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February 2013

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For more information about these items, or for other media requests, contact Cleveland Clinic's Corporate Communications at 216.444.0141.

February 2013

Adjusting your Sleep to the Spring Time Change

Time will be springing forward an hour on March 10th and those that struggle with sleep loss may have more difficulty adjusting. Time change fatigue can interfere with creativity, mood and productivity for many. Jane Ehrman, M.Ed., a Behavioral Health Specialist at Cleveland Clinic, offers some helpful ways to adjust.

  1. Go to bed earlier in 15-minute increments the week before the time change. For example, on March 2nd and 3rd, go to bed 15 minutes earlier than your usual time. On March 4th and 5th, go to bed 30 minutes earlier, and so forth.
  2. To combat mid-day sleepiness, take a brisk walk, drink water, eat a healthy snack like fruit or nuts, avoid caffeinated products in the afternoon and/or take a 15-20 minute power nap before 3:00pm.
  3. Enjoy the extra daylight!

To learn more or to schedule an interview with Jane, please contact Bridget Peterlin at 216.444.5703 or peterlb@ccf.org.

Gastric Bypass Surgery puts Diabetes in Remission

A Cleveland Clinic study found that gastric bypass surgery can restore function of the pancreas and put diabetes in remission almost immediately.

Cleveland Clinic Endocrinologist, Sangeeta Kashyap, MD, led the study and says the results are stunning and offer hope to people struggling with both diabetes and weight gain.

People with diabetes on glucose-lowering drugs and insulin may have a difficult time losing weight. Because of the drugs, many gain it. Gastric bypass surgery can be an option for those unable to control their weight gain and diabetes through any other means.

Click here to read the full article. To learn more or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Kashyap, please contact Caroline Auger at 216.636.5874 or augerc@ccf.org.

Vitamin D and its many Health Benefits

Vitamin D is known for fortifying bones but has additional health benefits as well. Dr. Tanya Edwards, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine says that individuals that have the highest vitamin D levels tend to have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and certain cancers.

Other evidence is also showing that vitamin D has a positive effect on asthma and depression. Dr. Edwards says that vitamin D from sunshine can be absorbed by the skin, but if you live in the Midwest, you need extra supplements to make up for the gray days. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin D is currently 600 to 800 international units per day.

Click here to read the full article. To learn more about the benefits of vitamin D or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Edwards, please contact Jenny Popis at 216.444.8853 or popisj@ccf.org.

Things to Consider when Researching a Heart Surgeon

Dr. Joseph Sabik, MD, Chairman, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, encourages patients to take time and research when looking for a heart surgeon. Staff directory pages and publication lists are available to assist and ultimately, a patient should feel comfortable with the surgeon they select. Dr. Sabik suggests considering the following when researching a heart surgeon:

  1. Experience and specialty – Surgeons have specialties or specific interests in which they practice more frequently. Match the type of surgery that is needed with the specialty of the surgeon.
  2. Experience of the team – Heart surgery is a team activity and goes beyond just the surgeon. The team also consists of a cardiologist, anesthesiologist and nurses. Look for a surgeon that has an experienced and stable team.
  3. Hospital or setting – Research the hospital and the volume of heart surgeries it performs. Also ask if the hospital offers the support needed for successful outcomes, particularly if you have a complication and need to be transferred elsewhere for treatment.

For more information on Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular click here. To coordinate an interview with Dr. Sabik, please contact Tora Vinci at 216.444.2412 or vinciv@ccf.org.

What to Bring to Your Cardiologist Appointment

It’s important to come prepared when meeting with your cardiologist. Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist, Dr. Curtis Rimmerman suggests patients bring the following items to help make the most of the visit:

  • An explanation of your symptoms and why you are visiting.
  • A list of your cardiac risk factors and family history of cardiac issues.
  • An accurate list of your medications.
  • Any paper reports or images of prior cardiac testing, including those on CD or DVD. This can be helpful for review and should be sent to the cardiologist prior to your visit if possible.
  • List of specific questions you have for your doctor.

To coordinate an interview with Dr. Rimmerman, please contact Tora Vinci at 216.444.2412 or vinciv@ccf.org.

Returning to Work After Cancer Treatment

Going back to work can be an exhausting and emotional experience for cancer patients. Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, MD, Director of the Leukemia Program at Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute, offers some helpful tips to make the transition as smooth as possible:

  • If possible, go back to work part-time and take it slow. You may not realize or be prepared for how emotionally and physically tired you really are.
  • Prepare yourself for questions. Your colleagues will naturally ask how you are doing and may also ask if you’re cured or in remission. People don’t typically ask out of invasion of your privacy but are curious and genuinely concerned.
  • Advise your colleagues and your boss that even if you’re in remission, you’re still managing your disease and will have to go to the doctor regularly and may have to take medication.
  • Don’t hesitate to accept help if it’s offered. For instance, you may need a ride to a doctor’s appointment or need help cooking for your family. Don’t hesitate to ask for help either.

For more tips on returning to work after cancer treatment or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, please contact Tora Vinci at 216.444.2412 or vinciv@ccf.org.

Avoid Middle Ear Infections in Babies, Toddlers this Winter

Other than the common cold, ear infections are the most commonly diagnosed conditions among children in the United States. In fact, more than 75% of children have experienced a middle ear infection by the time they've turned three.

The winter months tend to lead to an increase in middle ear infections due to the spreading of germs during cold and flu season. Dr. Paul Krakovitz, a Pediatric Ear, Nose, & Throat specialist at Cleveland Clinic offers helpful tips to avoid these painful earaches.

