News + Views

Back-to-School Medical Musts


To Your Health







(Family Features) It’s the time of year when school supply lists, new shoes and first-day photos are on every parent’s checklist. Back-to-school season is also the time when pre-teens should receive the tetanus-diphtheria-acelluar pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, the HPV vaccine and meningococcal vaccines to get the best protection from serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

Protecting Your Child

In the United States, approximately 30,000 cancers caused by HPV are diagnosed each year. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by infection with high-risk types of HPV. The virus also has been linked to five other types of cancer.

It is estimated that 79 million Americans are currently infected and that there are 14 million new HPV infections each year. Many people who are infected will never know it. However, there is a safe and effective tool to prevent this cancer burden – the HPV vaccine.

Cancer Prevention

The HPV vaccine prevents the nine types of HPV that cause 90 percent of all cervical cancers and pre-cancers, as well as most cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus and throat. It also helps prevent infection by the two types of HPV that cause most genital warts. However, the vaccine works only if given well before an infection occurs. That’s why, in part, the American Cancer Society recommends that boys and girls get the vaccine at ages 11-12 to achieve the best immune response and most complete coverage against cancer-causing strains of HPV.

Despite the power of the HPV vaccination to prevent cancers caused by HPV, in 2015, only 28 percent of boys and 42 percent of girls completed the series. Many boys and girls in the United States are not getting the HPV vaccine and are missing the protection it could provide.

More than 200 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been distributed worldwide, with more than 80 million doses in the U.S. Safety monitoring of the vaccine in 80 countries has revealed that most side effects were mild and similar to those seen with any other vaccine.

For more information, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

Bark For Life of DeKalb County, Blackburn Park, Atlanta, GA, June 9, 2012

HPV 101

  • HPV is short for human papilloma virus.
  • HPV’s are a large group of related viruses, each of which is given a number called an HPV type.
  • Most HPV types cause warts on skin of the arms, chests, hands and feet.
  • Genital HPV types are found on mucous membranes, such as the vagina, anus, mouth and throat, rather than on skin.
  • Cancers linked to HPV infection include: cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, mouth and throat.
  • HPV is common. Most men and women who have ever had sex will get HPV at some point in their lives, but in most cases it goes away without treatment.
  • There is no treatment for HPV, but there are treatments for the cell changes that HPV can cause.
  • Most HPV infections that lead to cancer can be prevented with vaccines, and most cervical cancers can be prevented with regular screenings.

HPV Vaccine Facts and Fears

As a way to help protect children from getting cancer as they get older, the American Cancer Society recommends HPV vaccines as a safe and effective practice. However, there are myths and rumors surrounding the potentially life-saving vaccine.

The vaccine is safe.

While it may make some people dizzy and nauseated following injection, the vaccine rarely causes bad side effects. Instead, there may be common side effects like pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given.

The vaccine doesn’t cause fertility problems.

Research shows that HPV vaccines don’t cause fertility problems, and can actually help protect women from future fertility problems linked to cervical cancer.

The vaccine doesn’t contain harmful ingredients.

Some parents may worry about the presence of aluminum in the vaccine, but it’s a safe amount. Vaccines containing aluminum have been in use for years and used on more than 1 billion people.

The vaccine is for males and females.

While cervical cancer is one of the main cancers caused by HPV, the HPV vaccine is for both males and females. There are also cancers found in men that can be caused by HPV, including cancers of the anus, penis, throat and tongue.

Ages for Vaccination

To increase the chances of successful vaccination, the American Cancer Society recommends the following:

  • Routine HPV vaccination for girls and boys should start at ages 11-12. The vaccination series can be started as early as age 9.
  • HPV vaccination is also recommended for females 13-26 years old and males 13-21 years old who have not started the vaccines, or who have started but not completed the series. Males 22-26 years old may also be vaccinated. However, it is important for people 22-26 years old who have not started the vaccines or completed the series to know that the vaccination at older ages can be less effective in lowering cancer risk.
  • HPV vaccination is also recommended through age 26 for men who have sex with men and for people with weakened immune systems (including people with HIV), if they have not previously been vaccinated.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (doctor and patient)



August 16, 2017 |

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Mattress


To Your Health







(Family Features) When it comes to buying a mattress, individual needs and preferences vary across the board. Just like there is no “one size fits all” for jeans, there is not one mattress for everyone. What might be comfortable and supportive for one person may not be the best fit for someone else.

Having a wide variety of options is key to picking out your new mattress because you can mix and match different levels of comfort with size and adjust your pick based on your sleeping position and surrounding factors. When choosing the mattress that’s best for you, consider these factors.


