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Hamptons Wellness:Why is Gluten Free Trending
Everywhere I go these days in the Hamptons there is a sign that says GLUTEN FREE, the restaurants, supermarkets, deli’s and even farm stands have jumped on board to this trending craze that seems to be growing. “The market for gluten-free products is exploding. Does anyone know? Many people may just perceive that a gluten-free diet is healthier.”

According to Peter H.R. Green, MD, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is essential, but for others, “unless people are very careful, a gluten-free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

It is estimated that about 1% of Americans have celiac disease. The condition, caused by an abnormal immune response to gluten, can damage the lining of the small intestine. That, in turn, can prevent important nutrients from being absorbed.

Symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, anemia, bone pain, and a severe skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis. But celiac disease often has few or no symptoms. The only way to know if you have this disease is to be tested. According to WebMD the first test is typically a blood test that detects antibodies related to an abnormal immune response. If the blood test is positive a biopsy is performed to confirm inflammation in the lining of the small intestines.

photo: glutenfreeoatmeal.net
photo: glutenfreeoatmeal.net

Some may say I feel so much better when I don’t eat Gluten, so what’s wrong with eliminating Gluten from your diet? For starters it is incredibly expensive, and many whole grains that contain gluten have special nutritional benefits. They’re rich in an array of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron, as well as fiber. Studies show that whole grain foods, as part of a healthy diet, may help lower risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that half of all carbohydrates in the diet come from whole grain products. So if you have no medical reason to eliminate Gluten from your diet is it wise to do this?

What are your thoughts on this explosive trend? Why is Gluten Free Trending?

Wellness: I am feeling so very blessed and I wanted to share my story. Two years ago I had the scare of my life and I am so very grateful to be a survivor. April 20th, 2018, I woke up and something looked wrong with my face, my left eye was tearing and I had no idea what was happening but my husband said let’s go see the doctor. It was my oldest daughter’s last day living at home and her last day at her job in East Hampton, she was moving on with her life and would be starting a new job in NYC. I said let’s go to SagTown in Sag Harbor to get some coffee. Kurt my husband had taken the day off to go to the doctor with me because I was nervous, we ordered our coffee then in a matter of seconds things were progressively moving quickly. I went to the bathroom to look at my eye and when I looked up my face had drooped more, I was immediately nervous. I told Kurt I am very concerned, so he said I will drop Dani off at work and you go pick up the eyedrops, he said we would leave my car in town and he would drive me to my doctor’s office. I went to pick up the drops and came back to my car to put the drops in my eye and wait for Kurt to come back. Kurt called me to make sure I was ok and all of sudden I could not speak, it was terrifying, I honestly did not know what was happening. I heard a tap on the window of my car, I rolled down the window and there was an officer asking me if I was ok. I was at this time unable to speak and became very agitated because I did not know that Kurt had sent them to find me. The officer proceeded to ask me questions and because I was unable to find my voice he became concerned, took my car keys, and called for an ambulance. As you can probably imagine he thought I was having a stroke and there was a small window to rush me to the hospital to minimize the symptoms if this were a stroke. I was very scared, I had never heard of Bell’s Palsy but I did not think I was having a stroke because my parents and grandmother had all had strokes within the last 3 years and I knew the symptoms.

Once I arrived at Southampton Hospital the staff was very attentive and proceeded to do all the necessary tests to rule out a stroke, once they ruled out that I was not having a stroke they then proceeded to assume I was having some mental issues because they could not understand why I was unable to speak. They kept me in the hospital overnight for observation and in the morning a very nice doctor came in and diagnosed me with Bell’s Palsy. He explained what was happening and prescribed anti-inflammatory medication prednisone to help reduce the swelling of the facial nerve. I was released from the hospital later that morning, once I got home I was completely exhausted and just went to sleep for the rest of the day.

What is Bell’s Palsy?

What is Bell’s Palsy: Google definition “Bell’s palsy is a condition in which the muscles on one side of your face become weak or paralyzed. It affects only one side of the face at a time, causing it to droop or become stiff on that side. It’s caused by some kind of trauma to the seventh cranial nerve. This is also called the “facial nerve.”

