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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: , , .

Germ cops help hospitals prevent infection, death

December 8th, 2010 - By Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press
University of Maryland Medical Center ICU nurse Nicole Storck puts on gloves before entering a patients room, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, in Baltimore. Every doctor, nurse and visitor who enters an intensive care patient's room at the University of Maryland Medical Center dons a bright yellow surgical gown and gloves so germs don't spread. Patroling the ICU like a cop on the beat is an infection preventionist, part of the change under way in U.S. hospitals to slash hospital-spread infections that claim an estimated 99,000 lives a year. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

University of Maryland Medical Center ICU nurse Nicole Storck puts on gloves before entering a patients room, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, in Baltimore. Every doctor, nurse and visitor who enters an intensive care patient's room at the University of Maryland Medical Center dons a bright yellow surgical gown and gloves so germs don't spread. Patroling the ICU like a cop on the beat is an infection preventionist, part of the change under way in U.S. hospitals to slash hospital-spread infections that claim an estimated 99,000 lives a year. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

This is no ordinary intensive care unit: Every doctor, nurse, friend or loved one must cover their clothes with a bright yellow gown and don purple gloves before entering a patient’s room so some scary germs don’t hitch a ride in or out.

It’s part of the University of Maryland Medical Center’s crackdown on hospital-spread infections, and Michael Anne Preas patrols the ICU like a cop on the beat to help keep bacteria in check.

You forgot your gloves, Preas leans in to tell a doctor-in-training who’s about to examine a man with a breathing tube. Startled, the resident immediately washes his hands and grabs a pair.

Peering at the IV tube inserted into another patient’s neck, Preas spots a different opening for bacteria: His long beard is messing up what should be an airtight seal. Let’s shave that spot and put in a new catheter, she tells the nurse.

Nor does a janitor escape Preas’ inspection. Yes, she put on clean gloves between collecting trash and moving carts that nurses will touch.

Infections caught at health care facilities are one of the nation’s leading causes of preventable death, claiming an estimated 99,000 lives a year. Yet chances are you’ve never heard of Preas’ job: She’s an infection preventionist, part of an evolution under way as hospitals are pushed to slash those rates or lose lucrative Medicare dollars.

Filed under: Health Care. 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.

A mother’s gift

May 12th, 2010 - By Sarah Tompkins

Anne Brown, right, with her daughter-in-law Sarah Brown, left, daughter Julie Crary and granddaughter Melissa Crary. Through the Community Hospital in Munster, Brown participated in a clinical trial of an osteoporosis drug's effectiveness in preventing breast cancer. The study concluded that the drug was just as effective as another drug that has more side effects. (Photograph by John J. Watkins/The Times.)

Anne Brown, right, with her daughter-in-law Sarah Brown, left, daughter Julie Crary and granddaughter Melissa Crary. Through the Community Hospital in Munster, Brown participated in a clinical trial of an osteoporosis drug's effectiveness in preventing breast cancer. The study concluded that the drug was just as effective as another drug that has more side effects. (Photograph by John J. Watkins/The Times.)

Anne Brown said she gave her family a gift that could one day save their lives by participating in a clinical trial on breast cancer prevention.

“I just felt that I’ve given them something money can’t buy,” said Brown, 81. “I feel like if I’ve done that for them, and anything should come up—God forbid for them—they’ll have results, they’ll have some chance.”

Brown was one of about 20,000 women who participated in a government study to test the effectiveness of a drug in preventing breast cancer. More than 200 Hoosiers and 1,000 Illinois women who were post-menopausal with a high risk of getting breast cancer participated in the clinical trial.

How to use hand sanitizers correctly

March 27th, 2010 - By Alison Johnson, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) (MCT)

Hand-sanitizing gels are a great option for killing germs when you’re nowhere near a sink, but only if you follow these tips, doctors say:

Check the alcohol content. Buy a sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Otherwise, it won’t be as good at killing viruses and bacteria.

Use a good amount. Aim for about seven grams, or a squirt that’s roughly the size of a silver dollar. That should be enough to wet your entire hand—front and back—thoroughly. Since sanitizers will only kill germs on direct contact, make sure not to miss any spots.

Filed under: Healthy Living. Tags: , , .

