Wellness

Achoo! Achoo! ...Spring Is Here!

Achoo! Achoo! ...Spring Is Here!

By Arturo Gastanaduy, MD.

A & G Pediatrics

Click aqui para español- >¡Atchis, Atchis! ¡La primavera ha llegado!

Green lawns, full bloom trees and multicolor flowers bring the pleasant sound of birds singing telling us that spring is here. However, we also will be hearing lots of sneezing, pointing out that allergic rhinitis (AR) season has also come back.

Allergic rhinitis is very common, especially in young people, affecting close to 20% of children and adolescents. It is more frequent in boys than girls and in persons with family history of allergies and maternal smoking. People with AR have three times more chances of developing asthma.

The illness is caused by hypersensitivity reaction of the nasal mucosa to foreign substances (allergens). Re-exposure produces an immediate reaction that produces vasodilation, mucosal swelling, increased mucus secretion and increased sneezing. Classical symptoms are itchy, congested nose, profuse and clear nasal discharge, frequent sneezing, loss of sense of smell, and itchy, red, teary eyes.

It is not a life-threatening illness, but it produces adverse effects on the quality of life of affected persons. It has been associated with sinus infections, asthma attacks, disturbed sleep, snoring, tiredness, poor school performance, puffy dark circles under eyes, mouth breathing, dental malocclusion, and transversal nasal crease.

Historically, allergic rhinitis was classified as seasonal or perennial. Seasonal was usually caused by tree, grass or ragweed pollens while perennial was caused by indoor allergens, like animal dander, house dust mites and mold spores. The World Health Organization has classified AR based on duration of symptoms as intermittent (<4 days/week or <4 weeks/year) and, persistent (>4 days/week or >4 weeks/year). This classification is more helpful to develop a management plan. Diagnosis of AR is based on medical history and physical exam, and occasionally specific tests are needed. AR is a chronic condition and there is no cure for it; nevertheless, it can be controlled, resulting in better quality of life of affected individuals.

Every person is unique, and the symptoms are variable, therefore, treatment must be individualized and may need to be modified. Do not expect a “magic pill” from the doctor, but instead ask for a treatment plan and how to evaluate it. Most likely, the plan will include changes at home and of life style to decrease exposure to allergens, some medications like nasal corticosteroids, non-sedating oral antihistamines, etc.

Most of the patients can be managed by their primary care doctor. Sometimes referral to an allergist may be necessary.

Do You Really Need that Expensive Cleanse?

Do You Really Need that Expensive Cleanse?

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >¿Realmente necesitas esa limpieza costosa?

With spring approaching, our bodies naturally begin a process of renewal. During this time of the year, many may also consider a whole-body cleanse. Before starting an expensive program, consider these alternative ways to support the body without the price tag.

  1. Eliminate Toxins Sweating is a way in which our bodies expel toxins. Aside from exercise, a few options to detox are to utilize a steam room or sauna. Ask your gym about these amenities!
  2. Control Incoming Toxins Eat organic or consume foods not heavily sprayed with pesticides. Lowering the toxin load on the body can have a tremendous effect on how you feel. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen." These lists of fruits and vegetables are tested yearly to determine the number of pesticides each product contains. Even if some people cannot afford organic, they can avoid heavily sprayed foods listed at the top of the “Dirty Dozen” list and choose foods that are locally grown. Check out www.ewg.org for 2019 listings.
  3. Remove Toxins with Food One way is to add cilantro to your smoothies, salads, or meals. The body releases toxins that may recirculate in the blood unless they bind to something to be carried out. Cilantro is a fantastic herb that acts as a magnet or “binder” to toxins like heavy metals and safely removes them from the body.

As always, consult a medical or health professional before starting a detox or cleanse program.

 

Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself

By Patricia Prychodny

Click aqui para español- >¡Cree en ti!

Never give up on your dreams.