The recovery was hard, but I was so grateful that it was not a stroke, I was able to care for myself, go to the bathroom on my own, I believe my positive energy is what helped with my recovery. Many say that one gets Bell’s Palsy from Lyme Disease, but for me, I think my Bell’s Palsy was activated by stress. Prior to my illness, I suffered the immeasurable loss of both my mother and grandmother, information that was gut-wrenching was shared with me and it took months to absorb and heal from it. I found myself in the position of being the Matriarch of the family and I felt I had no time to break-down I needed to show strength and so I think all of that bottled up stress needed to be released.

During my recovery it was hard to do many things, eating, drinking, swallowing, talking, smiling, closing my eye, sleeping. My left eye did not close, so I was very tired because when your eye does not blink it can be very exhausting. It was challenging driving, watching television, or being on the computer for an extended period of time. I had to change my daily way of doing things. I went back to work after being home for a couple of days, it was a challenge because I felt all eyes starring at me, but after watching my parents and my grandmother suffered a stroke, I felt like God had spared my life and I did not focus on anyone staring at me. I focused on recovery. After the 1st day, everyone stopped starring it was back to normal. I continued to stay focused and positive on my recovery over the next month. I shut down my computer, television, and phone at 9 pm every night. I researched what I should eat, what I should not eat, and what I needed to do to recover in 4-8 weeks. I avoided foods that contained, Arginine-Rich Foods, Omega-6 Foods, and Trans Fats. This website helped me https://www.livestrong.com/article/352853-foods-to-avoid-when-you-have-bells-palsy/. 

I cannot tell you if that helped, but for me, I was going to take all advice because I was determined to get better. I slept with an eyepatch, it was very helpful, I drank from a straw because drinking from a cup was very hard, 1/2 of my face was paralyzed, I ate soft food because swallowing was a challenge. As my face began to slowly recover it was painful and sleeping at night was a challenge, sometimes I would need to take an Advil to get some sleep. Talking was definitely the hardest part, if I spoke slow I was ok but if I got agitated with someone who I felt could not understand me, my speech would get worst. At that moment I felt the agony of a stroke victim, it humbled me and I would not allow myself to feel sorry for myself. I began to see the progression in four weeks and someone who just met me for the first time would never know a month earlier I had partial facial paralysis; it was able to eat real food, swallow, talk, partial smile. In 2 months I was able to smile, it took a bit longer for my left eye to close completely, washing my face with soap was always a real challenge.

It has been 2 years

It has been 2 years and I still have some residual of my Bell’s Palsy, my left eye twitches and I never feel like it is fully closed, the cemetery of my face is slightly off, but only I notice it and my smile is slightly crooked, but I’ll take it because some never recover. I was one of the lucky survivors and I never stop thanking God for blessing my life. I share my story because I have discovered this happens to many people of all ages all the time.

I wanted someone who might be going through this condition to know that there is hope and you can recover. Be positive, be patient, and be grateful. Don’t let your physical appearance define who you are, focus on recovering and not your vanity. I had an opportunity to interview a doctor who specializes in treating patients who don’t organically recover from Bell’s Palsy, in my part two of this series Recovering from Bell’s Palsy I will share that interview.

Hamptons Wellness:Healthy Foods essential to your well-being…Take a look at these 3 food items that are healthy Foods to Eat…

bigstock-Fresh-salmon-fillet-29411951Salmon: Eating two or three servings of fish a week is a simple way to improve your health wellness and stave off certain illnesses and diseases. Salmon is one of the most nutritious types of fish to add to your diet. It supplies iron, zinc, niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, as well as a whole host of other nutrients you need for good health. It has Selenium which is a mineral that keeps your thyroid working properly and boosts the health of your immune system. Those looking for more ways to give their immune system an additional boost may want to try products like those from Quantum Health which include L-Lysine and Vitamin C, as well as four other well-researched immune health nutrients. Selenium also works as an antioxidant, which means that it destroys free radicals. Salmon has a specific type of unsaturated fat called omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids lower your risk of dying from heart disease, according to Mayo Clinic.

