July - September 2010 Edition: Naples Health

Health Buzz

Tips to keep you feeling great

Giving your time is good for you Recent research sup- ports what nonprofit organizations have been saying for years: Volun- teering is good for us. A study conducted by Dr. Sei J. Lee and colleagues from the VA

What to do about bed-wetting In the past, bed-wetting has been variously blamed on emotional problems, mistakes the parents made while potty training or laziness on the part of the bedwetter. It now appears, however, that genetics plays a role. Danish researchers identified several chromosomes that indicate a hereditary aspect. If either parent has a history of bed-wetting, a child has a 50 percent chance of inheriting it. The first step in combating the problem is finding a sympa- thetic, supportive physician to rule out any underlying infec- tions or medical conditions. Older children may benefit from anticholinergic drugs or synthetic antidiuretic hormones. But perhaps the best treatment is simply the passing of time. Barring underlying medical conditions, children eventually will grow out of this awkward phase all on their own. Tips for a happy marriage Some relationship experts say today’s couples could learn a few things by looking to the past. Here are their retro tips: Reinstate civility— Saying “please,” “thank you” and “may I,” along with signs of courtesy, translate as affection. Put pen to paper— What could be more romantic than a love letter? Sleep singly— Separate beds or even bedrooms can prevent tensions created by snoring or differing sleep/wake patterns. Keep same-sex friends— Men’s or women’s clubs/organiza- tions allow partners to develop their own interests. Look sharp— Taking as much time with your appearance as when you were dating shows you still care. Don’t go to bed angry— Even if you can’t resolve a dis- agreement before bedtime, agree to let go of the anger. Try flattery or praise— Compliments are reassuring and indicate you’re paying attention. Cut the complaints— Instead of creating an atmosphere of discord, choose your battles wisely. Thoughtful little acts— Things like making a favorite breakfast or dinner often speak louder than words.

Medical Center and University of California – San Francisco looked at more than 6,300 retirees age 65 and older who par- ticipated in the 2002 Health and Retirement Study. Among the questions participants were asked was, “Have you spent any time in the past 12 months doing volunteer work for religious, educational, health-related or other charitable organizations?” The analysts found that only 12 percent of the 1,766 volun- teers who answered that question affirmatively had died by 2006. Even after adjusting for such factors as socioeconomic status and chronic illness, volunteering remained strongly cor- related with lower death rates. Researchers theorize volunteering may help by expanding retiree’s social networks, increasing their access to resources and improving their sense of self-worth. Say no to non-stick Aluminum pans coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (commonly known as Teflon, a DuPont brand trademark) may be easy to use and clean, but they run the risk of emitting toxic particles when heated too high. If inhaled, these toxic fumes can kill pet birds and cause people to exhibit flu-like symptoms. Chemicals from this family have also been linked to lower birth weights in newborns, elevated cholesterol, abnor- mal thyroid levels, liver inflammation and weakened immune defense. (Ingesting particles that flake off scratched non-stick pans is not toxic, however, as the solid particles are inert.) Better cookware choices are stainless steel, cast iron and oven-safe glass. If you do

use non-stick pots and pans, never preheat at high temperature, don’t use in an oven hotter than 500 degrees, and use an exhaust fan.

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Naples Health | JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010

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