Saving Our 5 Senses as We Age

Amy Paturel, a health and science writer shared  in the  AARP Bulletin, July-August 2017, that changes in sensory function can make everyday pleasures feel flat while increasing risk of other health issues.

Jazz trumpeter Kris Chesky pops in foam earplugs when he mows the lawn or gets on an airplane. Onstage, he asks the band to play quiet passages even more pianissimo. “Once you’ve got hearing loss, due to aging or sound exposure, you can’t get it back,” says Chesky, 58, a University of North Texas music professor and codirector of the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health. “I want to keep what I’ve got, even if it makes me a little unpopular sometimes.”

Tens of millions of Americans suffer age-related losses in at least one of their senses, according to a recent University of Chicago study. Such changes can make everyday pleasures feel flat while increasing the risk of other health issues, such as poor nutrition, falling, depression or dementia.


A lifetime of noise — power tools, a loud workplace, that Who concert — along with normal aging can cause deterioration. The tiny hair cells in your ears that send signals to your brain don’t regenerate, notes Frank Lin, associate professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Your brain shrinks as you age, but hearing loss can accelerate this shrinking, which can more than double the risk of dementia. You’re also more likely to suffer falls. “Balance gets thrown off when you can’t hear your footsteps,” Lin says. Hearing loss also increases your odds for depression and loneliness.

What you can do: 

  • Wear foam earplugs or ear-protecting headphones around loud sounds.
  • Watch your weight, blood sugar level and blood pressure to keep the tiny arteries that fuel hair cells in your ears healthy.
  • Visit the AARP Hearing Resource Center for more information.
  • Use hearing aids or devices to amplify the sound of your phone or TV. In a 2016 study at Columbia University in New York, hearing aid users scored better than nonusers on cognitive and memory tests.

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Vitamin D plays important role

Patrick B. Massey, MD, PH.D., medical director for complementary and alternative medicine at Alexian Brothers Hospital Network and president of ALT-MED Medical and Physical Therapy, 1544 Nerge Road, Elk Grove Village, shared with the Daily Herald Newspaper that you might be surprised to learn that a low blood level of vitamin D increases the risk of developing a thyroid illness known as Hashimoto’s disease.

Indeed, in some medical studies vitamin D supplementation may help to reverse this disease. In these studies, robust supplementation with vitamin D significantly reduced the blood markers for Hashimoto’s disease.

Hashimoto’s disease (HD) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and slowly kills the thyroid gland. It is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in technologically advanced countries.

The symptoms of HD are quite variable depending on how badly the thyroid has been damaged. Early in the disease there is often an increased release of thyroid hormone. Symptoms may resemble that of hyperthyroidism such as weight loss, high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate.

Blood tests at this time may suggest, but not always, a hyperthyroid state.

As the disease progresses, more thyroid tissue is damaged. At this time the symptoms of HD mimic a sluggish thyroid gland or even frank hypothyroidism. Read more

Staying Healthy during Cold and Flu Season

Jennifer McGrath, L.Ac., Dipl.OM shared that this year it is predicted that there will be 1 billion colds and 95 million cases of the flu in the United States alone. While the misery of cold and flu season might be inevitable, one thing is changing: where we look for relief.

The easiest way to protect against the flu is to have a healthy immune system. However, that doesn’t mean you still won’t come into contact with airborne virus particles. That’s why your first line of defense against the flu, or any other illness, is to strengthen your immune system.

When it comes to staying healthy during cold and flu season, acupuncture and Oriental medicine have a lot to offer. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help prevent colds and flu by strengthening the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways.

In Oriental medicine, disease prevention begins by focusing on the protective layer around the exterior of the body called Wei Qi or defensive energy. The Wei Qi involves acupuncture points known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy to boost your body’s defenses.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can also provide relief and faster healing if you have already come down with a cold or the flu by helping to relieve symptoms you are currently experiencing including chills, fever, body aches, runny nose, congestion, sore throat and cough. While bringing some immediate relief, treatments will also reduce the incidence of an upper respiratory tract infection and shorten the length of the illness.

Boost your Wei Qi and Stay Healthy

“To treat disease that has already developed is comparable to the behavior of those persons who begin to dig a well after they have become thirsty, and of those who begin to cast weapons after they have already engaged in battle. Would these actions not be too late?” – Huangdi Neijing

Seasonal changes affect the body’s environment. With wind, rain and snow come the colds, flu viruses and the aches and pains that accompany them.

