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Better Living Health Articles


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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March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Posted 2/26/2015 by UHBlog

Did you know that colon cancer is the second leading cancer-related cause of death, and often has no symptoms? Or that 90 percent of people diagnosed are 50 and older? The good news is that when it is detected early with regular screenings, colon cancer has a 90 percent survival rate. Be proactive. There are several tests that can help diagnose colon cancer, but experts agree that a colonoscopy is the gold standard for early detection and prevention. During a colonoscopy, a doctor looks for po...

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Healthy Living Practices Through Acupuncture

Posted 2/26/2015 by UHBlog

Find out how acupuncture can help improve your overall health. Many people turn to acupuncture to relieve chronic pain, but did you know it can also improve your overall wellness? “The goal of acupuncture is to activate the natural, self-healing abilities of the body," says Lina Sbrocco, a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist. "Acupuncture care helps strengthen and support the body to prevent illness and disease. When I begin working with a new client, my focus is on the whole ...

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5 Tips to Stay Healthy on the Go

Posted 2/25/2015 by UHBlog

Is your busy lifestyle keeping you constantly on-the-go? Here are five tips to help you maintain a healthy diet while on the run. Pack Your Own Snacks Packing your own snacks is a healthy way to ensure that you are eating nutritious foods in between meals. Pack options like oranges, apples, carrots, celery, mixed nuts, raisins or other dried fruits to save money and provide extra nutrition. Make Your Own Coffee or Tea Coffee has become a high-calorie beverage at many lo...

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Want a Healthy Heart? Have More Sex

Posted 2/24/2015 by jsudo

If you have questions or concerns about your sexual health, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Do you want a healthy heart? Make more love, says psychologist Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD. "A healthy sexual relationship can benefit your heart health in a variety of ways," she says. "First of all, good sex in a relationship plays a powerful role in maintaining the health of a long-term relationship. The downstream effect of a happy and satisfying relationship is less negative stress and more posit...

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Eat Right, Even When On the Go

Posted 2/23/2015 by UHBlog

Whether it’s from a fast food restaurant or it’s a packaged portable food item, more and more people are eating on the go. People want fast, easy, inexpensive and good-tasting food to give them the energy to keep up with their demanding lifestyles. As schedules get busier and more time is spent on the run, it seems harder to find time for a nutritious meal. Individuals are more likely to grab food or beverages throughout the day whenever they have the chance; they may not care if the...

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Why ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Appeals to Women

Posted 2/23/2015 by UHBlog

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ opened Valentine's Day weekend, based on the bestselling book known for its provocative themes of dominance and submission. Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, an expert in human sexuality, says the provocative nature of the book and movie is only part of its popularity, especially with women. "It's the idea of women being desired," says Dr. Kingsberg. "To know that the richest man on earth would go to the ends of the earth to seduce you is what turns women on." Dr. Kingsberg adds th...

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9 Ways to Manage Menopause

Posted 2/22/2015 by UHBlog

Bothered by menopause? We can help. If you think menopause is like flipping a switch and poof, your menstrual cycle ends, you obviously haven't lived through it. Menopause is a time of transition for most women that consists of three parts – perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause. Menopause symptoms can last years, says reproductive endocrinologist and gynecologic surgeon James Liu, MD. "Menopause itself is defined as a shutdown of estrogen from the ovaries," Dr. Liu says. After a full ...

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The Truth About Vaccines

Posted 2/20/2015 by UHBlog

Getting vaccinated is an important form of preventive care. Make your child's appointment today. Studies show that childhood vaccines are effective at preventing diseases, but recent media attention is causing a lot of debate. "Because I am a pediatrician, mother and self-described 'greenie,' I think it's important I add my voice to this topic, especially for my fellow environmentally conscious parents who may have questions or concerns about vaccines," says pediatrician Aparna Bole, MD, who is...

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4 Ab Exercises That Work Better Than Crunches

Posted 2/19/2015 by UHBlog

Are you hunched from your crunch? We can straighten you out. Is your go-to abdominal exercise the crunch? It turns out it may not be the best choice to work your abs. "Crunches are probably one of the least helpful abdominal exercises," says sports medicine specialist Robert Truax, DO. The problem with crunches is that most people lock their feet under something stationary, bend their knees and use their hip flexors instead of their abdominal muscles to pull themselves up. They also forget t...

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Six Strategies for Avoiding Winter Falls

Posted 2/9/2015 by UHBlog

The snowy winter months are prime time for orthopaedic injuries resulting from falls, such as strains, sprains and fractures. To prevent falling this winter season, use these six simple strategies: Wear appropriate footwear when walking outside – even if it’s just from the parking lot to inside a building. Your best option is a pair of winter boots with rubber or neoprene soles, which provide good traction when you’re walking. Take extra care when you get in or out ...

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Stay Safe on the Slopes

Posted 2/3/2015 by UHBlog

Always get your doctor’s okay before starting a new exercise routine. Winter is in full swing and the cold temperatures are making it easy for either Mother Nature or snow machines to cover the slopes in powder. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder, or you’re new to these popular wintertime sports, these tips from orthopaedic surgeon Daniel Zanotti, MD, can help you stay safe on the slopes. “One of the things that people may not realize is how physical skiing a...