Aiming to attain our dream allows us to reach high and far. Remember that success always comes with its ups and downs, but only you decide where you want to stop.

By overcoming life’s challenges and by acting in accordance with your decisions and desires you will rise above and achieve all of your goals.

You must have the strength to persevere. You will become so great that you will feel proud of who you are.

Life will give you many tests, but the most beautiful thing is that the universe will listen to your requests. When you feel that you are alone, remember that you have the most beautiful beings of light called angels that support you and are always with you, emanating their best energies for you to receive them.

Try to always be attentive to the signals that these angels are constantly sending you, guiding you and telling you to keep moving forward, to not give up on what you want and what you believe in, and to never limit how far you will go.

You can achieve your life goals! That power is unique and if you let that light carry you through, your knowledge and wisdom will open you up to an unimaginable dimension. Always remember how great you are. Remember your value, trust your heart, and reach the peak that you desire so much.

This is how you can build the foundation and the staircase to achieving your goals. Believe in yourself! These messages are the best advice I have to offer.

Always be reminded that you can achieve much more than you think.

It’s Mardi Gras Season! Have fun but be careful!

It’s Mardi Gras Season! Have fun but be careful!

By Arturo Gastanaduy, MD.

A & G Pediatrics

Click aqui para español- >¡En temporada de Mardi Gras, diviértase con cuidado!

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday in French, is the last day of Carnival. The season is celebrated with King Cakes, gold, purple and green decorations, costumes, masks, bead necklaces, parades, and parties with lots of delicious foods and drinks.

New Orleans has a long tradition of Mardi Gras celebration and it is one of the most famous in the world. The first parade was in 1837, the first float appeared in 1857 and beads in 1900. Mardi Gras season is a lot of fun, but there are some common health problems associated with it.

Trauma: Bruises, cuts, sprains, concussions, dislocations, and even fractures caused by trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents, projectiles, etc. The most common ones are smashed fingers, sprained ankles, wrist fractures, and head or face contusions caused by projectile bead bags. Elbow subluxation and eye scratches also occur. Tendinitis and feet friction blisters are frequent in dancers and marching band members. Watch your footing, be aware of the curbs, fences, potholes, projectiles, moving vehicles, etc. Be sure that children’s ladders are well designed and placed in a safe spot at least 6 feet inside the curb. Wear comfortable previously used shoes with double socks (thinner inside). Pay attention to your children and minimize cell phone use.

Exposure:

Cold injuries, sunburns and dehydration may occur, especially in children. Plenty of water, sunscreen and layered clothing to adjust to weather changes are recommended.

Foreign bodies:

Every pediatrician in New Orleans has had to remove beads from ears and noses of children. The procedure could be easy or traumatic, sometimes requiring an ear nose and throat consultant. Infants and small children have a high risk of choking with a bead or small toy like a king cake doll. Prevent little children playing with small objects.

Gastrointestinal Problems:

Parties, outside cooking, previously prepared meals, multiple food handlers and lack of bathrooms and hand-washing facilities, provide opportunities for the food to become contaminated. Food poisoning and stomach infections may occur. Sometimes outbreaks develop from a common food source. Keep food refrigerated, use disposable utensils, minimize the number of food handlers, use hand sanitizer and wash hands with water and soap whenever possible.

Drugs, alcohol, sex:

These are potential problems for adolescents. Parties with lack of supervision provide the opportunity to experiment and for risk-taking behaviors. Remember that small children can get intoxicated by partially filled cups they find lying around. Watch and counsel your children, be sure you know where they are and with whom as well as who is supervising them.

Making Healthier Choices During Parade Season and Lent

Making Healthier Choices During Parade Season and Lent

By Lia Threat

Click aqui para español- >Toma decisiones saludables durante los desfiles y la cuaresma

It is already hard enough to make (and keep) New Year's resolutions, but in New Orleans, it is extra challenging with Mardi Gras season opening soon after the new year begins. So, how does one start off strong and stay resilient through the partying, parades, and king cake? Below are five tips to stay on track and manage the bulge of the season through Lent:

1.Set Intentions Setting an intention, writing it down, and seeking support are key to staying committed to goals. Start small with a goal that is attainable, such as decreasing your daily intake of added sugar.

