Archive for May, 2013

Five things you should know about hepatitis C

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Hepatitis C is a silent epidemic in America. Millions of Americans have chronic hepatitis C, which is caused through infection with the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer. As many as 75 percent of people who are living with hepatitis C don’t know they are infected.

“People can get infected through contaminated blood from a person who has hepatitis C,” says Martha Saly, director of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR). “While many people associate hepatitis C with injection drug use, there are some people who don’t know how or when they became infected.”

Many myths prevail about this often-hidden disease. Here are the five things you need to know about hepatitis C: 
Hepatitis C often has no symptoms.
Unlike many other diseases, people with hepatitis C often have no symptoms. In fact, a person can live with an infection for up to 20 or 30 years without feeling sick, even though liver damage may be taking place all along. “You can actually look and feel healthy and still have hepatitis C,” says Saly. “The danger in having no symptoms is that when or if symptoms do appear, they can be a sign of serious liver damage. That’s why hepatitis C is often referred to as a ’silent’ epidemic.” 
Doctors do not routinely test for hepatitis C.
You may think that you’ve already been tested for hepatitis C, but blood tests for hepatitis C are not typically done as a part of annual check-ups.
Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer.
Rates of liver cancer in the United States have tripled over the last several decades, and at least half of these cases are attributable to hepatitis C. “Left undetected and untreated, chronic hepatitis C can lead to serious liver problems and even liver cancer,” says Saly. About 15,000 people die every year from liver disease related to hepatitis C. 
Getting tested for hepatitis C is critical. 
Getting tested for hepatitis C involves a simple blood test. To find out if you are at risk, take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) online Hepatitis Risk Assessment, available at CDC’s Know More Hepatitis campaign website: 
Treatments are available for hepatitis C. 
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved new treatments for hepatitis C. The new treatments are more effective, and can eliminate the virus from the body. 
To learn more about hepatitis C, visit

Courtesy of BPT

Five surprising summer habits that pack on the pounds

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Five%20surprising%20summer%20habits%20that%20pack%20on%20the%20poundsSwimsuit ready? Not for long. Gaining the weight you lost preparing for summer is so easy, you’re likely to do it without trying. If you don’t stop the eating patterns that unintentionally cause weight gain, you’ll never be successful losing body fat.
Tom Nikkola, director of nutrition and weight management at Life Time Fitness, “The Healthy Way of Life Company,” says people unintentionally sabotage their diet even as they’re cutting calories. 
Here are five ways you may be packing on the pounds without even realizing it:
1. Load up on sugar
You don’t have to indulge in sweets or spoon extra sugar over your food to eat too much. If you eat a lot of processed foods, you’re probably already eating too much sugar. Nikkola says you can even find added sugar in processed meats. “White flour, bread, waffles, many cereals, chips, granola and crackers are easily converted to sugar as well,” he adds.
2. Skimp on protein and fat
“Protein and fat are macronutrients that are essential to our health,” Nikkola says. “By avoiding these foods, you’ll be more likely to have an insatiable appetite.” On the flip side, he notes people who include protein and fat in every meal are less likely to overeat and may reduce cravings for carbohydrate-rich or sugary foods.
3. Eat more breakfast cereal
“A bowl of cereal is a great way to start the day if your goal is accumulating additional body fat,” Nikkola says. Such a breakfast can leave you hungry just a few hours later, and reaching for high-carbohydrate snack foods. Before noon you’ll likely be feeling the effects of low blood sugar, like trouble focusing, a reduction in energy and increase in irritability (which only makes you want to eat more). 
4. Fill up on fruit and fruit juice
Fruit and fruit juice are not synonymous in a healthy diet. “Juice is much more concentrated in sugar, especially fructose, and does not include fiber, which may help reduce your appetite,” Nikkola explains. “Loading up on juice is a great way to increase calorie intake, much like drinking soda would be.” Even too much whole fruit can lead to too much sugar in your diet. The best way to balance out your fruit and vegetable intake is to eat three to four servings of non-starchy vegetables for each serving of fruit.
5. Reward yourself after every workout
“It doesn’t take much to offset what you burn in each workout,” Nikkola says. “With a muffin, some chips, or a bowl of pasta you’ll replace all the glycogen you burned in your training session and eat enough extra carbohydrates to add to your fat stores.” Instead, refuel with whole food and include protein for better recovery.
Of course you don’t really want to gain weight this summer. Life Time Fitness has an in-house nutritionist on staff at most of its 105 clubs to work with members on their personal nutrition goals. 
“When you become aware of the many causes of weight gain, you’ll understand why the approach we take at Life Time Weight Loss is more complicated, and more personalized, than most other weight management systems,” Nikkola says. If you’d like to see a longer list of how to get fatter this summer, check out Nikkola’s article 14 Ways to Get Fatter at

