Health Benefits of Pumpkin by Your Marque Team

Fall is here - which also means pumpkin season! But there's more to pumpkins than pie- pumpkins offer many health benefits! Both fresh and canned pumpkin are packed with so many healthy nutrients.  Here are some reasons why incorporating more pumpkin into your diet might be a wise and healthful idea:

  • Pumpkins are that delicious orange color because of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that turns into vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene is essential for healthy eyes and has also been linked to preventing coronary artery disease.

  • Pumpkin seeds are so nutritious! They're packed with protein, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium. Studies show that these seeds aid in blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lowering the risk of bladder stones, lowering cholesterol and lowering high blood pressure. They may even prevent some types of cancers due to the prominent levels of phytosterols (a group of compounds found in plants).




  • Eating pumpkin may aid in weight loss. Pumpkins and their seeds are low in calories and a high source of fiber, which keeps you full longer. Feeling full longer means beating those cravings and lessening the desire to snack too much. Eating a high-fiber diet boosts the metabolism, also aiding in weight loss.

  • Consuming pumpkin improves your complexion. Pumpkin contains lots of fruit enzymes and AHAs, which increase cell turnover, helping to brighten and smooth skin. It also contains antioxidants, which boosts collagen production and prevents wrinkles.

  • Eating pumpkin helps you sleep sounder! Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to that post-Thanksgiving dinner grogginess. Tryptophan makes you sleepy, but also helps the body produce serotonin, which is a calming neurotransmitter.


Try incorporating more pumpkin into your diet in a healthy way, like roasting cubes of it or sprinkling the seeds on top of your salad or morning yogurt parfait. Pumpkin is so versatile; the possibilities are endless! Have a happy and healthy pumpkin season!

References: https://www.curejoy.com/content/health-benefits-of-pumpkin/, https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-pumpkin#1, https://dailyburn.com/life/health/pumpkin-health-benefits/

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

MRSA by Kristen Torres

MRSA is the super bug that you hope you never get. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA, is an infection that is caused by a staph bacterium that becomes resistant to the majority of antibiotics that typically treat staph infections. MRSA is usually found in the health-care environment. Most of the patients that contract MRSA in the healthcare setting is due to invasive procedures or foreign body devices. MRSA can also be contracted outside the healthcare environment. People at risk are typically childcare workers, high school wrestlers, and people living in extremely congested areas, due to the spreading of skin to skin contact. MRSA, just like any other staph infection, begin as swollen, painful red bumps.

mrsa

The affected area typically resembles pimples and they usually present themselves as:

  • warm to the touch

  • full of pus or other drainage

  • typically accompanied by a fever


However, these simple pimples can quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses that would require surgical draining. In rare cases, the bacteria can surpass the skin barrier and go deep into the body, causing infection to the bones, joints, surgical wounds, the blood stream, heart valves and the lungs. MRSA can be treated through medication, even though it is resistant to majority of antibiotics.

Prevention of MRSA is essential, especially in the healthcare environment because it is so easily spread.

Forms of prevention include:comic

  • washing your hands

  • cleansing the rooms and equipment

  • keeping MRSA patients isolated from non-MRSA patients

  • always using personal protective equipment (PPE)


 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

Put the Pep Back into Your Step – B12 Shots by Your Marque Team

Are you feeling fatigue or lethargic? Maybe faint or dizzy? You might be experiencing vitamin B12 deficiency. Many patients suffer the symptoms from vitamin B12 deficiency and might not even know it.  Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that:

  • Helps in the functioning of DNA synthesis

  • Energy production

  • Neurological function

  • Red blood cell formation

  • And much more.


Some patients are unable to break down the protein to absorb vitamin B12 into the bloodstream while others are at risk for low levels of B12 because of the food consumed don’t contain high enough amounts of B12, such as vegetarians or vegans. Patients can also be at risk for low levels of B12 if they are taking certain medications such as antacids or antihistamines, which can block the absorption of B12.

What can vitamin B12 do for me?

Vitamin B12 is a crucial vitamin needed for metabolic and hormonal functions. It helps with the production of our digestive enzymes and the transporting of nutrients in and out of our cells. Other roles of vitamin B12 is that it helps in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, which protects cardiovascular health, metabolizing protein and fat, and it also plays a role in fetal development during pregnancy. The benefits of getting B12 shots every month is that it reduces the risk of:

  • Heart disease

  • Vision loss

  • Infertility

  • Neurocognitive disorders


Other beneficial factors to getting the B12 shot is that it:

  • Can reduce depression by restoring mood control and helps aid in retaining memory and mental functions

  • Helps lower fatigue and reduces muscle weakness

  • Can help improve metabolism

  • Help improve low sperm count

  • Help prevent or treat diabetic neuropathy


The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Tips to Alleviate Gastrointestinal (GI) Stress by Your Marque Team

Are you having digestive issues?  Here are some user-friendly tips to help alleviate GI stress:

Fiber helps with constipation.  Cherries, grapes, bell peppers, beans, whole grains and nuts are rich in fiber.  They all help keep your digestion regular.  Your body needs around 20-35 grams of fiber daily.  It also helps keep away weight gain, heart disease, blood sugar (high or low) and hemorrhoids.

