Health in a Minute – Fall 2023

Q. My teenage daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. I’ve noticed that lately her workload has increased, and she doesn’t seem to have energy for activities she used to enjoy. I’m worried she may be experiencing burnout – any advice?

A. It’s important to recognize that being an autistic individual comes with a lot of burnout just from having to exist in a neurotypical world with neurotypical expectations. Having to mask all day, taking in multiple sensory inputs, managing executive functioning impacts, etc. It can all build up and feel pretty overwhelming. Adding on increased academic expectations only increases that burnout. Make sure that she has time when there are no expectations placed on her, where she can be alone and do the things that relax and replenish her. She may need help identifying ways to unwind, but giving her permission to unmask and decompress is crucial for her mental health. You can also help her develop a strategy for tackling her academics in a way that feels less overwhelming. Maybe she needs to break things down into manageable steps and built-in breaks. Taking some of that pressure off will help mitigate burnout.
health in a minute fall 2023 | illustration of teen girl with burnout

Q. I’ve been dealing with enlarged pores on my face for years now. I’ve tried everything on the market, but I’m not seeing great results. Are there any treatments that could help?

A. Enlarged pores can be frustrating to deal with but with the advancements in aesthetics there are many solutions. Radio frequency microneedling and chemical peels are all fantastic options that can help minimize pore size. It’s also important to find the right medicalgrade skincare to protect and increase the longevity of your results.

Q. I’m getting married in just over a year, but I’m having a hard time bringing myself to do the necessary planning. I love my partner and I’m excited about our wedding, but I feel paralyzed by my anxiety – it’s very frustrating. Do you have any advice?

A. Congratulations! Planning a wedding can be so fun, but it can also be super stressful! When we think about anxiety, we want to think of it as a ‘messenger’ of some kind to let us know that things feel off or misaligned. I would first ask myself, ‘what are the things about this that are causing my anxiety?’ Am I trying to please too many people? Have I taken too much on? Do I feel responsible for the feelings of others? Are there things in your wedding planning that you can delegate to other people? Are there tasks that are actually not something you want to do but feel pressure to partake in? When you visualize the type of wedding you want, what does it feel like? Can you allow yourself to make choices based on what feels good for you and your fiancé and not focus on what you think other people want?
health in a minute fall 2023 | roses illustration

Q. I recently noticed a sore on my 73-year-old mother’s foot. She told me that it has been there for a while and doesn’t seem to be getting better, so I’m worried. Is this a normal part of aging or a sign of something serious?

A. Anytime there is a wound on the foot that is not healing normally, this should be addressed by visiting the primary care doctor or podiatric specialist. This condition is commonly caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), and if left untreated can eventually lead to limb amputation. The most severe form of PAD is critical limb ischemia which causes pain in the foot at night and sometimes during the day, wounds that don’t heal on the foot or toes, and even gangrene formation. Often the foot can be saved with early detection and intervention, and vascular surgeons can use noninvasive ultrasound testing to determine the location and severity of the blocked arteries. Through minimally invasive surgical techniques, many of the arteries can be repaired with ballooning or angioplasty, stenting, and even removal of the plaques by atherectomy.

Q. My child recently started going to school, and I’m a bit nervous about all the illnesses that get passed around at this age. Do you have any tips for keeping kids healthy during the school year?

A. The first step to keeping school-age children healthy is to ensure that they are up-to-date on routine visits with their primary care provider as well as vaccines, which provide protection against many serious infections. A well-rounded diet including lots of fruits and vegetables together with adequate sleep help the immune system fight infections. Children in elementary school should aim for 9 to 12 hours of sleep per night. We cannot completely prevent common viral infections, but there are steps we can take to decrease spread. It is helpful to teach our children good handwashing and how to cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing. Children should stay home from school for fever, vomiting, diarrhea, signs of severe illness, and as recommended by your child’s doctor. As always, you should contact your child’s doctor if you have questions. Wishing your child a happy and healthy school year!
health in a minute fall 2023 | child having a fever

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