Archive for “General” Category


The CDC recommends a three-step approach to fighting the flu: vaccination, everyday preventive actions, and use of antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

Take time to get a flu vaccine

  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu.
  • While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common this season.
  • The 2012-2013 flu vaccine will protect against an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus and an influenza B virus.
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the 2012-2013 flu vaccines are available.
  • Vaccination of high-risk people is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
  • People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
  • Vaccination is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high-risk people to keep from spreading the flu to high-risk people.
  • Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead to protect them from getting the flu

Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs that can cause respiratory illness like the flu. While these actions are helpful, remember that vaccination is the most important step in preventing the flu

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them

  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness.
  • Antiviral drugs are a second line of defense to treat the flu if you get sick.
  • Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
  • Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. Antiviral drugs fight viruses in your body. Antibiotics fight bacterial infections.
  • Not everyone who has flu symptoms needs antiviral drugs. Your doctor will decide whether antiviral drugs are right for you.
  • Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick.
  • There also are data showing that antiviral drugs may prevent serious flu complications. In someone with a high-risk medical condition, treatment with an
  • antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
  • Antiviral drugs are not a substitute for getting a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is the best way modern medicine currently has to protect against this serious disease.
  • If you get the flu, the earlier you begin taking antivirals, the better. They work best if started within two days, but there is data to suggest they can still be beneficial even up to 5 days after getting sick. This would be especially important in a high-risk person that was very sick.

Turkey Vegetable Stew

November 21st, 2010

Serve this cold weather favorite with crusty, whole grain bread for a delicious heart healthy meal.

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 boneless, skinless turkey tenderloins, frozen
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
  • 13 ounces no salt added spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups water

Wash and scrub potatoes (peel if not organic), cut into quarters, and place in slow cooker.  Add carrots, onions, and frozen turkey tenderloins to potatoes.  Place remaining ingredients into slow cooker in the order listed and mix slightly.  Cook on high for 7 hours or on low for 10-11 hours.  Break tenderloins into bite size chunks before serving.

Serves 8.

calories 275, total fat 2.5g, cholesterol 35mg, carbs 37g, sugar 11g, Protein 27gm, Sodium 410mg, Fiber 6g

Source: Licety-Split Meals for Health-Conscious People on the Go.

To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories. But that can be hard when your stomach is rumbling for more. A new study suggests a way to eat fewer calories without going hungry: start meals with a low-cal salad.

Dressing and other toppings add up
Researchers provided lunch to 42 women ages 19 to 45 once a week for seven weeks. Before the pasta entrée, some of the women were served a salad. Others received no first course.

The basic ingredients were the same for all of the salads: lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery, cucumber, Italian dressing and shredded cheese. But some of the salads had more calories and fat grams because of the type and amount of dressing and cheese used.

Low-calorie salads (50 calories per 1½ cups) contained fat-free dressing and low-fat cheese. High-calorie salads (200 calories per 1½ cups) used regular dressing and regular cheese.

Women who ate 1½ cups of the low-calorie salad ate 7 percent less of their pasta entrée than women who ate no salad at all. Even more calories (12 percent) were cut when women ate 3 cups of low-calorie salad.

One possible reason: The women felt full from the salad and didn’t eat as much pasta.

But high-calorie salad eaters ended up eating more of the pasta entrée than if they’d skipped the salad. Calorie intake went up 17 percent for women who ate 3 cups of high-calorie salad compared to non-salad eaters.

Build a healthy salad
The researchers say a first-course, low-cal salad could be a good way to maintain a healthy weight. It’s also a great way to get the recommended three to five servings of vegetables a day.

To build a low-calorie, healthy salad, follow these directions:

  • Start with a healthy base of vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, carrots, cauliflower, peppers, onions, celery and broccoli.
  • Limit the calories from dressing, cheese, croutons and other salad toppings to about 100 calories.
  • Choose reduced-fat or low-fat versions of dressings.

Last reviewed: October 2010

From BCBS – Living Health -e for Women 

Egg Safety Tips

September 2nd, 2010

 As the nationwide egg recall investigation continues, the Oakland County Health Division is urging residents to follow safe food handling practices to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Eggs, like meat, poultry, milk, and other foods, are generally safe when handled properly. Shell eggs are safest when stored in the refrigerator, cooked to160º F, and promptly eaten.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the larger the number of Salmonella bacteria present in the egg, the more likely it is to cause illness. Keeping eggs refrigerated prevents Salmonella present in the eggs from growing to higher numbers. Proper cooking will reduce the number of bacteria present, so an egg with a runny yolk poses a greater health risk than a completely cooked egg.

