Monthly Archives: January 2017
Zucchini Taco Roll Up
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, minced
1 lb. ground beef
2 tbsp. Taco Seasoning
1 1/2 c. grated Monterey jack, divided
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar, divided
1/4 c. sour cream
1 (15-oz.) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
4 medium zucchini, sliced ⅛” thick
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Add jalapeño and cook 2 minutes more. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, 8 minutes, then drain the fat. Season with salt, mix in the taco seasoning, and add ½ cup of both Monterey Jack and cheddar, then set aside.
Spread a thin layer of crushed tomatoes into the bottom of a 9″-x-13” baking dish. On each slice of zucchini, spoon a thin layer of sour cream and crushed tomatoes. Top with a layer of beef mixture, and sprinkle with Monterey Jack and cheddar. Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat to fill the dish. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
Bake until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
Health and Wellness Associates
Low Carb : Bacon Cauliflower Chowder
4 slices bacon, cut into lardons
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. flour
2 sprigs thyme, stripped and chopped
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 qt. vegetable broth
1 c. whole milk
In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Transfer to paper towels and drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat.
To pot, add onion, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour and cook 2 minutes. Add thyme and cauliflower.
Pour in broth and milk and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and let go until cauliflower is fork tender, about 15 minutes.
Garnish with bacon.
Health and Wellness Associates
Diverticulitis Prevention: Can You Avoid This Illness?
The best strategy to prevent diverticulitis is to consume a diet with high amounts of fiber. Adequate amounts of fiber in your stool can help prevent constipation, allowing waste to move easily and preventing you from putting pressure on the colon during bowel movements.
Dietary fiber also fuels beneficial bacteria to produce compounds that help regulate your immune function.There are two kinds of fiber in foods, namely soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material that makes stools softer and larger, so they can be passed easily through the intestine.
Meanwhile, insoluble fiber absorbs water and adds bulk to stool, which helps move waste through the digestive system. You can get both soluble and insoluble fiber from plant-based foods. To ensure that you’re getting equal amounts of both, you should add a wide variety of fiber-rich foods in your meals.
For example you can take organic psyllium. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber and not only promotes healthy digestion, but also heart health, weight control, blood sugar support, and more.
Just three servings of psyllium per day can give you as much as 18 grams of dietary fiber, bringing you closer to the recommended minimum of 50 grams per 1,000 calories consumed.
Have a health professional go over your vitamins and supplement intake first before you add anything to it. Taking psyllium along with other supplements can cause you must distress.
Physicians have previously recommended diverticulitis patients to avoid eating nuts, seeds, and popcorn, as they believe these can get lodged in the pouches and cause or worsen the infection.
However, modern research1 found that there’s no evidence linking these foods with diverticular disease, and therefore may be safe to eat.2 Other ways to help prevent diverticulitis – or diverticular disease in general – include:3
- Avoid overconsumption of red meat.
- Avoid foods loaded with unhealthy fats, as they may lead to intestinal blockage and worsen diverticulitis symptoms.
- Get enough regular exercise.
- Drink plenty of liquids, ideally pure clear water. This is especially important if you are consuming a high-fiber diet. Without enough fluids, the fiber will only add bulk to the stool and will not soften it, which may lead to constipation.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Quit smoking. Smokers have a higher risk of complications from diverticulitis.
- Do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as they have been linked to diverticular bleeding.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. Some people think that drinking coffee can help their stools to pass, but this is actually a wrong approach. Caffeine is a diuretic that can lead you to lose water in your body, causing stools to harden. Excessive caffeine may also cause your colon muscles to contract, preventing stool from passing through smoothly.4
- Do not delay your bowel movements. This can harden stools and increase the strain on your colon muscles, which can then lead to diverticular disease. You should be having three bowel movements per day to keep a healthy colon.
Diverticulitis Diet: Foods to Eat and What to Avoid
If you have a mild case of diverticulitis, your physician will likely prescribe a specific diet as part of your treatment plan. While it may not completely treat the illness, it can give your digestive system a chance to “rest,” so that it can recover from the infection.
