THE GITTENS GA Z E T T E
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The Benefits and Misconceptions WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT STEM CELLS
Stem cells are fascinating and have been shown to do some wondrous things for athletes and regular folks alike. Unfortunately, many people are still uncertain about stem cell therapies because of common misconceptions and a lack of information. Yet, these treatments could possibly provide a huge benefit to them in a time of need. Let’s separate fact from fiction. Stem Cell Benefits Stem cells are now being used to treat a variety of orthopedic injuries. More specifically, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate and form the type of tissues that make up muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. With the use of these stem cells in orthopedic care, they can reduce chronic pain, heal stubborn injuries, improve functionality, and return patients to their normal routine, sometimes within just one week. Stem cells not only benefit those with orthopedic injuries, but they can also treat cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease can deprive heart tissue of oxygen and cause scar tissue to form, which changes blood pressure. New studies suggest that stem cells can differentiate into the cells needed to repair the heart, thus improving blood pressure. While these are some of the benefits backed by numerous studies, current research suggests these cells may aid in overcoming some autoimmune disorders and other inflammatory conditions as well. Adult stem cells have also been shown to combat diabetes by differentiating themselves into insulin-producing cells to help improve symptoms. Stem Cell Misconceptions One of the first misconceptions about stem cells is that they’re all the same, but this is simply not the case. Most people only think of embryonic stem cells, but stem cells can originate from a variety of places. Embryonic stem cells are so well-known because of the early controversy surrounding their use, but also because they have the ability to turn into any cell type within the body. Another type, adult stem cells, comes from reservoirs in the human body like bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat), etc. Their ability to differentiate into different types of cells depends on their age, source, and other factors.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) come from the
manipulation of adult, fully-differentiated cells, like white blood cells and skin cells.
Another big misconception about stem cell therapy is that it’s questionable for ethical reasons. As mentioned, early controversy over using embryonic stem cells made the news, but in recent years, the medical
field has relied primarily on adult and pluripotent stem cells for testing and treating purposes. Not only are these cells free from controversy, as they’re donated from consenting individuals, but they have also been proven much more effective than embryonic stem cells. What about the risk of an immune response? Since the medical field focuses more on injecting patients with their own adult and pluripotent stem cells, the risk of an immune response is nonexistent. Even cells not originating from the end-user in clinical trials have been proven not to induce an immune response.
• 1 WWW.THEGITTENSCLINIC.COM These are just some of the benefits and misconceptions surrounding stem cell therapy and research. If you want to learn more about what stem cell therapy can do for you, please reach out to us at 833-448-8367 to schedule an appointment, or visit our Stuart, Miami, or Palm Beach Gardens offices. -Dr. Carl Gittens
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THE 4-LEGGED HEROES OF GROUND ZERO Honoring the Canines of 9/11
If you feel like you’ve hardly seen your kids since the school year started, you’re not alone. Americans are way too busy — from childhood onward, we’re always running hither and thither, packing in as many after-school activities, work-related meetings, and social engagements as possible. It’s a problem so pervasive that it has a name: time scarcity. Families feel time scarcity keenly after school starts in September, when children’s schedules explode with engagements. But all hope for close ties isn’t lost; there are ways to stay connected with your spouse and kids, even in an increasingly busy world. Here are some ideas from counselors, teachers, and psychologists who claim to have mastered the art. Rituals make up the backbone of individual families and society at large. Most people wouldn’t dream of abandoning their holiday traditions, so why forgo the smaller rituals that bring families together? Whether it’s eating dinner at the same table each evening, watching a movie together every Thursday night, or going on a monthly getaway, make sure these traditions aren’t canceled. If your family doesn’t have many rituals, a great way to connect is to start some. STAYING CONNECTED Keep Your Family Close in a Busy World REMEMBER YOUR RITUALS
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.
Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and
rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes.
MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT
As cliche as it sounds, when you don’t have much time together, it’s crucial to be present for every minute of it. If you have a rare half-hour at home with one of your kids, make a point to spend it in the same room and try to start a conversation. If you squeeze in a romantic dinner with your spouse, turn off your phones before the food comes. Listening to each other without distractions will strengthen your relationship.
After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies
examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re
HUG IT OUT
Physical contact is vital for closeness. When you get the chance, hug your kids, hold hands with your spouse, and do physical activities as a family, like hiking, biking, or even playing group sports. It’s been scientifically proven that physical closeness leads to emotional closeness, so if you’re low on time, take advantage of that shortcut!
looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org.
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STOP THE SPREAD Prevent Colds and the Flu With Kid-Friendly Teaching Tools
School is back in session, but your child may be bringing home more than just random facts. Germs and bacteria that spread the common cold and flu are most prevalent in schools, but while these illnesses are strong, prevention is simple. Teach your kids how to prevent the spread of bacteria this season with these helpful tips.
sneeze. (According to research, sneezes can travel anywhere from 19–26 feet at 100 miles per hour!) For crafty kids, let
BUT MOMMY DOESN’T COVER HER NOSE!
them decorate tissue boxes or hand sanitizer
Kids learn more by watching what you do rather than listening to what you tell them to do. Get in the habit of covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands. Make hand sanitizer and facial tissues readily available in your home and be sure to wash your hands before every meal. In addition, stick to healthy habits when you do feel sick. Drink fluids, get plenty of rest, and seek medical attention when it’s warranted. If your children see you taking care of yourself, they will be more likely to do the same for themselves in the future.
containers to give hygiene some flair. Soon enough, you’ll find them being smarter about their health.
AHH ... AHH ... ACHOO!
As kids pack into classrooms this fall, germs will fly faster than this past summer did. Prevent
Hand washing and nose blowing are about as fun as …well, just that. It’s no wonder children don’t want to take time out of their busy play schedules to combat nasty germs. Instead of making these important steps a chore, make basic hygiene fun. Use fun songs to teach the proper way to cover a sneeze, or do a science experiment to teach your children about germs that are spread through just one
the spread of the common cold and flu by learning more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online at CDC.gov.
CACIO E PEPE
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by Bon Appétit
6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided
1/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste
1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan cheese and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve.
Solution on Page 4
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INSIDE 1 833-448-8367 • 833-GITTENS WWW.THEGITTENCLINIC.COM THE GITTENS CLINIC 611 SW FEDERAL HIGHWAY, STE. E STUART, FL 34994 Some of the Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy
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Keep Your Family Close in a Busy World Honoring the Canines of 9/11
Teach Your Kids Flu Prevention Cacio e Pepe
The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks
THE BEST NATIONAL PARKS TO VISIT THIS FALL
Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn
colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic lookout points accessible by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming While the West might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion!
leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the
changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing.
Acadia National Park, Maine While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the
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