Follow a few simple egg safety steps to help prevent foodborne illness:

·         Avoid eating recalled eggs or products containing recalled eggs. Recalled eggs might still be in grocery stores, restaurants, and consumers’ homes. Consumers who have recalled eggs should discard them or return them to their retailer for a refund. Anyone who thinks they might have become ill from eating recalled eggs should consult their health care providers.                            

·         Keep eggs refrigerated at ? 45º F at all times.

·         Discard cracked or dirty eggs.

·         Wash hands, cooking utensils, and food preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.

·         Avoid consuming raw or undercooked eggs. This is especially true for young children, elderly persons, and persons with weakened immune systems or severe illness.  Cook eggs until both the white and the yolk are firm (160º F) and eat promptly after cooking.

·         Refrigerate unused or leftover egg-containing foods promptly.

·         Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked, unpasteurized eggs. Restaurants should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe (such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing) that calls for raw eggs. Under the Michigan Food Code, restaurants are required to denote items that may contain raw or undercooked items on their menus.

For information on safe handling of eggs visit:

For information on the egg recall in Michigan visit:

For information on the egg recall in the US visit:

High cholesterol can wreak havoc on a woman’s heart. In fact, it’s a major risk factor for heart disease — the number one killer of women. What else ups women’s risk? Frankly, there are many culprits. Anxiety and depression are two.

But here’s something uplifting: You may be able to attack all these heart risks by focusing on one — your cholesterol levels.

Women perk up more than menPhoto of woman eating fruit
A recent study looked at how lowering cholesterol affected the moods of a group of women and men. For one year, the group ate a low-fat diet — a proven way to cut cholesterol.

Participants who reduced their total and LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels also reported feeling less anxious — with women showing the biggest improvement. At the end of the study, those who reduced their cholesterol also said they felt less depressed and hostile.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why lowering cholesterol improved the participants’ moods. One theory is that people tend to feel better about themselves after they successfully achieve a goal.

Follow this cholesterol-healthy diet
Do you want to try and improve your cholesterol — and your mood — at the same time? Try out the diet tactics used by the participants. They adhered to the following recommendations by the American Heart Association:

  • Total fat intake: 30 percent or less of all calories
  • Saturated fat intake: less than 10 percent of all calories
  • Polyunsaturated fat intake: no more than 10 percent of all calories
  • Monounsaturated fat intake: no more than 15 percent of all calories
  • Total cholesterol intake: less than 300 milligrams


Last reviewed: June 2010

 from BCBS LIving Health-e

Photo of woman eating a cupcakeThe American Heart Association recommends limiting intake of added sugars — any sweetener that does not occur naturally in food — to no more than 5 percent of overall calories (about 100 calories daily for women and 150 calories for men). But it’s estimated that Americans take in on average more than 15 percent of their daily calories from added sugars. And a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that this high intake may be affecting more than our waistlines.  

Less added sugar equals better cholesterol levels
The study examined the food intake and cholesterol levels of more than 6,000 men and women older than 18. Researchers found that men and women whose added sugar intake was between 10 and 17.5 percent of total calories were 50 percent more likely to have lower levels of the “good” cholesterol, HDL, than those who limited sugars to recommended levels. Rates for high triglyceride levels were significant as well.

The results were true after controlling for factors that may influence cholesterol, such as body mass index, physical activity and alcohol intake. In addition, the more added sugar that was consumed, the worse the cholesterol numbers. Unhealthy cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Take steps to reduce sugar
Scaling back on added sugars in your diet may be easier than you think. Some experts estimate that as much as half of Americans’ intake of added sugar comes from soft drinks. One regular soft drink accounts for 130 calories (or 8 teaspoons) of added sugar.

Added sugars can come in many forms, including high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, brown sugar, honey and more. These can be found in many foods and drinks. To learn how to identify these sugars in your diet and reduce your intake, visit*. Search for the term “added sugars.”

From BCBS of MI

Last reviewed: July 2010

Spinach and Bean Salad

June 25th, 2010

  •  4 cups canned bean (garbanzo, kidney & cannellini beans work well)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cups packed spinach 

Drain and rinse beans in cold water. 

In a medium bowl, combine beans, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic; toss to coat well. Let stand for 30 minutes.


