We’ve Moved!

by Vincent Dajani | January 12, 2017 4:36 pm

LifeBridge Health's goal has always been to serve the community. And we consider one of those services to be the quality articles, tips and information that we provide through this blog. To better improve the ease of access to all of our LifeBridge Health articles, we've moved our Blog over to our main website, here[1]. In the new blog, we'll feature the same high quality content, but with a better way to find all of the health-related information you'll need!

We have many wellness tips and great stories from around our surrounding communities to share. We post new blogs frequently, so check back often. You can get additional updates by subscribing to LifeLines, LifeBridge Health’s official email newsletter.

We hope to see you on our new blog![2]

To schedule an appointment[3] with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

  1. here: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Main/Blogs.aspx#
  2. new blog!: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Main/Blogs.aspx#
  3. schedule an appointment: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Main/SinaiandNorthwestHospitalPatientAppointmentRequest.aspx

Source URL: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/2017/01/12/weve-moved/

From the desk of Neil Meltzer – Holiday message

by Vincent Dajani | December 22, 2016 9:16 am

In the spirit of the season, we are pleased to share President and CEO Neil Meltzer's holiday message to the LifeBridge Health family.

Dear LifeBridge Health Family:

The holiday season is often a time of reflection as well as an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. No matter how or what you celebrate, the end of the year is when many of us pause and take stock in those we love and appreciate.

Neil Meltzer[1]If you are like me, your work colleagues are some of your closest friends. Many of us spend more time at work than just about anywhere else, so we develop strong bonds with those we work alongside every day. This is particularly true when you are part of a caring team of professionals united in a mission to take care of others and improve health.

I want to take a moment to say how very grateful I am for all of you, my friends at LifeBridge Health. What we share in common is more than our daily work. We have the common thread of genuine caring and kindness toward our patients and each other.

The more time passes, the more I appreciate how fortunate I am to have spent my entire career in an industry that defines its success by the simple act of treating others with kindness, dignity and respect.

Thank you for choosing a career of caring and for choosing to serve your patients at LifeBridge Health. Together, we are changing lives for the better, and there is no greater mission than that.

Happy holidays to you and your family. I look forward to a great 2017 alongside all of you!

— Written by Neil Meltzer, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health

To schedule an appointment[2] with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

  1. [Image]: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Abcde-Neil-Meltzer-LBH-Copy.jpg
  2. schedule an appointment: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Main/SinaiandNorthwestHospitalPatientAppointmentRequest.aspx

Source URL: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/2016/12/22/desk-neil-meltzer-holiday-message/

Lung Cancer Isn’t Just a Smoker’s Disease

by Linwood Outlaw III | December 16, 2016 4:12 pm

Lung cancer is commonly misunderstood as a disease that only strikes habitual smokers.

Smoking is in fact the leading cause of lung cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, at least 70 of which are known to cause cancer. People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely than nonsmokers to get lung cancer or die from the disease.

But nonsmokers, though at a lower risk for lung cancer, aren’t invulnerable to the second most common cancer in men and women (excluding skin cancer). In addition to secondhand smoke, which the CDC says is the cause of about 7,300 lung cancer deaths in the United States every year, family history and environmental hazards are among the leading risk factors for lung cancer in people with no history of tobacco use.

Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from rocks and soil, is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year, and that nearly 3,000 of those deaths are of people who never smoked. What makes radon such a lethal pollutant is that it doesn’t have a discernible presence; it is an invisible, tasteless, odorless gas that pervades dwellings and buildings through cracks in walls, foundations, basement floors, and other openings. Radon can get trapped in structures and build up to dangerous levels over time. One out of every 15 homes in the United States has high radon levels.

Everyone should have their homes tested for radon. Although no safe level of exposure to radon has been established, the EPA recommends taking action to reduce levels that exceed 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). Radon testing is simple and can be done with an inexpensive do-it-yourself kit. There are short-term detection kits that are kept in homes for up to a week to collect samples for lab analysis. Long-term tests are more accurate, but take at least three months to complete. Most test kits include the cost of lab analysis and an addressed envelope for submission, and results are provided in a matter of weeks, says the American Lung Association. You can also have a certified professional test your home for radon. High levels can be mitigated by making air flow changes, sealing cracks in floors and walls, or installing a radon ventilation system.lungcancer[1]

There are other pollutants that can increase the risk for lung cancer, including chemicals you may be breathing in at work on a daily basis. People are most familiar with asbestos, which in addition to lung cancer poses risk for mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer that affects the thin linings of the lung, chest, abdomen and heart) and asbestosis (a chronic disease of the lungs). Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, crystalline silica, diesel exhaust, nickel, and uranium also are associated with lung cancer. If you have concerns about hazardous chemicals in your work environment, you should speak with your employer and your doctor about how best to protect yourself while on the job.

