E. coli & Food Safety

The Center for Disease Control shared that although most kinds of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. Learn about E. coli and what you can do to help lower your chances of infection.

What are Escherichia coli?

Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals.

Most E. coli are harmless and are actually an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, bloodstream infections, and other illnesses. The types of E. coli that can cause illness can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or people.

What are Shiga toxin-producing E. coli?

Some kinds of E. coli bacteria cause disease when they make a toxin called Shiga toxin. The bacteria that make these toxins are called “Shiga toxin-producing E. coli,” or STEC for short.

  • The most common type of STEC in the United States is E.coli O157:H7 (often shortened to E. coli O157 or even just O157).
  • Other STEC are called non-O157.

When you hear news reports about outbreaks of E. coli infections, they are usually talking about E. coli O157.

CDC estimates that each year STEC causes 265,000 illness, 3,600 hospitalizations and 30 deaths in the United States. Read more

Promote the Paddle

College of DuPage Nursing Student Schyle McKee shared that kayaking and canoeing is a great way to have fun on a sunny summer day. Being on the calm water in a manually propelled vessel can be quite relaxing and it promotes awesome exercise.

There are many ways to enjoy a day on a boat. Float on to the middle of that pond to soak up the sun, racing your buddies who are in the boats that are next to you, casting a line overboard to catch a fish or two. The possibilities go as far as your imagination, which is pretty much endless.

Did you know? It’s easy to burn calories by paddling! The average person burns about 300 calories an hour. Get out there and paddle those calories away! Paddling really gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing too. Getting the heart rate up strengthens the heart muscle making it more efficient. This very good for the rest or your body as well.

Also, when sun rays hit the skin, Vitamin D is made. Vitamin D is needed to help calcium absorption to make bones strong. This form of getting vitamin D is great for all ages. Vitamin D is in very few foods but it could also come from supplements. Why buy supplements, however, when its easy to go outside, jump in your boat, and catch some rays? On the plus side, it’s free AND healthy!

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Health on the Shelf: 14 Superfood Staples

Claire McIntosh wrote for AARP that sometimes you just can’t get to the farmers market. Eat healthfully with what’s on hand. These nutrient-dense superfoods that are shelf-stable put the power of prevention right in your pantry.

1. Oatmeal

It’s a cholesterol buster, thanks to lots of soluble fiber. But keep in mind that all oats aren’t equal. Quick-cooking oats have lost some fiber during processing. Instant flavored versions have added sugar. Old-fashioned rolled oats are a fantastic fiber fix. But steel-cut oats, which take longer to digest — making them low glycemic, or less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar — are the true breakfast of champions.

2. Canned salmon, tuna and sardines

Fatty fish such as these are the best way to get your omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats. All these delish fish options are anti-inflammatory. Plus, they’re packed with protein. White tuna is a better choice for omega-3s.

3. Dried blueberries

Ready to make your pancake dreams come true, these sweet balls of goodness contain compounds that may delay the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Besides being an indulgent source of fiber and vitamin C, they’ve got the immune-boosting, inflammation-busting power of antioxidants.

4. Quinoa 

A great grain to star in your favorite veggie-bowl recipes, the South American superfood is high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

5. Canned beets

These are an ideal topping for that quinoa-veggie bowl. The red root vegetable packs vitamins, minerals and antioxidants galore. Beets may help ward off cancer and lower blood pressure, too. Read more

9 tips that will transform your food shopping

Alanna Elliott, RD, LDN wrote for Edeard-Elmhurst Health that grocery shopping these days is no easy task, especially when you are faced with a decision in every aisle. The cereal aisle alone is packed with dozens of choices.

Complicating your shopping experience even further, each package is plastered with claims like “whole grain,” “low fat” and “sugar free!”

Have you looked closely at that nutrition information box on your items? It’s time to get familiar with it, as that box is your best ally in healthy eating.

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 requires all packaged food to include nutrition information on the label.

The labels can help you make healthier choices, and be mindful of what is in the food you eat. But it’s also important to read the label with a critical eye. Analyze the serving size and servings per package, as well as the sodium and calorie contents. You might have to do some quickie calculations to get a true picture of the nutritional value of an item. Read more

Laughter Is Good For The Heart

Sue and Yash from Healthy Lombard Sponsor Health Track Sports Wellness asks,  “Did you know that laughter is good for your heart and helps promote the healthy function of blood vessels?”

The Maryland School of Medicine study showed that laughter is linked to the healthy function of blood vessels. It found that laughter increases blood flow, while stress has the opposite effect, reducing blood flow.

Just another reason to keep it light, live in the present moment, and appreciate the life you have. Lamenting and worrying about things that cannot be or haven’t happened isn’t worth it. We’ve heard this before and we will continue to hear it, so within your own power, live life as it comes and laugh all the way to satisfaction.

Upcoming events at HTSW include:

NEW! $30 Pilates Reformer Seminars on April 14th from 12-1:15pm or 1:30-2:45pm AND April 21st, 12-1:15pm or 1:30-2:45pm. Sign up at the registration desk or call 630-414-7807. Maximum is 4.

▪ Country Line Dancing on Friday, April 13th at 7:15pm. Bring a friend for FREE!

