July - September 2010 Edition: Naples Health

Ask the Experts

Q : Is walking enough? Why should I consider other forms of exercise? Bethany J. Jameson, director of NCH Wellness Centers, answers: Walking provides a great (and free) cardiovascular workout. It does not, how- ever, strengthen all of our muscles. There are three portions to every perfectly placed fitness plan: cardiovascular work, strength training and stretching. Make sure to perform all three, and you will have your body in great working order. Q: How does alcohol fit into my diet? Marjorie Kaparos, registered licensed dietician at The von Arx Diabetes and Nutrition Center, answers: Alcohol is thought to be good for the heart, but it might not be so good for the waistline. Alcohol provides seven calories per gram, nine calories per gram of fat and four calories per gram of both carbohy- drate and protein. Alcohol is a highly concentrated source of calories (a 12-ounce margarita packs a whopping 750 calories), and it also lowers our inhibition, which can lead to overeating if we’re not careful. The other downside to including a lot of alcohol in our diets is that it can lower our metabolic rate, which contributes to weight gain. So not only are we consuming a lot of calories when we drink, but also we decrease the rate at which our bodies utilize the calo- ries that we consume. It would be pru- dent for women to consume no more than one alcoholic beverage a day and men no

Melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer and most commonly presents as a dark, irregularly shaped “mole.” Melanomas can have shades of brown, black, red, white or blue in them. The criteria we look at when evaluating a pigmented lesion on the skin is referred to as the ABCDs. A is for Asymmetry: One half of the mole doesn’t match the other half. B is for Border irregularity: The borders of the lesion are ragged, notched or blurred. C is for Color: The pigmentation is not uniform with several different colors in the lesion. D is for

more than two. And watch the mixes that you use with your spirit of choice. Choose club soda or diet tonic water in place of other high-calorie mixes. Or forgo the cocktail altogether for a refreshing glass of sparkling water with lime.

Q: Are beauty marks or moles charm or harm? What should I look for, and when should I see a dermatologist?

Kimberly Davidson, M.D., answers: Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. More than 1 million Americans develop skin cancer every year. Periodic skin self-examinations can aid in early recognition of any new or changing lesions that may be skin cancer. Any changes in the size, shape or color of a mole or “beauty mark” need to be evaluated by a dermatologist. Skin cancers can develop suddenly with- out warning or can begin in a benign, normal-appearing “beauty mark.” Basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, commonly appears as a small, pink bump that may look like a “pimple” or flesh-colored “mole.” Basal cell carcinomas can also present as flat, red patches which can be mistaken for eczema or psoriasis. Commonly, these lesions will begin to bleed, crust over and then could appear to heal, but then the cycle keeps repeating itself. Squamous cell carcinomas usually pres- ent as red, scaly patches or bumps.

Diameter: The size is greater than six millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser). And you can also add an E. Evolving or Elevation: Any mole that is changing, growing or becoming elevated should be evaluated. Skin cancer, including melanoma, is almost always curable when detected in its early stages. So get a baseline skin check now by a board-certified dermatologist. That “beauty mark” on your face may not be as innocent as you thought.

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Naples Health | JULY-SEPTEMBER 2010

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