Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 3:21PM EST
My mother has been admitted to hospital several times for congestive heart failure. Each time, the same thing happens: After her condition is stable, the hospital sends her home. But my mother has a hard time managing her illness and she ends up back in the ER. Is there any type of medical help she can get at home? She lives in Ontario.More »
Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015 12:00PM EST
I had a great time recently in Toronto sharing preventive pelvic and abdominal health tips with pregnant women. What wasn’t fun was what I noticed on the bathroom floor when nature called.
What I saw were urine drops on the seat and on the floor in front of the toilet. This happens a lot: I often have to visit three to four stalls before I find one that doesn’t have the remnants of someone who went before me. Now, I do wish that people would wipe off the seat before they leave, but what I really want to talk about are the reasons urine may be on the seat and floor in the first place.More »
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 3:50PM EST
By now, it’s safe to say that every parent of a young child has heard the message that physical activity is important. In my pediatric practice in Toronto, I discuss it with every family I encounter.
But many families find it difficult to navigate the research and discover how much physical activity is actually needed.More »
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 3:23PM EST
Dysfunctional breathing can have an insidious impact on one’s overall well-being, yet most of us have less-than-ideal breathing patterns and most of us are completely unaware of how we breathe.
Abnormal breathing can contribute to lower back and neck pain, fatigue, trigger points in muscles and even those pesky calf cramps that wake people up in the night. A less-than-ideal breathing pattern will not only decrease your stamina during a workout, it will decrease your body’s ability to recover and your overall energy and sense of well-being.More »
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 3:42PM EST
Marilyn charged into the retirement home lobby, her purse flying behind her. She had just come from dropping her son off at high school late and she was calling someone to postpone a work meeting. Her father, David, had wandered away from his retirement home the previous day. The police had been involved and eventually brought David back, but the retirement home told Marilyn that because of David’s escape and wandering they could no longer care for him.More »
Wednesday, Nov. 04, 2015 3:30PM EST
My husband and I do a lot of travelling. We know we need private health insurance to cover medical emergencies when we’re outside of our home province. But I’ve heard horror stories about people who bought insurance and then had trouble collecting on a claim. How do we make sure we are properly covered?More »
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 3:28PM EDT
Breast and prostate cancer are the most common cancers among women and men. These cancers share another similarity: They have an impact on sexuality.
Depending on the type and stage of breast cancer, hormonal changes with treatment, fatigue, insults to body image and fear about survival can directly and potently affect sexual desire. Premature menopause from the estrogen-blocking drug tamoxifen can lead to vaginal dryness and pain during sex.More »
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015 3:40PM EDT
My dad, Bernie, was a collector. Bernie passionately lectured me on the many uses of paper grocery bags as he carefully grouped them into stacks of 10, tied them with twine and filed them in the furnace room. He collected pens as if one day there might be a global ink shortage. The pens were grouped meticulously and filed in a special drawer.More »
Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 12:00PM EDT
My doctor says I should take acetaminophen for my osteoarthritis pain. It seems to help some, but not a lot. I have also recently noticed newspaper articles about the dangers of this over-the-counter pill. Should I be taking another pain killer?
Doctors often recommend acetaminophen, also known by the brand name Tylenol, because they consider it to be generally safer than the alternative medications.More »
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 3:04PM EDT
Professional athletes train specifically in the gym to perform better on the job and reduce the chance of injury as they mature. Why don’t we?
Most of us spend 30 to 50 hours per week in positions that pull us out of alignment – curling up our bodies like a near-empty tube of toothpaste. Different types of careers can each have a distinct impact on posture, strength and conditioning.More »
Monday, Oct. 12, 2015 4:26PM EDT
Even if you can afford to see a massage therapist on a regular basis, what most of us need is daily self-care when it comes to dealing with aches and pains. You didn’t become chronically stiff and uncomfortable overnight.
