At Midwest Neurology Associates, Dr. Samer Kassar is well-known for diagnosing and treating difficult neurological disorders. Since our founding, we've delivered quality care to the communities within Lake County. Using the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic developments, we ensure a most accurate diagnosis and successful treatment.
Our brains consume a lot of energy, using up an average of 20 percent of the body’s calorie intake. They also require specific nutrients to function at optimum levels throughout the day. Below are four foods that you can add to your diet to feed your brain with essential nutrients.
Avocados are a great source of unsaturated fat, which may help to support the brain. Regularly consuming foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats can help to reduce blood pressure, and high blood pressure is associated with cognitive decline. Therefore, by bringing blood pressure levels down, the unsaturated fats found in avocados may help to decrease the risk of cognitive decline.
Peanuts are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals responsible for keeping the brain healthy such as Vitamin E and resveratrol.
Resveratrol is an antioxidant that is commonly found in peanuts, rhubarb, and mulberries. Recent evidence suggests that it may help to prevent neurological diseases, including Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
Soybean products contain high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols have been linked to reducing the risk of dementia and improving cognitive abilities throughout the aging process.
Most soy products also contain both daidzein and genistein. These chemicals are antioxidants and are thus beneficial to the brain and body in many ways.
Oily fish is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help to protect the cells throughout the brain and body by building membranes around them. Studies have found that people with high levels of omega-3 have increased blood flow to the brain, better cognition, and stronger thinking abilities. So, consuming oily fish regularly may help to boost brain function.
Other brain-boosting foods include dark chocolate, berries, nuts, seeds, whole grains, coffee, and eggs. Try and consume at least three of these foods in your daily diet to help protect your brain and improve its functionality.
As the leading provider of MS treatment in Crown Point, IN, our team works closely with patients to provide the most effective pain relief available to treat their symptoms. We use innovative technology to investigate biological disorders that cause pain to originate, and these can be behavioral, learning, and developmental sources. After determining these factors, we can create unique treatment plans for these individuals.
If you weren’t aware, diet can have a direct impact on headache pain. The overeating of, or lack of eating certain foods can even be the root cause of both headaches and migraines.
Avoiding Common Triggers
For migraine sufferers, there are often common trigger foods that they associate with the onset of a migraine headache. We recommend avoiding these foods and eating generous amounts of pain-safe foods at the same time. While participating in this diet, list whether or not migraines occur each day, and, if so, how often.
If changes in diet make your headaches become less frequent or disappear, the next step is to confirm the foods that are causing such problems. Do this by reintroducing foods one at a time, every couple of days, to see if you headaches come back.
Pain-Safe Foods for Headaches and Migraines
Pain-safe foods are food items that rarely contribute to headaches and other uncomfortable conditions. They include the following:
Cooked Green Vegetables
Cooked Orange Vegetables
Cooked Yellow Vegetables
Cooked or Dried Non-Citrus Fruits
Common Migraine or Headache Trigger Foods
If people are susceptible to them, common triggers can cause severe headaches in specific individuals. Alcoholic drinks such as red wine, caffeinated beverages, foods that contain MSG, and sweeteners can all trigger migraine headaches.
However, more common food items that have been associated with headaches and migraines often include:
Nuts and Peanuts
As suggested, try eliminating all trigger foods from your diet and then reintroduce them one by one over time. This is a great way to test your body and get to the root cause of your headache or migraine. For more information about headaches and migraines or to learn more about our MS treatment services in Highland, IN, fill out a contact form.
Our spines have one of the most complex, beautiful, and confusing designs in the animal kingdom. They are in an S-curve that is in constant need of support in every body position imaginable. When we stand up and sit upright, gravity pushes down on our backs (or the top part of the S), which forces our back muscles to work hard to prevent hunching over. This constant battle causes back pain, especially when we neglect to sit in a chair with lumbar support while working at a computer or remember to check our posture while standing in line to pick up ibuprofen.
Gravity also works against our spines when we sleep, except we have no control over our bodies’ posture while we are unconscious. This means that, though sleeping is an essential aspect of a healthy lifestyle, it can also be the leading cause of back pain when we wake up.
Back pain is one of the most common and distressing orthopedic issues among adults, even those with excellent posture. One way to soothe or prevent back pain or other back problems in later life is to purchase the right mattress on which to sleep. There are many aspects of a mattress you should consider before buying one, especially if your main goal is back relief or back pain prevention, but the most crucial element is mattress firmness.
