Choosing the right foods to avoid inflammation

by Shelly Dimovski, Clinical Dietitian, Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe

inflammationYour diet and weight both matter when it comes to arthritis. Did you know that for every pound of extra weight that you carry on your body, it puts an extra four pounds of weight on your joints?

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Losing weight to help your arthritis symptoms is key. What you eat also can make a big difference on the amount of inflammation in your joints and throughout your body. Some the best anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • oily fish such a salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines (which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids which have very high anti-inflammatory properties)
  • dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens (which have Vitamin E which protect from pro-inflammatory molecules)
  • berries such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries (which have strong anti-inflammatory properties as well)
  • beets are also great at helping reduce inflammation and beetroot juice is even more powerful.

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Beaumont surgeon uses ribs to build new ear for Charlotte Ponce

Kongkrit Chaiyasate, M.D., pediatric plastic surgeon, Beaumont Children’s Hospital, has completed the first of a series of surgeries to create a new ear for 11-year-old Charlotte Ponce of Spring Lake, Mich. When she was just three-months-old, a pet raccoon attacked Charlotte in her crib. The raccoon destroyed her nose, ear and cheek. Charlotte and her great aunt and uncle, who adopted her after the attack, live in western Michigan, but drove to Beaumont Children’s Hospital after they read news reports of Dr. Chaiyasate’s reconstructive surgical abilities.

Over the past two years, Dr. Chaiyasate has performed several facial surgeries to repair the damage from the attack, including building a new nose for Charlotte and repairing her lip and cheek. On April 15, 2014, Dr. Chaiyasate removed pieces of Charlotte’s ribs to create a new ear for her. He placed the molded pieces of the ribs under the skin of Charlotte’s forearm to allow skin to grow around the new ear. In about eight weeks, Dr. Chaiyasate will remove the ear from her forearm and attach it to her head.

The day after the surgery, Charlotte’s mother, Sharon Ponce, said her daughter was doing great at Beaumont Children’s Hospital and looking forward to getting her first pair of earrings after the second surgery is complete.

Charlotte’s procedure was the first in Michigan and one of only a few performed in the U.S. Her story has been shared across the country and abroad as well:

You’ve read Charlotte’s story and now she would love to hear from you! Send your well-wishes to:

Charlotte Ponce
PO Box 397
Fruitport, MI 49415

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I want to get more active this spring. What should I know? | Ask a Beaumont Doctor

by James Bicos, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist; voted Top 10 Sports Medicine Surgeons by Sports Illustrated for cartilage issues

Ask A Beaumont Doctor, James BicosThe spring thaw is finally here! After one of the worst winters in Michigan history, spring is in the air, and you are ready to take the bull by the horns, get outside and get active again. As orthopedic physicians, there is nothing more we like to see than active patients. Exercise helps to boost metabolism, shed that dreaded winter weight and build strong bones. Often times, though, in our excitement to enjoy the spring weather, we can overdo our exercise regimen and that can lead to pain and injury.

As you start becoming more active, be sure to start slow at first and always properly warm up and cool down.

  • Take it slow. Start an exercise program, but do not increase your weight or mileage by more than 10 percent per week. By following that rule, you will minimize the risk of overuse injuries.
  • Warm up and cool down. There is nothing worse than starting your exercise without a proper warm up. Warming up, including stretching and light aerobic activity, prepares the body for the rest of the work out by increasing blood flow and activating our nervous system. This helps to reduce injury. In addition, don’t forget to cool down at the end of your work out. This allows your muscles to recover from the exercise. Also you can use this time for stretching and mental conditioning (i.e. relaxation techniques).

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Favorite Easter Foods – Partake or Pass?

Easter is time to celebrate spring and new beginnings. This year, make some new, healthy, holiday traditions at the grocery store, in the kitchen and in your Easter basket, using our healthy alternatives guide:


Partake: Lamb
Pass: Ham

favorite easter foodsLamb is great source of protein, 26 grams per 3 ounce serving, iron and zinc and it also is a good source of vitamin B 12 and niacin. Lamb is also much lower in sodium for heart health compared to cured meats, such as ham. Lamb contains only 48 mg of sodium, compared to ham which contains 756 mg sodium. To lower the fat content of lamb, trim all visible fat and drain fat drippings from cooked ground lamb.

Partake: Hardboiled Eggs
Pass: Deviled Eggs

While both are good sources of protein, 6 grams per whole egg, deviled eggs contain more fat and sodium than hardboiled eggs. If deviled eggs are your favorite, consider a healthier recipe, substitute ½ of the mayonnaise for Dijon mustard and use smoked paprika and black pepper instead of salt.



