Tag Archives: Healthy Transitions Program

Walking Gives Relief to Glaucoma Sufferers

Dr. David J. Palmer, speaking before a Northwestern Memorial Healthy Transitions Program® said that walking just 30 minutes reduces pressure in the eyes by several points.


I have written about the Healthy Transitions program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital a number of times here. Dr. Palmer is a clinical assistant professor at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. He was discussing maintaining and preserving vision to a group of folks over 55.

I have also discussed the value of exercise in general and walking in particular several times for the blog so this was wonderful news to me. To learn more about the benefits of walking check out these blog items: The benefits of walking and bicycle riding, walking not sudoku for seniors, national start walking day.

To reiterate: one of the benefits of walking is that it increases blood flow to the brain. Lead researcher Rong Zhang, of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, explained in a news release from the American Physiological Society, that it is not known if increasing blood flow to the brain can help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, but there is strong evidence to suggest that cardiovascular risk is tied to the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Wendy Baumbartner, writing for About.com, “Dr. Michael Passo of Oregon Health Sciences University (this is in my neck of the woods) has found that starting a walking program lowered the intraocular pressure of 40 sedentary individuals, which decreased their risk of glaucoma. He has found that exercise also lowers the pressure for those with glaucoma. Walk for sight!”


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What is Acid Reflux – GERD?

Acid Reflux, or Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) occurs when stomach contents rise up into the esophagus, according to Sri Komanduri, MD MS Interventional Gastroenterology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.

Dr. Komanduri was speaking before a Northwestern Memorial Healthy Transitions Program®.

He said the stomach contents that could rise up into the esophagus include acid, pepsin and bile which normally aid in digestion.

The most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn.

If the symptoms persist for at least three months, it is called GERD.

Dr. Komanduri said that triggers and non-anatomical causes of GERD include Foods and Drinks, Caffeine, citric acid, red sauces, chocolate and alcohol, obesity, poor eating habits like eating late, eating too much at once and lying down less than three hours after eating. Pregnancy is a cause for the mother-to-be. Smoking was the final cause he listed, saying that nicotine relaxes smooth muscle.

Finally, GERD occurs in about 20 percent to 40 percent of the population.

Dr. Komanduri said that a patient should consider seeing his doctor if there is an onset of GERD after age 40. Also, if a person has symptoms every week for more than three months. ‘Alarm symptoms’ such as trouble swallowing, painful swallowing, vomiting or weight loss should all cause a doctor visit. Lastly, if there is a family history of esophageal cancer, one should see a doctor.


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Filed under acid reflux, aging, gerd, heartburn

Cycling Pros Have Increased Risks to Osteoporosis

Incredible as it may seem to you, at least it did to me, professional bicycle riders have an increased risk to Osteopenia and Osteoporosis.

How can that be when they spend their lives engaging in one of the top cardiovascular activities in existence? Surely they are among the most fit athletes on the planet.

Despite the energy burned and muscles used in bicycle racing, it does not protect against osteoporosis

Pam Whitfield, MS, RD, LDN CDE of Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group Speaking at a Northwestern Memorial Healthy Transitions Program ® gathering today, said that the cyclists needed to include weight-bearing exercise in their workouts. Cycling is great cardio exercise, but there is no weight-bearing involved, hence no protection for the bones.

Because of this risk, Ms Whitfield said that professional cyclists were now including weight work into their exercise regimes to protect themselves.

As an active if unprofessional cyclist, I plan to increase my weight-bearing exercise, too. The good news is that walking is an excellent weight-bearing exercise.

To read further on osteoporosis and men, check out my posts:

How Vulnerable Are Men to Osteoporosis?
What Can I Do To Prevent Osteoporosis?
What Foods Fight Osteoporosis?



Filed under osteopenia, osteoporosis