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Better Living Health Articles


Keeping Kids Regular

Posted 4/21/2015 by jcoleman

If your child’s constipation has you worried, give us a call. Did you know that passing a stool should be fun for kids or at least free of discomfort? If your child cries or complains every time he has a bowel movement, he may be constipated. Although you may not associate constipation with children, it does happen, says pediatrician Ernesto Gerardo, MD. “You can find children with constipation at almost any age,” he says. “Even breast-feeding infants can develop it.&rdq...

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Grandma, Your Breath Smells Funny

Posted 4/10/2015 by UHBlog

Is your bad breath a symptom of an underlying health problem? Ask us about your halitosis. For most of us, bad breath is a sign that we need to brush or floss regularly or more often. However, for many elderly people, that may be easier said than done. Not only are seniors more vulnerable to dry mouth – one of the leading causes of halitosis – they may find it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene as they age. “They may not be able to take care of their dentures or brush ...

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Spring Into Action: Step Up Your Plant-Based Game

Posted 4/9/2015 by UHBlog

April is here, the grass is visible and Earth Day is around the corner. What a great time for plant-based eating. Plant-based foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, lentils, etc.), nuts and seeds. These foods naturally provide fiber, vitamins and minerals (and some provide protein) without the saturated fat or cholesterol you will get from animal-based products. Plant-based foods also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals such as flavonoids, carotenoids and anthocyanidins – al...

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Kick the Habit with Hypnotherapy

Posted 4/9/2015 by UHBlog

Clinical hypnotherapy can help with self-awareness and healing. Learn how. You’ve probably heard of hypnotherapy, but if you're like a lot of people, you aren't sure what it is and how it helps. Hypnotherapy, also called hypnosis, became widespread in the late 1800s and harnesses the power of the mind and its ability to affect bodily functions and symptoms. “Hypnosis is the power to change a person’s thought patterns through a combination of positive suggestions and relaxatio...

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Flash A Little Leg: A Painless Treatment for Varicose Veins

Posted 4/8/2015 by UHBlog

Get a leg up on varicose vein pain to look and feel better. Ask us. If your legs are tired and achy all the time, troublesome varicose veins may be to blame. Not only are varicose veins unsightly, but they may mean you're prone to venous reflex disease. "Varicose veins are a medical issue," says Margaret Mann, MD. "They can be painful and cause discomfort in your legs, thighs and behind your calves." Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins are too weak or damaged to push blood upward...

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Earwax: Friend or Foe

Posted 4/7/2015 by UHBlog

Are you grossed out by your ear wax? We can help. When is the last time you heard someone talk positively about earwax? After all, it's pretty repulsive to return someone's headphones with your earwax on them. And what reader of the Harry Potter book series wants to try an earwax-flavored Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Bean candy featured in the novels? Yet, earwax has several important functions, says Gail Murray, PhD, MEd, Director of Audiology Services at University Hospitals Case Medical...

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Rite of Passage? Alcohol and Young Athletes

Posted 4/6/2015 by UHBlog

Are you worried about you or your child’s alcohol use? We can guide you. There’s a new game in town. Some runners are choosing to not only test their athletic skills, but their alcohol tolerance by competing in an event known as the “Beer Mile.” The sport has been gaining in popularity in recent years, especially among young athletes. Racers chug a cold one, run a quarter of a mile and then slam another and so on over the course of a mile. In case you’re counting, t...

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Sneaky Parent: Sneaking Veggies into Foods like Smoothies and Others

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

Check with us about broadening or improving your child’s diet. We tell our kids to eat from the rainbow, but of all the foods in the food pyramid, vegetables are probably the least preferred. So how can you get your child, and yourself, to eat more servings of vegetables? The best way is to be a good role model, says clinical dietician Janet Kramer, MPH, RDN, LD. It takes time to become familiar with a new food, especially for children who are being exposed to new tastes and textures for ...

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Recovering from the Loss of a Loved One

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

Losing a loved one hurts. See us if you need help adjusting. One sad truth about aging is the inevitability of losing the people you love. The grief and mourning after a loved one’s death are difficult challenges to face. “Even though we understand that death is a normal part of life, it’s always difficult dealing with the pain of death,” says psychologist Jeffrey Janata, PhD. “Your grief can be particularly intense as you struggle with shock, confusion and a sense...

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Am I Ready to Have a Baby?

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

Before you get pregnant, schedule a preconception visit with your doctor. Sometimes you know from an early age that you’ve always wanted a baby. Or maybe you thought you didn’t until all of your friends started having kids. How do you know if you’re ready for motherhood? “It’s a personal decision and there are a lot of things that play into it,” says obstetrician/gynecologist Marjorie Greenfield, MD and author of The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book. Amon...

