• Dr. Andrew-Jaja

    the Singing Doctor at Magee

    What better way to enter the world than with a song? Over the last several decades, Carey D. Andrew-Jaja, MD, FACOG of Magee-Womens Hospital, has welcomed each of the babies he’s delivered with a beautiful song. Dr. Andrew-Jaja has delivered thousands of babies.

    Dr. Andrew-Jaja inherited the tradition from his mentor, an older obstetrician and gynecologist on staff, and sings “Happy Birthday” and “It’s a Wonderful World” to each baby.

    “When I’m singing to those babies, I’m singing to a future important person,” says Andrew-Jaja. “It’s a beautiful world we live in. You forget about all the crisis going on everywhere for a moment when you see that miracle of life in front of you.”

    Dr. Andrew-Jaja delights in developing a unique bond with each and every baby he delivers. His mantra is “Confront every encounter with a smile on your face and a song in your heart,” something he practices every day. In this video interview below, watch as Dr. Andrew-Jaja sings to two beautiful newborns, one of which is the son of a former baby whom Dr. Andrew-Jaja delivered decades ago.

    Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja, Singing Doctor, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC

    For more information on Dr. Andrew-Jaja and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, visit our website or call us at 412-641-1000.

    Dr. Jaja’s story was recently featured in an article on Huffington Post.

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  • 5 Burger Bun Alternatives

    Perfect for Summer

    It’s finally summer – and that means weekends are filled with cookouts, barbecues, and plenty of picnic food. There’s nothing quite like the taste of a great grilled burger. Although a bun helps hold the meat, cheese, and condiments together on a good burger, sometimes, the bun that burger is served on can pose a problem. For those with celiac disease, a gluten-intolerance, or just trying to cut down on carbs, there is no reason why you have to skip out on delicious, juicy burgers because you can’t eat the buns. Check out these 5 alternatives to the traditional bun so that you can get your burger fix this summer:

    Tomatoes

    Tomatoes not only make a tasty alternative to the burger bun but they also have many health benefits because tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamin A and C. Slice a large tomato in half as a substitute for bread or try using smaller tomato slices for burger sliders.

    tomato

    Lettuce

    A big piece of crispy and refreshing Romaine lettuce can be used to wrap your burger and all the fixings. Romaine lettuce is a good source of fiber, Vitamin C and K, and potassium.

    lettuce

    Portobello Mushroom

    A baked or grilled Portobello mushroom provides a good source of fiber, as well as adds plenty of minerals to your diet. It also mimics the texture of a burger bun almost perfectly.

    portabello-mushroom

    Eggplant

    Sliced and grilled eggplant makes for a great burger bun substitute because eggplants are filled with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It also contains chlorogenic acid, a natural antioxidant found in plants.

    eggplant

    Red Peppers

    Red peppers are packed with Vitamin A and C and are a good source of Vitamin B6 and magnesium. In addition, red peppers add a sweet flavor to your burger and are large enough to be used as the buns.

    red-peppers
    We hope you enjoy these tasty alternatives to more traditional hamburger buns. Opting for large, vitamin-packed veggies to keep your burger bundled can help you to better enjoy your next summer cookout.

    If you know someone who’s staying carb-free this summer or someone who is gluten intolerant, please feel free share some of these tips with them! If you have a favorite top for preparing burgers without buns, let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

    If you find that your digestive problems are unmanageable, visit the UPMC Digestive Disorders Center, or call 1-866-4GASTRO (27876).

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  • Protect Your Skin:

    Sunscreen 101

    After a long cold winter, it’s nice to get out and soak up the sun. But when you’re outside, it’s important to protect your skin! Do you know how much sunscreen you should apply?

    What about commonly missed spots on the body?

    Let’s take it back to the basics with this Sunscreen 101 Infographic so you can enjoy the sun safely.

     

    sunscreen

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  • Men’s Health Tips

    By the Decades

    In recognition of Men’s Health Week (June 9-14), Christopher Rhody, MD, a primary care physician at West Hills Family Practice–UPMC, offers tips to make the most of each decade of life. Check out this infographic and read the article below to learn more about our Men’s Health Tips.

