September 27, 2016

Why Ovarian Cancer Symptoms are Easily Missed and Expert Answers to Other Common Questions

Teal ribbon

peo-liotta-margaret-do-4186Margaret Liotta, DO, specializes in the treatment and research of gynecological cancers, including ovarian, cervical, uterine and vulva cancers. Here she answers questions about ovarian cancer.

How common is ovarian cancer and who gets it?

Ovarian cancer makes up about 3 percent of all cancers among women. It most frequently develops after menopause, and half of ovarian cancers are diagnosed in women age 63 years or older.

Women of all ages are at risk of developing ovarian cancer, but it is rare among women younger than 40. The cause of ovarian cancer is not known but age and the lifetime frequency of ovulation are the most common risk factors.

Ovarian cancer most frequently develops in women 55 to 64 years old and in women who began menstruating before age 12 or reached menopause after age 50. Higher risk also is associated with:

What are the symptoms?

Ovarian cancer is called a silent disease because symptoms are absent or unrecognized. It does produce symptoms, but the symptoms may be vague and can be caused by more common, 

August 25, 2016

When Are Bug Bites More a Pest than a Worry?

Mosquito biting

Khalilah Babino, DOKhalilah Babino, DO
Immediate Care/Family Medicine

As the warm summer weather continues, so does our exposure to insects. This time of year we often see patients who have concerns about insect bites.

Of particular concern this year is the Aedes mosquito that can be infected with the Zika virus and transmit it to humans during a bite. Initially, this particular disease was primarily limited to Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, but it spread to the Eastern Pacific and then South America. It is now well-established in much of the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Until very recently, all cases of Zika in the United States were among returning travelers. In fact, this year there have been 45 cases reported in Illinois that have been associated with foreign travel. Miami has reported the first cases of Zika transmitted within the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is closely monitoring the virus.

The vast majority of people who are infected with the Zika virus will have no symptoms,

July 27, 2016

Checklist: What to Ask at Your Child’s School Physical

Elementary School

Katherine Maietta, MD

Katherine Maietta, MD
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

Summer is in full swing, but already parents are preparing for kids to go back to school. That means taking children for an annual physical, if they haven’t had one.

Your child’s annual checkup is more than a chance to get school and sports forms filled out. This “well-child” exam is an opportunity to protect your child from preventable diseases, check developmental growth and discuss symptoms and other concerns.

Before you take your child to the doctor, remember this list of to-do’s.

  • Ask what vaccines your child should get this year and next. States, including Illinois, require children to be vaccinated against several important diseases at different ages, and the physician may recommend additional vaccines.
  • If your child is a new patient, request to have medical records from the previous physician sent to the new doctor as soon as you can. These will help your new doctor, and they are needed for immunization records.
  • Before the appointment day, pay attention to your child’s eating and sleeping habits. This is important information for the doctor, and it’s easy to draw a blank if you haven’t thought about it or paid attention lately.
  • Discuss your child’s free-time activities, such as favorite games, clubs, sports teams and hobbies, and how much time is spent playing video games, watching TV or videos and playing outside.

July 22, 2016

Tips to Stay Safe, Stay Cool on Chicago’s Hottest Days

Hot weather
From Jerold M. Stirling, MD, Chair of Pediatrics
and Mark E. Cichon, DO, Chair of Emergency Medicine

Everyone needs to take precautions when in very hot weather to avoid heat exhaustion and, worse, heat stroke.

Children are at an even greater risk for heat-related injuries than adults.

Physically, children don’t handle heat as well as adults. They absorb more heat because they have smaller bodies and a higher ratio of skin surface area to body mass. They don’t sweat as effectively, either.

Jerold Stirling, MD

Jerold M. Stirling, MD

Mark E. Cichon, DO, FACEP, FACOEP

Mark E. Cichon, DO

Whether playing games or exercising outdoors on a hot day, adults and children need to drink water before going out and take water and cooling-off breaks.

For every 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, drink 8 ounces of water.

Even when in the swimming pool, hydration breaks are important. The cold pool water will help keep your body cool, but it doesn’t replace the fluids that have been lost due to the heat. Take breaks and get out of the pool to drink water and apply another layer of sunscreen.

Watch for signs of dehydration, which include:

  • Dark yellow urine
  • A dry, sticky mouth
  • Infrequent urination (less than every 8 hours in children younger than age 1, less than every 12 hours age 1 and older)

Though signs of heat exhaustion differ depending on age, the most common are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle and abdominal cramps
  • Crankiness
  • Fatigue
  • Thirst/dry mouth

Beware of heat stroke, which can be fatal. If symptoms include a fast heartbeat, altered mental state or fainting, call 911, get out of the sun and cool off with ice or air conditioning.

July 1, 2016

9 ways to manage your health online with myLoyola


Our secure online account for patients lets you stay in touch with your doctor, pay your bill, schedule an appointment and more.

For your convenience, myLoyola lets you communicate electronically and securely with your medical care team. You can use myLoyola to:

  • Manage your billing account
  • Access trusted health information resources
  • Check the time of your next appointment
  • Request a prescription refill
  • View test results
  • Check reminders from your doctor
  • Schedule or request an appointment
  • Pay your bill online

To use myLoyola on your phone or mobile device, download the MyChart app from Apple’s App store, for iOS devices, such as iPhone or iPad, or from GooglePlay for Android phones and tablets.


Also, myLoyola information is available in Spanish by clicking Cambiar a Español.

It’s easy to open a myLoyola account. All you need is an access code. You can find the code on the “After Visit Summary” you received on your last visit. You also may request one by:

  • Visiting the myLoyola website.
  • Calling 888-584-7888.
  • Asking your doctor’s office for one the next time you visit.

To complete your myLoyola account , you will need to enter:

  • Your activation code
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth

Next, you will create a username and password for secure access to the site. Now, sign onto myLoyola and look at your health record or check when you next need to schedule a visit.

You can manage your families’ healthcare, too:

  • A parent or legal guardian may request proxy access to the myLoyola account of a child under the age of 12 by completing the Minor Proxy Access form.
  • A child age 12 and older can grant access to a parent or legal guardian by using the Proxy Access Consent form.
  • An adult (over age 18) can grant proxy access to myLoyola to spouses, family members and care givers by completing the Proxy Access Consent form.

June 27, 2016

What Is a Hernia and What Can You Do About It?


Michael DeHaan, MD

Michael DeHaan, MD

Michael DeHaan, MD

When you hear about hernia, you might picture a man lifting a heavy box and then groaning in pain.

That is one way a hernia is discovered. But there are different types of hernia and any number of ways they will make their presence known.

A hernia is a condition in which a portion of organ or soft tissue pushes through a hole or weak spot in a muscle or surrounding connective tissue (fascia) that line your abdomen or groin. The most common types of hernia are:

  • Inguinal (upper groin)
  • Incisional (resulting from an incision)
  • Femoral (lower groin)
  • Ventral (abdominal muscles)
  • Umbilical (belly button)
  • Hiatal (upper stomach/diaphragm)

Hernias happen to men, women, and even infants.

A hernia is caused by the interplay of two factors: a weak spot in muscle or fascia and an action that puts pressure or strain on an organ or tissue in that weak spot.

June 17, 2016

Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe this Summer, from Bikes to Beaches and Bugs to Burns


Gregory Ozark, MD
Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children in the United States, and summer fun can expose them to greater risk as they explore the world around them.

Motor vehicle accidents and drowning are the two most common causes of unintentional injury. So, whether summer playtime involves water or wheels, the need for supervision cannot be overemphasized.

Here are tips to help protect children during summer activities.


  • Always know where your child is going and set a limit on how far he or she can go.
  • Your child must wear a helmet any time he or she is on wheels – bike, skateboard, scooter or rollerblades.
  • Make sure the helmet is approved by the American National Standards Institute or meets the Snell helmet safety standards.
  • Purchase a helmet at a bicycle shop and have it fitted to your child’s head. It must fit snugly, go over the forehead and cover the back of the head.
  • Protective gear, such as wrist guards and knee and elbow pads, is needed for rollerblading or skateboarding.
  • Set an example for your child by wearing a helmet and protective gear yourself.
  • Neither adults nor children should use a phone while bicycling or walking across a street.

May 25, 2016

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from the Devastation of Stroke


José Biller, MD
Neurology & Neurosurgery

José Biller, MD

José Biller, MD

Stroke is the leading cause of disability and the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States. Yet, it is largely treatable if help is reached in time, and it is highly preventable.

A stroke is not a cerebrovascular accident. It is an event that occurs because of a variety of individual risks, many of which can be controlled or eliminated.

In addition, a stroke can be treated or stopped through the use of clot-busting drugs and medical devices. But every second counts.

By teaching the warning signs of stroke, such as through the abbreviation F.A.S.T., we have raised awareness of stroke symptoms and the need for immediate treatment. Unfortunately, it remains common for time to be lost and treatment to be delayed needlessly.

One reason is that stroke symptoms may not seem serious and may not last long. When someone has a heart attack, pain is a major symptom, it is easily recognized as serious, and it is treated urgently. During a “brain attack,” the symptoms may not seem serious, may not last long and may be attributed to something other than stroke. Some stroke sufferers will go to bed to try to feel better.

However, if you do not seek help immediately, you are wasting precious time, and we know that time is brain.

