To Your Health

With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized  yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.

Every Thursday at 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.

Local support for this program comes from Dr. Greg Pursley, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician, with PC Wellness Centers in Cape Girardeau.

flickr user LNB Photo (

Often times we think of the havoc our pets wreak on our holiday decorations. However, we also need to consider the health risks decking the halls can cause for our pets.

We hear about poinsettias being poisonous, but mistletoe and holly are even more toxic for pets. They can cause gastrointestinal illness, as well as cardiovascular problems, according to the ASPCA. If you have a live tree, make sure your pet can’t access the water, as it is a breeding ground for bacteria.

flickr user Justin Baeder (

The first Thanksgiving after my father passed away, we started hosting the feast at our house. I made a cranberry compote recipe I found in Better Homes and Gardens. I was feeling especially proud of making it from scratch as it gelled together when tears came to my eyes. Dad would have preferred the cranberries you slide out of the can and slice. The year of “firsts” following the loss of a loved one can be particularly challenging. And it’s common to have a swell of grief around the holidays.

A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that individuals who engaged in a creative hobby had an increase in well being that continued into the next day, contributing to an overall upward spiral of increased well being and creativity. Another study found that playing team sports can contribute greatly to mental, as well as physical health.

It’s clear that having hobbies is good for us, which is something to be thankful for.

Recent studies published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, suggest that dog ownership is linked to a 21% reduction in the risk of death for people with heart disease. Those studies complement a body of literature linking dogs to good health, which is something all pet owners can be thankful for.

The Beatles famously sang “I get by with a little help from my friends.” And in doing so, they give the definition of social support, which is definitely something to be thankful for.

Social support was first described by G.E. Moss in his 1973 publication Illness, Immunity, and Social Interaction. In the last four decades, the definition of social support has evolved. You could call it the exchange of resources with the intent to enhance well-being or just people helping people.