  1. Plan If you know you will be attending parades or parties on certain days, eat light and healthily for the remainder of the week. Eat vegetables and protein-rich meals before attending any functions and choose select days you will indulge. The key is balance!
  2. Hydrate Hydration is key to not only weight loss, but also to keeping digestion on track and balancing an influx of toxins such as alcohol. If you know you will be out parading, bring plenty of water with you. Drink water before attending parades and after consuming any alcoholic beverages.
  3. Choose whole foods and short ingredient lists Fill your plates with whole foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Try to avoid overly processed and refined foods with long ingredient lists. (These usually contain toxins, preservatives, and chemicals).
  4. Look for healthier seafood dishes During Lent, when eating out or meal-planning, look for dishes that are baked, grilled or boiled over those that are deep-fried, covered in butter, cream, or heavy sauces.

Enjoy the 2019 Parade season and laissez les bon temps rouler!!

“Bronchiolitis in my baby’s daycare …What is that?”

“Bronchiolitis in my baby’s daycare …What is that?”

By Arturo Gastanaduy

A & G Pediatrics

Click aqui para español- >Bronquiolitis en la guardería de mi bebé” …¿Qué es eso

Bronchiolitis is the inflammation of the bronchioles which are the smallest airways of the lungs. This inflammation is caused mainly by a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). RSV is so highly contagious that everyone has been infected before reaching two years of age. Typical outbreaks of RSV occur yearly between November and April.

Most of the illnesses associated with RSV are mild to moderate, but the disease is more severe in infants and adults over 65 years of age. RSV causes 2 million outpatient visits and 60,000 hospitalizations per year in children and 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in senior citizens.

The illness begins with runny nose followed by sneezing, cough, congestion, fever, fast respiration and wheezing. By the third to fifth day of illness, children present difficulties while breathing, chest retractions, irritability and problems with eating and sleeping. Frightening periods of stopping breathing may occur. The length of the illness duration is about two weeks and it resolves spontaneously. Breast fed babies have milder disease.

Severe disease occurs more commonly in younger infants, premature or low-birth weight babies, and those with chronic lung or heart disease, neuromuscular disorders and immunosuppression. Common complications include viral pneumonia and ear infections and there is some association of RSV with the development of asthma.

Diagnosis can be made based on symptoms and the time of the year and can be confirmed with a nose swab sample test. There is not routinely used specific treatment for RSV infections. Therefore, supportive treatment is recommended with frequent nasal saline drops and nose suction, encouraging fluid intake, and fever control. Very sick patients may require intravenous fluids, and oxygen in hospital. Ribavirin aerosol can be used for high-risk hospitalized patients.

Infection does not produce immunity. Multiple re-infections are the rule, producing common-cold-like illness. There is no vaccine for RSV but monthly injections of RSV antibodies (Palivizumab) during the RSV season are available for high risk infants.

You could decrease the chances of RSV in your children by avoiding contact with sick people and practicing good hygiene with frequent hand washing.

It is Flu Season: Protect Yourself and your Children

It is Flu Season: Protect Yourself and your Children

By Arturo Gastanaduy, M.D.

A & G Pediatrics

Click aqui para español- >Temporada de Gripe: Protéjase y proteja a sus hijos

The “Flu” is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the Influenza viruses. It usually comes during the Fall and Winter months and attacks millions of people. Most illnesses are mild-moderate.

However, about a half million persons require hospitalization and between 12,000 and 56,000 die from it each year. People exposed to influenza become ill in 1 to 4 days with sudden onset of high fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, headache, sore throat, cough and nose congestion. The illness lasts between 7 to10 days and resolves gradually.

