Thursday, June 16, 2016

Is it Time for Your Child’s Annual Check-up?

It’s easy to get caught up in summer fun when report cards, homework and exams seem so far away, but now is the time to schedule an appointment for your child’s back-to-school physical.

Nearly all schools require that children between the ages of four and 17 undergo annual physicals or “well-checks” that include immunizations and vision/hearing tests. These appointments are especially important if you have a young athlete who may encounter sports-specific issues and needs to learn about proper nutrition, exercise and rest.

Having annual physicals can also help your son or daughter establish a happy and healthy relationship with his or her primary care physician, should there be another reason to visit in the future. You can expect the care provider to do the following during the exam:

  • Discuss nutritional and sleep needs
  • Order tests depending on risk factors for conditions like anemia or high cholesterol
  • Perform age- and gender-specific height and weight checks
  • Conduct a physical examination
  • Review and update immunizations

In addition to the exam’s requirements, you can take this opportunity to ask your child’s physician to address any concerns you may have about health, weight, safety, and even attitude, peer pressure and feelings.

If it’s time for you to schedule your child’s next check-up, or if you’d like to select a new primary care physician for you or your child, call 443-849-GBMC (4262) or visit A GBMC team member will call you back within one business day to schedule an appointment.

Getting out of the Prediabetes Danger Zone

More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, but many more are at risk and are living with a condition called prediabetes. Patients whose blood glucose is too high to be considered normal but are not diabetic are considered to be in the danger zone. "The criteria for prediabetes is a fasting blood sugar between 100-125 and the results of another test called a hemoglobin A1C, which checks what blood sugar has been over the last three months," says Dr. Ruth S. Horowitz, Chief of the Division of Endocrinology at GBMC. "If the A1C is between 5.7 and 6.4, the blood sugar is moderately elevated and indicates prediabetes.”

Luckily, if you've been diagnosed with prediabetes, the progression to type 2 diabetes is not inevitable. There are lifestyle changes you can make to take control of your blood sugar. Focus on cutting high-carbohydrate foods, which easily break down into glucose and raise blood sugar levels faster than the body can produce sufficient insulin. By limiting the amount of carbohydrates you consume, the body can dispose of the glucose more effectively and maintain a normal blood sugar level. Dr. Horowitz recommends the following:

  • Limit highly-concentrated sweets, such as sugared drinks, juices, candy and cookies. 
  • Replace starchy dishes like potatoes, rice, pasta, peas and corn with complex carbohydrates such as broccoli, asparagus and spinach. 
  • Watch your fruit portion sizes. One serving of fruit is 1 small apple, orange or pear, half a banana or a ½ cup of chopped, cooked or canned fruit. Space out your servings of fruits throughout the day, rather than consuming them all at once. 

Working out is another effective way to stop diabetes in its tracks. Muscle is the largest consumer of glucose. By exercising, you increase the movement of glucose into the muscle, where it is broken down into energy and lowers blood glucose levels. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise that raises your heart rate at least five times a week.

If you want to learn more about prediabetes or diabetes, visit for information. Some GBMC primary care practice locations offer free educational classes and one-on-one sessions for people with type 2 diabetes. Learn about controlling your diabetes, meal planning, regulating medication and more. Visit to find a primary care provider who can help you develop a healthy action plan and connect you with a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.

Celebrating Survivors in a Big Way at Legacy Chase

Surviving cancer is a tremendous accomplishment, and at this year's 16th annual Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs, GBMC is celebrating survivors by going big: a mile and a half long to be exact! With help from survivors and their families and friends, we will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest awareness ribbon, as a demonstration of GBMC's commitment to the fight against all cancers.

Join us on Saturday, September 24, 2016 as we "chase the record" and mark this momentous occasion by spending a day enjoying family-friendly activities, steeplechase horse racing, food trucks, a vendor village and most importantly, a homecoming of the GBMC survivors community.

Statistics show that one in three people has been touched by cancer in some way. Whether you have personally been diagnosed, or you've experienced the difficulty of watching a loved one battle cancer, the unfortunate reality is that cancer has affected us all. This June, GBMC has observed Cancer Survivors Day and hosted Oncology's 25th Annual Cancer Survivor Celebration. Now, we need your support to drive the message home by helping to make our world record attempt a success.

Here's how you can get involved:

  • Start a fundraising page. By raising $250, you can earn your own piece of the record-breaking lavender cancer awareness ribbon for friends and loved ones to sign and personalize. 
  • Volunteer at the event. We will need lots of people to hold the ribbon in the infield. Get involved! 

Cancer survivors and their supporters are invited to visit the survivorship tent to celebrate together with refreshments. To RSVP to this gathering, purchase tickets to the event or learn more about fundraising and volunteering, visit for all the details.

Listen Up: Earbud Safety

Hearing loss is often associated with seniors, but because of the omnipresent little white earbuds in schools, offices, busses and on children in the car or at home, it's becoming a serious issue for young people as well. "It's bad, and we aren't even going to see how bad the damage is for decades, which is part of the problem," says Brian Kaplan, MD, a GBMC Otolaryngologist. "Once you lose it, you can't get it back."

When listening through earbuds, the sound is directed straight into the ear canal, which makes the noise more damaging than with regular headphones. Using cheaply-made earbuds, like the ones that may come free with your device is especially harmful. Because of the poor earbud quality, you might find yourself cranking up the volume in order to try to block out external sounds.

So, how can you safely listen to your favorite music, podcasts and games without bothering those around you? Here are some practical tips from Dr. Kaplan, who calls hearing loss "the next public health crisis."

  • Use the 60/60 rule. Listen at no more than 60 percent of the volume capacity for no more than 60 minutes per day. This is a good, easy-to-enforce rule for kids. 
  • If the person next to you can hear your music, it is too loud and likely leading to permanent hearing loss. Turn it down. 
  • Use over-the-ear headphones, which are safer than in-ear earbuds because the sound is not funneled as directly into the ear canal. 
  • If you prefer earbuds, as many people who exercise to music do, buy better-quality earbuds that are designed to put high-fidelity sound closer to your eardrum. The sound isolation will prevent you from having to increase the volume. Higher quality earbuds will be more expensive, have rubber or foam tips and contour better to the ears. 

If you or your children are experiencing a ringing in the ears or are noticing progressive hearing loss, talk to your primary care physician about your symptoms immediately.  If necessary, he or she will refer you to a specialist. Visit for more information.

Pita Pizzas


1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup grilled, boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced (about 2 small breasts)
1 cup broccoli, rinsed, chopped and cooked
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh basil, rinsed, dried and chopped
4 (6 ½-inch) whole-wheat pitas


Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450°F.

For each pizza, spread ¼ cup tomato sauce on a pita and top with ¼ cup chicken, ¼ cup broccoli, ½ tablespoon parmesan cheese and ¼ tablespoon chopped basil.

Place pitas on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 5-8 minutes until golden brown and chicken is heated through. Serve immediately

Recipe retrieved from Keep the BeatTM Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. December 2010