Category Archives: Health News

Sleep Your Way to Better Health

Posted on: March 4, 2015

Sleep Your Way to Better Health

By Dr. Praveen Rudraraju

If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, don’t take your tossing and turning lightly. Good sleep is a necessity, not an option. We know that most people require around seven to eight hours a night, and it’s vital that you get it.

iStock_41874820_HiRezSleep supports the body and brain in so many ways that science is only beginning to fully understand. We form memories during sleep, and there’s evidence that regular sleep improves memory. Likewise, sleep seems to facilitate learning, whether it’s acquiring a new skill like playing the piano, learning how to tackle new responsibilities at work, or school kids putting to use the rules of geometry or grammar.

Sound sleep also keeps you healthy. Research from the Sleep Heart Health Study indicates that people who get less than five hours of sleep nightly are 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes. That study and several other similar ones have found that averaging less than five hours of shuteye a night raises the risk of heart disease by 45 percent. What’s more, poor sleep increases the likelihood of suffering mood disorders like anxiety, depression, and alcohol abuse. High school students in particular seem to be susceptible to behavior problems and mood disturbance when they don’t get enough sleep.

Sound sleep keeps you healthy.

So how do you insure you get enough? There are plenty of ways to improve sleep without resorting to prescription drugs. However, if you routinely battle insomnia, see a doctor about possible solutions. A sleep lab, such as the one at NWH, can be helpful in diagnosing serious sleep conditions such as sleep apnea, which prevents deep sleep and is characterized by heavy snoring. The treatments for sleep disorders have come a long way and are very effective. Most people find that they can begin sleeping much more soundly and suddenly have a lot more energy and concentration during the day once they’ve been diagnosed and get treatment. Plus, they gain all the health benefits a good night’s sleep can bestow.

Tips for Good Sleep Hygiene
Set a regular bedtime. By hitting the sack the same time every evening, you’ll train your body to slow down and have an easier time falling asleep. Even better, establish a small ritual before climbing into the covers, whether it’s a glass of milk (which has tryptophan, an amino acid that encourages sleep), a warm bath, or some gentle relaxation exercises like deep breathing or leisurely yoga stretches.

Try not to nap within eight hours of bedtime—especially if you typically have a hard time drifting off. And limit naps to 25 minutes. Naps can throw off your internal rhythms, making it tougher for your body to slow down at night.

Don’t have alcohol or caffeine within two hours of bedtime. Coffee can keep you up, of course; a drink may help you fall asleep, but when your body starts digesting the alcohol sugars later in the middle of the night, you may find yourself heating up or dreaming intensely, and both can disrupt sleep.

No heavy meals or sugary food right before bed. An active, full belly will have you tossing and turning.

Exercise regularly, but not within two hours of bedtime. Your body takes awhile to slow down and relax into a ready-for-sleep state. However, several studies have linked regular exercise earlier in the day to sounder sleep.

Keep your bedroom dark. Any light can disrupt slumber, so invest in heavy curtains or good blinds.

Shut out noise. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, try wearing ear plugs at night.

Keep it cool. Be sure to turn down the heater at night. The best sleeping temperature is cool—58 to 62 degrees—but not cold.

Check your mattress. About every five to seven years, you’ll need a new one. Not sure how long you’ve had yours? Ask yourself whether you sleep better when you’re away from home. If the answer is yes, it could be your mattress. Pillows don’t last forever, either.

Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you look forward to reading or watching television in bed, you’ll train yourself to be awake when you should be sleeping instead.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Praveen Rudraraju is the Director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital. The Center for Sleep Medicine at NWH has achieved The American Academy of Sleep Medicine 5-year Accreditation.

Learn more about how you can feel better and start improving your sleep today, visit the National Sleep Foundation www.sleep.org.

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Heart-Healthy Treats for You and Your Valentine

Posted on: February 11, 2015

Heart-Healthy Treats for You and Your Valentine

By Pat Talio

I hope this headline caught your attention. I know most people feel not snacking should have been a one of your New Year’s resolutions but in contrast, snacking can be an important part of a heart-healthy diet.
Consider this, if there is more than 3 hours between your meals there are benefits to adding a snack.
1) to avoid being over hungry at meal time, which often leads to overeating at your next meal,
2) better blood sugar control, and
3) sustained energy.

The keys to picking a heart-healthy snack are portion size and quality.
Portion Size:  200 calories or less
Quality:  Be high infiber, contain lean protein (preferably plant-based), be low in sugar and sodium, and have no saturated or trans fat

The results are in; here are the Top 10 Heart-Healthy Snacks for 2015!
Number 10 – 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt with ¼ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds with an optional garnish of chopped fresh mint
(144 calories, 3 g fiber, 2 g fat, 18 g protein)
Number 9 – Roasted Chickpeas with Parmesan Cheese (see recipe below)
Number 8 – 3 cups popped popcorn, jazzed up with 1 teaspoon of canola oil and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, cayenne and unsweetened cocoa powder
(129 calories, 3.5 g fiber, 5 g fat and 3 g protein)
Number 7 – 1.5 cups steamed Edamame in the Pod
(160 calories, 12 g fiber, 15g protein, 3 g fat)
Number 6 – 2 ounces of hummus (try a white or black bean hummus for variety) with 1 cup crudité
(158 calories, 6 g fiber, 4 g protein, 5 g fat)
Number 5 – ½ apple with 1 tablespoon of natural almond butter
(145 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein)
Number 4 – ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with ¼ cup of raspberries and 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds
(153 calories, 15 g pro, 6 g fat, 2 g fiber
Number 3 – 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on 2 whole grain crisp breads (Wasa High Fiber Crisp bread)
(167 calories, 6 g protein, 6 g fiber, 8 g fat)
Number 2 – 30 unsalted pistachio nuts
(102 calories, 4 g protein, 8 g fat, 2 g fiber)
And the Number 1 Heart Healthy Snack for 2015 is…
strawberry_chocolate covered w Walnuts 4 large, whole strawberries dipped in ½ ounce of melted dark chocolate topped with 1.5 teaspoons of chopped walnuts
(187 calories, 2g pro, 12 g fat, 3.5 g fiber) !

