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Let’s say you wake up early one morning and decide to go for a run before work. Even though you have to drag yourself out of bed, you lace up your running shoes and you’re out the door. The next morning you do the same. As you repeat the action over time, you feel more energetic and confident as you go about your daily activities. Voilà! You’ve formed a healthy habit.
Adopting positive, healthy habits can lower your risks for disease, improve your mood and fitness level, help you look and feel younger, and lengthen your life.
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control reveals that only 6.3 percent of Americans are engaged in all five of these health-related behaviors for preventing chronic disease: not smoking, getting regular physical activity, consuming moderate or no alcohol, maintaining a normal body weight (BMI), and obtaining a minimum of seven hours of sleep per day.
Although many of us know what to do to live a healthier life, it takes time and effort to follow through. So, begin with small changes. Move more every day. Cut back on sugary drinks. Try meditation or yoga. Eat extra veggies.
Why not start a healthy habit today that your future self will thank you for?
Q: Drinking coffee and cola helps get me through the workday. If I brush my teeth in the morning and at night, I’ll be okay, right?
A: Sipping on drinks all day can cost you a lot more than just the price of the pop or the expensive designer coffee!
Every time we eat or drink something that contains sugars or starches, the bacteria in the plaque on our teeth use the sugar to produce acid. The artificial sweeteners — sorbitol and mannitol — used in diet drinks are also used by the bacteria to pile on the acid attack. The repeated cycle of acid attacks eats away at the tooth’s enamel until there’s a hole or a cavity. Our saliva helps neutralize the acids, and helps enamel repair itself by replacing minerals lost during the acid attack.
Here are five anti-cavity tips that Drs. Craig and Marcy Goldin live by:
1) If you want to drink cola or eat a surgery treat, it’s best to do that as part of a meal. The action of chewing stimulates the production of more saliva to neutralize the acids and remineralize the tooth enamel.
2) Want a better smile? Say cheese! After eating a sweet dessert or snack, follow it up with a slice of an anti-cavity cheese like aged cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Swiss.
3) Between meals, reach for chewing gum containing the sweetener Xylitol. Xylitol is a very effective cavity-fighter.
4) Don’t eat or drink anything with sugar after bedtime tooth-brushing. Saliva flow decreases during sleep. Without enough saliva, teeth are less able to repair themselves after an acid attack.
5) Sip on fluoridated water right from the tap. Fluoride helps to prevent mineral loss and replaces lost minerals to keep your teeth and bones strong!
Q: How can I relieve painful intercourse and vaginal dryness associated with hormonal changes?
A: Vaginal health issues that affect women of menopausal age, as well as breast cancer survivors, include vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, painful urination, and recurrent vaginal infections. For women who have not had relief of their vaginal symptoms with traditional hormonal therapy, or for women who cannot or will not take estrogen replacement therapy, the MonaLisa Touch Laser provides a safe, effective, and nonsurgical option that revitalizes the vagina by stimulating collagen and revascularization within the vaginal wall. Simply put, it helps to restore the pH balance and stimulates lubrication to premenopausal levels, which helps to alleviate the painful symptoms.
This procedure restores vaginal health quickly and painlessly. The recommended treatment includes three sessions spaced at six-week intervals; each treatment takes less than five minutes. Most women will report noticeable changes after just one session. There is no anesthesia required and no documented adverse side effects. What women do report is a new lease on life after having addressed their vaginal symptoms with the MonaLisa Touch Laser.
Q: Could my cell phone be the cause of my neck and back pain?
A: You only have to walk through the mall or watch someone get out of the car at the end of the day to see how technology is affecting us. Many young people now walk with the hunched bodies associated with old age, and chances are you — and the people around you — are standing almost Neanderthal-like rather than with a straight spine. “Electronics aren’t designed ergonomically and they’re negatively impacting our posture,” says Team Rehabilitation physical therapist Scott Delcomyn. “This, in turn, causes frequent headaches, muscle imbalances, neck pain, back spasms, numbness in the fingers, and pain in the wrists, hips, and legs — you name it.”
If you or your patients are experiencing these ongoing symptoms, it’s the body’s way of telling you to stop and correct the problem. Physical therapy can alleviate symptoms and help prevent surgery. “Patients often tell us they don’t have time for physical therapy but, truthfully, doing it for a few hours a week for just a few weeks is a lot easier than trying to schedule many more hours after they’ve neglected the problem and need surgery,” Delcomyn says.
