July 29, 2014

State changes immunization requirements

Parents are starting to see the back-to-school commercials on TV and thinking of the things they have to do to get their children ready for the first day of school. To avoid the rush at the doctor’s office, they should schedule appointments now for their children’s school or sports physicals. And they should also know that the state of Illinois has made some changes to students’ vaccination requirements.

July 18, 2014

From our Nutritionists’ Table

Is grilling healthy?

It can be! Grilling is a lighter way to cook meats and vegetables, while still adding quite a bit of flavor. Based on research findings, eating moderate amounts of grilled meats such as fish, lean meats and poultry is fairly healthy, so long as you don’t char it.

Research has shown that grilling meats for a long time at high heat may trigger the formation of carcinogens, heterocyclic amine (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).  PAHs come from the smoke, while HCAs come from blackened bits of charred meat.

July 11, 2014

Bugs: Tips to help you avoid bites this summer

Summer means more bugs, including pesky mosquitoes and ticks. Our specialists have tips about which insects are harmful, what diseases they carry and how to safely avoid them.

“Mosquitoes and ticks are the two pests you primarily want to avoid because they can carry infectious diseases,” said Jennifer Layden, MD, PhD, infectious disease specialist at Loyola University Health System. “Ticks can carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and mosquitoes can spread West Nile virus.”

To avoid these pests, you may buy insect repellent. But what levels of protection do they offer?

July 3, 2014

What if fireworks meant no texting for life?

With Independence Day nearly here, emergency departments and trauma centers nationwide are beginning to treat patients injured by fireworks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, hand and finger damage are the most common fireworks injuries and account for 32 percent of all reported injuries.

That can have huge financial, social and emotional implications. It can also change how you communicate for life.

June 24, 2014

Safety tips for summer grilling, fire pits, campfires

Summer means cooking out and gathering with friends and family around the fire pit or campfire. It also means a seasonal increase in trips to the emergency department and burn unit for burn injuries.

“The old adage of ‘When you play with fire, you get burned’ is true; you must always be very serious and attentive when fire is involved,” said Richard L. Gamelli, MD, director of the Burn & Shock Trauma Research Institute, director of the Burn Center and senior vice president and provost of the Health Sciences Division at Loyola University Chicago. ”Injuries due to fire happen easily and fast, especially when children are involved or alcohol has been abused.”

June 20, 2014

The truth behind the ‘5-Second Rule’

The burger patty that slides off the plate, the ice cream treat that plops on the picnic table, the hot dog that rolls off the grill – conventional wisdom has it that you have five seconds to pick it up before it is contaminated.

But is that fact or folklore?

June 12, 2014

Bounce house safety tips may save you ER trip

Summer block party season is here and that means inflatable bounce houses will be springing up in neighborhoods across the country. As kids jump into this fun summer activity it’s important to ensure they are safe.

“Bounce houses are a great way to get kids active and are considered a relatively manageable risk since the severity of injuries is usually less than that of a trampoline. Still, injuries and fractures are fairly common from bounce house play and parents need to supervise the children,” said Teresa Cappello, MD, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Loyola University Health System and assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.


June 4, 2014

From our Nutritionists’ Table

Should I be taking a multivitamin?

Research indicates it is best to receive vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants from their natural food sources.  For the majority of people, if you are eating a well-balanced diet rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes and lean meats, then you are likely meeting your nutrient needs. Those people with specific conditions or restrictive diets, such as for osteoporosis or a known vitamin-deficiency, may benefit from supplementation. It is best to discuss these concerns with your health-care provider to determine if you have any specific needs.  Bottom line? Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.

- From your registered Loyola dietitians

May 29, 2014

Balance even more important as we age

Trips and falls can happen at all stages of life, but as we start to age they can become more numerous. Aging can magnify the impact of risk factors associated with falls and also brings up new and often less obvious factors that affect balance and stability. The causes of balance issues could come from a number of different sources, many that don’t have a seemingly direct connection to balance or falls.

“Maintaining good balance becomes even more important as our joints and bones begin to weaken, making the impact of a trip or fall even more devastating,” said Jason Rice, MD, primary care internist at Loyola University Health System.

May 22, 2014

Don’t let GI cancer rob you of your future

Did you know that colorectal cancer ranks second in all cancer-related deaths in the U.S?  However, with early detection and treatment 9 out of 10 people recover and are alive and kicking five years after diagnosis, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With the goal of reducing our patients’ risk of colorectal cancer, Loyola has launched a multidisciplinary program to screen patients at increased risk of the disease.

May 15, 2014

With stroke you have to act F.A.S.T.

At Loyola, we know that seconds count when it comes to stroke. The faster you receive treatment, the more brain cells we can save. If you suspect that someone is having a stroke, call 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY. If you are having a stroke, do not try to drive to the hospital. Call 9-1-1 or ask someone else to make the call. Even if the symptoms decrease, you need to seek medical attention.

May 5, 2014

Best to avoid alcohol before pregnancy

Women should refrain from drinking alcohol before they try to become pregnant, according to maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Loyola University Health System.

“A woman can conceive at any point in her cycle, so women should avoid alcohol well in advance of becoming pregnant,” said Jean Goodman, MD, lead investigator, division director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Loyola University Health System. “We recommend that women begin taking folic acid supplements starting three months prior to conception. This is an ideal time to refrain from alcohol use as well because you are in the mindset of preparing your body for pregnancy.”

May 1, 2014

How to help your daughter prevent an ACL injury

As more girls and young women become involved in soccer and basketball, they and their parents should know that these student athletes are more prone to debilitating ACL knee injuries. But a simple stretching and exercise program could help prevent many of these painful and often season-ending ligament tears. Dr. Pietro Tonino, director of orthopaedic Sports Medicine at Loyola, urges these students and their parents to look into bringing this injury prevention program to their schools.

The numbers are eye opening. Female athletes who play basketball and soccer are two to eight times more likely to suffer an ACL injury compared with male athletes, according to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

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.