Courtesy of BPT

Tips to make the most out of summer

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Tips%20to%20make%20the%20most%20out%20of%20summerNo matter what your summer plans are, everyone is looking to have a great time with friends and family. Keep the summer exciting with new activities and snacks. Trying new adventures in good company makes for lasting memories.
Stacy Keibler, actress and television personality, stays active all summer long and knows how important it is to enjoy every moment. No matter what she is doing, she knows that summer is about feeling great, having fun and staying healthy.
Below are some fabulous tips from Stacy on how to spice up your summer.
* “Fashion is a huge part of living up the summer. Whether I’m on a boat or taking a stroll, I always stay classy and feminine. My favorite classic pieces for the summer are a pair of neutral sandals and a great fedora or Panama hat, but you will definitely find me rocking some new trends like printed or colored denim and a great low-wasted flowing skirt. I’m going to have so much fun with my summer outfits.”
* “Traveling is a big part of my summer but it can be draining at times. That’s why I keep snacks on hand to keep my energy up. You can usually find alkaline water, raw nuts and my new favorite snack, New York Style Mini Bagel Crisps, in my purse. My new snack is a perfect little bite that helps me get through a long flight or drive.”
* “To stay in shape, I try to work out five days a week for an hour to an hour and a half. My workout routine changes daily and I love to challenge myself with new exercises. I love the feeling after working out knowing that I have done something good for myself and my health. Once you start your routine, you won’t want to stop.”
* “Summer is also a great time to adapt favorite recipes with healthier options. I love to cook and make recipes healthier by substituting things. I eat well and make sure to have three healthy meals throughout the day with two snacks in between. My favorite summer meal is grilled chicken with steamed or roasted veggies or salad with lots of fresh raw veggies and chicken. My favorite summer snack is Roasted Garlic New York Style Original Bagel Crisps. Bagel Crisps also make for a quick and delicious appetizer for guests when paired with creamy cheeses like, brie and goat cheese.”
* “It’s a good idea to always make it a point to have fun wherever you are. Usually, if you are having fun the people around you will too, so make the best of every situation. My favorite summertime activity is anything outdoors. Always make it a point to have fun wherever you are. My motto has always been carpe diem.”
Remember, you can make or break your summer, so go out and show off your best outfit and create unforgettable memories. To help you have fun this summer, New York Style is offering one winner a once-in-a-lifetime red carpet event for a mini taste of the VIP life. Visit for rules and how to enter.

Courtesy of BPT

Keeping on top of your child’s asthma care during allergy season

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

allergiesFor many with seasonal allergies, the start of spring means itchy eyes and a runny nose, but for the almost 25 million Americans suffering with asthma, the season can be much more threatening. In fact, according to a recent survey, Asthma Insights and Management, conducted by the national public research organization Abt SRBI Inc., 21 percent of asthmatics note “pollen” as a trigger for their asthma symptoms.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways, and may cause chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. When not properly managed, these symptoms may sometimes become life threatening.

For parents of the nearly 7 million children living with asthma, monitoring of the condition and identifying when symptoms are becoming problematic can be difficult any time of year, but can be even more challenging during allergy season.

