Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 6, 2014
Recent research suggests that eating more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day would be worth your while.
It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are good for you. But are you eating enough of them?
Fruits and vegetables contain a unique combination of nutrients and healthy compounds, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Diets rich in these plant-based foods are associated with a reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and macular degeneration; increased energy and stamina; and a bevy of other health benefits. Five servings of fruits and vegetables per day is a good start, but recent research suggests that adding a few more servings would be worth your while.
What’s the Evidence?
Below is just a sampling of recent research that supports the recommendation of eating more fruits and vegetables.
Read More »
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 5, 2014
David is getting his heart health back on track.
You’ve probably heard this statistic before – heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women. Yet many of us may not pay attention to this statistic, believing a healthy diet and plenty of exercise are adequate protection from heart disease. However, paying attention to your risk factors also is key in preventing heart disease.
David Wang was in his forties, a healthy eater, and a regular at the gym. David also had high cholesterol, a fact which, unaddressed, led to serious consequences. During a business trip, David started experiencing sweaty palms, numb fingertips, and shortness of breath – classic heart attack symptoms. With no family history of heart disease, he thought he was having an allergic reaction. But colleagues brought him to an emergency room, where a physician confirmed he was having a heart attack.
Read More »
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital March 4, 2014
Thanks to increased awareness, the death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping for more than 20 years.
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the U.S., with about 143,000 new patients diagnosed in the U.S. last year. But thanks to increased awareness about screenings, the death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping for more than 20 years.
“For the most part, colorectal cancer is a curable and preventable disease,” says Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt, clinical director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. “It is a cancer where we have very good data that shows screening prevents disease and saves lives.”
Read More »
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 27, 2014
Today’s blog post was written by Nicole Durand PT, DPT, a physical therapist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Department of Rehabilitation, 850 Boylston St, Chestnut Hill, MA.
Women have a greater chance of becoming knock-kneed, due to their typically wider hips.
Knock-kneed and bowlegged are terms used to describe an individual’s gait or stance. A person who is knock-kneed has a medical condition known as a valgus deformity, an outward rotation of the tibia (distal leg bone) on the femur (proximal leg bone). Bowlegged describes a medical condition known as a varus deformity, an inward rotation of the tibia resulting in a leg that looks like it is bowed out. Both conditions can lead to misalignments of the hip or knee, potentially causing injury and knee pain among today’s active adults. Taking the proper precautions and preparing yourself and your joints for your sport or desired workout can help prevent injury.
Read More »
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 26, 2014
Calorie information soon will be posted outside vending machines.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you soon will be seeing calorie information posted outside vending machines. The new law, expected to take effect later this year, applies to companies that own 20 or more vending machines and is expected to affect more than five million machines nationwide.
Hopefully, having such information readily available will help people make better decisions about their vending machine purchases. Currently, customers typically only get to see this information after purchasing an item.
Details regarding sodium, saturated fat, and sugar, however, will not need to be posted. Unfortunately, the majority of products in vending machines are often laden with these potentially unhealthy ingredients. Perhaps a better solution would be to entirely forgo vending machines and use other strategies to feed yourself during the day. These include:
Read More »
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 25, 2014
The National Institute of Medicine says that “every cell has a sex.” This means that men and women are different, at least physiologically, all the way down to the molecular and cellular levels. But, according to Dr. Paula Johnson, Executive Director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, these biologic differences are often ignored when designing medical studies, and even when valuable gender-specific findings are in our hands, we often fail to apply the knowledge. Although Dr. Johnson suggests that women’s health has suffered most from these failures, she stresses that placing greater emphasis on sex- and gender-based research and care will help reap benefits for both women’s and men’s health. Watch the following video to learn more.
Read More »
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 20, 2014
Open communication between patients and physicians can potentially lead to earlier diagnosis.
As a young primary care internist, Dr. Joseph Frolkis, Vice Chair of Primary Care in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, routinely observed what he called the “Columbo phenomenon.”
Launched in the late 1960s, actor Peter Falk played a seemingly bumbling detective named Columbo in the TV show of the same name. At the end of each episode, Columbo would catch suspects off guard while on his way out the door, asking, “Just one more thing.”
In an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Frolkis writes that the Columbo phenomenon in primary care illustrates a more benign yet important interaction between primary care physicians and their patients.
Read More »
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 19, 2014
Today’s post was contributed by Registered Dietitian Kate Sweeney, manager of the Nutrition Consultation Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and a key member of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at BWH. Kate is an accomplished triathlete and is ranked among the top 18 female triathletes, ages 30-34, in the country.
It's important to eat and drink enough before, during, and after your workouts.
Whether you are training for a marathon or just working on improving your fitness level, making sure you eat and drink enough before, during, and after your workouts is an important part of optimal sports nutrition. If you’re under-fueled for training, you may experience hunger in the middle of your workout or feel sluggish. You also may feel that you’re working hard but not seeing improvement in your strength or endurance.
To be adequately fueled for each workout session, snacking between meals and eating during training is often required. Being consistent with your nutrition before, during, and after training sessions also is key to training and success on athletic event days.
Here are some guidelines:
Pre-workout snacks provide energy, add to glycogen stores, and decrease risk for low blood glucose levels. If you are planning a workout lasting one hour or more, or your workout is of high intensity, a smaller meal of 50 grams carbohydrate two to three hours before, or a snack of 15-25 grams carbohydrate one hour before can be consumed.
Read More »
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 18, 2014
John is happy to be back at his antique clock shop after emergency heart surgery at BWH.
John Bain, 71, of Brookline, MA, recently had emergency heart surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and his surgical team didn’t need to give him a single drop of red blood. As contradictory as it may seem, it took a lot of donors – and a lot of teamwork – to help make that happen.
While visiting his cardiologist, Dr. Brian Bilchik, in the fall of 2013, John suddenly developed chest discomfort and was transported by ambulance to BWH. Dr. Bilchik ordered a CAT scan, and after examining the test results, told John that he would need immediate surgery to repair an aortic dissection – a dangerous, often fatal heart condition that involves tearing of the aorta’s inner wall. Left untreated, such a tear may quickly advance through all three layers of the aorta and rupture, leading to massive internal bleeding.
Cardiac surgeon Dr. Michael Davidson then stepped in to take John to the operating room for emergency surgery. “I had a CAT scan, and, probably an hour later, I was on the operating table,” recalls John. “It was that quick.”
Read More »
Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 14, 2014
February 14 is National Donor Day, a time to think about the significance of organ, eye, tissue, marrow, platelet, and blood donation. Consider that in the U.S. more than 120,000 are waiting for an organ, 18 people die each day while waiting for an organ, one donor can help save up to eight lives, every two seconds someone needs donated blood, and a single car accident victim can require up to 100 pints of blood. Below are just a few of many stories of how selfless donations have helped to improve or save our patients’ lives.
||Kidney Transplant Patient Advocates for Kidney Health
In the past two decades, BWH kidney transplant recipient Pauleter Stevens has become a devoted advocate for kidney health and disease prevention. A Bermuda native who works for the island’s Department of Health, Pauleter was first diagnosed with kidney failure in 1994, after a strep throat infection spread to her kidneys.
||Pancreas Transplant – Short Trip to a Big Reward
John McDermott was sitting at his desk at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he has worked as a pharmacist for more than 40 years, when he received the call in the spring of 2007 to come to BWH for a new pancreas – and become BWH’s first pancreas transplant recipient.
Read More »