Tips to keeping you and your family fit

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Family fitness can be a hard goal to reach. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 80 percent of both adults and adolescents don’t get enough physical activity to meet the recommended guidelines, which include 60 minutes of activity each day for adolescents and 75 to 150 minutes of activity per week for adults.

Fortunately, there are some fun and easy ways to get the whole family living a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to help guide you along the path to family fitness.

  1. Set goals together. Your goals can be anything, like limiting TV time, eating more vegetables, increasing activity or whatever else fits your family needs.

When you plan together as a family, make sure your goals are measurable and achievable. Set both small and large goals so that you can track your progress easily.

  1. Eat healthier meals. This can be difficult to do, especially if you’re crunched for time and have picky eaters. However, you can make small changes to your family’s diet without upsetting the delicate balance you’ve worked so hard to achieve during dinner time. Here are some tips to help you cook a healthier meal:
  • Use less sodium. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, if Americans reduced their sodium intake by 1,200 mg per day it could collectively save up to $20 billion each year in medical costs.
  • Don’t consume empty calories. Some of the most common foods Americans eat that are full of empty calories include soda, dairy and grain desserts, fruit drinks, whole milk and pizza.
  • Decrease the fat in your meals. Common foods with high saturated fat include lard, fatty cuts of red meat, coconut oil and high-fat dairy foods like butter and cheese.
  • Cook more vegetables. As a whole, Americans don’t eat the vegetables they should each day. Encourage your family to break away from the norm and eat more vegetables.
  • Reduce sugars and refined grains. The typical American diet intakes more than the recommended amount of refined grains and sugars. It’s a common trap to fall into, but can be easily avoided by changing the ingredients you use in meals.
  1. Be active together. Being active with your family doesn’t have to be a big hassle. Here are some ideas for simple, fun activities your family can do together.
    • Go for a bike ride.
    • Play a game of basketball, football, baseball, or any other sport.
    • Use your imagination to run from monsters or other pretended dangers.
    • Take the family pet out for a stroll.
    • Hike local nature trails.
    • Try geocaching.
    • Take a martial arts class or another course you can do together.
    • Train for and run in marathons and 5ks together.
  2. Encourage friendly competition. This can be an especially great way to motivate siblings. While you don’t want the competition to become too aggressive, a little competitiveness can encourage your kids and the rest of your family to push themselves harder and do more.
  3. Offer an incentive. Sometimes, the idea of exercising and eating right isn’t a good enough incentive by itself, especially for kids. You can encourage a healthy lifestyle by offering some type of reward, like special one-on-one time with parents or family friends, a family trip at the end of a successful and healthy year or a special activity of the family’s choosing.

For more ideas on how to keep your family fit, schedule an appointment with us today by calling 614.299.9909.

#MDcare4you, #OSUdoc

Sources: hhs.gov

Want to stop smoking but not sure where to start?

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80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths are due to smoking, and smokers are six times more likely to suffer heart attacks than nonsmokers. Every year, smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths in the United States alone,” according to everydayhealth.com.

Learning how to quit smoking starts with one day, one minute at a time. It is easier to set short milestones along the way and celebrate them with it with supportive friends and family.

The best way to begin is with a plan.
Staying busy will help keep your mind off your craving to smoke. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Write down a list of reasons for quitting and post it to your bathroom mirror so you can see it throughout your day.
  • Keep a running total of how much money you are saving by not smoking.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Use the patch
  • Seek out the support of friends and family to help you stay on track.
  • Keep in mind you can quit for your kids, family or loved ones
  • Chew gum, cinnamon toothpick or candy
  • Keep your hands busy with work or a fun hobby

Did you know smoking can cause wrinkles all over your body?
Quitting smoking has great beauty benefits to put the brakes on wrinkles. It contains thousands of chemicals that cause elastin and collagen to break down resulting in your skin losing its firmness. The nicotine narrows blood vessels resulting in a decrease blood flow decreasing the oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells. Not to mention, the skin can lose elasticity and can cause sagging in breasts and upper arms. Some studies have linked breast cancer to smoking and second-hand smoke according to everydayhealth.com.

Manage your triggers for success.
Triggers are situations, people or places that may give you a desire to smoke. By identifying what activities, you may associate with smoking may include talking on the phone, drinking, watching TV, driving, before bed or talking a work break. Social triggers are the occasions that typically include other smokers may include, going to a bar, party, concert or celebrating an event.