With locations in nearly every neighborhood, there is a Team Rehab Clinic near you. See www.team-rehab.com for addresses and phone numbers.
Q: What’s most important when it comes to my teeth, health or beauty?
A: Both are important!
When your smile is healthy, it’s also beautiful. Dr. Aziza Askari and the team at Comfort Dental Spa want you to be both healthy and beautiful, so they offer every aspect of cosmetic dentistry — including implants, veneers, and Zoom tooth-whitening. First and foremost, however, is their commitment to preventive and restorative dentistry, including endodontics (root canals), periodontics (gum diseases), orthodontics (teeth-straightening, or braces), and oral surgery. Because your comfort is also important, they offer sedation dentistry and the revolutionary CEREC–Dentistry in a Day. All of this is available in a soothing, spa-like atmosphere. Are you ready to make the commitment and invest in both your health and your beauty? Make sure you start with your smile!
Q: What are some movement habits that I can adopt to maintain an active lifestyle as I age?
A: “It’s important to move every day,” says physical therapist and Pilates instructor Ron Jegadeesh, owner of Pilates Fitness & Physical Therapy Center.
Whether it’s walking, biking, gardening, or taking an exercise class, just 10 to 20 minutes of daily exercise makes a difference. “Patients I see who make exercise part of their daily routine look and act younger,” Jegadeesh says. “They’re also more likely to stay injury-free and they recover much quicker from an injury than those who don’t exercise.”
Jegadeesh recommends including these healthy movement habits:
Change positions frequently. Don’t sit or stand for long periods of time. If you have a sedentary job, be sure to stand up and take a break every hour.
Practice correct posture and alignment. Sit and stand tall with the spine neutral, shoulders relaxed, and your head on top of your spine.
Add strength training to your exercise routine. “We lose muscle mass as we age,” explains Jegadeesh. “Therefore, adding resistance to a workout will help maintain muscle tone. Pilates is an excellent way to gain strength while maintaining proper alignment.”
Q: What imaging techniques can assist in the early detection of breast cancer?
A: When breast cancer is detected at a localized stage, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. This is why it’s so important to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. One of the most common and less expensive methods is X-ray mammography. Unfortunately, it’s less accurate and harms the body by exposing it to radiation. A better screening method is through screening MRI mammography. Even then, according to the FDA, mammography breast cancer detection is 23.4 percent more accurate when using a computer aided detection system (CAD).
The latest innovation, the Invivo DynaCAD system, when combined with Breast MRI, helps physicians detect earlier, smaller cancers with greater accuracy. Oakland MRI is the only MRI facility in Oakland County to offer the Invivo DynaCAD system, which extends the reach of breast imaging — allowing the radiologist to differentiate between benign and malignant lesions, as well as to detect cancer earlier using noninvasive techniques. Unfortunately, because they cost more than X-rays, breast MRI and CAD are covered by insurance only after breast cancer is diagnosed or in high-risk patients.
“Early diagnosis is the key to curing breast cancer; 3-D CAD MRI imaging of the breast detects cancer earlier than any other modality,” says Susan V. Swider, CEO of Oakland MRI. “Oakland MRI is proud to contribute to the cure of breast cancer. We offer affordable access to these technologies when insurance doesn’t cover them, allowing women to get the preventive screening (they) deserve.”
Oakland MRI ~ Experience the Difference in Imaging Diagnostic and MRI Services
Q: I’d love to have my crooked front teeth fixed, but I worry about the results looking unnatural. What’s the best way to get the smile I want?
A: The closest thing to the look, feel, and durability of natural teeth are porcelain veneers. With a highly natural luminosity, they even reflect light like real teeth.
Unlike bonding, porcelain veneers resist staining and are stronger, which is best for front “biting” teeth. We can even custom-design your new smile to complement individual facial features, for an attractive smile that lights up your whole face!
Just as important as appearance is proper bite alignment. As a neuromuscular dentist, I’ve seen veneers that have chipped or cracked due to improper alignment. Select your cosmetic dentist carefully to achieve the look you want without costly problems later on.
In some cases, only four to six veneers on front teeth can create a fabulous, full smile. Call 1-866-9-Smiles for a no-charge consultation.
