From losing weight to looking younger to feeling fit, there are many reasons for people to focus on their health. Choosing the right way to maintain a healthy lifestyle can be a daunting task; however, the Southwest Orlando Bulletin’s 17th annual Health & Fitness Guide provides a plethora of advice from local experts to help readers achieve and maintain their varied health goals.
by Tracy TeclawThe Energy Wellness Centerwww.myenergywellness.com407-217-6920
Many people may wonder which supplements are right for them, if the supplements are working, and if they are excipient- and toxin-free. When it comes to optimum well-being, the body can indicate what is needed, whether it be more water, a change in diet, or supplements.People can take the guesswork out of which nutritional supplements are best for them and their families and spend money where it really counts.Biocommunication testing creates health and longevity by understanding the body’s biological preferences. A scan of the body sends a digital signal to its stressors. The response is a “conversation” between the computer and body. This creates a bio-survey that health care professionals can use to determine what the body prefers in the way of supplements and treatment.By listening to the body, it can eventually heal itself with the right treatment and by accessing blocked energies. The body, and everything around it, is made up of energy. It is this energy that influences physical and emotional well-being. Tapping into certain energy sources also can alleviate stress, anxiety and pain. Best of all, biocommunication scans are radiation-free and painless.
by Wade W. Han, M.D., F.A.C.S.Florida Ear Nose Throat& Facial Plastic Surgery Centerwww.floridaent.com407-944-3340
More than 45 million Americans, or about one-fifth of the population, suffer from some kind of allergy. However, some people do not know that their symptoms are allergy-related. Airborne and food allergens can cause numerous symptoms and chronic conditions in the ear, nose and throat region. Headaches, dizziness, ear troubles, recurring sinus infections, fatigue, lack of energy, chronic sore throats, hoarseness and chronic cough can all be related to allergies.A thorough history by an ear, nose and throat specialist, or ENT, is necessary to determine if allergies are aggravating conditions affecting the ear, nose and throat region. ENT specialists provide some of the most advanced and complete examinations of the ear, nose and throat, as well as the entire head and neck area, including fiber-optic endoscopic cameras used to visualize those deep or hidden structures in the nose and throat in great, close-up details.When indicated, comprehensive allergy testing for airborne and food allergens may need to be performed. Depending on the test results, the ENT specialist determines the best course of action, whether it be allergy medications or sprays, allergy injections and/or simple avoidance of the allergen.For those patients who have a fear of receiving injections, sublingual immunotherapy, which involves placing extract drops on the tongue for absorption, can be done safely at home. This convenience makes it easier and improves the treatment outcome.
by Curtis Wagner, D.P.M.Foot & Ankle Associates of Floridawww.floridafootdocs.com407-339-7759
Anyone who leads an active lifestyle — whether it be a runner or busy parent going about daily activities — can experience a nagging pain while walking or running. However, he may not remember incurring an injury.The problem could be a stress fracture, which is a tiny crack in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg or foot. Most stress fractures are caused by repeated force or overuse of a bone. They can also arise from normal use of a bone that has been weakened by a condition like osteoporosis.Stress fractures can take from eight to 10 weeks to heal, and rest while wearing a surgical shoe or cast is the only option for complete healing. During the healing process, the person may need to halt or modify activities and routines. It is also helpful for him to apply ice packs to the affected area and take ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.If left untreated, a stress fracture could worsen to the point that the bone breaks completely. Surgery may be required to insert a pin or screw, or the bone may take much longer to heal. It is recommended that anyone suffering from foot pain consult a podiatrist (foot doctor) if pain persists more than several days.
