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Healthy Living: Oh, that belly bloat

Did you sing that with me? That’s OK if it gets your attention. Digestive health is important for many reasons so it’s definitely a topic worth exploring a second time. I’ve been eating clean for so long that when I do go off track it affects me physically. In other words, I feel like crap. My belly is puffy and my body feels sluggish. Almost like having a hangover from drinking too much alcohol.

It’s easy to do. It’s summer and we are on vacation, visiting family and friends. You think to yourself eating those few chips won’t hurt or having a few glasses of wine is OK because you’ve been to the gym. BUT when you add everything together that you’ve decided “won’t hurt” too much it may be greater than you think it is.

Sound like you too? It’s time to get it back under control before a few days turns into a few weeks which turns into a few months. One thing that has really helped me is water. Water. Water. Water. Our bodies are composed of about 60 percent water. Not only is water critical for our bodies to function, it helps flush out toxins.

When I go off track with my eating, I am also off track with drinking the amount of water that my body needs each day. Rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. This means if you weigh 200 pounds, you should try to drink 100 ounces of water. One-hundred fifty pounds shoot for 75 ounces of water.

To make sure I was drinking enough water, I actually stopped at the store and grabbed a gallon jug of spring water. Yes, that’s me dragging the gallon of water in and out of the gym. I now fill up that gallon of water at home every morning and take it with me. Seeing the water in the jug go down throughout the day is great motivation.

Something as simple as making sure I was drinking enough water had me feeling better in one day. If there is just one thing you should do differently, it would be to drink the water your body needs.

Quick correction. I wrote a few weeks back about going to the chiropractor for my hip and lower cross syndrome. I gave you the wrong name. I went to Dr. Workman on Duval Street and he worked MIRACLES for my hip. Quick update, most days I am walking normal. It still acts up every so often on days I sit too much. On the advice of several friends, I now set a timer and get up every hour and continue to do the exercises Dr. Workman gave me.

To your health,


Denise Sanger is a certified fitness instructor, Silver Sneakers Instructor, AMPD Kettlebell Instructor, licensed Zumba, STRONG by Zumba instructor, gentle flow yoga, teaches morning classes at Country Strong Health Fitness. Denise may be reached at, 386-292-6105 or

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Munster Reiki master uses Japanese discipline to treat pets

Though widely practiced in the human population, Reiki also has seen a surge of popularity in treating pets. In the last 13 years, Fier says she has worked with more than 500 animals. Though most have been dogs, she also has worked with cats, horses, turtles, rats, rabbits, lizards and elephants.

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Health tips for the summer season

Summer is here, providing an ideal time for people in North Carolina to get active. While some people may talk about getting a “beach body,” fitness is more than just a matter of aesthetics – it can mean the difference between a long life and premature death.

Studies show 80 percent or more of premature chronic conditions, such as heart attack, stroke or diabetes, are caused by modifiable lifestyle choices. Yet many Americans lack an understanding of the connection between lifestyle choices and chronic health conditions. A recent UnitedHealthcare survey found that just 16 percent of Americans correctly recognized that 80 percent or more of premature chronic conditions are caused by modifiable lifestyle choices, such as risk factors like smoking or obesity, not genetics.

To help make fitness a priority this summer, here are tips to consider:

Walk this way: Studies have shown walking more and sitting less may help people maintain a healthier weight, ward off depression and prevent serious health issues like heart disease. And a recent report concluded that walking can help curb sweet cravings, boost the immune system and ease joint pain. To make walking more effective, think FIT, which stands for frequency (500 steps within seven minutes six times per day), intensity (3,000 steps within 30 minutes each day) and tenacity (at least 10,000 total steps per day).

Get outside (safely): The popularity of smartphones and streaming TV has made it easy – and entertaining – to stay inside. In fact, recent research has found that some people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, limiting exposure to daylight and fresh air. This can have negative consequences, including for children and their eye health. Studies have found that exposure to outdoor light may help reduce the risk of nearsightedness, the inability to see far off objects clearly. To gain the potential benefits of being outdoors while helping stay safe, children and adults should wear sunglasses that block both UV rays and blue light, as well as apply sunscreen to help reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Maintain your hearing health: Summer is a popular time for sporting events and music concerts, which can lead to exposure to loud sounds. Crowd noise at sporting events can exceed 90 decibels, while music concerts can reach 110 decibels. Prolonged exposure to sounds above 85 decibels can contribute to gradual hearing loss, so it is a good idea to use ear protection when seeing your favorite team or band. Likewise, extended listening to music or digital content through headphones or earbuds may damage hearing overtime. To help prevent that, turn the volume on your electronic device to 60 percent and listen for no longer than 60 minutes at a time, and never listen to earbuds while using power tools or a lawn mower.