Add remaining ingredients and toss well.  Serve

Serve immediately.

Whether a fever is serious or not depends on your child’s age and how high the temperature is.   In general, call the doctor if:

* Your baby is younger than age 3 months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
* Your baby is between ages 3 months and 6 months and gets a temperature of 101 degrees or higher, even if the child  doesn’t seem sick
* Your child is age 6 months or older and gets a temperature of 103 degrees or higher, even if the youngster appears to feel OK
* Your child has a seizure
* Your child has an earache or sore throat in addition to a fever

Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, or ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin, help reduce fevers.   Do not give ibuprofen to children younger than age 6 months, though.   And ask your doctor before giving any medicine to children younger than age 3 months.   Do not give a child aspirin unless your doctor advises it.   Aspirin has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal disease.

These other strategies can also make your little patient more comfortable:

*Sponge your child with lukewarm water to reduce fever, but do not use rubbing alcohol or cold water for baths. Cold baths can cause shivering, which raises body temperature.
* Keep your child’s room cool.
* Dress your child in light clothing.
* Encourage your child to take in extra fluids by drinking water and eating popsicles, gelatin and soup.

It’s important to realize that fever is the body’s response to fighting off an infection.

One of the biggest worries parents have about high fevers is the risk for brain damage.   Knowing the facts may help you breathe a little easier.   It turns out that fevers do not usually cause brain damage unless they are higher than 107.6 degrees, according to the National Institutes of Health.

(from BCBS Newsletter- Feb 2010 )

Apples, oranges, bananas, oh …boring? Health experts say we’re not eating enough fruit and veggies, but sometimes choices can seem limited. Check out these exciting fruits to spice up your diet.

Fruits are nutrient powerhouses and important for your body. For a 2,000 calorie diet, eating 2 cups every day is recommended. Try these out-of-the-ordinary fruits if you are looking for a little variety.

* Tomatillos are small, round, green or yellow fruits wrapped in a light-brown husk. They contain vitamin C. Like their cousin the tomato, tomatillos can be used in salads, salsas or sauces. Just remove the husk, wash and slice.
* Asian pears are round, yellow, fiber-rich fruits that are crisp and juicy like apples. Their flavor is slightly sweet and tart. They are ripe straight from the store. You can eat them as is or add them to slaws and sandwiches.
* Cherimoyas are green fruits that resemble pinecones and are loaded with vitamin C. They have a pulp that tastes like a combination of pineapple, papaya and mango. To eat, cut one in half, remove the seeds and scoop out the inside with a spoon.

Patient Centered Medical Home

January 17th, 2010

In June of 2009 Troy Family Practice, PLLC became one of 11 practices affiliated with Beaumont Hospitals to be designated a “Patient Centered Medical Home” by BCBS of MI.   Many patients have asked what is this, what does it mean for me and what do I need to do.  I am hoping  that the following information taken from an article in MD News published in November 2009 will help answer these questions.

Patient Center Medical Home is a concept that started in the 1960’s as a model for primary care practices.  It was originally intended for patients with chronic health conditions, especially diabetes.  In the past 4-5 years, the concept has been adopted and expanded by the professional societies for pediatrics, family practice and general internal  medicines.

The PCMH is an approach that provides comprehensive care for patients through their primary care physician.  The PCP coordinates the patient’s health status, manages chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma, tracks all medications, can provide expanded office hours, and generally supervises the patients medical care.  One of the goals of the PCMH is to keep patients healthy and reduce the risk of complications through proactive and preventative health care management.   Another goal of PCMH is to provide cost-effective health care.     It is believed that if every American used a primary care physician as their usual source of care, health care cost would decline by an estimated $67 billion per year nationwide.

In the PCMH model,  patients with chronic conditions who are not seen on regularly can be contacted on a scheduled basis to schedule their appointments.  Providers utilize electronic prescribing and have better communication with specialty offices that their patients see.   Part of the model also includes a patient-provider agreement in which the physician works with the patient to establish the  patient’s own goal for improving his or hers health by helping the patient set self-management goals.

By no means does PCMH apply to only those patients with chronic conditions.  By patients taking a more proactive  role in their health and healthcare decisions, the patient feels that they have a health care working for them.

We at Troy Family Practice, PLLC are pleased that we were designated a PCMH office in June and feel that many of the goals set forth by  PCMH are what our providers approach to patient care and that of the staff  have been for the past 8 years.   It is truely a team approach which our  patietns will benefit from.