive results in the gym. Low testosterone in women is associated with increased rates of diabetes, cholesterol problems, osteoporosis and dementia. Worse yet, women who have low levels of testosterone suffer from a significantly increased risk of developing breast cancer.
For women with these problems, and others, testosterone therapy can be life altering. Several medical studies have shown that women’s quality of life increases dramatically when they are given testosterone. The risk of developing a number of medical conditions is reduced. And even when it comes to breast cancer, according to Menopause International, testosterone can be breast cancer protective.
So, contrary to conventional wisdom, women should have their hormone levels checked when they “just don’t feel well,” and when they are found to have low testosterone, they should seek treatment from an expert in bioidentical hormone therapy.
Not All Cancer Care Is Created Equal
submitted by Premier
Hematology & Oncology
Hearing the diagnosis “you have cancer” is one of the most frightening things that can happen in a person’s life, demanding that decisions be made quickly on subjects about which most patients know very little. Patients often feel confused and overwhelmed about their options during a time when their energy and resources are severely limited.
Searching out information on the internet, while helpful, can feel like drinking from a fire hose. During the decision-making process, many patients find reassurance by narrowing their choices between practices that have earned cancer care certification after rigorous investigation by established governing bodies.
The Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program (QCP), an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, recognizes medical oncology and hematology/oncology practices that are committed to delivering the highest quality of cancer care.
To achieve QOPI certification, a practice must have met or exceeded benchmark measures that compared the quality of its care against national standards, undergoing on-site reviews by a select team of oncology professionals at least once every three years. What this means for patients is that a practice location that is QOPI-certified is committed to delivering the highest quality of cancer care available.
Who Needs a New Air Purification System?
by Thomas Tomarelli, President
AC Guys Cooling
and Heating Services
407-654-7420 • 352-728-4262
While allergy sufferers are the most common and most talked-about proponents of new air-purification systems, there are other groups of people who can benefit from these systems, as well. The fact of the matter is that indoor air doesn’t always equal clean air. There are millions and millions of microbes, pollen, dirt, mold and dust particles that can float through the air, so it’s easy to see why a new air-purification system that scrubs the air of these particles can be a welcome relief to not only allergy sufferers, but to those with weakened immune systems, as well.
If you or someone you love has problems with a weakened immune system or other medical problem such as asthma, a new air-purification system can help clean the air of the particles and bothersome microbes that often cause problems. A new air-purification system for your home can ensure that the air you breathe is just like the name implies — purified.
Tennis — A Foundation to Build On
by Marcelo Gouts, Tennis Manager
Lake Cane Tennis Center
With all of today’s various team and individual sports, children are faced with a dizzying array of choices. However, one sport stands out in its unique ability to provide a foundation a child can build upon well into adolescence and adulthood — tennis.
The following are just a few of the many developmental benefits that children learn while playing tennis:
• Hand-eye coordination — Tennis works both fine and gross motor skills.
• Responsibility — Tennis requires a commitment to practice, showing up for games, and being the best player one can be.
• Problem-solving skills — Tennis teaches children to stop, reassess a situation and apply a new strategy to win.
• Sportsmanship — Tennis teaches your child to treat his or her opponent with respect and the game with honor.
• Social skills — To play tennis, children have to play well with others or they will find themselves constantly looking for someone to practice with and play.
• Honesty — In many junior matches, the same children playing the match are the ones making the calls on their opponents’ balls being out or in.
Also, as a great bonus point, tennis is a fun way for children to stay active while playing with family and friends.
What Is a Urogynecologist?
by Christopher Walker, M.D.,
FACOG, FICS, FPRMS, Medical Director
UroGyn Specialists of Florida
Most women visit their gynecologist once a year, but what about a urogynecologist? If you are wondering what a urogynecologist does or if it’s time to see one, read the questions and answers below and uncover the differences to help you decide.