For more information on the benefits of eating Salmon, click here:

bigstock-Yogurt-57281666

Yogurt: protein (about 9 grams per 6-ounce serving), plus several other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium. Yogurt consists Probiotics which are “friendly bacteria” that are naturally present in the digestive system. Live strains of these “good bacteria” are also found in many yogurt products. While more research needs to be done, there’s some evidence that some strains of probiotics can help boost the immune system and promote a healthy digestive wellness tract. If you can get greek organic.

for more information on Yogurt as a healthy food, click here:

Oranges:

bigstock-Big-fresh-orange-28947719Helps Prevent Cancer: Oranges are rich in citrus limonoids, proven to help fight a number of varieties of cancer including that of the skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon. Prevents Kidney Diseases, Reduces Risk of Liver Cancer, Lowers Cholesterol, Boosts Heart Health, Oranges are full of potassium, an electrolyte mineral is responsible for helping the heart function well. When potassium levels get too low, you may develop an abnormal heart rhythm, known as an arrhythmia. Oranges are full of vitamin C which protects cells by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals cause chronic diseases, like cancer and heart disease. Oranges are full of dietary fiber which stimulates digestive juices and relieves constipation. Oranges Helps Create Good Vision, Oranges are rich in carotenoid compounds which are converted to vitamin A and help prevent macular degeneration. The flavonoid hesperidin found in oranges helps regulate high blood pressure and the magnesium in oranges helps maintain blood pressure. Oranges are full of beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant protecting the cells from being damage which also protects the skin from free radicals and prevents the signs of aging.

for more information on oranges as a healthy food to eat: click here:

Ask Kurt, Home Care 101: How to cope with Sundowning

Ask Kurt: Is a new column by Professional Homecare expert Kurt Leggard, a registered Nurse Chief Clinical Officer -Director of Patient Services for a Licensed Home Care Services Agency in NYS. Each week Kurt will be answering your questions regarding Home Care.

Home care, is supportive care provided in the home. Teamed with physical alterations to the home such as having mobility wet rooms fitted, it’s a great way to allow your dependent relatives to stay in the comfort of their own home while still getting the help they need. Care may be provided by licensed healthcare professionals who provide medical care needs or by professional caregivers who provide daily care to help to ensure the activities of daily living(ADL’s) are met. Also, very similar to RIGHT ACCORD HOME HEALTH CARE, In-home medical care is often and more accurately referred to as “home health care” or formal care. If you’re looking for an elderly care facility, The Hermitage of Northern Virginia has very nice assisted living facilities in Alexandria VA.

This weeks question is from Stephanie in Sag Harbor, NY

Question: My question is this: What do you recommend to cope with “sundowning” , a condition of extreme irritability of older people between 5pm and 7pm…hard time for caregivers to handle.

ASK KURT:

Kurt: Thank you for the question Stephanie. As defined, ‘Sundowning’ is characterized as a spectrum of behaviors of individuals with a diagnosis of Instant Coupons! Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias with the individual presenting as agitated, extremely confused and sometimes combative beginning toward the end of the afternoon to early evening sometimes extending through the entire night. Basically, when the sun goes down.

I tend to begin any recommendations with addressing ‘Sundowning’ as a condition that is very stressful for the caregiver as well as a potential safety risk for the sufferer. It is imperative that the caregiver takes care of their own health care and emotional needs and gets appropriate rest and respite to handle the rigors of caring for the individual suffering with ‘Sundowning.’ Please get support if you can. Companies can Immanuel can provide lakeside assisted living to help reduce the physical and emotional load.

The immediate things you can do for the sufferer is to ensure that a recent medical examination has been conducted to determine if there are any medical conditions that may be the underlying cause for the ‘Sundowning.’ If an individual is in pain, this may cause ‘Sundowning’ to start or become more pronounced as will severe constipation, Urinary Track Infections, poor nutrition, dehydration and many other conditions.

If the sufferer tends to wander (a possible secondary affect), it is very important to conduct a complete environmental review of the client’s home. Remove safety hazards (loose carpets or rugs, telephone or lamp wires, use night lights, etc) to prevent falls. If the client is at risk for wandering out of the home, safety door locks should be installed out of the reach of the client but easily accessible to the caregiver. Visible signs inside and outside of the door to identify where the lock is located can be helpful if there is a need for an emergency evacuation, as in the case of fire.

