Pregnancy and Oral Health

The Center for Disease Control shared that Healthcare professionals: use Protect Tiny Teeth, a free set of resources, to talk to pregnant women and new moms about the importance of oral health.

One way to prevent cavities in young children is to improve pregnant women’s oral health. Pregnancy may make women more prone to periodontal (gum) disease and cavities. Oral health may be considered an important part of prenatal care, given that poor oral health during pregnancy can lead to poor health outcomes for the mother and baby. Protect Tiny Teeth includes a mix of attention-grabbing materials to spark awareness that oral health should be part of prenatal care, and tips on how pregnant women and new moms can protect their oral health and the oral health of their infants.

Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease

Nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease that occurs when the gums become red and swollen from inflammation that may be aggravated by changing hormones during pregnancy.1 If periodontal disease is

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Just 5 Minutes in Nature Will Increase Happiness, Study Finds

Talia Avakian reported in Fox News that spending just five minutes in nature can quickly improve your mood, researchers from the University of Regina have found.

In a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers found that participants who spent just five minutes sitting in nature experienced an increase in positive emotions.

Researchers conducted two studies before coming to this conclusion.

In the first study, a total of 123 participants from the university’s psychology department participant pool were assigned either to an outdoor location (an urban park on the border of the campus) or an indoor location (a windowless laboratory room). Participants were asked to put away all electronic devices and focus on their setting while remaining seated for five minutes. Each person was then asked to scale a range of emotions that included both hedonic moods (emotions associated with comfort and pleasure) and self-transcendent emotions (including feelings of awe, gratitude, wonder, and a sense that you are part of something greater than yourself), both before and after being taken to each setting. Read more

Healthy Ways to Combat Caregiver Exhaustion

College Of DuPage Nursing Student Silvia Fernandez shared that it is no secret that anyone who is a caregiver is someone who commits lots of energy to their work. They are selfless of their time, compassion, and caring. A caregiver, time and time again, put so much focus on their client that they are often negligent to themselves. Unfortunately, the caregiver may eventually experience “caregiver exhaustion”; feeling depleted with symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, stress, or frustration. For those who experience these symptoms, it is time to take a step back and reenergize by taking time for stress relieving activities.

Engaging in;

  • Taking part in a favorite hobby (e.g. gardening, painting, reading, nature walks)
  • Meditation
  • Physical exercise or fitness class
  • Journaling
  • Talking to a loved one
  • Sharing experiences with colleagues
  • Taking a break to catch up on rest

…are only a few of the ways you can relax and improve physical health at the same time. Self-care is essential to be able to care for others on an ongoing basis.

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The Easy Way To Health

College of DuPage Nursing Student Anna Yatskevich shared that according to the CDC, The physical activity guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. This is not great news for many adults for whom the idea of incorporating physical exercise into an already full day of work, school or both, is less than desirable.

If finding the time of day is not an issue, many people are put off by the prices many gyms are asking for membership.

Fortunately, there is a solution that is not only free but can be done at your own pace. Walking is one of the easiest and possibly most relaxing ways of getting your daily exercise in.  Not only will you reap great benefits such as decreasing your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, but it’s a great way to release the stress of the day and improve your mood.

It’s also a great way to shed some pounds as depending on your weight, walking at a leisurely pace of 2.5 miles per hour can burn approximately 600 – 700 calories in the prescribed 150 minutes of recommended daily exercise. So, go ahead; take the easy way out and get healthy!

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Finding heart disease at birth key to living with it

Dr. Luca Vricella, a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, leads pediatric cardiac surgery for the partnership between Advocate Children’s Hospital and pediatrics at NorthShore University HealthSystem, along with the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper that there are more adults living with congenital heart disease than ever before. That fact, alone, reflects the incredible medical advances we have seen in diagnosing and treating heart defects in infants over the past 60 years.

Defects that might once have been considered irreparable are now found early with state-of-the-art imaging and, in many cases, repaired during complex, yet successful surgeries earlier in life.

Congenital, (meaning present at birth), heart defects are the most common of all malformations. These are structural problems with the walls, valves, arteries or veins within a baby’s heart. Most often it is a hole or leaky valve. The defect interrupts the normal flow of blood to and from the heart. In fact, it is a bluish tint to an infant’s fingers or lips that can signal immediately after birth that a baby is lacking oxygenated blood and has a heart defect. Read more

Can Group Singing Brighten COPD Blues and Improve Quality of Life?