Understanding and identifying your emotional triggers you used to escape bad feelings or enhance a good mood such as:

  • Stressed
  • Anxious
  • Excited
  • Bored
  • Depressed
  • Happy
  • Lonely
  • Satisfied
  • Calming down after a fight

It is recommended ways to outsmart common smoking triggers:

  • Throw away your cigarettes, lighters, and ash trays.
  • Go to places where smoking isn’t permitted.
  • Get plenty of sleep and eat healthy. Being tired and stressed can trigger smoking.
  • Change your routine to avoid the things, places and situations you might associate with smoking.
  • Avoid caffeine and drinking water instead to avoid the jitters.
  • Spend time with non-smokers friends.
  • Talk about your emotions or journal
  • Listen to calming music

We recommend making an appointment with Dr. Schumacher to learn more about your health risks and options for smoking today by calling 614.299.9909.

#mdcare4you, #osudoc
Source: smokefree.gov, everydayhealth.com

Four Tips to Coping with a Gluten-Free Diet

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To eliminate gluten you must know what it is and where it can be found in your kitchen. Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten helps foods maintain their shapes, it is the “glue” that holds foods together such as breads, pastas, cereals and more. When you decide to eliminate gluten from your diet, whether it be for medical reasons or by choice, at first you may begin to think of all of the foods that you can’t have, which will drive you crazy. Instead focus on these tips on how to look on the bright side of a gluten-free diet.

  1. The Health Benefits. Switching to a gluten-free diet can have immense health benefits for your body, which is worth saying goodbye to some of your favorite foods. Here is a list:
  • Improves Cholesterol levels
  • Promotes healthy weight-loss
  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes
  • Increases level of energy
  • Eliminates unhealthy, processed foods from your diet
  • Promotes digestive health
  • Improves health of people who have irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis
  • Packs your diet full of fruits and vegetables, as they are all gluten-free
  1. You Don’t Really have to Say Goodbye to those Foods: For a food you love that is made with gluten, there is more than likely a gluten-free alternative. While it’s not a bad idea to use a gluten-free diet to focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, meats, and legumes, it is very easy now to find gluten-free alternatives to foods that commonly contain gluten in grocery stores. Just make sure it has a gluten-free label, and you can still access pastas, breads, pizzas, beers, and other foods that are typically made from wheat, rye or barley.
  2. You Can Still Eat Baked Goods. Have a sweet tooth? Then a gluten-free diet may be the right one for you. All you need to substitute out is the flour, which now you can buy all-purpose gluten-free flour blends. Also, there are pre-made gluten-free mixes sold for items such as brownies, muffins, cookies, and pancakes that are prepared so you don’t have to make baked-goods from scratch.
  3. You Can Still Go Out to Eat. Offering a gluten-free menu, or at the very least gluten-free menu items is now more the rule rather than the exception for restaurants. Always confirm your gluten concerns with the waiter and the chef to make sure your food is being cooked in an isolated environment, but other than that go out and enjoy your restaurant grade gluten-free pizzas, pastas, and so much more. Bon Appetit!

Instead of focusing on what you cannot have focus on the positives of going gluten-free, and all of the alternatives that our modern culinary environment has to offer. Find the goodness in gluten-free. Curious if this is the right diet for you? Schedule an appointment with us today at 614.299.9909!

Sources: celiac.org
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Three Tips to Help with Caffeine Addiction

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If you find yourself struggling with a caffeine addiction it may help to know that you are not alone. According to Health Research Funding at least 68 million Americans drink three cups of coffee everyday, 30 million Americans drinking five or more cups of coffee a day, over 21 million Americans drink more than six cups of coffee a day, and three out of four regular caffeine users are actually addicted to it.

Caffeine is the most consumed drug in the world. It is a stimulant drug, which means it speeds up the messages between the brain and the body. The way this drug is consumed in several delicious forms and helps us function better at work and on busy days makes it so attractive to us, but when does it get out of hand? You may have a caffeine addiction if it no longer has the affects on you that it once did, your daily caffeine consumption amounts are out of control, or if you find yourself unable to function without caffeine.

