To Your Good Health
By Paul G. Donohue,
How to Choose
DONOHUE: Please explain the difference between
Protonix and the other medications available for
GERD. I have been on Protonix for nine months,
and no one is able to give me a clear definition.
acid reflux, hiatal hernia and gastroesophageal
reflux disease are different names for the same
condition -- the upward spurting of stomach acid
and digestive juices into the esophagus, the long
muscular tube that stretches from the throat to
the stomach and through which food travels to
arrive in the stomach.
The medicines that
are the most powerful in suppressing acid
production, and therefore in quieting heartburn
symptoms, are proton pump inhibitors.
"Proton" is another word for
"acid." There are five of them:
Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, Aciphex and your
Protonix. They work in a similar fashion. Each
has its own slightly different profile and its
own slightly different set of side effects. Which
is best? The best one for you is the one that
stops your heartburn, causes you the fewest side
effects and costs the least.
Raising the head
of the bed with 6-inch blocks under the bedposts
or lying on the left side while asleep keeps
stomach acid in the stomach and can put an end to
some peoples heartburn without resorting to
medicine. Staying away from caffeine, citrus
fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato products,
chocolate, peppermint, onions and fatty or fried
foods is another approach to minimizing heartburn
DOLLARS AND SENSE
Scrimp and Save
If you made New
Years resolutions to save money wherever
you could, how are you doing? Are you meeting
your goals? For many of us, the initial rush of
determination has worn off, and were back
to our normal spending patterns -- which means
were not saving much at all.
too late to try again. Its said that if you
can do something for 21 days, it will be come a
habit. Here are some relatively painless ways you
can save a few dollars.
Food: Are you
still eating out twice a week, or back to
grabbing an expensive cup of coffee on the way to
work? When you cook at home, fix double the
amount and freeze half. Take lunch to work a few
days a week.
Money: Empty your
pockets and purse of all coins every night and
put them in a jar. Dont carry your credit
cards. Dont pay full price for anything.
Look for bargains. (This keeps you from making
fast purchases, as well as saving money.)
the bathroom faucet still dripping? Spend a few
minutes and a few cents, and the savings will add
up. Get in the habit of tending to money-draining
Insurance: Can you
logically raise your deductible and reduce the
monthly insurance payment?
people have realized that theyre paying for
two phones -- a landline at home and a portable
cell phone -- and have dropped the home phone
altogether. This could be a savings of hundred of
dollars per year. If you absolutely need the
landline, consider dropping options such as call
waiting or call forwarding.
Coupons: Are you
clipping grocery coupons and actually using them?
Coupons arent just for food and
entertainment. Check your local phone book. Quite
often theres a whole section of coupons
from local merchants for oil changes, carpet
cleaning, video rentals and more.
Cable TV: Compare
the cost of the premium movie channels and one of
the by-mail video rentals. Some of the rental
plans will let you have up to four movies at a
time for less than $20 per month.
Try to develop
frugal attitudes about your money. Remember: It
takes 21 days for a good habit to be formed, but
you have to do it every day.
FROM START TO
By Andrea Renee
Wyatt, M.S.S., C.S.C.S.
Offer Roadmap to Fitness
Q: A friend of
mine met with a personal trainer after she joined
a new fitness center. The trainer told her to
start keeping a lifestyle log. My friend is
supposed to write down all her activities each
day, plus everything she eats and drinks. After a
week she is supposed to turn in her lifestyle log
so they can discuss it. What benefit would
keeping such a log have? I am trying to become
healthy and lose a little weight.
A: Keeping a
journal, or lifestyle log, has been shown to be a
very effective way to stay committed to your
fitness goals and to have a written account
tracking the process it took to get there.
Although this is not a new concept, the
traditional food log can be modified to include
exercise, activities and other lifestyle
components essential to a healthy lifestyle.
professionals are asking clients to keep logs of
their daily lifestyle choices so they can better
help them develop realistic goals, and also to
get a snapshot of what is happening with their
clients on days they are not together. Most
people who meet with a trainer or fitness
professional do so only two to four days a week,
leaving plenty of unknown lifestyle habits.
maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes factors
not often realized. The traditional nutrition
logs/journals include monitoring eating habits by
keeping track of calories, portion sizes and
fluid intake. Lifestyle logs also include daily
exercise, hours of sleep per day and activities
outside of organized exercise, such as playing
with your children or walking the dog, and levels
of perceived stress.