Cancer survivors who underwent radiation therapy to the chest also may have a higher risk of developing lung cancer, though it may take years for the disease to surface, if at all. According to the American Cancer Society, while some cases of leukemia related to previous radiation procedures develop within a few years of exposure (with the risk peaking at 5 to 9 years), solid tumor cancers like those of the lung and breast may not be diagnosed for 10, maybe more than 15 years after exposure. The risk of developing a solid tumor heightens as the dose of radiation increases. Some cancers require larger doses of radiation than others, the American Cancer Society says. A person’s age at the time of being exposed to radiation is also a factor. The American Cancer Society says the risk of getting a second cancer due to exposure to radiation treatment is real, but low. Radiation techniques have steadily improved over the years. Modern treatments target cancers more precisely and more is known about setting radiation doses. It is recommended that patients speak with their doctor about possible long-term effects before making a decision regarding radiation therapy.

In addition to preventive measures including tobacco cessation and reducing exposure to radon and industrial compounds, health experts recommend low-dose CT lung cancer screening for high-risk individuals, particularly current and former smokers between the ages of 55 and 80. LifeBridge Health offers an in-depth lung cancer screening procedure[2] that can potentially detect the disease in its early stages, when it is easier to treat. The procedure, coordinated by a nurse navigator and a multidisciplinary team of experts, includes a low-dose CT chest scan that produces highly detailed images of internal structures and protects portions of the body beyond the scanned region from extreme X-ray exposure. The Thoracic Tumor Clinic[3] at Sinai Hospital, which is a part of LifeBridge Health’s Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute, treats small cell and non-small cell lung cancer as well as mesothelioma.

For more information about our lung cancer screenings, call 866-404-DOCS. If you have questions about the Thoracic Clinic, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, call 410-601-4600.

To schedule an appointment[4] with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

  1. [Image]: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/LungCancer.jpg
  2. an in-depth lung cancer screening procedure: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/CancerInst/LungScreen.aspx
  3. Thoracic Tumor Clinic: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/CancerInst/MultidisciplinaryClinicsThoracicLungCancerClinic.aspx
  4. schedule an appointment: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Main/SinaiandNorthwestHospitalPatientAppointmentRequest.aspx

Source URL: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/2016/12/16/lung-cancer-isnt-just-smokers-disease/

American Diabetes Association Issues New Recommendations on Exercise Guidelines

by Linwood Outlaw III | December 6, 2016 12:17 pm

The American Diabetes Association wants everyone with diabetes to get up and move around more often.

The ADA recently issued new recommendations on physical activity guidelines, among which is at least three minutes of moderate movement, such as walking, side lunges and stretching, every half hour of prolonged inactivity to help with blood sugar management. The ADA’s previous recommendation was movement every 90 minutes of idleness.

The new recommendation of movement every 30 minutes is especially for adults with type 2 diabetes, but the ADA’s updated position statement on physical activity address all types of diabetes, including prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are above the normal range but not high enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes affects more than 80 million Americans.

“We always tell our patients that exercise makes a big difference. The American Diabetes Association’s new recommendations reinforce the message that exercise—not just diet, not just medication—is a big part of diabetes management,” said Kelly O’Connor, a dietitian and diabetes educator at the Diabetes & Nutrition Center[1] at Northwest Hospital. “Any activity helps. For example, we tell elderly patients that when they are watching TV and the commercial comes on to stand up and sit down during the commercials. The new recommendations validate the position that even minimal exercise makes some difference in your blood sugars and making people more insulin-sensitive.”

This is the first time the ADA has issued independent, comprehensive guidelines on exercise for all people with diabetes. The recommendations were based on an extensive review of the latest diabetes research as well as input from leaders at preeminent diabetes and exercise physiology research institutions in the United States, Canada and Australia.