    Celebrate Men’s Health Week by sharing this with all the men in your life to make health a priority!

    upmc-health-decades-men

    In your 20s…

    In this age group, two important things to pay attention to are your diet and the amount of exercise you get every day. During this decade it is important for males to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, as they will influence their health behaviors later in life. For exercise, running or jogging is a good option for most young males. If running is not an option, then a two-mile walk at a brisk pace is sufficient. If you use supplements to enhance your workouts, be mindful of the ingredients.

    Many people in their 20s live a very active and on-the-go lifestyle that can make eating healthy difficult. Dr. Rhody’s rule of thumb when eating on the go is, “If they can get it to you in less than 15 minutes, don’t eat it.” Men in this stage of life may consider their diet as healthy if they are following the nutritional guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This means for each meal, at least half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, and the other half should include equal portions of whole grains and lean protein.

    Dr. Rhody also points out, “What happens in your 20s effects you in your 50s.” An example of this is men who experience health difficulties later in life due to their prolonged time in the sun early in life. It is important to take care of your skin at any age by avoiding tanning beds and using sunscreen and protective measures, such as wearing sunglasses or a hat to help prevent the risk of skin cancer later on in life.

    Also during this stage, males tend to lose weight much easier but it will not always be that way. As men age, their ability to lose weight easily and quickly will decrease. Practice healthy habits early on and abide by them throughout your lifetime.

    In your 30s…

    Dr. Rhody stresses the importance of scheduling regular visits to your primary care physician for routine check-ups and testing during this decade. Many men in their 30s do not feel like they have the time or the need to go to the doctor because they feel fine. Whether or not you feel perfectly healthy, routine tests can help uncover hidden health problems. Your primary care physician can help determine what type of testing is best suited for you.

    Exercise and diet become even more crucial for men in their 30s because of the likelihood of significant lifestyle changes that can accompany this decade. Many men are working longer hours, getting married, or raising a family so some of their healthy lifestyle habits can fall by the wayside. It is important to make sure you exercise daily. Males in their 30s need a longer, more sustained period of exercise, rather than short bursts of activity such as chasing their children around the yard.

    Dr. Rhody encourages men to not become sedentary as they go through this period in their lives. It’s also important to concentrate more on their diet than they may have before, even if daily exercise is not always possible. Men’s ability to control their weight decreases with age, so it becomes even more important to make sure you are making healthy, nutritious choices for your meals.

    In your 40s…

    Similar to your 30s, Dr. Rhody urges men in their 40s visit the doctor on a regular basis. This is the age when men may begin to experience prostate or heart problems. Consulting your doctor to help determine the appropriate testing may help to catch problems early and before they become more serious health concerns.

    A proper diet continues to be very important and has several health benefits for men in their 40s. Males should eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and be mindful of serving size. Follow the basic rule of “all things in moderation,” and remember that a serving size is approximately the size of a deck of cards. If getting the recommended two cups of fruits and three cups of vegetables a day is a challenge, try taking a multivitamin to help you get the proper vitamins and nutrients. It is also especially important for men in this age group to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, as it has numerous benefits for your skin, waistline, and overall health.

    Exercise is key at any stage of a man’s life, and the 40s are no different. As men age, especially those who have been very active, joint pain and stiffness may increase and can start to slow some men down. Daily exercise is preferred, but listening to your body’s limits is essential. If other exercise becomes challenging a two-mile walk is recommended. Dr. Rhody suggests walking at a pace “fast enough so that when you are talking while walking, you feel the need to take a deep breath after speaking.”

    In your 50s…

    Dr. Rhody urges men of this decade to work with their doctors to develop the health plan that’s best for them. This may include screenings, tests, and assessments. Be sure to ask if a colonoscopy is right for you and talk about ways to maintain diet and exercise routines.

    As you advance into your 50s, Dr. Rhody offers the following tips to maintain a healthy diet:

    • Cut out unnecessary sugars
    • Drink alcohol in moderation
    • Pay attention to your choices regarding alcohol type because these calories can quickly add up

    Men in their 50s should also focus on incorporating new activities into their lifestyles. Don’t let the stiffness that comes with aging prevent you from exercising. Consider changing up your fitness routine to include joint-friendly options like swimming (around 20 laps a day), biking (10 miles daily), or simply adjusting your pace on walks.

    In your 60s…

    In addition to maintaining some level of physical activity, Dr. Rhody recommends focusing on mental adjustments to the life changes this decade brings. Continue to stay active and busy if and when you have retired from your regular career or job. To keep your mind active, consider the following tips:

    • Read more
    • Join clubs and senior leagues
    • Take leadership roles in your organizations

    If possible, integrate physical activity into your routines. Contrary to common belief, you do not have to slow down at this age. Dr. Rhody cautions that becoming sedentary at this age could be detrimental..

