Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Migraine Prevention Tips PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 31 March 2014 10:38

Got a Headache? You’re Not Alone
Neurologist & Mind-Body Doc Shares Natural
Migraine Prevention Tips

Headaches are the number 3 reason women ages 18 to 44 go to emergency rooms, and the fifth-leading cause of emergency room visits among all Americans, according to a 2013 National Institutes of Health report, which calls headaches a major public health problem.

“The key to preventing headaches is, of course, to figure out what’s triggering them,” says Dr. Romie Mushtaq,, a neurologist, mind-body physician and an expert in Mindful Living. “While migraine and stress headaches can both be triggered by stress, migraines have many other possible triggers and they vary from one individual to the next.”

Dr. Romie has counseled thousands of headache sufferers and recently launched a six-week online seminar, Heal Your Headaches. She guides participants through ruling out various triggers, and shares traditional and holistic treatment options, among other information.

“It’s so important to educate people who suffer from headaches, especially migraines. There are many misconceptions about them,” she says. “I’ve had patients tell me they don’t have migraines because their headache isn’t accompanied by vomiting. Or they’ve been told they just have a low threshold for pain, even that they have no willpower!”

Dr. Romie advises patients to begin ruling out possible triggers.

“Start eliminating common food triggers from your diet, such as wine, chocolate and gluten, and if the headaches become less frequent or go away altogether, slowly add each item back,” she says. “It may quickly become apparent what’s triggering your headaches.”

If not, she shares other possible triggers people are not aware of:

• Are you getting enough sleep?
Migraines can be triggered by sleep deprivation. A lack of sleep can actually lead to structural changes in the proteins of the brain that make the trigeminal nerve more sensitive to pain. The trigeminal nerve supplies sensation to the face, head and meninges – the membranes surrounding the brain -- and it is the nerve pathway that is the foundation of the where migraine headaches start.

When we are stressed, our sleep gets disturbed, and headaches are often one of the first signs. Creating a routine at night to reduce stress prior to bedtime is a key. If you can’t sleep because of headache pain, talk to your doctor about the temporary use of sleep-aid medications.

Also, avoid caffeine after 12 p.m.

• Are you drinking enough water?
If you start feeling pressure or a dull headache at work, especially in the afternoon, it may be that you’re not drinking enough water during the day. Dehydration can cause fatigue, loss of focus and mid-day stress, which can trigger headaches, including migraines. Be sure to drink water throughout the day.

If you’re having trouble identifying your headache trigger, consider this natural therapy:

• Feverfew  for prevention:
Feverfew is one of many effective herbs studied for preventing migraine headaches  -- it has been studied in adults, but not children or pregnant women. The typical dose is 85 to 100mg daily. If you’re experiencing more than two migraine headaches a month, you should try this natural supplement. I don't recommend one brand over another; since brands are not regulated by the FDA, there is no scientific way to prove one is superior to another.

While these tips may help you gain control over your headaches, remember – anyone who has recurring headaches should see a physician, Dr. Romie says.

About Dr. Romie Mushtaq

Dr. Romie is a mind-body medicine physician and neurologist. She did her medical education and training at the Medical University of South Carolina, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Michigan, where she won numerous teaching and research awards. She brings to healing both her expertise of traditional Western training and Eastern modalities of mindfulness. She is currently a corporate health consultant and professional health and wellness life coach at the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine in Orlando, Florida.  She is also an international professional speaker, addressing corporate audiences, health and wellness conferences and non-profit organizations.  Her website is

Governor Quinn Urges Illinois Residents to Seize Historic Opportunity for Health Coverage PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Katie Hickey   
Monday, 31 March 2014 09:55

Encourages Uninsured People Across Illinois to Attend a “Last Chance” Enrollment Assistance Event

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today attended one of Get Covered Illinois’ (GCI) “Last Chance” enrollment events to urge everyone still waiting on the sidelines to take action to obtain affordable health coverage. With just three days left for uninsured residents to enroll in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), GCI is hosting a series of late-night “Last Chance” enrollment events to provide in-person assistance. For the next three nights, GCI will also be extending call center hours until midnight.

"We want everyone to know that if you don't have health insurance, now is the time to take action and get covered," Governor Quinn said. "We will have the Get Covered Illinois navigators working until midnight across the state to help uninsured residents sign up for affordable health coverage before the Monday deadline."

The Governor appeared at an enrollment event at the Broadway Armory on the north side of Chicago where navigators armed with laptops and computers were helping uninsured residents explore their coverage options and enroll in a health plan. The last day to enroll in the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace is March 31. Also at the event was the GCI Road2Coverage RV, which has been conducting a mobile tour across the state throughout the month of March to raise awareness about the historic opportunity to gain coverage and the impending deadline of enrollment.

