Take Care

What epidemics tell us about society

Jan 6, 2017

The Zika and Ebola epidemics have caused concern around the world about how to fight the spread of these diseases. But the way experts approached these health crises was influenced by past experience. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Beth Skwarecki, science writer and author of the book "Outbreak!: 50 Tales of Epidemics that Terrorized the World" about the history of epidemics, how societies deal with them, and why we find them so interesting.

Doby Photography / NPR

Every year, the Take Care production team tries to bring our listeners the most relevant, interesting and current topics in health and wellness. Our aim is to bring you the information you need from the nation’s experts, but we’re not the only ones with this goal.

Diet, disease, and detrimental fats

Dec 17, 2016

Just how much of a role does diet play in overall health? And what dietary advice is best to follow?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the Nutrition Department at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, discusses what we've learned from nutrition studies over the years and how that information has helped shape dietary guidelines to improve human health.

Trying to treat infertility

Dec 17, 2016
@joefoodie / Flickr

Infertility does not discriminate. The disease is a little more common for women as they get older but it can affect anyone and everyone, according to Dr. Eve Feinberg.

This week on “Take Care,” Feinberg joins the program to discuss the causes of infertility, the right time to seek out specialist assistance and how initial consults and treatments generally will go. She is an OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist, as well as the medical director of Northwestern Medicine Fertility and Reproductive Medicine in Highland Park, Illinois.

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The year 2016 was full of developments in the world of health -- including some health studies that contradicted each other. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take care," Hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Scott Hensley, the host of NPR's health blog “Shots,” about some of the most important health stories of the year, and how to sort through conflicting medical news.

Andrew Malone / Flickr

Ultrasounds are an essential part of ensuring a healthy pregnancy, but can too much exposure to them cause more harm than good? This is the question that has been raised by the recent rise of non-medical keepsake ultrasounds.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Mary Norton, medical geneticist and nationally recognized expert in prenatal genetic diagnosis discusses the potential risks of unnecessary ultrasounds. Dr. Norton is also a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California San Francisco, and is the president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Tai chi can benefit mind & body

Dec 10, 2016
Thomas Leuthard / Flickr

Sometimes, a martial art can be peaceful.

Tai chi is a mind and body exercise rooted in a number of Asian traditions, including martial arts, which combines slow intentional movements, breathing and a number of important mental skills.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Peter Wayne joined the program to share the health benefits of tai chi, the best way to reap those advantages and how they can also provide a financial assistance.

Mark Ordonez / Flickr

Is your cookware posing a hazard to your health? In recent years, some lightweight, non-stick materials have been scrutinized for containing toxic chemicals that can seep into food.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Laura Vandenberg, assistant professor in the environmental health sciences department at the UMass-Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, joins the program to discuss which materials are safe to use when cooking.

Inside the surgical suite

Dec 3, 2016
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For many of us, our knowledge of what happens in an operating room may come from medical dramas on TV. But what really happens in the surgical suite after the patient is anesthesized?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. David Hoyt, executive director of the American College of Surgeons takes us inside the surgical suite. Hoyt is also Professor Emeritus of surgery at the University of California, Irvine.

A different kind of doctor

Nov 19, 2016
Alex Proimos / Flickr

The nurse comes in to take vitals and ask some questions. Then, he or she says the doctor will be in shortly.

Short. That ends up describing the time the doctor spends with you. Many have had a similar experience when going to see their doctor. But, what if that didn’t have to be the case? What if there were doctors who took more time to really dig into a patient’s problem?

This week on "Take Care," Dr. Pina LoGiudice, a naturopathic doctor, joins the program to talk about who exactly those in her field are, what it is they do for their patients, and how they are different from traditional medical doctors.

Preventing and coping with holiday depression

Nov 19, 2016
Chad Sparkes / Flickr

It’s that time of year again to spread joy for all to hear—or so you’re told. Although the holiday season can create happy memories, it can also be a stressful time and leave many with feelings of depression for various reasons.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Ken Duckworth talks about holiday depression, what may cause it, and how to support those who suffer from it. Duckworth is the medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and is also an assistant clinical professor at Harvard University Medical School.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Flickr

You may have heard the term "naturopathic medicine" as it is gaining in popularity. But what are the theories behind it? And what's the difference in a naturopathic doctor versus a traditional M.D.? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Pina LoGuidice, a naturopathic doctor who has taught at New York University and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Cost effective drugs are still effective

Nov 12, 2016
zacharmstrong / Flickr

 

Generic drugs and brand name drugs have a number of differences. They can have different names, different colors and different prices to name a few. However, these differences do not necessarily mean generics and brand names don’t have the same effects.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Elizabeth Higdon, an instructor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences campus in Colchester, Vermont, joins the program to talk about the quality of generic drugs, why they’re different from brand names and their benefits.