“During allergy season, assessing whether my child symptoms are asthma- or allergy-related is even more stressful as exacerbations become more frequent,” said Denielle Goshinsky, mother of an 8-year-old asthmatic. “I’m often asking myself whether my child’s cough is from a cold or allergies, or whether it’s asthma-related and potentially more serious.”

But for parents of asthmatics, there is a new tool available to help monitor and assess their child’s symptoms anytime and anywhere. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently cleared to market Spiro PD, the first and only personal spirometer that allows patients to measure their lung function outside of the doctor’s office. The device measures the amount and speed of air individual’s exhale which helps evaluate how well lungs are working. It is easy-to-use, portable and affordable.

“While the National Institute of Health Clinical Guidelines call for regular spirometry, the location of the test was previously limited to doctor’s offices,” said Michael S. Blaiss, MD, the Board of Director of World Allergy Organization and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Division of Allergy and Immunology, University of Tennessee. “With the availability of Spiro PD, patients or parents of asthmatics are able to measure lung function and share data with their doctor anywhere and anytime, empowering patients to take an active role in managing their disease, always knowing exactly how their condition is doing and informing them as to when they may need to seek further medical attention.”

Other features of Spiro PD allow patients to view their lung function trends over time; manage medications; set reminder alarms to take medicine, run spirometry tests or do breathing exercises; and, quickly upload data to their computer and share it with their health care provider. For more information visit

Courtesy of BPT

Five ways to help kids boost their brain power

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Five%20ways%20to%20help%20kids%20boost%20their%20brain%20powerEveryone is born with about 100 billion brain cells. We form new connections between these cells throughout life, but the rate is particularly high when we’re young. Since those connections facilitate thinking and learning, parents who want to help give their children an intellectual edge should consider the brain-healthy choices they make each day.
“Making the effort to nurture your child’s brain with both proper nutrients and varied experiences, especially when they are young and developing at such a fast rate, is crucial,” says speech pathologist Lauren Zimet, founder of Early Insights, LLC, and an expert on childhood brain development. “The connections in brain circuitry can be enhanced through the environments and activities a child is exposed to, and participates in, as well as the nutrients a child consumes.” 
Here are five tips to help parents enhance healthy brain development in their children, positioning them for success in school today, and well into their future:
1. Select a rainbow
It’s no secret that the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables are numerous, but thanks to the results of ongoing research, you can confidently add brain health to that list. Encourage your children to eat a colorful array of produce (organic when possible) each day so they get the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals needed to nourish and protect their growing brains. If your child is resistant to eating produce, encourage them to come shopping with you and select something new to try. Kids are more likely to eat what they have selected themselves. 
2. Relax the right way
While it’s true that exercise boosts brain power, it’s also important to teach children how to relax. Balancing activity with relaxation is important so that kids don’t get too stressed, which can impact the brain’s development and lead to learning and behavior problems. Teaching children early on the benefit of setting goals, working towards those goals, and giving their brain and body time to relax are important life skills. When it’s time to relax, skip the TV and teach your child that taking a walk in nature, reading a book or drawing are great ways to unwind. Deep breathing is also an excellent practice to teach children of all ages.
3. Eat omega-3 brain food 
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are critical to a child’s brain development. They are called “essential” because we need them for optimal health. The problem is that our bodies cannot manufacture them and we can only get them from the food we eat or supplements we take. While fish, nuts and seaweed are good omega-3 sources, kids typically don’t gobble down these foods. That leaves many parents worried that their kids aren’t getting enough, and with omega-3 deficits linked to ADHD, dyslexia and other behavioral and psychological disorders, many are turning to supplements for their children. Experts agree that the safest, most reliable source of the most important essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) is a high quality fish oil supplement. Fortunately, there are purified, molecularly distilled fish oil supplements that are manufactured with kids in mind. Parents should be sure to choose one of these chewable, tasty options like those by Nordic Naturals to ensure success in getting their children to take the supplements. 
4. Happy brains are hydrated brains
Staying hydrated is important for growing brains and bodies. Water can improve energy, increase mental and physical performance, remove toxins and waste from the body, and keep skin healthy and glowing. Based on the trillions of cells in the body that need water to function, most nutritionists agree that children need more, not less H20. To estimate how many ounces of water your child should drink daily, divide his or her weight in half and aim for that number of ounces per day. 
5. Be a positive support system early on
Learning is a complex process, but children will be more open to trying new things when they know their parents believe in them. Acknowledging effort, instead of the outcome, strengthens a child’s belief in himself or herself. Teaching goal setting, prioritizing activities and working off of check lists exercises the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the brain. Experimentation through trial and error is the way the brain learns best. 
“Giving your child’s brain what it needs to grow strong can help him or her at school and in all social situations,” adds Zimet. “Utilizing these tips is a great way to help position your child for success in the coming school year, and beyond.”