Does a urogynecologist replace an OB-GYN? — You can see a urogynecologist for your annual Pap test and well-woman exam. Most women are referred to a urogynecologist once they learn they have specific issues that a gynecologist does not directly treat, such as urinary incontinence, heavy bleeding, fibroids, interstitial cystitis or other painful female issues.
What are the treatments for urinary incontinence? — There are many treatments, including minor surgical options, muscle reconditioning, medications and even devices that can be inserted in-office. Many women are embarrassed to talk about these issues, but this is not a problem they have to suffer with in silence. A good urogyn practice will educate women about what treatments are available to them. It can be caused by trauma to the pelvis from childbirth or age. How it is caused will help determine which treatments are available. The most important thing is that there is a solution.
I know I’m supposed to do Kegel exercises but I’m too busy. Is there anything out there that can help? — Kegels alone are not very successful. With the help of a pelvic floor rehab program and a trained full-time rehab specialist, patients can better understand how to control these muscles. Through age and childbirth, a woman’s pelvic floor can become weakened. Seek a practice that offers pelvic/Kegel rehab to help you strengthen these unique and important muscles.
What kind of treatment does a urogynecologist offer to lessen heavy periods? — For women who are done having children, endometrial ablation is a good choice. ThermaChoice, a uterine balloon ablation system, is more effective and has fewer long-term side effects than other options on the market.
I’m healthy and just need a caring physician for my annual visits. I also have very private things to talk about. — If you want to take the stress out of going to the doctor, look for a board-certified urogynecologist with lots of experience who likes to teach and makes you feel cared for, listened to and respected. The doctor should be double board-certified in OB-GYN and urogynecology. Most times, gynecologists will have to refer you to a urogynecologist as they are the ultimate gynecological physicians.
Swim Lessons Reduce the Risk of Drowning
by Marc Jablon, Owner
Safety First Swim School
321-236-0240, ext. 5
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4. Fortunately, this major cause of concern for parents is preventable. Survival swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent.
Most parents don’t want to believe that their baby will ever have a drowning incident, but statistics state otherwise. The truth is kids are attracted to water, and in Central Florida there is plenty of it. Many homes have backyard pools, lakes or ponds. And, if they don’t have a pool, parents need to think about birthday parties, vacations, and visits with friends and other family members. Survival swim lessons are not just about drowning prevention, they are about offering parents peace of mind.
Drowning prevention tips:
• Always watch your children in and around water.
• Keep a cell phone or cordless phone poolside for emergency use.
• Install a safety fence or alarm around pools and ponds.
• Install locks and alarms on doors.
• Learn CPR
• Enroll children in swimming lessons that teach survival swimming skills, because an accident only takes a second.
Changing the Landscape of Blood Cancer
by John Scolaro, Realtor
Residential Real Estate
Team In Training is the flagship fundraising program for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the only endurance sports-training program for charity that raises money for blood cancer research. TNT and LLS are changing the landscape of blood cancer, not someday, but today, making TNT the perfect choice to better health.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or not in perfect shape. TNT’s coaches will train you to cross the finish line at a marathon, half marathon, cycling event, triathlon or hike adventure.
LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research that has led to better diagnostics and more effective therapies for blood cancers. The survival rates for many blood cancer patients have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled since 1960.
LLS research grants have funded many of today’s most promising advances, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Many treatments discovered as a result of LLS funding are now the standard of care for non-blood cancers.
LLS recognizes that finding cures is not enough; it needs to ensure that patients have access to the treatments, services and providers they need to live longer, better, healthier lives. LLS is dedicated to removing barriers to care.
As part of Team in Training, local Realtor John Scolaro will participate in America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, a 100-mile bicycle ride, to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. To make a donation, visit www.johnstnt.com on the web.
Avoiding Summer Allergies
Windermere Medical Center
May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and Central Florida certainly has its fair share of irritants that can cause sinus and allergy issues.
One of the easiest ways to manage allergies is to avoid the allergens that you are sensitive to. Some of the most common allergens are found in your home — no matter how much you clean.
Common irritants that can spark an allergic reaction include pollen, dust mites, pets, mold, insect stings and sunscreen.
