December 14th 2019 - Dr. Fred Buckhold, Dr. Aaron Tang, Katie Smith, & Dr. Stephanie Schnepp

Health Matters
Friday, December 13th
1.  Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  Flu cases are starting to increase -- the earliest start to the flu season in the past 15 years.  How important is it to get that flu shot? Influenza B is the dominant virus right now.  Another warning from the CDC concerning lettuce grown in Salinas, California and e-coli problems.  Dr. Buckhold has some tips on how to protect yourself and how to adequately clean your lettuce.  General Mills reminds consumers its Cheerios brand is good for the heart.  Is it?  Dr. Buckhold has some tips on a healthy breakfast.  Doctors in Great Britain are now advising older women to hop more -- saying five minutes of hopping up and down a day strengthens muscles and bones, helps with balance issues, and lessens your chance of breaking a bone in a fall.   Dr. Buckhold agrees.

2.  Dr. AARON TANG, cardiologist with SSM Health Medical Group in St. Charles County.  Rising costs in prescription drugs are forcing some patients to skip or forego their heart medication to make ends meet. One in eight adults with heart disease either delays filling prescriptions, takes less of the medication than prescribed, or skips medications altogether because of high out-of-pocket costs.  Dr. Tang says that is very dangerous and will likely make you more sick and cost you more money in the long run. He has seen patients skip their medications due to cost restraints.  In those cases, Dr. Tang says he works with them to come up with alternatives.  This affects younger people more.  Older people have Medicare to help.  Dr. Tang says patients need to discuss all their medical needs with their physician.

3.  KATIE SMITH, Outreach Manager for SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare.  Serious knee injuries are increasing in kids and teens.  Smith says she's seeing a lot of youngsters under age 12 coming in with ACL injuries.  Also UCL injuries.  Why?  Smith says a lot of it has to do with year round sports activities.  She says it is dangerous to have a child play the same sport year round.  You need to cross-train -- different sports at different times of the year to allow different muscles to be built up.  Also, she says if your child is playing on two teams at the same time in different leagues, be aware that the rest should be the same no matter what.  When should you take your child to the doctor to check out a sports-related joint injury?  Smith has some advice.  She also says to call the SSM Health Cardinal Glennon SportsCare office at 314-577-5640.

4.  Dr. STEPHANIE SCHNEPP, breast surgeon at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital.  A new study suggests a link between hair dye and chemical straighteners and breast cancer.  Dr. Schnepp says this is an association not a direct link.  She says the risk is higher for African American women.  She suggests if you work around hair dye products you should be careful to wear gloves all the time.  What do women need to know to lower their breast cancer risk?  What are the major risk factors for breast cancer?  Family history, race, personal breast disease history, hormone replacement therapy, smoking, alcohol, too much weight and too little physical activity.​