by Lucy W. Ertenberg, M.D., vice president, chief medical officerCornerstone Hospicewww.cornerstonehospice.orgwww.seriousillness.org/cornerstone407-206-2273
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia associated with a progressive, predictable loss of cognitive and physical functioning. The progression of decline begins with memory deficit. Normal aging is associated with similar changes, like difficulty remembering names or the location of objects. However, the Alzheimer’s patient gradually has more problems functioning in social situations. The disease causes further memory deficits, and activities of daily living become problematic. If other disease processes do not intervene, the patient will finally lose the ability to take in food and swallow. Approximately 70 percent of dementia patients have Alzheimer’s disease.Vascular dementia, the second most common form, is caused by problems with blood supply to the brain. Instead of a steady decline, the patient often has a sudden progression of loss of function. Vascular dementia can be seen in conjunction with other forms of dementia.Lewy Body dementia is more often associated with fluctuations in ability to process thoughts and attention. Patients commonly have various forms of hallucinations and symptoms often associated with Parkinson’s disease, such as falls. Parkinson’s disease, itself, has been recognized to cause dementia in about 30 percent of patients afflicted with this.Frontotemporal dementia affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain and causes the patient to become socially inappropriate. This includes the use of inappropriate language or sexual actions.As dementia progresses, hospice care can help keep the patient comfortable, while also providing support for the family and caregivers
by James G. Scelfo, M.D., F.A.A.F.P.Personalized Primary Carewww.personalizedprimarycare.com407-566-2454 • 407-876-0073
Spring cleaning does not only refer to homes, but also to one’s life. As people take inventory of their state of affairs, so too should their state of health be included in the process.Patients may visit a doctor when they are ill or need something; however, approximately 70 percent of adults are not current with their preventive health management. Each individual has different needs for testing, screening and adult immunizations, so patients should discuss their specific needs with their doctors during routine medical evaluations.Important health issues to address include blood pressure; cholesterol level; colon cancer screening; immunizations, both routine and for travel; weight management; tobacco use; bone density; prostate cancer screening for men; and cervical and breast cancer screenings for women. This discussion actually helps to determine how often to visit the doctor. Though it is a person’s responsibility to be a steward of his health, a physician is available to discuss individual needs and make recommendations based on personal risk stratification.People who feel well and are in excellent health should be congratulated for taking such good care of themselves. However, it still is important to schedule a visit with a physician to address other wellness and preventive issues.
by Michael Steppie, M.D.,president, medical director, MOHS micrographic skin cancer surgeonAssociates in Dermatologywww.dermorlando.com800-827-7546
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. Early detection of skin cancer and removal offer the best chance for a cure.People should have a dermatologist perform a full-body exam to ensure that any existing spots, freckles or moles are normal, or treat any that may not be. Then, they should have an annual professional skin exam. But in the meantime, everyone should practice monthly head-to-toe self-examinations of their skin, so that they can check for changes in the number, size, shape and color of existing moles or pigmented areas, as well as for changing skin lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode or bleed, or an open sore that does not heal within three weeks, are suspicious. In addition, people should not ignore a suspicious spot simply because it does not hurt. Most skin cancers are painless.
by James A. Matas, M.D.Advanced Centre for PlasticSurgery and Medical Day Spawww.yournewlook.com407-345-8145
There are many different approaches to changing and improving body contours, including surgery, such as tummy tucks and other procedures designed to remove extra flesh and achieve a better contour. However, surgical treatments are not without some scarring. When dealing with localized fat, where the skin envelope is of good quality, then some type of fat removal or remodeling is preferable. Traditional liposuction with multiple small incisions and the use of a suction probe is still useful today. Other successful liposuction techniques include ultrasonic-assisted, pneumatic-assisted and laser liposuction.Noninvasive techniques use different energy modalities to injure fat cells, which allow the body to remove the damaged cells. Modalities include ultrasound, cryo or freezing, laser and radio frequency. Injectable therapy of fat appears to be on the horizon with an injectable product currently entering final Food and Drug Administration trials. All noninvasive treatments appear to have beneficial results, although not as effective and immediate as surgical intervention.A board-certified plastic surgeon is in the best position to evaluate a person’s particular situation and recommend the most appropriate procedure. Surgery should be performed at an accredited surgical facility, which gives the patient the best chance for a safe and successful outcome.
by Bonnie Dean, M.D., assistant clinical professor atFlorida State UniversityLongenix Health & Aestheticswww.longenix.net407-355-7759
As people grow older, their risk of falling increases. With each fall, the risk of serious or even life-threatening injuries becomes greater. Falls can be prevented in the following ways:• People who fall should notify their doctor to determine if there is a medical problem. Physicians can review prescription and over-the-counter medications to see if they cause dizziness; also, low levels of vitamin D can contribute to falls.• A strengthening program either at home or with a group can benefit those who have leg weakness. Balance can also be improved by individual training using a Nintendo Wii; with a personal trainer or physical therapist; or in groups at places like senior centers, churches or the YMCA.• Rising slowly to avoid a blood pressure drop, which can cause dizziness, and carefully going up and down stairs while wearing multifocals can help a person avoid a fall. Also, the use of a walker or cane can be recommended.• Homes can be made safer by removing throw rugs and clutter, moving items to lower shelves, turning on lights in hallways and stairways, using bathtub nonslip rubber mats, and installing handrails in the bathroom.• Those who live alone should consider an emergency-response system.
