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December 20th, 2010 - Staff

Get Healthy is proud to introduce a redesign of its website. We’ve packed it full of all the great content you’re used to, plus the site will be the new home for engaging news stories about health care in Northwest Indiana.

Please bookmark our new URL here.

With access to the leading health experts right here in the region, Get Healthy offers readers a local perspective on what’s best for your health, including nutrition, fitness, mental health and environmental health. Along with the magazine, email newsletter and Facebook page, Get Healthy offers an array of valuable content that is both relevant and proactive.

The easy-to-navigate Get Healthy site will have even more beneficial content in the near future—including blogs and expert columns—so stay tuned. We’re here for you 24/7, so check it out, and let us hear from you!

Crown Point native writes book about surviving breast cancer

December 13th, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

Sarah Demmon conquered her fear of water by joining Indy Survivoars, a group of breast cancer survivors that race dragon boats. The group's mission is to provide breast cancer survivors with a strong message of hope. (Photograph provided.)

Sarah Demmon conquered her fear of water by joining Indy Survivoars, a group of breast cancer survivors that race dragon boats. The group's mission is to provide breast cancer survivors with a strong message of hope. (Photograph provided.)

For Sarah Demmon, the toughest time during her bout with breast cancer was the interim period between the initial diagnosis and getting the test results back which would tell her how far the cancer had spread.

“It’s very emotional,” says Demmon, a 1988 graduate of Crown Point High School who works as senior research scientist at a pharmaceutical company in Indianapolis. “You don’t know what to do and what to expect.”

As a breast cancer survivor, Demmon decided she wanted to help other women who were diagnosed with the disease. “My whole intent is to help in a very frank and honest way,” says Demmon, who has written Thanks for the Mammaries: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Story (Strategic Publishing 2010; $11). “I have a dry sense of humor and can be sarcastic.”

Caveats to controlling weight with red wine

August 1st, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates middle–aged and older women with normal body weights who consume light–to–moderate amounts of alcohol could maintain their drinking habits without gaining more weight compared with similar women who didn’t drink alcohol at all.

According to Dr. Lu Wang from the division of preventive medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, an initially trim woman who did not drink alcohol had about a 43 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese over 13 years. Her risk fell to 33 percent if she drank 15 to 30 grams of alcohol a day.

And red wine appeared to be best for holding weight down, according to the study.

Filed under: Healthy Living. Tags: , , .

Don’t worry, be happy

July 11th, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

Surfing the Web one night, Dr. Ian Smith ran across saw a link to a 60 Minutes piece that Morley Safer did about the happiest place in the world. And it wasn’t the United States.

It was Denmark. Yes, Denmark that little Scandinavian country where it’s really, really cold in the winter and there’s only about four hours of sunlight, if that, for a part of the year. What do they have to be happy about that we don’t?

“We’re No. 22 on the list,” says Smith, author of the New York Times best-seller Smash Dash Diet and creator of the weight-loss program “Fifty Million Pound Diet.”

Filed under: Mental Health. Tags: , .

Author writes book, creates group to help care for daughter in event of his death

June 21st, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

< Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviews Bruce Feiler for his documentary <em>A Sanjay Gupta, MD Special: Dads for My Daughters.</em>

A successful writer, happily married and the father of adorable three year old twins, Bruce Feiler’s life was going very well. But when his doctor told him that he had a 7-inch cancerous tumor on his femur, suddenly Feiler was faced with the angst of wondering how his daughters’ lives would be without him and without a dad.

A few days later, Feiler, author of nine books including Walking the Bible and writer/presenter of the PBS miniseries Walking the Bible, decided how to give his daughters a father if he were gone.

Make that six fathers.

Bringing local foods to the table

May 6th, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

The local food movement touts the freshness and flavors of small farms and area producers of meats, cheese, honey and more as a way to reconnect to what food used to be—tasty, delicious and part of the social fabric of a community.