The basic mattress sizes include twin, full, queen, king and California king. Choosing a size depends on the amount of space you have available, whether or not you share your bed with a significant other and personal preference. Think about your current sleeping situation and if you’re happy with the amount of space you have to sleep. If you’re fighting for space with your partner, it might be time to think about upgrading to a larger size. If your room is small and your bed is taking over the space, downsizing might be a good option.

Comfort Level

Mattresses come in all different levels of comfort ranging from firm to plush to pillow top as well as contoured and personalized. To provide a variety of comfort levels for mattress shoppers, Mattress Firm offers a Comfort by Color system that categorizes levels of comfort to help customers shop in their comfort zone.

“The Comfort by Color system makes it easy for customers to come into a store and immediately see which mattresses fall into the category they’re looking for,” Mattress Firm CEO Ken Murphy said. “Whether they’re looking for a pillow top or a firm mattress, the variety of options helps customers pick a bed that’s specifically tailored to their needs.”

Sleeping Position

Another important factor to consider when choosing a mattress is your sleep position. Knowing whether you are a front, back, stomach or side sleeper, or move around frequently throughout the night, will help you narrow down your options and choose a mattress that accommodates your needs. For example, side sleepers might get better sleep with a plush or pillow top mattress that supports the spine’s natural curve versus a mattress with a firmer comfort level.


Temperature plays a role in how you sleep, and it’s not limited to hot summer temperatures. Heavy comforters, heat settings and even your mattress can affect the quality of your sleep. While pillow tops and traditional memory foam can make for a warmer night’s sleep, Serta’s iComfort mattresses contain cooling technology to help you sleep at a comfortable temperature all night long. If you naturally heat up in your sleep, cooling technology may be something to consider.


If you experience any sort of pain – especially while you sleep – your mattress can either help or hurt that pain. For example, if you have lower back pain, you may need a firmer mattress to help keep your back aligned. By identifying any pain you have and being transparent when shopping, you can find the right mattress to help alleviate discomfort and improve your sleep.

For more information, visit


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

August 9, 2017 |

Focus on Nutrition: 5 Ways to Add More Nutrients to Your Lifestyle


To Your Health








(Family Features) A nutritious diet is crucial for overall health and well-being. While it’s OK to indulge from time to time, it’s important to make sure you’re providing your body with appropriate nourishment.

There are many ways to help you add more of the essential nutrients you need into everyday meals, including these nutritious ideas from CocoaVia.

Sneak in More Fruits and Vegetables.

You can bulk up the nutritional value of nearly any meal by incorporating fruits or vegetables directly into your recipes. Pureeing veggies is a good way to disguise textures or flavors you might typically avoid. For example, celery is a natural flavor enhancer for many types of broth soup. Adding finely pureed celery to the stock will add the flavor without the crunchy bits. You can also slip vegetables like spinach or carrots into smoothies, and depending on the base and fruit, you may never even taste them. Fresh, canned or frozen, fruit can give a boost of nutrition to dishes like oatmeal or pudding. You can also use purees (think applesauce) as a low-fat substitute for eggs and oil in baked goods like cake.

Go Frozen.

Fresh fruits and vegetables provide a wealth of essential vitamins and nutrients, but you may be surprised that their frozen counterparts do the same. Frozen foods are often perceived as less nutritious, but they can contain just as many nutrients as fresh produce. In fact, since freezing often involves picking the food at its peak and then quickly freezing it, freezing can actually help retain vitamins more efficiently than refrigeration or canning; frozen vegetables can actually hold on to nutrients longer than fresh produce and are a great alternative when seasonal fruits and vegetables are unavailable. In many cases, frozen veggies also make it easy to experiment with better-for-you meals because the cleaning and prep work is already done. You can try adding them to soups, stir-fries, casseroles and even pasta dishes.

Cook Quickly.

If you’ve historically shied away from cooked vegetables, you may find that proper preparation is the secret ingredient. Not only does overcooking veggies deplete their flavor, in most cases it also diminishes their nutritional value. Cook veggies lightly and quickly using methods like stir-frying or steaming to help retain water-soluble nutrients like vitamins B and C.

Get Saucy.

You may think of dishes covered in rich gravy or sauce as unhealthy, and in some cases, you would be right. However, it’s actually quite possible to create saucy dishes that taste terrific. Both tomato sauce and pesto add nutrients and can top pretty much anything, from pastas to grilled chicken. Tomato sauce contains lycopene, a bright plant pigment known as a carotenoid that has been linked to a range of health benefits. Pesto is traditionally made with healthy pine nuts and basil, but you can also get creative and prepare this light sauce alternative with options such as arugula, spinach and heart-healthy walnuts or pecans.