by Michael Melton, M.D.Meyer Internal Medicinewww.meyerinternalmedicine.com407-297-3626
With daylight saving time providing more sunlight and the weather warming up, people have abandoned their treadmills and cycle trainers for the great outdoors. However, along with the wonderful weather lurks a dark enemy — the heat.With temperatures reaching 90 degrees or higher, people exercising outside must also pay attention to the humidity and dew point. Florida’s heat and humidity can quickly take its toll on the body, especially a body in motion.Excessive sweating leads to loss of fluid, which in turn can decrease performance by causing headaches, dizziness and, if severe enough, confusion, nausea and vomiting. At about 12 percent dehydration, the body will begin to shut down and is considered fatal.Asthma is another not-so-well-known heat-related illness. People who are prone to asthma or exercise-induced asthma can develop bronchospasm during exercise. This usually presents itself as some shortness of breath, coughing, and again, decreased performance.The following tips should help everyone stay safe during their outdoor workouts:• Exercisers should make sure they hydrate. Although it is possible to overhydrate, it is very unusual. The rule of thumb is about one liter of fluid for every hour of planned exercise. In addition, it is sometimes helpful to drop water along a planned running or cycling route.• Avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.• Avoid taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or Naproxen, because they interfere with the body’s temperature regulation center. • Avoid excessive sugary drinks that can exert an osmotic force that will accelerate dehydration.• People with asthma should carry their inhaler while exercising.• It is also a good idea for people to carry their phones with them just in case they get into trouble.Whether training for a 5K or Ironman 70.3, people should have fun, train safely, hydrate and avoid injury.
by Deepa Taneja, M.D.Florida Diabetes,Thyroid & Endocrine Centerwww.floridaendocrinecenter.com407-574-9121
The endocrine system is a complex group of glands. Glands are organs that make hormones. They are important for maintaining a balance between the mind and body. The glands that compose the endocrine system include the thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes, adrenal, pituitary and hypothalamus.Diabetics are people who have too much sugar in their blood. Controlling blood sugar helps to prevent serious problems, including problems with the eyes, kidneys and nerves, which can lead to blindness, dialysis or amputation. Diabetes is easily diagnosed with the help of a simple blood test, and patients do not always have to be on insulin shots to treat it. Some patients can fight diabetes through simple changes in their dietary plan, routine exercises and weight control.If someone has a low energy level, it could be related to a thyroid condition. Abnormal levels of thyroid hormone can cause problems with muscle strength, emotions, weight control and tolerating heat or cold. These patients can be helped to reach a hormone balance by replacing or blocking thyroid hormone. Thyroid diseases are easily diagnosed with a blood test.Endocrinologists are physicians who receive special training to manage patients with diabetes, thyroid conditions and other hormonal issues.
by Robert L. Masson, M.D.NeuroSpine Institutewww.neurospineinstitute.org www.nsifoundation.org407-649-8585
This is the time of the year when many shake off the dust, pollen and leaves, and people become more active. The summer months are filled with happy times and memories of outdoor events with children, as well as golfing, boating and tubing. But this is also the busiest time of year for spine injuries.Year after year, healthy, active people suffer from disabling spine injuries during the summer months. Fortunately, many do not need surgery. Others rupture disks in their necks or lower backs and begin the long road toward surgery.These patients often start with pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs. This is followed by urgent care visits or an office appointment with a chiropractor or primary care physician. Quite often, a pain management appointment for injections and a course of physical therapy follows. When all else fails, they visit a spine surgeon.While all injuries cannot be prevented, the odds of staying healthy can be improved by following some simple guidelines and paying attention to weight, physical health and physical activity.Every spring and before undergoing an increase in activity, it is important to honestly assess one’s weight. If someone is overweight, lifting should be moderated, traumatic activities reduced and the length of activities shortened, because the body is under more stress trying to support the burden.If a person is out of shape, he should try to get in shape. In addition, if an activity is too straining, the intensity and severity should be reduced.If the activity is inherently risky, and if one already has spine problems, activity should be moderated. People may regret relying on muscle memory from youthful years.
by Barry Cook, M.D.Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Health Centralwww.healthcentral.org/health-central-services/wound-healing407-253-2780
Foot ulcers or wounds in diabetic patients are injuries in which a comprehensive wound care specialist can make a significant positive impact, especially during the summer months, when bare feet are susceptible to injury.Diabetes-related foot ulcers also are the most common cause of nontraumatic amputations in the developed world. It is estimated that 6 percent of the U.S. diabetic population will undergo amputation because of diabetic foot ulcers.Foot ulcers follow an injury, often due to peripheral neuropathy or numbness. Virtually all diabetics with foot ulcers have neuropathy. Foot ulcers may go unrecognized because of numbness and vision loss, which can delay a person’s own discovery of a wound that needs treatment.A wound-care specialist’s evaluation of foot ulcers focuses on identifying barriers to healing, including deep infection, ischemia or blood vessel problems, and unrelieved pressure. Next, the focus moves to reducing the sources of infection and providing appropriate surface conditions for healing.It is critical that people with diabetes perform daily foot exams to enable early treatment of diabetic-related foot ulcers, which leads to higher rates of healing and amputation prevention, and puts patients in greater control of their care.
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