College of Dupage Nursing Student Jamie Kloth shared that if you’ve ever felt chest tightness as you walk from your kitchen to family room, winded after a simple conversation, or had bouts of shortness of breath and wheezing, chances are, you have COPD. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, affects the respiratory system by obstructing airflow. Those that have COPD often have comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and skeletal muscle dysfunction. With symptoms affecting everyday life and activities, it is not a surprise that individuals with COPD may also suffer from depression on occasion. People who have COPD are twice as likely to have depression as compared to those without COPD.

Traditional treatment for depression, such as pharmacological therapies and psychological interventions have been successful in treating depression but have little effect on quality of life for those with COPD. Individuals with COPD often need to try several treatments to alleviate their symptoms, so treatment may seem to feel more like a chore than a successful treatment at times.

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Soothing tones: Music therapy may help ease anxiety of mothers-to-be

Juli Fraga wrote in a Special To The Washington Post that before she became a mother, Elizabeth Larsen, 42, of Huntley, Illinois, endured four miscarriages. The losses were devastating and complicated her feelings about her future pregnancies.

“I was always worried, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I felt broken and depressed,” Larsen says.

Looking for ways to soothe her anxiety, her yoga teacher recommended music therapy. Larsen tried it and loved it.

“I wanted to find wellness tools to ensure that my baby and I would have a safe and wonderful birth. Music therapy opened up my bodily senses and helped me to relax,” Larsen says.

It might sound unconventional, but recent research suggests that music therapy may lessen symptoms of prenatal anxiety for some women, which in turn may benefit the health of her child.

Unlike traditional psychotherapy where people talk about their problems, music and other expressive arts therapies seem to help people dealing with mental health issues, including depression, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, several studies suggest.

Music’s role in healing has been promoted for quite some time: In 1948, a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association recommended that physicians incorporate music therapy as a part of routine patient care. By the 1950s, music was being used as a complementary therapy to treat mental-health concerns. Read more

Teens Need More Sleep

Eleven-and-a-half-hour days of schoolwork, homework-laden evenings and early mornings, and long schedules of activities have youth sleep-deprived and stressed, with high school students suffering the most. What do teens think it will take to help them get the sleep they need and deserve?

GENYOUth’s latest survey on teens and sleep, conducted in partnership with Sleep Number, offers new — and surprising — perspective on a topic of fundamental importance to supporting the whole child.

Like nutrition and physical activity, adequate sleep is vital to students’ health and well-being and essential to learning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Children and adolescents who don’t get enough sleep are at increased risk for obesity, diabetes, injuries, poor mental health, and attention and behavior problems, which can affect them academically.”1 And the National Sleep Foundation notes that sleep “can even help [students] to eat better and manage the stress of being a teen.”

Sleep deficits among youth are well documented.

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Take a Stand for Food Allergy Research

This New Year, make your resolution count by becoming an advocate for research.

FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments.  FARE formed in 2012 when two reputable organizations merged: the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI).

From joining the FARE Patient Registry and completing our surveys to participating in clinical trials near you, your impact can improve the lives of everyone with food allergies.

Log in to your profile on to access the surveys, record recent reactions and more.

Not yet enrolled? Visit to join the world’s largest food allergy registry and share your story.

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New treatments for America’s leading health problem

Mark Goodwin, M.D.Specialty: an interventional cardiologist with Edward Hospital and Midwest Heart-Advocate Medical Group shared in Edwards-Elmhurst Healthy Driven blog that cardiovascular disease is our nation’s leading health problem, with more than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mark Goodwin, M.D., system medical director for the Cardiac Innovations and Structural Heart Center® at Edward-Elmhurst Health, shared his insights on the latest research and treatment with Crain’s Custom Media:

What developments have you seen in cardiac care over the last five years?

Dr. Mark Goodwin: Increasingly, complex coronary artery disease can be treated with stents. Recent surgical innovations enable patients who are considered too high-risk for open-heart surgery to have a new lease on life. One example is new technology that allows physicians to remove chronic blockages by going through the patient’s blood vessels.

What makes your institution stand out in its cardiac care?

MG: Our heart team’s collaboration includes the use of cutting-edge procedures and devices, ongoing research and clinical trials. We’re also a teaching site where physicians come from across the country and around the world to be trained in the latest techniques. We’re a leader in Illinois in specialized procedures and use of devices, including fractional flow reserve with coronary CT angiography (FFRct). The technology uses noninvasive


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