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SIU Healthy Dose Blog

SIU's Healthy Dose blog shares health information and gives tips on a variety of topics— from weight loss to skin care to getting better sleep.

Frights and Delights: A Psychiatrist's Guide to a Safe Halloween

While it can be fun for adults to engage in adrenaline rushing activities such as spooky costumes, eerie movies and haunted houses, it’s important for parents to think about what is both appropriate and emotionally safe for children. It’s just as important to protect your child’s emotional health as it is to protect their physical health this Halloween.

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How to get an A in packing school lunches

School is back in session and that means the four Rs: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and eating Right. To help your kids continue to eat healthy while at school, we asked SIU School of Medicine registered dietitian Cheryl Burns some common questions parents have about packing their kids’ lunches.  

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As football season kicks off, CTE worries persist

A study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association again showed troubling evidence of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) among NFL players. The data indicated that CTE was found in 117 of 119 brains of those who played professional football. (Like Alzheimer’s disease, CTE is diagnosed posthumously.)

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How to get ready for the solar eclipse

Residents across the United States are going to be treated to an amazing celestial event on Monday, August 21. A solar eclipse will be streaking across the continent from Oregon to South Carolina. It’ll move from coast to coast in 90 minutes.

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Are physicals still missing from your back-to-school checklist?

Stylish new gym shoes, notebooks with the most popular theme and the oh-so-important back-to-school outfit top the to-do list for most kids heading back to school. But as the time draws near, some health-related items need to be checked off parents’ lists, too. Here are some reminders from the experts in SIU Medicine's Department of Pediatrics. 

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Elephant ears, corn dogs and shake-ups, oh my!

It’s Illinois State Fair time again! What’s your favorite fair food? Consider a meal of a few of the most popular choices on the fair’s menu: a jumbo corn dog, funnel cake and a chocolate shake. At more than 1,100 calories and more than 30 grams of fat, it might be a better option to walk around fairgrounds rather than take the skyride. 

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World Breastfeeding Week: Mother knows breast

The month of August is marked by several significant events: the Illinois State Fair, kids returning to school and, of course, World Breastfeeding Week, celebrated Aug. 1-7 every year worldwide! In honor of one of the breast, er, best weeks of the year, we spoke with SIU School of Medicine certified lactation counselor Melissa Nicol, RD, to answer the most frequently asked questions about breastfeeding.  

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'Why don't they report?': Domestic violence

When a domestic violence matter becomes news, one question is always shouted the loudest: why didn’t she leave? And with that question comes the implication that, by staying in the relationship, the survivor somehow deserved what happened. As the second part in our two-part series examining why survivors of assault don’t report, we’re looking at domestic violence. Why don’t victims leave, and why don’t they call the police?

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'Why don't they report?': Sexual assault

Survivors or sexual assault face not only unimaginable trauma, but judgment after the fact. Many survivors don’t report attacks to avoid this or because of the societally prevalent idea that no one would believe them anyway. In the first of two blogs examining why victims don’t report attacks, we’re looking at sexual assault. We spoke to Jeanné Hansen, licensed clinical social worker with the SIU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, about why these crimes go so heavily unreported.

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6 tips to prevent tragedy in the backseat

Heat stroke is one of the leading causes of death among children. “People must remember that temperatures of cars are very deceiving,” explains Dr. Wendi El-Amin, a family medicine physician at SIU Center for Family Medicine. “One of the greatest tragedies reported in the media each year involve children who are left in cars and die. Approximately 37 children pass away every year from this preventable tragedy.”

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I tried so hard / And got so far: Depression and suicide prevention

On Thursday, July 20, news broke that Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, had committed suicide. Depression is a serious medical illness affecting more than 14 million American adults every year, but the condition is treatable and help is available.

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This summer, think before you drink

Nothing says summer fun like an outdoor party by the pool or fire pit.  But if you decide to drink alcohol during these steamy days, take precaution. Nearly one-third of motor-vehicle deaths are related to alcohol impairment, according to the CDC.

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Take a break from the pool; get your kids ready for school

Have a child entering pre-k, kindergarten, sixth or ninth grade this year? Be sure you have an appointment set up for a back-to-school physical before school starts. 

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Don't let your July 4th fun go up in flames

Warm weather, barbeques and celebrating our independence is all a part of summer. One of the best parts of the 4th of July is watching the sky light up with a beautiful array of colors, sparkles and shapes. Even though the firework displays are stunning, they can be very dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.

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Could a glass of wine a night increase your cancer risk?

Could your happy hour beverages be increasing your cancer risk? According to a recent study from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, as little as 10 grams of alcohol per day—that’s a small glass of wine, 8 ounces of beer or a shot of a harder liquor—can increase your risk of breast cancer.

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This year, the Midwest is thick with ticks

According to the Chicago Tribune, the tick population is spreading, most notably in the Midwest and Northeast. Experts cite myriad reasons for this, particularly climate change. As we see more and more of these creepy crawlers, it's extra important to exercise prevention.

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Bringing balance back: Ear cells regenerated in mammals

New research by scientists at the University of Washington and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine indicates that the hair cells involved with balance—called vestibular cells—may also be replenished in mammals. This could have implications for restoring damaged cells in humans.

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Is it heat stroke or heat exhaustion?

While heat stroke and heat exhaustion both exist on a spectrum, the illnesses manifest themselves quite differently, and one could be fatal. Do you know the differences? 

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ThinkFirst and have a safe summer

With warm weather comes a host of exciting outdoor activities: swimming, boating, biking, road trips, fireworks and camping to name a few. But, when precautions aren’t taken, many of these activities can also end in injury. One group at SIU School of Medicine makes it their mission to prevent that. 

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Suicide prevention: 13 reasons to seek help

With the popularity and subsequent controversies surrounding Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, suicide among teens and young people is a topic of a lot of conversation across the board. But while the subjective fiction of the show can mean many things to many individuals, there is one reality no one can deny: suicide is a problem, and those suffering with suicidal thoughts need and deserve care and treatment.

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What is tetralogy of fallot?

Last week, Jimmy Kimmel made a tearful and heartfelt announcement. His newborn son, Billy, was born with a heart condition. We talked to Ramzi Nicolas, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, division director of pediatric and fetal cardiology, and associate chair of pediatric specialty services at SIU School of Medicine about Billy Kimmel's condition and what exactly it is.

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For many, birth control improves quality of life

In a recent study out of Sweden, researchers found a correlation between oral contraceptives and a lower quality of life. But for many women, the opposite is true.

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Want your relationship to move forward? Go back to the beginning

How to save your relationship by remembering what brought you together in the first place.

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Immunizations: A matter of life and death

Parenting is a minefield, one littered with harmless myths and lethal falsehoods that could blow up spectacularly without warning. One of the most pervasive and deadly is the idea that vaccines cause autism. No matter how many experts debunk the myth, well-intentioned parents continue to step on this landmine in higher numbers than we’ve seen in our lifetimes. And when that happens? Boom.

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7 things you need to know about infertility

Babies are everywhere. A trip to the mall or a quick scroll of any given Facebook news feed will tell you that. But for every adorable photo op (or less-adorable TMI post about baby bodily fluids) there’s another story—the story of those who’d give anything to have a baby of their own but, for whatever reason, can’t.

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Healthy Dose Archive

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