TIP OF THE WEEK

It seems the merest hint of fall brings on the crop of everything pumpkin, from pumpkin lattes and muffins at your local coffee shop to cosmetics and hand cream. It’s a magical time of year if you love pumpkin. If the big orange squash isn’t your favorite flavor, you may wonder what all the fuss is about.

Pumpkin — the real squash — delivers multiple health benefits, according to Mercola, the website of New York Times bestselling author Dr. Joseph Mercola. Mercola reports:

— Cooked pumpkin contains fewer calories than the same amount of raw squash.

— Pumpkins are full of fiber.

— They contain 100 percent of the daily vitamin A requirement.

— Pumpkins are rich in vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese.

— The squash delivers antioxidants associated with reducing heart disease and cancer risks.

— Pumpkin seeds provide 30 grams of protein, 110 percent of daily iron requirements, and no cholesterol.

ALLERGIES

Can’t swallow a pill or keep food down? Allergies may be to blame

Does your child reject dry or dense foods, have trouble swallowing, or experience unexplained abdominal pain or vomiting? It might be worth asking your doctor if your child could have a little known, but increasingly diagnosed, chronic allergic condition called eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), EoE symptoms occur when the inside of a person’s esophagus becomes inflamed. For most patients, allergy to foods dairy products, egg, soy and wheat are the main causes of EoE.

Doctors are seeing more patients diagnosed with EoE, the AAAAI reports. The condition can only be diagnosed with an endoscopy, and allergy tests such as skin or blood tests could help patients identify the allergens causing their EoE. Most cases can be managed with dietary changes to eliminate trigger foods.

SICKNESS

Tips for when you have to go to work sick

A recent New York Times article says that doctors advise workers with a cold or the flu to stay home until they have been free of fever for 24 hours. But if you simply can’t stay home, the story included some tips to limit exposure to others:

— Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.

— Limit your interaction with others.

— Avoid physical contact, especially shaking hands.

— Wipe surfaces down after touching them.

— Use hand sanitizers or wash hands after coughing or sneezing.

— Wear a mask to limit “respiratory droplets.”

— Take medicine to reduce symptoms.

The story also recommended getting your flu shot.

— Brandpoint

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

ADHD medication could raise risk of heart defects

According to a recent study, mothers who take attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications during pregnancy could raise the risk of their babies having heart defects. Study author and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Krista Huybrechts found that mothers who take Ritalin/Concerta (methylphenidate) for ADHD could increase the risk of having a baby with a heart defect by 28 percent if taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. The study also found that taking amphetamines for ADHD did not carry the same risk.

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