Q: I’m concerned that my son might be abusing painkillers. What habits and warning signs should I watch out for?
A: When someone you know suddenly neglects their personal appearance or exhibits major changes in their personality — becoming defensive, taking on risky behaviors, withdrawing from friends and family, or being secretive — there may, indeed, be a problem.
Typically, people who are addicted to drugs have difficulty holding down a job or attending school regularly. They may spend money very quickly or spend time trying to find drugs — driving long distances and meeting with multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions. If a person is continually getting prescription refills and complaining of chronic pain, they may be becoming dependent on the drug.
Parents can help prevent teen drug abuse by getting to know their child’s friends and by checking medicine cabinets in the home, as that’s the first place kids get their drugs. Also, pay close attention to changes in behavior. Having the family eat dinner together each day is an opportunity to notice behavioral changes that might otherwise go unseen.
If someone you know is exhibiting signs of drug addiction, we can help. Call to speak with an MDS addiction specialist today.
Q: I’m constantly snacking. How can I incorporate healthy eating habits into my daily life?
A: As a chef, I understand how easy it can be to eat on the go or to munch and nibble throughout the day. What you don’t realize is how many calories you’re consuming. A healthier habit would be to make time for yourself to enjoy a meal and to be conscious of what you’re eating. Why not pack a healthy lunch to avoid the temptation of consuming foods with empty calories?
If you’re watching your weight, practice portion control and be aware of the amounts of sugar, fat, protein, and starches in your diet. When I’m cooking at home, I use healthy fats like coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. I limit those oils to just a few teaspoons. If you’re making vinaigrette, for example, use a small amount of healthy oil and a really good vinegar to make the dressing as flavorful as possible.
To help stick with a healthy diet, you can tweak your favorite recipes by substituting or adding more nutritious ingredients. Make sure to choose healthy foods that you really love. If you don’t like raw salad, try roasting your vegetables. For me, a pan of roasted cauliflower with onions and peppers is delicious, and it’s something that makes me happy.
Q: I eat healthy and exercise regularly, but I’m still tired all the time and I can’t lose weight. What’s going on?
A: After the age of 30, hormone levels gradually decline each year, resulting in hormone imbalance in both men and women. Hormone imbalance is directly responsible for many negative effects on quality of life and health, including decreased energy levels, decreased sex drive, weight gain, loss of muscle mass and tone, decreased concentration and memory, difficulty sleeping, hot flashes, night sweats, depressed mood, a loss of your general sense of well-being, and much more.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is the science of correcting hormone imbalances with the goal of restoring youthful, optimal hormone levels and relieving the symptoms of hormone imbalance and deficiency. The natural hormones prescribed by our medical doctor are safe and effective because they’re identical to the hormones our bodies produce.
We’ve seen astonishing results in the lives of our patients, who are healthier, happier, and have dramatically improved their quality of life. Our comprehensive natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy programs, combined with proper nutrition and exercise, will return you to the optimal physical, sexual, and emotional health you experienced in your 20s and 30s. Contact us today and get started on the path to a younger, healthier you!
Q: What can I do to prevent periodontal disease?
A: One out of every two American adults aged 30 and older has some form of periodontal disease, a bacterial infection in the gums that can lead to tooth loss and contribute to many serious health problems. A contributing factor to the disease is plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth. In addition, periodontal disease can be a sign of other systemic conditions. Preventing periodontal disease entails a combination of good oral hygiene measures at home along with regular professional dental visits.
Consider these healthy habits to prevent gum disease:
• Brush your teeth and your tongue at least twice a day.
• Floss at least once a day. Try stringed floss, picks, or oral irrigators.
• Use an antimicrobial mouthwash after brushing to kill bacteria in your mouth.
• Maintain a healthy, balanced, low-sugar diet, and limit snacks between meals.
• If you are a smoker, quit, as smoking increases your risk of periodontal disease.
• Schedule dental checkups and cleanings twice a year or more, if needed.
The initial symptoms of gum disease can be mild and painless. Take action if you recognize any of these signs:
• Red, swollen or sore gums
• Gums that bleed or recede from the tooth
• Lingering bad breath
• Sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
• Discomfort when chewing foods
• Loose teeth
Periodontal disease screening and oral bacteria screening can be done painlessly and easily. Call today to schedule an assessment with Dr. Mindy Salzberg-Siegel.