Consider Cocoa Flavanols.

Another option to consider adding to your diet is cocoa flavanols. These plant-based phytonutrients are found naturally in cocoa, and research supports that these flavanols work within your body to help maintain healthy blood flow. While chocolate, including dark chocolate and natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder, can be sources of cocoa flavanols, they are often not a reliable source of cocoa flavanols. The way cocoa is handled matters in the retention of these phytonutrients. However, one easy way to add cocoa flavanols to your routine is by incorporating a daily cocoa extract supplement, such as CocoaVia, which contains the highest concentration available in a cocoa extract supplement today. The supplement can be added to the food or beverage of your choice, like a Chocolate-Chai Smoothie or coffee. Visit for more information about cocoa flavanols and ideas for adding them to your diet.

Chocolate-Chai Smoothie

Makes: 1 smoothie


1/2       cup boiling water

1          chai-flavored tea bag

1/2       cup fat-free milk

1          tablespoon honey

ice cubes

1          packet CocoaVia Unsweetened Dark Chocolate (or Sweetened Dark Chocolate) supplement


In measuring cup with pour spout, pour boiling water over tea bag. Let steep 5 minutes; remove tea bag.

Pour milk and tea into blender; add honey, a handful of ice and cocoa extract supplement. Cover and blend until smooth.

Nutritional information per serving: 130 calories; 1 g total fat; 50 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 24 g sugar; 5 g protein; 375 mg cocoa flavanols.

The Truth About Chocolate

While there are many misconceptions about chocolate, especially when it comes to its health benefits, these facts from the experts at CocoaVia set the record straight on some of the most common chocolate myths.


  1. Chocolate contains powerful antioxidants.

Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, does contain cocoa flavanols, phytonutrients which numerous scientific studies have demonstrated have a positive impact on health. However, cocoa flavanols are not antioxidants. While not antioxidants, cocoa flavanols have been shown to have positive effects on health that are linked to their ability to support the health and function of your blood vessels.

  1. Chocolate is good for your heart.

Chocolate can be part of a healthy diet, but it is not a health food. Even if chocolate is high in cocoa flavanols, the calories, fat and sugar leave it best-suited as an occasional indulgence.

  1. Chocolate containing 70 percent cacao or greater is good for you.

The percentage of cacao is not a reliable indicator of a product’s cocoa flavanol content. Unfortunately, there is also no way of knowing exactly how many cocoa flavanols are in a conventional chocolate product because traditional cocoa processing, which includes fermenting, drying and roasting of beans, destroys many of the flavanols naturally present in the cocoa bean.

  1. Chocolate is high in caffeine.

Chocolate does contain caffeine, but an average 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate contains less than half the amount of caffeine found in an average cup of black tea. The amount of caffeine in chocolate is in proportion to the percentage of cacao in the product, meaning milk chocolate contains less caffeine than semi-sweet or dark chocolate.


Content courtesy of CocoaVia

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (man and woman in kitchen)

August 2, 2017 |

5 Essential Skincare Tips for Baby


To Your Health








(Family Features) When it comes to parenting, there’s no one-child-fits-all handbook. There are times when caring for a little one can be a far cry from the snuggles and smiles that make it all worthwhile.

Healthy skin is critical to a baby’s long-term health and happiness, and it can impact both baby and family quality of life. Caring for a baby’s skin from birth helps avoid skin conditions such as diaper rashes, eczema and other irritations, which are often the source of many sleepless nights.

With these simple tips from the baby and child skin care experts at Mustela, having a happy, healthy baby isn’t as challenging as it may seem.

Diaper changing

Aside from the obvious odor-reducing reasons, prompt diaper changes are an important part of keeping your baby healthy. A soiled diaper may be uncomfortable, but even more importantly, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria and skin irritation. Keep diaper cream on-hand to treat any irritations that arise and use it on a regular basis to prevent future outbreaks.

Protecting baby’s skin

Research has shown that a baby’s skin is extremely fragile during the first two years of life, which is when the skin is developing its protective barrier. To help protect and maintain those precious cells that are responsible for a lifetime of healthy skin, Mustela’s baby skin care products are formulated with Avocado Perseose, a patented natural ingredient, which protects the natural cellular richness of the skin. Keep baby’s skin healthy by moisturizing daily with a lotion such as one from Mustela’s four baby lines, which are formulated with natural ingredients to meet the needs of normal, dry, eczema-prone and very sensitive skin types.