Two simple tools – a foam roller and a ball – can be an inexpensive way to get the daily massage your body craves. Like drops in a bucket, small amounts of self-care add up.More »
Sunday, Oct. 04, 2015 12:00PM EDT
DR. ADELLE ATKINSON
Your child with allergies heads off to university. On her second day of first year, she orders a smoothie. Something in the smoothie, or something it touched, triggers a severe allergic reaction – anaphylaxis. Two days later, the unthinkable for any parent happens – she dies.
How can this happen? As a parent of a child with severe allergies, you’ve been hyper-vigilant since they were first diagnosed. Each transition in your child’s life – from entering daycare, to moving into grade school, to the first day of Grade 9 – has been marked by educating each new teacher, informing the school, creating an anaphylaxis action plan, educating classmates and educating the parents of your child’s friends.More »
Wednesday, Sep. 30, 2015 3:29PM EDT
A friend recently had a heart attack. His main symptoms were vomiting and sweating profusely. I thought a heart attack produced really severe chest pain. How are you supposed to know if you’re having a heart attack?
The most common sign of a heart attack is, indeed, chest pain. But not everyone feels the same thing. Like your friend, some people have other symptoms. And, unfortunately, they may not realize they are having a heart attack and so delay seeking potentially life-saving medical treatment.More »
Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2015 3:12PM EDT
Sexual desire, or the motivation for sex, is often associated with youth, new relationships and copious hormones. In my clinical practice, one of the most common questions I am asked by women with low libido is, “Do you think it’s my hormones?” Many people believe sexual desire will never be as high in later life as it was in their youth. There is a corresponding belief that hormones, and testosterone in particular, control sexual desire, and because of testosterone’s slow decline over the lifespan, the slippage of sexual desire is inevitable.More »
Thursday, Sep. 24, 2015 3:16PM EDT
My family doctor is retiring. Her office sent me a list of doctors who are taking on new patients. How do I pick one?
It’s certainly worthwhile putting some thought into your selection. After all, “your family physician is one of the most important relationships in your life,” says Dr. Joshua Tepper, president and CEO of Health Quality Ontario, an agency of the provincial government who is also a physician in a family practice at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.More »
Tuesday, Sep. 22, 2015 3:26PM EDT
I own a senior home-care company in Toronto, and most of our clients have some form of dementia. Last week, one of our clients, who I will call Mrs. Smith, called to cancel her caregiver for the following day:
“I feel like I am doing better, Renée, and I just want to see if I can get through the afternoon without a caregiver.”More »
Monday, Sep. 21, 2015 12:47PM EDT
DR. DWIGHT CHAPIN
My lower back has been sore most of the summer. I try to stay active, but the pain is now making that difficult. This morning I even needed help getting dressed. What are my treatment options?
Susan, age 48
Back and neck pain affect people of all ages, with studies showing that these are more common between the ages of 30 and 40, and tend to decrease after age 65.More »
Sunday, Sep. 13, 2015 12:00PM EDT
September is traditionally a hectic and stressful month; getting back into the swing of regular work and/or school can be a complicated process.
