Health Department Offers Tips on How to Avoid Ticks and Lyme Disease

In response to a recent increase in the number of reported cases, the Allegheny County Health Department is offering advice on how to reduce the risk of Lyme disease, which can be contracted in wooded areas as well as yards and neighborhoods with low bushes or tall grass, from which ticks that spread the disease can most easily attach to a person.

In 2013, 145 cases of Lyme disease were reported in county residents, up sharply from several years ago.  From 2004 through 2008, the number of cases fluctuated between 16 and 35 per year.

Lyme disease, transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick, may be acquired not only on trips outside the area but also increasingly so locally, because the tick that transmits Lyme disease, Ixodes scapularis, also known as the deer tick, is the most commonly found tick on people and pets in Allegheny County.

In 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection tested 56 deer ticks found in Allegheny County for Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, and found that 19 or 34% of the ticks were infected.

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UPMC Passavant Free Diabetes Support Groups

August – 08/13/14
Diabetes Support Group
Donor Hall – UPMC Passavant McCandless, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Speaker: Dr. Michael Ryan D.P.M.; North Hills Podiatry and the UPMC Wound Healing Services at UPMC Passavant in Cranberry Township                                         

Diabetes and Your Feet: This lecture will cover how diabetes affects your feet and the importance of preventing the problems associated with this diagnosis. We will review simple ways to prevent complications and educate the participants on warning signs associated with diabetes and your feet. This will be an interactive discussion allowing time for questions. Register at:

October – 10/08/14
Diabetes Support Group
Donor Hall – UPMC Passavant McCandless, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Speaker:  Christy Abriola, CDE; Dietitian Specialist,UPMC Passavant

Test your knowledge related to Diabetes & Nutrition.  This lecture will be an informal game to review important facts related to Diabetes & Nutrition.  The game will review information related to carbohydrates, protein, fats and other nutrients.  The session will be interactive to provide a forum for discussion & questions with the Dietitian/CDE. Register at:

Pediatric Alliance Advises about Tick Bites

Up until last year, the primary source of ticks in the United States was caused by Americans bringing them back from traveling abroad; however, ticks are now prevalent in the United States.

The most common tick-borne illness in the United States is Lyme disease, which when left untreated, can be a source of severe health problems. Dr. Brian Donnelly, a board-certified pediatrician at the North Hills Division of Pediatric Alliance, provides information and advice that can help parents prevent and treat members of their family who have been bitten by a tick.

Dr. Donnelly indicates that there are three major types of ticks, including the Deer, Wood/Dog and Lone Star. Deer and Wood ticks are commonly found in western Pennsylvania; the Lone Star tick is now becoming more prevalent in this region. Dr. Donnelly suggests the safest way to remove a tick is by gripping the tick near its jaw with a pair of tweezers and pulling it straight out.
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Be Proactive: Help Prevent Prostate Cancer

aaron-e-katzBy Aaron E. Katz, M.D.

Prostate health issues are becoming increasingly common in men, particularly those who are 50 years old and older. In fact, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The disease is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages. Thanks to a simple physical exam and the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, most prostate cancers can be detected before there are symptoms. If you do get prostate disease, you can harness the power of potent natural medicines to strengthen your body’s own ability to heal. But why wait for a negative diagnosis?

Here are steps that men can take to improve their prostate health, today.

Improving Your Diet — Reduce fat: Studies suggest acorrelation between dietary fat and prostate cancer. Eat less than 30 percent fat overall and favor unsaturated fats such as olive and canola oils over saturated and trans fats.

Eat organic: Eat a largely organic and vegetarian diet.
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Best Doctor, Inc. Uses Cloud-Based Technology to Connect Physicians Worldwide

Best Doctors, Inc., the global health company dedicated to improving health outcomes by getting people the right diagnosis and treatment, today announced that it is one of 13 “Volunteer Achievement” projects honored by the Botín Foundation among 550 nominated endeavors. Best Doctors was honored for its ability to use the power of physician collaboration, telemedicine, and partnerships with major medical missions to bring improved health outcomes to those who suffer from life-threatening medical conditions made worse by a lack of local resources.