May 17, 2016

Camilo Gomez, MD: Stroke Requires Immediate Care, so Know the Signs and Symptoms


Camilo R. Gomez, MD
Neurology & Neurosurgery

What you need to know about stroke awareness is simple: the earlier the better.

There are two crucial factors to consider in stroke education: prevention and immediate treatment. Both are critically important in avoiding, surviving and recovering from a stroke; they depend on one another to minimize your risk and get you help fast.

Prevention: With your doctor’s help, you can develop a custom prevention plan. Frequent check-ups and screenings can identify warning signs such as a pre-rupture aneurysm or blockage threatening to close. Depending on what you need, all the tools are available here at Loyola. We have the expertise, technology and most sophisticated stroke treatments to deliver care that is second to none.

Immediate treatment: When you have a stroke, a blood vessel closes, starving the brain of blood flow and oxygen. If you have a stroke or witness someone having a stroke, don’t wait. Seek emergency medical attention immediately.

We’ve come a long way in stroke treatment. Neuroendovascular surgery (performed inside blood vessels) can be used as acute treatment or as a pre-emptive measure to prevent stroke.

Neuroendovascular preventive procedures include:

  • Angiography, to see how blood is flowing in the brain and diagnose vascular anomalies such as aneurysms
  • Angioplasty and stenting, to open partially blocked arteries, restore normal blood flow, and reduce stroke risk
  • Coil embolization, to treat aneurysms and prevent their rupture
  • Thrombolytic therapy, to dissolve a clot in a blood vessel

April 27, 2016

Loyola organ donor ceremony honors kidney specialist who gave and received gift of life

Susan Hou, MD, is a kidney transplant specialist

Susan Hou, MD, a kidney transplant specialist, was honored at this year’s candle-lighting event.

Each April, Loyola University Medical Center holds a candle-lighting ceremony to pay tribute to organ donors, and to support transplant patients.

This year, the ceremony, held April 21, gave special recognition to a physician who is both a living organ donor and a transplant patient: Susan Hou, MD.

In 2002, Dr. Hou, a kidney transplant specialist, donated a kidney to one of her patients, a mother of two whose polycystic kidney disease had progressed to kidney failure.

“Some people know they just have to do it, and I was one of them,” Dr. Hou said. “If you believe in the brotherhood of man, there are no unrelated donors.”

Then, 12 years to the day after she donated a kidney, Dr. Hou received a donated lung to treat a life-threatening pulmonary disease.

Dr. Hou is believed to be the only transplant physician in history both to donate an organ and receive an organ transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Now that Dr. Hou has her health back, she has resumed working with a free clinic in Bolivia that she co-founded. The clinic serves more than 3,000 patients a year.

“I worry whether the lung should have gone to someone younger,” said Dr. Hou, who was 68 at the time of the transplant. “So I feel a great pressure to make the most of the extra years I have been given.”

Learn about becoming a registered organ, tissue and bone marrow donor.

April 20, 2016

You can save lives by signing up to be an organ, tissue, marrow or blood donor

Life-and-death decisions are made every day. But you can make one simple decision today to donate life by registering to be an organ, tissue or bone marrow donor.

More than 120,000 people – men, women and children – need an organ transplant, according to current data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Another person is added to the list every 10 minutes.

Jeffrey Schwartz, MD

Jeffrey Schwartz, MD

Daniel Dilling, MD

Daniel Dilling, MD

But they may not receive one in time: 8,000 people a year die waiting – 22 people a day.

“There is no greater gift in life than the gift of life,” said Loyola cardiothoracic surgeon Jeffrey Schwartz, MD, surgical director, lung transplant.

One organ donor can save eight people, and one tissue donor can help more than 50.

“We take for granted the ability to breathe and walk across a room, shower or lie flat in bed,” Dr. Schwartz said. “Organ donation transforms a recipient’s quality of life.”

Tens of thousands of patients undergo organ transplants every year, for heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys and intestines. Thousands more receive donations of bone marrow, skin, heart valves, cornea and tissue.

“I have witnessed the transformation that occurs for donor families and for the organ and tissue recipients,” said Daniel Dilling, MD, Loyola’s medical director of lung transplant.

“Registering to be an organ and tissue donor is a quick, simple process that ensures you are part of that transformation.”

What you can do

Registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor is simple. All you need is your driver’s license. In Illinois, you can sign up through the Secretary of State’s office by visiting a facility where driver’s licenses are issued, on the website or by calling 1-800-210-2106.

April 13, 2016

Loyola heart transplant patient hiking the Appalachian Trail to honor donor, encourage more to register

Bill Spence, 62, has a new heart. Now, two years after his transplant, he’s setting out to hike the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail to encourage organ donation and to honor the donor he’ll never meet. Read his story.


On his hike, Bill Spence will stay in touch with his Loyola Medicine cardiologist, Erin Coglianese, MD.

April is National Donate Life Month.

March 24, 2016

How to cut salt and reduce your health risks

The problem with salt

From the Dietitians’ Table

Think you’ll sprinkle just a little salt on your dinner? Better think twice.

Did you choose a fat-free treat? Watch that your “healthy” choice won’t push your daily sodium intake over the healthy limit.

While there is at least a little sodium in most foods, and we all need to eat some, consuming too much leads to health problems. The average daily recommended serving of sodium is 2,000 milligrams.

One teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium. If you eat like most Americans, it is easy to exceed your recommended serving, even without adding salt to your food.

Too much sodium in your diet is linked to several health problems, including some that are life-threatening. It can cause or worsen fluid buildup (water retention,) heart, liver and kidney disease, and high blood pressure – which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

March 18, 2016

Colorectal cancer screening can save your life, but most of us just don’t get it

Just One Day Can Save Your Life

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

By peo-naik-amar-s-md-5169 Amar Naik, MD
Loyola Medicine digestive health program

If there were a test that could prevent a common type of cancer, you would get it, right?

And if the screening was for the type of cancer that causes the second-highest number of cancer deaths, nothing could stop you, right?

There is such a screening, but only half of those who’ve been told they need it, get it.

Colorectal cancer is one of two cancers that can be prevented. It can be caught very early and treated successfully, yet only lung cancer causes more cancer deaths. About 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year, and more than 50,000 people die from it.

Current guidelines call for everyone to be screened for colon and rectal cancer beginning at age 50, or earlier if there is a family history or other risk factors. It is considered standard preventive care and so generally is covered by insurance.

The most common reasons people put off or refuse colorectal screening fall under one category: fear of the unknown. Many worries are unfounded or manageable, but they are common. Understanding the process will help, so let’s address those concerns by answering questions we get from patients:

What tests are offered? ­­­­

There are two types of colorectal screening tests: those that detect cancer and precancerous tissue called polyps and those that detect only cancer.

  • Stool (feces) tests for blood or DNA are designed to detect cancer.
  • Colonoscopy, CT colonography, (virtual colonoscopy) and sigmoidoscopy (examines about half of the colon) can detect both cancer and polyps.

February 26, 2016

Get text message reminders for your Loyola appointments

Loyola text message appointment remindersWe’ve added a new service for patients who would like to be reminded of their Loyola appointments. Now you can receive an appointment reminder in a text message.

If you would like to receive text message reminders, just let us know by taking these two steps:

  • Share your cell phone with us at your next appointment or call 888-584-7888 to register your phone number for the service.
  • Text the word Loyola to this number: 622622.

The new service will send you a confirmation that you’ve signed up. Then, 48 hours before an appointment with a Loyola provider, you will receive a text reminder.

The text message reminder is one of several convenient services we offer our patients. Others include:

  • myLoyola – our patient portal, where you can communicate with your doctor, make an appointment, pay a bill and manage your account, get test results and receive important healthcare reminders. myLoyola also is offered in Spanish.
  • Online appointment request – Choose one of our hundreds of physicians by specialty and location.
  • Interactive map – Find your way to appointments, services and locations at Loyola University Medical Center with the click of your computer mouse or swipe of your smart phone.

February 22, 2016

Face the facts: Heart disease is a woman’s disease, too

heartdiseasewomen2Sara Sirna, MD

Sara Sirna, MD, cardiology
Sara Sirna, MD

Dr. Sirna answers questions about heart disease

To understand why heart disease is such a serious issue for women, you need to understand these facts:

  • Cardiovascular diseases affect more women than men, and they are responsible for 40 percent of all deaths of American women.
  • The risk of heart disease in women increases dramatically with age, and the risk is especially prevalent after menopause.
  • The life expectancy of women in the United States is age 79, which means women can expect to live a large part of their lives with an increased risk of heart disease. In fact, 1 out of 4 women older than 65 has some form of identified heart disease.

Heart disease is no longer considered a disease that affects only men. In the past, women usually received less aggressive treatment for heart disease and were not referred for diagnostic tests as often. Because of this, many women were diagnosed with heart disease at a late stage, and they typically had more advanced disease.

Women need to be aware of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and the importance of making lifestyle changes to reduce those risks. Factor such as race, increasing age and family history cannot be changed. Other risk factors, however, can be changed or eliminated by making informed decisions about cardiovascular health.

Many risk factors that contribute to heart disease can be controlled by:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight
  • Exercising
  • Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Controlling diabetes

All of these are within every woman’s grasp.

It is never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle that can afford each and every woman the chance to live an active and long life.

Sara Sirna, MD, is a Loyola Medicine board-certified cardiologist whose special interests include preventive cardiology and women’s health. She sees patients at the Center for Heart and Vascular Medicine at Loyola University Medical Center and Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge.