 

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Courtesy of eat-yourself-skinny.com

INGREDIENTS
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (15.5 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Arrange racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Stir together oil, chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne in a large bowl. Add chickpeas and toss to coat.
3. Divide chickpeas between two large rimmed baking sheets. Bake, shaking pans occasionally and rotating pans from top to bottom shelves after 20 minutes, until chickpeas are browned and crisp, about 35 to 40 minutes.
4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Serving Size (serves 6): 1/3 cup • Calories: 141 • Fat: 4 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 6 g

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes check out www.nwhc.net/recipes

For more information on heart health, read blog posts from NWH’s Chief of Cardiology, Dr. Robert Pilchik.

Editor’s Note:
Pat Talio, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, is the Outpatient Nutrition Program Coordinator at Northern Westchester Hospital.

 

Detroit Tiger Victor Martinez’ Torn Meniscus

Posted on: February 6, 2015

By Dr. Victor Khabie

I recently spoke with Jason Beck, a writer for MLB.com about Detroit Tiger Victor Martinez’ torn meniscus.

new york orthopedist, orthopedic surgeon westchester

Dr. Victor Khabie, Co-Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, Director of Sports Medicine, Orthopedic and Spine Institute, Northern Westchester Hospitl

A torn meniscus is one of the three most common sports-related knee injuries. Made of cartilage, the meniscus is the knee’s “shock absorber,” and a tear causes pain and dysfunction. Another common knee injury is to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a key ligament stabilizing the knee. And lastly, a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL), which keeps the tibia (shinbone) in place, usually consists of a partial tear.

There are two types of surgeries that can be done to repair a torn meniscus: The first, a partial meniscectomy which is a minor surgery where a small piece of the meniscus is clipped. The average recovery time for this procedure is four to six weeks. The other option would be reattachment surgery, which is more complex and recovery could take months.

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Kids and the Flu: Symptoms, When to Seek Care

Posted on: January 29, 2015

Flu Season’s in High Gear: How to Protect and Care for Your Kids

By Dr. Pete Richel

We are now in the middle of Influenza season (“the Flu”), which is typically October ID-100228285_Boy And Vaccine Syringe by Sura Nualpradidthrough March. Locally we did not see much of this in October and November, but it commenced last month and is going strong.

Most of the positive cultures are revealing Influenza type A, and even though the Influenza vaccine was not a great match this year, we still encourage all to receive it, since it may be protective against some strains, and we find no significant down side.

All children 6 months and older should be vaccinated against the flu.
-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It’s not too late to receive this at your doctor’s office. The vaccine is approved for those 6 months of age and older. When someone gets “the Flu” at any age, the classic symptoms are:

  • temperature instability (fever) as the body’s immune system fights for us,
  • generalized achiness,
  • and a rather hacking cough.

“…frequent hand washing for patients and their caretakers
will help to prevent contagion.”

When any of these symptoms occur, bring your child to see your pediatrician. We can evaluate them with a physical exam, of course, and we can do a rapid Flu test and make the diagnosis in minutes. If the test is positive, then we can prescribe Tamiflu, a medication which may lessen the severity of symptoms, and may shorten the usual week long course of the illness.

In addition, it is always prudent to keep up with plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and the need for hospitalization. And we all know that good frequent hand washing for patients and their caretakers will help to prevent contagion. This is something that you don’t want to share!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “some children are at especially high risk.” Children at greatest risk of serious flu-related complications include the following:
1. Children younger than 6 months old -These children are too young to be vaccinated. The best way to protect them is to make sure people around them are vaccinated
2. Children aged 6 months up to their 5th birthday.
3. American Indian and Alaskan Native children.
4. Children with chronic health problems, such as: Asthma, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, Chronic lung disease, Heart disease, Diabetes or a weakended immune system.

Editor’s Note:
Peter Richel, MD, FAAP is Chief of Pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital. He is a member of Westchester Health Associates and has practiced on Smith Avenue in Mt. Kisco since 1990. Dr. Pete has authored “Happy and Healthy,” a book on wellness in the first year of life, and produced a CD of children’s songs called “Welcome to Dr. Pete’s Office.” Both of these are intended to educate and entertain children and their families.

Dr. Pete, as he’s fondly known, has received numerous recognitions including: Castle Connolly Top Doctor, Top Pediatrician by the Consumer’s Research Council of America and honored with Patients’ Choice Awards and Compassionate Doctor Awards.

Photo Credit: Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Preventing Cervical Cancer

Posted on: January 23, 2015

Women – This Regular Screening Can Save Your Life

by Dr. Navid Mootabar

There’s important news for every woman in a recent report from the Centers for Disease

Navid Mootabar, MD Chief, Obstetrics & Gynecology Director, Institute for Robotics & Minimally Invasive Surgery Northern Westchester Hospital

Navid Mootabar, MD
Chief, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Director, Institute for Robotics & Minimally Invasive Surgery
Northern Westchester Hospital

Control and Prevention (CDC): Despite evidence that cervical cancer screening saves lives, about eight million women, ages 21 to 65 years, have not been screened for cervical cancer in the past five years. In addition, more than half of new cervical cancer cases occur among women who have never or rarely been screened.  Here, I explain which tests you need, when to get screened, and demystify the protective HPV vaccine. I also offer women a silver lining: You rarely have to worry about advanced cervical cancer if you are regularly screened.

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