Eating out seems like the easiest choice for a family meal after a busy day at work, but getting your kids to help in the kitchen is a great way to make it seem like less work, said Virginia Dolan, MD, a pediatrician with Koke Mill Medical Associates, part of Memorial Physician Services.
But how do you get them involved?
Though popping a meal in the microwave might seem like the easiest option, it’s not always the best one, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Pre-prepared, microwavable or heat-and-serve entrees are often higher in sodium, fat and calories than freshly prepared meals.
Here are some tips from the academy: Read the rest of this entry »
Effective for the 2013-14 school year, all Illinois students entering sixth through 12th grades must have proof of receiving the Tdap booster in an effort to better protect young people from whooping cough, also known as pertussis.
“Whooping cough is a particularly serious respiratory bacterial disease that spreads very, very easily between people and it’s especially dangerous in younger children,” said Ashish John, MD, a pediatrician with Koke Mill Medical Associates. “We are seeing an increasing number of cases in the United States and especially in Illinois.” Read the rest of this entry »
If it struck you as unusual that longtime television journalist Barbara Walters had fallen ill with chickenpox — at age 83 — that’s because it is. Contracting chickenpox as an adult is “not common at all,” says Chad Johnston, MD, who practices internal medicine at Memorial Physician Services’ Capital Healthcare Medical Associates.
“In Walters’ case, she had not been exposed to chickenpox before and had not had the vaccine,” Dr. Johnston said. “That constitutes a very small part of our society, because around 90 percent to 95 percent of adults have immunity to chickenpox.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Heart disease takes the lives of far too many people in this country, depriving their families and communities of someone they love and care for—a father, a mother, a wife, a friend, a neighbor, a spouse. With more than 2 million heart attacks and strokes a year, and 800,000 deaths, just about all of us have been touched by someone who has had heart disease, heart attack, or a stroke.”
- Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular or heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, which equals 2,200 deaths per day. Read the rest of this entry »
As more and more central Illinoisans fall victim to the flu, it’s important to understand the nature and symptoms of the flu while taking the proper precautions to prevent the spread of infection. Below are answers to commonly asked questions about the flu. Information is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Q: What, exactly, is “the flu”?
A: Influenza (or, “the flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. In the United States, on average 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe.
Q: How can I prevent coming down with the flu?
There are three very important things you should do: Read the rest of this entry »
Flu season has struck early, including in Illinois, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported high influenza-like illness (ILI) activity in recent days, and this year’s peak is not yet in sight.
Flu activity likely will continue for some time. Your best defense against the flu is to receive your annual flu vaccination, which thus far appears to be well matched to the dominant stains of influenza being seen this year, the CDC reports.
It’s not too late to receive the flu vaccination to protect yourself and your loved ones, especially if you have young children who have not yet been protected. Read the rest of this entry »
As cold and flu seasons settles in for the long winter ahead, instances of sore throat begin to pop up more frequently — but how do you tell if that achy throat is caused by a virus or strep?
Many people automatically think that their painful sore throat is due to strep. But according to Calvin Bell, MD, FAAEM, director of Memorial’s ExpressCare clinics, most sore throats are caused by viruses and not the streptococcal (strep) bacteria.
“The symptoms of sore throat from viral causes are very similar to those of strep throat,” Dr. Bell said. “They consist of throat pain, difficulty swallowing and sometimes difficulty speaking.”
Viral infections may be distinguished from strep infections if Read the rest of this entry »
The temperatures have dropped, and the leaves are changing colors. Two good signs the flu season has arrived.
Because influenza viruses are constantly changing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual flu vaccination for protection against the flu. The flu vaccine is commonly available as early as September, and throughout the flu season, which generally ends in early May. It usually takes about two weeks for the vaccine to work, and its protection will last throughout the flu season.
This vaccine is given as an injection into the arm or thigh muscle, which is known as an intramuscular (IM) injection. The vaccine contains an inactive, or killed, virus so it is not possible for someone to get the flu from the vaccine.
There is also a nasal spray version of the flu vaccine available.
In this video, watch Rajesh Govindaiah, MD, Memorial Health System’s Chief Medical Officer, provide more information about the flu and its symptoms and the benefits of getting a flu shot. Read the rest of this entry »
As parents begin eyeing back-to-school sales at the stores, it’s also time to consider scheduling a child’s annual medical exam, especially if the child is due for a state-required physical.
Students in Illinois who are entering kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades, college or any student who is new to the state must have a physical completed by Oct. 15, said Rajesh Govindaiah, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Memorial Health System, and some school districts require physicals be complete by the first day of school. Athletes also must receive yearly exams.
Calling early ensures your child will receive the necessary immunizations to begin school and will help avoid unnecessary delays, Govindaiah says.
“Vaccines are a crucial part of children’s well being,” said John Lee, MD, a family medicine physician with South Sixth Medical Associates, part of Memorial Physician Services. “It’s important for parents to get their children vaccinated not just once but according to their physician’s scheduled visits.” Read the rest of this entry »
Teen obesity is becoming an epidemic. In the past 25 years, the number of teenagers who are considered overweight or obese has tripled.
Dr. Ashish K. John, a pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services’ Koke Mill Medical Associates, said this can largely be attributed to two factors: Healthy eating habits have decreased as more unhealthy, convenience foods have become available, and activity level among children also has decreased.
Obesity is determined by a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI), which factors both weight and height. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also has available a BMI-for-age tool for children that provides a BMI percentile. Anything over the 95th percentile is considered obese. In more simple terms, a person who is more than 20 percent over their ideal weight for their height and age is obese. Read the rest of this entry »