Influenza complications could be moderate like ear and sinus infections or severe like pneumonia, inflammation of the heart, brain, and muscles, and generalized infection. The complications are produced by the virus itself and by co-infection with other germs.

Severe disease and death are more common in infants and small children, adults over 65 years, pregnant women and persons with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.

Influenza vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the illness and its complications. Everyone older than 6 months of age should be vaccinated. Yearly immunization is needed because the viruses change with time. The best season for vaccination is the Fall.

Influenza can be diagnosed with a nose swab sample and doctors can prescribe medicines to treat it. These medicines do not prevent the disease, but they can make it less severe, and to be more effective, they should be given during the first two days of the illness.

You can prevent the spread of influenza by vaccinating yourself and your family members, and by following simple steps like covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, hand washing and avoiding contact with sick people.

Caring for a healthy Beard

Caring for a healthy beard

By Dr. Carlos Rosales

Click aqui para español->El Cuidado de la Barba

In an effort to change the trend of “metrosexuality” which originated in the 1990’s, where men overly cared for their appearances while trying to keep lean bodies, publicly admitted the need for skin and hair care products, and donned form fitting clothing, men’s care in our decade focuses on highlighting masculine traits, explaining the recent proliferation of the use of beards.

 “Uber-sexuality” is the term used to describe this new, contemporary trend encompassing men who exhibit traditional masculine qualities and accentuate the caring nature of the new man. The term comes from the German word Über, which means “above”, translating to mean “above sexuality”, reminding us of Nietzsche’s “Superman” (Übermensch): The Alpha male of the pack.

Uber-sexuality labels a man who is undoubtedly masculine but meticulously well-kept. Although the uber-sexual male does not conform to the extreme nature of metro sexuality, he is keenly aware of his image. Another fresh, trendy look that has frequented contemporary mainstream fashion is “lumber-sexuality.” Men adherent to this label maintain a long beard and exhibit their chest hair.

Lumber-sexual men outfit themselves in plaid shirts and work boots, closely mimicking the appearance of a lumberjack. These men aim to achieve that masculine look with the long beard, but they also otherwise take care of themselves. These overly “manly” tendencies have made barber shops a worldwide trend. Beard care and grooming requires expert intervention. Whether long or short, beards must be cut, washed, moisturized, and styled to maintain a “clean” look.

A beard not properly cared for can become a messy source of bacteria. Some advice for a great beard: You should have enough facial hair to avoid the scruffy-beard look. To accomplish this, you must let your beard grow for two to three months without trimming to achieve a thick appearance. Visiting a grooming expert your first few times is highly recommended, so that said expert may shape your beard correctly, as this can be quite a challenging do-it-yourself for first-timers and beginners. Remember to wash your face in the morning and at night, focusing on the skin under your beard.

Additionally, using a facial wash or scrub carefully exfoliate the skin under your beard once a week to remove the dead skin cells from underneath your beard and to avoid beard dandruff. Use special products for your beard such as conditioners and styling creams. Your beard should always look impeccable, so that it garners the right kind of attention. Brush your beard after you eat and wash it if necessary to prevent infections. Avoid handling your beard unnecessarily as bacteria is often found on your hands.

An attractive, healthy, well-kept beard is impossible to attain without resolute cleanliness being at the epicenter of your beard-grooming routine. If you are unwilling to dedicate the needed time to care for your beard, you’d be better served avoiding one altogether.

 If you are considering growing a beard, grow yours a few millimeters at a time and ask others’ opinions. Their commentary may range from ecstatic approval to unflattering rejection as beards are not for everyone, but always remember: if you like it and it feels right to you, grow it proudly and enjoy every lasting moment cultivating your beard and paving your road towards unrivaled übermensch status.

Do you dare to Botox?

Do you dare to Botox?

By Dr. Carlos Rosales

Click aqui para español->Te Atreves al Botox?

