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Christian health: Daily breakfast for good health

Spending time with the Lord, reading our Bible and praying, first thing in the morning is the best way to start a new day. It is spiritual food for spiritual health. Mark 1:35 says “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.” We grow in our walk with the Lord when we spend time with Him. We also need food for physical health.

Breakfast is defined as the meal that “breaks the fast” from extended hours without food while sleeping. Energy levels are low by morning, and we need food.

Eating a healthy balanced breakfast is important for everyone and can have a positive impact on overall health. Children who eat breakfast are more able to pay attention, do their best work in school, perform problem solving tasks and have fewer behavior problems than those who don’t eat breakfast. They also have better school attendance, less tardiness and have fewer hunger-induced stomach aches and other symptoms mid-morning than those without breakfast.

Adults who eat breakfast tend to do better at work, snack less and get more nutrients than those who don’t eat breakfast. Some adults believe skipping breakfast is a good way to reduce calories to lose weight. The reality is eating a healthful breakfast can support weight management because it tends to minimize snacking on nutrient-poor, calorie-rich snack foods and beverages later in the morning and/or overeating at lunch.

In spite of many benefits of eating breakfast, it is likely the most often skipped and neglected meal of the day. Some reasons may include oversleeping, not liking traditional breakfast foods or not keeping breakfast foods available.

Tips to encourage eating a healthful breakfast:

• Plan breakfasts including a variety of foods to provide carbohydrate, protein and a fat source resulting in a sustained release of energy throughout the morning.

• Make breakfast part of your morning routine. Set out breakfast bowls or plates and eating utensils before going to bed.

• Breakfast does not need to be traditional to be healthful. Leftover heated cheese pizza or a chicken sandwich with reduced fat cheese and tomato slices on whole wheat bread and a glass of vegetable juice are good options.

• Stock the kitchen with easy-to-serve breakfast foods.

Healthful breakfast ideas:

• Whole wheat tortilla spread with scrambled eggs, cooked diced bell peppers, chopped tomatoes and sliced mushrooms, sprinkled with grated reduced fat cheese and rolled—serve with fresh orange segments

• Cold whole grain cereal with sliced peaches, chopped pecans and skim milk

• Toasted frozen whole wheat waffle, spread with almond butter, fresh pear or apple slices and a glass of skim milk

• Low fat cottage cheese with canned pineapple tidbits in its own juice and a whole wheat bagel half, topped with mashed avocado
• Oatmeal with walnuts and raisins, topped with vanilla yogurt

• Grilled breakfast sandwich with whole wheat bread, sliced lean ham and low fat cheese—serve with melon slices or grape clusters

• Whole wheat toast with melted reduced fat cheese—served with tomato and avocado slices

• Whole grain toasted English muffin, spread with peanut butter, topped with sliced apple or raisins and a glass of skim milk

•Bran muffin—serve with cut up fresh fruit, topped with vanilla yogurt and sprinkled with chopped nuts

• Egg salad stuffed in a whole wheat pita pocket-serve with a banana and cup of yogurt

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To Your Good Health: Parkinson’s disease meds not likely related to cirrhosis

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to or request an order form of available health newsletters at 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. Health newsletters may be ordered from

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Paw Prints: Determine the source of your pet’s allergy for good health

Many of us suffer from allergy symptoms during spring and summer. Anyone who has experienced watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing is aware of the discomforts of allergies. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that about one out of every five dogs in the U.S. also suffers from allergies. 

Just what is an allergy? It is a disease that develops from a reaction of the immune system to a substance. Cats and dogs will react by licking and scratching, which ultimately causes a skin infection or irritation, hair loss and/or ear infection. Allergies are not life-threatening, but the symptoms can be uncomfortable for your pet.

According to Dr. Jeanne Budgin, ASPCA veterinary dermatologist at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, “It’s extremely important for the comfort and health of your pet to determine the source of the allergy and treat it appropriately.” 

A dog or cat can have a reaction to an allergen from inhaling, ingesting or physical contact. An allergy to fleas is the most common allergy in cats and dogs. One flea bite can cause itching for up to three weeks.

Allergies and skin disorders also can be caused from poor nutrition or foods. Although symptoms are usually related to the skin, some may include intestinal disorders with vomiting and diarrhea. Allergies related to food may be in combination to other allergies. Molds, pollens, house dust mites and other allergens can cause airborne allergies which can cause itchy rashes that may affect your pet. 

Some allergy symptoms are caused by tree pollens, with grass allergies emerging as tree pollens diminish. Currently, oak and grass are the main pollens in the environment that have the potential to travel several miles.