Chew gum to help fight heartburn.  It may relieve reflux by stimulating the production of acid neutralizing saliva.   Just make sure to chew every other flavor besides peppermint.

Lose weight to cut gas and heartburn.  Loose just 2 pounds and you could improve gastrointestinal symptoms.  Extra pounds especially around the midsection can worsen digestive issues like heartburn, gas and belching.

Stop bloating and heartburn with smaller meals.  It’s a good way to stop indigestion.  The key is to eat smaller and more frequent meals and eat slower.  It avoids overloading your digestive system and helps shrink stomach capacity.

Drink to stop constipation.  Drinking fluids helps your body get rid of waste to help with constipation.  Eight glasses a day is not enough, drink as much as possible throughout your day.

Get moving to beat bloating.  It may help with most minor digestive problems from bloating to constipation.  Physical activity helps your body’s digestive system.  It moves things and eliminates waste.  It also helps reduce stress a prime irritant of any digestive problems.

Stop smoking to beat heartburn.  When you smoke you wreak havoc on digestion in many ways.  Smoking weakens the valve at the end of the esophagus, which can lead to acid reflux and heart burn.  It also increases the risk for various gastrointestinal cancers.

Drink less alcohol to ease stomach issues.  Alcohol interferes with acid secretion, stomach muscles, and nutrient absorption.  Too many drinks can contribute to heartburn, diarrhea, liver problems and even esophageal cancers.

Maybe dairy is the problem.  Some people find that their bodies can’t digest lactose, the natural sugar in milk.  As a result gas buildup is in your stomach.  Eliminating anything dairy related can help relieve gas issues.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Is Your Preschooler Ready for Kindergarten? By Colleen Kraft, M.D.

Your child's social, emotional, academic and behavior skills are equally critical to school success, and too many U.S. children start kindergarten without them.

What does "school readiness" mean?

The idea that some children are "ready for school" by 4 or 5 and others are not is controversial. Just as children begin to walk or talk at different ages, they also develop the psychological and social skills needed for school at varying ages.

When you're deciding when your child should start kindergarten:

  • Look carefully at your child's development. Is your child able to communicate? How are his listening and social skills? Would he be able to get along with other children and adults? Is he toilet trained? What about physical skills like running, playing, or using a crayon or pencil?  

  • TA word about kindergarten screenings or readiness testing:


Some schools may conduct their own tests to evaluate your child's abilities. So-called "readiness tests" tend to look mostly at academic skills, but may evaluate other aspects of development, too. The tests are far from perfect; some children who do poorly on them do just fine in school.

So, if the test or screening identifies some areas where your child seems to lag behind, use the information to help you and the school plan for the special attention he may need in the year of kindergarten ahead.

You are your child's best advocate. By sharing information with your child's teacher and other school staff, you can help them be ready for your child. At the same time, you are establishing a partnership for your child's education that can and should continue throughout her childhood.

School readiness milestones

Important development milestones that help school go smoothly for children include:

Sensory development―the ability to use touch, sight, and hearing to explore and figure out the world around them.

Social, emotional, and behavioral development―such as being able to:

  • focus and pay attention

  • control impulses and emotions

  • take turns

  • cooperate and follow directions

  • make friends

  • empathize with others

  • control and communicate emotions

  • limit aggressive behaviors


Early language, literacy, and math skills― such as being able to talk, listen, and understand concepts like sound-letter associations, numbers, shapes, and how objects are related to each other.

How to promote school readiness:

Let Your Children See You Reading

If your children see you reading regularly, there is a good chance that they will follow your lead and sit down with a book themselves. Set aside some time to talk with them about what each of you is reading. If you have been regularly reading aloud to your children, by school age they'll probably want to read aloud to you, too!

Talk About Your Day

Find time to talk with your children about your respective days—in­cluding what they did at school. Even on a night when you are particularly busy, you should still be able to find a time and place to talk. This gives your children a chance to re-teach you what they learned that day.

Encourage Art & Writing

It is great for children to write and/or draw without any ed­ucational purpose in mind other than to express themselves. For example, you can encourage your children to write original stories, cards, letters, and invitations to friends and relatives. Keep paper, pencils, crayons, markers, and tape in a convenient lo­cation so your children can sit down and use them easily. Research has shown that writing improves a child's reading skills—and vice versa.

