Key To Good Weight Management

Aileen Waldschmidt, LDN, RD, a licensed, registered dietitian and Bariatric Program Coordinator with Edward-Elmhurst Health shared in their blog that most of us know that what we eat matters if we want to keep our hearts healthy. As a result, we try to make healthy choices, like passing up the salt shaker or ordering a fruit salad instead of those greasy fries.For many, the most difficult part of keeping a heart-healthy relationship with food is getting to a healthy weight and staying there. People may try one of the latest fad diets or one of the impossible-sounding crash diets that celebrities often promote.

The challenge is separating facts from the hype about what’s effective and safe for weight management and heart health. That’s when consulting a weight management professional can help.

The key to any good weight management program is tailoring the approach to the individual. Some people who consult a dietitian may just need to tweak their food choices and exercise habits, while others may need a lifestyle overhaul which includes smoking cessation and stress management.

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Does coffee help brew a healthy heart?

Mary Gardner, RD, LDN, an outpatient dietitian at Edward Hospital, shared in the Edwards-Elmhurst Health Blog that coffee was long considered something of a guilty pleasure. After all, it’s how we start our days: “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup!” Yet, one too many cups of coffee could give you the jitters and, if it’s late in the day, interfere with a good night’s sleep.The pros and cons of drinking coffee have been up for debate, with some experts saying to avoid the beverage because it could be harmful to your health. In recent years though, researchers have been looking at the flip side: What positive impact might those cups of joe have on a person’s health?

More studies will be needed to establish a clear cause and effect relationship between coffee and heart health, but there’s an extensive body of research linking coffee consumption to a reduced risk for heart-related problems, including heart failure, stroke and coronary artery disease, which can eventually block an artery and cause a heart attack.

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Any kind of regular physical activity can lengthen your life


 huge international study has confirmed that physical activity may really be the best medicine.

Moving, lifting, walking, sweeping, scrubbing, or doing almost anything physical for the equivalent of at least 30 minutes five times a week can cut your risk of dying by at least 20 percent, compared with being less active.

The Study

More than 130,000 healthy men and women aged 35 to 70 from urban and rural areas of 17 countries, including Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Zimbabwe, China, and Poland, volunteered to fill out questionnaires about their regular physical activity. None had cardiovascular disease.

Over the next seven years, those who reported being physically active for 2 ½ to 12 ½ hours a week were 20 percent less likely to die. Those who were active more than 12 ½ hours a week were 35 percent less likely to die.

The physical activity included housework, walking to work, job-related exertion, as well as jogging or going to the gym. It all counted toward better health.

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Why extra weight—not just obesity—matters


“American adults just keep getting fatter.”  New data shows that nearly 40 percent of them were obese in 2015 and 2016, a sharp increase from a decade earlier, federal health officials reported Friday.” True, but that’s not the whole story.

It is troubling that almost 40 percent of adults have obesity. But most media reports neglected to mention that the rest of us aren’t exactly trim.  If you add the roughly 30 percent of adults who are overweight, now you’re talking 70 percent of Americans who are carrying around extra pounds.

Granted, it’s obesity—not overweight—that has soared since around 1980. And yes, having obesity puts you at greater risk of disease than being overweight. But being overweight is far from harmless.

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Why Therapy is Essential for Treating Addiction

September is National Recovery Month. Tricia Moceo is passionate about sharing her story, as a mom in recovery, through writing and spreading awareness on addiction. Following is an article she composed for Healthy Lombard.

Most people assume the remedy for recovery involves detox and abstinence from the drugs/alcohol. The truth is, this is only the beginning. Recovery is a lifelong process, one that requires discipline and most importantly intensive treatment and therapy. Addiction is usually a symptom of an underlying issue such as trauma, abuse, grief, and many other mental health disorders. Addiction has been named “disease of the brain”. This complicated idea suggests that the issue stems from the brain. Complex and often confusing, this disease attacks the thinking and behaviors of an individual. Therapy is one of the most useful tools utilized to promote long-term sobriety.

There are many different types of therapy integrated into the recovery process. Almost all addiction programs recognize this and have found that there is not a one size fits all method to this approach. Behavioral therapy is perhaps the most effective in treating the root of addiction and preventing cravings and relapse. However, there are many different forms of therapy. The goal is to identify and address the fundamental issues the addict may be facing. For centuries, therapy has been used for treating addiction of all sorts. Read more

There’s no place like home

College of DuPage Nursing Student Erin O’Loughlin researched that the DuPage County Department of Economic Development and Planning reported in 2011 that 11.4% of DuPage County’s population are senior citizens. A senior citizen is anyone at or over the age of 65. Seniors can experience overall wellness through diet, exercise, healthy lifestyle, and other health promoting activities. However, some seniors begin to need more help with everyday life and health in order to remain living in their home safely. DuPage County is fortunate enough to a vast amount of resources and professionals to help seniors remain safe at home.