“Though some of the health benefits of locally grown food have yet to be proved,” says Christine Parker, economic and community development educator for Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service Porter County, “buying locally grown food definitely keeps money in the community.”

And now, Purdue University has created the Indiana Flavor program.

Filed under: Nutrition. Tags: , .

Feeding the soul

April 11th, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

Food can heal and now there are several cookbooks that help accomplish this process by offering recipes for those struggling with a variety of maladies including cancer, gluten intolerance and allergies to such foods as dairy, eggs and nuts.

“Ginger is one of your best friends during chemo, both for its flavor, which can spark even the most jaded taste buds, and for its tummy-soothing properties,” says Rebecca Katz, author of The Cancer Fighting Kitchen, a finalist in the Health & Special Diet category of the prestigious IACP Awards, as well as One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends, both published by Celestial Arts. “A lot of people think store-bought ginger ale will do the trick, but the actual ginger content in most commercial varieties is minimal. Plus, you often get a whole host of other garbage—can you say high fructose corn syrup?—that you’d be better off without.”

Staying protected

April 4th, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

Cervical cancer, a malignancy that develops in tissues of the cervix, is usually caused by certain types of the human papilloma virus (HPV) virus, contracted through intimate contact. Once a woman develops invasive cervical cancer, the treatment is surgery, radiation therapy or a combination of the two, but there are options to prevent it.

Sexual abstinence is one way, but when that isn’t practical, women between the ages of 9 and 26 can opt for a series of three injections of the Gardasil vaccine given over a period of six months.

“The vaccine has been very successful,” says Dr. Lisa Gold, a pediatrician at North Point Pediatrics in Crown Point. “It offers 100 percent protection from 70 percent of the strains that cause cervical cancer.”

Don’t worry, be happy

January 19th, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

Even though most of us are way past wanting it all, working moms still strive for contentment—a state that sometimes seems out of reach.

In their new book, What Working Mothers Know: How New Findings in Positive Psychology Can Lead to a Healthy & Happy Work/Life Balance (Wiley 2009, $19.95), authors Dr. Cathy Greenberg and Barrett Avigdor provide a resource to help women find health and happiness. And despite its title, the book also shows how moms who stay home can achieve personal satisfaction as well.

“Happiness is a science which means it can be learned and it can be taught,” says Avigdor, an international lawyer and talent development innovator (Greenberg is a behavioral scientist and global leadership expert). “Being unhappy doesn’t have to be that way. You can choose to be happy but you have to choose it everyday.”

Price versus health

January 8th, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

Consumers needing to make wise decisions about food purchases based upon many factors—cost, nutrition and taste—often struggle with whether to buy organic foods at usually a much higher price or more traditionally processed foods for cost savings.

“It depends upon the consumer’s concerns,” says Annetta Jones, County Extension Director and Consumer and Family Sciences Educator at Purdue University Porter County Extension. “Some consumers have very definite and strong concerns about hormones and, for them, organic may be the best choice because they trust the source. But for other consumers who don’t see a correlation between how foods are grown or what hormones the animals are fed, they can prepare meals for their families with what’s available and feel comfortable.”

Filed under: Nutrition. Tags: , , , .

To China, with hope

January 7th, 2010 - By Jane Ammeson

Kara Anderson and her mother Jan flew to China last month for a stem cell treatment program for Kara who has cerebral palsy. (Photograph courtesy of the Andersons.)

Kara Anderson and her mother Jan flew to China last month for a stem cell treatment program for Kara who has cerebral palsy. (Photograph courtesy of the Andersons.)

Kara Anderson suffered a stroke before she was born. The Dyer girl, 9, is unable to walk, has seizures and limited use of her arms.

She also was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Over the years, Kara, a cheerful blond Sox fan who loves her Nintendo DS, endured numerous treatments for her conditions. Last month, she was scheduled to undergo major orthopedic surgery to lengthen tendons and muscles in her legs and de-rotate her left knee. Bone and tendon work were slated for both feet as well.

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