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December 30th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Meatless meals: The benefits of eating less meat
You can eat healthfully without spending a lot. One way to achieve healthy savings is to serve meat less often.

Managing fatigue with multiple sclerosis
The fatigue that often accompanies MS can make it hard to do what you want to do. Use these ideas to help fight fatigue.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Whitening toothpaste: Does it whiten teeth?
Find out how whitening toothpaste works and whether it's effective.

When the heat is on, which oil should you use?
Olive, canola or grapeseed? Which should you have on hand?

HEALTHY RECIPES
Spinach-stuffed sole
Fava beans with garlic
Cauliflower mashed 'potatoes'
Cranberry spritzer

buffet table with platters of Italian cremes and pastry dessertsHEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Are your holidays a dietary free-for-all?
The holidays aren't an excuse to abandon healthy habits. Some indulgence is OK, but too much may leave you feeling depressed and guilty. Plan ahead to manage temptation. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. And continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.

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Tags: cancer prevention, canola oil, health foods, holiday diet, meatless diet, Meditation, Monday's Housecall, MS, multiple sclerosis, Nutrition, olive oil, Sleep, whitening toothpaste


December 23rd, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Allergy-proof your house
See how to allergy-proof your house with these simple changes and find relief for your symptoms.

Living with multiple sclerosis
Having a chronic condition like multiple sclerosis can be challenging. Learn how you can manage the disease and live well with MS.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Cold or allergy: Which is it?
Learn how to tell the difference between common cold and allergy symptoms.

Is pregnancy safe if you have MS?
Most women's MS symptoms actually lessen or disappear during pregnancy.

HEALTHY RECIPESChildren bundled up in winter clothes sledding and playing in the snow
Smoked-trout spread
Spinach dip with mushrooms
Whole-wheat pretzel
Chickpea hummus

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Let it snow, but watch the chill
Whether you're playing in the snow or you're knee-deep in a winter workout, the wind can penetrate your clothes and remove the insulating layer of warm air that surrounds your body. Fast motion, such as skiing or skating, also creates wind chill because it increases air movement past your body. If the temperature dips well below 0 F (minus 18 C), choose an indoor activity instead.

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Tags: airplane ear, allergies, allergy proof, back exercises, colds, dust mites, freezing temperatures, heartburn, holiday nutrition, Monday's Housecall, MS, multiple sclerosis, pregnancy


December 16th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Dealing with stress when you have MS
Living with MS can be stressful. Making certain lifestyle changes can help ease stress and make it easier to cope.

Sodium: How to tame your salt habit
Getting too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and cause other health problems. See how to cut back on salt.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Walking: Is it enough for weight loss?
Walking may help you lose weight, but it may be even more important in helping you keep the weight off for the long term.

Is there a multiple sclerosis diet?
If you have been diagnosed with MS, find out if there is a special diet you should follow.

HEALTHY RECIPES
Poached pears
Lemon rice with golden raisins and almondsthree or four women's legs running in tennis shoes on treadmills
Pork medallions with herbes de Provence
Lima bean ragout with tomatoes and thyme

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Exercise doesn't need to go by the wayside when you're traveling. Before you leave, call your hotel and ask about on-site or nearby fitness facilities or equipment, such as treadmills, weight machines, running tracks, pools, tennis courts and outdoor trails. Then pack accordingly. Also consider keeping these things in your suitcase: athletic shoes, a jump rope and resistance bands.

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Tags: Alzheimer's, exercise when travelling, Monday's Housecall, MS, multiple sclerosis, sodium, stress, TMJ, vision problems, walking, Weight Loss


December 9th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan
This diet is a heart-healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats.

Exercise-induced asthma
If you cough, wheeze or feel out of breath during or after exercise, it may be more than exertion causing your symptoms.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Asthma-friendly products: Do they help reduce symptoms?
Evaluate the claims of asthma-friendly products before you spend your money.gold and white holiday pkg.