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Take Control of Your Food Addictions

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

Are you worried about your eating habits? Ask us. Food cravings are a natural part of life, but how do you know when they’ve become unhealthy? In our society of plenty, many people worry that they’re compulsive overeaters or that they are food addicts. In the book, Hunger Fix, author Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, an internationally recognized expert, physician and author in the fields of nutrition, stress, fitness and public health, discusses why you receive a “false fix” from ...

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How to Enjoy Protein-Packed Meatless Meals

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

Think you need to get your daily dietary requirement of protein from meat? Ask us. Is your performance propelled by protein? Many people think protein has to come from meat, but nothing could be further from the truth. According to registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Jamieson-Petonic, there are more meatless sources of protein than ever available, providing multiple meal options to the athlete and her family. Plus, there are numerous health benefits when you add more meatless meals, including...

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Managing Menopause with Hormone Therapy

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

Do menopausal symptoms make you uncomfortable? They’re treatable. You’re tired, cranky and sweat pours off your face during the middle of winter or while blasting the air conditioner at the coldest setting. Welcome to menopause. Menopause affects women in their 40s and 50s and lasts several years until your periods finally stop. Although not all women develop uncomfortable menopausal symptoms, for the ones who do, there is help, says obstetrician/gynecologist Susan Lasch, MD. &ldquo...

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Gender Differences and Adult-Infant Communication in the First Months of Life

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

Ask us how you can improve your baby's cognitive and language skills. Have you ever wondered how important talking to your infant is? Multiple studies focus on baby talk and its impact on your child's language development and vocabulary skills. Now, a recent American Academy of Pediatrics study confirms what many parents may already know: Mothers respond to an infant’s communication, including crying, more than fathers, and infants prefer listening to their mother’s voice. Regardles...

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Food and Drugs that Don’t Mix

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

If you have questions about your medications, we’ve got answers. Do you feel like you need to be a chemist or pharmacist to understand the ins and outs of the medications you’re taking? Older adults who take a number of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications throughout the day have to be cautious – not only about the way drugs interact together, but also how foods affect their medicines. According to geriatric medicine specialist Taryn Lee, MD, the best way to pre...

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When to Be Concerned About Memory Loss

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

If you have questions about your cognitive function, ask us. So you’ve forgotten why you went into the dining room or you’ve misplaced your car keys – again. How do you know if your absentmindedness is normal or a sign of something more serious? While some of us may become more forgetful as we get older, memory loss itself isn’t a normal part of aging, says neuropsychiatrist Brian Appleby, MD. “It’s normal when people age for their thought process to slow dow...

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Coaching Your Kids: Do’s and Don’ts

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

If you need help interacting with your child, ask us. There are few things in life that match the satisfaction, frustration, joy and heartbreak of raising your child. Combine your regular parenting duties with that of coaching your child’s sports team and you might find yourself in a delicate balancing act. “Coaching children requires looking at them through a lens that combines support, encouragement and setting limits,” says clinical psychologist Carolyn Ievers-Landis, PhD. ...

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Childhood Asthma: Fact and Fiction

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

If you think your child has allergies, we can help you know for certain. If you want to know how serious a problem childhood asthma is, visit an elementary school on any given day. Each year, asthma accounts for 13 million absences from school. Yet, many parents aren’t sure if their child is suffering from asthma or another illness. That&rsqou;s understandable since asthma symptoms can resemble other medical conditions, says pediatric pulmonology specialist Kristie Ross, MD. The only way ...

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When the Big O Becomes the Big Ouch: Painful Sex During Menopause

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

Painful postmenopausal sex is treatable. Ask us. It’s hard to get your sexy on when having sex hurts. Yet, it’s a problem that affects the love lives of approximately 50 percent of postmenopausal women, many of whom may not realize their issue is treatable. “Painful sex is very common among postmenopausal women,” says psychologist Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD. The problem stems from genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), a new term used to describe the genital, urinary and ...

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Staying in the Game: The Best Rotator Cuff Exercises

Posted 4/2/2015 by UHBlog

Learn good techniques to protect your rotator cuff muscles and shoulders. Ask us to show you. No one wants to be sidelined from their favorite sports by shoulder pain – and you don't have to be as long as you invest a few minutes a day in preventive care. “Prevention is the key to decreasing rotator cuff types of risks and injuries,” says sports medicine specialist James Voos, MD. For many of us, our posture on a good day leans somewhere between a slouch and the Hunchback of N...

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Train Well, Fuel Well (Part Three)

Posted 4/2/2015 by Kelli Santiago

Ask the Dietitian/Personal Trainer Q: What are your thoughts and/or recommendations on post-workout nutrition for endurance exercise? A: Your primary source of fuel used for this type of exercise comes from stored carbohydrates, either from muscle (as muscle glycogen) or blood (blood glucose). Depending on the intensity of your workout, these “storage units” are typically empty (or close to it) by the time you’re done with your workout. The more intense your workout the more d...