Most physicians will recommend that you consume a high-fiber diet. Fiber softens your stools, allowing them to pass through your intestines and colon more quickly and easily. Some of the best fiber-rich foods include:1, 2
- Vegetables (artichokes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, and broccoli) and vegetable juices
- Fruits, including raspberries, blackberries, pears, apples, and avocados
- Legumes, such as navy beans, kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and split peas
- Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and bulgur
But in severe diverticulitis cases, switching to a high-fiber diet too soon may not be effective, and may only worsen the symptoms. Instead, your physician will likely recommend a clear liquid diet first.3
Liquids You Can Take for Diverticulitis
Start by eating homemade bone broth, made from lamb, beef, chicken, or fish, and with some cooked vegetables and meat. This will help heal leaky gut syndrome, boost your immune system, and heal the digestive tract.4
Bone broth provides you with easily digestible nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulfur. The gelatinous collagen in bone broth also has amazing curative properties. It is a hydrophilic colloid that attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, hence supporting proper digestion.
Aside from pure and clear water, Ginger tea is another soothing drink that you should add to your diet. Sip on warm ginger tea two to three times daily, as it will help reduce inflammation and aid in digestion. This healing food works wonders on your immune and digestive systems.
Other Recommended Foods for Diverticulitis
Once your diverticulitis symptoms have lessened, you can move on to consuming easily digestible foods, ideally grated, steamed, and pureed fruits and vegetables. Avoid those that have tough skins and small seeds that may accumulate in the diverticula sacs. Some of the best choices are carrots, beets, grapes, apples, lettuce, and watercress. You can juice them, but leave out the fibrous areas until your body has adjusted to them.
When you feel better, you can start to add fiber-rich foods, including raw fruits and vegetables and unrefined grains, such as fermented grains, black rice, quinoa, and sprouted lentils, to your diet.
Remember that digestion starts in the mouth, so make it a habit to chew each bite of your food thoroughly, or until it is nearly liquefied. The more you break down the food before it goes to your stomach, the more readily absorbed the nutrients become.5
Food plays a great role in how you manage diverticulitis, so remember to discuss your diet needs and restrictions with your physician. Write down your questions, and make sure that you clarify which foods are safe and which ones are not. You can also ask for a referral to a nutrition specialist who can help you come up with a well-balanced meal plan to alleviate your condition.6
IF you have any questions or concerns about prevention of this disease or any disease please call us.
Health and Wellness Associates
Acetaminophen and Asthma
As the title says, there is a link between Acetaminophen and Asthma. Read on to find out about Acetaminophen and ADHD, cancer in boys, and should you give your children acetaminophen when vaccinated.
Acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) is one of the most widely used pain relievers, including among pregnant women.
Research published in the journal American Family Physician even called acetaminophen “the pain reliever of choice during pregnancy,”1 and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data suggest 65 percent of pregnant women use the drug.2
Acetaminophen was most commonly used to treat pain, fever and flu symptoms among pregnant women in a recent study led by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo.3
However, it’s generally best to avoid any medications during pregnancy, including acetaminophen, unless they’re absolutely necessary.
When used during pregnancy, even this “safe” over-the-counter (OTC) drug, researchers found, may be associated with an increased risk of asthma in children.
Prenatal Acetaminophen Exposure Linked to Asthma
Researchers analyzed data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, which includes 114,500 mother/child pairs. Both prenatal acetaminophen exposure and use of acetaminophen during infancy were associated with an increased risk of asthma at ages 3 and 7.
Children whose mothers had used acetaminophen during pregnancy were 13 percent more likely to develop asthma by age 3, and the more acetaminophen used by the mother, the greater the risk became.
The study also looked into whether the reasons behind acetaminophen use (pain, fever and flu) could be causing the asthma link, but the association remained even after accounting for these factors.
