Horoscopes

So many children are poor sleepers that it’s not always easy to decide whether your child’s sleep issues merit further exploration. In a recent interview with Steven Ritter, MD DABIM, DABP, Board Certified Intensivist, and Board Cert Sleep Specialist and Lisa McKevitt RRT, RPSGT Clinical Manager Cardio-Respiratory, Neuro-Diagnostics and Sleep Center, sleep experts at the St. Francis Hospital and Health Center Poughkeepsie, I learned of new research that is showing that even young children may suffer from several of the sleep disorders typically thought of as disorders of adults.

 

Carola Lott

More people are exercising today than ever before. Children are starting sports at a very early age; older people want to remain active and fit throughout their lives. 

Unfortunately these laudable intentions are often thwarted by accidents or conditions like arthritis or tendonitis that can appear as one gets older.  This is where rehabilitation comes in, and for many of us around Dutchess County this means Millbrook Orthopedic and Sports which was established 22 years ago by William Bremiller.    The group – in addition to Bremiller and his partners, John Roger and John McKenna, there are seven physical therapists assisted by four aides – focuses on  “restoring range of motion and keeping people moving well into their 80’s and 90’s.”

 

No doubt you’re aware of some aspect of the antibiotics controversy—whether your doctor has declined to prescribe them for a cold, or perhaps reminded you to finish your prescription even if you already feel better. Or perhaps you have been following the controversy about antibiotics fed to factory-farmed food animals.

Antibiotics—drugs that kill bacteria, fungi and parasites (but not viruses)—have been available to us since the 1940s, and, until recently we have taken it for granted that they will always make us feel better. Antibiotics either kill bacteria or they prevent their multiplication. Yet it is increasingly clear that antibiotics should be considered a precious resource to be conserved and not squandered in a fruitless attempt to stop every sniffle and sore throat. 

 

Quite often in medicine, a procedure or medication designed for one condition also provides collateral benefits for something entirely different. For example, some of the drugs used to treat men’s prostate enlargement also helps restore their hair growth. Oral contraceptives may also treat some cases of acne. So it does not come entirely as a surprise that surgery originally designed to help the seriously obese lose weight also offers a drug-free assist in the management of adult-onset (Type-2) diabetes.

There are several kinds of bariatric surgery, with varying levels of invasiveness, cost, and potential risks. They include the placement of an adjustable band that restricts the size of the stomach (gastric banding); sleeve gastrectomy, in which part of the stomach is removed to permanently reduce its capacity; and gastric bypass surgery, in which the first few feet of small intestine are bypassed in order to reduce the absorption of some nutrients.

 

Perhaps you remember the days when you were told to avoid not only saturated animal fats but also palm and coconut oil because they contained high amounts of artery-clogging saturated fat. Yet the thinking on coconut oil is changing, as it appears to have a number of health benefits, perhaps especially for people with diabetes. Let’s be clear up front what we’re talking about: virgin, organic, nonhydrogenated coconut oil, which is a solid when cool. Mounds and piña coladas don’t qualify. According to Judy Shishmanian, RD, CDE, coordinator of the Center for Diabetes Management at St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers in Poughkeepsie, coconut oil has unique properties. For example, although it is a saturated fat, like animal fats, coconut oil contains high levels of what are called medium chain fatty acids, which behave somewhat differently from most dietary fats. Unlike animal fats, these are small enough to enter a cell’s mitochondria where energy is produced.     
Carola Lott

As we reported several weeks ago, spring 2012 promises to be an especially dangerous season for tick-borne diseases, especially Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis. Because the white-footed mouse population has crashed, owing to a dearth of acorns, the black-legged ticks (borrelia burgdorferi) that normally get their “blood meal” from the mice are looking for another source—quite likely ourselves or our pets. 

To find out how to protect our animals, we talked to Dr. Paul Schwartz at the Center for Veterinary Care, who told us that the tick-related diseases increase year. Once Lyme was the most common tick-borne disease, but since 1995–1996, ehrlichiosis, now called anaplasmosis, has grown to surpass Lyme. Moreover, many animals have both organisms, which makes them much worse off.

 

 

Our New Plague
Carola Lott

As if the black-legged tick isn’t enough of a problem, a new pest looms on the horizon: the tiger mosquito. The creature arrived in this country in 1985, stowed away in a shipment of tires bound for Houston. From Texas it made its way eastward to the Carolinas, and then north to Virginia and Maryland, where it found much to like, especially in urban areas. Last year it appeared in Manhattan as well as in Westchester and Rockland counties. Now it is on its way here. 

According to Dr. Shannon L. LaDeau, community ecologist at the Cary Institute, Aedes albopictus, to give it its proper name, is not your ordinary mosquito. The distinctive white bands on its legs are one way to identify it. That it bites at all hours of the day—unlike other mosquitoes, which bite only at dawn and dusk—is a quicker and easier way to recognize it.