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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!

Aspirin may cut cancer deaths, but caution urged

December 11th, 2010 - By Associated Press

Pill

A new report from British scientists suggests that long-term, low-dose aspirin use may modestly reduce the risk of dying of certain cancers, though experts warn the study isn’t strong enough to recommend healthy people start taking a pill that can cause bleeding and other problems.

In a new observational analysis published online Tuesday in the medical journal Lancet, Peter Rothwell of the University of Oxford and colleagues looked at eight studies that included more than 25,000 patients and estimated that aspirin use cut the risk of death from certain cancers by 20 percent.

Filed under: Healthy Living. Tags: , , .

Food choices can affect antibiotic’s effectiveness

November 29th, 2010 - By Julie Deardorff, Chicago Tribune (MCT)

When your child needs antibiotics, dietary choices can get complicated.

Food can help support the body nutritionally and hinder the effectiveness of the medication, depending on what your child eats and when.

Antibiotics kill the nasty bacteria that cause the illness but also can wipe out the beneficial microbes that the body needs to absorb key nutrients, including several B vitamins and vitamin K.

Study: Major acne problem may raise suicide risk

November 19th, 2010 - By Associated Press

People receiving treatment for severe acne may be at higher risk of attempting suicide, but that is probably caused by depression linked to the condition and not the drug, a new study says.

Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institute studied data from nearly 6,000 people who were prescribed the drug isotretinoin between 1980 and 1989. Isotretinoin is sold under names including Accutane, Roaccutane, Clarus, Decutan and others. The medication has been commonly prescribed to treat serious acne since the 1980s.

The scientists said it was more probable that mental health problems linked to patients’ severe acne explained the higher suicide risk rather than the drug treatment. They suspected patients whose acne improved after treatment might still be depressed if there were no major improvements in their social lives.

Filed under: Mental Health. Tags: , , , .

Dead, yes, but with health care lessons to impart

November 6th, 2010 - By Sarah Perry, The Dallas Morning News (MCT)

DeadPeople

During her first year at medical school, Kacy Dotterer’s life was changed because of what she saw in dead people.

Dotterer, a student in the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, repeatedly found herself studying the bodies of overweight people in her anatomy lessons. She expected to find fat. Just not so much. “It was infested everywhere,” Dotterer says. Layer after layer, clinging to every organ of the body.

Everyone had told her she’d gain weight in school because there’d be no time to exercise. But after what she saw, she began counting calories and avoided fast-food restaurants on her way to class. By the end of her first year, she’d lost 15 pounds. Dotterer, now a third-year student, respects the donors for helping her learn and make healthier decisions with her life. “It’s a really admirable thing they do,” she says.

Breast Cancer Made Easier

October 21st, 2010 - By Erika Rose

From genetic tests to promising new drugs, much is new on the horizon in the fight against breast cancer, enabling doctors to really individualize their patients’ treatment more than ever before.

Medical oncologist Dr. Howard Mishoulam of Northwest Oncology in Munster, shares the latest breakthroughs that he says are already making a difference for his patients.

Cold or allergies? Crack the case to feel better faster

October 16th, 2010 - By Nancy Churnin, The Dallas Morning News (MCT)

You’re stuffed up, you’re sniffling—but is it an allergy or is it a cold?

It’s not always easy to tell, even for someone like Dr. Kevin Lunde, an otolaryngologist at Baylor Plano hospital in Texas.

“At times, I have performed allergy testing on patients with recurrent nasal and upper respiratory symptoms to help determine if allergies or colds are the cause,” Lunde says.

It’s important to figure it out because the treatments are different. After all, the antihistamines that can do so much for easing your allergy distress are not going to help your cold and might even make it worse. Up to 5 percent of allergies and colds will leave you vulnerable to sinus-tract infections, which are bacterial and call for antibiotics.

Sometimes it takes a little detective work to figure out what ails you.

Understanding arthritis and finding treatment

September 22nd, 2010 - By Nancy Churnin, The Dallas Morning News (MCT)

The aches and pains of arthritis are usually associated with getting older, but it can hit at any time, from age 1 on up.

Understanding arthritis and its many forms is more important than ever, because researchers have made some breakthroughs in recent years. Some of the treatment, though, depends on quick action.

The development of new medications for rheumatoid arthritis and pediatric arthritis can slow and even stop the disease from progressing, but the effectiveness of the drugs is fully realized only if patients start treatment in a matter of months from the onset of the disease.

There are some promising new surgical developments for osteoarthritis in early, limited stages, too.

Filed under: Healthy Living. Tags: , , .

Repeated antibiotics alter beneficial gut germs

September 17th, 2010 - By Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

Antibiotics can temporarily upset your stomach, but now it turns out that repeatedly taking them can trigger long-lasting changes in all those good germs that live in your gut, raising questions about lingering ill effects.

Nobody yet knows if that leads to later health problems. But the finding is the latest in a flurry of research raising questions about how the customized bacterial zoo that thrives in our intestines forms—and whether the wrong type or amount plays a role in ailments from obesity to inflammatory bowel disease to asthma.

Don’t be grossed out: This is a story in part about, well, poop. Three healthy adults collected weeks of stool samples so that scientists could count exactly how two separate rounds of a fairly mild antibiotic caused a surprising population shift in their microbial netherworld—as some original families of germs plummeted and other types moved in to fill the gap.

Seasonal allergy sufferers—Prepare to fight

April 18th, 2010 - By Erika Rose

It’s all over the news lately. Heavy spring rains followed by a quick warm-up have got everything blooming all at once, resulting in what experts describe as the most horrendous allergy season in a long time.

The general advice on avoidance of seasonal allergens like tree pollen and grasses include staying indoors especially in the morning when things are pollinating more actively; keeping windows and doors closed and using air conditioning; washing hair and bathing before bed to keep trapped pollen at bay; and bathing pets and keeping them out of the bedroom.

Perhaps your nose, eyes and throat aren’t all that itchy yet, and you think you might be able to avoid pricey allergy medications with some smart avoidance tactics you’ve learned.

Forget your medicine? This device won’t let you

April 7th, 2010 - By Jim Doyle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Here's a Wi-Fi pill bottle cap that glows and pulses with an amber light when it's time to open your pill vial, plays an insistent ring-tone melody when you miss the appointed hour, and triggers an automated reminder by phone call or text message if you're two hours late. GlowCaps, which are linked to the Internet, can also send weekly e-mails to remote caregivers, provide data to doctors' offices and advise when prescriptions should be refilled. (Photograph courtesy of Vitality Inc./MCT.)

Here's a Wi-Fi pill bottle cap that glows and pulses with an amber light when it's time to open your pill vial, plays an insistent ring-tone melody when you miss the appointed hour, and triggers an automated reminder by phone call or text message if you're two hours late. GlowCaps, which are linked to the Internet, can also send weekly e-mails to remote caregivers, provide data to doctors' offices and advise when prescriptions should be refilled. (Photograph courtesy of Vitality Inc./MCT.)

Just what the doctor ordered: Annoying little gizmos that help remind you when you fail to take your medicines.

The stuff of science fiction? Maybe not.

Here’s a Wi-Fi pill bottle cap that glows and pulses with an amber light when it’s time to open your pill vial, plays an insistent ring-tone melody when you miss the appointed hour, and triggers an automated reminder by phone call or text message if you’re two hours late.

Filed under: Healthy Living. Tags: , , .

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