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HEALTH Guide Supplement to New Haven Register ● Shore Line Times Friday, March 11, 2016



FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2016


Choosing a physical therapy practice should not be painful Amity Physical Therapy

When Michael Dow, MSPT, CEO/director of Amity Physical Therapy, opened his practice 11 years ago, no white coats, no clinical atmosphere was allowed. Instead, Dow’s three offices (Woodridge, Hamden and Branford) offer relaxed, tastefully decorated environments where patients are treated in comfortable settings. Experienced therapists (most with doctorate degrees) seem like friends as well as professional clinicians. “There are no clocks in our practice,” Dow commented, “no assembly line of patients. We take the time to consult, diagnose and treat each patient with the highest degree of car-

Michael Dow, Amity Physical Therapy ing and professionalism. “If the condition is beyond therapy, we refer patients to a cadre of local orthopedic specialists or doctors of internal medicine. Even then, we can follow the recovery path of each patient in the event that eventual physical therapy is prescribed.

Our goal is to return everyone quickly to a normal life of physical activity,” he said. Dow believes it’s very important to choose a physical therapist facility on “thoroughness, close patient involvement, and a talented staff with experience and the ability to precisely diagnose and treat injuries.” Both he and his staff have years of experience in a wide range of injuries and physical discomforts. From routine sports injuries that may include ACL, hamstring, foot or ankle sprains, and concussions, to carpal tunnel, pediatric problems, lower back pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica, and other nagging geriatric conditions — Amity Physical Therapy is a

one-stop practice devoted to returning patients to a normal life through quality physical therapy. For patient convenience, Amity Physical Therapy maintains three offices in the Greater New Haven area, all outfitted with cutting-edge technology in equipment to specialize in rehabilitation from surgery. Each office is staffed with the precise therapist to match the injury or rehab needs of patients from minor injury to post-surgery knee and hip replacements. “No one should have to endure pain in muscles, ligaments or joints let alone discomfort in many other body parts,” Dow concluded. “We’re here to fix all that effectively, quickly and with old-fashioned care.”

Dow believes it’s very important to choose a physical therapist facility on “thoroughness, close patient involvement, and a talented staff with experience. and the ability to precisely diagnose and treat injuries.” Michael Dow, MSPT, may be reached in his Woodbridge office at 203389-4593, or visit www.

It’s All in Your Head A person’s mind can play a large role in how quickly he or she is able to lose weight. Exercise and diet alone may not be enough, and positive thinking can provide the extra boost some people need. A Harvard study found that mind over matter may extend to weight loss as well. The study followed 84 cleaning women, half of whom were told that their physically demanding jobs met the requirements for exercise as set by the Surgeon General, while the other half weren’t given any information about their activity level and calorie burn. After a month’s time, researchers discovered that the group of women who were told that their work activity was good for them reduced their body fat, waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index. These participants had not changed anything else about their daily exercise and eating habits. The other group of women who were given no positive reinforcement did not lose any weight.

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2016


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Patients won’t find another urgent-care facility like this Stony Creek Urgent Care

Based out of Branford and Orange, the centers provide complete urgent care, lab services, X-rays and more. These services are delivered by a medical team

These services are delivered by a medical team who are board certified in emergency medicine as well as highly trained radiology techs and medical assistants.

who are board certified in emergency medicine as well as highly trained radiology techs and medical assistants. Its state-of-the-art electronic medical record system allows a patient’s medical record to be easily sent to his or her primary doctor for follow-up care. Dr. David J. Young, SCUC’s founder & CEO, is a board-certified emergency medicine specialist with first-hand knowledge of the need and desire for community-based urgent care services. His experience includes being in charge of the emergency room at YaleNew Haven Hospital as an attending ER physician, as well as being an attending at other area hospitals and medical facilities throughout the years. As a result, he has a keen understand-

ing of the need for and value of high-quality, affordable and accessible urgent care for individuals. Young states, “patients will have access to the same level of expertise found in a hospital-based ER, with more compassion and efficiency, at a fraction of the cost.” Our medical facility puts patients first, and the motto that is instilled in every SCUC employee is: “It’s all about you.” “Every single patient that comes to our facility gets a phone call asking, ‘how are you feeling?’” he said. “We don’t have any problem getting people to come back, once we get them in the door.” Dr. Young finishes by saying, “we take an average of 2 months longer compared to other urgent-care facilities to hire our medi-