DuPage County Community Services has a Senior Services department to assist seniors to remain at home by using supportive resources. These support resources can include transportation vouchers, home care workers, adult day care, life alert buttons, food pantries, support groups, senior centers, senior activity groups, Meals on Wheels, and more. Low income residents can be assessed and educated about different state and county services. The county can also provide information about private services. According to Nursing Economics, these kinds of resources have been shown to help seniors improve thinking and reasoning, improve senior depression, reduce episodes of incontinence, decrease pain, and increase activities of daily living. Seniors may even qualify for routine home visits. Read more

What Is a Heart Attack?

The National Institute on Aging shared that a heart attack happens when the flow of oxygen-rich blood in one or more of the coronary arteries, which supply the heart muscle, suddenly becomes blocked, and a section of heart muscle can’t get enough oxygen. The blockage is usually caused when a plaque ruptures. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, either by a medicine that dissolves the blockage or a catheter placed within the artery that physically opens the blockage, the section of heart muscle begins to die.

Heart attacks are a leading killer of both men and women. Each year, more than 1 million people in the United States have a heart attack, and about half of them die. Half of those who die do so within 1 hour of the start of symptoms and before reaching the hospital.

A heart attack is an emergency. Learn the warning signs of a heart attack. The signs can include:

  • Crushing chest pain or pressure and/or discomfort or pain elsewhere in the upper body, neck, or arms
  • Nausea
  • A cold sweat
  • Fainting or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

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The Center for Disease Control shared that Mosquitoes can spread many diseases, including Zika. Although most people with Zika won’t have symptoms, infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from Zika.

Zika virus spreads primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito (Aedes aegypti or Ae. albopictus). Zika can also be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners. Although most people with Zika won’t have symptoms,  infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other serious birth defects in babies.

The mosquitoes that carry Zika can be found in many countries, and outbreaks of Zika are still occurring in parts of the world. Everyone can take steps to protect themselves and pregnant women in the United States.

If you’ve been to an area with risk of Zika and have symptoms of Zika after travel, see your healthcare provider.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Zika

Many people infected with Zika virus won’t know they have it because they won’t have symptoms. Symptoms are usually mild and can last for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. The most common symptoms of Zika include

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • A headache
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Muscle pain

See your doctor or another healthcare provider if you have the symptoms described above and have visited an area with risk of Zika. This is especially important if you are pregnant.  Be sure to tell your doctor or other healthcare providers where you traveled. Even if you do not feel sick, you should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks after travel so you do not spread Zika to uninfected mosquitoes. Read more

Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool in Summer

The Allstate Blog Team shared that if you are wondering how to keep your car cool during summer, there are plenty of simple things you can do. From maximizing your air conditioning to taking advantage of a shady spot when parking, the following tips can help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid summer days.

Block Car Windows from the Sun

Cars can trap heat, causing the temperature inside them to quickly rise, says the National Weather Service. According to one test, a parked car’s temperature rose from 80 degrees to more than 94 degrees in about two minutes and reached 123 degrees within an hour. A car can reach up to 200 degrees inside, according to Consumer Reports.

Reducing the amount of heat entering through your windows may help keep your car cooler, making it more comfortable when it’s time to take a ride. Here are some tips to help keep your car cool in the summer:

  • Sun shades: Sun shades help block the direct rays coming into your vehicle, says Consumer Reports. This keeps the temperature slightly lower, which can help your car cool down more quickly once the vehicle is started.

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How to protect kids from the sun’s harmful rays

Tanya Altmann and Tiffany Fischman shared in The Washington Pos that it’s long been known that excessive childhood sun exposure and sunburns are significant risk factors for developing skin cancer and premature aging (such as sun spots and wrinkles) later in life.

Children have thin, delicate skin and are even more susceptible to sunburns than adults. Prevention and moderation are the keys to protecting your kids, and there are plenty of options for barriers to shield them from the harmful rays.

Here are ways to keep your family safe in the sun.

Prevention and coverage

The best protection from the sun is limiting direct exposure during peak the intensity hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This is also the time your kids will likely want to be out and about on a beautiful summer day, and you don’t want to discourage them from active outdoor play. You just need to be prepared.

Apply sunscreen, of course, to any exposed skin, but also have your child wear sun protective clothing. Look for clothing rated with an ultraviolet protective factor (UPF) of at least 30, which will block the most harmful rays.

Encourage your child to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Seek shade often; bring an umbrella to the beach and be extra careful around water, snow and sand, which are known to reflect ultraviolet rays and increase the risk of burning. Read more