Regular, heavy consumption of caffeine can have a lot of long-term effects on your health such as:

  • Osteoporosis
  • High blood pressure and heart disease
  • Heartburn
  • Ulcers
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Infertility (in men and women)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Caffeine dependency

It may seem impossible to kick the addiction, but it is not. Here are three tips to help deal with a caffeine addiction:

1: One way to help the addiction is to quit caffeine all together. The first method for doing so is the cold turkey method. This is the fastest way to detox from caffeine and will help you realize the influence it has on your body’s functions. The downside is it may cause you to be out of commission from one to three days due to extreme withdrawal symptoms including:

-Fatigue and sleepiness        -Concentration impairment

-Depression                           -Muscle and pain stiffness

-Tiredness                              -Flu-like symptoms

-Headaches                            -Insomnia

-Anxiety and nervousness   -Constipation

With the symptoms of withdrawal being so taxing it is best to prepare for the cold turkey method. Plan so that the detox will take place over a weekend, have pain relievers on-hand and avoid driving, and prepare meals in advance like soup that are easy to digest. People who had been consuming large amounts of caffeine should prepare more than those detoxing from smaller daily amounts.

2: The second method used for quitting caffeine all together is the weaning method. Instead of quitting all at once you decrease your amount of daily consumption.  The goal is to reduce your daily intake (16 fl. oz. to 12 fl. oz. to 8 fl. oz., etc.) until you are having zero amounts of caffeine a day. The upside to doing it this way instead of cold turkey is that it is less of a shock to your system resulting in few to no withdrawal symptoms. The downside is that it will take a bit longer to detox the caffeine out of your system and it requires tracking and be diligent about how much caffeine is being consumed.

  1. If you do not wish to kick your caffeine addiction, but instead learn to manage it there are several ways to do so. One way would be to reduce the amount of caffeine you intake. Here is a visual from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation of how much caffeine exists in various beverages:

Caffeine chart
So if you wish to decrease your caffeine intake perhaps try going from a cup off coffee to a brewed black tea then to a brewed green tea. There are ways to gradually bring down how much caffeine you intake so that you are not dependent on the substance to function. Green tea is a great alternative to coffee because they both hold many health benefits, however a brewed green tea slowly releases caffeine throughout the day to keep you going unlike a cup of coffee. Another thing to try is only allowing yourself to consume caffeine before 10 am. Any caffeine consumed after 10 am can interfere with your sleep schedule and prevent you from falling asleep at night. After 10 am try switching to water. Being dehydrated is a main reason we feel tired, so drinking coffee all day is really counter productive when you should be hydrating yourself to stay awake.

The battle with caffeine is not an easy one by any means, but helping to keep your habit under control does not mean you have to give up your morning cup of Joe. Try these tips to help keep caffeine from controlling your life. For more information on how to handle a caffeine addiction schedule an appointment with us today at 614.299.9909!

#MDcare4you, #caffeine, #health
Sources: Chart from Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Head Lice Affects More than Just Children

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We are all familiar with the fact that head lice affects a lot of children, however head lice also regularly can take a toll on college students living in dorms, and nursing homes.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), head lice can be described as, “An insect of the order Psocodea and is an ectoparasite whose only host are humans. The louse feeds on blood several times daily and resides close to the scalp to maintain its body temperature.” Head lice are not known to spread disease, and can be found on the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes of their host.

It is a fact that head lice primarily affects children, but similar living situations that allow lice to thrive make it prevalent in college students and residents of nursing homes as well. Reliable data on how many people get head lice each year in the United States are not available because it is not mandatory to report cases of it. The CDC states, “Head lice should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard”, which is why there is no reliable data that exists on the number of cases that occur in a year.

The way that head lice are transmitted contributes to the fact that schools, college dorms and nursing homes are typically grounds for out breaks. According to the CDC head lice is transmitted by:

  • Wearing clothing, such as hats, scarves. Coats, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons worn by an infested person
  • Using infested combs, brushes or towels
  • Lying on a bed, couch, pillow, carpet or stuffed animal that has recently been in contact with an infested person

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Considering head lice are more prevalent in children, it is generally introduced into college dorms by student’s younger siblings, and into nursing homes by grandchildren. The lice will thrive in these environments because of bedding, furniture, carpet and the volume of people. As shown in the photo above, as the lice go through their life cycle this will call for repetitive treatment of the host, as head lice can live 30 days on the host and will reproduce during their stay. Another reason college dorms and nursing homes are often grounds for infestation is because if people are unaware that they have head lice or do not tell others, than it will make its way around the campus and the original host can be affected more than one time. Another way it can remain in dorms or nursing homes is if hosts refuse treatment and allow the lice to keep being passed around.

The best way to ensure you don’t contract lice is to stray away from common areas where people’s hair may come in contact with your head or with furniture. If diagnosed make sure to inform a school nurse, a resident advisor or a care giver to make sure you and everyone around you can be properly treated.