Stay safe overseas: With people heading out on summer vacations, it is important to recognize that up to 20 percent of travelers suffer an illness or injury while on vacation. Before traveling out of your home state, review your health plan and understand what it covers, including if you have access to a national or local network of hospitals and health care providers. For people traveling overseas, contact your primary care doctor or travel medicine clinic to determine what pre-screenings or immunizations might be recommended or required, based on your health history and countries on the itinerary.

Dr. Robert Waterhouse, Jr., is chief medical officer with UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina.

Dr. Robert Waterhouse, Jr., is chief medical officer with UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina.

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Northwest Indiana runners, health specialists offer universal training tips for racers

“It’s OK to run by ‘feel,’ ” Marialena Nagel, Calumet Region Striders board member and veteran runner, adds, noting the mental benefits of switching up one’s routine. “Don’t be afraid to run for a certain length of time like 30 or 60 minutes, instead of always trying to reach a certain distance.”

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Health tips, workouts and healthy sandwiches at Feel Fab Fest 2018

SINGAPORE – Visitors picked up health tips and broke a sweat in Muay Thai classes at the Feel Fab Fest 2018 held this weekend.

Organised by media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) for the first time, the sports, fitness and lifestyle festival held at Suntec convention centre halls 405 and 406 had something to offer for both the young and old.

On Saturday (July 21), a hot topic discussed at the event was diabetes, which affects one in nine Singaporeans. A panel of health experts addressed misconceptions and questions about the disease, such as whether intermittent fasting works in tackling diabetes, whether diabetes is reversible, and if smoking can exacerbate the condition.

The panel was moderated by The Straits Times’ Senior Health Correspondent Salma Khalik, who said she hoped the audience learnt something from the talk that will help them.

She said: “Diabetes is a very long journey and there’s no miracle answer to it. Every little bit helps.”

Madam Emma Lai, 64, a former administrative manager, said the discussion has made her more mindful and she will try to look out for hidden sugar levels by examining food labels more closely.

Another panel at the event gave out advice on how to keep fit.

One of the panellists, national marathoner and double SEA Games gold medallist Mok Ying Ren, said that anyone can start running.

“The way to start running is to really start slow,build your fitness and be patient about it…have a target, such as signing up for a race and strive towards it,” said Dr Mok.

Besides talks, there were also free classes, such as Muay Thai and Callisthenics classes.

One participant, tax professional Sheryl Fang, 27, said such free classes are a good initiative to give the public more exposure and allow them to keep fit.

Also on offer at the event are activities for the young, including a F1 racing simulator and healthy sandwich making competition for kids.

On Sunday, the event will feature panels on Parkinson’s Disease and how to manage stress. The festival is open to members of the public for free.

For more information, visit

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Buckhead country club allegedly hid 2 restaurants from health department

A whistleblower accused a Buckhead country club of hiding two restaurants from the health department, Channel 2 Action News reported.

A former employee of the Capital City Country Club, who asked to remain anonymous, told Channel 2 he was fired after complaining to managers about being asked to hide from health inspectors.

“They hurriedly asked us to clean off all the tables and hide in the back,” he said. “(The manager) said the inspector is here, and they’re not supposed to know that this restaurant is running.”

An inspector returned to the country club, which straddles the borders of Buckhead and Brookhaven, after the man told the health department about the alleged hidden restaurant.

The Fulton County Board of Health spokesman Ellis “Eli” Jones sent Channel 2 a statement on the incident: “One of the inspectors discovered two facilities without a permit at the club as a result of the complaint. Legal notices were issued, and they have 10 business days to come into compliance.”

A country club spokeswoman, Mira Hale, sent the news station the following statement regarding the situation:

“The Capital City Club takes very seriously the health and safety of all its members and guests who utilize the dining facilities at all three club locations. We have always been cooperative and compliant with the Fulton County Board of Health. The Club is in the process of reviewing the information from the health department and is taking every step necessary to comply with its requests. For many years, including 2018, our dining facilities have received A ratings and have stellar track records. We hope to immediately resolve the request for information.”

The former employee said he was fired last week, and he believes it was because he complained about the alleged cover-up. Hale said the country club wouldn’t comment on personnel issues to Channel 2.

The health department said it wouldn’t speculate on why the restaurants were not disclosed, but they said the act is common in Fulton County to save money by avoiding paying for the permits.