▪ Group Fitness Studio 2 Renovations begin Monday, April 9th. There are 6 CANCELLED classes including: Monday, 8am Sculpt+; Tuesday, 9:30am Yoga Sculpt; Wednesday, 1pm Yoga Restore; Thursday, 8:30am Yoga I/II; Thursday, 6:30pm Power Vinyasa and Friday, 1pm Yoga I. The Saturday, 10am Yoga has CHANGED TIME to 10:30am. ALL other Classes have been RELOCATED to Studio 3, the Gym and Conference Room. See Schedule at HTSW for Class Location.

▪ Stop by our Vendor Fair on Saturday, April 21st from 9am-12pm.

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Sensitivity to alcohol’s effects

The National Institute on Aging shared that as people age, they may become more sensitive to alcohol’s effects. The same amount of alcohol can have a greater effect on an older person than on someone who is younger. Over time, someone whose drinking habits haven’t changed may find she or he has a problem.

The way the body handles alcohol can change with age.  A person  can have the same drinking habits they did when they were younger, but changes in their body can make them feel “high” without increasing the amount of alcohol they drink. This can lead to accidents like falls and fractures, as well as car crashes.

Drinking too much alcohol over time can:

  • Lead to some kinds of cancer, liver damage, immune system disorders, and brain damage
  • Worsen some health conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, ulcers, memory loss, and mood disorders
  • Make some medical problems hard for doctors to find and treat—for example, alcohol causes changes in the heart and blood vessels. These changes can dull pain that might be a warning sign of a heart attack.
  • Cause some older people to be forgetful and confused—these symptoms could be mistaken for signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Can what you eat prevent Alzheimer’s?

Nina Lundberg, MD wrote for the Edwards-Elmhurst blog that as we age, our brains get a little slower on the draw.

You might forget where you put your keys, or what time your appointment is. You may even forget what day it is or the name of a famous actor you like, but you recover and remember fairly quickly.When your memory loss disrupts your daily life – you can’t retrace your steps and find your missing keys, or you can’t tell what season it is – it could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Your next question may be: how do I prevent this from happening to me?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear-cut prevention method. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia evolve because of a combination of factors such as your age, genetics, medical conditions and environment.

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The Number 1 Sleep Mistake

When your schedule is all over the place, your circadian rhythm, or body clock, doesn’t have a chance to normalize. Your internal body clock is one of the most important factors driving sleepiness and wakefulness, Joseph Ojile, M.D., medical director of the Clayton Sleep Institute, tells SELF. “When [your life and circadian rhythm] line up correctly, you have a much better chance of getting to sleep and getting up when you want,” Ojile says. If you don’t have a consistent schedule, your body struggles to give you the right cues when you need them. Read more

Prevent Mosquito Bites

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shared that the most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes when at home and during travel is to prevent mosquito bites.

Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They can spread viruses that make you sick or, in rare cases, cause death. Although most kinds of mosquitoes are just nuisance mosquitoes, some kinds of mosquitoes in the United States and around the world spread viruses that can cause disease.

Mosquitoes bite during the day and night, live indoors and outdoors, and search for warm places as temperatures begin to drop. Some will hibernate in enclosed spaces, like garages, sheds, and under (or inside) homes to survive cold temperatures. Except for the southernmost states in North America, mosquito season starts in the summer and continues into fall.

Prevention

  • Use insect repellent: When used as directed, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients:
    • DEET
    • Picaridin
    • IR3535
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
    • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
    • 2-undecanone
  • Cover up: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air conditioning, or window and door screens. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.

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What is an inhibitor?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shared that Inhibitors are complex, costly health problems that can affect people with hemophilia and von Willebrand disease (VWD) type 3. This Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month, learn about inhibitors and read Anthony’s story on living a full life with an inhibitor.

About Inhibitors

All people with hemophilia and VWD type 3 are at risk for developing an inhibitor – an antibody – to treatment used to stop or to prevent a bleeding episode.

Hemophilia and VWD type 3 are bleeding disorders in which the blood does not clot due to missing or low levels of proteins, known as ‘clotting factors,’ in the blood. People with hemophilia and VWD type 3 receive treatment products called ‘clotting factor concentrates’ to replace missing or low blood clotting factor in their blood. This procedure (known as infusion) is carried out by injecting commercially prepared clotting factor concentrates into their vein.

When a person develops an inhibitor, the body thinks that the clotting factor concentrates are harmful, foreign substances and rejects the clotting factor concentrates as treatment. Instead, the body tries to destroy the clotting factor concentrates with an inhibitor to protect the body, which makes it harder to treat a bleeding episode.

How do I know if I have an inhibitor?

Only a blood test can determine if an inhibitor is present and it can measure the amount present. Inhibitors are complex, and not everyone with hemophilia and VWD type 3 will develop an inhibitor. Researchers do not yet know why some people will develop an inhibitor and why some will not, but research studies are being conducted to learn more about them. Inhibitors can appear at any time, so it is important that all people with hemophilia and VWD type 3 be tested for an inhibitor each year.

Eligible individuals can receive free inhibitor testing at federally funded hemophilia treatment centers (HTCs) through the Community Counts Registry for Bleeding Disorders Surveillance.

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