Glenbard Parent Series (GPS): Navigating Healthy Families

GPS is an educational consortium dedicated to presenting distinguished, engaging speakers who share their knowledge, cutting-edge research and life experiences. In doing this, we provide opportunities to inspire and enrich families as well as build strong communities that are both proactive and informed.

Our mission is to enhance our students’ social and emotional learning, encourage responsible decision-making, foster positive growth and development, and promote respectful relationships in school and the community at large.

The powerful Glenbard Parent Series is a nationally recognized, unique, extraordinary resource for parents, educators and community members to encourage conversation around the opportunities and issues facings families today.

Please join us for the free forums hosted at Glenbard West, East, North, and South high schools, the Community Consolidated School District 93 Administration Center, Marquardt School District 15 Administration Center and the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at the College of DuPage.

Programs are offered free of charge, no registration is required and all are welcome.

Students, parents (elementary and high school) school staff and professionals are welcome to attend, strengthening home and community partnerships in pursuit of our mutual goals to inspire, empower and succeed.

Click Here to check out 2017-18 Glenbard Parent Series lineup

Serious Eye Condition Being Misdiagnosed?

Gabrielle deGroot Redford,wrote for the AATP online newsletter that a new JAMA Ophthalmology study found that one in every four cases of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was missed by trained eye care professionals, a finding that could have serious implications for the growing population of older adults most at risk of developing the sight-robbing disease.

Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham reexamined 644 patients (average age 69) who had undergone a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist and discovered that fully 25 percent of those whose eyes had been deemed to be normal actually showed signs of AMD, the leading cause of irreversible vision loss for Americans age 50 and older in the U.S.

“As the baby boomer population comes into the years when age-related macular degenerationbecomes more prevalent, we need to make sure that patients are properly diagnosed,” says lead study author David Neely, M.D., of the University of Alabama, Birmingham. “Fortunately in our study, no cases of the advanced form of the disease were missed.”

AMD affects 14 million Americans and is characterized by a loss of central vision, making everyday activities like reading, driving and watching television difficult. As the population ages, the number of people with the disease is expected to increase significantly.

While there is no cure, researchers have discovered ways to slow the progression of AMD through nutritional supplementation and, in more severe cases, with injectable anti-VEGF medications that shrink the abnormal blood vessels that are a hallmark of the advanced stages of the disease. Read more

Bullies use a small but powerful weapon to torment allergic kids: peanuts

Our gut talks and sometimes argues with our brain

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Probiotics With Your Pizza?

Probiotics once appeared mostly in yogurt, plugged by Jamie Lee Curtis in television commercials (and mocked on Saturday Night Live). Now, new cereals, snacks and beverages from Kraut Krisps to Gut Punches and Wellness Waters are featuring the microorganisms touted to help digestive and immune systems function.

Mariani’s Probiotic Prunes say they “deliver active cultures 10 times more effectively than yogurt.” Brad’s Raw Foods LLC’s kale chips has added “shielded probiotics to promote digestive and immune health.” The number of food products in the U.S. making a probiotic-related claim has nearly tripled to more than 500 in the last five years, according to food market research firm Innova Market Insights.

The additions come as consumers are looking for medicinal, in addition to nutritional, benefits from their food. “People now want food to be functionally formulated, not just delicious,” says Elizabeth Moskow, culinary director for food consultancy Sterling-Rice Group in Boulder, Colo. Many stores stock the probiotic-infused foods, but some retailers filter the offerings, skeptical of some of the claims that otherwise less-healthy foods may make.

New strains of probiotics don’t require refrigeration. These newer spore-forming strains produce coated cell structures that help extend probiotics’ shelf life. Still, most probiotics can’t survive heat, processing or air exposure and often degrade with time. Read more

Fun with Water

Summer is in full swing. Want to spice up your summer routine?


Action For Healthy Kids suggests that summer is a great time to provide your child with the practices to keep your kid happy and healthy.Here are some fun with water games children will be sure to like:

Water Relay

  • Supplies needed: 2 buckets/team, 1 cup/team
  • Put children into as many teams as needed (4-6 people per team is ideal). Fill one bucket for each team and place it at a beginning line where game will start. Place a plastic cup in the bucket of water. On “Go” the first person on each team will scoop up a glass of water and run to the other side where additional empty buckets have been placed. When the water is deposited, the child runs back to the start line with the empty cup and drops the empty cup in the bucket of water. The next person in line repeats the process. The first team to fill the empty bucket with water is the winner!