In other news:

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Fiat Chrysler replaces Sergio Marchionne at the helm amid health struggles, ending impressive near 10-year run

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Sergio Marchionne, the maverick auto executive who created and oversaw nearly a decade of post-bailout growth at Fiat Chrysler, has been replaced as CEO amid ongoing health struggles.

The Fiat Chrysler board of directors made the move following Marchionne’s shoulder surgery three weeks ago, but did not give specifics about his condition. The Italian-born Marchionne will also exit his dual CEO role at Ferrari, the race car manufacturer spun off from Fiat more than 2 years ago.

In a statement, the company said that “while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery,” his health has “worsened significantly in recent hours.” The company added that Marchionne will not be returning to work. He is being replaced by Mike Manley, who has run the Jeep brand for several years.

The move came just days before Fiat Chrysler is scheduled to report second quarter earnings. While the transition will generate plenty of questions from analysts and reporters, it is not expected to impact the automaker’s report.

Marchionne’s departure from the C-suite marks the end of one of the most successful runs ever by an auto industry CEO. Almost a decade ago, Marchionne orchestrated Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler out of a bankruptcy overseen by the U.S. government. At the time, several members of the Obama administration were lobbying to let Chrysler collapse and go out of business, but Marchionne convinced them to let Fiat buy the beaten down automaker, thereby saving thousands of jobs.

After acquiring Chrysler, Marchionne immediately set out to rebuild the auto company by focusing on an aggressive expansion of the Jeep and Ram brands, while spending less on the Dodge and Chrysler brands. That decision, which coincided with U.S. auto buyers seeking more SUV’s and pickup trucks, helped Fiat Chrysler more than double its U.S. sales since 2009. Marchionne also oversaw the wildly successful IPO of Fiat Chrysler’s ultra-luxury brand Ferrari.

Despite concerns by Ferrari fans that Marchionne would damage the brand as he expanded sales, the opposite has happened. That’s lead to spectacular run in shares of Ferrari: Since its IPO in October of 2015, the stock has almost tripled in value. In the last year, shares of RACE are up 37 percent.

Phil Lebeau

A big overlooked flaw with health tech: Patients hate going to the doctor

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Digital health is one of the hottest spaces for investment, with companies raising $1.6 billion in venture capital in the first quarter of 2018 alone. Apple, Alphabet and Amazon are also making moves in the space with their own health-tracking apps and devices.

These companies are getting really good at screening populations of people for health problems before they develop into serious medical issues.

But they struggle to help patients with greater medical needs.

Medical experts say that digital health can’t do much for users that are already sick, or at high risk of a serious medical condition. Many of these companies won’t diagnose disease for regulatory reasons, even if they’re picking up strong signals through sensors and algorithms, so instead they’ll suggest that a user see their doctor.

That’s the case with smart watches from Apple and Fitbit, which are increasingly picking up on serious problems like sleep apnea, a sleep breathing issue, and atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder, but can’t do much more than steer these patients to medical care.

The glaring problem? Patients do not like going to the doctor.

Ample studies have found that many avoid it because the experience sucks, while others are put off by the cost.

“All the things done well by digital health — they’re simple, fun, visual with great user experience — are still missing from most clinical visits — so it remains pretty unpleasant to be a patient,” said Jeffrey Wessler, a cardiology fellow at Columbia University Medical Center and the founder of a digital health company called Heartbeat.

“To me, this gap gets closed by bringing the clinical experience up to the same standards as our digital health solutions.”

In other words, digital health companies need to get inside the clinic or hospital through partnerships or new products, rather than just focusing on the experience outside of traditional health care.

Wessler is moving in that direction with Heartbeat which is leveraging existing digital health solutions but also rethinking the in-person primary care experience to help people at risk for heart disease.

Others in the medical sector agree this is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Digital health today is hampered by this “see your doctor” endpoint, explains Joel Dudley, director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare at Mount Sinai.

He believes that the industry can move from acting as a “funnel or a stopgap rather than a revolution,” once the right pieces are in place.

One potential solution will be to incorporate telemedicine, or virtual doctor’s visits, into the experience of care so that patients can immediately get a phone call or video consult. And that way, digital health companies can be assured that they’ve at least talked to a medical expert, rather than ignored the problem.

Doctors can also learn from digital health apps and services by improving their practices so that patients won’t dread or avoid an upcoming visit.

If this gap isn’t closed, he fears, “digital health solutions will really just create more separation between patient and care provider.”

Marchionne exits Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari amid health crisis: sources

MILAN/PARIS (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne is to be replaced permanently at the helm of the global carmaker as well as Ferrari, after suffering serious complications from surgery, people with knowledge of the matter said on Saturday.

