January 2008 Archives

Leaving the nest

Getting your teenager ready to make that transition to post-secondary education doesn't need to be full of anxiety, indecision, procrastination, or even tears. Toronto psychologist Dr. Melanie Barwick says approaching this milestone in an orderly and organized fashion can ease parental tensions and keep teens on a charted course toward success.

How are you approaching your teen's move from high school to post-secondary life? Will it differ from your own experience?

Continue reading this post »  

Diagnosing illness

Halifax paediatrician Brett Taylor says figuring out what ails is you can be an art. Imagine, he says, that you are an emergency paediatrician, seeing a six-year old child with a fever and a sore, red throat. What do you do?

Most of these children have viral illnesses, but about five per cent have strep throat; you might consider doing a throat swab to find out. Unfortunately, about 10 per cent of all children, including those with a viral infection, carry strep as a "colonizing bacteria". That is, the strep is causing no illness — but a throat swab will say the child has strep.

The combination of fever, sore throat and a positive throat swab means the odds are two to one against the child having strep throat. Now, experienced emergency docs don't swab every kid with a red throat.

They use their clinical skills to weed out those likely to be viral, and swab the rest. There are limits to how well they can do this

When you go to the doctor, are you looking for a confirmation of a diagnosis you have already made?

Continue reading this post » (4 Archived Comments)

Resolving your resolutions

Calgary nutritionist Andrea Holwegner suggests we should shift our thoughts on nutrition for 2008. Forty to 45 per cent of adults make one or more resolutions each year. We have good intentions but we often find that our focus fades quickly.

Holwegner suggests simple changes like eating real food — the stuff that grows in the ground, is picked off a tree, or does not come in a package with a list of 30 ingredients with words you can't pronounce — avoiding gourmet cooking shows and focusing on eating better instead of obsessing that each and every meal is nutritionally right.

What nutritional changes have you tried over the years? What has worked for you — and what hasn't?

Continue reading this post » (2 Archived Comments)