Dr. Autumn Drouin, a veternarian, recommends to first rule out skin parasites such as mites, fleas, ringworm (fungus) and any general diseases. Look at your pet’s environment when considering allergens and irritants (pollens, plastics, nylon, wool, pesticides, chemicals, etc.).  Drouin also stresses the importance of a good diet in order to support the immune system. 

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Could It Be as Easy as Prescribing Good Health?

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Your Good Health: Zika turns dream honeymoon into a nightmare

Dear Dr. Roach: My son and his new wife went on a dream honeymoon that has since turned into a nightmare. They went to Costa Rica and of course were bitten by mosquitoes. Upon returning home, they were told about the Zika virus. One person told them to wait six months before trying to have a baby; another source said to wait two years. They are in their mid-30s and want to have a baby. What do you know about this scary virus?


Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitos and is present in many areas of the Americas, Caribbean and Pacific. There has been an ongoing outbreak over the past few years. Zika is related to yellow fever, dengue and West Nile virus. One major concern about Zika is that it can cause neurological complications, sometimes severe, in babies born to women who were infected during pregnancy. Also, Zika may temporarily affect fertility in infected men. Zika can be transmitted sexually.

Couples who are planning pregnancy should avoid areas where Zika transmission occurs (see For couples who have been exposed or who might have been infected, the most conservative recommendation I have read is six months. This is based on a finding of Zika RNA in men up to 188 days after having symptoms of Zika, even though no sexually transmitted cases have been reported more than six weeks after the man had symptoms of Zika (men and women may also transmit Zika after an illness without recognized symptoms). Given how severe the infection can be to the developing fetus, I think six months is the right amount of time, but two years is unnecessary.

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a postmenopausal woman with osteoporosis (my T-score is -3.2) in my spine. I used alendronate, but stopped because it caused bone pain. I haven’t been on any medication for a few months now, but I have started walking 40 minutes every day and I use weights. Also, I monitor my calcium and vitamin D carefully. My last bloodwork all came back good. My doctor would like me to try Tymlos. I can’t find much information about it except that it hasn’t been out long and may cause osteosarcoma. Do you know what the chance of this might be? A similar drug, Forteo, is not covered by my insurance, even though it has been around longer.


Abaloparatide (Tymlos) is an analog of parathyroid hormone. It works against osteoporosis by stimulating bone growth. This is different from the mechanism of alendronate (Fosamax) and related drugs; those work by preventing bone reabsorption.

Teriparatide (Forteo) indeed works the same way as Tymlos. During drug testing, teriparatide was found to increase the risk of a type of bone cancer, osteogenic sarcoma, in rats. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration required a black-box warning, the agency’s highest degree of caution. However, a study on women who have taken Forteo showed no cases of osteogenic sarcoma in the first seven years of the study, and only a handful of cases have ever been reported in people taking Forteo. In fact, the number of cases reported is less than would have been expected if there were no association between the drug and the cancer. It appears so far that Forteo does not increase risk for bone cancer, and there’s no reason to expect that Tymlos will do so.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to


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Your Good Health: Herpes drug can lower risk of shingles

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 60-year-old woman who has been taking a 200-mg tablet of acyclovir (Zovirax) every day for HSV-2 suppression. I may have an outbreak every few years, and they are pretty mild. When I do have an outbreak, I increase my dosage to 1,000 mg per day. What is the procedure when I want to get the shingles vaccine (Shingrix)? Would I need to stop taking the acyclovir for two weeks before getting the vaccine and then be able to continue after? Does taking acyclovir help to suppress shingles in any way?


Acyclovir, as well as the related valacyclovir (Valtrex) and famciclovir (Famvir), is an antiviral drug that is used for treatment and sometimes suppression of herpes viruses.

Shingrix is a new, two-dose vaccine for shingles. It is a subunit vaccine, meaning it is made from a viral protein, not from the live virus. You do not need to stop taking the acyclovir before getting the two doses of the vaccine. With the live vaccine (Zostavax), you did need to stop acyclovir, in just the way you suggested.

That’s another advantage of the new vaccine, but the most important advantage is that the new vaccine is much more effective. Disadvantages include its high cost, the need for two doses and a higher incidence of mostly local side-effects, such as sore arm, but also fever and just feeling poorly. There is, unfortunately, a shortage in most of the U.S.

Regular doses of acyclovir to chronically suppress herpes outbreaks does reduce the risk of shingles, at least in a high-risk group of people with HIV infection. However, the Shingrix vaccine provides much more potent and, so far, long-lasting protection.

Many physicians would recommend that you try going off the acyclovir to see whether you get recurrences of the HSV-2 (one of the eight strains of human herpes viruses, most commonly causing genital herpes) so often. That part is up to you.