Partake: French Cut Green Beans
Pass: Green Bean Casserole

Green beans are a nutrient dense, low-calorie, vegetable. They will provide filling fiber, and many phytonutrients, vitamins such as A, B-12 and B-6, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. However, the preparation of these healthy green veggies makes a big difference in their nutritional value. Traditional Green Bean Casseroles can have as much as 240 calories per 1 cup serving in comparison with steamed green beans that contain 35 calories per 1 cup serving.

Partake: Mashed Potatoes
Pass: Scalloped Potatoes

Potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber (in the skin of the potato). However, the preparation of potatoes can make these healthy tubers into a diet-disaster. 1 cup of scalloped potatoes, with butter, cheese, and whole milk can have as much as 280 calories. 1 cup of mashed potatoes with whole milk and butter contains about 200 calories. You can still enjoy mashed potatoes while cutting calories, substitute skim milk for whole milk, olive oil for butter and ½ potatoes for cauliflower and turnips, save 70+ calories.

Which candy should you use to fill a healthy Easter basket?

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5 Tips to Prevent Youth Concussions

youth concussionsAn American Journal of Sports Medicine study that found that concussions accounted for 15% of all high school sports injuries, occurring in sports ranging from football and ice hockey to cheerleading and soccer. This adds ups to around 200,000 to 300,000 concussions every year for high school athletes.

Preventing concussions in youth sports is an increasingly important focus for the CDC, youth sports programs and parents across the United States.

Here are five tips to prevent youth concussions for parents, players and coaches:

1.  Know the Signs and Symptoms of Concussions

There are few things more dangerous than a youth suffering a mild concussion during a game and then returning to play in a compromised state. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a concussion can help athletes miss one game instead of the entire season. Signs that parents and coaches should look for include:

  • appearing dazed or confused
  • forgetting instructions
  • being confused about the score or the opponent
  • answering questions slowly
  • moving clumsily

Athletes should also be educated on symptoms to look for so they can inform coaches of potential concussions:

  • headaches
  • nausea of vomiting
  • balance problems or dizziness
  • sensitivity to light or noise
  • double vision
  • feeling sluggish or foggy
  • concentration or memory problems


2.  Properly Fitted Equipment

Properly fitted helmets and protective equipment, like mouth guards, are essential to preventing head injuries. But equipment alone can’t protect against concussions – there is no concussion-proof helmet. Some athletes strap on a helmet and shoulder pads and feel invincible, so equipment isn’t enough.

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I ignored my signs of a stroke…

by Laura Miller, Beaumont volunteer

A stroke can hit you anytime, anyplace and anywhere. I had a stroke at age 53 while I was sitting at my computer at work. But I waited more than two hours to get help because I was in denial about my symptoms.

If you can ask for help, don’t wait. A drug that can be given within several hours of a stroke may limit the amount of damage to you, the American Heart Association reported in February. I didn’t get the drug, and here’s what happened to me.

stroke_signsFirst, a very sharp stab of pain shot through my head while I was sitting at my desk. It went from behind my ear to my forehead in a jolt. I didn’t pay enough attention because I was used to having head pain from migraines. So I stopped for a second and then kept on working.

Some time later when I got up to go to another room and found myself running into the door jams on either side of the door. I remember thinking this can’t be happening while it happened about three more times. I thought, “I must be careless.”

Finally, about the third time I got up, I started getting a glimmer that something was wrong. And I noticed that my cheek on the left side was so cold. I finally said to my colleague next to me, “I wonder if I’m having stroke.” Without waiting for an answer, I went back to my desk and starting typing on my computer. Then within moments, I couldn’t read anything on the screen.

It wasn’t until then that I really started thinking something was so wrong that I had to do something. I got up from my desk and told my boss that I needed to go home. He said, “Are you sure you’re alright to go home?” And, still in denial about what was happening, I responded, “Yes.”

It was a good thing that he had the presence of mind to have one of my co-workers go with me. As I was leaving the room, I was weaving back and forth, banging into desks along the way.

It wasn’t until we got down to the security area of the building that I said, “I think we need to call an ambulance.”

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Volunteer Week: How and why donating time is a wonderful gift


Volunteers are the eyes and ears, spirit and soul of the Beaumont, says Beth Frydlewicz, system director of Volunteer Services. Volunteers choose this health care organization “because they believe that Beaumont is the best team in town,” Beth says. Over 2,300 people serve throughout the Beaumont Health System sharing their time and talents.

Our team of volunteers donate $6.5 million of time and talent each year. They are an important part of our team, serving in 288 different areas of our health system. Volunteer opportunities are available in:

  • guest services
  • lounges/waiting areas
  • emergency center
  • imaging center
  • endoscopy
  • gift shops/flower room
  • care management
  • spiritual care

There are also volunteers working in the community through the Parenting Program, NoBLE and Hospice.