To effectively eliminate the head lice find out the recommended treatment based on your age and weight from a physician. To schedule a consultation please call us at 614. 299. 9909 today!

#MDCare4you #Grandviewdoc

 

Sources: Center for Disease Control (photo)

How can a rash be linked to arthritis?

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If you are struggling with psoriasis you may be comforted by the fact that you are not alone. Approximately 7.5 million Americans are living with psoriasis today. This condition is not contagious, but is actually a problem occurring within the immune system, known as an autoimmune disease. This chronic skin disorder occurs when you have skin cells that are multiplying up to ten times faster than what is considered the normal rate. As underlying skin cells reach the surface and die, it causes a raised amount of red plaques covered with white scales typically occurring on the knees, elbows, scalp and occasionally the torso, palms and soles of the feet.

Symptoms of this skin disorder are patches of red skin covered in loose scales that are typically itchy and can even be painful. These areas on the skin can become painful when they crack and bleed. In severe cases the areas of skin will grow and merge into one another causing it to cover large areas of the skin. The most common triggers for psoriasis symptoms to flare-up include:

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Stress
  • Skin injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Sweating in places that allows for a build up of yeast.

When you have psoriasis you also become at risk of having psoriatic arthritis, which leads to pain and swelling of the joints. These symptoms can occur anywhere on your body and can range from relatively mild to severe. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that 10%-30% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis involvement often is in individuals with less severe skin lesions.

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As shown in the graph above, Psoriasis can occur at any age. The skin disorder often develops between ages 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age. You can see in the graph, created from a pilot study done by Anais Brasileiros de Dermotologia, a dermatologist in Rio de Janeiro, the most common age range for people who have psoriasis is 30-39 years old.

With several types of psoriasis that have a variety of symptoms, the best way to tame flare-ups is to see a doctor to diagnose the specific psoriasis you have and come up with a treatment plan together. To schedule a consultation please call us at 614.299. 9909 today!

#mdcare4you, #Grandviewdoc

Sources: WebMD, SciElo (photo)

What is Cord Blood?

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Cord blood is blood that is stored in the umbilical cord, which is typically thrown away after birth, but when stored correctly has the potential to protect your children extensively in the future.

Bone marrow and cord blood contain HPC stem cells that have life saving potential. Children and adults of small size with certain diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and others can be injected with HPC stem cells, such as bone marrow or cord blood, to replenish their blood with new, healthy cells. These stem cells can also help the body to recover from some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

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As shown in the graph above, bone marrow used to be the primary way of having access to these stem cells, but cord blood use is rising in popularity. According to the Institute of Medicine, HPCs have saved more than 20,000 lives in the United States in recent years, although the majority are from bone barrow transplants rather than cord blood. There have only been about 6,000 reported cord blood transplants.

Soon cord blood may take the lead as a source of stem cells over bone marrow because it has some advantages including the fact that taking cord blood is simple and painless, cord blood does not have to be as closely matched to the patient as bone marrow, and cells from cord blood are less mature than cells from an adult’s bone marrow, so a recipient’s body is less likely to reject them. According to the National Institutes of Health, “In contrast to other unrelated donor sources, umbilical cord blood (UCB) is collected safely and painlessly, withstands long-term cryopreservation without loss of basic characteristics such as viability and function, and carries a low risk of transmitting viral infections and somatic mutations that could complicate patients’ clinical course after transplantation.”

When banking cord blood there are two viable options, private banking and public banking. Private banks might charge up to $1,800 for the initial processing of cord blood. After that, they charge an annual storage fee of roughly $100. Public banking gives parents the option of donating their child’s cord blood at no cost, which makes it available to anyone who needs it. However, in the event that your child ever needs the cord blood you donated to a public bank, odds are good that you will be able to get it back.

How to know which option is best for you? The prices of privately banking cord blood are high, but the odds that you will ever need to use it are low. Many medical associations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists don’t support the practice for most cases. They say the possible benefits are too remote to justify the costs. According to a 2005 editorial in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, the chances your child will need their cord blood is about one in 2,700. Cases where privately banking cord blood for your child or other family members is justified are when someone in your family already has leukemia, sickle cell anemia, or other blood disorders.

The best way to know what cord blood banking option is right for your family is to be informed! To schedule a consultation please call us at 614.299.9909 Today!

#mdcare4you, #osudoc

Diabetes can strike at any age.