Women who reported using acetaminophen for more than one reason during pregnancy had children with the greatest risk of asthma at age 3.4
The researchers did not recommend that pregnant women or infants stop using acetaminophen, even though past research has also suggested an asthma connection.
For instance research published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety in February 2016 also found acetaminophen use during pregnancy was associated with a modest increased risk for offspring asthma.5
Are Pain Relievers Safe During Pregnancy?
The findings raise questions about whether this widely-used OTC medicine is actually as safe during pregnancy as women are being told.
Due to recent reports questioning the safety of prescription and OTC medicines when used during pregnancy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently looked into the issue.6 They looked into data regarding three widely used types of pain medications and potential associated side effects:
Prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the risk of miscarriage
Opioids and the potential risk of birth defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord
Acetaminophen and the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
The FDA ruled that available data “prevented us from drawing reliable conclusions,” and they decided to keep their recommendations on how pain medicines are used during pregnancy the same at this time. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution when possible.
Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD in Children
The potential link between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and ADHD came to light in 2014 after a study was published in JAMA Pediatrics.7
It included data from more than 64,000 mothers and children in the Danish National Birth Cohort. Over 50 percent of the women reported taking acetaminophen while pregnant, which was found to be linked to:
A 30 percent increased risk for ADHD in the child during the first seven years of life
A 37 percent increased risk of being diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorder (HKD), a severe form of ADHD
Behavioral effects appeared to be dose dependent. The more frequent the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy, the higher the offspring’s chances of being diagnosed with ADHD-related problems.
Children of women who used the drug for 20 or more weeks during pregnancy had nearly double the risk of getting an HKD diagnosis. They also had a 50 percent greater chance of being prescribed an ADHD medication.
The researchers noted that “[research data suggest that acetaminophen is a hormone disruptor, and abnormal hormonal exposures in pregnancy may influence fetal brain development.”8 As further reported by Forbes:9
“Acetaminophen can cross the placenta, making its way to the fetus and its delicate developing nervous system. The drug is a known endocrine (hormone) disrupter, and has previously been linked to undescended testes in male infants.10
Since the maternal hormone environment plays a critical role in the development of the fetus, the authors say that it’s ‘possible that acetaminophen may interrupt brain development by interfering with maternal hormones or via neurotoxicity such as the induction of oxidative stress that can cause neuronal death.'”
Prenatal Acetaminophen Exposure May Be Linked to Fertility Problems, Cancer in Boys
Along with asthma and ADHD, prenatal acetaminophen exposure appears to cut levels of testosterone in the womb, at least according to a study in mice. The animals were given doses of acetaminophen equivalent to a human dose.
While treatment for just one day did not affect testosterone levels, treatment three times a day for seven days did, cutting testosterone levels in the mice nearly in half.11 The finding is concerning, since most common male reproductive disorders are linked to lower testosterone exposure in fetal life.
It’s thought that acetaminophen’s interference with the development of the male reproductive system could not only lead to genital birth defects but also to infertility and testicular cancer.12
Unlike the U.S. FDA, which has refused to warn pregnant women about potential risks, The Royal College of Midwives suggested pregnant women talk to their health care providers before taking acetaminophen.
The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health said that prolonged use of the drug should be avoided by pregnant women. Carmel Lloyd of the Royal College of Midwives told the Daily Mail:13
“Ideally, women should avoid taking medicines when they are pregnant, particularly during the first three months … Minor conditions such as colds or minor aches and pains often do not need treating with medicines.”
While the mouse study suggested only male fertility may be affected, a separate study published in Scientific Reports revealed that acetaminophen (or NSAID) use in pregnancy could also potentially affect fertility of resulting daughters and granddaughters.14
Accidental Poisoning Is Another Major Mechanism of Harm
Acetaminophen was the medication involved in the most accidental poisonings according to calls to poison control centers across the U.S. related to infants younger than 6 months old.15
The drug accounted for 22,000 medication exposures and close to 5,000 general exposures.16 Acetaminophen is often recommended for infants instead of alternatives like ibuprofen.