February 22, 2016

Cardiologist Sara Sirna, MD, answers questions about heart disease

Sara Sirna, MD, is a board-certified cardiologist with special interests in women’s heart disease and preventive medicine. Here she answers questions from readers of

Q. Is there a heart disease test I can take?

A. There are many tests that can be done to determine if one has heart disease. Simple blood tests such as a cholesterol level can determine your risk. Make sure you fast a good 12 hours prior to having blood drawn.

In addition a stress test may be able to determine if there are significant blockages in one or more heart vessels and determine your heart rate and blood pressure response to exercise. There also is a noninvasive test that measures the amount of calcium in the arteries and this correlates well with blockages in the heart vessels. It is called a calcium score.

You can ask your doctor, who will know your medical history and whether any of these tests is appropriate for you.

Q. I am a 63-year-old woman, and I suffer from hot flashes constantly. I know it isn’t menopause. Some ladies said this can be a sign of blocked arteries in your heart. Are they right? Also, I am going to have an echocardiogram very soon.

A. Women tend to have different symptoms than men with regards to blockages in the heart vessels or coronary artery disease. The classic complaints of a tightness or squeezing pain in the chest may not occur in women. More typically women may complain of vague symptoms such as feeling sweaty, fatigued, nauseated or lightheaded.We don’t know why women have these more generalized complaints.

February 19, 2016

What to eat to improve your cholesterol and heart health



High cholesterol. Low cholesterol. Good fat. Bad fat. LDL. HDL. Eating a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat is important, but getting the right levels of cholesterol is very important, too.

First you need to know what cholesterol is and what it does. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. The liver produces cholesterol because your body needs it to function properly. But too much cholesterol in your bloodstream can contribute to heart attack and stroke.

What’s good? What’s bad?

Cholesterol is carried through your bloodstream by two types of lipoprotein – high-density and low-density.

LDL: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), bad cholesterol, contributes to a thick, hard substance in your arteries called plaque. Plaque can clog and narrow arteries and make them inflexible, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

HDL: High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is described as good cholesterol because doctors and researchers believe HDL can help carry LDL through the arteries, to the liver and out of your system.

How fat affects your cholesterol depends on the kind of fat you eat. Saturated and trans fats increase your level of LDL-C, bad cholesterol. Foods high in saturated fat include:

  • Fatty meat
  • Poultry skin
  • Bacon and sausage
  • Whole milk, cream and butter

Trans fats are found in:

  • Shortening and stick margarine
  • Fried foods
  • Packaged foods made with hydrogenated oils such as baked goods and chips.

February 16, 2016

Loyola Medicine launches interactive campus map

Loyola University Medical Center overview map

Looking for something? Our new interactive campus map will help you find what you need at Loyola University Medical Center.

Whether you are looking for where to park, how to get to an appointment, or even the nearest cup of coffee, you’ll find the answer with the click of a button or the touch of smartphone screen.

Our interactive map will help guide you with its 3-D building renderings, floor-by-floor plans, photos, info boxes and links to more detailed information for points of interest on our campus.

LUMC interactive map highlightWant to know where to conveniently park? The exterior map points out the visitors’ parking garage and lots, valet service locations and parking areas for the disabled.

Wondering which elevator to use? Choose First Floor from the upper left-hand drop-down menu and click on the highlighted elevators to see which areas of the hospital they serve.

In addition to the medical center, the exterior map showcases all buildings that provide patient and visitor services, including the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center and Maguire Center, which houses our dental and oral surgery center. The exterior map notes other entities on the 61-acre campus, including Loyola Center for Fitness, Loyola University Chicago’s medical and nursing schools.

February 5, 2016

Newborn babies wear a little red thanks to heart association’s Little Hats program

Little Hats, Big Hearts at LUMC

Janice Hart, RN, places a hat on a newborn boy at Loyola University Medical Center.

Each baby born during the month of February at Loyola University Medical Center and Gottlieb Memorial Hospital will receive a red hat in honor of American Heart Month. The hats are being provided by the American Heart Association as part of the Little Hats, Big Hearts program.

Little Hats, Big Hearts raises awareness of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans, and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country. In the United States, about 40,000 children a year are born with a heart defect. At least eight of every 1,000 infants born each year have a heart defect.

Volunteers from around the state knitted and crocheted more than 18,000 hats for the American Heart Association, which will be distributed to hospitals throughout Illinois during February.

Loyola Medicine actively promotes American Heart Month and heart disease awareness by participating in National Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 5. Loyola Medicine is the signature sponsor of the 2016 Chicago Heart Ball, which raises money to support AHA’s mission. Loyola University Health System President and CEO Larry M. Goldberg is co-chair of this year’s ball.

February 4, 2016

Your doctor can help you reduce your cancer risk

Skin cancer screening

Cancer is one of the most common diseases in the United States, but screening and early detection can save your life and increase your ability to fully recover.

Cancer cannot always be prevented, but you can reduce some risks by managing your health.

Your primary care physician can help you adopt a healthy lifestyle and explain what exposes you to higher risk, such as smoking or living with a smoker in your home; obesity; a poor diet, and lack of physical activity. Your doctor will recommend cancer screenings based on your age, overall health, family history and other risk factors. Screenings are commonly offered for these types of cancers:

Talk to your doctor about your cancer concerns, including family history and any worrisome symptoms you may have. He or she may suggest additional screenings and tools for early detection, such as a cancer risk assessment and hereditary genetic cancer evaluation.

Loyola’s cancer risk assessment and prevention program provides a family history analysis, risk assessment, genetic counseling, recommendations for screenings and education on how to reduce your risk.

When you know your risk, you can take action to reduce it.

Learn more about Loyola Medicine’s nationally renowned cancer specialists, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center and clinical research trials.

If you don’t have a primary care doctor, you can find a Loyola family physician, internist or pediatrician convenient to you.

January 18, 2016

Why frostbite is a serious threat and how to stay safe

Frostbite dangers

By Arthur P. Sanford, MD, FACS

Dr. Arthur Sanford

Winters in the Midwest are rarely mild, and when the bitter cold arrives, we do our best to handle it. But you can’t beat the severe cold by ignoring it.

Everyone needs to be aware of the signs and symptoms that occur when the skin freezes. People often underestimate the dangers of cold weather and are unaware what can happen when they don’t properly protect themselves.

Frostbite is serious and can lead to amputation, so don’t kid yourself that you can tough it out during an Arctic blast.

Here’s what happens when your body is not properly protected from the cold:

  • Exposure to cold air reduces blood flow to the skin’s surface.
  • The body will work to keep your head and internal organs warm.
  • As a result, the body parts farthest from the heart, such as toes, fingers, ears and the tip of the nose, are the most susceptible to reduced blood flow. These same areas also are more likely to be exposed to the cold.
  • The restricted blood flow can lead to freezing and death of skin tissue.

At first, the affected area may pale or turn red and hurt. Next, it may have a prickling feeling. Then the area loses feeling, and its color may fade to white or a bluish or grayish hue. When the area becomes numb, you may not realize you have frostbite until you or someone else sees it.

When frostbite does occur, it is critical to know what to do and what not to do:

  • Don’t ignore symptoms! The sooner it’s treated, the better.
  • Get out of the cold and into warm shelter. I recommend rapid rewarming using blankets or a heating pad, but only if the temperature can be controlled well and it can shut off automatically.
  • If you need to use water to warm the affected area, use room temperature or slightly warm water to gently revitalize parts of the body that have had prolonged exposure to the cold.
  • Don’t use hot water. Have someone else check the temperature before you submerge the frostbitten area. It will not sense heat as well as it normally would, and you can suffer a burn on top of the frostbite injury. Many hot water heaters produce water at a temperature that can cause a third-degree scald in less than 3 seconds.
  • Don’t rub with handfuls of snow.
  • Don’t vigorously massage any frozen area, because overstimulation can worsen the damage.
  • Seek medical help if the skin develops blisters, is pale and numb or is red and very painful. An emergency physician will assess the tissue and take the proper steps to save the body part.

Respect the cold and know the risks of being outside. How cold you – and your skin – feel is a function of three things. The first two and most simple are environmental temperature and wind speed; how the combination of cold and wind affect exposed skin is called the wind chill factor. A temperature of 0 Fahrenheit with 15 mph winds produces a wind chill of minus 19 F, which causes frostbite in 30 minutes. This and other examples of wind chill and frostbite risk are available in The Old Farmers Almanac. The third factor is water. If skin is wet, it will freeze at warmer temperatures.

Here’s how to protect yourself:

  • Dress in layers. If a sweater, pair of socks or other article of clothing gets wet, you can quickly remove it and still be protected.
  • Wear warm gloves or mittens. Texting gloves or half-gloves may be handy for using a smartphone or showing off nails, but fingers are one of the first body parts to feel the cold.
  • Wear a snug hat that covers your ears and the top of your head. This will protect your ears and help you to retain body heat.
  • Wear warm socks and boots that will stay dry. Wet socks are especially dangerous and can lead to a condition called trench foot, which results in poor blood circulation, tissue decay, infections and even amputation.

Frostbite is preventable in most cases. So protect yourself and stay safe!

Arthur P. Sanford, MD, FACS, specializes in trauma, burn and surgical critical care.

