Dr. Asha Shrestha with St. Joseph Healthcare was in the studio Wednesday for this week’s Senior Spotlight. This week, she was speaking with Joy about what happens to those with rheumatoid arthritis in the cold weather. Doctors seem to not be able to come to a mutual decision on whether or not the cold can affect arthritis patients, but as Dr. Shrestha says, the proof appears to be in what the patients report themselves.
TV 5 Health Advisor Doctor Bill Sturrock explains:
Earlier this month, the journal ‘Nature’ reported on the findings of a research team from Northeastern University based on samples taken from the dirt in a southern Maine field. This seemingly obscure newsbit holds the potential of being the biggest microbiologic breakthrough in the past 30 years. The research team, led by Dr Kim Lewis, used a new technique of isolating and growing bacteria that previously could not be cultured by the standard lab techniques like the venerable Petri-dish. They discovered a bacterium that produces a unique toxin they have labeled ‘teixobactin’, which can kill other bacteria by a cellular mechanism that is unique among the other antibiotic classes. This new drug has already shown activity against known germs such as Methicillen-Resistant Staph (MRSA) in mice, as well as a host of other human pathogens in cell cultures. Although it is a long way from being mass produced and marketed, it holds great promise for treating many powerful organisms that have developed resistance to our available treatment agents.
Val Kitchen from Bangor Pilates was in the studio again Friday for this week’s Fitness Friday. This week, she was showing Joy and Wayne a series of Pilates leg stretches that will also get your core working right along with them.
Dr. Charles Pattavina, ER surgeon at St. Joseph Hospital, was in the studio Wednesday for this week’s Senior Spotlight. This week he was giving some pointers to Joy about things to pay attention to when you think someone may be having a stroke.
DEALING WITH FLU AND “STOMACH FLU”
This is the time of year when norovirus becomes a nuisance. Norovirus is also known as “winter vomiting illness” or “stomach flu”. It causes a 1-2 day illness of vomiting, sometimes diarrhea, cramping, and generally just not feeling well. It is very contagious and is passed from person to person by contamination with stool or vomit. Contamination mostly happens through lack of hand washing. Sick persons can spread the virus from the moment they begin feeling sick and for at least 3 days after illness ends. Therefore, good hand hygiene is still very important even when you are feeling better.
Norovirus is just one virus that causes a rather intense episode of vomiting and diarrhea. However, at this time of year there are other “GI viruses” floating around that cause similar illness. It does not matter which virus you have since most people do not become very ill with the stomach flu (stomach flu being a generic term to refer to all of the virus-mediated illness that cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea). I consider it more of a nuisance. However, some people may become dehydrated and will benefit from being seen by a doctor who can give them IV fluids and anti nausea medications. Unlike the “real flu” (influenza) there is no medication to treat this or make it less symptomatic. The best treatment is to stay home, get rest, keep up with fluids and try to prevent exposing anyone else. This shall pass quickly. I have seen several students, coworkers, friends and family with this and so it does seem to be making its way around the Bangor area as it does every year about this time.
Val Kitchen from Bangor Pilates was in the studio again Friday for this week’s Fitness Friday. This week, she was showing Joy and Wayne some anaerobic breathing to accompany a stretch in the “tree” position.
Keeping Your New Year Resolutions – Building Willpower to Meet Your Goals
Health Watch – December 30, 2014
Dr. David Prescott – Acadia Hospital
How Many People Are Able to Stick with New Habits? For many of us, the New Year means taking a moment to reflect on those things we would like to change about ourselves in 2015. But wait a moment! How well do those New Year’s resolutions actually work?
Survey research suggests that about 60% of people who set a personal goal to make a positive change in their life have given up 6 months later. Obviously, lifestyle changes do not happen automatically. However, there are ways to improve the odds of making successful changes.
Where Do I Find the Willpower to Change? From a psychological perspective, willpower can be thought of as the ability to resist short term temptations to meet long term goals. Psychologists understand willpower as something that can improve with practice. People appear able to build their capacity to resist temptation the more they do it. For example practicing small acts of willpower (for example, exercising 5 minutes longer than normal) can help you build towards greater acts of willpower.
Willpower is a limited resource that can be depleted. After ‘using up’ some of your willpower, you have to replenish your supply. Thus, it helps to focus on one New Year’s goal at a time. Most of us simply do not have the capacity to change many things about ourselves at once.
Increasing Your Odds of Success: These 5 strategies can help make a new habit or routine a permanent part of your life:
1. Change one behavior at a time. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time, so replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Many people run into problems when they try to change too much too fast. To improve your success, focus on one goal or change at a time. As new healthy behaviors become a habit, try to add another goal that works toward the overall change you’re striving for.
2. Start small. After you’ve identified realistic short-term and long-term goals, break down your goals into small, manageable steps. Change leads to more change. A good place to start might be to ask yourself: “What change can I accomplish by next Monday?”
3. Make a plan that will stick. Your plan is a map that will guide you on this journey of change. You can even think of it as an adventure. When making your plan, be specific. Want to exercise more? Detail the time of day when you can take walks and how long you’ll walk. Write everything down, and ask yourself if you’re confident that these activities and goals are realistic for you. If not, start with smaller steps. Post your plan where you’ll most often see it as a reminder. Don’t underestimate the impact of simply putting your plan on a piece of paper where you see it several times a day.