Noting on a scale
of 1 to 10 how well you felt with each lifestyle
component is also helpful. For example if you got
only five hours of sleep, you would note if you
felt well-rested, fatigued or tired throughout
After keeping a
log for a few days of normal activity, the
results can be used to help make changes to your
current nutritional and lifestyle routines to
help you reach your goals. You might be amazed
how just a few tweaks can make a major
difference. You can also review old logs to see
what worked and what did not work for you.
When keeping a
log, it is most important to be completing
honest. Withholding information is only going to
hinder you from reaching your goals. Lifestyle
logs can also be used to hold yourself
accountable to your goals. Knowing that you will
have to write down a poor lifestyle choice might
make you think twice before doing it.
Whether you are
meeting with a personal trainer or managing your
own fitness program, a lifestyle log can be an
extremely useful tool, and maybe the missing link
in achieving a healthy lifestyle.
Always consult a
physician before beginning an exercise program.
Moments In Time
On March 6, 1899,
the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin registers
Aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid,
on behalf of the German pharmaceutical company
Friedrich Bayer & Co. In its primitive form,
the active ingredient, salicin, had been used for
centuries in folk medicine.
On March 9, 1913,
writer Virginia Woolf delivers the manuscript of
her first novel, "The Voyage Out," to
her publisher. In 1941, fearful for her own
mental state and afraid of the coming world war,
she filled her pockets with rocks and drowned
On March 3, 1931,
President Herbert Hoover signs a congressional
act making "The Star-Spangled Banner"
the official national anthem of the United
States. Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to
"The Star-Spangled Banner" in 1814.
On March 4, 1952,
Ernest Hemingway completes his short novel
"The Old Man and the Sea." He wrote his
publisher the same day, saying he had finished
the book and that it was the best writing he had
ever done. The critics agreed, and the book won
the Pulitzer Prize in 1953.
On March 5, 1963,
the Hula-Hoop, a hip-swiveling toy that became a
huge fad across America when it was first
marketed by Wham-O in 1958, is patented by the
companys co-founder, Arthur
"Spud" Melin. An estimated 25 million
Hula-Hoops were sold in its first four months of
On March 8, 1986,
"Mask," starring Eric Stoltz and Cher,
opens. Cher, who had launched a serious acting
career with her appearance in Robert
Altmans "Come Back to the Five and
Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" in 1982,
received the Best Actress prize at the Cannes
Film Festival for her role in "Mask."
Brain Injury or
personnel returning from Iraq are now being
screened for concussion. Sounds like but one step
in a medical evaluation -- except its a
bigger deal than it might first appear.
A recent study of
2,525 infantry soldiers published in the New
England Journal of Medicine concludes that those
who suffered concussions (mild traumatic brain
injury) were more likely to develop
post-traumatic stress disorder than those who
its the PTSD that causes a lot of the
subsequent physical symptoms, not the brain
injury. Some doctors were initially skeptical.
(As was I.)
often experience memory loss, sleep disturbances,
headaches and problems concentrating -- all of
which are symptoms of both traumatic stress and
brain injury. The one key symptom was headache --
more often aligned with brain injury than PTSD.
Another key point is whether a soldier lost
consciousness during a brain injury, such as
during a blast. Forty percent of those who did
also met the criteria for PTSD, especially when
the event was combined with altered mental state
(confusion) immediately afterward.
While I was
initially skeptical about the study, Im not
now. The research seems pretty solid. What
worries me is that those who are in charge of
determining a soldiers disability
compensation might well take the easy way out:
"Oh, you dont have brain injury;
its just PTSD, which we can fix. No money
I fear too that
cases of genuine brain injury will be missed,
leaving soldiers to suffer long-term effects when
theyre treated for the wrong thing. Whether
it ends up being labeled PTSD or TBI, evaluators
need to remember that it was the traumatic brain
injury that started it.