There is nothing more frightening than a love-one wandering outside and lost. Safety locks can prevent this. Do not lock a sufferer indoors without appropriate supervision. If a lock is needed, then there is a great chance that ongoing supervision is indicated (consider the many Homecare options available but be cautious to consider caregiver compatibility and costs).

The following are my recommended interventions: Maintain a routine for the sufferer. Stress will exacerbate ‘Sundowning’ and routines reduce stress. Maintain or increase the activity status of the sufferer during the day and avoid naps if possible. Naps can tend to disrupt the clients nighttime sleeping pattern. As the sun light in the sufferer’s home decreases through the afternoon to the evening, increase the amount of lighting used in the home. The use of lights will reduce one of the triggers of ‘Sundowning.’ Reduce foods that have caffeine and sugar during dinner and snacks. Keep snacks light prior to going to sleep. Ensure that the sufferer has had adequate hydration during the day (the elderly are prone toward dehydration) but reduce fluids at night to minimize nighttime urination (nocturia). Minimize disturbances during the night This seems pretty reasonable but is sometimes difficult to manage, depending on outside traffic, neighbors, etc.

I read in Healthline.com (http://www.healthline.com/ ) that each sufferer has triggers that lead to ‘Sundowning’ and they recommend keeping a journal, recording all triggers to be avoided. Great recommendation!

A final or perhaps initial intervention may be to medicate the sufferer based upon their symptoms and behaviors. Interestingly, some medications may themselves be the cause (trigger) for what appears to be ‘Sundowning’ but may actually be causing medically induced insomnia and confusion. Review all medications the sufferer is taking with their physician or nurse practitioner to determine if medication may be the cause of the problem.

Ultimately, this is a very difficult and challenging circumstance for caregivers to handle. It can be very exhausting and frustrating for everyone involved. A combination of the recommendations offered will hopefully provide some answers and work for you. Get plenty of rest and support if possible. (please review Web MD (http://www.webmd.com) and the Alzheimer’s Association ( http://www.alz.org/nyc/ ) for excellent information.

Each week I will be answering your Home Care Questions: Email your questions to HamptonsMouthpiece@gmail.com

Homecare is Expensive! Greeting’s Hamptons Mouthpiece Readers…Most of my Sag Harbor friends know me as a photographer but my profession, I am a Registered Nurse with a background in elder care. My responsibilities include running one of the larger Medicaid Homecare service agencies in NYC. So I thought that I would talk to you about…. Estate Planning.

While I am no expert in this field, I have first hand seen the devastation thatcan impact families that do not plan for the inevitable health declines in our parents and significant others as aging and subsequent health issues arise. It is an important part of life that we all have to contend with soon or later, so a support plan may be worth looking into such as where to find a good homecare, you may want to begin with somewhere similar to GYC Senior Care – see more at gycseniorcare.com. It is imperative that well in advance of these calamities, you seek an Elder Lawyer who can help you prepare your family’s finances to protect your wealth.There are many legal vehicles that will allow you to shelter your loved ones assets such as Pooled Trusts, which will allow for you to provide the care and services that the sick and frail will need in their declining years while simultaneously protecting and allocating assets for this purpose.

elder2Homecare is EXPENSIVE and can quickly overtake any savings that have been accumulated. You should invest in a Long Term Health insurance policy that will provide some limited coverage for homecare if those services are required. Please conduct your due diligence in researching the insurance company that you chose to join. It is imperative that you investigate the financial health of the company you choose. The most unfortunate thing that could happen is that you contribute toan insurance company that goes belly up because THEIR financials were not in order. BEWARE!!! Carefully read your policy to understand what you are entitled to regarding homecare. Some simple math will illustrate what can happen to your finances if you will need homecare from an aide. 8 hours of service per day x 7 days weekly x 52 weeks at $15 per hour for a home health aide will cost $43,680 per year. Multiply this by 5 years and you get $218,400. What you should know is that the risk for health status to decline and the elderly needing more services than 8 hours daily…well, you get the picture. Please take my advice. Plan ahead.

Here’s to your good health!

Kurt H. Leggard, RN**Contributor

Program Director

Personal-Touch Home Health Services