Dr. Susan Mathison
A few years ago I had the pleasure of hearing my friend Cris Linnares speak about her journey back to health through movement, especially dancing. The warm-blooded Brazilian native described her first winter in North Dakota, the birth of her daughter, subsequent baby blues and her father's passing as "the perfect storm." She was down, really down, but she raised her spirits and her body by tuning into music and dancing. Ultimately, she was dancing with joy, despite her new country, the fatigue of motherhood and her family's loss.
The digital world has put us decidedly in the information age. Physicians are no longer the gatekeepers of health information as patients are able to Google and Bing and Yahoo and more. But I agree with Mitchell Kapor. "Getting information off the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant," he said. I think physicians need to come to terms with the role of "curator" as we work to source, access, screen, compile, interpret and manage information we want our patients to have.
We've all heard that sugar has been taken to task for a myriad of health problems, but that sweet tooth remains. Stevia, derived from a green plant originally grown in South America, is a calorie-free sweetener and can be used in a variety of ways. But is it a guilt-free option for some sweet satisfaction? The answer is, generally, yes.
Our kids are back to the routine of school. The energy is high as we walk through the hallways, with lots of chatter and sharing events from the prior day. But high energy doesn't always translate well to listening and focusing on tasks at hand in the classroom. Some schools around the country are turning to mindfulness as a strategy for improving attention and helping kids make better choices.
Most of us have struggled with a few pimples over our lifetimes. Since we see ourselves with a magnifying mirror of 10 compared to how other see us, blemishes can really impact our self-confidence. In our mind's eye, that little red spot on our nose is in the running to lead the sleigh from the North Pole, just as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer's did so many years ago. What can you safely do to treat a bothersome pimple? Often the best thing to do is to let it be, and use a dab of make-up for camouflage. But there are some other strategies to try, if it can be done correctly.
Summer is winding down, and it's been a hot one. Deodorants and antiperspirants have been a very necessary part of most people's morning ritual. Sweating is usually a good thing. It helps us keep our temperatures normalized and minimizes risk of heat stroke. Our best friends, dogs, can't sweat, so they try to keep up with us by panting. But some people have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis that causes them to sweat excessively, even when the body doesn't need cooling. Up to 3 percent of the population has this problem, according the American Academy of Dermatology.
The digestive tract is a lot more complex than a series of plumbing pipes that helps your body digest food and gain energy. It's also home to your immune system and enough neurons to qualify as your second brain. That gut instinct is real! Your gut also shelters up to 100 trillion living bacteria, and 90 percent of them are considered helpful for health, therefore "probiotic."
The dairy industry has done such a great job marketing itself, I'm sure when you hear "Got milk?" you picture someone with a milky-white moustache. Milk does a body good, right? While most people tolerate cow's milk and goat's milk without problems, some folks have trouble with dairy.
Gandhi once said "Live as though you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." Our community got a good dose of healthy learning last week, when speakers with bold ideas graced the TEDxFargo stage. Explorers, gardeners, doctors, film-makers, philanthropists and artists shared their passions and purpose with hundreds of attendees.
I am amazed at how many people struggle with issues related to acid reflux, commonly known as heartburn. From a woman with a true burning feeling in the chest and throat to a child with sinus issues to a man with a chronic ticklish cough (even without the heartburn), all of these patients are likely suffering from acid reflux.