Working in conjunction with the Recover Hospitals for Africa Foundation’s Teleasistencia/Salud 2.0 initiative, a project combining quality health care, clinical collaboration, training, and research to focus on improving health care for African patients with minimal economic resources, Best Doctors was able to introduce the cutting-edge Medting platform which seamlessly connects physicians in Spain with physicians throughout Africa to collaborate on the most complex cases.

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Managing Your Fearful And Obsessive Thoughts 

PopovichBy Stan Popovich

There are times that we encounter fearful thoughts that can be difficult to manage. For some people, the more they try to get rid of the thoughts, the stronger the thoughts become and the more difficult they become to manage. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their fearful and obsessive thoughts.

The first thing a person must do is not to dwell or focus on the fear provoking thought when it comes. The more a person tries to reason out the thought or focus on the fear behind the thought, the stronger the thought becomes. The next time you encounter an obsessive thought, get into the practice of not dwelling on it.

A person should visualize a red stop sign in their mind when they encounter a fear provoking thought. When the negative thought comes, a person should think of a red stop sign that serves as a reminder to stop focusing on that thought and to think of something else. A person can then try to think of something positive to replace the negative thought.

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9 Steps to Take after Being Diagnosed with a Serious Condition

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 1.59.39 PMBy Melissa E. Clarke MD

When patients first receive the upsetting news that they have a serious condition such as cancer, they typically feel distressed. After the initial anger, fear, and sadness, these patients often tell me they feel overwhelmed and lost. They don’t know what steps to take next.

It’s important for patients to feel empowered when it comes to their healthcare. According to a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs, patients who are more engaged in their healthcare have better outcomes than those who are passive (read the study findings here). Making informed decisions will help you meet the challenge of your illness, get good-quality care, and minimize aggravation caused by the tricks and traps inherent in our current healthcare maze.

Here are 9 strategies to follow.
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Improving Balance and Preventing Falls Through Strength Training

DrWarrenBy Dr. Ramona Warren

As people age one of their biggest fears is falling and losing the ability to care for themselves. This is a valid fear since government records show that between 30 and 40 percent of people age 65 years or older fall at least once each year. Bone-breaking falls are one of the most common reasons older adults are no longer able to live in their own homes.

Falls are also the most common reason for hospitalization in older adults.   When there are fractures involved, especially of the hip, it can be particularly dangerous. As many as 25 percent of people with hip fractures die within one year.

Read the rest of the article at Pathways to Healing.

The 7-Day Allergy Makeover

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 9.30.36 PMA Simple Program to Eliminate Allergies and Restore Vibrant Health from the Inside Out
By Dr. Susanne Bennett

Dr. Susanne Bennett, a full-time natural allergy specialist in Santa Monica, CA, has logged in over 100,000 patient visits over the past 24 years, ranging from children to working moms, auto mechanics to movie stars.  Sometimes they suffer from traditional symptoms, like hives, sneezing and headaches. Other times, her patients—like many people with unexplained symptoms—aren’t even aware that their joint pain, bloating, digestive problems, weight gain and insomnia, are allergy-related. Today, Bennett’s patients’ lives are transformed, and all without costly doctor visits, drugs, or surgery. Bennett gives patients the tools they need to be their own allergy detectives.

Bennett was a sports medicine doctor for seven years until she came to a difficult time in her life. When her son Cody was two months old, he developed allergies, which began with a constant runny nose, eczema and itchy hives that covered his body. He had gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, and then soon after his first birthday his sensitivities went deeper into his lungs. This caused severe asthma and anaphylaxis, a life threatening condition, wherein Dr. Bennett was advised to carry an EpiPen.

Over countless sleepless nights of studying medical books on allergies and environmental medicine—Dr. Bennett came to understand allergies in a natural holistic way, and to implement her findings. Today, Cody is 18 years old, a freshman at UC Berkeley and he is completely free of all allergy symptoms. And what began as a mother’s desperate fight to save her son evolved into a comprehensive program.
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Can Heart Attack Damage Be Reversed?