Why do people volunteer?

volunteers“Satisfaction of helping others, learning new things and giving back to the community are the most common reasons why people volunteer,” Beth says. “They choose Beaumont because of its excellent reputation, personal experience and a wide variety of opportunities.”

There is a screening process for all volunteers. They must also learn about the characteristics of a volunteer role and are able to choose their top three areas of interest.

How can you spot a Beaumont volunteer during your visit to the hospital? All volunteers wear a grey Beaumont badge and wear a red jacket or red polo shirt with black pants and shoes.

Who makes a good volunteer? Beth says, “Volunteers are here to make a difference in the world. They represent our global patient base and bring personal experience that is unique to our team. A good volunteer is dependable, loyal and committed to provide the best service possible to our patients, visitors and staff.”


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Gardening for Health: Grow Your Own Superfoods

Grow your own superfoodsYou want to incorporate more superfoods into your diet for their high concentrations of vitamins and nutrients – but keeping enough fresh fruits and vegetables around the house can be a challenge. Growing your own produce is an increasingly popular and affordable way to keep your kitchen well-stocked with fresh, delicious produce. Here are some tips to get you started growing your own superfoods:

Plan ahead
While some plants can be bought in pots and planted when nearly full-grown, some are best planted as seeds well in advance of harvest time. Ideal planting times vary for each species, so determine which plants you want to grow ahead of time and use an almanac to determine the best weeks to plant for a timely and bountiful harvest.

Decide on an indoor or outdoor garden
If you live in a colder climate, growing at least some of your produce indoors will help you stock your vegetable crisper year-round.  Especially nutritious herbs like cilantro and basil can easily be grown indoors in a kitchen garden. Superfoods with shallow root systems, like tomatoes and blueberries, can also thrive in a windowsill container garden, provided they get enough natural light.

Other superfoods, like sweet potatoes and garlic, benefit from the deeper soil of an outdoor garden. Take into consideration how much light your plants will need and how much moisture they will require before deciding on a place for your garden.

If you have the space, maintaining both an indoor and an outdoor garden will allow you to cultivate the most superfoods throughout the year.

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Healthy Weight Essential to Healthy Joints

by Andrew Ajluni, D.O., Beaumont orthopedic surgeon

Did you know that 10 extra pounds equals 40 extra pounds of pressure on your knees?

healthy_jointsA healthy weight is essential to the health of your joints. In fact, research has proven that excess weight increases your risk for developing osteoarthritis AND increases arthritis pain. The extra pressure felt in the weight-bearing joints (knees and hips) can make activities of daily living, household chores, getting up out of a chair or even just walking more painful. A few extra pounds can really drag you down both physically and emotionally.

How can you help keep your joints healthy?
Incorporate exercise into your daily routine, maintain a healthy body weight and keep your  doctor up to date with any joint pain or problems that you are experiencing.

What types of exercise are best for people with arthritis/joint pain?
Consider exercises that are low-impact activities such as:

  • swimming
  • cycling
  • biking
  • elliptical machines
  • range- of- motion activities
  • resistance/thera-band exercises.

Choose an activity that you enjoy and remember exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous.

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Beaumont Food of the Month: Brussels Sprouts

Food of the Month, brussels sproutsBrussels sprouts are cabbage’s cooler, younger cousins. These hearty greens are loaded with vitamins as well as sulforaphane, a chemical that is thought to contain anti-cancer properties. Avoid boiling brussels sprouts to keep these nutrients as intact as possible – instead, roast, steam or stir-fry your sprouts. For an interesting twist, try shredding raw brussels sprouts and incorporating the greens into your favorite salads.

For the freshest brussels sprouts, look for vibrant, dark green outer leaves and stem ends that aren’t brown or dried out. Avoid brussels sprouts that have bruised or browned leaves. Choose still-on-the-stalk sprouts over loose sprouts – they will stay fresh for much longer.

Nutritional information

  • Brussels sprouts (1 cup)
  • Calories: 38
  • Fat: 0.3 g (0%)
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Potassium: 342 g (9%)
  • Total Carbohydrates: 8 g (2%)
  • Protein: 3 g (6%)
  • Vitamin A: 13%
  • Vitamin C: 124%
  • Calcium: 3%
  • Magnesium: 5%
  • Iron: 6%

How to cook with brussels sprouts

Roast, steam, stir-fry or grill brussels sprouts to enjoy alone or paired with sensible portions of red meat. Brussels sprouts are most tender when cooked slowly at a high heat. The cabbage-like bitterness of brussels sprouts pairs well with sweet flavors like honey or balsamic vinegar; sprouts are also delicious when salted or spiced.

New to the world of brussels sprouts? Try these flavorful recipes:

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