Special Issues » Thrive 2007

HEALTH ‌ How to Eat Fried Worms

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How to eat fried worms

The Lowcountry Food Bank is building a garden. They're going to feed spoiled food scraps to redworms gallivanting through soil in a rain barrel to produce a rich, natural black fertilizer to reuse in a food garden to help produce goods for shelters they serve. The worm-to-fertilizer process is called vermicomposting, and life is good for these worms as they get to eat veggies and fruit, coffee grounds, and tea bags. LFB Nutrition Coordinator Germaine Jenkins thinks gardening is a good workout and a fine way to get the family together. Her kids liked vegetables more when they had to work for their dinner and knew where the tomatoes had come from. A few Lowcountry neighborhoods even have community gardens where they work as a team to cultivate the Earth. Jenkins thinks this a good way to get her clients off the internet and back outdoors around their neighbors. To start a neighborhood garden or help LFB build theirs, call Jenkins or Margaret Grant at 747-8146. —Lindsay Sainlar

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Doctor Nerds Cure GERD

You're lying in bed when you suddenly feel a warm sensation creeping into your stomach. You hold your breath as it flames up your esophagus and sets your heart afire. Sounds pretty gruesome, doesn't it? But for the 15 million Americans suffering from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), also known as severe acid reflux, this scenario is all too common. Acid reflux victims spend over $13 billion a year on over-the-counter and prescription medicines to soothe their pains. However, these medications treat only the symptoms, instead of the underlying cause, leaving most patients at risk for Barrett's esophagus, one of the fastest growing forms of cancer in America. Fortunately, MUSC has recently introduced the Plicator Procedure, a simple, endoscopic outpatient procedure. The 20-minute procedure is designed to correct the GERD defect valve and tighten this valve to prevent stomach acid from coming back up, giving most patients immediate relief. To schedule your Plicator appointment or for more info, contact Laura Lail, nurse coordinator at MUSC, at 792-6981. —Ashley Lewis

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Control your failure

Chronic renal failure impacts more than 400,000 Americans. Unfortunately, 90 percent of all renal failure patients have to receive hemodialysis from a clinic three times a week for several hours, leading to understaffed and overcrowded clinics. But finally, there's hope. The Renal Advantage, Inc. clinics in Charleston, located at 9305 Medical Plaza Dr. (572-1660) and 2080 Charlie Hall Blvd. (766-4655), offer the NxStage, a portable hemodialysis machine that allows patients to do their dialysis on a daily basis for shorter periods of time. Unlike other hemodialysis machines that may require essentials such as water and electricity, the NxStage is easy to use and allows patients to perform dialysis from the comfort of their own home. With this new therapy, patients are able to enjoy a greater quality of life and health benefits. And in the end, that's what really matters. —Ashley Lewis

WATCH YOU MOUTH

Oral health may seem like a chore — brushing, flossing, and gargling are the last things people want to do on a Saturday night. But get this: oral cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths. While the number of overall cancer deaths and incidents have gone down, oral cancer deaths have increased. However, there's recently been a breakthrough as far as early detection goes with ViziLite, a non-intrusive sort of "mammogram for the mouth" that's been approved by the FDA. Go to www.vizilite.com to find local doctors and dentists who have the mouthwash and black light wand that can detect precancerous cells. Gums shine bright white under the glowing wand when there's abnormal cell activity. If found early enough, there's a 90 percent chance to successfully fight the precancerous cells. —Lindsay Sainlar

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The recently opened MoM Spa in Mt. Pleasant (located at 920 Houston Northcutt Blvd.) is sure to become a staple in any woman's pregnancy routine. Founded by Christy Schachte in memory of her mother, artist Pati Crosby Croffead, the MoM Spa is the only location in Charleston that offers the innovative fertility massage. Formatted for each trimester, body type, and medical history, the massage is designed to target all areas of discomfort and is performed by nationally-certified massage therapists who are also certified in prenatal and related bodywork. Mommies-to-be can also enjoy a reduced level of stress, helping encourage the success of natural as well as IVF conception, through the fertility massage, which aims to "open, cleanse, and balance the body in preparation for conceiving." For more info on the MoM Spa, call 849-4955 or visit www.themomspa.com. —Laura Zapp

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