If you know you won’t be able to fit in your regular workout, don’t let that be an excuse to fall completely off of the fitness horse. Instead, use what I call the “piggyback” strategy. Pinpoint daily, non-negotiable habits that you already do, then turn them into a workout.More »
Sunday, Sep. 06, 2015 12:00PM EDT
Preparing is always better than not, right? In elementary school, we studied for tests, on the high school basketball team, we trained for our games and when deciding to learn a musical instrument, we took lessons and practised. And that huge goal of running a marathon? We didn’t just go and run it. We trained and prepared our bodies and minds for the challenge.More »
Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015 12:00PM EDT
When you have a bowel movement, do you lie down on your back, put your knees to your ears, hold your breath and push? I didn’t think so. So why is it that the majority of women end up in this position when it comes time to deliver their baby? Childbirth is an elimination of sorts and, just like when you have a bowel movement, birth is typically most successful with gravity, movement and listening to the body’s natural urges.More »
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015 3:20PM EDT
There are few things I like more than getting off the grid and disappearing with my kids to go camp by a lake or the ocean. In British Columbia, that can mean going somewhere close to home or pushing way out into the boonies. To be fair, I am definitely not a mountaineer. I don’t scale glaciers with a five- and eight-year-old (who would?), but I do like exploring new places such as the Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver Island.More »
Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015 12:00PM EDT
Lori A. Brotto
When asked about sexual orientation, most people typically identify the categories: straight, gay and bisexual. We tend to place people into the straight category if they are in relationships with opposite-sex individuals, in the gay category if they are in relationships with same-sex individuals and into the bi- category if they pair with members of either sex. However, sexual orientation is much more complex than simply who one is in a relationship with. In fact, sexual orientation, the different expressions of it, what determines it, how it is defined and how it may change over one’s lifetime, is a puzzle. This summer, approximately 60 international researchers met in Lethbridge, Alta., to share the latest findings at the Puzzle of Sexual Orientation Conference. I learned a few new things that you might find interesting (and surprising!).More »
Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015 12:00PM EDT
DR. YONI FREEDHOFF
I grew up in the seventies when staying home meant spending time with my parents. Cable TV barely existed and cartoons aired only on Saturday mornings. Pong wasn’t exactly a captivating single player video game experience. There was no Internet to endlessly surf, no streaming video services such as Netflix, no endless rabbit holes of YouTube videos, no texting, no Snapchat and no Instagram.More »
Sunday, Aug. 09, 2015 12:00PM EDT
As high fashion collides with solid science, it appears that what props us up may also tear us down. A recent New York Times article quoted a review of footwear research, published in the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, which concluded that walking in high heels can “alter the natural position of the foot-ankle complex, and thereby produce a chain reaction of effects that travel up the lower limb at least as far as the spine.” Another study mentioned in the article noted that wearing heels frequently over several years can lead to decreased muscular stability.More »
Thursday, Aug. 06, 2015 3:21PM EDT
What if you woke up one day unable to say: “I want,” “I need,” “I love.”
It seems unfathomable and yet thousands of people who were once fluent can no longer express themselves because they can’t say or remember the words; others, worse yet, can’t understand them. It’s frustrating for anyone afflicted and difficult for those around them.More »
Monday, Aug. 03, 2015 3:23PM EDT
Making healthy choices during the summer can be a challenge. I get it – it just feels “right” to indulge while relaxing at the cottage or sitting on a patio. But it is possible to enjoy your summer and maintain a healthy lifestyle; it just takes mindfulness and advance planning.
First, analyze where you are most likely to veer off track.More »
Wednesday, Jul. 29, 2015 9:39AM EDT
Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2015 3:07PM EDT
Running is the most natural athletic endeavour. Perhaps this is why most people start running and pursue race goals without any coaching. But performance and longevity require good technique. In my physiotherapy practice, I see the same mistakes time and again. To stay healthy, get healthy or improve your performance, consider practising the following techniques.More »
Sunday, Jul. 19, 2015 12:00PM EDT
Dr. Dwight Chapin
If you’ve caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror after a shower, age-related changes are pretty glaring. But not all aging is visible. Some changes, such as poor balance, can creep up on you if you are not paying attention.
The good news is that age alone does not define your health. Your current level of physical fitness, nutritional health and genetics also play a significant role in how you age. Some age comfortably and remain active, alert and vibrant but most of us will need discipline and attention to detail to get older gracefully.More »
Sunday, Jul. 12, 2015 12:00PM EDT
After 12 years as a trainer, I know that having a training plan is crucial. A plan keeps you focused, allows you to track your progress and gives you objective data to understand why you are, or are not, reaching your goals.
I also know that developing a strength routine can be stressful, intimidating and confusing.More »