Courtesy of BPT

Make food prep easy this summer by going raw

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Make%20food%20prep%20easy%20this%20summer%20by%20going%20rawThe hot days of summer are the perfect time to relax with friends in the backyard and sample delicious fruits and salads while sipping chilled drinks.
Follow a few quick and easy tips to serve and enjoy the fruits and veggies grown in the garden. Serve these foods raw, because cooked vegetables can lose many nutrients throughout the cooking process. Choose to go raw for your first bite, and try these ideas from Miracle-Gro for additional recipes.
* Simple dipping delights – A plate of crudites, also known as raw vegetables cut into bite-sized strips, served with a favorite dressing or delicious dip, makes for a great afternoon refreshment or pre-dinner appetizer. Simply clean and prep vegetables like carrots, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and even kohlrabi, the night before and keep stored in the refrigerator until they are ready to be served. Add unexpected treats like shoestring-cut sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas or green beans served fresh from the garden.
* Pretty, delicious and raw – Turn garden delights into pieces of art. Thinly slice a sweet potato into long, narrow strips. Wrap the strips in a circle, pinning on one side with a toothpick, and flaring out on the other to create a flower appearance. For radishes, carefully slice into – but not all the way through – a square shape. Make a second, smaller square shape inside the first, and continue this process until you have reached the middle. Finally, use a vegetable peeler to peel long carrot curls to decorate the plate. There are plenty of other vegetable art ideas on the Internet to help decorate your vegetable platters.
* Sassy salsa – Chips and salsa or guacamole – the reason many restaurants serve these prior to the meal is because they are delicious and easy to prepare ahead of time. Make pico de gallo using tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and cilantro. Or, change it up by smashing avocados and substituting them for the tomatoes. Salsa and guacamole make easy sides that guests love.
* Fruity drinks – For a “cool” way to relax with friends this summer, make fun, fast drinks that incorporate the bounty of the garden. Use that mint that has taken over the garden to add a fresh taste to iced tea, fresh squeezed lemonade or cocktails. Mojitos and mint juleps are both cool and refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. Freeze fresh fruits and berries to give any drink an added splash. Pop frozen strawberries into lemonade or mixed fruit into your favorite wine for a sangria to remember.
* Smoothies and desserts – Whether you are looking for a quick, tasty way to start the morning off right, or a delightful way to end an evening, fresh fruit is the answer. For a simple breakfast on the go, blend blueberries, peach slices, bananas, strawberries or kiwi in a food processor with some ice, a little yogurt and a splash of your favorite fruit juice for a yummy smoothie. For an extra kick, try adding a scoop of your favorite vanilla-flavored protein powder. For dessert, simply chop the fruits for colorful, healthy and tasty toppers – great over ice cream or cakes and even better when layered with a light pudding and angel food cake for a sophisticated trifle.
* Crispy salads – There is nothing better than a crisp lettuce salad full of fresh vegetables and decorated with nuts and fruits. If growing leaf lettuce, do not cut until you are ready for use. Head lettuce can be chilled in the refrigerator for a day or two. Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, radishes and asparagus add delightful flavors to the lettuce. Mix in cheese like feta, blue cheese, parmesan or goat cheese, and add nuts, croutons or even tortilla strips for some added crunch. Do not be afraid to add those fresh summer fruits as well. A handful of blueberries, sliced strawberries, diced apples or delicious grapes on top, and you have got a well-balanced meal mostly grown right in your own garden.
The dog days of summer are the perfect excuse to take it easy. Head out to the garden to find plenty of food items that are delicious raw. You can have a meal, snack and even dessert ready to go in no time.