Loyola’s Burn Center is one of the busiest in the Midwest, treating nearly 600 patients annually in the hospital and another 3,500 patients each year in its outpatient clinic. The Burn Center at Loyola Medicine provides comprehensive care for adults and children suffering from burns, frostbite, complex soft tissue infections and other conditions.


January 18, 2016

Freager Williams, MD, honored with Loyola award celebrating the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


In remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to celebrate his work and his vision, one member of the Loyola community is recognized each year for being committed to service, peace, justice and respect for others.

Freager Williams, MD, is being honored with the 2016 Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award for his leadership in education, healthcare and equality. The award will be presented to Dr. Williams on Tuesday, January 19, during the Loyola University Health System Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Williams is a Loyola Medicine physician and assistant professor of general obstetrics and gynecology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Since he came to Loyola in 2008, he has distinguished himself as an outstanding doctor and faculty leader, according to the award committee. He is a professional who demonstrates empathy, kindness and warmth towards patients, colleagues and those he trains.

Dr. Williams has been a driving force in efforts to increase diversity in medicine, the committee said in presenting the award. He is a founding member of Stritch’s Faculty Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion. He also is active in outreach programs and volunteers with high school students.

The award selection committee is made up of representatives of Loyola University Health System and Stritch School of Medicine.

December 31, 2015

Three New Year’s resolutions that truly will improve your health, and your life




You or someone you know has made a New Year’s resolution that seems important now but that will be dropped in a few weeks. But making an important, positive change is possible, and easier to accomplish if you know it’s worth the effort.

To help you choose a goal that is achievable and will significantly improve your health, we asked Jason Rice, MD, a Loyola primary care doctor and internal medicine specialist, to name the three key changes you can make to improve your health.

1. Stop smoking

“This is probably the single most important thing that anyone can do to improve his or her health,” Dr Rice said. Numerous cancers and heart and lung diseases are linked to smoking.

“Quitting smoking improves a variety of risks both short and long term,” he said. “In addition, quitting can help you ultimately get off blood pressure or cholesterol medications.”

Talk to your doctor for help breaking your nicotine addiction. The American Cancer Society also offers resources and tips to help you quit.

2. Start moving

Getting more exercise is a popular New Year’s resolution, year after year, but the key to making it happen this year is creating a reasonable plan and sticking to it.

“Someone who isn’t exercising at all shouldn’t set a goal of spending an hour in the gym daily or running every morning,” he said. “A more modest goal of walking for 30 minutes five times a week is easier to stick to, and then exercise can be increased once it is part of your routine. Planning to be active with a friend or family member can also help you maintain motivation.”

3. Get an annual physical

You need to see your primary care doctor at least once a year to stay up-to-date on vaccines and health screenings, and to discuss your health.

“Everyone should see a PCP at least once a year, even if they’re healthy, to keep up to date on vaccines and screenings,” Dr. Rice said. “Even young otherwise healthy patients need to be on top of their risk factors, and everyone should stay current on vaccines because many diseases are completely preventable with vaccination.”

December 28, 2015

Loyola Medicine offers new transportation service to patients


For your comfort, convenience and care, we have launched a new service to provide patients with medical transportation to and from Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and outpatient locations or your home by medical van or ambulance.

We’ve partnered with Community Emergency Medical Service Inc., the largest non-profit ambulance provider in the United States, to create Loyola Medicine Transport so our patients can have the safest, most appropriate non-emergency transportation when they need it.

Loyola Medicine Transport operates a fleet of 25 vehicles, including 13 ambulances, out of our Melrose Park campus. The service can provide basic and advanced life support and accommodate patients in wheelchairs. Medi-ride, our new medi-van service, will serve patients who don’t need an ambulance. It also runs a courier service between locations, delivering pharmaceuticals, lab samples and more.

“Loyola Medicine Transport will provide prompt, safe and patient-centered transport services for our hospitalized and ambulatory patients, as well as for our referring hospitals,” said Daniel J. Post, executive vice president, Network Development and System Integration, Loyola University Health System.

Loyola Medicine Transport offers job opportunities for the healthcare community. To learn more, visit

December 22, 2015

Make a few healthy recipe changes to your favorite holiday foods

Served Thanksgiving table


Many people give up on keeping their goals for healthy eating this time of year. They use the excuse that it’s impossible to eat healthy during the holidays. Loyola Medicine’s registered dietitians know that this is not true.

Whether you are focusing on eating less sodium, fat, sugar, calories, or all four, you can achieve your dietary goals. Here are a few ways to make your favorite dishes a little healthier. Let’s start with dessert.


One easy tip is to reduce the amount of fat in recipes that call for light cream by using an equal amount of evaporated skim milk.

If you are feeling bold, make your own healthier crust by making these simple changes:

December 21, 2015

Online shopping available from Lori’s Gifts at Loyola University Medical Center


If you want to let a Loyola patient know you care but you can’t visit, did you know you can buy a gift online and have it delivered? Lori’s Gifts, which operates the gift shop at Loyola University Medical Center, sells many gifts online that are available for same-day, free delivery to the patient’s room.

The online shop sells floral arrangements and other gifts, too. “Welcome home” gifts can be delivered to the patient’s home, and many can be ordered with next-day delivery.angel ornament

The shop, located at the East Entrance of Loyola University Medical Center, is stocked with a wide selection of gifts, including jewelry, scarves and seasonal gifts. The shop accepts orders by phone, whether it’s for a box of candy or a pair of reading glasses. The number is 708-216-5397.

The shop carries pick-me-up and get-well gifts, greeting cards, balloons, puzzle books, candy, inspirational items, plants, flowers and much more. The staff will create custom gift bags and baskets, too.

Because Christmas is nearly here, Lori’s Gifts is open for extended holiday hours through Thursday (Christmas Eve), 7 am to 8 pm.

Learn more about the gift shop at our website.

Lori’s Gifts operates more than 300 shops for hospitals and professional offices throughout the United States.

December 15, 2015

Loyola Medicine opens cancer center at Palos Community Hospital’s Orland Park campus

The care team at Loyola Center for Cancer Care & Research at Palos Community Hospital poses with Loyola University Health System CEO and President Larry Goldberg. The care team includes Loyola oncologists, pharmacists and technicians, and specially trained nurse oncology infusion specialists.

The care team at Loyola Center for Cancer Care & Research at Palos Community Hospital poses with Loyola University Health System CEO and President Larry Goldberg.

Loyola Medicine and Palos Community Hospital have worked together to open a cancer center in the south suburbs. The new Loyola Center for Cancer Care & Research at Palos Community Hospital opened December 7 at Palos Primary Care Center, 15300 West Avenue, Orland Park.

The newly remodeled space is designed for the patient’s comfort and includes an indoor garden and comfortable, individual bays for chemotherapy infusion patients. It is conveniently located at the corner of 153rd Street and West Avenue, next to Centennial Park.

The cancer center is located in Orland Park at the corner of 153rd Street and West Avenue.

The cancer center is located in Orland Park at the corner of 153rd Street and West Avenue.

The center brings nationally renowned cancer treatment close to home for south suburban patients and provides a convenient location for receiving Loyola oncology care. It is another way Loyola Medicine and Palos Community Hospital are serving the needs of the community by providing the best care where it is most caring and convenient for the patient.

Loyola’s specially trained oncologists are nationally recognized for their expertise. As an academic medical center, Loyola can offer patients the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials of new drugs that are not available at most hospitals.

“Rather than asking patients to travel to us, we will come to them,” said Daniel Post, Loyola’s executive vice president for Network Development and System Integration.

Loyola Center for Cancer Care & Research at Palos Community Hospital features individual infusion bays.

Loyola Center for Cancer Care & Research at Palos Community Hospital features individual infusion bays.

Last spring, Palos Community Hospital, in Palos Heights, and Loyola University Health System announced a unique affiliation to give patients access to Loyola’s renowned specialty care services, such as oncology and neurology, while ensuring continued access to Palos’ primary care network.

The cancer center is one way Loyola Medicine and Palos Community Hospital are serving the community’s needs by providing the best care where it is most convenient and caring for the patient. In addition, Loyola has a telemedicine program that connects Palos patients and doctors with Loyola’s leading stroke experts when needed.

Learn more about the center and our innovative partnership.

November 24, 2015

How to enjoy the holiday season while keeping your fitness goals

From the Dietitians’ Table

Holiday treats

The holidays are a time of celebration, but how do you keep the holiday parties and special events from interfering with your health goals?

Loyola Medicine’s registered dietitians say it’s a matter of strategy, starting with mindful eating.

“Focus on eating your favorite once-a-year holiday foods and pass on other everyday dishes,” says Kim Sasso, a Loyola Medicine registered and licensed dietitian who works with weight-loss patients. “Don’t eat your weight in appetizers if you really are looking forward to the main meal.”

Loyola’s dietitians offer these additional tips to avoid overdoing it this year:

  • Take time to savor what your family and friends have prepared. You will enjoy your food more while also giving yourself time to realize you are full. It takes about 15 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you are satisfied. Wait at least that long before going back for more food.
  • Step away from the buffet table. Avoid eating and socializing near the buffet spread, and, if possible, go to another room to enjoy the food, family and friends. This may stop you from going back for seconds or thirds.
  • Stay hydrated. Have a glass of water with you and sip it throughout the evening – even between bites of your meal – to help you to feel full.
  • Shrink your plate. Use a salad plate for the main feast. It will help keep your portions in control.
  • Don’t come too hungry. Eat breakfast and lunch, and, if dinner is later than usual or you are too hungry, grab a snack beforehand. When you come to a dinner or party starving, you tend to eat more than you expected or even realized.
  • Start with a salad. Enjoy a salad first or let vegetables take up half of your plate. By starting with low-calorie favorites, like salads, carrots or squash, you will feel more satisfied without piling on as many calories.

