Rushville Republican

January 28, 2014

Health Brief

Rushville Republican

---- — ‘All natural’ might not be way to go

HOUSTON — If you want your skin to glow, experts at Baylor College of Medicine say all natural products might not be the answer.

“Some people think that by going all natural with their skin care, that it will automatically be safer for their skin. That’s not necessarily the case,” said Dr. Rajani Katta, professor of dermatology at Baylor.

Whether it is cleansers or moisturizers, you can still have allergic reactions to the ingredients even if they are all natural or organic.

Many natural ingredients, such as lavender extract or sandalwood oil, are actually types of fragrance additives. Even though these are natural fragrances, they can still cause the same type of allergic reactions.

Other natural ingredients, such as tea tree oil, can also trigger allergic reactions.

Since it may be hard to pinpoint exactly what is causing irritation or allergic reactions just by reading labels, Katta suggests consulting a dermatologist.


Prevent colon cancer in less than an hour

Houston - Regular screenings for colon cancer can catch the deadly disease before it even begins, according to doctors at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Colon cancer is known as the silent killer because symptoms are not present until it’s too late,” said Dr. Waqar Qureshi, professor of medicine and chief of endoscopy at Baylor.

Symptoms include rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, weight loss or anemia. But if symptoms are apparent, then it’s more than likely the cancer has already spread. Screening can catch precancerous growths at a time when life-saving treatments are still effective.

A colonoscopy is the most accurate way to find precancerous growths. A colonoscopy takes up to 20 minutes, and patients are sedated so most don’t even remember the procedure.

“Usually screenings start at age 50 and continue every 10 years after that,” said Qureshi. “However, if colon cancer runs in your family, screenings should be more frequent and begin sooner.”


Olympic fever can encourage physical activity in children

HOUSTON - According to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, the Olympics are a great opportunity for children to learn about physical activity and goal setting.

According to Dr. Jorge Gomez, associate professor of pediatrics in the division of adolescent and sports medicine at Baylor, Olympic competitions will encourage children to do something fun and active.

“Research has shown that the strongest predictor of children remaining physically active into adulthood is having experiences of being active with their parents,” said Gomez.

He offers the following tips for parents when watching the Olympic Games with their children:

- Point out that the athletes are participating because it’s fun for them.

- Emphasize athletes are where they are after years of hard work.

- Discuss what it means to be a team player and to have good sportsmanship.

- Focus on the fact that the athletes are fit because they take care of themselves by eating well and exercising.

- While encouraging children to explore new activities, keep safety in mind.


Follow up on your heart health

HOUSTON - Eating healthy and exercising are well known tips to keep your heart healthy, but doctors at Baylor College of Medicine say don’t forget about the follow-ups.

“Many times people will see a doctor and receive a diagnosis of high cholesterol or blood pressure, for example, but they won’t follow up with another appointment,” said Dr. Joseph Coselli, professor of surgery at Baylor. “These secondary doctor visits are needed to monitor progression of risk factors and to help find the most effective treatment options. “

Coselli recommends asking your doctor some important questions:

- What is a healthy weight for me?

- What does a balanced diet consist of?

- How do I quit smoking?

- What exercises should I add to my daily routine?

- What health screenings should I have?

- When should I follow up with my next appointment?

“You have to be responsible for your health and make important changes to keep your heart healthy,” Coselli said.