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The Measles Outbreak

Measles is spreading around the United States. Dr. Jeremy Crisp, family practice physician with Lexington Family Practice Northeast, was a guest on WIS-TV this week to talk about the respiratory virus, the vaccine and treatment. The facts and calm fears. He answered a lot of questions during a live web chat and in this interview with news anchor Judi Gatson.

A few notes from Dr. Crisp:

~The measles is a very contagious respiratory infection. It is spread through respiratory drops (from a cough or a sneeze). One statistician calculated that a person with the measles could infect up to 15 people if they were not immune.

~The measles vaccine is safe. None of us likes to see our children get shots, but it’s the best way to prevent the measles and the vaccine is very effective. There’s a possibility of redness at the injection site or a low fever, but that’s it.

~The measles starts with symptoms similar to a cold. But the distinctive rash and a high fever will help doctors determine the diagnosis.

~The measles is still a problem worldwide. Many countries have outbreaks right now. Experts think the outbreak in California started from someone traveling from overseas.

~The first measles shot provides 95% of people with immunity. One booster is recommended. If you have questions about your immunity, talk to your doctor. A blood test can tell if you’re immune to measles.

Heart & Sole Training Begins This Weekend!

On your marks, get set, go! The official 10-week training plan for the Lexington Medical Center Heart & Sole Women’s 5 Miler begins this weekend. A great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to take care of your heart by committing to a fitness plan that will help keep your heart healthy.

H&SThe Lexington Medical Center Heart & Sole Women’s 5 Miler will take place April 25 at 8:30 a.m. in Finlay Park. A 10-week, self-paced training program begins this Sunday, February 15. The free plan includes online tips and advice from a trainer at Health Directions, Lexington Medical Center’s fitness and wellness gym. Download the training schedule at www.LMCHealthDirections.com

Lexington Medical Center is the new sponsor of the Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler. A women’s only event held in downtown Columbia, the race features a five-mile run, a five-mile walk and a three-mile walk.

“We’re proud to host the Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler because it not only encourages physical activity a healthy lifestyle, it also calls attention to the issue of heart disease — the biggest health threat women face today,” said Dr. Jeffrey Travis, heart surgeon with Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery.

The Carolina Marathon Association launched the state’s first women’s only road race in South Carolina in 2002. The Heart & Sole event grew from fewer than 400 female participants its first year to more than 2,300 in 2014. Sponsored in conjunction with WIS News 10, the race offers women of all athletic abilities the opportunity to participate in a comforting, supportive environment. Elite athletes, as well as first-timers, enjoy the unique event that offers a red rose at the finish line and special refreshments that include chocolate-covered strawberries.

For more information about the event or to register, visit www.HeartAndSoleRun.com.

In addition to the free online training, there are other training options:

Strictly Running
8-week training program begins March 8
$90, includes twice-weekly group training sessions
Register at: www.strictlyrunning.com

You can also find information, inspiration and motivation for the race on Lexington Medical Center’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/LexingtonMedical) and on Instagram at RunWithAmanda. “Amanda” is Amanda Castles, a personal trainer at Health Directions, who will offer training tips from now until race day.

And, follow women in training on www.EveryWomanBlog.com, a blog that’s part of Lexington Medical Center. Women bloggers are training for their first five-mile race and will chronicle the highs and lows of their journey to become runners. They’ll follow the online training program offered by the hospital and share their experience. Follow them at www.EveryWomanBlog.com and click on the Heart & Sole Training tab. The blog will also include training tips, education, motivation and inspiration from running experts.

Seeds of Change

by Jennifer Benedetto RD,LD,CNSC at LMC

Frozen fruit and protein powder aren’t the only popular ingredients in smoothies. Seeds, which have been promoted as nutritional powerhouses, are frequently added. Two of the most popular seeds, chia and flax, are now easily found on grocery store shelves. What are the benefits of these tiny seeds and is one seed more beneficial than the other?

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds

Chia is an edible seed from the desert plant Salvia hispanica. Chia seeds contain high concentrations of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Chia seeds are able to be digested as a whole seed with no pre-processing necessary. Two tablespoons of chia seeds (~ 1 ounce) contains 139 calories, 4 g protein, 9 g fat (5 grams of heart healthy omega-3’s) and 11 g of fiber. An effortless and mostly undetectable food additive, chia seeds can simply be sprinkled on yogurt, hot cereals, sauces, vegetables and rice dishes or added to smoothies or baked goods. There are a few preliminary studies suggesting possible health benefits (heart health, cancer prevention) from the consumption of chia seeds, but no benefits have been conclusively established.

Flax Seeds

Flax Seeds

Flaxseeds, unlike chia seeds, can pass through the digestive tract undigested if consumed whole. To absorb the nutrients found in flaxseeds, they should be ground prior to consumption. Pre-ground flaxseeds are available in most grocery stores as “ground flaxseed”, “milled flaxseed”, or “flaxseed meal”. Ground flaxseed is best stored in the freezer to prevent oxidation. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 4 g of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Over half of the fat is alpha-linolenic acid which the body can convert to anti-inflammatory and heart healthy mediators. Flaxseeds also contain 100 to 800 times more lignans than other seeds. Lignans are a type of phytoestrogen that have antioxidant, antitumor, and antiestrogenic properties. Despite their promising nutrient profile, experts on flaxseed point out that none of the proposed health benefits have been conclusively established.

Both chia and flaxseeds have a promising nutrient composition when it comes to promoting health. Unfortunately, conclusive studies are lacking at this time. But be on the look out for more definitive research. For the time being, choose either seed based on your taste preference. But since both contain fiber, introduce them gradually to your diet and be sure to consume adequate fluid daily.