More than 333,000 Illinois residents have signed up for health coverage under the ACA, according to federal and state figures. A total of 113,733 had purchased a plan through the Marketplace as of the end of February; an additional 220,000 have enrolled in expanded Medicaid under the ACA. GCI is on pace to meet the state-level enrollment estimate of 143,000 for the Marketplace established last September by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (from national Congressional Budget Office estimates).

The GCI website – – has experienced a sharp increase in traffic during the month of March, seeing the daily count of unique visitors jump from less than 10,000 per day in February to 40,000 per day this week. In addition, the number using the GCI screening tool, which determines if applicants should seek coverage in the Marketplace or may be eligible for Medicaid, has tripled to more than 12,000 per day this week.

“We are telling everyone who was waiting until the last minute, that the last minute is now,” GCI Executive Director Jennifer Koehler said. “Our team is working statewide to help make sure Illinois consumers don’t miss out on the ‘Last Chance’ opportunity get the coverage before the March 31st deadline. We need everyone who hasn’t enrolled to start the process now!”

Failure to act to get health coverage could result in:

·         Missing out on the coverage you and your loved ones need to stay healthy – the next opportunity to enroll in Marketplace health plan will be in November, with coverage starting in January 2015.

·         Incurring huge medical bills if you get hurt or sick.

·         Being fined either 1 percent of income or $95, whichever is greater, when you file your 2014 federal taxes.

GCI is urging health care consumers to take advantage of the assistance that is being offered via the web, over the phone and in person through hundreds of community partners statewide.

·         Visit our website at (includes a Spanish-language version).

·         Call the Get Covered Illinois Help Desk at 866-311-1119.

·         Meet in person with a specially trained “Navigator” who can help you understand your options and help you enroll at one of the hundreds of partner sites across the state. There are more than 1,500 Navigators throughout the state that can be located by visiting the website and entering your zip code or through calling the Help Desk.

The following locations are offering special late hours for in-person enrollment assistance over the next three days:

Chicago events:

·         UIC Hospital: 1740 W. Taylor St., Saturday, Sunday, Monday 11 a.m. until midnight all three days.

·         Mercy Hospital: 2525 S. Michigan Ave., Saturday, Sunday, Monday noon to midnight.

·         Ann Sather’s: 909 W. Belmont Ave., Saturday and Sunday 4 p.m.-midnight, Monday 10 a.m. to midnight.

·         Norwegian American Hospital: 1044 N. Francisco, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 8 a.m. to midnight.

Outside of Chicago:

·         Ingalls Hospital: Harvey, 1 Ingalls Dr., Saturday, Sunday and Monday 8 a.m. to midnight.

·         St. John’s Hospital: Springfield, 800 Carpenter St., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight, Monday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

·         OSF St. Anthony: Rockford: 566 E. State St., Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 8 a.m. to midnight.

·         St. Elizabeth’s Hospital/East Side Health District: Belleville, 211 S.  3rd St., Saturday, noon to midnight.

Follow Get Covered Illinois on:



Twitter: @CoveredIllinois

Hashtag: #GetCoveredIllinois #Road2Coverage


Quad City Health Initiative Elects New Leaders PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by E. Plumb   
Friday, 28 March 2014 10:31
The Quad City Health Initiative (QCHI) is proud to announce that Ms. Karla Steele has been elected to serve as the new Chair of the QCHI Board. Ms. Steele is an Attorney and Shareholder of Califf & Harper P.C. where she is engaged in the general practice of law. Ms. Steele joined the QCHI Board in 2011, and has served on the Executive Committee and as Vice Chair. "I'm honored to be asked to lead this community board," Ms. Steele says. "Our community's vitality depends upon securing the health and well-being of its community members. Together, we can make great improvements in our community's health status and quality of life."

QCHI is also pleased to announce the following elections to the QCHI Board: Mr. Tony Fuhrmeister, Store Director, HyVee Silvis; Mr. Jason Gordon, Director of Engagement, Community Health Charities; and Mr. Brad Martell, CEO, Scott County Family YMCA. 

"The election of these three experienced community leaders will enhance our ability to create a "culture of wellness" that supports healthy eating and active living in the Quad Cities," says Ms. Nicole Carkner, QCHI Executive Director. 

