April 15, 2014

Allergies? The Gottlieb Allergy Count can help

Thanks to a few days of gusty winds and precipitation, the pollen levels in Chicago have really taken off.

“Allergy patients are already complaining of itchy eyes, scratchy throats and stuffy noses,” said Joseph Leija, MD, who conducts the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count of the Midwest.  “Even people who have not been officially diagnosed with allergies may be suffering.”

Just days into the season, the tree pollen on April 1 was already just a few hundred short of reaching the “high” level, which was a fivefold increase from the previous day’s reading.

But maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised.

Chicago ranked 53 in the top 100 “Spring Allergy Capitals 2014” list compiled by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

April 10, 2014

From our Nutritionists’ Table

Prebiotics, probiotics: What’s all the hype about?

You may have heard about prebiotics and probiotics and how they are great for your health. And that’s true, but on top of everything else, they taste good, too.

Nutritionists say that a few of the benefits of adding more prebiotics and probiotics into your diet are improved immune health, enhanced gastrointestinal function, weight loss, prevention of colon cancer, decreased risk of food-borne illnesses and fewer symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and irritable bowel disease, if you suffer from these conditions.

April 7, 2014

Careful with your skin after long winter

As families prepare to escape to warmer climates for vacation, they should exercise caution when exposing their skin to the sun after a long winter indoors. Loyola University Health System pediatric dermatologists warn that kids are especially at risk.

“Protecting your child’s skin from the sun after they have been bundled up all winter is critical to prevent long-term sun damage and premature aging,” said Lily Uihlein, MD, pediatric dermatologist at Loyola University Health System.

Loyola dermatologists warn that those traveling to tropical climates are at an even greater risk for sun damage.

“The sun tends to be more intense in areas closer to the equator, giving you more exposure to harmful UV rays,” said Wendy Schumacher-Kim, DO, pediatric dermatologist. “Children also have delicate skin, placing them in even greater danger in warmer climates.”

April 2, 2014

New Immediate Care center at Park Ridge open

If you live or work near Park Ridge, we have good news for you. Loyola University Health System has opened an Immediate Care center at the Loyola Center for Health at Park Ridge, located at 1030 W. Higgins Road (crossroad with North Cumberland Avenue).

The Immediate Care center, which opened this month, will offer residents access to the expertise of Loyola’s patient-care team on a walk-in basis, with no appointments necessary. It will be open during hours when many physicians’ offices are closed.

March 28, 2014

Some tips about nutrition and pregnancy

What are some foods that women should concentrate on eating during the first trimester? The second? The third?

Consuming a balanced diet during all trimesters is important. A balanced diet includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, dairy and healthy fats.

Whole grains: Breads, cereals, pastas and brown rice

Fruits: All types of fruits, whether fresh, frozen or canned, without added sugar

Vegetables: Eat a variety of colorful vegetables, whether fresh, frozen or canned, with no added salt

Lean protein: Choose protein from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans/peas, peanut butter, tofu and nuts

Low-fat or fat-free dairy: Milk, cheese and yogurt

Healthful fats: Vegetable oils, including canola, corn, peanut and olive oil are good choices

March 20, 2014

Osteoarthritis of the hands

Dr. Shelley Noland, a specialist in plastic, reconstructive and orthopedic surgery, talks about the causes of osteoarthritis and how it can alter a person’s life in this video. Treatment can involve anti-inflammatory medicine, splinting and rest. Sometimes the patient and doctor will decide the best option is surgery. Surgical options include resurfacing the joint or fusing the joint.

March 12, 2014

Fecal incontinence: Treatments are available

Dr. Dana Hayden, a colorectal surgeon at Loyola, talks about a subject a lot of people are afraid to talk about: fecal incontinence, or loss of control over stool movement. One of the most common reasons is injury during childbirth. Also surgery or radiation to  can cause fecal incontinence. But there are many reasons why people can experience this. There is a huge spectrum of treatment options – surgery isn’t the only option. Watch video.

March 7, 2014

From our Nutritionists’ Table

What is intermittent fasting and can it help me lose weight?

Intermittent fasting plans vary, but all share the same general principle: At certain times you eat nothing or much less than usual and the rest of the time you eat what you normally would or perhaps a bit less. Losing weight is all about reducing the calories you take in and/or increasing the calories you expend.  Based on this logic, then, yes, intermittent fasting could aid in weight loss. When you have just consumed a meal or snack, your body metabolizes food for fuel and stores what is not needed right away in your liver and muscles for later use.  Eating too much leads to the extra energy being stored as fat in the body.

February 18, 2014

What you can do to lower risk of acne scars

Does your teen or pre-teen suffer from acne? Acne affects around 95 percent of people at some point in life. It is a chronic skin disease that usually starts around puberty or shortly before.

Unfortunately there isn’t a cure for acne but much can be done to make it better. Mild acne can be treated at home with acne cleansers and other products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

February 13, 2014

What falling in love does to your heart, brain

Getting struck by Cupid’s arrow may very well take your breath away and make your heart go pitter-patter this Valentine’s Day, reports sexual wellness specialists at Loyola University Health System.

“Falling in love causes our body to release a flood of feel-good chemicals that trigger specific physical reactions,” said Pat Mumby, PhD, co-director of the Loyola Sexual Wellness Clinic and professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). “This internal elixir of love is responsible for making our cheeks flush, our palms sweat and our hearts race.”

February 6, 2014

How to help a child with eczema

Does your child have red, dry, itchy skin? Is your child waking up in the middle of the night to scratch?

Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is one of the most common skin conditions in infants and children, and may develop as early as a few weeks of age. Skin with eczema is dry, itchy, inflamed and prone to skin infections. Children with atopic dermatitis often flare during the winter months when it is cold and dry.

January 31, 2014

Tips to find the right doctor

One of the most intimate and crucial relationships we have is with our physician. Finding the right doctor is a lot like finding the right relationship partner. This Valentine’s Day maybe it’s also a good time to ponder finding “Dr. Right.”

“There are a lot of great doctors out there, but finding the right one for you can be difficult,” said Anita Varkey, MD, internal medicine physician at Loyola University Health System. Varkey says the first question to ask is, “What kind of doctor do you need?”

“We all need a good primary care physician. You should think of your primary care physician as your “go to” doctor. Who do you go to when you have a question about your health or need a prescription refill?” Varkey said.