By following these tips, you can prevent the awful fatigue and fullness of a “food coma.” If you do feel very tired after the feast, and turkey was the main course, don’t blame the bird.

“Turkey doesn’t make you sleepy,” Ms. Sasso says. “Eating very large quantities of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pie makes you sleepy.”

Loyola Medicine registered dietitians see patients at several convenient locations, and they include experts in all areas of nutrition, including weight loss, cancer care, diabetes management, cardiovascular health and more. Learn about our services at

November 20, 2015

Loyola Medicine and Palos Community Hospital launch telestroke program


There is a new option for advanced stroke care in the south suburbs. Palos Community Hospital patients have access to Loyola Medicine’s expertise in diagnosing and treating stroke when and where it matters most: at their local hospital the moment they need it.

Loyola and Palos have launched a stroke telemedicine program that bridges the distance between your local doctors and hospital and renowned stroke specialists 18 miles away at Loyola University Medical Center.

A stroke kills 32,000 brain cells each second, so when treating patients, every second counts. Neurologists say the sooner they can initiate appropriate treatments, the better patients will do. Loyola Medicine’s telestroke program helps to ensure that patients receive timely, high-quality care at their local hospital.

October 29, 2015

What puts women at risk of stroke?

Rehab patient of the year

VIDEO: Loyola patient Sheneka Sholar shares her story of recovery from stroke, which she suffered shortly after she’d given birth.

Did you know that women are more likely to die from stroke than men? And that they are more at risk of stroke?

This year’s World Stroke Day campaign is focused on teaching women (and those who care about them) what puts them at risk and how to reduce the likelihood of having a preventable stroke.

Women are more at risk of having a stroke than men in part because some stroke risks are specific to women, such as pregnancy-related diabetes, hormone replacement therapy and the use of birth control pills.

Loyola Medicine is committed to furthering research on women and stroke. Recently, Loyola stroke expert José Biller, MD, co-authored a comprehensive report on the small but significant increase in the risk of stroke in women who used birth control pills.

For women who take birth control pills and also smoke, have high blood pressure or have a history of migraine headaches, their stroke risk is significantly higher. Hormone replacement therapy with estrogen alone or combined with progesterone increases the risk of ischemic stroke by 40 percent; the higher the dose, the higher the risk, the report said. Read more about the report.

Women also are more likely to have hypertension, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), diabetes and depression, and be obese, all of which raise the risk of stroke, according to the World Stroke Campaign. Worldwide, women are more likely to die from stroke and are less likely to receive the immediate acute care and rehabilitation needed to survive and recover.

If you are concerned about stroke, see your doctor, who will assess your health and help you find ways to reduce your chance of stroke.

Loyola’s Stroke Center boasts a nationally recognized team of experts in every facet of stroke-related care, including emergency medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, neurophysiology, neuroradiology, rehabilitative services, social work, pharmacy and specialty nursing.

Learn about one patient’s recovery from stroke, which she suffered shortly after she’d given birth.

October 22, 2015

From the dietitian’s table: Harvest the flavors of fall with apples, pears, beets and other seasonal produce

Fall produceFresh fruits and vegetables are not only for summertime eating. There still are a large variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables available in the fall, and even in the winter.

Produce is a great source of vitamins and minerals, and may help lower the risk of chronic diseases and certain types of cancer. What is the best way to eat them? Any way you like them!

You can eat them fresh, frozen, canned or dried. During the winter months, adding different vegetables and fruits that are in season can help you make healthy choices while keeping the cost down.

Try a new way to enjoy these fruits and vegetables, which are in season here during fall and winter:

  •  Apples. Slice apples thin, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 200 degrees for 1 to 2 hours. Flip apples and bake another hour until crispy.
  • Pumpkin. Roast and mix into muffins, quick breads or slow-cooked oatmeal.
  • Beets. These can be eaten raw, roasted or pickled.
  • Sweet potato. Toss with olive oil and bake them on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes for a healthy, baked alternative to French fries. Keep the potato skin; it adds fiber.
  • Spaghetti squash. Serve this as a lower carbohydrate alternative to pasta.
  • Kale. Bake the leaves for a crispy snack.
  • Pears. Slice pears thinly and place on a sandwich or add chunks or slices to a salad.
  • Okra. This classic ingredient in gumbo thickens soups and stews.
  • Parsnips. Boiled and mashed, they make a great substitute for potatoes.
  • Cranberries. Toss chopped cranberries with chopped apples, celery, parsley and walnuts, and add a little orange juice.
  • Figs. Use them to sweeten salads, sauces, or yogurt.

You can combine a healthy menu of fruits and vegetables with an active lifestyle by enjoying autumn by picking apples, raking leaves, carving pumpkins and going for a walk.

Loyola Medicine’s registered dietitians are skilled in nutrition therapy and hold advanced certifications in such specialties as weight loss, oncology, diabetes management and nutrition support for adults and children. Loyola’s dietitians provide consultations in the hospital, on an outpatient basis and in home care settings. Their services are offered in several convenient locations, including the Loyola Outpatient Center, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care at Melrose Park, Loyola Center for Dialysis on Roosevelt and Loyola health centers in Hickory Hills, Homer Glen and Wheaton.

From Loyola Medicine’s registered dietitians

October 16, 2015

Keep babies safe with these important sleep recommendations

Sleeping tips to keep your baby safeMary E. Jones, MDMary Jones, MD, child advocacy physician at Loyola Medicine and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, offers these instructions for ensuring your baby stays safe while sleeping.

Most important:

  • Always put a baby on his or her back to sleep, including night-time sleeping and naps.
  • Always put a baby to sleep on a flat, firm surface.
  • Always put a baby to sleep in his or her own bed, whether that is in mom and dad’s room or in a separate room. Never put a baby to sleep in the same bed as others.

October 9, 2015

Want to run your first 5K or marathon? Here’s how to plan carefully and train hard

Marathon Run

Whether you want to run your first 5k or marathon, or just want to try distance running for exercise, you’ll want to work toward your goal before jumping into the race.

Haemi Choi, MD

Haemi Choi, MD


James Winger, MD Sports Medicine

James Winger

Haemi Choi, MD, a Loyola sports medicine and family medicine physician, recommends that you start by going to a running store and getting fitted for proper running shoes. You need to take it slow and gradually add distance.

Also, be careful to eat what your body can handle, she said.

To get ready for a 5K, which is on a 3.1-mile course, Dr. Choi recommends the following:

  • Go to a running store and be fitted for proper running shoes.
  • Take it slow with gradual progression in mileage.
  • Find a running group or buddy to train with.
  • Listen to your body and eat what it can handle.
  • Enjoy the experience.

Sports medicine and family medicine physician James Winger, MD, offers tips for those who want to run a marathon:

  1. Begin by training for and racing a half marathon first – or multiple half marathons. Some experts have suggested that a person should have been running regularly for two to three years before trying to run a marathon. The so-called couch-to-marathon programs are ideal recipes for injury.
  2. Use a published, proven training plan. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Use what has led others to success.
  3. Consider training with a group. The people running with you can offer support, bonding and help cut down the boredom of the long weekend runs!
  4. Listen to your body. Marathon training is fertile ground for injury; address small injuries before they become large ones.
  5. Enjoy yourself. Many marathoners become so focused on the “prize” of finishing one that they overlook the experience of training. Relish the time spent exercising, outdoors and with friends and the wonderful effects that the workout has on your body.

Dr. Choi sees patients at the Loyola healthcare centers in Burr Ridge, Hickory Hills and Homer Glen.
Dr. Winger sees patients at Loyola Center for Health on Roosevelt in Maywood.

October 9, 2015

Stopping the stigma of mental illness through science and education

brainmentalillnessWhat people don’t know about mental illness can hurt.

Research-based scientific facts, especially about the biological side of mental illness, help remove the stigma commonly associated with psychiatric and mood disorders. For example, researchers identified a biological predictor that in preliminary tests accurately predicted suicidal behavior 80 percent of the time, or more. The biomarker can be found in a simple blood test. Read more about the findings from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

Murali Rao, MD

Murali Rao, MD

“Mental illnesses have been thought of as disorders of behavior and disorders of mind,” said Loyola Medicine psychiatrist Murali Rao, MD, FAPM, DLFAPA. “However with the ever increasing understanding of the workings of the brain . . . there needs to be a rethinking that these are in fact disorders of brain.”

With advancements in neuroimaging and diagramming of the brain, “in the near future, we may be able to detect several of these disorders very early.” That could lead to early interventions “and perhaps even prevention,” said Dr. Rao, who is chair of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences for Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

September 30, 2015

Loyola, Palos announce telestroke program, cancer infusion center


Palos Community Hospital and Loyola Medicine are expanding their unique affiliation by launching an advanced telemedicine stroke program and opening a cancer infusion center at the Palos Heights hospital. The two patient-centered initiatives connect Palos patients and doctors to Loyola’s renowned stroke and cancer experts.

