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Health Q&A

Posted October 31, 2012 in Advice Column, Johnston

Q: How can childhood illness affect my pregnancy?

A: Some illnesses are thought of as childhood problems, but adults also can get them. These illnesses, which are caused by viruses, include chickenpox, Fifth disease, rubella, measles and mumps.

People who have had these illnesses are immune to them and most likely will not get them again. Other people are immune because they have had vaccines. Many people have had vaccines for rubella, measles and mumps. Some also have had a vaccine for chickenpox.

If you are pregnant or thinking about having a baby, talk to your doctor about childhood illnesses. Tell him or her which vaccines you have had and when you had them. Also, tell your doctor if you have been around a person who has, or may have, a childhood illness.

Many vaccines should not be given during pregnancy. If you are not immune to childhood illnesses, try to get vaccinated before you become pregnant. If you are pregnant now, plan to get the vaccines before you become pregnant again, and avoid close contact with people who have, or may have, childhood illnesses. Severe problems from childhood illnesses during pregnancy are rare. However, if you are not immune and think you have been exposed to a childhood illness, talk to your doctor. He or she may suggest treatment to help prevent problems for you and your baby. He or she also may want to watch for problems that could be caused by the illness.

Information provided by West Des Moines OBGYN, 4949 Westown Parkway, Suite 140, West Des Moines, 515-223-5466.

Q: What is ADHD?

A: ADHD, also called attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a biologically-based behavior disorder, usually first diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and, in many cases, hyperactivity.

Estimates suggest that about two million children (3 percent to 7 percent) have ADHD. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls. Most symptoms seen in children with ADHD also occur at times in children without this disorder. However, in children with ADHD, these symptoms occur more frequently and interfere with learning, school adjustment, and quite often with the child’s relationships with peers, parents and other authority figures.

The following are the most common symptoms of ADHD. However, each child will experience symptoms differently: inattention, short attention span for age, seems to not listen when spoken to directly, often makes careless errors, easily distracted, forgetful, often lacks follow through on tasks or chores at home or school, impulsivity, often interrupts others, has difficulty waiting for his or her turn, takes frequent risks, and often without thinking before acting, hyperactivity, seems to be in constant motion, has difficulty remaining in his/her seat even when it is expected, fidgets excessively, talks excessively or has difficulty engaging in quiet activities.

A key element in diagnosis is that the symptoms must significantly impair the child’s functioning in both home and school environments. If untreated, behavior and learning problems may also occur as a consequence. If you think your child might have ADHD, consult your child’s pediatrician, a child psychiatrist, or a child psychologist for an accurate diagnosis. Schools will typically provide accommodations to create optimal  learning environments, and self-management skills must be taught. Medication may be helpful for some children.

Information provided by Stacy Carmichael, Ph.D., Pediatric Psychologist, ChildServe, 5406 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, 727-8750.

Q: What is a Cerec or ‘same day crown’?

A: When a tooth has been damaged by large decay or fractured beyond its ability to hold a filling a crown may needed. There are a few techniques to create a crown. You may have heard of a Cerec or “same day crown,” but how does a Cerec differ from a traditional (two appointment) crown?

With a traditional crown, in the first appointment the tooth is numbed, modified (prepped), an impression of the tooth is made and a temporary crown is cemented. The impression is sent to a lab for the crown to be made. After a period of time, usually two to three weeks, the patient returns for a second appointment. The area may be numbed a second time, the crown is adjusted, polished, and cemented in place.

A Cerec — “same day crown” — only involves one appointment. The tooth is numbed once and modified. Instead of using traditional impression material, the tooth is scanned with a state-of-the-art digital 3D camera to create a digital impression. After the digital 3D impression is obtained, the data is sent to a sophisticated computer. The dentist uses the computer as an aid to precisely design every aspect of the crown. The computer then sends the information to an on-site milling unit. This machine fabricates the crown out of a porcelain block. The crown is then fit, polished, and cemented into place. Cerec and other advances in dental technology are making dentistry more comfortable and convenient than ever before.

Information provided by Julie Smith, DDS, Johnston Dental, 5541 NW 86th St., Suite 100, Johnston, 276-2500.

Q: Is my yogurt enough to help my digestion?

A: You have heard about probiotics in yogurt that can help digestion, but is it enough? When trying to make your digestion better or heal it (such as irritable bowel disease), you may not have known your yogurt may not contain enough of the active cultures or be the right probiotic strain. Using a supplemental probiotic not only helps digestion, but help your immune system, and decreases inflammation that can result in pain. A healthy digestive system aids your whole body. Here are helpful tips in finding the best probiotic for you, or ask your natural health provider which strain is best for you.
• Pure, quality supplement (GMP certified)
• Minimum 15 billion live cultures
• Includes FOS (fructooligosaccarides)
The right strain:
• Alternative to yogurt for digestion and immune function are L. acidophilus and B. lactis
• Use a broad spectrum support for digestive disorders (pain, inflammation, cramping) that include the above two plus L. rhamnosis, S. boulardii, L. plantarum, L. salvarius and S. thermophilus
• Make sure it does not include sugars (commonly found in yogurts) which aids abnormal intestinal organisms
• Take your probiotic daily, and long enough to make a change (weeks to months).

Information provided by Dr. Juliet O’Donnell, DC, Heartland Chiropractic and Wellness Center, 5521 N.W. 86th St., Johnston, 252-8668.

Q: How can I avoid a painful golf season next spring?

A: As the weather gets colder and the snow starts to fly, for most that means its time to pack away the golf clubs until next season. Some of you may be looking back on this past golfing season wishing you hadn’t been sidelined with all those aches and pains. Plain and simple, playing golf should not be painful and doesn’t have to. It is not normal to have to take a couple Tylenol in preparation of playing 18 holes.

What many of you might not realize is the winter months can be a great time to get a jump start on next year’s golf season so that you can play more, pain-free, better and consistent golf. The key us finding a certified medical professional who specializes in treatment of golf-related injuries. Yep you guessed it. We do that.

Some of the most common golf-related injures are injuries to the low back, hips, elbows and knees, most of which can be successfully evaluated and treated, as well as prevented once that cause is identified. If you experience any of these or have had them in the past you would be a good candidate for a golf rehab program specifically designed to eliminate you pain and allow you to  play more golf. For those of you that don’t have pain, a golf performance program might be a good idea to help improve your game during the winter months, if you aren’t improving you’re losing. Both doctors Aaron and Kurt at Active Wellness are certified by the Titleist  Performance  Institute to treat golfers and create performance packages specific to your needs.

Information provided by Dr. Aaron Rector, Active Wellness, 8711 Windsor, Parkway, Suite 7, 867-2900.

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