In fact, acetaminophen is the most common pain reliever given to U.S. children, and it’s estimated that more than 11 percent of U.S. children take the drug during any given week.17 In adults, taking just a bit too much can have significant health risks, particularly for your liver.
Acetaminophen poisoning is responsible for nearly half of all acute liver failure cases in the U.S.18 Among adults, taking just 25 percent more than the daily recommended dose — the equivalent of just two extra strength pills per day — can cause liver damage after just a couple of weeks of daily use.19
Children metabolize acetaminophen differently than adults, and the risks of liver failure from too much acetaminophen are thought to be lower among children than adults.20 However, liver injury has been reported among children given repeated doses.21
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an antidote for acetaminophen toxicity and is well worth knowing about if you ever use acetaminophen or keep it in your house. NAC is administered as part of standard care in cases of acetaminophen overdose.
While I generally do not recommend using acetaminophen-containing drugs for minor aches and pains, they are sometimes necessary to temporarily suppress severe pain, such as post-surgical pain. For those instances, I recommend taking it along with NAC.
If you have children and keep acetaminophen in your home, I strongly recommend keeping a bottle of NAC as well in case of accidental overdose. NAC therapy should be initiated within eight hours of an acute overdose for best results. If you suspect an overdose has occurred, seek medical help right away. If this isn’t an option, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following protocol:22
“Oral administration is the preferred route for NAC therapy unless contraindications exist (e.g aspiration, persistent vomiting). The usual recommended loading dose is 140 mg/kg followed in 4 hours by a maintenance dose of 70 mg/kg orally given every 4 hours.
This dosing is commonly recommended to be continued for 72 hours; however more recent clinical experience supports tailoring the duration of therapy to the patient’s clinical condition.”
Vitamin D-Rich Foods During Pregnancy Decrease Risk of Allergies in Children
A higher intake of vitamin-D-rich foods during pregnancy has been linked to a lower risk of allergies in children. The study found for each 100 IUs per day of food-based vitamin D intake during the first and second trimesters (equivalent to the amount of vitamin D in an 8-ounce serving of milk) was associated with about a 20 percent lower risk of developing allergies by school age.23
In this case, the use of supplemental vitamin D was not associated with the benefit, although it’s unclear what type of supplemental vitamin D was studied. Other research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be a primary underlying cause of asthma. Vitamin D will also help to upregulate your immune system, which may explain its potential role in allergies.
You can find some vitamin D in mushrooms, fish, eggs and dairy products, and there may be vitamin D in lesser-known food sources as well, like meat. However, when pregnant, you need a vitamin D level above 50 ng/ml to protect yourself and your baby from serious complications, such as premature delivery and preeclampsia.
You should have your levels tested and monitored during pregnancy and get appropriate sun exposure and take supplemental vitamin D3, if necessary, to reach optimal levels. I firmly believe optimizing your vitamin D during pregnancy is one of the most important things you can do for the health of your child. When a child is born deficient in vitamin D his or her health can be significantly affected in any number of ways.
Research confirms there is a lifelong impact of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy ranging from not only childhood allergies and asthma but also colds and flu, dental cavities, diabetes, and even strokes and cardiovascular disease in later life.
Top Natural Acetaminophen Alternatives
Acetaminophen is so common that many people, including pregnant women, have become “blasé” about its use and its potential dangers.24 Before you reach for acetaminophen or any other pain-relieving drug, it makes sense to exhaust more natural options first — particularly for minor or tolerable pain. For instance, the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) works very effectively for relieving pain and can be used safely for pregnant women and children.
No matter what your reason for taking acetaminophen, type it into the search box above and you’ll likely find a natural alternative. Even if chronic pain is your problem, the following options provide excellent pain relief without any of the health hazards that acetaminophen and other pain relievers carry. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your health care provider before taking any medications, herbs or supplements.
