In cold weather, everyone’s fingers and toes get cold, and it’s a relief to get into a nice, toasty building or warm our hands by a roaring fire. But people who have a disorder of the arteries, known as Raynaud’s disease (or syndrome or phenomenon), experience searing pain as their cold--often white or bluish--fingers begin to warm up again.
Your grandmother could probably predict the weather based on her joints--and she wasn’t kidding.
If you could recommend one New Year’s resolution to improve health and wellness, what would it be and how would you achieve it? That’s the question we asked several local experts, and their responses may help guide you toward a healthier, happier year:
In the past, mammograms always were very stressful for Jamie Jones of O’Fallon. Now 46, the mother of three girls is classified as having ‘dense’ breast tissue, and as a result, every year, she would get a call afterward that there might be a problem, and she needed to come in for more tests.
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.
When visions of sugar plums dance, not just in your head, but on the buffet in front of you, holiday parties can feel like dietary minefields. If the battle of the buffet is joined, a clear strategy before entering the arena will help you be victorious over dietary demons.
It’s cold and flu season. Are you sick yet? If you’re lucky enough to have avoided sniffling, sneezing and congestion so far, local doctors have some tips to help make sure you stay healthy.
Sodium (salt) is an essential nutrient that everyone needs for normal muscle and nerve function. But too much sodium can contribute to serious health problems, and modern diets that include processed foods often are sodium-heavy.
You’re trying to fall asleep and are just starting to doze when it hits: Suddenly, you feel an odd sensation in your leg, and you just have to get up and move around. That’s one manifestation of restless leg syndrome (RLS), a common sleep disorder. In other cases, the syndrome causes people to experience involuntary leg movements that wake them from sleep. In either case, it’s annoying.
If you lie awake at night, unable to drift off to sleep or frustratingly waking periodically, know you are not alone—especially if you’re a woman.
Summer picnics are lovely with their delicious spreads of fruits, breads and salads. But beware the potato salad that’s been sitting in the sun! Salmonella poisoning (also called ‘salmonellosis’) is a terrible way to end a nice day out.
If you think having chickenpox as a child is the end of the line for the varicella zoster virus in your body, think again. The virus that causes chickenpox settles in and bides its time, hid-ing in nerve cells, until something—its not clear what—causes it to rage back decades after the initial infection. Only this time, you’ve got shingles.
When Meredith Fish of St. Louis went into labor six months ago, she knew her delivery was in capable and compassionate hands at Missouri Baptist Medical Center (MoBap). Despite high-risk pregnancy factors, the first-time mom delivered a healthy baby boy.
Deep within our digestive tract, a huge colony of microscopic organisms thrives. This ecosystem allows us to digest and absorb nutrients. Now, researchers think the specific types of bacteria that populate the gut may relate to obesity.
Among the many concerns pregnant women have, the question of whether it is safe to visit the dentist comes up on a regular basis, says Dr. David Weinstein, chief of obstetric/gynecology at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. “I’m glad you’re covering this, as it’s something that’s been misunderstood, and it’s good to set the record straight,” he says.
There are many choices when it comes to weight loss. Diet plans abound, all promising to help individuals shed pounds and keep them off. Four years and 80 pounds ago, Paige (who asked that her last name not be used) heard about the hCG diet from her primary-care physician and decided to give it a try.
Researchers have spent decades trying to unravel cancer’s causes. While the search has yielded as many questions as answers, the role of nutrition is one area that scientists are considering in light of newer data.
Sometimes work is a real pain in the neck—literally. Creating an ergonomically optimal work space is not always easy or possible, and the result can be pain and tension in the cervical spine, the seven vertebrae in the neck on which our heavy heads balance.
When it comes to cancer, many cases are mysteries. It’s very difficult—even impossible—to pinpoint what leads to a malignancy. Yet there are a few cancers that clearly are linked to specific causes. Smoking contributes to lung cancer, sun damage contributes to skin cancer, and—in a stunning 99 percent of cases—human papillomavirus (HPV) is present in cervical cancer cases.
Many people suffer from seasonal allergies caused by pollen. Yet for some people, being cooped up indoors all winter long is just as bad. Indoor allergens are a common cause of wheezing, sneezing, itchy eyes and other annoying symptoms.
“A 2013 review study tells us that nine out of 12 studies showed an association between a Mediterranean diet and having lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Kathy Mankofsky of Mercy Hospital Dietitian Services.
One of the mainstays of preventive health for women is the ‘well-woman exam,’ the annual check-up that includes a pelvic and breast exam. However, since the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists revised screening guidelines for pap smears, calling for them as long as five years apart under certain circumstances, some women are under the impression that they have no reason to see the doctor for their annual exam. Not so.
Most women of childbearing age have heard the long-touted advice regarding the importance of folic acid (a B vitamin) to a healthy pregnancy and baby. For decades, prenatal vitamins have been standard care for women hoping to become pregnant and those who already are. Yet, this is only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to preventing birth defects.
Reese Helen Nelms
Welcome to 2014! Like so many others, this may be the year you resolve—once and for all—to become a healthier you, and the key to success involves small steps.