To protect yourself against allergies at home, vacuum carpets, soft toys and upholstery regularly; wash and groom pets outdoors; and keep rooms dry and ventilated.
If you are looking to treat your allergy and sinus symptoms at home, there are a few helpful habits you can implement to keep allergies and sinus issues at bay. These include practicing good hygiene, using a humidifier to maintain moisture in the sinuses, avoiding irritants, rinsing the nasal passages with warm saltwater or a saline solution to keep sinuses clean; and staying hydrated to keep mucus in the sinuses flowing properly.
Here Comes the Sun
by Andrew J. Schneier, M.D.
Eye Physicians of Central Florida
407-398-7730 • 407-767-6411
Summer in Central Florida means relaxation time at our favorite bodies of water and abundant daylight to enjoy outdoor pursuits. While many of us are aware of the dangers to our skin from ultraviolet rays, our eyes may also suffer damage from overexposure to UV.
Children’s eyes are especially vulnerable as they tend to spend more time outdoors than adults. Solar damage accumulates over time, so the effects on kids’ eyes may not be immediately apparent. Evidence suggests that certain types of cataracts may develop earlier in people with more sun exposure over a lifetime, as well as conditions such as Pterygia, also known as Surfer’s Eye. The skin around the eyelid is also sensitive and could develop carcinomas later in life.
Sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays are recommended for children, along with the judicious use of protective clothing and hats. It is advisable to avoid sun exposure during peak hours, even on cloudy days.
That’s not to say to hide indoors. Children’s eyes may also benefit from sun exposure; time spent outdoors seems to correlate with decreased rates of nearsightedness in young adulthood. So put down the tablet and put on the shades!
Testosterone Replacement Therapy & Cardiovascular Risk
by Marissa Magsino, M.D.
An exciting new study just released by the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that testosterone replacement therapy used to increase testosterone to normal levels in androgen-deficient men doesn’t increase the risk of a serious heart attack or stroke. In the past, several studies had noted the potential increased risk associated with testosterone replacement therapy, prompting The Journal of the American Medical Association to write an article about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration increasing its scrutiny of supplemental testosterone and cardiovascular risk, inviting stricter controls, including requiring manufacturers of all approved testosterone products to add labels outlining the coronary risks of testosterone supplementation.
IMCHI’s new multiyear study found that TRT helped elderly men with low testosterone levels and pre-existing coronary artery disease reduce their risks of major adverse cardiovascular events, including strokes, heart attacks and death. Patients in the study who received testosterone as part of their follow-up treatments fared better than those who did not. Those without testosterone as part of their follow-up treatments were 80 percent more likely to suffer an adverse cardiovascular event.
“The study shows that using testosterone replacement therapy to increase testosterone to normal levels in androgen-deficient men doesn’t increase their risk of a serious heart attack or stroke,” said cardiologist Brent Muhlestein, M.D., co-director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. “That was the case even in the highest-risk men — those with known pre-existing heart disease.”
The study included 755 male Intermountain Healthcare hospitals patients between the ages of 58 and 78, with severe coronary artery disease. Placed into three different groups, the men received varied doses of testosterone administered either by injection or gel. The study found that:
After one year, 64 patients who weren’t taking testosterone supplements suffered major adverse cardiovascular events, while only 12 who were taking medium doses of testosterone and nine who were taking high doses did.
After three years, 125 nontestosterone-therapy patients suffered major adverse cardiovascular events, while only 38 medium-dose and 22 high-dose patients did.
“Although this study indicates that hypo-androgenic men with coronary artery disease might actually be protected by testosterone replacement, this is an observational study that doesn’t provide enough evidence to justify changing treatment recommendations,” Dr. Muhlestein said. “It does, however, substantiate the need for a randomized clinical trial that can confirm or refute the results of this study.”