Don’t Get Wet!

  • Supplies needed: Multiple sprinklers
  • Set up a number of sprinklers in between a starting line and a finish line. Have the children try to run from one end to the other without getting sprayed. Have one of the youth control the faucet, turning it on and off at random. The one who is least wet wins!

Water Balloon Volley

  • Supplies needed: Water balloons, beach towels, volleyball net (or similar net)
  • Divide kids into two teams. Teams will stand on opposite sides of the net.
  • Within each team, have children divide into pairs.
  • Each pair gets a beach towel and each child holds two corners of the towel.
  • One team begins by placing a water balloon in the center of their towel. The object is to toss the balloon from one pair of kids to another, with the opposing side catching the balloon in their towel. This game can be played with one balloon (similar to volleyball) or with multiple balloons.

Water Limbo

  • Supplies needed: Hose, music
  • Set up a water hose in a grassy area and turn on “limbo music”.
  • Line kids up as in traditional limbo.
  • One person is in charge of the water hose, shooting a powerful stream of water for kids to limbo under.
  • Start with the hose high, and then lower the stream of water after each round.

Frozen Feet

  • Supplies needed: “Kiddie” pool, 1 chair/person, 1 bucket/person, ice cubes
  • Have kids sit in a chair along the edge of a kiddie pool filled with water.
  • Each player has their own empty bucket beside them. Dump a big pile of ice cubes into the pool and spread them around.
  • At the starting signal, players must pick up as many ice cubes as they can and put them into their own buckets…they must use only their feet!
  • The player who collects the most ice cubes within a designated time period is the winner.

How Cyclists Can Stay Safe on the Road

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9 Signs You May Have A Thyroid Problem

Amy Marturana from SELF shared that the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, is a powerful organ. It’s part of the endocrine system, and it plays a huge role in keeping your body’s metabolic hormone levels in line. Simply put, these metabolic hormones are essential for helping cells and tissues throughout your body use energy, and continue running at the right speed.

Despite its role as a major player in cell metabolism, thyroid problems are pretty common. They’re more common in women then men—in fact, one in eight women will develop thyroid problems during her lifetime, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. When the thyroid malfunctions, and starts releasing too few or too many hormones, it can seriously throw off your body’s basic functions, including sleep, reproduction, appetite, and digestion.

There are six main thyroid conditions that can occur:

  1. Hypothyroidism—underactive thyroid
  2. Hyperthyroidism—overactive thyroid
  3. Thyroiditis—inflammation of the thyroid, which can cause over- or underactivity and often presents postpartum
  4. Goiter—enlarged thyroid, which can cause overactive thyroid
  5. Thyroid nodules—lumps on the thyroid, which can also cause overactive thyroid
  6. Thyroid cancer—a rare cancer that may present without symptoms, except for a lump in the neck or soreness

What causes the thyroid to malfunction isn’t exactly known, but it is believed that autoimmune disorders may be to blame in many cases. There also seems to be a genetic link. Pregnancy, high stress levels, and iodine deficiency (which is not something you see in the U.S.) are all connected to thyroid problems as well.

Since the thyroid has far-reaching effects, there are lots of different symptoms that can signal your thyroid is out of whack. Here are the most common ones to look out for.

1. You’re gaining weight and can’t seem to lose it no matter what you do.

Gaining weight is one of the biggest signs of hypothyroidism. That’s because when your body doesn’t have sufficient thyroid hormone, metabolism throughout all of your tissues and cells slows down. Slower metabolism means less energy is being burned.

2. Or, you’re mysteriously losing weight.

On the other hand, losing weight without trying is a sign of hyperthyroidism, thanks to your body’s amped up metabolism. It basically becomes too efficient for its own good.

Thyroid-related weight gain or loss typically happens gradually, Jason C. Baker, M.D., endocrinologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, tells SELF, and may not be noticeable at first. If your thyroid problem develops suddenly, the change in your metabolism could be quicker, but usually thyroid conditions are slow-developing, and your weight fluctuations will follow suit.

3. Your appetite has changed.

Having an underactive thyroid can also decrease your appetite, since your body is using less energy, and an overactive one may stimulate it. So you may notice you’re eating less but gaining more weight, or vice versa.

4. Your period is irregular.

“If a woman’s menstrual cycle is normal and starts to get more frequent and lighter, it can be a sign of an overactive thyroid,” Baker says. “Less frequent and heavier can mean it’s underactive.” Any time regular ovulation is disrupted, it can potentially increase your risk of infertility.