cal professionals who will be performing medical procedures directly to our patients. We instill the Stony Creek way of patient care starting at the first stages of employment, and ingrain those values day in and day out. Our patients never deserve anything less.” SCUC diagnose and treat a variety of urgent conditions, including colds, coughs and sore throats; ear infections; nausea and vomiting; allergies and rashes; urinary tract infections; sprains and strains; cuts and fractures; as well as school, sports and camp physicals. When patients require additional care, SCUC provides referrals to specialists, such as primary-care physicians, orthopedists, allergists and ophthalmologists.

Occupational health care for area companies

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What our patients say about SCUC

SCUC offers a full suite of occupational medicine and workers compensation services, including OSHAmandated medical surveillance exams, D.O.T. and non-D.O.T. drugs screens and physicals and blood alcohol tests. All medical-care providers are D.O.T. certified. We are also the leading occupational healthcare facility in the state of CT involving the management of worker’s comp cases. Unlike other urgent-care facilities, SCUC helps companies experience significant cost savings due to our ability to tightly manage claims as the “primary provider” on every workers comp case. This significantly helps your bottom

“It is a pleasure dealing with everyone in the Orange office. Everyone I speak to goes out of their way to accommodate us. A refreshing change from the Urgent Care we used to use ... I’m honored that the staff at SCUC wants to follow up on how you are feeling.”

Voted best urgentcare facility in New Haven County 4 years running Stony Creek Urgent Care is the No. 1 Dr. referred urgent-care facility in New Haven County!

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FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2016

Chest discomfort, feeling tired? When to get help MATTERS OF THE HEART

Are you experiencing heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue and discomfort around your heart? You could be experiencing atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib), the most common heart rhythm disorder. Recognizing signs and symptoms is essential to early diagnosis and effective treatment. Affecting about three million Americans, AF is a rapid heartbeat, which can lead to poor blood flow

and increased risk of serious conditions, including stroke and heart failure. AF is the result of abnor ma l elec tr ica l impulses, which travel chaotically throughout the upper chambers of the heart, causing the atria to contract so quickly the heart loses its ability to pump efficiently. This may cause blood to pool in the heart, where it can clot. If a clot travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke.

A recent study by researchers from Boston University found that people with AF are nearly five times more likely to have a stroke. “All types of patients of all ages should monitor heart rate and blood pressure regularly, and seek medical help when they don’t feel well. Even short bursts of palpitations may be the beginning of persistent or chronic AF,” says Dr. Leo Polosajian, an electrophysiologist and founder of

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Cardiac Rhythm Specialists in Reseda, CA. Unfortunately, many AF patients don’t experience symptoms until an event happens. “While biking my normal route, my heart rate rose and I couldn’t breathe. I pretty much went into sudden cardiac death,” says Todd Smiland, a patient of Polosajian’s. “Luckily the ambulance made it to me in seven minutes and they were able to defibrillate me back to life, essentially. That pretty much started all of my heart issues.” By correcting abnormal conduction fibers in the heart through ablation, its electrical system may be repaired and the heart may return to a normal rhythm. One of the newest innovations uses contact force ablation technology, which gives physicians a real-time, objective measure of force applied to the heart during the procedure. “I felt this patient was an ideal candidate for an ablation procedure instead of medication, which only treats symptoms. When patients don’t respond to medication or it’s not an optimal therapy option, I turn to radiofrequency ablation,” says Polosajian. “It was like night and day,” says Smiland, who after receiving ablation treatment, resumed activities he previously enjoyed. According to Polosajian, Smiland’s experience