Astaxanthin: One of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than many NSAIDs. Higher doses are typically required and one may need 8 mg or more per day to achieve this benefit.
Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
Curcumin: Curcumin is the primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric. In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility.25 In fact, curcumin has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory activity, as well as demonstrating the ability in four studies to reduce acetaminophen-associated adverse health effects.26
Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been prized for thousands of years. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Bromelain: This protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.
Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a “joint lubricant” and an anti-inflammatory. I have used this for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards. I used a topical preparation for this.
Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.
Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain.
Therapeutic modalities such as yoga, acupuncture, meditation, hot and cold packs, and even holding hands can also result in astonishing pain relief without any drugs.
If you take nothing away from this: NEVER GIVE TYLENOL TO A CHILD WHO HAS BEEN VACCINATED OR EXPOSED TO ANOTHER CHILD THAT HAS BEEN VACINATED.
Health and Wellness Associates
Sleep and psychiatric disorders often occur at the same time, and untreated sleep disorders can increase the risk of developing psychiatric conditions, such as depression, later in life. Recent reports found that as many as two-thirds of patients referred to sleep disorders centers have a psychiatric disorder. The most common psychiatric disorders associated with sleep complaints include depression, anxiety, and substance (illicit drugs and alcohol) abuse. Treating sleep disorders has been shown to improve the co-existing psychiatric condition and overall quality of life.
Depression is a mood disorder identified by low mood and/or lack of interest in activities previously found to be enjoyable. Depression affects one’s appetite, concentration, energy level, and motivation. People with depression report feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and have suicidal thoughts. The majority experience symptoms of insomnia, consisting of difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, early morning awakening, or non-refreshing sleep.
Studies of depressed patients demonstrate prolonged sleep latency (time to fall asleep), lack of slow wave sleep (also known as deep sleep), reduced REM sleep latency (time to REM sleep from sleep onset), and increased amount of REM sleep. REM stands for rapid eye movement, a sleep cycle characterized by the following physiological changes:
Increased brain activity
There is much evidence linking depression with sleep disorders. It has been shown that insomnia increases the risk of depression and that depression can cause insomnia. In a 34-year follow-up study of medical students at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, the risk of developing depression among students with insomnia was twice that of those without insomnia. Of all the symptoms of depression, insomnia is often the last to respond to medications. Failure to treat insomnia increases the risk of a depression relapse.
Rarely, people with depression report excessive daytime sleepiness. This is more common in patients with seasonal affective disorder, also known as “winter depression.”
People with anxiety disorders feel nervous, tense, have difficulty controlling worrying, and find it hard to relax. Sleep disorders are found in over 50 percent of patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Difficulty in falling and staying asleep is the most common sleep disturbance. People with anxiety disorders report a high level of psychological distress and are unable to relax enough to sleep at night. Insomnia in turn can raise anxiety levels. Nocturnal panic attacks are also common; these are sudden awakenings from sleep accompanied by intense anxiety, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and usually lead to difficulty falling back asleep.
Sleep and substance abuse
People who abuse alcohol and other illicit drugs frequently experience sleep problems. Many people say they use alcohol and illicit drugs in order to fall asleep. However, these substances are not effective in the long run and can lead to a variety of serious health and performance problems, including psychiatric and medical disorders, and psychosocial problems such as impaired performance at school or work. Though many believe in its sleep-promoting benefits, alcohol actually disrupts sleep, causing recurrent awakenings and a reduced amount of REM sleep. The use of alcohol and other illicit drugs to treat insomnia is strongly discouraged.
Treatment of co-existing psychiatric and sleep disorders requires a thorough evaluation by experts with knowledge in both sleep medicine and psychiatry. Medications to treat depression and anxiety must be chosen carefully, as some promote wakefulness while others cause drowsiness.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a structured and focused treatment for insomnia, typically provided by an experienced psychologist. CBT refers to a variety of behavioral strategies used to correct harmful or negative thought patterns and behaviors that can cause or worsen insomnia. This type of therapy is not only effective, but its benefits outlast those of medications. Examples of CBT include relaxation therapy and biofeedback (a type of therapy that uses medical monitoring equipment to help patients learn to relax by controlling their vital signs — heart rate, breathing, etc).