Report: 40 percent of cancers are preventable

February 9th, 2010 - By The Associated Press

About 40 percent of cancers could be prevented if people stopped smoking and overeating, limited their alcohol, exercised regularly and got vaccines targeting cancer-causing infections, experts say.

To mark World Cancer day on Thursday, officials at the International Union Against Cancer released a report focused on steps that governments and the public can take to avoid the disease.

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is responsible for one out of every eight deaths worldwide—more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. WHO warned that without major changes, global cancer deaths will jump from about 7.6 million this year to 17 million by 2030.

Healthy advice? NWI women not so sure

December 8th, 2009 - By Sarah Tompkins

Janice Wothke was diagnosed with breast cancer after her first mammogram last year. She was 40 years old.

Under new screening guidelines released last month by the government’s U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 41-year-old Wothke would have waited until she was 50 to get her first mammogram.

“If I would have waited a few years, it would have spread everywhere, and my kids wouldn’t have had a mother,” Wothke said through tears.

Employers play Dr. Mom to limit swine flu impact

December 6th, 2009 - By Linda A. Johnson, The Associated Press

In this Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 photo, hand sanitizer and a digital thermometer are seen at P.H. Glatfelter Co., in York, Pa. P.H. Glatfelter Co., which makes everything from coffee filters and paper for books and envelopes to laminates for countertops, needs about 80 percent of its workforce on site at its factories, says spokesman Michael Springer. So this year Glatfelter began offering flu shots to employees' families, including a thermometer in the free “wellness pack” workers get and relaxing sick-leave rules for those hit with swine flu. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In this Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 photo, hand sanitizer and a digital thermometer are seen at P.H. Glatfelter Co., in York, Pa. P.H. Glatfelter Co., which makes everything from coffee filters and paper for books and envelopes to laminates for countertops, needs about 80 percent of its workforce on site at its factories, says spokesman Michael Springer. So this year Glatfelter began offering flu shots to employees' families, including a thermometer in the free “wellness pack” workers get and relaxing sick-leave rules for those hit with swine flu.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Big businesses are spending serious time and money trying to limit the swine flu pandemic’s impact on operations, from bankrolling video on good hygiene to training employees to cover for co-workers with critical jobs.

Companies from health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. to beverage can maker Ball Corp. are arranging for employees with flu symptoms or sick family members to work from home where possible, holding fewer in-person meetings, even discouraging handshakes. And hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and tissues are at the ready everywhere as employers make keeping workers healthy their first line of defense.

Employers are playing Dr. Mom, teaching about hygiene, distributing information about the pandemic, telling folks to stay home if they get sick—generally with pay—and scrapping the required doctor’s note. Some companies have even distributed “wellness kits” with thermometers and face masks.

Filed under: Healthy Living. Tags: , , , .

Shoveling snow needn’t break your back or heart

December 5th, 2009 - By Al Heavens, The Philadelphia Inquirer

This is one of my foolish annual exercises. I call it providing information on shoveling snow, from buying shovels to rearranging your snowfall without breaking your back or giving you a heart attack.

Foolish because most people in this area wait until 10 minutes before snow is predicted and then jam the home centers and hardware stores looking for a shovel to replace the one buried in one of the many piles of conspicuous consumption in the garage.

OK, the topic’s not really annual. I haven’t done this since 2006, by popular demand.

For the few of you who crave this advice, however, here goes:

Need to know: What’s comfortable for you. If the shovel you now own seemed heavy the last time you cleared six inches from the sidewalk, head to the store for a new one. You’re a year older, after all, and these things don’t get easier with age. At the store, check whether the shaft is long enough for you to shovel while standing straight. The shaft can be made of metal or wood, but be sure the handle is D-shaped, so it can be grabbed and held easily, for longer periods, and can help leverage the load and be used to apply force for pushing snow or scraping ice.

Boys will be Boys

May 4th, 2009 - By Jane Ammeson, Rob Earnshaw and Bonnie McGrath

For some reason, men typically don’t pay much attention to their health. Most men prefer reluctance to proactivity, denial to reactivity. After all, they have too many other things to think about. Like work. And the family. And chicken wings.

But there are some health basics that even the most negligent man should be aware of, and those basics are outlined here. So read, react and please, brush your teeth.

Check out all of the articles here: Men’s Health by Age, Dirty Boys, Breaking the ED Stigma, and Hair No More.

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