In addition to movement that improves flexibility and balance, aerobic activity (jogging, cycling, swimming, etc.) benefits people with type 2 diabetes in that it helps them regulate blood sugar levels, reduce cardiovascular risk factors and lose weight. People with type 1 diabetes who engage in aerobic and resistance training activities (i.e. exercifemale-jogger[2]ses using weight machines or elastic resistance bands) can potentially improve their insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength.

Physical activity “should be recommended and prescribed to all individuals with diabetes as part of management of glycemic control and overall health,” though recommendations and precautions will vary based on age, diabetes type and other health complications, the ADA’s position statement[3] reads.

The ADA recommends that adults with diabetes complete 150 minutes or more of moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise weekly, with no more than two consecutive days without activity. It is also recommended that children and adolescents with diabetes do at least 60 minutes of moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic and muscle- and bone-strengthening exercises at least three days a week. People with prediabetes are urged to combine physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes to delay or prevent a diagnosis. Structured lifestyle interventions that include at least 150 minutes of weekly exercise and dietary changes resulting in weight loss of 5 to 7 percent can help “prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in populations at high risk and with prediabetes,” the ADA says.

The ADA made specific recommendations on exercise during pregnancy, saying women with preexisting diabetes of any type should be advised to engage in regular physical activity before and during pregnancy, and that pregnant women with or at risk for gestational diabetes mellitus should be advised to engage in 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most or all days of the week. Women in general who are at risk for or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes are encouraged to incorporate aerobic and resistance exercise into their lives most days of the week to improve the effects of insulin and maintain consistent blood sugar levels.

The ADA also made recommendations for minimizing exercise-related adverse events. Insulin regimen and carbohydrate intake changes, along with short sprints, activity timing and resistance exercise prior to aerobics, can help prevent exercise-related hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), according to the ADA, which also says the risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia following physical activity may be lessened with “reductions in basal insulin doses, inclusion of bedtime snacks, and/or use of continuous glucose monitoring.” In addition, the ADA says physically active people with peripheral neuropathy, a nerve-damaging condition commonly caused by diabetes, need proper foot care to avoid ulceration and amputation, and that people with severe nonproliferative and unstable proliferative diabetic retinopathy should avoid vigorous exercises and breath-holding.

weight-lifting[4]O’Connor, who regularly hosts free information sessions in the community on diabetes, says with some patients, the initial challenge for practitioners isn’t getting them to adopt new eating and exercise habits, but helping them come to terms with their diagnosis. “One patient told me recently she was in denial for a year about being diagnosed with diabetes,” O’Connor said. “Some patients are really angry because they have diabetes and they don’t want it, or they think they did everything right.”

There is also the matter of dispelling the belief that effective diabetes management is all about deprivation and seclusion.

“There is so much misinformation about diabetes. Some people have grandparents with diabetes who, perhaps because they didn’t have access to the advanced technology we have today, had a leg amputated or suffer from vision loss, and they think they will have a similar fate. But that never has to happen anymore,” O’Connor said. “The biggest thing I think most people think is, ‘l have to give up all my favorite foods, I’ll never be able to go have fun with my friends, and I won’t be able to have Thanksgiving.’ Yes, you should make some lifestyle changes, but you don’t necessarily have to give up your favorite foods or social activities entirely.”

Recognized by the ADA as meeting the national standards for diabetes self-management education, the Diabetes and Nutrition Center at Northwest Hospital has certified educators that help patients identify and reduce their risk for diabetes, and introduce those who are diagnosed to healthier lifestyles. Care strategies are customized according to each patient’s individuals needs and may include medication management, glucose monitoring, meal planning, foot care and physical activity. The center offers one-on-one counseling as well as free diabetes education classes.

In January 2017, LifeBridge Health will begin a free, monthly diabetes support group program at the Weinberg Park Heights Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. The monthly group will be led by a team of certified diabetes educators from Sinai and Northwest hospitals. “I think it helps a lot for patients with diabetes to hear from each other. It’s encouraging to hear someone with the disease say, ‘I go out with my friends, my blood sugars are still good, and I still enjoy holidays.’ For someone who is newly diagnosed, it makes a big impression to hear that,” O’Connor said.