The Quad City Health Initiative is a cross-sector community partnership working to create a healthy community. A 25-member community Board oversees the organization, which was established in 1999. The Initiative seeks to be our community's recognized leader for creating collaborative action on health and abides by the core values of commitment, collaboration and creativity. Major financial support for QCHI is currently provided by the generous direct and in-kind investments of Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Health Trinity. In 2013, additional financial support was provided by Deere & Company, KJWW, Davenport Eye Group, Mississippi Valley Health, Modern Woodmen of America, Quad City Bank and Trust, Royal Neighbors of America, Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, ILLOWA Construction and Labor Management Council, United Way of the Quad Cities Area, Scott County Health Department, Rock Island County Health Department and Molyneaux Insurance.

For more information, please call 563-421-2815 or visit our website

Time to Register for GAIN Camp PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Friday, 28 March 2014 08:49

DAVENPORT, Iowa – March 27, 2014 -- The Genesis Adventures in Nursing Summer Camp (GAIN) will be held June 16-20 for young people who may be interested in a healthcare career.

Applications for GAIN Camp will be accepted through April 15th. Cost for camp is $150. A limited number of scholarships will be available.

GAIN Camp is available to students who have completed seventh grade through graduated seniors.

Campers will be introduced to different specialties in healthcare. They will tour the hospital, observe a mock trauma in the emergency department, visit an operating room, visit the Genesis Learning Center and learn first aid and CPR.

To register, or for more information, contact Lori Ruden at (563) 421-1354.



Why Newly Proposed Nutrition Labels are Good* (with emphasis on the asterisk) PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 28 March 2014 08:06

Physician-Chef Points Out the Pros, Cons of 3 Suggested Changes

It’s nothing new to the American consumer that food packaging emphasizes only part of a product’s health story, and the fact that the nutritional labeling hasn’t been overhauled in 20 years hasn’t helped, says cardiologist and professional chef Michael S. Fenster, MD.

A proposed update, which could take a year or more to appear on store shelves, is being driven by first lady Michelle Obama, as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign.

“Our current nutrition labeling is the same as that implemented in the 1990s, except with the 2006 addition of trans fats information. It’s based on nutrition data and eating habits from the 1970s and 1980s,” says “Dr. Mike,” author of “Eating Well, Living Better: The Grassroots Gourmet Guide to Good Health and Great Food,” (

From the perspective of physician and foodie, he analyzes what’s good about the first lady’s proposed new label, and what could be improved.

• Good: Calorie counts would be displayed in a bigger, bolder font.Emphasizing calories allows consumers to think with a helpful “energy in / energy out” baseline. Do I really need the calories in this product when I could stand to lose a few pounds? That’s a reasonably good question to promote.

***Basing the value of food primarily on calories over-simplifies the evaluation process. An energy drink may have zero calories, but it’s not better for you than an apple, which may have 100 calories. We cannot overlook nutrition!

• Good: Serving sizes would be determined from real data reflecting the portions real people typically eat. A serving of ice cream is expected to increase from a half cup to a full cup, and a one-serving muffin would be 4 ounces instead of 2 ounces, reflecting the obvious fact that people generally consume the whole scoop of ice cream and the whole muffin.

***Food producers may simply change the size of pre-packaged portions to skirt the rules. Industry experts suggest some food manufacturers may just reduce the package size to make their labeling more seductive. When food is parceled into smaller packages, the price per unit usually increases – it becomes more expensive for consumers.

• Good: New labeling would have listed separately, “added sugar.”The grams of sugar added, irrespective of whether it’s pure cane sugar, corn syrup, honey, sucrose or any other source, would be shown as one listed value. This is good because it starts to get into the quality and composition of the food product, at least indirectly. Many public health experts say “sweet creep” has been a major contributor to obesity, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

***This will likely be wildly controversial, prompting aggressive lobbying efforts that may have already begun. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and other industry groups note that the current label already includes the total amount of sugar in the product. The food industry argues that natural sugar and added sugar are chemically identical and that the body doesn’t differentiate between the two. However, a significant amount of research shows this is not completely true.

About Michael Fenster, MD

Michael Fenster, M.D., F.A.C.C., FSCA&I, PEMBA, is a board-certified cardiologist and former Assistant Professor of Medicine at the NEOUCOMM. Dr. Mike is a passionate teacher who has addressed numerous professional organizations and he has participated in many clinical trials. He has published original research featured in peer reviewed scientific and medical journals. He worked his way up to executive chef before medical school and later received his culinary degree in gourmet cooking and catering from Ashworth University; where he graduated with honors. He has combined his culinary and medical expertise to deliver delicious cuisine to delivers us from the disability and diseases of modern civilization through his Grassroots Gourmet™ approach to metabolic health.  Dr. Mike's first book  “Eating Well, Living Better: The Grassroots Gourmet Guide to Good Health and Great Food,”  is currently availability. His next book, The Fallacy of the Calorie is slated for release Fall 2014. (

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