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Heath briefs for Aug. 17, 2015

WHAT: Capital Area Human Services is offering Lunch N’ Learn sessions on anxiety WHEN: Noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18 WHERE: CAHS main clinic sites — Center for Adult Behavioral Health, Building 2, 4615 Government St., Baton Rouge; Margaret Dumas Mental Health Center, Conference Room, 3843 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge; Gonzales Mental Health… Continue reading →

Pole dancing a fitness fad for people of all ‘walks of life, shapes, sizes and fitness levels’

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Dakota Fox, right, of Aradia Pole Dance & Fitness Studio in Cary, North Carolina, teaches a power tricks pole class to Casey Leigh Jordan, of Foxy Fitness in New York City, during the International Pole Convention in New Orleans.

It might be hard to wrap your mind around — not to mention your arms, legs and spine. But pole dancing has become a fitness fad right up there with Zumba and CrossFit, providing a high-intensity, low-impact all-around workout. At the recent International Pole Convention in New Orleans, attendees said pole fitness combines… Continue reading →

East Jefferson property transfers, May 28 to June 1

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Byron F. McCaughey and Tiffany J. McCaughey sold this home at 512 Athania Parkway in Metairie to Brian R. McKee for $349,000.

EAST JEFFERSON Transfers for May 28 to June 1 COLONIAL CLUB DRIVE 233: $315,000, Robert H. James and Lisa S. James to Joseph R. Mahar. HICKORY AVE. 1500: $285,000, 40th St. Realty LLC to Jack Iskander. SAMS AVE. 1420: $15,500,000, CN Craig Neville LLC to 1420 Sams Avenue… Continue reading →

Walking 10,000 steps a day is great, but how you reach that healthy goal varies greatly

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Pam Shaffer walks more than 10,000 steps a day, tracking it on her Fitbit and smart phone. She often walks and runs 15,000 to 20,000 steps by walking a mile on a walking track at work during her breaks.

Walking 10,000 steps in a day has become a standard mark of a healthy lifestyle, endorsed by activity trackers like the Fitbit or Jawbone, as well as weight-loss websites and the American Heart Association. But that number — 10,000 steps — wasn’t established by any scientific study, says Catrine Tudor-Locke, director of the Walking Behavior Research… Continue reading →

Trackers for walking are great, but they all keep tabs on activity differently

Activity trackers, like Fitbit, make it easy to keep track of steps during a day. And while it suggests taking 10,000 steps a day, that isn't a magic bullet.

There are dozens of ways to count your steps, from mechanical pedometers to computerized fitness trackers. Nearly all of them work well enough to monitor your daily activity, says Catrine Tudor-Locke, director of the Walking Behavior Research Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. “They measure differently,” Tudor-Locke says. “You yourself can go out and get… Continue reading →

Alzheimer's Q&A, June 15, 2015

My mother has had several spells of low energy and listlessness. My physician tells me is due to dehydration. How can I make sure she is properly hydrated? It is very important for your mom to stay hydrated as dehydration can cause organ failure and death if ignored. Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, no urine… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, June 15, 2015

How often should I see my gynecologist for a Pap smear? A Pap smear test can detect the cells that line the cervix and may be abnormal. An abnormal Pap smear can be the sign of many different conditions, many benign, or a sign of cervical cancer. It is important for women to have Pap… Continue reading →

No kidding: Blood pressure can be a serious issue for children; experts recommend regular checks at younger age

Advocate staff photo by KYLE PEVETO --Taylor McCready, 6, of Burnside, gets his blood pressure checked at the 5th Annual Cabela's Blood Pressure 4 Kids Fishing Derby. Five in 100 youngsters have higher-than-normal blood pressure.

High blood pressure isn’t just a problem for grown-ups. Five in 100 children have higher-than-normal blood pressure, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Usually, there is some underlying cause, such as an illness or other medical condition. But for children 7 and older, half of all hypertension is caused by obesity,… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, June 8, 2015

What does the term “late effects” mean? Late effects is the term used to refer to side effects from cancer treatments that might not show up right away. According to the National Cancer Institute, a late effect is a health problem that occurs months or years after a disease is diagnosed or after treatment has ended.… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, June 8, 2015

How can I handle my father-in-law who urinates in inappropriate places? When a loved one has Alzheimer’s, impaired judgment makes it increasingly difficult to redirect one’s urge to urinate in appropriate places. Since the disease prevents your father-in-law from understanding he is doing something improper, or from learning not to continue doing it, it is important… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, June 1, 2015

When is National Cancer Survivors Day? “National Cancer Survivors Day, an annual celebration of life that is held in hundreds of communities throughout the world, is traditionally held on the first Sunday in June. According to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation website, “participants unite in a symbolic event to show the world that… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, June 1, 2015