If you catch colds easily, have low energy and require a long time recuperating from an illness your Wei Qi may be deficient. Through the process of evaluating subtle physical signs as well as the emotional condition of a person, practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental medicine can detect health problems in their earliest stages, before a person becomes gravely ill.

Once the nature of an imbalance has been determined, a customized program can be created for you. Your treatment may include acupuncture, herbal therapy and Tui Na, as well as food, exercise and lifestyle recommendations.

Schedule a Seasonal Tune-Up:
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can prevent colds and flu by building up the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways. These points are known for strengthening the circulation of blood and energy and for consolidating the outer defense layers of the skin and muscle (Wei Qi) so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.

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Tips on preventing malnutrition in senior citizens

According to a 2014 study, more than half of American seniors seen in emergency rooms are either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition. The University of Illinois Extension offers tips for seniors, including signing up for Meals on Wheels.

An article in the Daily Herald Newspaper submitted by  the University of Illinois Extension stated that as Americans live longer, malnutrition, or undernutrition, is increasing in the elderly population. However, seniors and other community members can take active steps toward prevention.

“This situation not only decreases quality of life, but it also heightens the risk for additional health issues,” said Laura Barr, University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator.

“As we age, we need less calories because we are not as active, and our thirst and hunger prompts decline,” Barr said. “Other barriers may include chewing or swallowing problems, lack of transportation or support systems, medication interactions and being on a fixed income.”

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 3.7 million seniors were diagnosed with malnutrition in 2012.

More than half of American seniors seen in emergency rooms are either malnourished or at risk for malnutrition, per a 2014 study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

“Decreased physical activity and progressive depletion of lean body mass associated with aging both exacerbate the condition,” said Barr. “Malnutrition weakens the immune system which increases risk of other infections and greater health care costs. Prevention is always better.”

Barr recommends the National Council on Aging’s six steps to prevent malnutrition:

• Understand malnutrition. Check it out at;

• Make smart food choices; visit;

• Try an oral nutritional supplement;

• Take care of your teeth;

• Consult with your health care provider.

• Find help, such as or

“Malnutrition is less of an issue when older adults are connected to the community through senior centers, park districts and places of worship,” said Barr.

She also urges adults to check-in on older family and community members, especially when they are sick, or when the weather is hot or very cold.

“Together we can beat malnutrition in our communities.”

For more information on University of Illinois Extension programs, visit

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Come and Join In The Fun TODAY At the Lombard Senior Fair

The Village of Lombard hosts an annual Senior Fair where area senior citizens can learn about programs, events and local residence options. While attending, seniors can have their blood pressure checked by the Lombard Fire Department, get a flu shot or take advantage of free massages, snacks and giveaways. The event is hosted by the Community Relations Committee.

The 2017 Senior Fair will take place on Wednesday, October 4, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Lombard Community Building located at Lombard Common Park.

Lombard’s Senior of the Year will also be announced at approximately 10 a.m. The award aims to celebrate the accomplishments of seniors in the community. Nominees must have a Lombard mailing address and be 65 years of age or older.

The winners, selected by the Village’s Community Relations committee, will receive the Village President’s Award along with a gift certificate to a local restaurant. The “Senior of the Year” award winner will also be honored by riding in the 2018 Lilac Time Parade.

The 2017 Senior Fair is full.  There is no cost, however vendors must represent a community organization, service, or business that provides useful and beneficial information to seniors. Vendors are chosen on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in becoming a vendor for the 2017 Senior Fair, the deadline to sign up as a Senior Fair vendor is September 15, 2017. Please send information on what types of service or information you would be able to provide to attending seniors to Communications Coordinator Avis Meade at

Below is a list of 2017 Vendors:

Lombard Community Organizations will provide information on events, classes, and opportunities for seniors. 

  • Alcoholics Anonymous will share information on their support group and meetings
  • DuPage Homeownership Center is a non-profit organization that provides a full range of services to promote responsible sustainable home ownership, and assists individuals in homeowner crisis.
  • DuPage Senior Citizen Council’s Meals on Wheels provides food services for house bound individuals.
  • Healthy Lombard will share information on healthy habits for every age.
  • Helen Plum Library offers classes for seniors as well as reading devices for individuals with vision restrictions.
  • Lombard Park District hosts classes to help keep seniors active and involved and to enjoy an active and social lifestyle.
  • Lombard Senior Men’s Club will share about information about their club.
  • Lions Club‘s mobile unit will be on site to offer hearing tests.
  • Senior Suburban Orchestra representatives will provide information about their all senior orchestra.
  • Tri Town YMCA offers seniors the Senior “Sunshine” Program.
  • B.R. Ryall YMCA will share information on Senior Programs.
  • York Township representatives will provide information on this unincorporated area of Lombard.