Botulinum toxin, or Botox, is a natural toxin that, when reduced, is useful in medicine. This toxin is widely recognized by its use in aesthetic medicine, but it is also used in other medical practices like neurology and gastroenterology, among others.

Botulinum toxin comes from the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria that blocks contact between the nerves and the muscles, producing a paralysis which could be deadly in a toxic situation, but is very useful when applied in small, controlled quantities.

Botulinum toxin works magic in reducing facial expression lines. The toxin is placed in different areas of the muscles, mainly on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the eyes (crow’s feet). Sometimes it is applied on the neck, chin, nose, and even the body.

When a person uses lots of facial gestures in communicating, progressive lines of expression develop which create scarring of the skin. Botox helps avoid this scarring damage and prevents wrinkles from progressing or developing.

It is important to remember that this toxin is not a filler; it is not applied to add volume but is simply injected to relax or paralyze the muscles of expression.

If Botox is injected in large quantities, it can alter the expression of the patient. The average injection amounts are between 20-50 units per session, every four to six months. The physician decides the quantity after a thorough medical evaluation.

The toxin is injected with a needle smaller than an insulin needle and the pain is minimal. These injections should always be done by a certified, trained physician.

Results can be noticed within 48 to 72 hours, revealing a fresh and pleasant look.

Botulinum toxin can be combined with other techniques for skin care. An expert can recommend the ideal treatments and procedure for each patient according to skin type, shape of the face, and stage of aging. 

Dare to try this basic tool of modern aesthetic care!

What is ALS?

What is ALS?

By AnaMaria Bech

Click para español -> ¿Qué es la ELA?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. 

The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. 

A-myo- trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no or negative. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment- "No muscle nourishment. "When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening("sclerosis") in the region.

As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies. 

Although the cause of ALS is not completely understood, the recent years have brought a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease. While there is not a cure or treatment today that halts reverses ALS, there is one FDA approved drug that modestly slows the progression of ALS. There are significant devices and therapies that can manage the symptoms of ALS that help people maintain as much independence as possible and prolong survival. There are medically documented cases of people in whom ALS 'burns out,' stops progressing or progresses at a very slow rate. 

In our city, we have a champion who is not only trying to live and thrive while dealing with this condition, but who is using his fame to raise awareness and funds for research, and to bring hope to others with ALS. Steve Gleason played for The New Orleans Saints from 2000-2008. Gleason will always be remembered for his blocked punt on the night the Louisiana Superdome reopened for the first time after Hurricane Katrina.

In January 2011 Steve was diagnosed with ALS, considered a terminal neuromuscular disease. Beyond his faith that there is a solution to heal, it is his mission to show that people can live and thrive after this diagnosis. Steve and his wife, Michel, formed “Team Gleason” to help him accomplish

Those goals and more. You can help, too by visiting teamgleason.org.

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Publisher's Note

Spring Fest Time

With the warmer days ahead, everyone is ready to soak up some sun and get back to the outdoors.

Music is the center of it all. We prepare our wallets to support us during every festival coming up that brings the talented musicians on-stage and the food vendors to serve their signature creations. This month is the third edition of Top Taco, an event that has grown exponentially each time.

This event, that takes place on March 14th this year, has become a great avenue for restaurants and their business owners and for the promotion of mezcal and tequila brands. Latino cooks and restaurateurs have been able to connect to the New Orleans community, and Top Taco has allowed exposure to many restaurants, including little mom and pop's that otherwise American residents of New Orleans would have never known.

With Agave Week happening March 10th to March 14th and its tasting events, seminars and parties at the ACE Hotel, Top Taco is sure becoming a New Orleans signature event. We are excited about its growth because it gives visibility to the growing Latino community and some of its great culture.

 Enjoy the wonderful Spring events and don't forget to tag VIVA NOLA in all your pictures!

AnaMaria