Courtesy of BPT

Expert Q&A: Wear and tear or osteoarthritis of the knee?

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Expert%20Q%26A%3A%20Wear%20and%20Tear%20or%20Osteoarthritis%20of%20the%20KneeMore than 10 million Americans begin their day with their usual routine, only to discover the spring in their step has been replaced by a creak in their knees. “Wear and tear” disease or osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is the most common form of arthritis and can be life-changing. The associated pain and stiffness decreases an individual’s ability to carry out routine day-to-day activities, such as climbing stairs or standing for a long period of time. It is estimated that women older than 50 years of age are more likely to develop OA of the knee than men.i

Jeffrey E. Rosen, M.D., a leading osteoarthritis expert and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation at New York Hospital Queens, shares expert insights and advice that all osteoarthritis of the knee sufferers should know, including ways to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle and common disease misconceptions.

What is osteoarthritis?

Often referred to as “wear and tear,” osteoarthritis is a chronic disease in which the cartilage, or cushioning tissue between the surfaces of joints, wears away. When cartilage surrounding the joint breaks down, the joint has to bear more weight; this transmits across the joint possibly leading to changes in the underlying bone.
What are some common misconceptions about osteoarthritis of the knee?
Osteoarthritis is often confused with osteoporosis, which is a disease that affects the makeup of the bone, as opposed to the joints and cartilage surrounding the bone. Another common misconception is that osteoarthritis of the knee only affects older people.
Who is at risk of developing osteoarthritis?
There are certain factors that can increase a person’s risk including weight, age, gender and injury or trauma to the knee joint. Those who have had repeated trauma to the knee joints, also referred to as “micro-traumas,” are at higher risk, and women are affected more than men. Approximately 60 percent of the nearly 27 million people affected by osteoarthritis of the knee are women.ii
What are the symptoms? How can you tell it may be time to see your doctor?
General osteoarthritis of the knee symptoms include stiffness, particularly when getting up in the morning, aching in the joints and pain while walking up and down stairs. Patients will normally use over-the-counter medications to treat the symptoms. However, if symptoms progress over time or you start to feel a “crunching” sensation from inside the joint, this may be a sign that it is time to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Also, consult your doctor when pain, stiffness or swelling becomes too persistent or starts to affect your stability when standing. Another sure sign to seek medical attention is when symptoms cannot be alleviated with an anti-inflammatory or an over-the-counter medication, such as acetaminophen. The key to a better outcome is seeking support early and before the problem progresses too far.
How is osteoarthritis knee pain treated?
Traditionally, physicians have approached treating osteoarthritis in a step-wise fashion, beginning with improving diet as well as a modified exercise program, then moving towards pharmacological intervention as needed. However, now physicians are starting to try different treatment approaches to help get the best result possible for patients as quickly as possible. My preference is to use multi-modal strategies where I can combine treatments and therapy strategies.
Non-interventional Treatment, Modified shoe wear/orthotics, Assisting device (e.g. cane), Weight loss Nutrition and proper diet, Over-the-counter Medication, Glucosamine for joint health Pain medication (e.g. acetaminophen), Interventional Treatment, Cortisone or hyaluronic acid injection therapy, Partial joint replacement, Total joint replacement

What type of questions should people who suffer from osteoarthritis knee pain ask their doctors when it comes to diet, nutrition, exercise, treatment options, etc.?

I tell my patients the importance of being informed. Ask your doctor about ways to maintain proper body weight and an exercise program that is appropriate for you. It is also important to keep an open dialogue with your doctor about worsening symptoms so treatment can be adjusted as necessary.
What are three things you would recommend someone diagnosed with osteoarthritis knee pain to keep in mind?