Higdon holds a doctor of pharmacy degree, teaches classes on over-the-counter medications and works as a community pharmacist.

Peace of mind for hospice patients' pets

Nov 11, 2016
Giorgio Quattrone / Flickr

When a patient goes under hospice care, their well being and comfort is the priority. But in this stressful time, families are often unable to care for the patient’s pet. But sometimes a pet's unequivocal love is exactly what the hospice patient needs. Now, a national organization is trying to help fix this problem. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with the president and founder of Pet Peace of Mind, Dianne McGill.

Whole grains add more than carbs and calories to a diet

Nov 5, 2016
George Wesley & Bonita Dannells / Flickr

An estimated 20 to 30 percent of the population has trended toward gluten-free products in an attempt to avoid whole grains these days. According to Dr. Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic, people who are not gluten intolerant should eat those whole grains for their many different health advantages.

This week on “Take Care,” Hensrud, the medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program and editor of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller, “The Mayo Clinic Diet,” talks about what whole grains are and their benefits.

Using hypnosis for more than just entertainment

Nov 5, 2016
Adam Dachis / Flickr

Hypnosis is often demonstrated in the entertainment world as someone dangling a stopwatch in front of another’s face telling them they’re “getting very sleepy,” and then when the person awakes, engaging in some bizarre behavior. But there’s more value to hypnosis than just entertainment.

Hypnosis can be used to medically treat disorders that involve the brain -- such as anxiety, stress, pain, and bad habits. This week on “Take Care,” Dr. David Spiegel of Stanford University explains the medical value of hypnosis. Spiegel is Willson Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Center on Stress and Health, and Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine.

Mecklenburg County / Flickr

The idea of cancer can make many of us uncomfortable, and with that discomfort can come uncertainty, and fears about our own mortality. But when a friend or relative is facing a diagnosis of cancer, that's when they need the most understanding and support.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Mindy Greenstein, a cancer survivor herself, gives some advice on how to talk to someone who has cancer. Greenstein is a clinical psychologist, psycho-oncologist, and a consultant in the Department of Psychiatry at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She's also the author of the book “The House on Crash Corner and Other Unavoidable Calamities.”

5 seconds too long: Do's and dont's of food safety

Oct 29, 2016
Didriks / Flickr

There are good bacteria and there are bad bacteria. No matter which kind gets on food, many people get grossed out by the thought.

Scientists are not certain how these germs are transferred from one place to the next, but research has helped offer some tips to protect from contaminating food.

This week on Take Care, Don Schaffner, a food microbiologist and professor at Rutgers University, shares what he has discovered on the subject as well as a few tips he uses within his own home.

Richard Munckton / Flickr

The so-called “five-second rule” is something many of us cited when we drop a piece of food on the floor and then eat it anyway. But how does cross contamination of food really happen? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Don Schaffner, a Rutgers University food microbiologist and food safety expert about how bacteria transfers onto food.

Jo. / Flickr

Imagine you’re in an enclosed space that you feel you can’t escape easily, like a crowded elevator or a room with no windows. For some, this can automatically trigger their response to get out of there, or cause avoidance of these situations altogether.

Claustrophobia can cause these feelings, and is something many people can suffer from. This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Robin Zasio, a psychologist who specializes in treating OCD, anxiety disorders, and related conditions, helps define claustrophobia and the treatment that can help eliminate it. Zasio is founder, owner, and director of The Anxiety Treatment Center, The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center, and The Compulsive Hoarding Center, all located in Sacramento, Calif. Zasio is also the author of "The Hoarder In You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life."

Movement matters more than sitting or standing at work

Oct 15, 2016
Christoph Spiegl / Flickr

Recent research has suggested sitting all day is bad for a person’s health. According to U.S. News and World Report’s Anna Medaris Miller, standing desks have come in vogue due to companies using the research in marketing campaigns. But, she says solely standing is not the answer.