Cradle cap

Cradle cap can cause crusty, yellow patches to form on your baby’s head that can be a bit unsettling and unsightly, but with a little extra care they can be easily eliminated. The key to keeping your baby’s scalp healthy is to prevent cradle cap from the beginning rather than just treat the symptoms. Look for a baby shampoo designed for cradle cap that allows you to massage the scalp and a soft brush to use after bath time to keep your baby’s head clean.

Bath time

Bath time is a great opportunity for parents to bond with their baby, even while taking care of necessary business. For some babies, the water can be scary, so be sure to use a cheerful, reassuring tone to soothe nerves. Also ensure your baby is well supported, not only for safety, but for an added sense of security. Though you may think you need to bathe your baby daily, many pediatricians recommend bathing 2-3 times a week to keep skin from becoming dehydrated and protect natural moisture levels. Using a baby micellar water is an easy way to keep skin clean between baths and on-the-go without stripping it of natural protective oils.

Sun protection

Without proper care, harmful sun rays and radiation can affect your child’s skin not only now but also in the long-term. Limiting time outside, using sun-blocking shades and applying sunscreen can all help mitigate the risks. Look for sunscreen that is formulated for babies as it can better protect from sun damage without irritating their delicate skin. Consult your pediatrician before using sunscreen on babies younger than 6 months. Also, remember perspiration and water can reduce sunscreen’s effectiveness and reapplying at least every two hours offers continuous protection.

Find more ways to care for your baby at


Photo courtesy of Isobel Benesch, @Belandbeau

July 26, 2017 |

A Top-Ranked Job Choice


To Your Health








Work-life balance, financial reward key factors for dentists

(Family Features) Figuring out the perfect career fit is a highly personal decision. One job, however, seems to stand out for offering both financial reward and work-life balance: dentist. In fact, year after year, U.S. News & World Report has identified it as the No. 1 job.

There are numerous variables that define a “great” job. Some people are motivated financially, while others prioritize work-life balance. The dental field offers both of these benefits and more.

Flexible location. Dentists are needed virtually everywhere. In fact, hundreds of counties across the country are known as a “dental deserts,” meaning they have been classified as a dental health professional shortage area by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Support systems. Many new dentists are surprised by how much of their workload involves tasks outside their area of expertise and interest. However, dental support organizations like Aspen Dental Management, Inc. help dentists with front-office support, staffing, marketing and other non-clinical tasks so dentists can focus on patient care. This approach helps to ensure dentists are also able to develop their careers and pursue practice ownership, all while maintaining a positive work-life balance. Learn more at

Salary and stature. Years of training tend to pay off for dentists. The average salary for a dentist is $173,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dentists also tend to command respect for their expertise due to their education and training, similar to others in the medical field.

Community service. Because oral health is a critical part of overall health, dentists are directly contributing to an improved quality of life in their communities. This is especially true of those who are part of a dental support organization like Aspen Dental Management, Inc. that gives dentists and team members an opportunity to provide free dental care to veterans through its Healthy Mouth Movement. These dentists are also able to increase the amount of time they deliver dental services and at lower prices, thereby improving access to dental care to wider segments of the communities in which they practice.

Independence. Dental practices, including those supported by a dental support organization, are often operated by either a single dentist or small group of dentists, which allows them flexibility and autonomy.

Gender parity. Prior to 1980, women comprised less than 3 percent of all dentists, according to research published in Dental Economics. Today, women represent 27 percent of the industry, and this shift is quickly becoming more pronounced as almost half of all recent dental school graduates are female, according to the American Dental Association. In fact, 40 percent of dentists at Aspen Dental-branded practices are women.

Considering that most people spend the majority of every week at work, it’s important to find the right mix for fulfillment that goes beyond a paycheck, and the benefits for dentists who are part of dental support organizations can lead to greater potential job satisfaction.


July 19, 2017 |

Simplify Your Lifestyle this Summer


To Your Health








(Family Features) From backyard barbecues and trips to the beach to baseball games and swim meets, summer is all about family fun. It’s also an ideal time to slow down and incorporate a more mindful routine at home.

This season, prioritize a “less-is-more” lifestyle by making smart swaps, like using products with better ingredients, to simplify your life and create an even healthier home for your family. With these easy, helpful tips, you can arm yourself with the tools to spend more time focusing on family and fun.