Avoiding Caregiver Burnout
by Jim Pasquinelli
Home Care Assistance
Families not using a home care agency and providing care for a senior loved one find it to be both challenging and fulfilling. While you take comfort in providing care for your family member, it requires time and dedication that often leads to stress and exhaustion known as caregiver burnout.
Taking time for yourself, even if you only get away for 30 minutes, can help you refresh and recharge. Hobbies like yoga, journaling and meditation can manage the emotional unrest you are feeling. Happy caregivers are efficient caregivers, so do something that brings you joy.
Your health plays a vital role in caring for a senior loved one. Get plenty of sleep, eat nutritious meals and maintain a balanced schedule of diet, exercise and sleep. This helps your body fight off sickness and depression.
Other caregivers can empathize and understand your challenges, emotions and experience. A support group is a great way to connect with others. You can ask questions, vent, share ideas and get much-needed support. It also allows you to connect with additional resources like medical professionals and outreach programs.
Why Do I Have a Nose?
by Carlos M. Jacinto, M.D.
and Immunology Associates of Central Florida
The nose is a prominent feature on everybody’s face. In actuality, it is only the tip of a large nasal cavity that extends another 3/4 back into the skull. It is a simple structure, but it has amazing features that serve various important functions.
The air-filled nasal cavity acts as a sound amplifier that provides resonance to our voices. The roof of this cavity contains the olfactory nerve cells that project from the brain above. These nerve cells are easily accessible to airflow and provide us with the sense of smell, which augments the sense of taste.
The major function of the nasal cavity is to act as an air-conditioning system. It has to filter, purify, humidify and regulate the temperature of the air during its brief passage through the nasal cavity. The inside of the nose has wing projections from the side walls, called turbinates, that provide turbulence to air flow. Whereas major impurities are filtered by nasal hairs found in the front of the cavity, smaller particles impact and deposit onto the turbinates. These turbinates also have a rich array of blood vessels that are regulated to provide the proper temperature to the air before it reaches the lungs. Even very cold air is warmed up to body temperature in the milliseconds it takes to pass through the nose.
The nose also has a very important role in the frontline of our defense system against a variety of body invaders and allergens. The lining of the turbinates is composed of cells that have projections like broom bristles that beat in unison to sweep the mucus blanket toward the back of the throat. It takes 10 minutes for particles impacted in the front of the nasal cavity to be swept and swallowed for elimination. This lining also has goblet cells that produce 1 to 2 liters of fluid within 24 hours. This forms a mucus blanket that is rich in antibodies ready to attack germs and neutralize allergens that cause allergies.
Next time you see someone’s nose, wonder about its amazing functions and how it might be affecting their quality of life. That’s what allergists do.
Cycling for Good Health
by Fred Hewett, Owner
Full Circle Cycle
Most of us know the many physical health benefits to riding a bicycle, but did you also know that cycling can offer substantial mental health benefits as well? Researchers are now discovering the strong benefits of cycling in the treatment of different mental health issues and neurological disorders.
Studies of school-age children diagnosed with ADHD have shown increased focus and academic performance in kids who ride as little as 30 minutes a day before class. This has led to some physicians prescribing cycling for some of their patients over traditional medication — pedals over pills. Treatment of Parkinson’s disease symptoms with cycling therapy has also shown hope for those living with this debilitating condition in reducing the “shakes” they suffer from. Even if none of these conditions impact your life, a regular regime of riding a bike is good for sharpening your mind and relieving stress. In a recent study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, scientists found that people scored higher on tests of memory, reasoning and planning after 30 minutes of bicycle riding than they did before they rode.
So, be good to your brain and body today, and go ride your bike!
It’s Not You … It’s Your Hormones
by Lynne Byron
Female Hormone Consultant
Olympia Compounding Pharmacy
Hormones play a huge part in weight gain and weight loss.
As early as a woman’s 30s, hormones begin to fluctuate. The estrogen is there, but the progesterone produced by the ovaries begins to decrease. This is known as estrogen dominance — too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. This is an imbalance, and women may start to notice things like irregular menstrual cycles, skipping menstrual cycles, heavier bleeding, more clotting and more cramps.
