Seen on Saturday morning: January 19th

January 19, 2008 10:48:49 AM PST
Winter Injuries, Bevi Bags and Hair Loss-----Winter Injuries-----

The weather outside is telling today--- it's winter! And that means a whole new set of chores and activities. But, extra precautions should be taken to avoid serious injury. With some tips this morning is Dr. Albert Levy, founder of Manhattan Family Practice.

What can people do to avoid overexertion and injury when engaged in strenuous winter activities like snow shoveling, skiing, or snowboarding?
Dr. Levy: Before engaging in any strenuous activity out in the cold, it's important to warm up with proper stretching and light exercise. This will prepare the muscles, including the heart, for physical challenges, and allow them to work more efficiently and be less likely to sustain an injury.

Snow shoveling is always a concern for those over 60 years of age. What precautions should they take?
Dr. Levy: Snow shoveling can result in a rapid increase in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as muscle strains and aches, so anyone who is inactive or has a history of heart trouble or other risk factors should talk to their physician before tackling this task. If you're given the go-ahead, you still need to proceed with caution:

Start out slowly to avoid placing a sudden demand on your heart, as well as to avoid injuring muscles that aren't used to this activity. Take frequents breaks and stop immediately if you experience any difficulties. Always remember to protect your back muscles by using proper bending and lifting techniques and avoid any twisting movements. Dress in layers to prevent overheating, remember your hat and gloves, and wear shoes with slip-proof soles or strap-on cleats.

What are some guidelines for people of all ages to follow during winter sports and activities?
Dr. Levy: Don't mix strenuous cold weather activities with stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine, which increase the heart rate and cause blood vessels to constrict. Avoid eating heavy meals or drinking alcohol prior to outdoor workouts, and remember to stay well hydrated before, during and after.

Even with the best of precautions, muscle soreness from overexertion or bruising from falls and other accidents can occur. What do you recommend as treatments?
Dr. Levy: If there's pain and swelling from an acute injury, such as a blow from a fall or a twisted ankle, you want to apply ice (in an ice pack or wrapped in a thin towel for comfort) for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. You can do this several times a day for up to three days. For more general muscle aches and stiffness, a hot bath or shower will be soothing, as well as gentle stretching of the sore area. In both cases, you can also apply a cream or gel that contains arnica, such as Arnicare Gel, a topical homeopathic medicine, which naturally relieves muscle aches, stiffness, and swelling. It also lessens the discoloration from bruises, and it's safe for the whole family.

What can people do on a regular basis to be more prepared for winter workouts?
Dr. Levy: Taking a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement year round will help the body better handle the demands of winter activities. A regular program of stretching will increase your natural flexibility, and, of course, a regular exercise routine is ideal for overall health and vitality.

For more information, go to

-----Bevi Bags-----

It's a self- fill disposable drink bag-- invented by two local moms, designed for children with special diet or drink restrictions. With us this morning are the inventors, Kim Maguire and Eileen Walker.

How and when did you come up with the idea behind Bevi Bags?
A5-We worked together and talked endlessly about our beautiful families. My daughter, Shannon, has Downs Syndrome and Autism and I would spend time talking about how the hard plastic containers that I had to send to school with a mixture of juice and nectar to help my daughter's drinking skills often got discolored and retained odors. One day while driving home my friend called me and said, "How about if we created a disposable beverage bag that you could send to school with Shannon's drink and then it could be disposed of?" I agreed that it was a great idea and we set to work on it.

What did you realize as you were developing the product?
We realized that Bevi Bags would be helpful to children on restrictive diets. For example, we thought about Autistic children and how it has been seen that sometimes by removing gluten and casein from their diets can improve their abilities. The problem is that there are no gluten free juice boxes on the market. Bevi Bags allow a parent to purchase gluten free juice or soy milk and put it into a Bevi Bag for their child to consume at snack or lunchtime. Also, for diabetic children parents can purchase sugar free drinks and put them in a Bevi Bag for their child to consume at snack or lunchtime.

For more information, go to

-----HAIR LOSS-----

Old age and poor health are just a couple of the causes of hair loss. But there are solutions. With us this morning with tips is Dr. David Kingsley, author of the 'Hair-Loss Cure.'

Who suffers from hair loss?
Many people suffer from hair loss. 60% of women at some time in their life lose their hair and 80-85% of men.

Women of all ages can lose hair. From a teenager who is eating poorly, to a twenty-something who is anemic due to her heavy periods, to a thirty-year-old who has just had a baby, to a mature woman who is starting menopause.

Men of all ages can lose their hair. The percentage of men who lose hair corresponds closely with their age group. For instance, 20% of men in their twenties lose hair, 30% of men in their thirties, 40% in their forties, etc.

What are the common causes of hair loss and how are they different for men and women?
There are many causes of hair loss. Most common ones are heredity, hormonal problems such as thyroid, diet and stress. The difference between men and women, in the main more women have iron deficiency and also life changes such as having a baby, menopause and even going on or coming off the pill. Women tend to have more breakage and other hair problems associated with over-processing or hairdresser-mistakes than men.

What tips do you have for people who are starting to experience hair loss?
The first thing to do is - don't panic. The next thing is to go and find an expert who is going to find out why you're losing your hair. Then treat each of those 'whys'.

If you see an excessive quantity of hair fall for over a week or notice your hair thinning, I suggest seeing a specialist as soon as possible to find out the causes of the hair loss. Then use treatment(s) to help each of the causes. The quicker you act the better chance you have to get the hair loss under control and re-grow hair.

What are some of the current treatments for hair loss?
It is important to find out WHY you are losing hair to understand what the best treatments are. The current treatments for hair loss depend on what is causing the loss in the first place. If it's hereditary there's Propecia for Men, Minoxidil for Men and Women, and there's a new device called a LaserComb which was cleared by the FDA early last year. These are things that can be used in conjunction with an improved diet, a reduction in stress - again, it depends on why you are losing your hair.

How do you monitor the progress of your hair treatment?
There's two ways: One is fairly basic, if you color your hair you can see the re-growth of the colored hair or of the virgin hair. The other way if you don't color your hair or even if you do, you can see new hairs springing up particularly after you have just washed your hair. If those hairs taper to a point, then you know that they are new hair. Hairs that are 'flat ended' have either been cut or broken.

How long does it take to get results?
Unfortunately, it can take 3 to 6 months before you see results with any type of treatment. Some people see improvement more quickly, as soon as 2 to 4 weeks, however, it is important to remain patient with the treatment you are using for the full 6 months to give it a proper try, particularly for genetic hair loss conditions.

How do you measure if your hair loss is excessive or normal?
You measure if your hair loss is excessive or normal by looking at how much is coming out. For instance if you're seeing more hair falling out over a 7-10 day period than you have noticed in the past. The other way to find out is to see if there is any other hair thinning meaning that there are wider partings on your scalp.

The average amount of hair loss per day is between 40 and 120 hairs. However, If you're used to only seeing 50 hairs on average fall out during the wash or combing and now you're seeing 100 hairs then this is twice as many as what is normal for you. If this increase lasts for over a week, then it could be construed as excessive.