To Do: Forever Young Health Event with Dr. Andrew Weil

Okay, so you’re not going to live forever, but what if you could feel forever young?

That’s the premise of Philly’s first annual Forever Young health and wellness event helmed by internationally recognized integrative medicine pioneer, Andrew Weil. On October 21, Dr. Weil will join a host of special guests for the daylong event, which will feature classes, interactive demos, food tastings, a bookshop, and more than 40 exhibitors promoting healthy aging in adults. Event speakers, demonstrations, and exhibitors will focus on the four pillars of health: physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional. All proceeds support Raymond and Miriam Klein JCC services for vulnerable seniors throughout Philadelphia. For more information, go here. To buy your tickets now, go here.

$15 in advance, $20 at the door, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sheraton Philadelphia, 201 N 17th St, Philadelphia.

>> Have a health or fitness event you’d like to share with Be Well Philly readers? Email with details.


How Can I Avoid Utter Exhaustion After Daylight Savings?

“The most important thing is to make sure you don’t go into [daylight saving time] sleep-deprived. How you feel today is not just a function of how well you slept last night, but of the amount of sleep you’ve had over a period of time. You want to avoid sleep interruptions, like noise, light, and caffeine or exercise before bed. If you’re lying in bed unable to sleep, get up and do something until you feel sleepy. The worst thing to do is lie in bed awake. You’ll just worry about not sleeping.”

Allan Pack, a sleep specialist at Penn

>> Check out all our Ask a Top Doc questions

Sleep Success: A Doctor’s Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

To really get going in the morning, I need my unsweetened iced tea with lemon from Dunkin’ Donuts and a great song on Pandora. But that’s not the problem—the problem comes before this routine, when I actually have to drag myself out of bed. Even though an hour was just added to our sleep time (thank you, daylight savings), the extended night does little to overshadow the dark, cold winter mornings we have to look forward to in the next few months.

I wanted to know: How can I wake up and crawl out from under my warm covers feeling brighter, well-rested and—dare I say it—happier?

I asked Karl Doghramji, medical director at Jefferson’s Sleep Disorders Center, for tips on how to get the kick-in-the-butt I need in the a.m. He came back with a solid list of do’s and don’ts, and some tricks for getting the Zzzzs I need.

So I did what any good reporter would do: I tried them out. Here’s how it went.

Read more »

Have a Medical Question? Ask a Top Doc

We’ve all been there: Head to the doctor’s office with a list of question, but by the time you get there you’ve forgotten them all. Or, let’s be honest, you whimp out.

Be Well Philly wants to help. If you have a medical question—whether it’s something you’ve always wondered about the human body or a question you’re too sheepish to ask your own doc—we’ll find the right doctor to answer your question. After all, we have a whole boatload to choose from. So why not put our resources to good work?

Then, every so often we’ll post an Ask a Top Doctor question here on the blog (we’ll ask permission to publish your name, of course). Because if it’s something you’re wondering about, there’s a good chance someone else has been thinking about it, too.

So go ahead—lay ’em on us. The doctor’s in.

E-mail questions to Emily Leaman at Or tweet us @bewellphilly.

Ask a Top Doctor: “Can I Get An STD From Trying On a Swimsuit?”

“It’s extremely unlikely that anyone would contract a disease or infection like herpes or gonorrhea from trying on a bathing suit, because viruses and bacteria can only live outside the body for a short time. However, crabs are highly communicable. If you were to try on an infected swimsuit without wearing underwear that adequately covers your privates, you could wind up with very annoying guests.”

Ask a Top Doctor: How Do I Stay Healthy When Traveling This Season?

Q: I’m flying over the holidays and I almost always pick up a cold whenever I step foot on a plane. What can do I do to stay healthy?

A: Getting sick when you travel is one of the biggest bummers of the holiday season. Not only are you far from the comforts of home, but you’ve paid money and taken time off to enjoy wherever you’re going—not to be holed up is a guest bedroom or hotel somewhere stockpiling Kleenex. Unfortunately, it’s entirely too easy to pick up festive bugs when you’re flying.

“When you’re on a plane in an enclosed area with several hundred people, proximity is the issue,” says Mike Cirigliano, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “If there’s a person coughing or sneezing in the row in front of you or two rows behind you, there’s a good chance you’ll be exposed to viral particles.” That said, there are a few things you can do to outfit yourself to stay healthy this season—and no, mask-wearing people, you don’t have to go that far. See Dr. Cirigliano’s tips below. Read more »

Ask a Top Doc: Is There a Fast Fix for Post-Nasal Drip?

“Whether you have allergies, a sinus infection, or chronic congestion and a runny nose from the common cold, the best way to treat the ever-annoying post-nasal drip is with a prescribed nasal steroid, like Flonase. Unlike steroids that body builders use, this is a topical steroid that you spray into the nasal passageway. It reduces the inflammation in the nasal passages, allows drainage if you’re congested, and, most importantly, decreases the amount of mucus—aka snot—you’re producing. Two puffs per nostril every evening should do the trick. Just make sure you don’t use over-the-counter nasal decongestants like Afrin for more than three days at a time, as they can damage the lining of the nose and lead to chronic congestion.  Never take an antihistamine unless you are sure your symptoms are due to allergies— it could make your mucus thicker.”

Ask a Top Doctor: How Can I Teach My Kid to Swallow Pills?

Illustration by Justin Renninger

With the last great summer hurrah arriving this weekend, chances are you’re more concerned about your kids getting one last bad bout of sunburn or swimmer’s ear than strep throat or bronchitis. But if your child is among the 40 percent of Americans who has trouble swallowing pills, now is the perfect time to make sure little ones will be able to swallow a taste-free pill rather than that awful bubblegum-flavored liquid Amoxicillin should they get sick this season. We spoke to Top Doctor and pediatric specialist Harold Gordon of Bryn Mawr Hospital for tips on teaching your kids how to swallow pills — and why you should start today. — Maggie McGrath Read more »

Ask a Top Doctor: Do My Kids Need to Wear Sunglasses?

“The greatest amount of UV damage to the eye happens in the first 18 years of life, so it’s even more vital for children to wear sunglasses than it is for adults. Give your child sunglasses as soon as he or she will keep them on, and you’ll help delay the onset of later-in-life eye problems like cataracts. Look for lenses that are shatter-resistant, that light can’t get into from any angle, and that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays — UVB is the most dangerous. Glasses without UV protection cause pupils to dilate, exposing them to greater harm.”

Have a question for a Top Doctor? E-mail

What’s the Best Way to Treat a Jellyfish Sting?

Illustration by Justin Renninger

Forget about sharks — as August approaches, the Jersey Shore will enter its peak jellyfish season. Though these creatures aren’t typically deadly – not the ones we get here, anyway – they are slimy, creepy, and just plain unpleasant if they happen to sting you. And since myths abound in regards to the best treatment (should you really pee on a sting?), we asked Jefferson University Hospital Director of Travel Medicine and ER doc Ken Neuburger for tips on what to do the next time you’re stung. Read more »

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