The boards of Fiat Chrysler (FCA), Ferrari and CNH Industrial, the truck and tractor maker Marchionne also chairs, were meeting on Saturday and may name his successors the same day, two sources said.

  • Marchionne exits Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari amid health crisis: sources

Spokespeople for FCA and Ferrari declined to comment.

Marchionne, credited with rescuing Fiat and Chrysler from bankruptcy since taking the wheel at the Italian carmaker in 2004, had been due to step down from the combined group next April. His internal successor had yet to be named.

FCA said earlier this month that Marchionne had undergone shoulder surgery and was in recovery. But the 66-year-old has since suffered “massive” and serious complications, according to the sources.

The group’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer, Europe chief Alfredo Altavilla and Jeep brand boss Mike Manley are often cited among possible successors.

At luxury carmaker Ferrari, spun off by FCA in 2016, board member Louis Camilleri is now likely to replace Marchionne as CEO, one source said. Marchionne had previously said he planned to stay on as Ferrari Chairman and CEO until 2021.

Camilleri’s likely appointment was first reported by Automotive News, which also said FCA Chairman and Agnelli family scion John Elkann would be Ferrari’s new chairman. The Agnelli family still controls all three companies.

The boards of FCA, Ferrari and CNH are expected to issue separate statements after all three meetings have concluded.

On Friday, FCA denied a report by Italian website Lettera43 that Elkann had summoned top executives to a meeting on Saturday in order to reassign Marchionne’s responsibilities.

Reporting by Agnieszka Flak in Milan and Laurence Frost in Paris; Editing by Mark Bendeich and Andrew Bolton

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Ohtani resumes throwing as Angels hope for ligament health

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani is throwing baseballs again, and the Los Angeles Angels hope he’ll eventually feel good enough to return to the mound this season.

The Angels’ two-way rookie sensation played catch from about 60 feet for the second straight day Friday, with a dozen clicking cameras documenting his every move in the Angel Stadium outfield.

Ohtani was cleared by doctors Thursday to begin a throwing progression after he took six weeks off to rest the sprained ligament in his pitching elbow. He had a stem cell platelet-rich plasma injection one day after his most recent pitching appearance on June 6, and the sprain shows signs of healing.

The Angels are eager to find out how well the treatment worked, and they’re still hopeful that Ohtani can avoid Tommy John surgery. But they won’t rush their prized newcomer back onto the mound — particularly while he’s still contributing to the club’s increasingly daunting playoff push as a designated hitter.

“It’s very tough to foresee the future, but we do anticipate him pitching for us this year if everything in his rehab goes as planned,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Ohtani also was in the Angels’ lineup and batting fifth Friday night as Los Angeles returned from the All-Star break to face Houston. Ohtani hasn’t stopped hitting while he waits to determine whether he’ll pitch again this season.

Ohtani missed 22 games on the Angels’ disabled list before he returned as a hitter in early July. He wants to keep hitting while his pitching elbow recovers, and the Angels are willing to work with him as usual.

“He’s a unique player with unique demands on him physically that go above and beyond the regular pitcher, or above and beyond the regular hitter,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. “It’s just important to be mindful that he’s going to take these steps in his throwing progression, and step by step, we’ll reassess daily. … If he’s feeling good, his distances will be increased. His time in the throwing progression will be increased. But I can’t answer the question as to when he would potentially be back on the mound.”

Ohtani is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 61 strikeouts in his first nine starts for the Angels, showing fearsome pitching ability in his first season stateside from Japan.

Eppler said the doctors monitoring Ohtani haven’t mentioned the possibility of Tommy John surgery. Ohtani has a Grade 2 sprain of his elbow ligament, which doesn’t always require elbow ligament replacement surgery.

But the Angels also tried PRP injections, stem cell treatment and rest to heal the elbow ligament of former ace Garrett Richards, who decided last week to have Tommy John surgery anyway. He won’t pitch again until 2020, limiting him to 28 starts in four seasons of what should have been his prime.

The Angels can afford to be patient with Ohtani, who is bound to the club for the next five seasons.

The Angels (49-48) were 4 1/2 games out of first place in the AL West when Ohtani stopped pitching. They’ve fallen 14 games off the Astros’ pace as they return from the All-Star break, with streaking Seattle also nine games ahead of them in the AL wild card race.

Los Angeles’ chances for its first playoff victory since 2009 are looking increasingly bleak after yet another season of bewildering injuries, particularly for its pitching staff.

Richards, Keynan Middleton and JC Ramirez have all been lost for the season to Tommy John surgery, and at least nine potential starting pitchers have spent time on the disabled list.


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