Check the community calendar[5] for upcoming LifeBridge Health Diabetes Support Group meeting dates and times. For more information on the Diabetes & Nutrition Center or to schedule an appointment, call 410-521-8383. To learn more about the support group, call 410-701-4482.

To schedule an appointment[6] with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

  1. Diabetes & Nutrition Center: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Northwest/TheDiabetesNutritionCenteratNorthwestHospital.aspx
  2. [Image]: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Female-Jogger.jpg
  3. position statement: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/39/11/2065
  4. [Image]: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Weight-Lifting.jpg
  5. community calendar: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Main/UpcomingEvents.aspx
  6. schedule an appointment: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Main/SinaiandNorthwestHospitalPatientAppointmentRequest.aspx

Source URL: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/2016/12/06/20079/

Avoid Muscle and Joint Discomfort While Holiday Shopping

by Linwood Outlaw III | December 1, 2016 5:00 pm

Squeezing through large crowds and wandering through multiple stores in search of ideal gifts for loved ones can really wear holiday shoppers out. Toting around heavy bags and wearing uncomfortable shoes for extended periods can add discomfort to the exhaustion.

Many holiday shoppers, however unintentionally, tend to overexert themselves, and as a result increase their risk of experiencing nagging neck, shoulder, back and foot pains. With proper body mechanics and other helpful strategies, shoppers can potentially prevent muscle and joint discomfort.

It is best to plan your shopping trip ahead of time. Having a set list of items you intend to purchase can help you determine if you should bring others along with you to help carry bags, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) says. Shoppers should also avoid prime shopping times to cut down on time spent walking around and waiting in long lines.

Instead of carrying dozens of bags, it may behoove shoppers to make a couple of trips to the car to drop off purchases. If you don’t have anyone to help you carry bags, consider using a shopping cart. The APTA says that when carrying bags, shoppers should distribute the weight of shopping bags equally on both sides of their body and avoid carrying overstuffed bags for long periods. In addition to comfortable clothing, shoppers should wear comfortable shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to minimize the impact of walking on hard surfaces. Wearing high-heeled footwear on hard surfaces, for example, can contribute to foot and ankle injuries. Carrying a light backpack or fanny pack rather than a heavy purse may also provide some relief.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) says people should approach holiday shopping as if they’re gearing up for an athletic event. Doing stretches before and after shopping helps. It is generally recommended that people drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day and avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol whenever possible. But on shopping days, people may need to drink even more water, the ACA says.

The ACA recommends taking a break every 45 minutes on heavy shopping days, but cautions that those with less stamina may need a break every 20 to 30 minutes. It’s OK to enjoy a snack during breaks, but try to eat light foods like neck-pain[1]a salad and fruit, and resist food and beverages containing caffeine and sugar, which can add stress to your body. Stress causes muscles to be less flexible, the ACA says.

If shoppers prefer not to make frequent trips to the car, they should check to see if their mall or shopping center offers patrons storage lockers. Just be careful not to carry around more than what is absolutely necessary at one time.

If possible, the ACA says, parents should embark on shopping trips without the kids. Some children, especially infants and toddlers, have certain needs and may not have the patience or stamina for a lot of shopping, which could make for a more stressful outing. Crowded stores and malls can also have an adverse effect on the little ones, and there’s always the possibility of a child getting lost in big crowds. If it is necessary to bring the kids along, parents should split child duty with a spouse or another parent who comes along for the trip, the ACA says.

Remember, physiatrists at LifeBridge Health’s Center for Pain Treatment and Regenerative Medicine[2] are experts in musculoskeletal medicine. They can treat a wide range of conditions, including overuse injuries and back, knee, neck and shoulder pains.

To schedule an appointment[3] with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

  1. [Image]: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Neck-Pain.jpg
  2. Center for Pain Treatment and Regenerative Medicine: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/PainCenter/CenterforPainTreatmentRegenerativeMedicine.aspx
  3. schedule an appointment: http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Main/SinaiandNorthwestHospitalPatientAppointmentRequest.aspx

Source URL: http://www.lifebridgeblogs.org/2016/12/01/avoid-muscle-joint-discomfort-holiday-shopping/