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Junk food: Eating for two while Lactating leads to Obesity

College of DuPage Nursing Student Syeda Tariq researched that according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), at least one in five children in the US between the ages of 6 to 19 years is currently obese. The rate of childhood obesity since the 1970s has at least tripled, 1 and recent research suggests the time for prevention begins during pregnancy. Dr Stéphanie Bayol from Science Daily, found that consuming large quantities of junk food during pregnancy and/or while breastfeeding may impair normal appetite regulation and encourage the desire for junk food in the offspring. According to the CDC, an extra 300 kcal/day are recommended during pregnancy, and 500 kcal/day while breastfeeding, however, this is not the time for binge eating or consuming junk food. These temptations are relatively normal due to hormonal changes or a lack of knowledge regarding healthy food choices, but unhealthy eating at these crucial times in the child’s life may contribute to childhood obesity. Research also indicates that obesity during childhood may lead to obesity as an adult and increase the likelihood of high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint complications, or even cancer. Obese children may also suffer from self-esteem issues resulting in social isolation, depression, or bullying.

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Are We Poisoning a generation of children?

Jill Skurnowicz, RN, BSN, MS, CRNA, ND candidate would like to share the following thoughts with Healthy Lombard visitors:

Welcome to the new normal. The new normal consists of a world where one in six children suffer from some form of developmental disorder ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.1 An estimated 9.6 million of today’s children (13.1 percent) under the age of 18 suffer with asthma.2 Today upwards of 20% of children are effected by Atopic Dermatitis also known as Eczema.3 8% of children have food allergies; milk and peanuts top the list.4 Obsessive compulsive disorder occurs in 1-3% of today’s children.5 The new normal consists of a world where chronic disease and disability plague America’s youth.

American children are the most highly vaccinated children in the world yet they are among the most chronically ill and disabled. “Six in every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. died at birth or in the first year of life in 2013, triple the rate of Japan or Norway, double the rate of Ireland, Israel and Italy.”6 The overall U.S. infant mortality rate is about 42% higher than the comparable country average. “Washington DC, the nation’s capital, also has a much higher infant mortality rate than 34 other capital cities around the world. Babies born in Prague; Tallinn, Estonia; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Warsaw, all have a better chance of survival than children born in the U.S. capital.”6

The question to ask with these statistics is why? Everybody has a toxic tipping point. I am going to dare to spotlight the obvious elephant in the room. We are constantly being exposed through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the toxins we are injected with to a chemical onslaught with unknown consequences.

Let’s begin with pre-conception. This generation of mothers are the most vaccinated in the history of the planet with dangerously high levels of toxic metals and environmental herbicides stored in their bodies. Most heavy metals and toxins are stored away in fatty tissue. The brain is one of the fattiest organs in the body. The brain is 60-70% fat. When the mother is pregnant the heavy metals and toxins that she has, readily cross the placental barrier into the developing organs and systems of her vulnerable infant. Remember that the delicate barrier protecting a child’s brain is not yet formed to protect it from the chemical onslaught. Immediately after birth, within 24 hours, the baby is injected with 250 micrograms (mcg) of aluminum, a known neurotoxin. At birth the child also receives a Vitamin K shot which has either Polysorbate 80 that is used in drug delivery systems to open the blood brain barrier or Benzyl Alcohol that damages the underdeveloped liver of the neonate and has led to elevations in bilirubin and liver damage. Could this be why there is such an increase in neonatal jaundice requiring children be placed under the Bili lights in the nursery in record numbers?

Most people are under the impression that vaccines are safe and effective because they falsely assume that the vaccine contains only the antigen mixed with an inert substance like saline or water. They also assume that the vaccine schedule has been tested thoroughly. However, it has never been tested in its entirety as given. Certain individual vaccines have been mildly tested for short durations but the entire vaccine schedule of toxic ingredients has never been tested together. Every parent should be requesting and reading the actual package insert of each vaccine from the manufacturer where the excipient materials and adverse events are documented by the manufacturer.

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How to talk to a friend who has Alzheimer’s

Susan Berg  hared the following story in the Wall Street Journal:During a routine trip to my local grocery, I ran into an acquaintance I had not seen in more than a year. She looked great and was her typically upbeat, energetic self. We exchanged hellos. I was not prepared for what came next.”I was recently diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s,” she said.