Dear Dr. Roach: I took a sleep study and slept on my back all night because I was wired up and couldn’t sleep on my side. After a couple of hours, I was told that I have moderate sleep apnea. I snore when I’m on my back, but not when I’m on my side. Do you think I really have sleep apnea?


Obstructive sleep apnea very often goes unrecognized. It is caused by the soft tissue in the neck obstructing the airway; the muscles relax while you are asleep, closing the airway. This is indeed much more likely to happen when lying on the back (we use the anatomical term “supine”), and generations of spouses have learned that turning a snorer on the side is a good way to get him or her to quit snoring. Snoring is caused by the very same process that leads to sleep apnea; in fact, snoring is a significant risk factor, with up to a third of snorers having the condition.

I believe the sleep study. While I am sure you would have demonstrated less obstruction if you could sleep on your side, you still are likely to have some obstruction during the night, especially since we frequently change position while sleeping without knowing it. However, there are many different treatments for sleep apnea, and you should talk with your doctor about which is right for you. You need not jump to the most aggressive treatments.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to

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Data Privacy And Health: How The Founder Of Clue Is Using User Data For Good

Ida Tin, CEO and cofounder of women’s health app Clue, is navigating challenges of data privacy and power to help further understanding of the female body.Photo by Claire McWeeney

Ida Tin, CEO and cofounder of period-tracking app Clue, has a humble mission: “I want people to feel good about their bodies,” she says.

It’s a deceptively simple charge. At the helm of Clue, Tin (who is credited with coining the term “femtech”) is working to shape the reality of what it means to live in a female body—and the way we talk about it as a culture. There are the obvious challenges—a lack of scientific research on women’s health issues and the cultural stigma that still prevents many of those gaps from being bridged—and then there are the challenges we’re still defining, like data privacy when it comes to the most intimate information about our bodies.

Clue is ready to tackle them.

From Data To Diagnosis

Clue started out as an idea for a tech-based method of birth control. “I wanted a new method of family planning,” Tin explains. “I found it astonishing that nothing new had been invented for so many years for something that seems like a pretty central thing in human existence.”

The app Tin and her two cofounders, Hans Raffauf and Moritz von Buttlar, eventually created and launched in 2013 does a version of that. Using self-input data, users can track periods and hormonal changes, providing insight into a fertile window each month and predicting the next cycle. (To be clear, while it’s a helpful health tool, Clue isn’t meant to be used as a method of family planning. Last month the FDA controversially approved a vaguely similar app called Natural Cycles for use as a contraceptive, making it the first app-based birth control to receive the agency’s approval for preventing pregnancy.)

Clue quickly bloomed from its functional beginnings into a women’s health resource and research pioneer helping to shape the conversation around how we understand and talk about the female body. “There is still so much shame around anything related to female health,” Tin says, peering incredulously through her blue framed glasses. Data, she says, can not only be a powerful tool but a powerful corrosive agent. “I think having data creates a sense of power. Suddenly, you can document,” Tin says. “If you can own and know your own data, you use your data for your health.”

Rather than struggling to explain hormonal fluctuations or pain, for example, Clue users have their health data conveniently at the ready, whether to share with their partners or physicians. “We can start seeing patterns,” Tin explains. “We can start seeing what’s normal, what’s not and how changes in our bodies are affecting our lives.”

It’s not just about predicting PMS, data tracking like this can have major implications for women’s health—a virtual canary in a coal mine.

Clue points to cases like Suzanne’s, a 52-year-old woman in Quebec, who told Clue that using the app may have saved her life. While tracking her cycle for a year, she began to notice something seemed off—her periods were becoming heavier and irregular, she was gaining weight and she was feeling increasingly fatigued. Initially, Suzanne said her doctor brushed off her concerns. But a few months later, the patterns had only become more pronounced and she received a notification from Clue flagging the abnormalities in her health data compared to other women her age.

Armed with her app and the warning signs flagged by Clue, Suzanne went back to her doctor, this time walking her through the past several months of data tracked by the app. Seeing the anomalies, her doctor was concerned. Ultimately, tests revealed Suzanne had several tumors growing in her uterus and shortly after, she had an emergency hysterectomy. Because doctors were able to catch the cancer early, Suzanne explained they were able to stop the aggressive tumors from spreading. She’s now cancer-free.

Using Data for Good

Of course, being able to utilize your health data in ways big and small requires handing it over to Clue—likely much more intimate information than what you’re sharing on Facebook.

Before I can even ask Tin about this, she brings it up. “I think the world really needs to see that we [tech companies] can do something truly good with the data—we are a little burned,” she says. Clue has never sold user data and has no plans to do so in the near future, Tin says. Were that ever to change, she’s adamant that being totally transparent with users would be the first step.