People with insomnia should also adopt healthy habits and rituals that promote a good night’s sleep. These include:
Establishing fixed bed and wake times
Relaxing before going to bed
Maintaining a comfortable sleeping environment
Avoiding clock watching
Following a 20 minute “Toss and Turn” rule (giving yourself only 20 minutes to continue tossing and turning, before leaving the bed for some restful activity)
Using the bedroom for sleep and sex only
Avoiding daytime naps
Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine within 6 hours of sleep
Exercising regularly but not within 3 hours of sleep
All health professionals should be asking about your sleep habits when they are talking to you. Irregular sleep patterns, mind racing with thoughts, heart palpitations, inability to sleep for 5 hours straight, are all signs of underlying diseases and some serious conditions. Many times this can be fixed with the right vitamin and supplement program. We have found many people who are taking supplements but we the wrong amount or the wrong combination for them.
If you would like to make an appointment with us please just call, leave a voice message if no one can pick up at that time, and we will be happy to help you.
Health and Wellness Associates
Pilonidal cysts facts
Pilonidal cysts occur along the tailbone near the cleft of the buttocks.
Pilonidal cysts are thought to develop from the penetration of hairs deep into the skin.
Pilonidal cysts can become infected.
An infected pilonidal cyst (pilonidal abscess) requires incision and drainage.
Recurrence of pilonidal cysts is common, and surgery may be required for more definitive management.
What is a pilonidal cyst?
A pilonidal cyst is a fluid-filled sac (cyst) that develops along the tailbone (coccyx) near the cleft of the buttocks. These cysts usually contain hair and skin debris, and sinus tracts may develop. Some individuals with a pilonidal cyst or sinus may not have any symptoms at all, whereas others may develop an inflammation of the cyst that leads to abscess formation with associated pain, redness, and irritation. Despite treatment, recurrence of pilonidal cysts is common.
Pilonidal disease was first described by Herbert Mayo in 1833, with R.M. Hodge coining the term pilonidal in 1880 from the Latin words pilus (hair) and nidus (nest). Extensive work into the treatment and management of pilonidal disease occurred during World War II, when nearly 80,000 U.S. soldiers were treated in U.S. military hospitals for this condition between 1941-1945. Because so many of the affected servicemen rode in Jeeps for prolonged periods of time, the condition also became known as “Jeep disease.”
What causes a pilonidal cyst?
Though there are several theories as to the cause of pilonidal disease, most researchers now believe that pilonidal disease is acquired (rather than congenital) and that it is caused by the penetration of hair into deeper subcutaneous tissues through dilated hair follicles in the skin. In response to this irritation and perceived foreign material, the body produces a local inflammatory reaction, causing a cyst to form around the trapped hair. Excessive pressure, friction, and repetitive trauma to the sacro- coccygeal area are thought to facilitate the entry of hair, thus predisposing individuals to develop pilonidal disease or irritate already existing pilonidal cysts.
Who is at risk for developing a pilonidal cyst?
The incidence of pilonidal disease is approximately 26 cases per 100,000 people. Pilonidal disease generally occurs in people between the ages of 15-24, and it is very uncommon in individuals over the age of 40. Males are more frequently affected than females, and it is more common in white individuals. Other risk factors associated with the development of pilonidal disease include a family history of pilonidal cysts, occupations that require prolonged periods of sitting, local trauma, obesity, hirsute (hairy or having copious hair) individuals, and the presence of a deep cleft between the buttocks.
What are the signs and symptoms of a pilonidal cyst?
