2013 – A Year for YOU!

Happy New Year! I love new beginnings- who doesn’t? Whether it is the first of the month, your birthday, an anniversary, or yes, the NEW YEAR- give yourself the precious gift of a new start!

Since this is my blog about all things healthy, I wish for you specifically to give yourself the gift of a new start for health…whatever is most important to YOU.
90% of us struggle with our weight. Whether it is fighting that same darn 10-20 pounds that we battle every year, or perhaps the first time that our metabolism packed its bags and deserted us, … Read more

Can’t Get Rid of that COUGH?

This time of year especially, coughs seem to stick around forever. Here in Austin, the culprit may be seasonal allergies, but overall the major cause of persistent coughs is viral upper respiratory infections- from both simple “colds” and the big, bad flu. With these infections, after you get past the headaches, and stuffy nose part, you find yourself coughing- often up to SIX WEEKS after the initial illness. Sometimes it’s a minor “clear your throat” type of cough, while other times, it’s the crazy fits of coughing that keep you from sleeping.

Is there anything that can be done for Read more

Feeling SAD? LIGHTen Up!

While everyone around you is humming Christmas songs, lighting their menorahs or making ski vacation plans , are you left feeling sad? Perhaps it’s not the holiday blues, but SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder. This depressive disorder was formally named only a few decades ago, in the 1980’s. It affects over half a million people each winter, including some symptoms in up to a third of patients seeing their primary care physicians during this season.

Who gets seasonal affective disorder? It’s most common in women (3:1 over males) and young adults 20-30 years old, but it is seen in across the … Read more

Flu Season 2012 – Ready or Not!

While we are rushing around in December, take a moment to think about whether or not your family has received the flu vaccine this year. The CDC reports show that unfortunately, we are jumping into the season early this year, especially in TEXAS, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. In fact, this is the earliest in the flu season to reach this level in almost a decade (since 2003-2004). The good news is that the viruses identified with testing DO largely match the strains that are included in this year’s vaccine. More good news is that they are susceptible to our … Read more

Holiday Gifts that Show We REALLY Care!

Tis the season of gift giving, and what do we see? Piles of chocolate and other treats- yummy! I love sweets as much as the next person (I hear my friends laughing and making piggy noises…yes, I know- just keep away from my gluten-free treats!)  HOWEVER, this is my annual plea to think seriously about the edible gifts that you send. If your friend is wonderfully fit and able to eat high calorie treats in moderation, knock yourself out & send the chocolate cheesecake- but if your friend has diabetes or struggles with their weight, please consider a different gift.… Read more

WORLD AIDS DAY – Does It Affect YOU?

Today, December 1, 2012, is World AIDS Day. Hopefully you will see some red ribbons around that reflect more than Christmas cheer- they are symbols of AIDS awareness. Many Americans are unaware that HIV disease is still a concern, since it is no longer a common lead story on the nightly news. Ironically, our capitol, Washington D.C., has the highest prevalence of HIV disease within our country.  There are now over 1.1 million Americans living with HIV disease. The good news is that with the tremendous advances with antiviral therapy in the last decade, most people with HIV infection … Read more

Birth Control Pills Going Over the Counter?

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) have released a committee opinion statement that they recommend over-the-counter access to oral contraceptive pills (OCs). ACOG believes that access and cost are the major barriers to women using contraception, and that OTC birth control pills will greatly reduce those barriers, thus lowering the unintended pregnancy rate. ACOG feels that there is no significant safety risk when OCs are compared with medications such as aspirin, which has been OTC for decades. (Note, however, aspirin would unlikely be approved if it were starting the whole FDA approval process in 2012! Great drug, very … Read more

Texting Can Save Lives?

Following up on yesterday’s Great American Smokeout…, an interesting study was published this year looking at the effectiveness of TEXTING support to help people quit smoking. This was an analysis of several other studies, including over 9000 total participants. Text messages were used either exclusively or as a supplemental part of smoking cessation programs. Although the results were not fully consistent between the individual studies, ultimately the data is encouraging to support use of this ever-present appendage to aid people in quitting smoking.

In fact, the National Cancer Institute has a texting support program for smokers wanting to quit. … Read more

Great American Smokeout!

TODAY, the third Thursday in November, is the annual GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Each year, smokers are encouraged to use this day as a QUIT date, or at least as a day to make a plan to quit. If you have a friend who still smokes, please reach out to them today and kindly encourage them with a reminder that today is a special day earmarked for their health. With this vice, there is NO amount that can be justified as being “good” for you.  Tobacco harms virtually every organ in the body. Everyone knows … Read more

Elect NOT To Gain Weight This Holiday Season

Happy November! In honor of election day tomorrow, let’s ELECT NOT to gain the standard 7-10 pounds during the holidays this year. We have begun the eating trifecta…Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas/Hannukah. Americans love to celebrate these holidays with excessive amounts of high calorie foods- in large quantities. Can you enjoy the season and NOT gain weight? Of course! But yes, some discipline and primarily large doses of awareness are necessary.

Let’s start with the Halloween candy. Most people have “leftovers” of snack-sized chocolates. We finish up our favorites (always the Reeses cups in our home) and then mindlessly polish off … Read more