The cancer infusion center will bring nationally renowned cancer treatment close to home for south suburban patients and provides an additional, convenient location for Loyola oncology care.

“Rather than asking patients to travel to us, we will come to them,” said Daniel Post, Loyola’s executive vice president for Network Development and System Integration.

High touch, high tech

The center is another way Loyola Medicine and Palos Community Hospital are serving the community’s needs by providing the best care where it is most convenient and caring for the patient. Construction will be complete November 1.

Before then, Palos and Loyola will launch the telestroke program Oct. 15.

For south suburban stroke patients, the telemedicine program will bridge the distance between the best healthcare options: being cared for at nearby Palos Community Hospital while having available the expertise of Loyola Medicine’s stroke specialists – even though they are 18 miles apart.

Expert interventions, when administered within the first few hours after a stroke, can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life. Loyola Medicine is a Midwest leader in telemedicine, and one of only a few hospitals nationwide to provide specialized stroke care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Telemedicine physicians at the world-class Loyola Stroke Center together with physicians at Palos provide expert, timely care using a remote controlled robotic system. Our rapid response treatment reduces disability and saves lives.

Loyola is a recipient of the American Stroke Association’s Gold Performance Achievement Award and the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval.®

Last spring, Palos Community Hospital, in Palos Heights, and Loyola University Health System announced a unique affiliation to give patients access to Loyola’s renowned specialty care services, such as oncology and neurology, while ensuring continued access to Palos’ primary care doctors and specialists.

Learn more about the center and our innovative partnership.


September 23, 2015

What you need to know about prostate cancer testing

mriultrasoundprostateGopal Gupta, MD, is a Loyola Medicine urologist and an expert in radiology and surgical oncology. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Gupta answers common questions about testing for prostate cancer.

Q. I’m confused about PSA testing for prostate cancer and who should or shouldn’t get tested. Can you explain?

A. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening is a blood test used to screen men for prostate cancer. There is some controversy about PSA screening especially as men become older because prostate cancer is often a slow-growing disease and some of the men who are found to have the disease may not require treatment. The American Urological Association recommends that all men over 40 years old with a life expectancy of at least 10 years be screened. PSA screening saves lives and we are now utilizing MRI imaging of the prostate to improve on PSA screening for prostate cancer detection.

Prostate cancer screening can help identify cancer early, when treatment is most effective and can prevent death caused by prostate cancer. And a normal PSA test, combined with a digital rectal exam, can help reassure you that it’s unlikely you have prostate cancer. But getting a PSA test for prostate cancer may not be necessary for some men, and this is where guidelines from various organizations come into play.

Professional organizations that do recommend PSA screening generally encourage the test in men between the ages of 40-75 and in men with risk factors for prostate cancer.

Ultimately, whether you have a PSA test is something you should decide after discussing it with your doctor, considering your risk factors and weighing your personal preferences.

Q. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

A. One reason that screening for prostate cancer is so important as a man ages is that localized and curable prostate cancer has no symptoms. A decrease in the force of the urinary stream or other voiding issues are more likely due to BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) than prostate cancer. For men with localized prostate cancer and some urination problems, the explanation is that BPH is occurring coincidentally with the prostate cancer.

Men with advanced prostate cancer, however, may have symptoms similar to those of men with BPH, including blood in the urine, painful urination and a decreased urinary flow. Fortunately, with today’s emphasis on screening and early detection, more than 9 in 10 prostate cancers are found in potentially curable stages.

Q. How is MRI being used in detecting prostate cancer?

A. The use of MRI in the detection and treatment of prostate cancer is an active area of research. At Loyola, we are on the forefront of using MRI with ultrasound to help improve our prostate biopsies for cancer detection.

Currently MRI is not widely used as a screening test for prostate cancer. However, MRI has an emerging role in making prostate biopsies more effective in detecting prostate cancer. In addition, MRI can provide the surgeon with important information before prostate cancer surgery

Dr. Gupta sees patients at Loyola Outpatient Center and the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, both on the Loyola University Medical Center campus in Maywood. Loyola urologists are available at several convenient locations.

September 2, 2015

Allergy alert: Very high mold levels in the air

Dr. Joseph Leija, taking the allergy count at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Joseph Leija, taking the allergy count at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.

If you found it hard to breathe easily Wednesday, a heavy amount of allergens in the air may be to blame.

On Thursday morning, the daily Gottlieb Allergy Report by Joseph Leija, MD, showed “very high” levels of mold, high levels of weed and moderate ragweed in the air. A dangerous air quality alert was issued to warn people who have sensitive respiratory systems to take extra care.

The recent hot, humid temperatures coupled with rain have created the rise in mold particles. With forecasts calling for more high temperatures and some rain this long, Labor Day weekend, Dr. Leija said the air likely will continue to cause headaches – and sneezing, watery eyes, congestion, runny noses and difficulty breathing – for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.

Dr. Leija offers these tips for allergy sufferers:

  • Take your medication.
  • Consult your allergist.
  • Keep the windows closed.
  • Run the air conditioner to filter out allergens.
  • Rinse your nasal passages with saline solution to remove irritants.
  • Keep car windows rolled up when driving.
  • Take allergy medications.
  • Wash hair before bed to remove allergens.

In Chicago, 6,500 to13,000 mold spores per cubic meter is a moderate mold count. Over 50,000 signals a dangerous air quality warning for allergy sufferers, who can expect headaches, sinus congestion, runny noses and fatigue, says allergist Joseph Leija, MD.

You can follow @GottliebAllergy on Twitter for Loyola’s allergy count reports.

August 28, 2015

From the Dietitians’ Table: How to understand and tame food cravings

Portrait of beautiful young woman eating donuts at home.What should you do when you crave a certain food, especially a comfort food or a sweet treat? Treat yourself with care and think about what it is you really want and need.

Hunger and cravings are different: Hunger is the need for fuel, while cravings are an intense desire for a specific food — with or without hunger. It is essential to your health that cravings not shape your daily eating habits.

Learning strategies for handling cravings is essential. So let’s break this down into why you have cravings and what to do about them.

Hunger: Whenever you feel like eating, pause to ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” You can be hungry and crave a specific food to satisfy that hunger. Being overly hungry makes it harder to think rationally and to eat mindfully.

Stress: People commonly crave foods like chocolate, cookies, chips, and other high-fat foods because they stimulate the reward center of your brain. These foods cause your brain to release endorphins, which make you feel good.

Associations and memories: Pairing certain foods with certain places, events, or people creates a link in the brain. In the future, similar circumstances—can trigger a craving for that particular food.

Deprivation: As you resist “forbidden” foods, the cravings may increase, eventually leading to eating, and then overeating, those foods.

How to Handle Cravings

Pause for a body-mind-heart scan. Stop for a moment to notice what’s going on when

Golfers take to the course Aug. 28 to raise awareness, benefit Loyola Burn Center


golf-outing (2)

Golfers and even some non-golfers will come together for an annual event that is both a good time and a benefit to Loyola University Medical Center’s Burn Center: the 10th Annual Burn Awareness Golf Outing at Pheasant Run Resort.

The event, Friday, August 28, 2015, includes a dinner and silent auction.

You can register or make a gift today at

What you need to know


Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 East Main Street, St. Charles, IL


11:30 am – Registration and buffet lunch

1:00 pm – Shotgun start

6:00 pm – Dinner buffet, awards, prizes, silent auction and split the pot raffle.

How much

$175 per golfer

$700 per foursome

$60 for dinner only

For more information, call the Loyola University Health System’s Office of Development, (708) 216-8531.

August 16, 2015

Don’t let the heat put your outdoor workouts on ice

heatworkoutsWhen you’re determined to keep working out in the heat, your strong will may not be enough to keep you from suffering.

“Sweat is our body’s way of cooling off. But as we perspire, we lose necessary body fluids, which leads to dehydration,” said Pietro Tonino, MD, orthopaedic surgeon and director of sports medicine. “When we become dehydrated, we lose the ability to sweat appropriately and become susceptible to heat injury.”

Dr. Tonino said there are many factors that can lead to injury and need to be considered before exerting yourself on a hot day. Here are 10:

  1. Humidity affects how easily sweat evaporates from skin. Sweat must be evaporated to cool off the body. When humidity is 60 percent or greater, it is difficult for sweat to evaporate into the air.
  2. Clothing choice is just as important when exercising in the summer months as in the winter months. Dark clothing absorbs heat and can drastically increase the chance of heat stress.
  3. Sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and increase your body temperature. So be sure to slather on the screen and reapply it every two hours. Also look for shaded places to exercise to help keep your core temperature down.
  4. Acclimatization allows our body time to adjust to the heat. So, take is slow at first and make sure you’re in good health before exerting yourself in the heat.
  5. Age is an important consideration. Children have a more difficult time adjusting to the heat than adults do and are less effective at regulating body heat. So, take extra care with kids in the heat.
  6. Dehydration, even in mild levels, can hurt athletic performance. If you don’t have enough fluids, you can’t effectively cool yourself off.
  7. Drinking water is a must before you head outdoors to exercise. If you are dehydrated before beginning your exercise routine, you are at greater risk for heat injury. Make sure you are hydrated before, during and after exercising in the heat.
  8. High body fat levels make it more difficult for a body to cool itself off.
  9. Medications such as diuretics and stimulants can increase your risk of heat injury so check with your doctor if you are taking any medications before exercising in the heat.
  10. Fevers already have caused the body temperature to rise. If you have a fever or recently had a fever you should not exercise in the heat. Your core body temperature is already high and this leaves you susceptible to heat injury.

