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June 15, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 15, 2012 PAGE 11B (StatePoint) If you're like many Americans. your health care is tak- ing a major bite out of your payche.ck. According to the Organization for Economic Development. the average American spends $7.960 on health care annually, represent- ing nearly 20 percent of the average U.S. income of $40.000. Experts are advising consumers to take a pro- active approach toward reducing their health care expenses. "The best way to reduce health care costs is to pre- vent them," says Dr. Andrew Myers, an expert in preven- tative health and nutrition, and author of "Health is Wealth." "Living a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of chronic illnesses that are expensive to manage." To help, Myers is offer- ing some simple healthy living tips: Get screened: Health and wellness screenings are crucial for early de- tection of health issues. Know what you are at risk for. so you know what you should be managing. Get active: Be more active in your daily life, whether that is exercis- ing, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. or walking, instead of driving. Strive to get the recommended 30 minutes of heart-healthy exercise three to five times weekly. Eat healthier: Set sim- ple goals like incorporat- ing a fruit or vegetable into every meal, or replac- ing a junk foQd snack with something nutritious. Chart your progress: Keep track of your prog- ress and stay motivated by celebrating your suc- cesses. Mark your calen- dar on the day you start. as well as key dates and benchmarks along the way. When you reach a goal, make a new one. and be an inspiration to those around you. Share the challenge: Invite friends or family members to undertake a health challenge with you. A buddy system keeps you accountable and increases your chance of success. You don't need an ex- pensive doctor's appoint- ment to get important health screenings. Some retailers offer free health screenings. For exam- ple. ,Sam's Club offers free health and well- ness screenings the first Saturday of each month nationwide. you save on Undertake preventive measures now to protect your greatest asset--your health. By Abigail Klein Leichman lsrael21c Before you pop an aspirin for your headache, consider this: Common over-the-counter and prescription medications may be giving many of us high blood pressure--a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack and aneurisms. That's the conclusion of Dr. Ehud Grossman of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Sheba Medi- cal tenter. According to his research, the chemical components of many types of common pills contraceptives, anti-de- Pain relievers may be causing a rise in blood pressure, cautions a Tel Aviv University researcher. pressants, anti-inflammatory pain remedies and a/atibiot- ics--raise blood press~e or in- terfere with anti-hypertensive medications. Neither patients nor physi- cians are sufficiently aware of the danger of drug-induced hy- pertension, he noted in a recent article in the American Journal of Medicine co,writtenwith Dr. Franz Messerli of New York's Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "In diagnosing the causes of hypertension, over-the- counter drugs like ibuprofen are often overlooked," said Grossman. Patients often as- sume that because a medica- tion can be obtained without a prescription, it's relatively harmless. But that's not neces- sarily true. Though high blood pressure is a known side effect of many of these medications, doctors do not always consider that in their treatment plans, and they don't inform patients of the potential risks associated with these medications, Grossman charged. If patients on these medica- tions do develop hyperten- sion, he advises physicians to decrease the dosage or add an anti-hypertensive drug to the treatment regime. In any case, awareness on the part of both doctors and patients needs to be raised. "Many physicians don't ac- count for this. and some don't even know about it. It's their re- sponsibility to be informed and make sure that their patients are aware that this is ~a pos- sibility," Grossman concluded. By Abigail Klein Leichman ISRAEL21c Israeli researchers have discovered that using Tra- ditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies along with intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a winning combi- nation for women having trouble conceiving. TCM's herbal prepara- "tions and acupuncture have long been used to ease pain, treat disease, boost fertility and prevent miscarriage. But these therapies also give a measurable boost to IUI, according to research by cellular biologist Dr. Shahar Lev-Ari, head of the integrative medicine unit of Tel Aviv University's medical school, and Keren Sela, a TCM practitioner specializing in women's health. It's the first study ever done to demonstrate the effectiveness of herbs and acupuncture in this pro- cedure, as reported by Lev- Ari and Sela in an article published by the European Journal of Integrative Medi- cine. When combining' IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5 percent of the test group was able to conceive, com- pared with 39.4 percent of the control group, who received no herbal ~r acu- puncture therapy. In the test group, 41.4 percent delivered healthy babies, comparedwith 26.9 percent of the control group. Lev-Ari works with both medical doctors and TCM practitioners at Tel Aviv Medical Center's Fertil- ity Research Institute. He and Sela have long been interested in how Eastern- style approaches could enhance the effectiveness of Western-style fertility treatments. The two researchers fol- lowed the progress of 29 women between the ages of 30 and 45 who were receiv- ing IUI treatment combined with TCM therapy, and compared their results to a control group of 94 women between the ages of 28 and 46 who were undergoing IUI treatment alone. The 29 women in the first group re- ceived weekly acupuncture sessions and individually prescribed doses of Chinese herbs such as PeoniaAlbae and Chuanxiong, which are approved by the Israeli Health Ministry. The difference in success rates was even more signifi- cant given that the average age of the women in the test group was 39.4, while the average age of the control group participants Was 37.1. Normally, pregnancy and delivery rates are lower among older women. According to the re- searchers, TCM therapies attempt to correct imbal- ances in the body's natural energy flow ("chi"). How that affects fertility isn't known for sure, but it's believed that herbal rem- edies and acupuncture balance the ovulation and menstrual cycle, enhance blood flow tothe uterus and encourage the secretion of calm-inducing endorphins. All these factors aid in conception. A previous Is- raeli study showed that in- vitro fertilization patients who are exposed to clown therapy right after im~ plantation are more likely to become pregnant--pre- sumably also related to the endorphin factor. Now the researchers are planning to design randomized clinical trials to further validate their initial findings concern- ing TCM and its impact on the success of fertility treatments. of Mid-Florida r Jeffrey Beattie, D.M.D. Bob Garfinkel, D.M.D. Charles McNamara, D.M.D. -Wisdom Teeth Sedation Dental Implants Pathology Cometic & Reconstructive Jaw Surger3 Winter Park (407) 644-0224 (407) 774-3399 Orlando (407) 843-1670