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As shown in the graph from the Center for Disease Control below it is evident that childhood diabetes is on the rise in the United States.
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The most typical type to look for in children is type one. This is not to say that type two is not of concern, it just typically appears more in the late twenties to thirties. Let’s consider the risk factors and preventative measures of both types to make sure your child is covered:

Risk Factors of Type One Diabetes:

Family History: Anyone with a parent or siblings with type one diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition.

Genetic Susceptibility: The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type one diabetes.

Race: In the United States, type one diabetes is more common among non-Hispanic white children than among other races.

Risk Factors of Type two Diabetes:

  • Not active
  • Overweight
  • Other family members with type two diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • African American
  • Hispanic American
  • American Indian
  • Asian American

Environmental Risk Factors of both types:

Certain Viruses: Exposure to various viruses may trigger the autoimmune destruction of the islet cells.

Diet: No specific dietary factor or nutrient in infancy has been shown to play a role in the development of diabetes. However, early intake of cow’s milk has been linked to an increased risk of type one diabetes, while breast-feeding might lower the risk. The timing of the introduction of cereal into a baby’s diet also may affect a child’s risk of type one diabetes.

Signs it is Time to take your Child to see a Healthcare Provider:

  • If your child feels sick, tired, sleepy and thirsty
  • Goes to the bathroom to urinate frequently; gets up at night to urinate
  • Has no energy to play, work or have fun
  • Has blurry vision

The diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming considering it requires consistent care, medication and monitoring, but with adapting a healthy lifestyle of exercise, diet and taking the proper medication the disease becomes far easier to manage. If your child has the risk factors but has not been diagnosed take preventative measures to ensure they stay in good health and diabetes free!

To schedule a consultation please call us at 614.299.9909 today!

 

#mdcare4you, #osudoc
Source: Mayoclinic.com, Center for Disease Control (photo)

 

 

Signs of a Stroke

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A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. This deprives your brain of oxygen and nutrients, which can cause your brain cells to die. A stroke may be caused by a blocked artery or the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel. Some people may experience only a temporary disruption of blood flow to their brain. A stroke can sometimes cause temporary or permanent disabilities, depending on how long the brain lacks blood flow and which part was affected.

It is critical to act immediately if you suspect a stroke. Call 911 right away. Don’t wait to see if symptoms go away. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability. Emergency crews and staff have had success in treating strokes, but the essential element is immediate treatment.

Symptoms

Symptoms that you or another may have experienced a stroke include:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg.
  • Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others.
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Dizziness, trouble walking, or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Prevention

Healthy Diet. Choosing healthy meal and snack options can help you prevent stroke. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet can also lower your blood pressure. High cholesterol and high blood pressure increase your chances of having a stroke.

Healthy Weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for stroke.

Physical Activity. Physical activity can help you stay at a healthy weight and lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, such as a brisk walk, each week. Children and teens should get one hour of physical activity every day.

No Smoking. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your chances of having a stroke. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for stroke. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.

Limited Alcohol. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women only one.

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No Need to Suffer Allergies and Stress

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Oh, these beautiful warm spring days. Beautiful fruit and ornamental trees and flowers are bursting into bloom filling the air with fragrance and…ACHOO…pollen. For those of us who suffer seasonal allergies, spring can mean sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose.

Our friends at the Mayo Clinic have some suggestions to ease the misery for allergy sufferers.

The best time to be outdoors is right after a rain. The rain clears the air of pollen. Warm dry days can really aggravate those symptoms.

As much as you may enjoy and look forward to mowing the yard and working in the garden, those tasks should be delegated to someone else to avoid allergy irritants. Consider wearing a pollen mask if you have no choice about mowing and weed pulling.

Your local weather forecasts also include pollen measurements to help you plan your outdoor activities, and particularly the days to remain in an air-conditioned environment. The hot muggy days of summer often result in smog and air quality reports – another factor to consider when taking steps to avoid allergic irritants.

As with many physical ailments, the misery and discomfort resulting from allergic reactions can contribute to higher stress levels. Do not despair. Managing your allergies utilizing the suggestions above, in addition to the many ways you can alleviate allergic reactions by reducing your exposure are positive steps you can take to improve your overall health and reduce the stress that results from feeling poorly.

Dr. Schumacher and his medical team can provide you with the evaluation and care you need to identify your allergies and recommend treatment tailored for your relief. Give us a call today for an appointment. We are here for you, not the other way around.

#OSUdoc, #Mdcare4you