Affecting about three million Americans, AF is a rapid heartbeat, which can lead to poor blood flow and increased risk of serious conditions, including stroke and heart failure. may not represent those of all patients, but a recent FDA review found ablation had at least a 47 percent greater success rate than medication. “This patient’s experience is what all physicians hope to achieve,” says Polosajian. It’s important to note there are risks and potential adverse events associated with ablation procedures, including but not limited to cardiovascular related complications, such as hematoma, effusion and infection. Contact force ablation may not be appropriate for patients who have had cer-

tain recent heart surgeries, prosthetic valves, active systemic infection or have undergone other major vascular procedures. Patients should consult w ith their physicia ns about options. A checklist of questions to ask your doctor can be found at AfibAnswers, a site provided by St. Jude Medical, a leader in technologies that treat atrial fibrillation. K now the signs and symptoms of AF and talk to your doctor, if you suspect anything is amiss. Courtesy of StatePoint

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2016


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What to know about getting tested March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and the perfect time to think about colon health. Unfortunately, less than half of people aged 50 and older get tested for colon cancer. But early detection can save lives. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the US, yet it has a 90 percent cure rate when detected early, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). “We say the best screening is the one that actually gets done,” says Dr. Judy Yee, professor and vice chair of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at University of California, San Francisco. CT Colonography (CTC) or “virtual colonoscopy” -- a less invasive, safe and sedation-free alternative to the colonoscopy -- is increasing colorectal screening rates. CTC uses high-tech, low-dose X-rays to produce moving images of the co-


CT Colonography offers a less invasive, safe and sedation-free alternative to the colonoscopy. lon, which doctors examine to detect colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps. If you’re interested in avoiding a colonoscopy, but want to get the

screening needed to verify your colorectal health, consider the following about CTC, an ACS recommended screening test: • Comprehensiveness: The exam

can detect abnormalities outside of the colon, including early-stage cancers in the liver, kidney and lungs, and can pinpoint potentially dangerous conditions, like aneurysms. In this way, it serves as two or even more detection tests in one. • Accuracy: CTC is just as accurate as a colonoscopy for detecting clinically significant polyps and cancers; however, you don’t have to undergo sedation. There’s no need to take time off work or have someone drive you from the hospital. • Affordability: This exam costs a fraction of the price of a standard colonoscopy and is covered by several major insurers. Your insurance company can verify whether CTC is covered under your plan. • Non-Invasive: While a colonoscopy is the standard procedure, there is a small risk of serious complications associated with the test. However, CTC is non-invasive, as no needles or scopes enter the body.

Only a small tube is placed in the bottom of the colon to help distend the colon for viewing. • Improved Screening Rates: Availability of CTC screening significantly boosts colorectal cancer screening rates, according to studies at National Military Medical Centers in Bethesda, MD, and San Diego. The US Preventive Services Task Force recently released draft recommendations naming CTC as an “alternative screening test,” and Medicare is currently reviewing coverage of this test in order to provide seniors with a lifesaving alternative. Bottom line: not enough people are getting screened for colon cancer. Whatever screening alternative you prefer, make sure you schedule this vital appointment and encourage loved ones to do the same. Courtesy of StatePoint





FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2016


Recurring gastrointestinal symptoms? Don’t wait to tell your doctor

Ozone Pollution and Your Family’s Health: What to Know

Recently, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened the federal limit on the amount of allowable ozone pollution, also known as smog, in the air we breathe. Health groups hailed this as a step in the right direction to protect Americans from this widespread and dangerous pollutant. “Once met, the stronger ozone standard will prevent childhood asthma attacks, missed days of work and school, and premature deaths,” says Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. Breathing unhealthy levels of ozone pollution is linked to coughing, wheezing, asthma attacks, central nervous system problems, heart problems and premature death. And children are most at risk because their lungs are still developing, according to the Lung Association. The EPA’s new standard will better protect the public from these health impacts. Experts across the country, including the EPA’s independent scientific advisors, leading medical and health organizations, and more than 1,000 health and medical professionals supported strengthening the outdated standard. The American public agrees: 73 percent of voters polled by the Lung Association support stricter limits on smog. To learn about the air quality in your region and how to protect your family’s health and to get involved, visit “We will continue to push toward a stronger standard that fully protects the health of Americans,” says Wimmer. Courtesy of StatePoint