  1. Practice good hand-washing. This can decrease the transmission of germs that cause colds that can lead to ear infections.
  2. Reduce exposure to large groups of children. Upper respiratory infections are often transmitted among children at child-care centers. The germs that cause infections often result in ear infections.
  3. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. It can increase the frequency of ear infections.
  4. Breastfeed or bottle-feed infants at an angle. This allows milk to travel down the esophagus towards the stomach rather than having them drink laying flat and risking fluid retention in the ears.

To learn more about middle ear infections or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Krakovitz, please contact Bridget Peterlin at 216.903.2746 or peterlb@ccf.org.

Tips that Help Prevent Heart Disease

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, making heart disease the leading cause of death among men and women. Dr. David Frid, Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist in the section of Preventative Cardiology, shares the following tips to help prevent heart disease.

  1. Do not smoke
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Maintain an ideal weight
  4. Know your risk factors for heart disease
  5. Address your risk factors
  6. Have regular evaluations
  7. Minimize stress

For more details on how to prevent heart disease or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Frid, please contact Tora Vinci at 216.444.2412 or vinciv@ccf.org.

Know the Different Types of Heart Disease

When discussing your family health history, it’s important to know if heart disease is part of it as well as what kind of heart disease. Dr. David Frid, Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist in the section of Preventative Cardiology, explains five types of heart disease.

  1. Coronary Artery Disease – This means arteries that are clogged and hardened by cholesterol and fatty buildup restrict blood flow to the heart muscle. Chest pain (angina) occurs because the heart is deprived of oxygen and nutrients. When blood supply is cut off entirely, a heart attack can result.
  2. Valvular Heart Disease - This means damage to or a defect in one of the four heart valves: the mitral, aortic, tricuspid or pulmonary valve. The valves become too narrow and hardened to open fully or are unable to close completely. Normally functioning valves ensure that blood flows with proper force in the proper direction at the proper time. The severity of valvular heart disease varies. In mild cases there may be no symptoms, while in advanced cases, valvular heart disease may lead to congestive heart failure and other complications.
  3. Heart Rhythm Problems - An arrhythmia (also called dysrhythmia) is an irregular or abnormal heartbeat. The different types of arrhythmia can be tachycardia (too fast - over a 100 beats a minute) or bradycardia (too slow - less than 60 beats per minute).
  4. Cardiomyopathies – This means disease that weakens and enlarges your heart muscle. There are three main types of cardiomyopathy — dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive. Cardiomyopathy makes it harder for your heart to pump blood and distribute it to the rest of your body, which could lead to heart failure.
  5. Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) - Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect in the United States, occurring in one in every 110 births. Due to medical breakthroughs and progress in treatment, patients with CHD are reaching adulthood and living longer. Currently, there are more than one million adults in the United States living with this disease with at least 10 percent of all congenital heart defects first detected in adulthood.

For more information on the different types of heart disease or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Frid, please contact Tora Vinci at 216.444.2412 or <"mailto:vinciv@ccf.org">vinciv@ccf.org.

Tips to Bring Romance Back to Your Marriage this Valentine’s Day

Success in marriage is not so much about finding the right person as it is about being the right person, says Ted Raddell, PhD, Counseling Psychologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Beachwood Family Health Center. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, he offers the following tips to put romance back in a marriage:

  1. Little things mean a lot – Write a heartfelt message on a sticky note and place it somewhere that your spouse will find it during his or her day such as the bathroom mirror, the checkbook, remote control or car dashboard.
  2. Date in – Surprise your spouse with a romantic evening at home. Order his or her favorite meal from a local restaurant, light candles and put on his or her favorite music. You can watch a classic film like “Casablanca” or have his or her favorite game ready to play. Special evenings need just a little creativity and don’t have to strain your wallet.
  3. Practice fondness – Having basic respect for, fondness and positive feelings about your spouse are crucial to the long-term success of a relationship and are antidotes for contempt – one of the main destroyers of marital happiness. Take time to remember why you fell in love with your spouse and what makes you cherish him or her. Jot down the things you appreciate or admire about your partner and make a point to mention them to him or her.

To learn more, or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Raddell, please contact Jenny Popis at 216.444.8853 or popisj@ccf.org.

Five Heart Health Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

As the leading cause of death in the United States, cardiovascular disease is not something that should be taken lightly. But how do you know if the symptoms you are experiencing should be checked out by a doctor? Richard Krasuski, MD, staff cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, says there are five symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore when it comes to your heart health:

  1. Chest Pain – Pain or pressure in the chest, especially when it comes on with exertion, could be a sign of coronary disease or even a heart attack.
  2. Heart Palpitations – If your heart starts racing for no reason, it could be a sign of an arrhythmia, which can result in a stroke or even cardiac arrest.
  3. Getting Winded Easily – If you suddenly get winded during normal activity, it could be a sign of heart failure or significant coronary disease.
  4. Leg Pains – Pains that develop in your legs with walking or other exertion could be a sign of peripheral artery disease, which often occurs jointly with coronary artery disease.
  5. Syncope – Passing out or getting lightheaded could be a sign of rhythm disturbances, low blood pressure, a narrowing heart valve or other cardiovascular problems.

To learn more about these symptoms, or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Krasuski, please contact Wyatt DuBois at 216.445.9946 or duboisw@ccf.org.

A Heart-Healthy Diet

February is Heart Month and being mindful of your food choices is an important aspect to a healthy heart. So what is the most heart-healthy diet? In their book Heart 411, Drs. Marc Gillinov and Steven Nissen make the case for the Mediterranean diet because it is “rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, fish and olive oil.”

Drs. Gillinov and Nissen remind readers, and their patients, that a heart-healthy diet can still be varied, interesting and delicious.

For more heart-healthy diet tips, or to coordinate an interview with Dr. Gillinov or Dr. Nissen, please contact Wyatt DuBois at 216.445.9946 or duboisw@ccf.org.