The way Tin talks about the importance of data privacy, it would seem as if the weight of solving the issue for the entire world were on her shoulders. “I need to figure out how to [create a system] where whenever you enter data into the larger system, you know exactly what is happening to it and you feel good about it,” she says, her normally dulcet voice becoming suddenly forceful.

Clue, meanwhile, is sitting on a data goldmine—”We have been able to collect data on a scale that’s never been seen before,” Tin says—making the question of how to use it, central to the company’s mission. So, how could the company put their treasure trove to use in a way that could help expand understanding of women’s health issues while fiercely protecting user privacy?

For now, Tin’s answer is a series of carefully selected research partnerships, which use Clue’s blinded user data to support academic research. So far, Clue has partnered with institutions including Oxford University, Stanford University and Columbia University on studies exploring everything from psychological changes around ovulation, to how periods affect the immune system, to how patterns in menstrual pain can predict hard-to-diagnose health conditions. “You need to have knowledge to be able to help people,” Tin says. “This is true every day in our community and for our users but it’s really also true on a more macro scale—if there’s somebody who can get value out of [the large-scale data] so that we can feed that back to the users, it’s a great system.”

Of course, not everyone will agree. Navigating the landscape of data privacy, even in the service of science, is somewhat treacherous, Tin acknowledges—it’s ground that’s both being created and evolving in real-time. “We have done it very cautiously because we want to make sure that when we share anonymized parts of our data set, it is truly to the benefit of users,” she says. If anything, Tin feels the company has erred on the conservative side, when it comes to vetting research partners, stressing that no money has been exchanged in any of Clue’s research partnerships.

The challenge, Tin says, is talking to users not only about how their data is being used, but how it could be used—both for better and for worse. “Fundamentally, we want to do things that users consent with and that they get value out of,” Tin says. “I feel very good about what we’ve done and how we think about data privacy. But I can also see as we go forward, it’s going to be incredibly challenging to get everything right.”

Tin is certainly up to the challenge. “We have to try to restore faith that there can be good technology companies working with data—intimate private data—for the benefit of the users and not to make billions,” she says. “It can be done.”

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Twins celebrating 100th birthday put long life and good health down to abstinence

Ralph said: “It’s very nice being a twin. We’re best friends.”

Ralph’s son Jason Henderson, 51, added: “My dad and Boyd feel that having a close relationship with their wives has added to their longevity.

“Also, they’ve never engaged in alcohol or tobacco use, and they’ve always been fairly physically active.”

Ralph, who lives in a retirement facility in Burley, Idaho, and Boyd, who lives in a veterans’ home in Pocatello, Idaho, also credit their longevity to their late wives.

While at war the pair got married their high-school sweethearts – Boyd’s wife Ethel, and Lena, Ralph’s wife – to whom they remained married for the remainder of their lives.

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CPS to public: Promote good health, wellbeing

This year’s theme is “Healthy Communities for All” and the slogan is “Building healthy communities for everyone.”

The CARICOM Heads of Summit on Chronic Diseases in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in September 2007 established Caribbean Wellness Day.

Caribbean Wellness Day is observed every year on the second Saturday of September. It is an annual event which provides an opportunity to increase the awareness of the non-communicable diseases burden in the Caribbean; mobilise and strengthen public, private, and civil society partnerships for NCDs; promote multi-country, multisectoral activities in support of wellness; and showcase national and community-level activities to promote healthy living and encourage residents to develop good health practices.

CPS commended local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), foundations, institutions and organisations that join in contributing to influencing a difference by making efforts to educate and bring change to existing methodologies/vision-thinking in the best interest of patients and family members.

“Building a healthy community calls for all persons to be proactive and vigilant, ranging from patients, providers, planners, strategists, financier and decision-makers, etc., a collective approach and thinking are roads to success considering the limited resources,” it was stated in the release.

Caribbean Wellness Day observance was to be integrated into national NCDs programmes to ensure sustainability by the Caribbean Public Health Agency CarPHA.

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IL HIV Care Connect introduces ‘Good Health Is More Than Health …

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – Illinois HIV Care Connect has introduced an online quiz called, “Good Health Is More Than Heath Care.”

People living with HIV are encouraged to take the quiz by clicking HERE
The quiz is part of a campaign to help people living with HIV identify how their social and economic conditions may be impacting their health.
Illinois HIV Care Connect can then help people learn how to overcome those obstacles

Those with HIV who enroll in Illinois HIV Care Connect may qualify for programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, the ADAP Medication Assistance Program (MAP), the CHIC Premium Assistance Program (PAP), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), and others.
Benefits could include medical, dental and mental health care, including treatment for substance abuse and child health care; assistance paying health insurance premiums or purchasing HIV medications; and obtaining necessary food, housing, utilities, and medically related transportation.

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