A woman may also start to experience more premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as bloating, irritability, headaches, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and weight gain. PMS is a hormone imbalance. A woman is not birth control deficient or Prozac deficient; she is hormone deficient. When too much estrogen is present, the body stores it in the fatty tissue. Usually, this is in the midsection. At this stage, a woman can work out for hours and eat like a bird, but the weight will not budge. In this case, progesterone is the key. Once this balance is restored to the woman’s physiological norm, the effort she puts into losing weight will pay off.
During a woman’s 50s, hormones decline even more until none are left. When menstruation has stopped for a year or more, it is called menopause. This brings about an entirely different hormone balance problem. Estrogen and progesterone are no longer present. There are estrogen receptors on almost every cell in the body, including the skin. Now whatever estrogen a woman’s body can hold on to is being stored in the midsection, because her body is in an estrogen-starvation mode. Both estrogen and progesterone need to be put back in balance for the gamut of menopausal symptoms to be quieted. Weight gain is one of those symptoms.
In both cases progesterone is a very important key. It is the forgotten hormone. It is the hormone that affects our metabolism. It also is the hormone that tells the estrogen not to be stored in the fatty tissue. Progesterone is a natural diuretic and a natural antidepressant. It regulates mood and improves sleep, which are very beneficial to weight loss.
So, in a nutshell, it’s not you, it’s your hormones!
Mindfulness Meets Our Crazy World
by Anne McDonough
Do you ever feel anxious and overwhelmed? Mindfulness can help you calm and focus your mind.
Mindfulness is focusing on being in the present moment, and it can greatly promote well-being.
Watching TV and the news can exacerbate stress and anxiety, which can lead to disease, depression and insomnia. Our society is programmed to want a quick fix, often turning to alcohol or prescription drugs for relief. Practicing mindfulness is a healthier, less-expensive alternative, and it can be done by developing a daily practice of the following simple techniques:
• Breathing deeply into the diaphragm, holding the breath as long as comfortably possible, and exhaling through the mouth.
• Practicing meditation using calming music while closing the eyes and allowing the body to relax.
• Developing a simple yoga practice allows you to connect the physical with the spiritual.
• Walking outside in nature encourages relaxation.
Many corporations and businesses are developing these practices in their workplaces to help with employee productivity and create a more cohesive team environment.
By encouraging the mind to relax, you can build better relationships, both personal and professional.
Start your daily practice of mindfulness today, and take control of your life.
Healthy Nail Pampering
by Tammy Nguyen
Tammy’s Nails & Day Spa
The next time you decide to get your nails pampered at a salon, try to incorporate the following ABC’s to ensure a safe, healthy experience.
A. Choose wisely — A perfect salon experience starts with a clean environment, clean work areas and professional employees with good sterilization practices. The salon you choose should employ technicians who also place a big emphasis on the health of your nails and cuticles.
B. Beware — Sterilized tools should be stored in an autoclave then transferred to a clean plastic pouch, which should be opened in front of you. For pedicures, be sure the chair bowl/basin has been thoroughly cleaned after the last use. Best-practice salons will use a disposable plastic bowl liner for each customer along with disposable callous stones and files.
C. Do your part — Advise your nail technicians if you have any physical conditions. You should reschedule an appointment if you are aware of any cuts or abrasions that need to heal before your service.
Take care of your nails between salon visits by wearing gloves when working in the yard. Also, when using a conditioner on your dry hands, be sure to rub any excess into your cuticles and on your nails.
Are Spider Veins an Aesthetic or Health Issue?
by Jan V. Karlin, M.D.
Nova Cosmetic Center
Spider veins are capillary veins that are easily visible through the skin and generally appear as tiny webs of red, blue or purple lines. They can become quite noticeable when they accumulate in sufficient number. Despite their small size and superficial location, spider veins rarely account for any symptoms in the legs, such as itching, burning and throbbing.
