HEALTH MATTERS: 'Coronasomnia,' prostate cancer, back pain and a heart healthy diet

sleep, COVID-19
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Health Matters Presented by SSM Health this week takes a look at some of the top medical stories impacting our lives these days. SLU Care General Internist Dr. Fred Buckhold at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital helps us deal with all sorts of body aches and pains. Loretta Colvin at SSM Health St. Clare and St. Mary's hospitals has some tips on how to beat "Coronasomnia" and get a good night sleep during this pandemic. SSM Health St. Clare urologist Dr. Patricia Heller updates us on the latest prostate cancer screening guidelines. And SLU Care cardiologist Dr. Michael Lim at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital steers us toward some heart healthy food options.

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Here is a complete rundown of this week's show:

Health Matters Presented by SSM Health-- October 3, 2020

1. Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  A recent Parade Magazine article titled "What's that Pain?" takes a look at some of the most common aches and pains see by doctors. Joint pain is very common, says Dr. Buckhold. To some degree this is related to lifestyle and obesity. Losing weight helps alleviate a lot of joint pain. He says also try strengthening the muscles around the joints. Lower back pain also very common -- encouraging movement to help the muscles is very important. Sometimes getting a new mattress helps a lot. Foot pain is another common ailment. Lots of times, better fitting shoes can work wonders. Headaches -- lots of tension headaches being seen. Mostly related to stress or poor sleep. Or eyesight problems. Migraines are common. Daily headaches are almost always a product on something your are consuming -- maybe caffeine? Try to detox yourself. A few types of headaches are very dangerous -- thunderclap headaches -- or a bleed in the brain.  Consistent headaches also should seek medical attention. And be aware of headaches that come with speech or motor problems -- could be a sign of a stroke.

2. LORETTA COLVIN, nurse practioner at SSM Health St. Clare and St. Mary's hospitals. Lots of Americans are having sleep problems during this pandemic. It's called Corona-Somnia. Loretta says she is seeing it more and more and it is more chronic for some who have a lot of stressors due to the pandemic -- things like loss of job, loss of loved one, working from home, kids virtually attending school at home. Economic uncertainty is a problem as well. Anxiety provoking dreams are affecting some as well. Untreated sleep disorders are also a concern. People with sleep apnea are at risk for increased adverse affects from COVID-19. But she says it is safe to be on your C-PAP machine these days -- many were fearful because of possible transmission concerns in the bedroom -- giving it to a spouse. If you are having sleep problems, stay on your regular schedule -- don't try to make up the lost sleep. Control what you can control. Exercise more. Don't get on a screen before bed. Keeping the tv off and no cell phones in bed aso help..

3. Dr. PATRICIA HELLER, urologist with SSM Health St. Clare Hospital. One in every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer in American men. But she says that doesn't have to be the case. It can be cured and treated if caught early. Not a lot of signs of prostate cancer that's why screening is so important. Screening guidelines call for an annual screening beginning at age 55 through age 70 -- PSA and physical exam of the prostate. People with a history of prostate cancer in the family should start sooner. Early detection, she says, is so critical. And being tested annually is also very important. Lots of options for treatment depending on each individual person's cancer. Active surveillance is common these days depending on the type of cancer. Others need more active treatments -- radiation or minimally invasive surgical treatment. Working on using immunotherapy to help treat prostate cancer. Health diet is important, not smoking is critical, exercise helps. No foods help or hurt.

4. Dr. MICHAEL LIM, SLU Care cardiologist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. Dr. Lim has some tips for us on how to have a healthy heart -- a lot of it has to do with what we eat and drink. Dr. Lim says the best heart healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Avoid added sugars, get rid of them, he says. Avoid highly processed foods. A donut once in awhile is okay, but not regularly. Also increase consumption of legumes are important. Beans and soybeans rich in protein. No absolute food will give you longer life. That's why moderation in all things is important. Balance and variety are keys to a good diet, as well. What about coffee, tea and alcohol? Coffee is not harmful on a regular basis. Black coffee that is. Same thing with tea. No sweetener or cream. A glass of wine a day or a small bit of alcohol is beneficial -- just avoid the moderate or higher than moderate alcohol intake. Avoid energy drinks, we don't need them. Water, Dr. Lim says, is all we need to replenish lost fluids. Dairy products are a double edged sword. Great source of calcium. The bad part of it -- higher in fats and cholesterol. Vitamin B 12? We should get enough in a well-balanced diet. Bottom line, eat a balanced diet says Dr. Lim.