Friday, August 26, 2016

New Bones, New Problems

A photo of a newborn baby's clubfoot.
A newborn child with bilateral clubfoot.
Photo credit:
Orthopedic surgery: It’s usually something we think older people go through as the body ages. But there are plenty of children who need this kind of support as well, which is why hospitals like New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) are so important.

Alex Crisses is an HSS Pediatric Council Member, and his own daughter was treated at HSS soon after birth.

Crisses and his wife found out while she was pregnant that their daughter had clubfoot, an inward twisting of the foot. Through their research, they learned that Dr. David Scher, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at HSS, was the best doctor to treat her condition.

“When my daughter was born, the first stop we made was at the Hospital for Special Surgery,” Crisses said.

Dr. Scher carefully explained the process of correcting their daughter’s clubfoot and some of the innovations in orthopedics that would be used during her treatment.

After their experience at HSS, Crisses and his wife decided to become members of the hospital’s Pediatric Council, on which they have served since then.

Innovations in pediatric orthopedic surgery have been helping children across the nation. This subspecialty involves correcting limb and spine deformities such as clubfoot, scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the spine), and limb length differences, as well as broken bones and bone infections, in from birth through adolescence.

Pediatric orthopedic surgeons specialize in working with children and helping them to be relaxed and cooperative during examination and treatment. They have the widest range of treatment options, the most extensive and comprehensive training, and the greatest expertise in working with youth.

They also know about the latest technical developments in the field. 3D modeling, for example, helps surgeons to visualize deformed bone and shape special equipment such as plates and rods prior to surgery.

All the members of the Crisses family, including daughter Blake, are grateful to Dr. Scher and the Hospital for Special Surgery for the great care they received while they were there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Easy Ways to Incorporate Local Foods Into Your Diet

A photo of several different kinds of vegetables sorted into separate buckets. There is a sign that reads, "Fresh, local, produce."
Photo credit:
Over the past few years, people have become more conscious of the fact that it’s better for the earth when consumers eat locally. It saves gas because food isn’t traveling as far. It’s also helps boost the local economy by supporting small farms. As an added bonus, fruits and vegetables that have been picked at the proper time will taste better than their chemically ripened counterparts. 

The one downside is that eating locally is more expensive, right? Wrong. With a little planning and some research, eating locally can be both healthy and affordable.

An easy way to ensure that you are eating local food is to shop at farmers markets. Many people don't realize that farmers market vegetables are sold at a competitive rate to the supermarket. And if you don’t live near a farmers market? Support stores that label the origins of their food. At the very least, commit to buying items that come from your state. And if your supermarket doesn't have any locally grown/raised food? Make sure that you express your desire for these items to store management. Businesses operate on a supply and demand basis, and for that reason, they are always looking to please customers. Don’t have time to make it to a farmers market or read through food labels? That's understandable, simply order a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) plan. Many local farmers put together weekly or monthly boxes of produce that are distributed directly to consumers, supplying you with fresh, local, seasonal produce.

And if you're worried about giving up fruits that aren't in season during the winter, don’t be. There are plenty of ways to preserve fruits and veggies so you don’t have to buy ones that have been shipped from the opposite side of the hemisphere. Berries are super easy to freeze, as are most fruits. Be careful though, because vegetables should be blanched before freezing. Canning and drying are other suitable options as well.

Don’t forget that you always have the option of growing your own plants. Herbs can be grown in windowsills or on balconies. But no matter what you choose, you’ll find that eating fresh, local produce will be a great addition to your diet.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

An Easy Way to Improve Your Body’s Functions

An infographic of how much water your body needs every day as well as what percentage of various human body parts are made up of water.
Image: Shutterstock

Hydration matters. According to NASA, the human body is about 70% water. In some parts of the world, alcohol or soda are more easily accessible than clean drinking water, but it’s important that every human being is consuming water daily. There is still debate on how much water the average human should be drinking because necessary water intake is dependent on a multitude of different variables including diet, weather, and activity level. The body loses liquid not just through urine, but through perspiration and respiration.

Dehydration starts to have an effect on both the body and the mind once as little as 1% of the body’s water is lost. Losing 2-3% reduces the body’s ability to regulate temperature and reduces energy levels and mood. It will also reduce brain and memory performance. This makes physical activity feel more difficult, and can also affect performance at work or school.

Staying hydrated is beneficial for the organs, too. Dehydration can lead to both constipation and kidney stones. Water ensures that organs are functioning properly and clearing out any unwanted materials and toxins.

Dehydration is also a key component in why most people feel miserable during a hangover. It is the number one contributor to the thirst, fatigue, headache, and dry mouth experienced the morning after intoxication. Alcohol is a diuretic and interrupts communication between the brain and the kidneys. It causes the kidneys to release more water from the body.

Finally, water intake can help regulate food intake. Foods with a higher water content tend to be or look larger. These foods require more chewing and are generally slower to digest. This allows the stomach to feel fuller longer. Drinking a glass of water before meals also helps the stomach feel fuller. This regulates hunger pangs and can help with proper food intake.

In conclusion, whether you are an athlete, watching what you eat, or trying to improve your performance at work, making sure you are hydrated is a quick way to ensure that you are helping your body perform at its best.