August 13, 2015

VIDEO: A relaxing walk will calm your mind, reduce stress

Take a relaxing stroll

Having a tough day? Want to unwind by having a beer, eating a cupcake or plopping down on the couch to watch TV? There’s a simpler, more effective and energizing way to relieve stress: Take a walk.

A walk is one the simplest and most effective ways to relieve stress, Emily Tuerk, MD, a Loyola Medicine internal medicine/pediatrics doctor, says in a one-minute video.

It’s important to wind down after a stressful day, and a relaxing walk will help lower damaging stress hormones and can help you sleep well at night, she says.

Dr. Tuerk treats adults and children in Homer Glen. Her special areas of interest include adolescent medicine, preventive medicine, pediatric nutrition, diabetes, children with disabilities and family health.

August 7, 2015

Breast-feeding is the focus of Loyola, @30SecondMom Twitter chat

kimi-suh-081115As a mom and as a family doctor, Kimi Suh, MD, knows breast-feeding can be very rewarding but also very challenging, especially in the first few weeks. That’s why new moms need to ask questions. Dr. Suh, @loyolahealth and @30secondmom are teaming together to take your questions Aug. 11 on Twitter.

Join us at 8 pm Tuesday for an information exchange on breast-feeding. Dr. Suh and other mothers of all experience levels, including brand-new moms, will ask and answer questions.

Dr. Suh is a family medicine physician at the Loyola Center for Health in Elmwood Park, 7255 W. Grand Ave. She specializes in the care of people of all ages, but especially enjoys women’s health, prenatal care and child and adolescent medicine. She is mother of a toddler son and infant daughter.

Moms who are having difficulty breast-feeding or who have questions need to seek answers from experts, including lactation consultants, and also from other mothers, Dr. Suh said in her video interview with WJOL radio.

July 30, 2015

Learn more about cleft lip and palate treatment

A shoulder to cry onDid you know that cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common birth defects?  Called orofacial clefts, they occur when a child’s lip or mouth doesn’t form properly.

The defect can range from a small notch in the lip to a groove that runs into the roof of the mouth. They most frequently occur early in pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

A cleft lip or palate may cause a child to have difficulty eating, speaking clearly or hearing well. It can also lead to ear infections and dental problems, and well as other difficulties. Surgery is often recommended and usually performed when a child is between 9 and 12 months of age.

July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month. Learn more about Loyola Medicine’s Cleft Lip and Palate Program.

Pediatric otolaryngologist Laura Swibel Rosenthal, MD, discusses her approach to caring for craniofacial patients, including those who have cleft lip or palate. Dr. Swibel Rosenthal sees patients in Homer Glen, Oakbrook Terrace and the Loyola Outpatient Center in Maywood.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Parit Patel, MD, talks about caring for patients with cleft lip and cleft palate. Dr. Patel sees patients in Oakbrook Terrace, Burr Ridge and in Maywood at the Loyola Outpatient Center and Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital.

July 27, 2015

If you can breathe, you can meditate. Here’s how: VIDEO

Kit Lee, MD

Kit Lee, MD

Stress is a contributor to heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women. Meditation is a simple way to reduce stress and release tension, and it doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes. Kit Lee, MD, says meditation can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths.

Dr. Lee is a family medicine physician who has special interests in mind-body medicine, acupuncture, and preventive medicine. She cares for adults and children at Loyola Center for Health on Roosevelt.


July 24, 2015

Do you really need to eat whole grain foods?

Different bread and bread slices.

By Stefany Swartz

Bread is bread, right? So does it really matter whether it’s white bread or whole grain bread? If you’ve been eating white bread, white pasta, and white rice your whole life, you might think switching to whole grains is too hard isn’t important, or you may think it’s impossible​.

Think again!

One of the most important differences between whole grains and refined grains is fiber. Whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats, and bran are naturally high in fiber, which can:

  • Keep your blood sugar levels from spiking.
  • Reduce bad cholesterol.
  • Help you feel fuller longer.

Unfortunately refined white grains have almost the exact opposite effect on the body causing your blood sugars to rise quickly and making you feel hungrier sooner.

Is it whole grain or not? How can you tell?

July 11, 2015

Six summer weight loss tips from Loyola Medicine

weightcroppedSummer is an especially good time to start new, healthy routines. Warm weather, abundant fresh fruits and vegetables, outdoor grilling and ample opportunities to be active outdoors make new habits easier to adopt than in the cold of winter.

“By getting into better exercise and eating habits now, you will start to look and feel healthier,” says Lauren Zuro, registered dietitian at Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care. “And if you keep it up, you will be in better shape and more confident for the winter holiday parties and celebratory photos.”

Zuro offers six tips on how you can use summer to your advantage and improve your health:

  1. Keep meal patterns consistent. “The onset of summer brings about vacations, barbecues, graduation parties, and other social events. Don’t skip meals thinking you are saving calories; plan meals around social engagements and other activities. Be sure to make time to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, which will help you stick to your weight loss/nutrition plan.”
  2. Bring something healthy. “When going to an event, bring a healthy dish to share. That way, you will know there is something for you to eat to stay on track. Try a recipe for a new salad, slice a variety of fresh seasonal fruit or cut up vegetables for a colorful display.”
  3. Stay hydrated with water. “As the temperatures increase outside, your body’s need for water increases inside. When out in warm or hot weather, be sure to sip water every 15 minutes to stay hydrated. Avoid sugary beverages such as soda, juice (even 100 percent fruit juice), and sports drinks that contain added sugar. They are just empty calories.”
  4. Visit farmer’s markets. “Increase your fruit and vegetable intake by taking advantage of local produce available at farmer’s markets during the summer months. You will find a variety of locally grown produce at reasonable costs and you are supporting local farmers.”
  5. Avoid long periods of sedentary activity after eating. Go for an evening walk after dinner, or a morning bike ride after breakfast, or pack a picnic lunch to take along on a hike.
  6. Avoid ballpark and concession stand meals. If you are going to be at the ballpark during mealtime, if possible, pack healthy options to bring with you, such as a sandwich, fresh fruit or mixed nuts.

Zuro regularly counsels weight loss patients at Loyola’s bariatric center and specializes in non-surgical and surgical weight loss medicine.

Learn more about surgical and non-surgical weight loss options by visiting or by calling (800) 355-0416.

July 8, 2015

Is your lingering cough or cold bronchitis?

summercoughWhen your cough or cold seems like it’s lasted too long, it is time to see a medical professional.

What started out as a common cold virus or influenza may have become bronchitis. And bronchitis can lead to more serious or even dangerous conditions, such as pneumonia, according to Khalilah Babino, DO, an immediate care doctor at Loyola Center for Health at Homer Glen.

Khalilah Babino, DO

Khalilah Babino, DO

“We see a lot of cases of bronchitis at our immediate care centers,” Dr. Babino said.

Bronchitis is a serious condition of the lower respiratory tract and occurs when bronchi of the lungs become inflamed. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Chest congestion
  • Productive cough that lasts longer than five days

July 6, 2015

Loyola doctor suggests a simple stretch to end neck tension and pain

peo-lee-kit-md-1260Loyola primary care doctor Kit C. Lee, MD, suggests a simple stretch to reduce neck tension and pain. In the video, she demonstrates how to do the stretch.

Dr. Lee is a family medicine physician whose special interests include children’s and women’s health, preventive medicine, mind and body medicine and acupuncture. She sees patients at the Loyola Center for Health on Roosevelt in Maywood.


July 4, 2015

10 tips to help manage your child’s screen time

blogtechtimeWith even toddlers using tablets, smartphones and other tech devices parents need to manage children’s screen time to ensure kids still spend enough time talking and developing language skills.

“Talking to children in the first years of their life sets them up for academic and social success for a lifetime,” says Kathleen Czuba, a Loyola Medicine speech and language therapist. “Studies link the number and variety of words a child hears and later academic achievement.”

Summer break is often more unstructured, and a prime time for using technology to fill empty hours.

“Remember that the best opportunities for conversation and learning are often found in situations that may be viewed as boring, such as while running errands or on a long car trip — particularly for the youngest children,“ Czuba says.

Loyola’s Speech and Language Therapy Services team and the American Speech Language Hearing Association offer these tips for keeping tech use in balance:

June 24, 2015

From the dietitian’s table: Prepare to be healthy every week

nutritionblogfoodprep062415By Stefany Swartz, RD, LDN

More often than not, our excuse for not eating right is that we don’t have enough time. We tend to focus so much on work and daily duties that we often skip preparing food and Stefany-Swartzcooking at home.

Fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy — especially if you make your own by having the right foods ready and available, and by keeping your house stocked with the basics.

If you do, you can eat healthy food when you need it.

How to start

First, pick a time during the week or weekend when you can set aside a few hours to grocery shop and prepare food – clean, portion out and store – to last the week, or, at the very least, for a few days.

June 21, 2015

Check out the newly redesigned

LMorgImage600We have launched our upgraded website with far more content, a new, simpler format and a more robust search engine.

You will find fresh content on all types of medical conditions and the world-class diagnosis and treatment options offered by Loyola Medicine and our hundreds of doctors. You easily can search for the doctor you need by specialty and location and see the depth of our clinical offerings simply by choosing the medical service that interests you.

