Articles written by Dr. Emily Kane


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  • Avoiding, treating a repetitive strain injury

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2024

    Q: I work at a keyboard and my wrists get really sore. What can I do to prevent damaging my hands and wrists? I can't quit my job. A: Repetitive strain injury from computer work is a widespread problem in this age of electronic communication. You may touch keys up to 200,000 times a day -the equivalent of your fingers walking 10 miles. Holding your wrists, hands and back straight while keyboard walking is crucial to ongoing comfort and prevention of strains and pains. When you work with straight wrists and fingers, the nerves, muscles and...

  • Reevaluating Alzheimer's treatments

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2024

    Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder, which presents with impaired cognition, and diminished quality of life for the patient but ultimately even more so for the caregivers. Prominent Alzheimer’s researcher Alexandra Oxford writes in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease: “For the last 25 years, clinical trials involving Alzheimer’s disease have centered on beta-amyloid (Aβ) and the Aβ hypothesis of Alzheimer’s progression and pathology. According to this hypothesis, the progression of Alzheimer’s disease begins follow...

  • 5 basic steps to improving digestion

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    1. I know you’ve heard this before, but it is so important that it bears repeating: Chew, chew, chew. This means both slowly and thoroughly. To be totally graphic about it, you want anything you swallow to be a soupy consistency. Especially meat. For starters, digestion starts in the mouth. There are thousands of tiny neuro-receptors in the mouth that send messages to the brain about what is about to come down the pike. These messages “prep” the entire digestive system to gear up for the meal or snack that’s on the way. Fatty foods will tr...

  • Self-care for the holidays and beyond

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Dec 1, 2023

    A reader emailed me this question: I want to take better care of myself, but I’m having trouble committing. Any tips for creating a good routine? Here was my reply. Thanks for sparking a good column topic! Intention is key. That’s the best place to start. You said “routine,” which may sound less-than-exciting. But, honestly, excitement is overrated. In fact, our bodies respond very well to routine at all stages of life. And we feel so much better, and act more considerately, when applying consistent self-care. The basics include making healthi...

  • Learn more about supplements and how to use them

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Oct 1, 2023

    Supplements are different than over-the-counter medicines because medicine is given to change the physiologic workings of the body-suppress cough, decrease mucus, dampen inflammation-whereas supplements are typically given to enhance the normal functioning of the body, or to promote the optimal expression of body and mind. Here are the four basic types of supplements, with information on how to take them. Food-like supplements, including vitamins, minerals and botanicals In general, it's best...

  • Maintaining muscle mass as we age

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2023

    Like keeping your bones strong, maintaining or even building muscle as we age requires daily movement and good nutrition. Staying strong as we age will not only be useful for hauling groceries, keeping our home clean, enjoying recreational activities, but also serve to elevate our mood. When it comes to muscle mass, the old adage "use it or lose it" definitely applies. Establish a routine Lifting weights is a proven method for building and maintaining both muscle mass and bone density as we age....

  • Studies debunk long-held cholesterol misconceptions

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    Most of us seniors have grown into adulthood "knowing" that total cholesterol levels over 200 "cause" premature death from cardiovascular disease. Like most medical facts, the truth is complex, nuanced and dependent on multiple variables. It is intuitively obvious that cardiovascular disease is more complex than the number 200. I hope we can agree on that. I have a family of Finnish patients who are hearty athletes (the type that skin up the mountain for spring skiing long after the lifts are...

  • Treat your stomach right and it will treat you right

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    Stomach acid blockers are some of the most popular medicines on the market. You can get them over-the-counter (OTC) in supermarkets, drug stores, gas stations, Costco, Amazon, you name it. They range in strength from Tums (basically just calcium plus sugar) to Protonix. The milder medicines (Tums, Rolaid, Alka Seltzer) bind up acid which is produced in your stomach at the beginning of your meals, whereas stronger medicines actually inhibit specialized cells in the stomach (parietal) from secreting acid. Many of these stronger PPIs (proton pump...

  • Keep an eye on your vision health

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2023

    If you wear glasses (or contacts) try to minimize their use to times when you are reading, driving or doing other precision work. But if you're just lounging around at home and can bathe, cook, garden, play a game, etc. without your glasses - do it. The more dependent you become on your glasses/contacts, the weaker your eyes become. Limiting your eyewear usage gives your eyes a chance to practice focusing unaided, thus strengthening them, and allowing for fewer prescription changes in the long...

  • Resolutions, opportunities for behavior change

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Dec 1, 2022

    Even though January first is just another day, many of us will invest some energy in reviewing our successes in the year flown by, and strategize for further personal gains in the precious time that remains ahead. This is an excellent exercise in self care, because really taking care of oneself requires strategy and commitment. There is no more valuable way to spend time, since taking care of yourself forms the basis of your authentic capacity to care for others, and all living beings including the air, water and soil. New Year’s resolutions ar...

  • The season of remembrance and giving thanks

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2022

    One of the most poignant exercises I have experienced was during hospice training in which participants envision, and write down, four favorite people, four favorite places, four favorite activities and four favorite objects. In the exercise, we strike off these precious parts of our life one at a time, saving the most well-loved until last. The objective is to understand the process of loss, which is an inevitable part of life, and certainly of aging. Most of you reading this will acknowledge that, in the grand scheme of things, we are the...

  • Healthy nutrition requires planning and effort

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2022

    There are many health benefits to getting leaner, going well beyond fitting more comfortably in your clothes. It is important to savor food, take time to cook nice meals and especially take time to chew and enjoy every mouthful. Food is so yummy, and relatively abundant compared to early days in Alaska where most pioneers, including the ones from 10,000 years ago, lived by subsistence hunting, fishing and gathering. The so-called “Green Revolution” in the 1970s (which began the widespread use of GMO seeds and chemical fertilizers) mas...

  • Focus on food, exercise for lifetime health

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2022

    Is your “lifestyle” correlated to your health? Although the intuitively obvious answer is a resounding “yes”, very little credence is given in the standard of care to the powerful impact of your day-to-day choices on your wellbeing. It’s not just about living longer, folks. It’s about living longer with energy, grace and satisfaction. Our health care system, unfortunately, is mostly monetized to support illness, not wellness. Therefore, we are largely on our own to promote and maintain good health. Fortunately, there is increasing awareness,...

  • Save your brain with these approaches

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|May 1, 2022

    An estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease today. This is nearly 11% of seniors in the U.S. The cost of caring for patients with Alzheimer’s is approaching $300 billion annually, which is greater than the economy of Finland. All cancer care costs in the U.S. last year approached $25 billion, by comparison. Your Medicare part B premium increased recently to cover the cost of a controversial and expensive new drug (Aduhelm). The drug doesn’t work very well, in part because it attacks amyloid plaqu...

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