Certain individuals with a pilonidal cyst may not have any symptoms at all, and the only finding may be a dimple or an opening in the skin (sinus tract) near the cleft of the buttocks. However, if the pilonidal cyst becomes infected (pilonidal abscess), the following signs and symptoms may develop:
Pain over the lower spine
Redness of the skin
Warmth of the skin
Localized swelling over the lower spine
Drainage of pus from an opening in the skin (sinus tract) over the lower spine
Though much less common, pilonidal cysts can also develop in other areas of the body, such as the hands.
If you are having any problems and not sure what to do, give us a call and we can probably save you some visits to the wrong doctor.
Health and Wellness Associates
Lower-Carb Coconut Macaroons Recipe
This Low-Carb and Sugar-Free Coconut Macaroon recipe is very easy to make. There are only four ingredients, which mix up easily, and require only 15 minutes to cook.
The only trick, especially when not using sugar (which attracts moisture), is keeping them from being too dry. Here’s how I do it.
1 large egg white
1 medium banana, mashed
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup whole almonds
¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut
½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
Grind the almonds using a food processor and combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well.
Scoop out 1 tablespoon of batter at a time and place on a sheet lined with parchment paper. You should get about 15 tablespoon sized macaroons from the ingredients listed above.
Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Let cool before eating.
Makes about 14-15 cookies, but yield will vary based on size of the cookies.
Difference between Macaroons and Macarons
Macaroons: Macaroons are cookies made with a combination of egg whites, usually coconut (although almonds and other variations exist), and vanilla. The cookies are easy to prepare and bake.
Macarons: Macaron cookies are delicate cookies made with almond meal (the same thing as finely ground almond flour), sugar, egg whites sandwiched together with ganache, buttercream, caramel or fruit fillings. The only coconut you might find in a macaron is in the filling.
Health and Wellness Associates
Zero-Carb Chinese Five Spice Chicken Recipe
This Zero-Carb Chinese Five Spice Chicken recipe is one of our favorites to grill, but it can also be baked. And, yes, it’s true: this recipe has zero carbohydrates.
The five spices are a blend you can get in the supermarket.
3 pounds chicken (any combination — ideal if they are similar sizes — works great for thighs, but I’ve done a variety)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oil, such as light olive oil or peanut oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 fresh garlic cloves, pressed)
2 teaspoons five spice powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon dry sherry
Make the Marinade
In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup oil, such as light olive oil or peanut oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 fresh pressed garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon dry sherry, and use as a marinade.
In a large plastic or ceramic container with a lid, place the 3 pounds chicken. Pour the marinade over all the pieces, turning until all the pieces are coated evenly. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.
Bake in a 375-degree F. oven (basting once or twice), or grill, for about 45 minutes or until done.
Health and Wellness Associates
Parmesan roasted carrots
yield: 8 SERVINGS prep time: 5 MINUTES cook time: 25 MINUTES total time: 30 MINUTES
4-5 cups baby carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves (2 teaspoons) minced garlic
3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 to 2 Tablespoons panko bread crumbs, optional
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, more to taste
Chopped parsley, optional
Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Place the olive oil, garlic, parmesan, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a large zip top bag. Add the carrots and shake until they are well coated. Then spread out onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until tender. Toss with a spatula half way through.
Remove from oven and serve immediately. Top with fresh parsley if desired.
Health and Wellness Associates
Deli Crab Salad
Deli Crab Salad is a healthy dinner recipe just in time for your weight loss goals.
Meet your resolutions this year.
6 oz Imitation crab meat
1 Green onion or chives
1 Onion powder
2 tbsp Mayo, light
1/2 tsp Mustard
Pasta & Grains
1 cup Macaroni noodles, cooked
Baking & Spices
1 Salt and pepper
1/4 cup Sour cream, fat free
Cook noodles and measure out 1 cup. Run cold water over the noodles to chill them. Mix the shredded or diced crab pieces with the pasta. Mix in green onions or chives. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour sauce over pasta mixture and stir well. Put it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let the flavors blend.
Health and Wellness Associates