4. Involve a buddy. Whether it be a friend, co-worker or family member, someone else on your journey will keep you motivated and accountable. Perhaps it can be someone who will go to the gym with you or someone who is also trying to stop smoking. Talk about what you are doing. Consider joining a support group. Having someone with whom to share your struggles and successes makes the work easier and the mission less intimidating.
5. Ask for support. Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and commitment. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking help from a psychologist. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body, as well as the factors that promote behavior change. Asking for help doesn’t mean a lifetime of therapy; even just a few sessions can help you examine and set attainable goals or address the emotional issues that may be getting in your way.
This Friday was another Fitness Friday on the TV-5 Morning Show. This week, Joy and Wayne were joined by Bangor Pilates’ Val Kitchen. Val was showing them some more Pilates exercises this week. This time, she focused on an easy back extension stretch that you can try yourself right at home in your living room.
The Holiday Emotional Experience: Research suggests that emotions experienced during the holiday season frequently include an increase in positive emotions such as happiness, love, and high spirits. This seems especially true for younger people (those under age 30) who are more likely to report a decrease in stress during the holidays.
By: Dr. William Sturrock
The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and many of us look forward to the festive foods and drink associated with this time of year. From sugar cookies to eggnog, we are all tempted by tasty traditional treats at home and at the workplace. Now we know about watching the sweets and rich desserts, but what about the beverages?
Well it turns out there is a long history of our ancestors partying during this time of year, going back to pre-Christian Europe with drinks like the ‘wassail’. This was a strong mulled cider (or in some areas, ale) consumed by groups of singers going from house to house. Sounds like a lot of fun, but I suspect they didn’t have to worry about getting a DUI or crashing the horse drawn sleigh (horses usually had better sense to avoid danger even if their driver was tipsy).
Which brings us to the subject of this post: What is safe and responsible alcohol consumption? First, lets state right off that for some people even one drink of alcohol is too much. Generally those who should not drink at all have found out the hard way, with previous alcohol-fueled injuries, legal entanglements, or worse. Serious and dangerous behaviors, to include fights, domestic and sexual abuse, vandalism and other crimes are much more likely to occur in the setting of excess alcohol consumption by individuals who might otherwise not cross these social boundaries. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that the cost of damage to health and property runs over $250 billion a year. To put this in perspective, this amounts to $1.90 for every drink consumed in the US and is over twice the annual budget of the Dept of Homeland Security!
So, how can we avoid the negative results of excess drinking? Surely a return to Prohibition is not the right answer (we already tried that, remember?). And besides, most of us have enjoyed the sense of relaxation that can lead to lively conversation and social engagement when alcohol is consumed in moderation. To understand moderation, let’s look its opposite: The CDC defines excessive or binge drinking at that which results in a blood alcohol level of over 0.08, which is when judgment may become impaired, coordination disrupted and reflexes slowed. Not to mention that damaging effects to the nervous system and liver are more likely to begin at this level.
Well, most of us don’t attend the office Christmas party with a breathalizer, so how would we know we might be approaching the danger zone? Metabolic studies show that this level is reached when most men consume more than 5 drinks and most women consume more than four (A drink is 1 oz of distilled liquor, 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine). Surveys report that while binge consumption is more common in young adults age 18-34, it is still a problem across the entire socioeconomic and age spectrum in the US. Interestingly it is also a problem in many northern European countries but is much less of a problem in the Mediterranean cultures of southern Europe. Some sociologist have attributed the higher prevalence of unhealthy drinking patterns to cultures that do not introduce teens and young adults to small amounts in family gatherings. A glass of wine with dinner is a part of the daily ritual of many homes in France, Italy and Greece. This is very different from the clandestine consumption by six-pack that many American (and British, German, Scandinavian) teens experience as their early experience with alcohol.
But the bottom line is that all of us who consume alcohol need to monitor our own consumption, just like we learn (hopefully) not to eat the entire birthday cake or bag of Halloween candy in one night. Not only does our physical and mental health depend on it, we will be less likely to say or do something at that office party that we will regret forever.
This Friday was another Fitness Friday on the TV-5 Morning Show. This week, Joy and Wayne were joined by Bangor Pilates’ Val Kitchen. Val will be our newest Fitness Friday guest for a while, teaching Joy and Wayne different Pilates and yoga stretches that you can try on your own at home. In this video, Val explains the history of Pilates and what it actually is, before getting into a quick and easy stretch you can try by yourself.
Erin Coltvet from the Eastern Agency on Aging was in the studio Wednesday for this week’s Senior Spotlight. This week Erin was speaking to Wayne about staying healthy during the holidays. She says the average adult gains 8 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s Day and gave some tips on how to cut back on that weight gain. She said if you are already exercising, adding as little as five or ten minutes to your program can do a lot, and if you are not currently exercising: there is never a better day than today.