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How Does Reiki Heal?

Posted 4/1/2015 by UHBlog

Learn how the power of touch can support your body's natural healing abilities. Almost everyone likes to be touched soothingly, but did you know that touch also reduces the symptoms that contribute to chronic illnesses and conditions? Known as Reiki, this therapy involves touch as a way to promote the body’s innate healing power. "Reiki is a complementary health approach in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person," says Reiki master Tina DiCillo. "We call ...

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Spring Into Summer – Safely

Posted 3/31/2015 by UHBlog

With the warmer temperatures of spring and summer fast approaching, activities such as gardening, golfing and tennis will once again be on everyone’s schedule. And since most of us hibernate during the winter months, when the nice weather hits, we want to jump right into all of the activities we’ve been missing. However, whether you’re 8 or 80, after a lengthy period of inactivity, we all need to prepare our bodies for the additional demands of a healthy, active lifestyle. If ...

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Getting Fit After Baby

Posted 3/30/2015 by UHBlog

If you have questions about getting back in shape after your baby is born, ask us. If regular exercise makes you happy and sane, is it realistic to think you'll feel that way again during the first year of your new baby's life? It is, says sports medicine specialist Amanda Weiss Kelly, MD, but you'll need to manage your expectations. "You need to look at exercise in the short term," she says. "Right now, it's about stress relief and giving yourself time to do what you enjoy. You're not going to...

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5 Reasons to Try a Triathlon

Posted 3/23/2015 by UHBlog

Make sure you're a tip-top triathloner by seeing your doctor beforehand. Have you ever thought about trying a triathlon? Whether you’re a serious competitor or just an amateur enthusiast in search of a rigorous exercise regimen, a triathlon may meet most, if not all, of your exercise objectives. Although there are exercise programs and physical fitness strategies available, here are five reasons why Robert Truax, DO likes the rigors of training for a triathlon: 1. You Set a Goal While mo...

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African-Americans and Colon Cancer Risks

Posted 3/19/2015 by UHBlog

Read more about colon cancer prevention, risks and screening options. Did you know that African-Americans are more likely to develop colon cancer, get it at an early age, and are more likely to die of it, when compared with Caucasians? In fact, African-Americans have the highest rates of colon cancer of any ethnic group in the U.S. These differences hold up even when doctors consider social and economic differences among ethnic groups, such as access to health care. “The differences pers...

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March Madness: Injury Prevention for the Weekend Warrior

Posted 3/16/2015 by UHBlog

The 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is in full swing and with that arises the opportunity to provide helpful injury prevention tips so that “weekend warriors” can enjoy their games to the fullest. For those who, due to work, school or other commitments, usually limit their sports or physical activities to the weekend, playing a game like basketball can result in injury if the proper steps aren’t taken to prepare. According to James Voos, MD, Chief of the Division o...

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Healthiest Fast Food Options What to Order Where

Posted 3/12/2015 by UHBlog

We oftentimes find ourselves on-the-road running between work, appointments and after-school events, and having to grab our next meal from our favorite drive-through. Our dieitian experts picked out their favorite go-to orders to help you navigate fast food menus. Follow their top menu picks to keep it healthy when you’re on-the-go. Arby’s Martha’s Vineyard Salad (Low-fat dressing) Burger King Whopper Jr. (No mayo) Einstein Bros. Bagels Veg Out Sandwich Jimmy John’s Turkey Tom Sandwich...

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Building Better Bones

Posted 3/11/2015 by UHBlog

Many of us experienced broken bones as children. You probably remember having your friends sign the cast, wearing a special sling or using crutches while the bone healed – and in 6 weeks or so, you were back to normal, running and playing just like before. Like all the structures of our bodies, our bones age right along with us and unfortunately become less resilient over time. By the time we are in our mid to late twenties, we have reached our maximum bone density and, unless we take prevent...

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10 Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks

Posted 3/10/2015 by UHBlog

Snacking throughout the day can help curb your hunger and keep you from overeating come dinner time. Nibble guilt-free on these healthy snacks while you’re on-the-go to keep you energized all day. Sliced vegetables with two tablespoons of hummus Fresh fruit with fat-free Greek yogurt and nuts Fruit sandwich: peanut butter and raisins layered between slices of apple Cucumber sliders: turkey, cheese and hummus sandwiched between two cucumber slices Brown rice cakes with peanut butter and banana...