Come see for yourself, and let us know what you think.

June 17, 2015

The facts about prostate cancer screening

Prostate Cancer ScreeningGetting screened for prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men, used to be pretty standard and routine. But several medical groups came out with their own, sometimes conflicting, recommendations for who should have the prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) and when. If you wonder whether it’s time for you to be tested, Loyola Medicine’s Michael Gill, MD, has the answer best suited to you. Watch Dr. Gill’s video.

Dr. Gill is an internal medicine and pediatrics physician who sees patients at Loyola centers for health in Wheaton and Park Ridge.

June 17, 2015

Learn about summer safety with @LoyolaHealth, @30SecondMom

Dr. Bridget BoydLoyola Medicine and parenting lifestyle site 30Second Mom are hosting the second in a series of Twitter chats Wednesday, June 17, at 8 pm. The chats are designed to provide helpful health information to on-the-go parents.

Wednesday’s special guest will be pediatrician Bridget Boyd, MD, who will provide essential safety tips to help families make the most of their summers. Dr. Boyd is the medical director of the newborn nursery at Loyola University Health System. She is an ardent proponent of pediatric safety, especially now that she’s the mom of two active kids.

To follow our chat, use #30SecondMom and follow @loyolahealth. To review tips on health and dozens of other subjects, download the 30Second Mom app for iPhone or Android, or visit

May 22, 2015

Know the signs of stroke to save time, save brain

Dr. José Biller, chair of Neurology at Loyola and a renowned expert on stroke, talks about the signs of stroke and the importance of seeing a doctor after having one.

Every year, about 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the leading cause of long-term disability.

With stroke, time lost getting treatment equals lost brain cells, according to Dr. José Biller, chair of Neurology at Loyola and a renowned expert on stroke.

A stroke is a “brain attack” that can happen in one of two ways:

Symptoms of a stroke may last only 15 to 20 minutes, but that doesn’t mean the danger has passed. Call 911 and get to the hospital immediately if you experience these symptoms:

  • Sudden onset of severe headache
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • Trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Sudden vertigo, dizziness or loss of balance
  • Double vision

In addition, people often will suffer mini strokes (transient ischemic attacks) before they have a full stroke. Symptoms of mini strokes can last just a few minutes, but they should be promptly evaluated.

 FAST action is crucial

A simple way to remember the signs of a stroke is to think of the word “FAST.”

  • Face = Is one side of your face drifting downward?
  • Arms = Is one of your arms falling lower?
  • Speech = Does your speech sound slurred or not normal?
  • Time = Time is crucial. If you have any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

Dr. Biller explains how to recognize signs of a stroke for the American Heart Association:

About stroke care and prevention at Loyola

  • Loyola Medicine has achieved the American Stroke Association Get with the Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.
  • Our Stroke Center is accredited by the Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center.

If you’ve sought treatment and wonder whether further treatment would help, call Loyola’s Second Opinion Stroke Clinic at (708) 216-2438.

May 15, 2015

How to prepare for your first 5K


Dr. Haemi Choi

In honor of Women’s Health Week, Loyola Medicine doctors are sharing tips. Today, Haemi Choi, MD, family medicine and sports medicine doctor, shares another tip.

If you’re thinking about participating in your first 5K event, you’ll want to get ready for that 3.1-mile run (or walk).

Dr. Choi recommends the following:

  •  Go to a running store and be fitted for proper running shoes.
  • Take it slow with gradual progression in mileage.
  • Find a running group or buddy to train with.
  • Listen to your body and eat what it can handle.
  • Enjoy the experience.

Dr. Choi sees patients at Loyola Center for Health at Hickory Hills and Loyola Center for Health at Homer Glen. Her interests include arthritis, general rehabilitation, musculoskeletal injuries, acupuncture and sports injuries. To make an appointment with Dr. Choi, call 888-584-7888.

May 14, 2015

Health tip for women: There are many ways to exercise, including dancing


In honor of National Women’s Health Week, Loyola Medicine is sharing tips to help women live healthier lives. Today’s tip comes from Haemi Choi, MD, a Loyola family medicine and sports medicine doctor.

Dr. Choi says:  Make time for regular exercise at least four to five times a week for 30 minutes at a time, but exercise can come in all forms:

  • Gardening
  • Doing household chores
  • Taking a yoga class at the gym
  • Running several miles
  • Just going out dancing with friends.

Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, reduces stress, increases energy, helps to regulate sleep and improves one’s mood and sense of well-being.

Dr. Choi sees patients at the Loyola Center for Health at Hickory Hills and the Loyola Center for Health at Homer Glen. Her interests include arthritis, general rehabilitation, musculoskeletal injuries, acupuncture and sports injuries. To make an appointment with Dr. Choi, call 888-584-7888.

May 13, 2015

Women’s health tip: Look into cause of pregnancy pain

In honor of National Women’s Health Week, Loyola Medicine is sharing tips to help women live healthier lives. It’s National Women’s Health Week, and we’re sharing tips to help women live healthier lives. Today’s tips come from Colleen Fitzgerald, MD, a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor who specializes in women’s pelvic pain.

Dr. Fitzgerald says:

Pain in the lower back or leg during pregnancy is common but not normal. It isn’t typically a sciatic nerve problem. More likely it is pain from the pelvic joints (sacroiliac, pubic symphysis), ligaments and muscles and can be treated easily with the right kind of physical therapy. Don’t accept pain as a normal part of motherhood. The sooner you get it treated, the less likely it will stick around.

Dr. Fitzgerald sees patients at the Loyola Outpatient Center and at the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge. To make an appointment with her, call 888-584-7888.

May 12, 2015

5 strategies to optimize your health

Dr. Anita VarkeyIn celebration of National Women’s Health Week, Loyola Medicine is sharing tips to help women live healthier lives. Today’s message comes from Anita Varkey, MD, an internist who specializes in women’s health.

Dr. Varkey says these five strategies will optimize your health:

  1. If you don’t know, ask your doctor if your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight are at the recommended levels.
  2. If you don’t know, ask your doctor if your personal and family history increases your risk for certain types of disease, such as cancer or heart attacks.
  3. Ask your doctor if your vaccinations are up to date.
  4. Be honest with yourself and your doctor about your eating, drinking and exercise habits. We often underestimate our food and alcohol intake and overestimate our exercise efforts.
  5. Remember, it is not selfish to take time to care for yourself. If you are not feeling well, then you are not able to care for and nurture all of the family and friends who depend on you.

Dr. Varkey sees patients at the Loyola Outpatient Center. To make an appointment with her, call 888-584-7888. Learn more about her from her profile video.

May 11, 2015

Women, for your health: breathe, relax, move

In honor of National Women’s Health Week, Loyola Medicine wants to share tips to help women live healthier lives. Today’s message comes from Mary Adeli Lynn, DO, a Loyola obstetrician and gynecologist.

Dr. Lynn says:

Find time every day to:
Find your breath.
Relax your mind.
Get your body moving.

Daily exercise helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, anxiety and depression. (Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program or routine).

Dr. Lynn sees patients at Loyola Center for Health at Oakbrook Terrace and Loyola Outpatient Center. Her special interests in OB/GYN include endometriosis, uterine bleeding, menopause, menstrual problems, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, sexual wellness and minimally invasive surgery.

April 24, 2015

Why men are less likely to go to the doctor than women

Doctor with male patient

“A lot of men think going to the doctor is just one more thing on a seemingly endless ‘to do’ list,” said Kevin Polsley, MD, a Loyola Medicine primary care physician. “Men need to start thinking about their health and making it a priority.”

Dr. Polsley, an assistant professor of internal medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, lists these top three health concerns for men and what they can do about them.

Sleep apnea
An estimated 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, but many aren’t tested for it. Symptoms include snoring, waking up frequently in the night, headaches in the morning or waking with a dry mouth.

“Many men’s health issues can be helped if they take steps to manage their sleep apnea. Long-term complications from the disease include high blood pressure, heart failure, heart attacks and stroke, so it’s an important condition to diagnose and treat,” Dr. Polsley said.

Loyola’s Sleep Disorders Center tests for sleep apnea and provides treatment options. Weight loss may help decrease this problem as well.

April 8, 2015

Rolling out muscles can smooth out your workout, says Gottlieb fitness expert

Woman doing yoga

So, you’re ready to stretch out before you start your workout? There is something else you may need to do first. If your muscles are tight, a foam roller can help you work out the knots, advised Mike Ross, exercise physiologist, Gottlieb Center for Fitness.

“Think of your muscles as shoelaces,” he said. “If you have a knot in your muscle, stretching pulls it tighter.” The two- to three-foot-long foam cylinders used properly can roll out the knots, restore flexibility and reduce the potential for injury.

March 26, 2015

4 questions you need to ask about your colonoscopy

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancers are the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, and yet the disease is preventable and treatable, especially when detected early.

A colonoscopy is an important method for screening for colon cancer, rectal cancer or other colorectal diseases

“Once you’ve decided it’s time to get a screening colonoscopy, the next step is to make sure that you get a high-quality one,” says Neil Gupta, MD, MPH, director of endoscopy at Loyola University Health System.

Dr. Gupta, who has performed thousands of colonoscopies, published numerous studies on colonoscopy and quality in healthcare and taught physicians around the world about endoscopy, said patients should ask these four questions.