Cellphones and cancer: What's the risk?
A Mayo Clinic specialist discusses this controversial topic

HEALTHY RECIPES
Rolled ham and Swiss omelet
Breakfast burrito
Banana-oatmeal hot cakes with spiced maple syrup
Strawberry banana milkshake

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Perfect holiday? Forget about it!
Adding extensive preparations, such as shopping, baking and entertaining, to your usual daily demands can take the joy out of the holidays. Instead, consider scaling back. Focus on the holiday traditions you enjoy most, and skip the rest. Accept imperfections in yourself and in others. Embrace the holiday season with peace and good cheer.

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Tags: asthma, cancer, Mediterranean Diet, Monday's Housecall, multiple sclerosis, sore throat, Yoga, cellphones


December 2nd, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Fitness: Tips for staying motivated
Having trouble sticking with your workout? Try these tips to reignite your enthusiasm.

Jet-lag disorder
Flying across multiple time zones disrupts your natural body rhythms, leading to sleep problems and other symptoms. Learn how to put jet lag to rest.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Blood pressure: Can it be higher in one arm?
Generally, a small difference in blood pressure readings between arms isn't a concern.

Hydrated skin: Does drinking water help?square box of a variety of chocolate candies
Understand the role water plays in keeping skin healthy.

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Is indulgence part of a healthy diet?
Sure, you know the importance of eating healthy foods. But is there room in a healthy diet for occasional splurges? You bet. Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. If indulgence is the exception rather than the rule, you'll balance things out over the long term. What's important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.

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Tags: arthritis, blood pressure, cough, Fitness, healthy holidays, hydrated skin, jet lag, Monday's Housecall, Nutrition, mononucleosis


November 25th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Allergies
Allergy symptoms can make you miserable, and in some cases they're life-threatening. Here's some information about allergies and tips on treating allergy symptoms.

Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet
Eat more fiber. You've probably heard it before. But do you know why fiber is so good for your health?

EXPERT ANSWERS
Can honey lessen seasonal allergy symptoms?
Heard the buzz about honey for allergies? Find out if this home remedy works.

Diet soda: Is it bad for you?
Diet soda isn't likely to hurt you, but healthier options abound

HEALTHY RECIPES
Turkey gravy
Glazed turkey breast with fruit stuffing
Wild rice (or quinoa) stuffing
Pumpkin-hazelnut tea cake

stuffed sweet potatoes cut in half on cooking tray with fork and knife on the sideHEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Sweet potatoes: Color yourself healthy!
Why eat sweet potatoes? The deep orange-yellow color of sweet potatoes tells you that they're high in the antioxidant beta carotene. Food sources of beta carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes are also good sources of fiber; vitamins B-6, C and E; folate, and potassium. They're fat-free and relatively low in calories.

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Tags: allergies, bad breath, diet soda, dietary fiber, grief, holiday stress, honey, Monday's Housecall, seasonal allergies, weight training


November 18th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
If you're like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

Light therapy
Light therapy is a way to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) by exposure to artificial light.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Canola oil: Does it contain toxins?
Health concerns regarding canola oil are unfounded.

Vitamin D and MS: Is there any connection?
 Some research suggests that vitamin D may reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis.

HEALTHY RECIPES
Southwestern chicken and pasta
Fish tacos with tomatillo sauce
Black bean wrapYoung caucasian girl standing near humidifier with steam filling the room
Grilled pork fajitas

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Humidifier care 101
Dry winter air can take a toll on your skin, nose and lips. To increase the humidity indoors, try a portable home humidifier. Set the humidity level between 30 and 50 percent, and fill the humidifier with distilled or demineralized water. Change the humidifier water often. Clean the humidifier every three days. If the humidifier has a filter, change it at least as often as the manufacturer recommends.

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Tags: canola oil, diabetes, eye exam, fatigue, humidifiers, light therapy, Monday's Housecall, SAD, seasonal affective disorder, swine flu, vitamin D


November 11th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Bone health: Tips to keep your bones healthy
Wondering how to keep your bones strong and healthy? Follow these tips to take care of your bones.