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The Grain Brain Discussion

Posted 3/9/2015 by UHBlog

Learn about memory loss evaluation and therapies at UH Geauga Medical Center. Memory loss can be scary. So it's understandable that you want to find the reason behind this frustrating condition. One theory blames carbohydrates for memory loss. In the book, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain's Silent Killers, author David Perlmutter, a neurologist, claims whole grains cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression and other neurologic...

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Head Lice: What to Know and How to Get Rid of it

Posted 3/6/2015 by UHBlog

If you need help treating your child's head lice, call your doctor. Kids share a lot of positive, enriching experiences in school, but some of those occurrences are ones that parents wish could be undone. Just ask any parent whose child is infected with head lice. "Head lice is a common communicable condition in school-age children that is most prevalent in the fall and winter months," says pediatric hospitalist Allayne Stephans, MD. Head lice are tiny gray bugs that live on the scalp and sprea...

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The Do's and Don'ts of Treating Fevers in Children

Posted 3/5/2015 by UHBlog

If at any time your child's fever alarms you, call your doctor. Almost nothing makes a parent feel more helpless than when their child is sick with a fever. Although your child looks miserable, that fever may actually be a good thing. "In the majority of kids who get fevers, it's just their body's response to an infection," says pediatric hospitalist Erin Frank, MD. "Parents think it's a bad thing for their child to have a fever, but it's a sign the body is working as it should." If your child...

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Is It Selective Hearing or Hearing Loss?

Posted 3/4/2015 by UHBlog

If your hearing has you concerned, visit your doctor. Does your spouse think you're going deaf because you can't hear her? Or maybe people accuse you of having selective hearing because you only tune into and understand certain things. While hearing loss and selective hearing are two different things, both are breakdowns in the way your brain processes sound. The ability to hear is complicated, says Gail Murray, PhD, MEd, director of Audiology Services at University Hospitals Case Medical Cent...

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Mindfulness: Get Focused and Clear the Clutter

Posted 3/4/2015 by UHBlog

If too many distractions are stressing you out, you might want to see your doctor. Are you someone who talks on the phone, responds to emails and texts, all while conversing with a colleague, client or friend? If you find yourself constantly shifting your attention from one thing to the next, the practice of mindfulness can help you manage this. "Mindfulness is a way of being fully present,” says Francoise Adan, MD."It heightens awareness and focuses us on the moment at hand. Mindfulness ...

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Acupuncture Cures for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Posted 3/3/2015 by UHBlog

Acupuncture treats the blahs, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD). When the Beatles sang, "It's been a long cold lonely winter," they might have been singing about Northeast Ohio. "Our winter season is so long and Cleveland is one of the cloudiest cities to live in," says licensed acupuncturist Julia Proctor. "Some people get depressed by this lack of natural sunlight." The condition has a name, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and it's a type of depression that affects people in th...

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Laundry Pod Dangers

Posted 3/2/2015 by UHBlog

Could your toddler's curiosity lead to accidental poisoning? Ask your doctor about preventing poisoning in your home. Does your toddler like to mimic what you do? While that behavior can be cute most of the time, it can lead to trouble on laundry day. Young children are attracted to a relatively new detergent product, the laundry pod, and that fascination is sending toddlers to the emergency room every day. "The problem with laundry detergent pods is they look like candy or a toy," says Rainbo...

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To Colonoscopy – or Not to Colonoscopy

Posted 3/1/2015 by UHBlog

Did you know there are multiple colon cancer screening options besides colonoscopies? Move over colonoscopies. There are several good alternatives to screen for colon cancer, the third most common cancer in men and women. "With a colonoscopy, the major fears for most people are the prep and sedation," says gastroenterologist Gregory Cooper, MD. "They hear all these horror stories about what these involve." In fact, the full bowel prep required for a colonoscopy is getting easier, Dr. Cooper sa...

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Watch Your Step

Posted 2/28/2015 by UHBlog

If you feel dizzy, unsteady or have problems with balance talk to us. We can help. When you feel unsure on your feet, it can have a negative impact on your life. Without your balance, you can't participate in sports, put on your shoes or get out of a chair. Older people are especially worried about losing their balance and suffering a fall-related injury, which might make it impossible for them to live independently. Balance problems aren't just an older person's ailment either, says physical t...

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Rotator Cuff Injuries: Surgery vs. Rehab

Posted 2/27/2015 by UHBlog

Get back in the game sooner with total orthopedic care under one roof. Do you feel pain in the front of your shoulder? Are everyday activities like lifting and reaching troublesome? You may have a rotator cuff injury. "Rotator cuff injuries are one of the most painful because the body is trying to use a muscle that is no longer attached at one end," says sports medicine and shoulder surgery expert Daniel Zanotti, MD. The rotator cuff consists of four muscles and the surrounding tendons that ...

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