It’s the most wonderful time of the year, croons the golden voice of the late Andy Williams on radios and store sound systems every holiday season. Yet you may feel more like writing your own song: It’s the most crazy, busy, stressful time of the year.
It must have been something I ate. Yes, that’s true, if you experience abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting within one to six hours of eating food contaminated with toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus.
You would never give your child drugs (other than those prescribed or recommended by the pediatrician) or alcohol. Yet many parents think nothing of allowing their children to consume caffeine-laced soft drinks, sports drinks or even ‘energy drinks.’
Chest pain is nothing to fool around with; and physicians remind everyone to play it safe and call 911 if you think you could be having a heart attack. “We really don’t use our emergency medical system enough,” says SLUCare cardiologist Dr. Michael Lim. “Time is of the essence when a heart attack happens, and the EMT responders can assess the situation and start treatment right away.”
Recent media reports of children being hospitalized with serious respiratory problems due to enterovirus D68 are alarming. However, one local expert notes that thousands of children are infected by this and other similar viral strains every year. “The enterovirus we’re talking about shows up in the majority of kids as a cold; and we don’t typically test to see what virus is causing a kid’s cold because the vast majority of the time, it’s going to get better on its own,” says Dr. Ken Haller, a SLUCare pediatrician on staff at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center.
When flavors need some extra zing, MSG can do the trick. Monosodium glutamate commonly is used to enhance the flavors of meat, poultry, soups and stews; and is a common additive in Japanese and Chinese cuisine and many processed foods. However, some people find that MSG causes a range of uncomfortable reactions.
It’s no secret that oral health has a direct link to overall well-being. And with mounting evidence, dentists are doing all they can to take their patient care a step further. “People usually see their dentist more than their physician, and physicians are already overworked and overloaded,” notes Dr. Srdjan Ilic, owner of Prestige Dental Care. “If we can help them by catching these things that manifest in the mouth early by doing simple screenings to lessen the burden on them, we can help the patients and doctors—everybody wins.”
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