New Guidelines: Hold the Salt

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The American Academy of Personal Training

The government is telling Americans to take a pass on the salt.  According to new dietary guidelines, consumers are now being asked to drastically cut their daily intake of salt.  For the first time, the guidelines target people who are 51 and older, all African Americans, and people at risk for high blood pressure and diabetes, which basically means anyone that is overweight or obese.  That group should reduce their daily salt intake to a little more than half a teaspoon a day.  Everyone else should limit their sodium intake to about a teaspoon a day.

One way to limit your salt is to eat more fresh foods and avoid the processed foods.  When eating out, ask the restaurant not to add salt.  Other recommendations in the new guidelines include eating less than 10% of you calories from saturated fats; that includes full fat cheeses and meats.


Are you a sleep walker…or even worse, a sleep eater?

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of American Academy of Personal Training

Sleep walking is a real disorder that’s most common in children but it can also happen to adults.   Some sleep walkers actually eat while they sleep, which has been well documented.  Walking in your sleep can be dangerous because you can fall down the stairs, walk outside, or even climb out of windows.  If you encounter a sleepwalker you should gently try to guide them back to their bed.  If the problem persists, there is help available in the form of medications and hypnosis.  If the sleep walking is being triggered by a medical or other problem like sleep apnea, then treatment is typically geared toward the underlying cause.


Child obesity linked to lack of sleep?

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of AAPT

How much sleep does your child get on the weekends?  The answer to this question may give you some indication as to whether your child is at risk for gaining weight.  According to a report in the American Journal of Pediatrics, overweight children are more likely to stay up late on the weekends.  The children averaged 8 hours per night throughout the week, but on the weekends the obese children had shorter and more irregular sleep patterns.

If kids do not get enough sleep it starts a vicious cycle triggering hormones that can make them more hungry, hence increasing the risk of obesity even further.  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that pre-school aged children get 11-13 hours of nightly sleep, while school aged children should get 10-11 hours per night.

Tips to help support your bullied child

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of AAPT

Is your child being bullied at school?  One of the best ways to help is to get him involved at school.  Studies show that schools that build positive connections between the staff and students have a lower incidence of bullying.  Be sure to let the teachers and the school principal know that bullying is occurring.  The child that’s causing the bullying needs counseling to understand the consequences of his actions.  Talk to your child and let him know that he shouldn’t blame himself when people are mean to him.  Encourage him to write out or draw his feelings in a picture.  Sometimes this type of expressive therapy can be very helpful.  Most importantly, your child needs to connect with a peer group for support and friendship.  Be proactive – the bullying needs to be diffused quickly because it can escalate.

Is Visco-Supplementation an effective knee treatment?

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of AAPT

Considering visco-supplementation or simply wondering what it is?  This is a procedure where doctors inject hyaluronic acid derivatives into the knee joint to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.  The treatment is usually reserved for people who have failed traditional therapies and works best for mild to moderate osteoarthritis.  Hyaluronic acid does not have an immediate pain relieving effect.  Initially, you may experience some pain after the injection which usually is eased with an ice pack.  You should notice some pain relief from the injections over time; and the hyaluronic acid does have some anti-inflammatory effects.  It may even stimulate your body to produce more of its own hyaluronic acid.

The treatment isn’t permanent; the effects generally last several months.  If you’ve tried other things and you’re not feeling any better, these shots may do the trick.


FDA to lower Acetaminophen in painkillers

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of AAPT

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is limiting the amount of acetaminophen that can be found in many prescription painkillers.  Products such as Vicodin and Percocet have been linked to reports of severe liver damage mostly in patients who take more than one product at a time.

Over the next three years, the FDA will lower the amount of prescription acetaminophen to 325 mg per dose.  Currently the limit is 750 mg.  For now, these new regulations only affect prescription medications.  But changes may be coming soon for over the counter medications as well.  You should not take more than 4ooo mg of acetaminophen a day.