TEENAGERS, CAFFEINE, AND SLEEP
By Dr. Pellegrini
I have covered this topic in the past but I thought it might be a good idea to revisit in light of the recent attention in the news paid toward caffeine. CBS News reported recently an increase in reports to poison control centers regarding caffeine exposure and overdose. There have even been reported deaths. I need to stress that caffeine is safe However, like any substance, ingesting massive quantities of it can lead to serious consequences. I will first cover the effects that caffeine has on the body but I think it may be more important this time to discuss the implications of our children using caffeine.
In his last feature on Fitness Friday, Josiah Hartley of LA Training in Bangor taught Joy and Wayne the proper form and technique to do wall sits. Wall sits are simple and easy to learn, but you can certainly feel the work their doing to your core and legs.
In this week’s Senior Spotlight, Dr. Ian Dickey, orthopedic surgeon at Eastern Maine Medical Center, sat down with Wayne Harvey to talk about the hospital’s new technology that will revolutionize knee implants. As Dr. Dickey explains, with the use of 3-D printers, the hospital is now able to design custom-made implants that will fit the patients receiving them perfectly, as opposed to the hospital’s old way of trying to fit a patient into a size 1-12 scale.
GIVING THANKS WITHOUT REGRET
By: Amy Movius MD
Next week is thanksgiving, officially starting the holiday season that won’t end until 2015. Holidays are mostly wonderful – a time to focus on family and friends and appreciate what we have. They can also be a time of considerable stress and a tendency for excess. Many people gain permanent unhealthy weight this time of year, and it starts with the Thanksgiving feast. Having a plan for enjoying yourself without later regret can only make the holidays better. Below are some strategies for embracing the season – starting with thanksgiving – in moderation.
Increasing physical activity in the weeks before the holidays (now!) can keep the calories burning as can incorporating activity into the festivities. Taking a Thanksgiving family walk or other outing can be part of the tradition.
Eating breakfast on thanksgiving morning is incredibly important. While there can be a tendency to want to “save it” for later, it’s much more likely that you will go uncomfortably overboard at dinner with a too-empty stomach.
There is so much sugar and fat in many traditional thanksgiving dishes that you can trim down these ingredients (and calories) without noticing the difference in flavor. Aside from cutting down on the amount of sugar and fat used in recipes, opting for fat/sugar free ingredients – such as fat free broth – when available can reduce the caloric content without changing the taste.
Portion control is always a challenge with a sumptuous table spread before you. Eating mostly the really special stuff over “regular food” is one way to do this. Choosing white turkey meat, simple vegetables (instead of rich casseroles), roasted sweet potatoes (instead of marshmallow ones) mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie are all going to be on the healthier side of traditional thanksgiving fare. However, there’s no need to deny yourself favorites dishes if you limit the amount. Skipping seconds is obviously a good idea too.
Limiting your alcohol consumption can have a huge impact on calories. While some of it relates to the empty calories alcohol contains, the more important effect is that excessive alcohol will discourage any physical activity and may also diminish your resolve to eat moderately.
The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed, not to feel deprived. Instead of trying to lose weight, focus on maintaining your weight and activity through the New Year. That way you are more likely to have many more happy and healthy seasons to come!
Dr. Crisostomo Rodrigo Baliog Jr. was in the studio Wednesday for this week’s Senior Spotlight. This week, Dr. Baliog spoke with Joy about rheumatoid arthritis and how to look out for it. He noted that, unlike what most people believe, rheumatoid arthritis can be a threat to more than just the elderly, and it’s important to know how to treat it if you find yourself facing it.
By: Dr. David Prescott – Acadia Hospital
Recently, five workplaces in Maine were recognized by the Maine Psychological Association as having psychologically healthy work environments. These organizations included for profit and not-for-profit, manufacturing and human service agencies, and both large and small employers. As is increasingly true for businesses around Maine and around the country, these employers realize that paying attention to the psychological health of their workplace fosters employee health and well being, as well as enhancing organizational performance and productivity.
Josiah Hartley from LA Training was back in the studio Friday for this week’s Fitness Friday. This week he was giving Wayne and Joy pointers on the proper form and technique to do lunges, a strong core workout that can be done at any time when you have a few seconds to spare.
Flu Shot? Do Your Patriotic Duty!
Autumn . . . the daylight fades into growing darkness. The first frost kills the summer flowers and the leaves begin to fall. It’s easy to understand how our forbears throughout the Northern Hemisphere associated this season with decay and death. Today’s Halloween festivities with children going door-to-door dressed as ghouls and goblins has its cultural roots in the sense of fear and dread that our ancestors had for the coming winter. And for good reason: for most animal species winter is a trying time that separates those able to survive from the weak, infirm, and aged. The same is still true for modern humans. However, we do have a number of advantages over those who lived in these climates before us. It’s not just the warmer clothes, drier homes and larger stores of food that make the survival difference. Rather, it is our complex social networks together with an evolution of technology that these networks foster, which form our decisive advantage over winter’s threat. We have the modern miracle of roads that get plowed and salted after every storm, hospitals that stay open 24-7 to care for the sick or injured, and the reliable delivery of heating fuel right up our very driveway to keep the cold at bay.