Maintain a healthy body weight. It is essential to maintain a healthy body weight. In fact, every 10 pounds, either lost or gained, is magnified by four times depending on the physical activity being done by the individual. Stay active and exercise. Keep up an active lifestyle and make sure this includes a stretching and exercise program.

A common misstep is to focus on cardiovascular training only or weight training only, whereas a combination of the two is ideal. Stronger muscles can act like shock absorbers to joints, so a strength training program is beneficial.
Educate yourself about your disease. Finally, it is imperative to be educated about your condition and aware of the contributing factors so you know when it is the right time to see your doctor.For more information, please visit:

Courtesy of BPT

Free up more time by revamping your laundry room routine

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Free%20up%20more%20timeToday, time is an incredible luxury – one that we too rarely have. Between family responsibilities, work commitments and everyday stresses, it can often be hard to accomplish everything on the to-do list, let alone carve out time for oneself.  A mainstay on the to-do list has always been laundry, and with the average  household doing 7.5 loads per week, the time spent washing, drying and folding really adds up.
In fact, a significant number of women are making sacrifices to make time for laundry. Many women find themselves neglecting exercise, family time and their social calendars, among other everyday tasks, because of the time they spend on laundry, according to results of a national survey conducted for LG Electronics. And, with the onset of summer, the work only multiplies – from guest bedding and towels to sports uniforms and everyday clothing. 
The good news is that there is freedom from the task that more than 77 percent of women describe as tedious and time consuming. With some simple tips from LG Head Home Economist Mike Wisner, you can make your laundry a faster and more efficient process. Pretty soon, all you’ll need to worry about is what to do with all your free time.
* Keep your laundry room organized. While it’s easy to let things pile up, keeping the room tidy and organized helps you save time by making sure that you know where all of the tools you need are located. Wisner advises keeping dryer goods separate from the items you need for the washing machine, and store ironing necessities in their own container. Check products periodically and re-stock before you run out – having to run to the store for dryer sheets or even detergent at the last minute is something you want to avoid.
* Have the whole family do their part. Collecting clothes is a time-consuming task in itself, especially when unsorted clothes are left on the floor to pile up. Instead, encourage everyone in the family to put dirty clothes into hampers, which makes it easier to gather items that need to be washed. “Another simple step is to provide everyone with two hampers – one for whites and one for colors – a time efficient way to sort,” Wisner suggests.
Free%20up%20more%20time* Opt for a large-capacity washer. Getting more items into the washer equates to getting more done – and faster. But overloading an outdated, standard model can leave you with clothes that aren’t fully clean. Today’s washers are better equipped for the job, and the new mega-capacity front-loader from LG is great for handling huge laundry tasks. “It can accommodate a king-size bedding set, including a comforter, and its TurboWash technology – which combines the “spin” and “rinse” cycles – saves 20 minutes per load, even on larger loads,” he says. 
* Re-examine how you dry. “While a high-capacity dryer will help, there are also other ways to cut back on drying times,” Wisner says. Re-usable dryer balls can cut down on the time you need to keep items in the dryer and help to eliminate static. For items that aren’t dryer safe, keep a collapsible drying rack or retractable laundry line in your laundry room, so that you don’t need to take them outside or to a different part of the house. Turning on a dehumidifier as hanging items dry can speed up the process, too. And don’t forget to clean the lint from your machine following every load.
* Look at some of the newest innovations on the market and learn more about the ones you have. There are constant improvements to the stain-fighting and detergent categories: today’s stain sticks help to eliminate messy foods before they set while easy-dose laundry packets, like Tide Pods, make it easy to use the right amount of detergent per load. “Also make sure you study the operating guide for your existing machine. Find out how often you should check hoses and filters and, most importantly, learn more about the benefits of using different cycles, speeds and temperatures,” notes Wisner. Make sure your washer is ENERGY STAR qualified, as this can save tons in energy and electricity bills.
“Get back a bit of your life,” says Wisner, “with these simple solutions to reduce time spent in the laundry room.” For more ideas and tips, visit

Courtesy of BPT