This week on Take Care, Medaris talks about the benefits and harms of standing at work she learned while reporting her story “5 Ways Your Standing Desk Is Doing More Harm Than Good.”

Loren Kerns / Flickr

Many Americans spend a good portion of the day sitting. Between a 40-hour work week and a commute, time spent sitting adds up, as do the associated health problems. Enter the standing desk. A popular option, the standing desk may be an effective way to combat risk factors associated with sitting.

But it's not just sitting that gets a bad rap. Standing for long periods of time can also take a toll on the body. Nurses, teachers and other professionals often complain of back pain and other stress associated with being on their feet day in and day out.

The skinny on skin conditions

Oct 8, 2016
Carolyn / Flickr

Atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, is a skin condition that begins shortly after birth. While it usually goes away as a child gets older, it can sometimes continue into adulthood.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Whitney High, associate professor of dermatology and pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, discusses several skin conditions, their causes and ways to treat them. High is the director of the school’s dermatology lab and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

DigitalRalph / Flickr

We can all be a bit forgetful sometimes, but when it becomes a life concerning issue, like dementia, there isn’t much that can be done in terms of treatment. However, new research suggests there may be action that can be taken in terms of prevention.

This week on “Take Care,” science and medical journalist Dan Hurley tells us how brain training games may lead to a significant reduction in risk for dementia. Hurley wrote the article, “Could Brain Training Prevent Dementia?” for the New Yorker on the study, and is the author of the book, “Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power.”

Can you train your brain to prevent dementia?

Oct 7, 2016

The debate over whether brain training games can help prevent dementia has gone back and forth over the last few years. This week, a review of the evidence concluded that the answer was no. But a study announced at the Alzheimer's Association meeting in July showed the games hold promise. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with medical journalist Dan Hurley, who wrote about the study for the New Yorker.

How a journalist debunked a decades old health tip

Oct 1, 2016
Catherine Loper / WRVO News

The recommendation to floss was removed from the federal dietary guidelines in January after 25 years, due to a lack of evidence to back up the suggestion.

Jeff Donn, the Associated Press reporter who broke the story in August, found the first thread to pull after a routine meeting with his son’s orthodontist when the doctor asked if Donn wanted a good tip.

This week on “Take Care,” Donn, a 30-year staffer for AP and a 2012 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, shares his story about how he debunked flossing as well as talking to government agencies, which led to the recommendation being removed.

Yann Gar / Flickr

One in three American adults have a condition that’s like a ticking time bomb—high blood pressure. While there's a genetic component to high blood pressure for some, many can cut their risk significantly with one simple change.

This week on “Take Care,” health expert Johannah Sakimura explains how a change in diet can lead to a big change in blood pressure. Sakimura is a registered dietician at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey, with a master’s degree in nutrition from the Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition. She has also written several articles on foods that lower blood pressure.

The flossing fallacy

Sep 30, 2016
Jon Baik / Flickr

Earlier this year, the federal government withdrew its recommendation that Americans should floss their teeth twice a day. It turns out there's not much proof that flossing is effective at preventing cavities and gum disease. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak Associated Press reporter Jeff Donn about how he broke the story that led to reversal of the recommendations.

Rising costs make cancer fight feel unaffordable

Sep 24, 2016
Karuna EM / Flickr

A cancer diagnosis can be a “catastrophic event,” according to Dr. Greg Knight of the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The disease itself is terrifying to face; however, Knight says patients are avoiding the reality because they are unsure how they will be able to afford treatments, medications and the impact the disease has on day-to-day life.

This week on “Take Care,” Knight, a clinical oncologist, shares the findings of his group’s study, titled “Financial Toxicity in Adults with Cancer, Adverse Outcomes and Potential,” as well as how the costs have changed and how patients can approach paying those costs.

Take focus off body image and put it on enjoying life

Sep 24, 2016
Ashley Fisher / Flickr

As a woman, you may leave the house feeling great about how you look. Then you get somewhere and look around at other women in the room and suddenly feel not so great because you think they look better. The social anxiety of body image is something women have experienced for a long time, but may currently be at an all-time high.

This week on “Take Care,” Gina Barreca talks about the evolution of how body image became such a hot topic for women, and why it shouldn’t have to be. Barreca is a feminist theory and English professor at the University of Connecticut, a columnist for the Hartford Courant, and has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, NPR and Oprah to discuss gender, power, politics, and humor. She is also the author of “They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor” and "If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?"

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