Let’s explore mattress firmness in more depth:
Think of your S-curve spine lying down horizontally on a hard surface. It isn’t too difficult to picture the gap between the mattress and your lower back. In this instance, your muscles are at rest everywhere except for your lower spine, which remains unsupported and working against gravity for those long night hours. The result is back pain and soreness when you wake up.
Picture yourself lying on your back on a giant marshmallow. Sounds comfy, right? Well, at the moment it may be, but, think about the position of your body: hips sunk in, legs higher than your hips, head lower than your neck, and no support anywhere. This scenario, when applied to the act of sleeping on a soft mattress, depicts a body position that has your joints out of alignment and back muscles struggling to support the spine. This position also leads to pain and soreness in your back.
As you can probably see, there is a connection between sleep and back pain. And the best mattress option is one with a medium, “Goldilocks” firmness that is “just right” for back support. Memory foam is good for back support because it allows your body to sink in like a soft mattress, but it conforms to the curve of your body and to all the other natural gaps your body creates. Unlike a marshmallow or a firm plank, memory foam pushes up into those spaces, providing support to all of those straining muscles.
You spend at least one third of your life sleeping, so why not get a mattress that keeps you comfortable and supported? As mentioned above, there are many aspects to consider when purchasing the right mattress for your back. For a few more suggestions on what to consider, watch this short video.
3 Things to Look for in a Mattress to Prevent Back Pain - YouTube
Dr. Kassar, the lead medical practitioner at Midwest Neurology Associates, hopes that you found this post instructive and helpful in your search for a mattress that can prevent or reduce back pain. If you are experiencing back pain, need the best infusion therapy in Dyer, IN, or the same quality infusion therapy in Lake County, IN, and want to speak to a specialist, schedule an appointment today!
Sometimes it’s hard to always keep your head in the game – especially when an annoying headache or debilitating migraine takes over!
There can be many triggers, ranging from environmental to dietary, but below are five common ones you should be aware of. In fact, just being aware of these factors and learning how you can avoid them can help you ward off any future head-pounding episodes!
Fluctuating Sleep Habits. Not getting enough sleep, jet lag, and even sometimes sleeping too much can trigger a raging headache or migraine episode. An altered sleep schedule affects brain activity and can make you more open to aches and pains, as well as decrease memory and lower concentration.
Stress. Different for everyone, stress and anxiety can be set off by common things such as work deadlines, new social interactions, or driving in an unfamiliar area. Mostly it depends on the specific situation. Your stress level depends on how you personally react to common and uncommon life events and how prone to anxiety you are. Not surprisingly, stress directly correlates with headaches and migraines and can be a widespread trigger that is often challenging to manage.
Altering Hormones. Ever-changing hormone levels, especially estrogen in women, can trigger headaches and migraines. Many times, the week prior to a menstruation period, a woman’s estrogen level fluctuates and can set off a throbbing headache.
Bright Lights. Intense sunlight or fluorescent light can easily lead to head pain due to eye strain or a light-induced, overactive stimulation in the brain.
Missing Meals. Fasting or skipping a meal can bring on a headache or migraine without warning, due to low blood sugar or mild dehydration. Frequently skipping meals, yo-yo dieting, malnutrition, or iron deficiency anemia can easily be the enemy of a peaceful mind.
In addition to the triggers mentioned above, here are some more that may cause you a debilitating headache.
3 Common Headache Triggers - YouTube
Keeping an eye out for what specific triggers set you off is the best way of avoiding an excruciating headache or migraine. Keeping a daily diary of your routine – including meals, drinks, sleep patterns, medications, activities, and more – can help you identify what to look out for to avoid triggers and take control. Sharing that information with a trusted doctor, such as Midwest Neurology Associates, can make all of the difference. A fresh set of eyes can help you discover that something you think is fine is actually leading to unnecessary headaches. To find
You’ve probably heard it said that “sitting is the new smoking,” which is a dramatic way for health officials to warn an increasingly sedentary population that stressful office jobs and an ever-growing dependence on technology can, over time, be detrimental to a person’s physical well-being.
If you sit for prolonged periods every day and experience unexplained back pain, you’re not alone. Our team of Highland, IN, neurologists treats many patients dealing with back pain, and we know how all the time spent in uncomfortable chairs and crunched up on couches can contribute.