Plan One-on-One Time with your child

Plan some activities that you can do with your child—such as an art project. Keep phone call interruptions and media use to a minimum during this special time. Make it a time you are spending with each other. Some children say they wish they could call their parents on the phone, because a phone call or mobile device always gets first priority.

"Educational" Apps: Use with caution

Even though tablets, computer games, and apps are advertised as "educational," the truth is most of them have not been tested to show that children actually learn from them. They teach very basic skills, so don't assume an "interactive" game will be a good learning experience. Children learn better through creative playtime—where their brain takes the lead, not the app or computer game.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Probiotics by Carlos Perez

Probiotics have been known to help the human body in many ways and they have become a popular supplement in recent years.  They are live bacteria and yeasts that can bolster your digestive system.  Probiotics may offer benefits and relief from minor to serious conditions such as diarrhea, constipation, vaginal and urinary tract infections, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Crohn's disease, and bladder cancer. Different stains of these live micro-organisms offer different health benefits from oral health to intestinal and weight gain prevention.

Antibiotics kill the "good" bacteria in your body.  It can be a helpful to consume probiotics when you are done with your medication to replenish the "good" bacteria to keep your body functioning properly.

Probiotics are in demand, and as a result, the price of these supplements have increased.  Although many different types of supplements are available, it’s significant to note that there are foods which contain natural forms of probiotics.  This is a cost-effective way to get a similar result without having to swallow a daily pill.  There are a variety of foods that contain probiotics to choose from such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, cottage cheese, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, and pickles.

It is important to keep in mind that our bodies work differently; one type of probiotic which helps one person may not be as beneficial for another. Be sure to get informed and educated on which probiotic will be more beneficial for your needs. There are numerous brands available – a doctor can provide insightful knowledge to help you select a probiotic that will yield the most benefits for your health.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Difficulty with Sleep? By Your Marque Team

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is very important for the functioning of our bodies as it helps restore the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscle systems. Without restful sleep, these bodily functions will not work optimally. Sleep deprivation can cause a multitude of health issues. It is well known and studied that there are associations with increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, immune disorders and cognitive impairment in people that do not sleep well. Studies have shown that sleeping better promotes longevity.

Sleep Help, Sleep Hygiene and Stimulants

There are many things you can do to improve your sleep. One of the best things you can do is to avoid stimulants. Stimulants affecting sleep can be broken down into many categories. There are drinks that can be stimulating such as those containing caffeine and alcohol. There are foods that can be stimulating including chocolate, certain fruits and foods containing MSG (monosodium glutamate). Even foods rich in aged cheese contain a substance called tyramine that affects sleep. There are drugs and medications that can be stimulating. These can include certain prescription medications such as steroids, mood and anxiety medications (SSRI and similar medications), and ADHD medications (containing amphetamine like substance). Certain supplements such as Ginseng can be stimulating. Even chemicals in toothpaste such as Triclosan may affect sleep. There are also other environmental stimulants that one should be careful of such as bright artificial light. This is now very common with use of smartphones.

Sleep Tips

  • Avoid food and drink stimulants as listed above, especially several hours before bed or even entirely.

  • Avoid TV and smart phone use while in bed preparing for sleep.

  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and noise free when trying to sleep.

  • Avoid exercise before going to sleep.

  • Discuss use of stimulating medications with your doctor if having difficulty with sleep.


 

Supplements and Medication

There are options to help with poor sleep if the things above do not help. Most over-the-counter sleep aids use anti-histamines as they have a side effect of drowsiness. These can unfortunately cause daytime grogginess or drowsiness and can have other unwanted side effects. Prescription medications are an option but most are considered controlled substances and can be discussed with your doctor. Melatonin and herbal sleep aids are an option also and are available without prescription.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep by Your Marque Team

When Daylight Saving time ends or begins, this means we’ll change our clocks by one hour. Although the term "spring forward and fall back" indicates which way we turn the clock, this simple action each spring and fall doesn't necessarily result in our body clock changing immediately.

Internal Body Clock

Our primary body clock, located in the brain, keeps track of a handful of behavioral functions in sync with each other– such as temperature, digestive function and hormone production. It also determines when we are alert and sleepy.  This process is called a circadian rhythm which it keeps its own time. When the transition onto or off daylight savings time occurs, our circadian rhythm is out of sync by an hour. This is similar to having mild jet lag.

"Falling back " is usually no problem because we tend to feel sleepy a little earlier than usual and wake up earlier as well. To help with sleep here are 8 tips to make sure to are well rested:

  1. Have an omega-rich breakfast. Omega 3s are healthy fats which lower anxiety while producing hormones that help you fall asleep. Chia seeds or walnuts are high in these omegas. Try adding these to your morning meal.