This warm, accomplished, Berkeley-educated woman, a mother and grandmother who was my go-to person for local political goings-on, great books and recipes, then said, without skipping a beat, “I am doing OK right now, and I have signed up for a clinical trial.”

I hugged her and told her how sorry I was. Told her there are no words.

In a daze, I finished my shopping. Driving home, I burst into tears.

How to act?

It was many months later that our paths crossed again. I saw her across the room at our local synagogue. She was not close enough to say hello. In a way, I was relieved. Would she recognize me? And if not, what do I say?

As many as 5.4 million Americans have the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. For friends and relatives, there is the inevitable question of how to act.

“When we are friends with someone with Alzheimer’s and interacting in a variety of settings, we may do our best to do the right thing and say the right thing,” said Ruth Drew, director of family and information services at the Alzheimer’s Association. “But it may not always be the right thing.”

Drew said that Alzheimer’s disease progresses more rapidly in some people than in others. Many who are newly diagnosed stay in the early stage, retaining their personality and people skills, for quite a while, but for others, serious changes happen more quickly.

Christopher Marano, a geriatric psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said that the interval between the initial diagnosis and a significant downturn can range from five to 20 years, but that “people who are diagnosed at a younger age tend to progress faster.” Read more

Thyroid Cancer is the Fastest-Growing Cancer in America

Cheryl Bond-Nelms, wrote in the AARP Real Possibilities Newsletter that nearly three out of four cases of thyroid cancer are found in women.

Although the death rate from cancer in America is down 25 percent since 1991, there is one type of cancer rapidly increasing in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has tripled over the last three decades, making it the fastest-growing cancer.

The thyroid is a gland located in the front of the neck, shaped like a butterfly. It produces hormones that enter the bloodstream and affect the metabolism, heart, brain, muscles and liver, and keep the body functioning properly and effectively.The estimates for cases of thyroid cancer in America for 2017 have increased, and rates are higher in women than men, according to these figures published on

In 2017, there will be an estimated 56,870 new cases of thyroid cancer — 42,470 in women and 14,400 in men.
An estimated 2,010 deaths will result from thyroid cancer — 1,090 in women and 920 in men.
Women account for nearly three-quarters of thyroid cancer cases. The exact cause of most thyroid cancers is unknown. Research has concluded that better imaging technology has increased the number of thyroid cancer cases diagnosed.

“Much of this rise appears to be the result of the increased use of thyroid ultrasound, which can detect small thyroid nodules that might not otherwise have been found in the past,” the American Cancer Society says.

What are the signs or symptoms related to thyroid cancer? The American Cancer Society lists the following on

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Tips for Staying Healthy

  The National Heart, Lung and  Blood Institute  posted that whether it’s taking a family walk on a Saturdaymorning or after dinner, or washing the car together, We Can!® encourages you to get active to maintain a healthy weight.

By getting active, you’re using calories you store up from everything you eat over the course of a day. Everything your family eats and drinks (from what you eat for breakfast to what you drink with dinner) is stored as energy. If this stored energy isn’t used, it creates an imbalance that can lead to weight gain.

However, balancing your food intake and activity IS possible. Learn more about energy balance.

When we talk about moving more, we are not asking you and your kids to train like athletes. Some types of physical activity and exercise can burn a lot of energy. But everyday activities use energy, too. Simply parking farther away from the grocery store and walking the extra distance can use more energy.

It’s up to you to choose the activities that are right for you and your family. And, it’s also up to you to stick with it. It is easy to spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer or television.

It’s the same for kids. They spend hours sitting at their school desks, sitting at home doing homework, and sitting in front of the TV or computer.

Fight the urge to slouch on the couch. Instead, get up and go. Set an example for the kids in your life. Moving more can do more than just help your waistline, it can make you healthier by:

  • Relieving stress
  • Improving your sleep
  • Making your bones and muscles stronger
  • Making you feel full of energy
  • Building strength and endurance
  • Helping you feel good about yourself
  • Giving you something to do when you’re bored
  • Providing a way to connect to family and friends

Note: Health conditions like asthma sometimes discourage kids from engaging in physical activity, but these conditions don’t have to stop your family from being active. Check with your child’s medical care provider to make sure your child’s treatment plan allows your child’s asthma to be well controlled. When asthma is in good control, most children can do any physical activity they choose! For more information visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Lung Disease publications page, or the NHLBI National Asthma Control Initiative.