Pick Produce, Not Processed. What you feed your family often fuels summer fun, but favorite treats like ice cream and hot dogs can be full of unwanted ingredients and added sugars. Skip prepackaged items and look for fresh, seasonal produce that can be incorporated into multiple meals throughout the day, which can also lead to a shorter grocery list and less waste. For example, you can add nutrient- and antioxidant-rich stone fruit to Greek yogurt for breakfast, mix into salsa for a snack and throw on the grill then top with whipped cream for dessert.

Focus on the Right Ingredients. Warmer temperatures and fun, outdoor activities can lead to extra stains and more laundry. It’s important to keep summer items dirt-free and smelling fresh with products you can feel good about bringing into your home. For a powerful clean without harshness to keep your summer wardrobe clean and fresh, try all fresh clean Essentials, which is formulated without sulfates and contains effective ingredients for deep cleaning the toughest stains.

Minimize Your Regimen. Take advantage of the seasonal climate to shorten your beauty routine and save time, energy and products. There’s no need to blow dry hair with warm weather – sleep in two twisted braids for beachy waves, air-dry after the shower or throw on a wide-brimmed sun hat to hide bed head. Also focus on products that do double duty: replace sticky lipsticks and gloss with tinted chapsticks that include SPF or mix in a drop of sunscreen to liquid foundation.

Simplify Cleanup. It’s easy to let the myriad rotating summer activities turn your space into an unexpected mess, so proactively prepare for the chaos by creating a cleanup kit. A clean towel, water bottle, sunscreen, change of clothes and snack in a small tote or plastic container can be left in the trunk of the car or in the garage to keep you from running around searching for supplies. This way, you’re prepared for whatever summer brings, be it spilled ketchup, an unexpected shower or even a care-free run through the backyard sprinkler.

Visit to learn more and watch videos featuring wellness expert and mom Hilaria Baldwin that focus on smart tips for living cleanly.

Content courtesy of ’all

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

July 12, 2017 |

Maharishi Ayurveda


To Your Health







Ayurvedic Practices Naturopathic medicine is a medicinal approach to the treatment of ailments that makes use of nontoxic, natural therapeutic treatments to help cure the entire person and promote the natural self-healing process in each of us. Clinicians who follow a naturopathic approach are able to treat a wide variety of symptoms, including sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue syndrome and digestive issues. As part of the therapy services that most naturopaths offer, your doctor will most likely suggest therapies for you that will help you to maintain a normal, healthy metabolism and healthy digestion during your mesothelioma treatment. In addition, the therapy should help you to be less impacted by the side effects of chemotherapy and other radiation treatment, especially fatigue or nausea.

During the intake process, you will probably meet with a naturopathic oncology provider who will go over your health history with you and recommend the natural therapy that he or she thinks will help you the best in your healing process. Also, the doctor will review any supplements that you are taking to see if he or she can improve the interactions between the herbs or drugs and your body.

Therapies that the naturopath may recommend will probably include items from the following list:

.  Dietary supplements, such as amino acids, minerals and vitamins
.  Botanical and herbal preparations, such as teas and herbal extracts
.  Hydrotherapy, which makes use of water-based therapy, such as hot and cold wraps
.  Homeopathic remedies, such as minerals and plant extracts that can help your mesothelioma treatment
.  Lifestyle counseling, such as stress reduction techniques, exercise, sleep strategies
.  Chiropractic care, which will involve hands-on treatments such as massage, stretching, traction, heat, ice and electronic muscle stimulation
.  Physical therapy and exercise therapy such as massage and similar techniques to reach the deep muscles and the joints; Ayurveda is commonly   recommended

About Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the traditional healing modality of the Vedic culture from India, said to have originated between 2000 and 5000 years ago. The word is originally from Sanskrit, and means “The knowledge of longevity” or “The wisdom of life”. Ayurvedic medicine tends to view health with a unique focus.

At first, Ayurvedic medicine was exclusively oral, being passed from one teacher down to the other. Eventually, the familiar poses were brought into play as well.

The basic principles of this medicine are that you must reach your own special balance within yourself, in mind, body and spirit. This school of thought teaches that there are three constitutional principles that make up all things: pitta, vata and kapha. Everyone has their own special blend of these three elements.

Vata is composed of air and space. It is used to regulate movement, because it is mobile, subtle and cold. Pitta is composed of fire and water. It is sharp, hot, light, liquid and oil. It is used every time the body converts or processes something. Kapha is composed of earth and water. It is heavy, cold and dull. It governs the stability and structure of the body.

For additional  information, please visit:


July 5, 2017 |
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