  2. Limit caffeine intake. While coffee is good for you, limit your intake after 2pm so it won’t interfere with your sleep.

  3. Set a kitchen curfew. Limit heavy meals and alcohol before bed. Eating late can affect falling to sleep. Set a kitchen curfew for 7pm so that you can get to sleep at a decent hour.

  4. Keep your bedroom cool. Insomniacs have a warmer core temperature. Keeping your bedroom between 65-67 degrees will help you fall to sleep easier.

  5. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Studies show if you go to bed and wake up at the same time, it will cause you to have better quality of sleep and your circadian rhythm will be in sync to the point where you may not need an alarm.

  6. Try a melatonin supplement. If you are having trouble sleeping, a low dose of melatonin can be way to help fall asleep faster.

  7. Use lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil promotes calming. Putting some in a diffuser in your bedroom or applying some to the soles of your feet will help with falling asleep.

  8. Take a relaxing bath or shower. Taking a hot bath or shower 90 minutes before bed can help you relax and improve your quality of sleep.


 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Summer Camp by Colleen Kraft, M.D.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created this checklist to help you navigate the camp experience. Use this list to make your child’s summer camp memories safe, healthy, and fun!

Camp Choices—The Basics:

Choosing a summer camp for your child can seem like an overwhelming experience of choices and costs. Consider these points when scouting camps:

  • Start looking for camps early. Some camps start booking as early as January―and fill up quickly!

  • Consider your child’s personality and interests. Camps comes in all shapes and sizes. The arts, sports, nature, some combination? There are many possibilities.

  • Day camp vs overnight camp. Think about your child’s comfort with being away from home and talk together about what seems like a good fit. While there is no hard and fast rule about what age is best for overnight camp, most children are ready between ages 7 and 8 years old.


After you’ve decided on the basics, the next step is to get more detailed information:

  • Get referrals. Ask other parents who sent their children to the camp about their experiences. Remember, though, that there’s no better way to find a perfect fit than checking camps out in person with your child.

  • Ask about the staff. Do the same counselors return each year or is there high turnover? Is the staff made up of young adults or teens, as well as adults? What are their roles? What is the child to staff ratio? If applicable, it is also important to ask about whether the staff has any prior experience working with children with special needs and/or whether they are willing to accommodate your child.

  • Ask how healthcare is delivered at camp. Many camps have camp nurses, but no physicians. Some camps don't even have camp nurses due to their size, and only first-aid trained staff members. Ask how the camp deals with minor illnesses and injuries? How are staff trained to handle these situations? Does the camp have arrangements with local hospitals and emergency medical services? Know who is caring for your children, and what training those staff members have. 

  • Is the camp accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA)? Accreditation is different than licensing. This does not guarantee a risk-free environment, but it's some of the best evidence you have of a camp's commitment to a safe and nurturing environment for children.

  • What are the swimming requirements? Camps with a water component will likely require your child to take a swim test. If your child does not pass the test, this can lead your child feeling left out and/or forced to be in a lower age group.

  • Ask about sunblock. Most camps have kids outside all day. Camps should have a protocol for how often they have children reapply sunscreen.

  • What does the camp require prior to attendance? Make sure all campers are required to be vaccinated according to the recommended childhood immunization schedule. Many camps also require a sports physical, because campers are athletes too!


Camp Prep: What to Do Before You Go

Now that you’ve booked your child’s camp experience, the next step is preparation:

  • Swim lessons. By age 5 or 6, most children in swim lessons can master the front crawl. If your child hasn't already started in a learn-to-swim program, now is the time! Water survival competency skills are very important for campers. Consider some refresher lessons to prepare your child for the camp swim test.

  • Make your doctor’s appointments. The AAP recommends asking to have a sports physical when scheduling your child's next routine well-child visit. Make sure your child has a camp, sports or annual physical before heading to camp. Many camps require this before entry.

  • Talk to the camp directors about any special health care needs. If your child has a condition such as asthma, food allergies or other special needs, have special emergency action plans. Keep the camp informed in the same way you keep your child’s school informed. For example, does the camp allow peanut or tree nut food products?  Does your child know how to use personal emergency medications such as inhalers or epinephrine auto-injectors independently?

  • Know the rules about electronics at camp. If your child is “off-grid” or electronics are not allowed, plan for how best to keep in touch. If tablets, for example, are allowed but must be kept in backpacks or cabins, make sure your child understands and follows those rules. Ask the camp how best to communicate with your child in an emergency.

  • Do not make any medication changes before camp. Parents are often tempted to take “drug holidays” during or before camp. Camp is not a good place to find out that medication changes are not going well.

  • Talk openly about homesickness. Stay positive about the camp experience but help your child understand that it may take getting used to. Know homesickness can happen at any time―regardless of how many times your child has been to camp before.


The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.