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Train Well, Fuel Well (Part Two)

Posted 1/15/2015 by Kelli Santiago

Ask the Dietitian/Personal Trainer Q: How can I get a good workout without a personal trainer? A:Working with a trainer has its benefits – they’re motivating, resourceful and can help you reach your goals. But working with a trainer can also be expensive and they aren’t necessarily the most important part of a workout. Instead, here are some tips to help you become your own personal trainer- at a fraction of the price. Put Pen to Paper There are three basic (but important) t...

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Three Ways Life Coaching Improves Your Mental Health

Posted 1/9/2015 by UHBlog

If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, don’t suffer in silence. Let your doctor know. Feel stuck in your life, unfulfilled or lacking in direction? You might benefit from a life coach. “Life coaches are trained to help you heighten your self-awareness, validate your strengths, boost your confidence and guide you to visualize a positive future,” says stress reliance specialist and life coach Heidi M. Weiker, MSSA. The service strikes a chord among people who want to de...

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Healthy Sitting at Work

Posted 1/8/2015 by UHBlog

Are you due for a checkup? Make your appointment today. Sitting all day at work doesn’t sound very risky. But unless you are careful, it can unleash an avalanche of aches and pains. “We were not designed to sit,” says physical medicine and rehabilitation expert Vinod Sahgal, MD. “We were designed to stand straight and be mobile.” Some tips from Dr. Sahgal on how to stay healthy and pain-free: Sit Right It’s easy to slump at your desk with your shoulders hunc...

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6 Heart Attack Myths

Posted 1/7/2015 by UHBlog

What’s your risk for heart disease? Ask your doctor. This year more than 920,000 Americans will have a heart attack when plaque collects in the arteries, blocking the flow of blood to the heart. Not all of them will survive. Unfortunately, physicians still encounter many dangerous myths about this common killer. Cardiologist Christine Zirafi, MD sets the record straight on six of the most persistent: Myth #1: People having heart attacks feel sharp chest pain and numbness in the arm. Fa...

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Reduce Stress With Guided Imagery

Posted 1/6/2015 by UHBlog

Learn more about integrative medicine at University Hospitals. Many people pledge to lose weight or get fit when the New Year arrives. But resolving to reduce your physical reaction to stress in 2015 could also yield big health benefits this year and beyond. One powerful tool: guided imagery. “Guided imagery is a form of meditation that uses the senses to induce a state of relaxation, and also promotes healing and decreases pain,” says integrative psychiatrist Francoise Adan, MD, M...

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6 Ways to Snap Out of an Exercise Rut

Posted 1/5/2015 by UHBlog

If persistent aches and pains are interfering with your normal exercise routine, see your doctor. You look for excuses to skip your exercise routine, you’re bored to tears by your workout and you grit your teeth to just get through it. No doubt about it, you’re in an exercise rut. Sports medicine specialist Robert Truax, DO shares six ways to break free, find inspiration and take your fitness to the next level: Get a workout buddy. Two heads are better than one when it come...

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Best Stretches for Skiing

Posted 1/2/2015 by UHBlog

Always get your doctor’s okay before starting a new exercise routine. Time on the slopes can leave you exhilarated – but exhausted, and even prone to injury. The right stretching routine will help keep you limber so you’re less likely to hurt yourself. But don’t worry about making time to stretch before you ski. “There’s no evidence that stretching beforehand reduces injury,” says pediatric sports medicine specialist Amanda Weiss Kelly, MD. “In ge...

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UH Brain Health & Memory Center Seeking People for Alzheimer’s Study

Posted 1/1/2015 by UHBlog

Are you experiencing memory problems? Make an appointment with your doctor today. The Brain Health & Memory Center at University Hospitals Neurological Institute is looking for people to participate in a national study of a promising new treatment for the earliest memory changes that may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s (A4) study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Eli Lilly and will enroll 1,000...

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Got Pain? When to See the Doctor

Posted 12/31/2014 by UHBlog

If pain persists or worsens, make an appointment with your doctor. No pain, no gain – right? Not exactly. An intense workout can leave you with sore, fatigued muscles. But it’s usually temporary and relieved by rest and ice. “It is very common to experience muscle soreness when you first start a workout program or if you have increased the intensity of your workouts,” says sports medicine specialist James Voos, MD. How can you tell when pain requires a trip to the doct...

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How to Handle Exercise-Induced Asthma

Posted 12/30/2014 by UHBlog

Talk to your doctor about what asthma treatments are best for you. If you cough, wheeze or have shortness of breath and tightness in the chest when you exercise, you may have exercise-induced asthma, a type of asthma that occurs when people exercise. “Symptoms are more likely to occur during exercise that requires rapid breathing, such as running or bicycling,” says pediatric sports medicine specialist Mary Solomon, DO. Exercise-induced asthma happens when the tubes that bring air ...

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