My dad is somewhat resistant to hiring a caregiver. How can I choose good in-home care for him? It is difficult to explain to an individual he can no longer live independently and needs assistance from an outside caregiver. Moreover, having a new person — a stranger — in his home makes him feel uneasy… Continue reading →

sunburning questions

A woman sunbathes in a beach in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, May 15, 2015. The Iberian Peninsula has experienced record high temperatures for May as thermometers shot up to levels normally only seen in midsummer. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) ORG XMIT: EM101

As the days get longer, the outdoors beckon. But longer days also mean stronger rays. Today marks the unofficial start of summer, and getting outside doesn’t mean you have to get a sunburn. Avoiding the sun’s damage can prevent skin cancer — the nation’s most common type of cancer, affecting one in five Americans, according… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, May 25, 2015

Why does my husband, who has had Alzheimer’s for over three years, constantly accuse me of infidelity? One of the most common types of delusions, false accusations of infidelity, are oftentimes seen in later stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The affected person is feeling insecure and experiences great anxiety over things happening in his/her life that cannot… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, May 25, 2015

Are there different types of brain tumors? Brain tumors occur when cells grow abnormally in the tissues of the brain. These growths can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors usually have clear borders, grow slowly and do not spread to other tissue. Malignant tumors are cancerous growths that can grow rapidly… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, May 11, 2015

It is totally uncharacteristic for my mom who has dementia to be cursing. How do I cope with this new personality trait? The dementia is robbing your mother’s ability to “filter” her words and inhibit her behavior. The inappropriate language erupts, oftentimes spontaneously, to the surprise of family and friends. Swearing can cause great… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, May 11, 2015

What type of sunscreen should I be using? The most important thing to look for when buying sunscreen is the term broad-spectrum. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Anyone over the age of 6 months should use sunscreen daily to help lower their risk of skin cancer and to protect their skin.… Continue reading →

Fit to the Core: Health guru advocates strong midsection for long-lasting function, avoiding injuries, back pain and keeping mobile

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Beginner Alternate Arm and Leg: 1. Start on your hands and knees.

A strong midsection doesn’t always look like washboard abs. Working on core muscles can guard against injuries and back pain and help you stay mobile as you get older, preaches Bill Gvoich, an exercise specialist who focuses on improving quality of life. “The body works as a unit, but the core is the strongest part,”… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, May 4, 2015

Do children get skin cancer? While pediatric skin cancer is rare, it is not unheard of. In addition, it is important to protect your children’s skin from the sun, as one blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles the chance of developing melanoma later in life. Non-blistering sunburns also increase the risk for melanoma and… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, May 4, 2015

Is excessive crying normal in Alzheimer’s disease? As the disease progresses and cognitive functions decline, some affected individuals may cry excessively, oblivious as to whether it is an inappropriate expression of emotion or not. He/she cannot control the display of emotions and sometimes finds it difficult to regain normal composure. The crying may or… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 27, 2015

What can you tell me about multiple myeloma? Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood that specifically affects plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight off disease. If a plasma cell becomes abnormal and begins to replicate, it becomes a myeloma cell. When these myeloma… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 27, 2015

My sister’s friends seemed to have stopped visiting as often as they were before she developed Alzheimer’s. Should I take the initiative and take my sister to visit them? It is not uncommon for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia to experience social isolation because of withdrawal from friends and other important people in their lives. Well-meaning… Continue reading →

Feed Your Brain: New research suggests diet can reduce Alzheimer’s risk

Staff Photo by LIZ CONDO. Photo shot on 11/14/2007.  Trax no. 00009687A / Spinach Salad for Corrine Cook's Eat Your Veggies.

Seeing a grandparent die of Alzheimer’s disease had a strong effect on Dr. Gerald Calegan. “I watched it in slow motion as I was growing up,” said Calegan, a neurologist at Baton Rouge’s The Neuromedical Center. That personal connection led Calegan to delve into new research connecting diet to Alzheimer’s, a form of… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, April 20, 2015

What can you tell me about kidney cancer? Kidney cancer forms in the tiny tubes inside of the kidneys. These tubes, when functioning properly, filter and clean your blood, taking out waste products and making urine. While there are different types of kidney cancer, around 85 percent of cases are renal cell carcinomas. Symptoms… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, April 20, 2015

My father is in end-stage Alzheimer’s and we would like to start the process to donate his brain for pathology studies. How do we get started in Louisiana? According to some Gallup studies, as much as 96 percent of Americans support organ and tissue donation, but do not understand the process. There is no brain… Continue reading →

Asthma kills 9 in U.S. every day: Louisiana teen’s death drives mother to organize walk for awareness

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Dianne Stallings holds a photograph of her late son, Marvin Stallings Jr., who died from an asthma attack in 2013. Since his death, Dianne Stallings has started TUFF, Turn Up For Fat, Marvin Jr.'s nickname, to raise awareness about the condition.

Marvin Stallings Jr. struggled with asthma all his life. It prevented “Fat” — his nickname after weighing 9 pounds at birth — from playing football, and he carried his inhaler everywhere. But his family never thought an asthma attack would be fatal. “This particular time he was fine,” said his mother, Dianne… Continue reading →