Wellness Wednesdays – 5/1/19

WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK

Doctor Q&A: Food Allergies

The answer to today’s Doctor Q&A is provided by John Hein, MD, of Pentucket Medical Associates.

Q: I’ve read about a cure for food allergies. Does this actually work?

A: Well, it depends on the type of food someone is allergic to.

Recently, there has been information in the press about advances in peanut allergy treatment. Researchers are currently studying the effects of giving multiple small doses of peanut in attempt to cure the allergy. Although this therapy may work in some patients, the rate of treatment-related side effects is quite high. Even in patients who respond positively to this treatment, it is unclear if their desensitized state will be maintained for long periods of time. Due to the high rate of side effects and unclear duration of improvement, desensitization therapy for peanut allergy is not currently the standard of care. Allergists continue to recommend avoidance of peanut consumption if a patient has peanut allergy.

On the other hand, allergies to fruits and vegetables have a more promising prognosis. Many patients who undergo two or more years of pollen desensitization or “allergy shots” report an improvement in their fruit and vegetable allergy.

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HEALTH IN THE VALLEY

Middlesex Community College Launches Campus-Wide Financial Wellness Program

Middlesex Community College (MCC) has launched a campus-wide Financial Wellness Program to provide students instruction in personal financial literacy, knowledge of higher-education financing and repayment, and other skills aimed at building personal financial understanding and responsibility.

The program is made possible by a one-year, $150,000 supplemental award to the college’s existing $2.2 million Title III grant, awarded in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Education.

“This grant allows us to focus on financial education as a critical part of the student experience,” said MCC President James C. Mabry. “We want to provide financial-literacy resources, instruction and counseling to support students in understanding college costs, financing options, and how to create their own plan to pay for college.”

“Finances are one of the top stressors for college students,” said Maritza Martinez, associate director, MCC Student Accounts Office. “As soon as they know their finances are stable, they can concentrate on their classes.” And many students don’t have a good grasp of financial issues, she added.

“We’re finding it’s a very uneven playing field. Some students are well aware of financial issues and know what steps to take, while others are not – especially first-generation and minority students,” said Martinez.

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WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB

20% of U.S. Kids Don’t Drink Any Water

According to reporting by Gizmodo‘s Ed Cara, a new study from Pennsylvania State University has thrown into sharp relief just how much sugary drinks have overtaken water as the beverage of choice for kids.

In fact, as the headline here notes, 1 in 5 kids was found to not have consumed water in the past day at all — instead opting for sports drinks or soda.

The researchers found that kids who drank no water at all logged 93 more calories than those who drank some water, which furthers the theory that opting kids into water instead of soda can play a huge role in helping them lose weight.

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LOCAL HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

May 5

The friends & family of Colleen Ritzer created the Annual Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run as a way to celebrate Ritzer’s life and her commitment to helping and inspiring others. Proceeds support the Step Up for Colleen Fund at the Essex County Community Foundation, which benefits the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund. Andover, Mass. | StepUpForColleen.org

May 9

Join Holy Family Hospital‘s Diabetes Care Program for this series of support groups focused on practical information for people living with diabetes. Support groups are free and open to the public. Methuen, Mass. | HolyFamilyHospital.org

May 16

At Sea Grass Therapies’ Blue Spring Event, representatives will be on hand to answer questions and inform you about trends and treatments including CooLift Facials, Celluma and Ultrasonic Cavitation. Methuen, Mass. | Mailchi.mp

May 19

Lowell General Hospital will hold its 20th annual TeamWalk for CancerCare starting at 7:30 a.m. at LeLacheur Park. Each spring since 2000, TeamWalk has brought together thousands of Merrimack Valley residents to walk the streets of downtown Lowell and raise money to support local cancer patients, including those undergoing cancer treatment at Lowell General Hospital’s Cancer Center. Lowell, Mass. | TeamWalk.org

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