5. You’re seriously fatigued or way too wired.

Energy fluctuations, for no apparent reason, are one of the biggest red flags that something’s up with your thyroid. Fatigue, even after getting a good night’s sleep or taking naps, is a sign of hypothyroidism. With less thyroid hormone and a slower metabolism, your body feels sluggish. With hyperthyroidism, you may experience a racing heart and feel jittery, “kind of like you’re too caffeinated,” says Baker. That’s because your thyroid hormone is signaling your body to “go” more than it should.

6. Your mood is all over the place.

Imbalances in thyroid hormones can cause your mood to change drastically. “With hypothyroidism, some people feel a little depressed,” Baker says. Research suggests it’s because changes in thyroid function impacts the feel-good chemical seratonin in the brain. Those with hyperthyroidism may experience anxiety, nervousness, or agitation.

7. Your skin is dry and your hair is brittle.

When the thyroid is underactive, skin is known to become drier than normal. “We’re not sure why it happens,” Baker says, “but it has to do with overall heath of skin cells and sebaceous glands,” being compromised when the thyroid is underactive. The hair problems, which can also mean hair loss, can happen later after the thyroid has been malfunctioning for some time, so you might not notice the hair changes until later. If your thyroid is overactive, your skin might be noticeably oilier, but hair loss can be a symptom here, too.

8. You’re constipated or have diarrhea.

“Sometimes people with underactive thyroid might feel a little constipated,” Baker says. That’s because too little thyroid hormone can slow down digestion. The opposite is true with an overactive thyroid—digestion is stimulated, and can cause more frequent bowel movements or diarrhea.

9. You have the chills or are extra sweaty.

Feeling cold all the time can be a sign of hypothyroidism. What you’re experiencing is an effect of slowed metabolism. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism can make you feel hot or frequently sweaty, as your cells are working in overdrive.

Medication and Heart Disease

Certain kinds of medications can have an adverse effect on your teeth.

Long ago, children exposed to tetracycline developed tooth problems, including discoloration, later in life. The medication fell out of use, however, and is not an issue today.

The best precaution is to ask your family physician if any medications he or she has prescribed can have a detrimental effect on your teeth or other oral structures.

A condition called dry mouth is commonly associated with certain medications, including antihistamines, diuretics, decongestants and pain killers. People with medical conditions, such as an eating disorder or diabetes, are often plagued by dry mouth. Other causes are related to aging (including rheumatoid arthritis), and compromised immune systems. Garlic and tobacco use are other known culprits.

Dry mouth occurs when saliva production drops. Saliva is one of your body’s natural defenses against plaque because it acts to rinse your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria and other harmful materials.

Some of the less alarming results of dry mouth include bad breath. But dry mouth can lead to more serious problems, including burning tongue syndrome, a painful condition caused by lack of moisture on the tongue.

If dry mouth isn’t readily apparent, you may experience other conditions that dry mouth can cause, including an overly sensitive tongue, chronic thirst or even difficulty in speaking.

Heart Disease

Poor dental hygiene can cause a host of problems outside your mouth—including your heart.

Medical research has uncovered a definitive link between heart disease and certain kinds of oral infections such as periodontal disease. Some have even suggested that gum disease may be as dangerous as or more dangerous than other factors such as tobacco use.

A condition called chronic periodontitis, or persistent gum disease, has been linked to cardiovascular problems by medical researchers.

In short, infections and harmful bacteria in your mouth can spread through the bloodstream to your liver, which produces harmful proteins that can lead to systemic cardiac problems. That’s why it’s critical to practice good oral hygiene to keep infections at bay—this includes a daily regimen of brushing, flossing and rinsing.

Antibiotic Prophylaxis

In some cases, patients with compromised immune systems or who fear an infection from a dental procedure may take antibiotics before visiting the dentist.

It is possible for bacteria from your mouth to enter your bloodstream during a dental procedure in which tissues are cut or bleeding occurs. A healthy immune system will normally fight such bacteria before they result in an infection.

However, certain cardiovascular conditions in patients with weakened hearts could be at risk for an infection or heart muscle inflammation (bacterial endocarditis) resulting from a dental procedure.

Patients with heart conditions (including weakened heart valves) are strongly advised to inform our office before undergoing any dental procedure. The proper antibiotic will prevent any unnecessary complications.