    Don’t worry if you have not previously been physically active. Tai Chi, Yoga, and other fitness programs that focus on stretching can provide many health benefits. Remember to hydrate before, during, and after workouts to help prevent injuries.

    Actively manage your health at this age. Keep records of your appointments, medications, and symptoms. Stay current on tests, screenings, and assessments.

    In your 70s and beyond…

    Men in their 70s should take care to keep the home environment safe. Vision often deteriorates as we age so be sure to remove loose rugs, sharp edges, and other health and safety hazards. Consider adding safety handles in the bathroom and signing up for medical monitoring services. If living alone, consider welcoming a small pet into your household.

    Dr. Rhody emphasizes the importance of centralizing your medical care with primary care physicians. Keep records of your medications and side effects but remember primary care physicians can be used as your health care hub to help you stay informed about your health care needs.

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  • Managing Celiac Disease with a

    Gluten-Free Diet

    Did you know that celiac disease affects around two million Americans? Celiac disease — also known as sprue — has no cure, but its symptoms and complications can be well managed with the right diet and lifestyle.

    Discover more about the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of celiac disease by viewing our infographic below. You’ll find a list of foods to avoid, including potato chips, french fries, and even some salad dressings and soups. You’ll also learn how to build a gluten-free diet for you or your child.

    Celiac Disease Causes and Symtoms Infographic | UPMC HealthBeat

     

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Baseball Arm Injuries

by Orthopaedic Surgery by Sports Medicine

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The warmer weather and fresh cut grass signal the return of baseball for players of all skill levels. But with its return comes an increase in the number of arm, elbow, and shoulder injuries. While most of these ailments are simple sprains that will resolve with rest or strengthening, some can be more disabling.  According to Mark Baratz, MD, of Orthopaedic Specialists—UPMC, below are two of the more common injuries.

Osteochondritis Dissicans

Due to increased stress on the upper body and repeated delivery, pitchers tend to be more prone to arm injuries than position players. In particular, pitchers between the ages of 8 and 16 are at a greater risk of developing a condition called osteochondritis dissicans. This condition is typically marked by pain on the outside of the elbow, loss of extension or range of motion, and even a locking or catching sensation.

Little League Elbow

Athletes in the same age group are also at risk of developing Little League elbow. This is generally characterized as pain and irritation on the inside of the elbow, which for young athletes is still growing and expanding. However, athletes of any age may develop pain on the inside of their elbow, along with numbness in the ring and small fingers. This may be due to a pinched ulnar nerve, which runs behind the small bump on the inside of the elbow.

If an athlete experiences considerable pain and a noticeable popping sensation while throwing, it may be a sign of a torn medial collateral ligament. This can be a rather serious injury that will require further medical attention, and in some cases surgical reconstruction.

Preventing Arm Injuries

Careful conditioning, proper mechanics, and gradual return-to-play from any previous injuries are the best ways to avoid further setbacks. To help prevent arm injuries from occurring in the first place, youth baseball players should:

  • Warm up properly before throwing.
  • Take part in preseason and in-season strength and conditioning programs.
  • Avoid year-round playing to give the body a chance to rest and recover. Playing different sports helps ensure that the same muscles aren’t used all the time.
  • Use proper mechanics when throwing. Focus on using the whole body rather than just the arm.

Treatment

If an injury does occur, seek medical attention immediately. A thorough examination by an orthopaedic surgeon with experience in treating throwing injuries is recommended. For an improved chance of long-term recovery and successful return to the diamond, early detection and treatment are vital.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Orthopaedic Specialists—UPMC, please call 1-877-471-0935.

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About Orthopaedic Surgery

An established leader in advanced orthopaedic care, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery offers comprehensive services for the full spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions. Our more than 40 orthopaedic surgeons and staff use some of the latest imaging technologies for diagnoses, and perform some of the most advanced surgical techniques as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

About Sports Medicine

UPMC Sports Medicine is the region’s largest and most experienced center dedicated to caring for athletes of all levels. For more than 25 years of world-class care, we’re proud to offer more services, have more physicians, and treat more student athletes than any other sports medicine provider in the region.

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