Spider veins are very common. In fact, most people will eventually have spider veins on their legs. Generally, they develop more often in women (50 to 55 percent) than men (40 to 45 percent). We do not really know why spider veins develop.
Many people seek spider vein treatment to eliminate these unsightly veins. Although they are rarely a medical issue, most patients want to eliminate their spider veins to enhance the aesthetic appearance of their legs. Spider veins can be treated successfully by injection compression sclerotherapy with a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved solution.
Keep Your Numbers in Check With an Annual Physical
Florida Hospital Medical Group Winter Garden
You maintain your car, your lawn and your home every year. Are you keeping yourself in good working order?
An annual physical is the best way to establish a baseline for your general wellness, noting changes that may occur throughout the year in your important numbers, such as blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol, as well as other markers, including lung function, skin health and memory. Changes could indicate serious health problems that should be addressed by a specialist.
During your visit, it’s best to be completely open about any symptoms you are experiencing. Sometimes, even an off-hand remark can lead to important discoveries about a patient’s health. Someone might mention they’ve been a little short of breath lately or just feeling vaguely “off” without a clear explanation. These things could indicate a heart problem, or it could be something else — an annual exam is the best way to begin figuring out the cause.
Annual exams also include working on preventive care; this includes screening exams, like mammograms, colonoscopies, Pap smears, etc. Doctors also monitor for preventive immunizations’ status or completion and use this time to discuss exercise plans/regimens, healthier diet choices, sleep and mental health.
Allergies in Cats & Dogs
by Holly Valentine, DVM
Cedar Bay Veterinary Clinic
One of the most common conditions that pets present to a veterinarian for is allergic skin disease. Most allergies in pets can be placed into three categories: insect allergies, environmental allergies or food allergies. In addition, pets may have two or three allergies occurring at the same time.
Insects include fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, biting ants and chiggers. Fleas leave saliva in the skin and cause the whole body to itch, especially the hind end and back legs.
Environmental allergies, or atopy, are caused by the pet having contact with allergens. The pet’s skin — especially the feet, face, groin and arm pits — absorbs the allergens and itching ensues. Allergens include tree, grass and wood pollens; molds; house dust mites; and animal danders.
Food allergens include meat, dairy, vegetables, grains and food additives. Included foods are milk, beef, cheese, commercial treats, rawhide bones, pig ears, etc. Food allergies cause the entire body to itch, but ear inflammation with head shaking, itching around the anal area, and frequent “hot spots” are commonly seen.
All of these allergies are treatable; however, sorting them out takes some time and commitment on the parts of the pet owner and veterinarian.
A Slam Dunk to Your Health
by Bruce Gillard, Head Trainer
Hoop Dreams Elite
Want to work out your lower and upper body muscles? Looking for a fun and entertaining way to work out and sweat out toxins, increase your heart rate, and burn calories? Basketball is just the sport to help you achieve a healthy, active lifestyle.
Passing, shooting and dribbling the ball helps to work out your upper torso, while running up and down the court and quickly dodging opponents keeps the cardio going and your heart pumping. An hour of competitive basketball can burn 600-900 calories. It builds endurance in your heart muscles, helps develop discipline and concentration, and even helps better motor skills and builds bone strength.
So, next time you’re looking for an activity or new sport to help you get into shape and keep you healthy, find a team or a league, and make a slam dunk to your health!
Why Hire a Personal Trainer?
by Craig L. Lewis, CPT, Director of Membership and Wellness
With the multitude of information available on social media and other websites, why would one need to hire a personal trainer in 2016? The answer? Results!
Hiring a trainer adds accountability and motivation to the casual gym-goer. It also helps to develop a routine to build healthy habits for lifelong change. For the average gym user, a personal trainer adds instruction into proper technique, helps prevent injuries, and creates a personalized program that drives results notably faster than an article in the latest beauty magazine. Even for those who are at the gym daily, before or after work, an educated fitness professional can help to add new ideas and methods that keep even the fittest gym user challenged and motivated.
Personal trainers produce real results to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. 💓