Health Report

By Hannah Wallace May 1, 2012


May 5 Wellness open house at Doctors Hospital, featuring an “Ask the Pharmacist” Brown Bag Pharmacy Review

Bring a bag of your prescription medications and a written list of questions for a consultation with a registered pharmacist. RSVP required; (888) 685-1596.

May 25 “Redefining Senior Fitness” health and wellness day

Nutritional cooking for one, senior beginner’s yoga, healthy aging tips, Senior Friendship Center volunteerism presentation and the pet therapy team from Suncoast Humane Society. RSVP required; (888) 685-1596.


Mental Health Spotlight on: Serenity at Doctors Hospital

What: A voluntary, inpatient psychiatric unit dedicated to ages 40 and over.

Opened: December 2010

Specializing in: Co-occurring behavioral health issues.

Why it’s different: In addition to physician referrals, Serenity invites individuals to admit themselves for short-term treatment, or call the program’s 24-hour number (342-4461) regarding concerns for a loved one.

What’s new: Substance-abuse treatments.



The percentage of drug-related deaths in Southwest Florida caused by prescription drug abuse


A Passion for Omega 3A Passion for Omega 3

From the Venice doctors who gave you liquid Omega Cure and the vitamin-rich Omega Cookie comes Passion, a chocolate treat that packs a big dose of omega-3 fatty acids. The Venice-made “candy” is the latest project from Drs. Bo Martinsen and Anne-Marie Chalmers, who have dedicated themselves to encouraging people to consume more of the healthy fish oils that are mostly found in deepwater species.

A candy bar with fish oil may not sound appealing, but Passion taste-testers praise its sweet (but not too sweet), fish-free flavor. Resembling a Klondike Bar in shape and texture, Passion is kept frozen to preserve its natural ingredients, which, in addition to unadulterated fish oil, include anti-oxidant-rich dark chocolate and heart-healthy fiber. Orange and cherry are the two primary flavors right now, but Chalmers and Martinsen are experimenting with other iterations like green tea, mocha and passion fruit.

Sample and purchase Passion, as well as Omega Cure and the Omega Cookie, at the Sarasota farmer’s market, by calling (941) 485-4400, or online at


Why Fish Oil?

In addition to the proven effectiveness of fish oil in combating high triglycerides and heart disease, the National Institute of Health says fish oil is also “possibly effective” for more than two dozen conditions, including these.

High blood pressure. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil seem to expand blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.

High cholesterol. Fish oil may inhibit cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestine.

Weak bones (osteoporosis). Taking fish oil alone or in combination with calcium and evening primrose oil seems to slow the bone loss rate and increase bone density in elderly people who have osteoporosis.

Weight loss. Some evidence shows that eating fish both improves weight loss and decreases blood sugar levels in overweight people.

Asthma. Some research suggests fish oil may lower the occurrence of asthma in children when taken by women late in pregnancy. It also seems to improve airflow, reduce cough and lower the need for medications in some children who have asthma.

Bipolar disorder.Taking fish oil in conjunction with the usual treatments for bipolar disorder seems to improve symptoms of depression.



Vial of Life

What: A magnetized storage device to store your medical information on your refrigerator. (There are also non-magnetized versions for automobiles and travel, as well as products to store medical info for your pets.)

Why: In an emergency, first responders need to know your medical history in order to provide the best treatment. But an emergency is also a difficult time to try to remember and recite all of your health details.

How: Print a list of medical conditions, medications, allergies, health insurance, healthcare directives and more, and keep them in the file along with a photo ID. Medical first responders know to check the refrigerator when responding to an emergency. “The Vial of Life packs save us a lot of time,” says Sarasota County firefighter/EMT Brian Deckard. “It can make a big difference in emergencies.”

Go to to order; you’ll also find forms outlining what information you should include in your Vial of Life kit.


Adrenal SupportWedding Wellness

The dress fits and the cake is baked, but pre-wedding prep has left the bride sick and tired. Never fear, Dream Day Essentials has come to ease the unhealthy side effects of putting together your dream wedding. The new company, from Sarasota wedding planner Nicole Kaney and health professional Melanie Kasper, offers an adaptable menu of dietary supplements designed for optimal health—and thus, optimal happiness—on your dream day. Learn more at


Yvette BernoskyBalance Your Exercise

If you’ve reached a plateau in your fitness goals, take a look at the nature of your training. Do you consider yourself a cardio queen or a strict weightlifter? It’s easy to get in a rut and stick to only one or two types of fitness, according to certified personal trainer Yvette Bernosky. “Many women are afraid to lift weights” because they’re afraid of becoming bulky, says Bernosky. “And many men get stuck in gym lifting weights only, often skipping cardio altogether.” But Bernosky points to five things everyone should consider for a balanced, effective fitness routine:

Strength training: Tones and shapes your body, develops overall strength, increases bone density and speeds up your metabolism. A standard, balanced routine usually includes three days a week of strength training.

Cardio conditioning: Keeps your heart strong and healthy

and burns stored fat. Perform a cardio activity for 25 minutes at a moderate intensity level to strengthen the heart; to burn fat, you’ll need up to 45 minutes or one hour.

Flexibility: Maintains range of motion, reduces stress and prevents injuries. Yoga is good, and so is working on your flexibility after a workout, because warm muscles will stretch better.

Nutrition: According to the American Council on Exercise, your daily diet should be around 20 percent protein, 55 percent carbs and 25 percent fats. “Protein helps to maintain and build muscle, carbohydrates provide energy, and fats help to absorb vitamins and minerals,” says Bernosky.

Body composition: Body fat vs. lean tissue. A healthy weight and balanced body composition are the results of a balanced

fitness regime, but you need to know where you’re starting. “Many gyms in town offer body composition testing and nutritional and diet recommendations that are specific to your needs,” says Bernosky.

Listen Up! Squats

Listen Up!

“One pound of muscle takes up the space equivalent to one stick of butter. One pound of fat takes up four times that much space.”

Yvette Bernosky, Sarasota certified personal trainer

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