Asthma: Limit asthma attacks caused by colds or flu
Asthma, colds and flu — Keep your sneeze from turning into a wheeze.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Asthma triggers: Are hard flooring surfaces better than carpet?
Replacing carpet with hard flooring may be a good idea if you have asthma.

Hand swelling during exercise: A concern?
Hand swelling during exercise is a common problem, but rarely serious enough to disrupt your routine.

HEALTHY RECIPES
Potato soup with apples and Brie
Sloppy joes
Tuscan white bean stew
Pumpkin soup

Caucasian man's fist pounding down on a pile of broken cigarettesHEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Quit smoking: Surviving quit day
Getting through 'quit day' can be emotionally and physically challenging, especially if tobacco cravings strike. Use these tips to help get through quit-smoking day: 1. Don't smoke, not even 'just one.' 2. Begin using nicotine replacement therapy if you've chosen that method. 3. Remind yourself of reasons to quit smoking. 4. Keep physically active. 5. Avoid situations and people that trigger cravings. 6. Attend a support group, counseling session or stop-smoking class. 7. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques. 8. Keep your hands busy by texting, writing, squeezing a ball or knitting.

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Tags: age-related vision, allergies, asthma, bone health, hand swelling, high cholesterol, kitchen fires, Monday's Housecall, Nutrition, smoking


November 4th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Buying prescription drugs online: The do's and don'ts
Buying prescription drugs online? Stay safe with these do's and don'ts.

Diabetes prevention: 5 tips for taking control
Changing your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it's never too late to start.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Cold symptoms: Does drinking milk increase phlegm?
Drinking milk may thicken phlegm — but it doesn't increase phlegm production.Row of five different colored toothbrushes, blue, pink, orange, yellow and green

Chapped lips: What's the best remedy?
Chapped lips can have several causes. Learn how to prevent and treat chapped lips.

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK 

Time to buy a new toothbrush?
Change your toothbrush or the replacement head on your electric or battery-powered toothbrush at least every three to four months. Change it sooner if it becomes frayed. Keeping a toothbrush for too long makes it difficult to clean your teeth well, and it may contribute to bad breath or other oral health problems.

HEALTHY RECIPES
Roasted squash soup
Vegetable salsa
Ratatouille with roasted tomato vinaigrette
Caribbean red beans and brown rice

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Tags: Alzheimer's, being happy, brushing teeth, caregivers, chapped lips, cold symptoms, COPD, diabetes prevention, fast food, Monday's Housecall, prescription drugs online, toothbrush, womens sexual health


October 28th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Blue and While Housecall Banner with Mayo Clinic three shields

THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Hay fever
Despite its name, hay fever is almost never triggered by hay, and it doesn't cause a fever. In the fall, ragweed pollen is a common hay fever trigger.

Weight loss: 6 strategies for success
Help make your weight-loss goals a reality with these six strategies.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Pet allergy: Are there hypoallergenic dog breeds?
There are no hypoallergenic dog breeds, but you can reduce your allergic reactions.

Acne scars: What's the best treatment?
Various procedures can improve acne scars, but no single treatment is best for everyone.

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK 
Have a cold? Fight it with fluids
You can't flush a cold out of your system, but drinking plenty of liquids can help. Try water, juice, clear broth, chicken soup or warm lemon water with honey. The fluids will loosen congestion and keep you hydrated. Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas. These may make dehydration worse.

Five clear glasses filled with different juices and the fruit or vegetable about the glassed pouring in the juice

 

HEALTHY RECIPES
Zesty tomato soup
Apple corn muffins
Chicken strips with honey mustard sauce
Pumpkin cream cheese dip

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Tags: acne scars, hay fever, HOUSECALL, pet allergy, Weight Loss, allergy tests, cold flu, contact lenses, drink liquids, highfiber foods, living with cancer