Many people find it difficult to discuss gastrointestinal problems with their doctors, yet such issues are far more common than you might realize. For example, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is characterized by recurring abdominal pain with either constipation or diarrhea, impacts nearly 35 million Americans— and its effects go beyond physical discomfort, according to a new survey. Three-quarters of IBS sufferers surveyed reported feeling frustrated and/ or depressed according to a new survey from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). And over half (52 percent) of all respondents said their symptoms were extremely or very bothersome — so much so that they reported they would give up caffeine (55 percent), their cell phone or Internet connection (47 percent), or even sex (40 percent) for one month for the chance to feel one month of relief. The “IBS in America” survey, commissioned by the AGA and conducted with the financial support of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Allergan plc, reveals many insights that could prove useful to both patients and doctors. For example, a majority of sufferers said they wait more than a year before even talking with a doctor about their symptoms. “Talking about bowel function habits is never easy, but it is concerning to see how long the respondents in this survey often waited to talk to a doctor. There may not be a cure for IBS, but there are treatments. Patients need to see a doctor, and doctors need to be proactive in bringing up this topic in conversation with patients,” says Dr. Michael Camilleri, president of the AGA. The AGA recommends three steps that can improve doctor-patient communication: • Speak Up Early: The study revealed that many sufferers take the advice of friends or family without speaking to a doctor or attempt to self-medicate with over-the-counter products, without success. Instead of suffering in silence or taking advice from people who aren’t


A majority of sufferers said they wait more than a year before even talking with a doctor about their symptoms. health-care professionals, talk to your physician about recurring abdominal pain and bowel symptoms. • Speak Up Completely: Instead of just saying “I have constipation” or “I have diarrhea,” tell a doctor about the full extent of symptoms, how they impact your life, and what approaches you have already been tried to manage them. • Speak Up Often: Tell a doctor if symptoms return despite treatment efforts. Your doctor can then assess alternatives. Full survey results and more information about IBS can be found at If you suffer from chronic abdominal pain and bowel symptoms, remember, you’re not alone. “IBS is the seventh most common diagnosis made by all physicians and the most common diagnosis made by gastroenterologists,” points out Camilleri. The sooner you seek professional help, the sooner you and your doctor can discuss all of your options for managing your symptoms. Courtesy of StatePoint

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2016





5 myths about kidney disease debunked Think you have the facts about kidney If kidney disease progresses to kidney Twelve people die each day while disease? Here are five common misconcep- failure, the only treatment options to waiting for a life-saving kidney transtions debunked. stay alive are dialysis for life or a kid- plant and every 14 minutes someone is ney transplant. added to the kidney transplant list, acMyth 1. Kidney disease is rare. cording to government statistics found Twenty-six million American adults have Myth 3. Dialysis requires on Currently kidney disease and most don’t know it, ac- traveling to a clinic for there are more than 100,000 recipients cording to the National Kidney Founda- treatment three times a week. waiting for a kidney transplant yet only tion. The problem? Kidney disease can be approximately 18,000 recipients receive fatal, killing more people each year than Because only one out of five dialy- a transplant annually breast and prostate cancer combined, sis centers offer portable hemodialyand common health problems like dia- sis, most patients visit a clinic without Myth 5. There haven’t been any betes and high blood pressure are lead- knowing they can be treated at home, major developments in dialysis ing causes. Race, age and a family history while traveling or even while sleeping. technology in the last 10 years. all can increase one’s risk for developing Portable home hemodialysis (HHD) chronic kidney disease. with the NxStage System One is assoGroundbreaking portable at-home There are typically no visible symptoms ciated with lifestyle benefits. Only two hemodialysis has been available for until kidney disease advances to a late percent of patients are on HHD de- over 10 years giving patients a treatstage or until kidneys fail. Talk to your spite the fact that nine out of 10 doc- ment option that can be tailored to fit doctor if you think you might be at risk tors would choose home dialysis for both their clinical and lifestyle needs. and ask for a simple blood test screening themselves. Patients can also perform hemodialysis at your next physical. overnight while they are sleeping; this is Myth 4. Not many people are known as home nocturnal hemodialysis.

Myth 2. Kidney failure can be cured.

waiting for kidney transplants.

Courtesy of StatePoint


Portable home hemodialysis (HHD) with the NxStage System One is associated with lifestyle benefits. Only two percent of patients are on HHD despite the fact that nine out of 10doctors would choose home dialysis for themselves.

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FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2016

Unsightly Leg Veins?

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