Monday, February 25, 2013

Pacemakers and the Pope

     Sadly, the human body wears out over time. But, Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation at age 85 shocked many. After all, he was the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The exact reasons for the Pope’s resignation remain unclear, but he says his declining strength is holding him back.

     Ten years ago, the Pope underwent a pacemaker implantation. Three months before calling it quits, he received a replacement. Could heart health be the cause of his early retirement? According to cardiologist Joseph Reilly, MD of Hagerstown Heart, a slow heartbeat is commonly related to age and one of the reasons for a pacemaker. “Bradycardia [slow heart rate] can be a progressive condition related to the heart’s aging electrical system,” explains Dr. Reilly.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How Food Comes to Your Emotional Rescue

     While surfing the internet or watching your favorite TV show, you munch on caramel popcorn, and soon you’ve consumed 250 calories with not much thought. “People eat on the go or mindlessly and sometimes eat when they are not physically hungry,” says Diane Sullivan, licensed certified social worker (LCSW-C) with Meritus Health’s Behavioral Health Services. Emotional eating is eating driven by an emotion or feelings rather than hunger.

     Diane explains that people must tell the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. Here’s how you can separate the two: 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Prescription Drugs: What You Eat, Drink and Pop Matters

Jennifer Reinke, Pharm.D., RPh.
     My husband has an iron gut. Spicy chicken wings and a beer pose no problem for him. Me—I can’t handle a donut and a drive home in the back seat of a car. So, if anyone would experience a drug interaction, it would be me, right?

     “Everyone has the potential to have an adverse drug reaction and no medicine is risk free,” warns Jennifer R. Reinke, Pharm.D., RPh., of Home Care Pharmacy. The National Institute of Health defines an adverse drug reaction as a harmful or unpleasant reaction related to the use of medicine.

     According to Dr. Reinke, adverse reactions fall into two main categories: side effects like nausea or a reduction in the drug’s desired effect—like combining certain antibiotics with milk and diluting the drug’s wallop. Everyone should pay close attention to the prescriptions, beverages and herbal supplements they take.

Monday, February 4, 2013

“Growing Pains” ­­– are they real?

     “Mommy, my legs hurt.” It’s a common complaint in children, but why do spry, energy-filled kids experience leg pain? Inaccurately labeled as “growing pains,” leg pain can be attributed to your child’s physically strenuous day. “This type of pain isn’t related to growth, but rather to your child’s level of activity,” explains physician assistant Jennifer Nunnelee, PA-C at Smithsburg Family Medical Center.

Who gets them?
      According to Jennifer, about 10-20% of children experience “growing pains.” Pain typically crops up between the ages of three to five, and reappears from age eight to twelve, with girls reporting more growing pains than boys.