Sitting tight is not necessarily sitting right
In addition to holding us in place and preventing movement, most chairs are not designed to make us sit properly or to provide the right support. Our back area, spanning from the lower back all the way up through the neck, is a complicated system of bones, muscles, and nerves that all feed off each other. Stress in one area will contribute to stress in another. Sitting for long periods of time definitely causes stress.
If it’s not an option to utilize a standing desk or a customized ergonomic chair, our advice is to be mindful of the way you’re sitting.
Many people round their backs and hunch over their keyboard, making the body curve in a ‘C’ shape. This can cause the disks in the spine, whose job it is to absorb shocks, to break down. If you’ve ever suffered from a bulging or ruptured disk, you know how painful that can be. You want to keep your disks in good shape for as long as possible.
When you sit down, make sure your bottom is touching the back of your chair, your pelvis is lifted, and your lower back is slightly arched. Resist the urge to curve back into that ‘C’! If you find that yourself slipping, reset.
A stronger core = a happy back
It’s no secret that exercise is essential to any healthy, pain-free lifestyle, but just as it’s important how you sit, it’s important how you exercise. A big contributor to back pain is a weak core, an area of the body that includes not just your abdominal muscles but your entire pelvis, your lower back, and hips.
Strong core muscles help to stabilize the body in all activities, but also while you’re sitting down. Check out this brief video for a few core-strengthening suggestions.
3 Core Exercises to Help Minimize Back Pain - YouTube
Call Midwest Neurology Associates!
If stubborn back pain is cutting down on your quality of life, get out of that seat and take a walk…with your phone, while you call our neurologist office near Lake County, IN. We can discuss any of your pain management questions and help you set up a visit with our specialists today.
Are you struggling while living with chronic pain? Have you been searching for something to improve your pain so that you can function as you did before? If so, you may benefit from receiving massage therapy. The neurologists at Midwest Neurology Associates in Merrillville, IN, are encouraging their patients to get a massage. Massages are no longer limited to spa or salon days, massage therapy is now increasingly being offered standard medical treatments for a wide range of conditions and situations. There are several forms of massage therapy practiced to ease medical conditions including Swedish, Shiatsu, reflexology, and craniosacral therapy. Watch the video below to see if massage therapy may help your health.
Is Massage Therapy Right For You? - YouTube
At Midwest Neurology Associates, we provide comprehensive treatments for the disorders listed in the video and more for clientele throughout communities in Indiana. If you’re seeking a neurologist in Highland, IN, contact us today at 219-200-4676 to schedule a consultation!
Stress can be caused by a number of things, such as a demanding job, chronic pain or disease, or an argument with a friend or family member. At Midwest Neurology Associates, when patients come to us with problems like anxiety, trouble focusing, stress, disturbed sleep cycles, nervous tremors, and panic attacks, we always try to start at the source of the problem – the stress itself.
It is essential to learn stress management skills because of the emotional and physical health benefits it brings. Try adopting and practicing the following tips and see how it can improve your daily life.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
In general, relaxation techniques involve refocusing your attention on something calming and increasing awareness of your body. It doesn’t matter which relaxation technique you choose, even if you only do it for 10 or 15 minutes. Meditation, aromatherapy, music therapy, and guided imagery are all examples of relaxation techniques that you can apply to your current routine to help manage stress and anxiety levels.
It’s essential to try talking to people you trust, like friends, family, or a therapist, about what’s on your mind. People tend to feel better once they get their feelings out into the open, even if they’re not looking for specific advice. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone, we recommend keeping a journal. It’s incredibly therapeutic to get these thoughts out of your head into a conversation or onto some paper.
Get Into An Exercise Routine
There are an endless amount of studies on how exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being. Being active can boost your endorphins (which trigger a positive feeling in the body) and distract you from daily worries. Plus, almost any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever including yoga, pilates, or tai chi. Just be cautious to build up your fitness level gradually, overdoing exercise can lead to a possible injury. If you weren’t actively exercising before and you have health concerns, it is recommended speaking with a doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Get More Sleep
Did you know that a lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress? Pushing yourself to have a proper sleep cycle, and making it a habit of getting sleep when you need it is a fantastic way to manage stress. There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Avoid caffeine as well as excessive alcohol during the evening because both can lead to disturbed sleep.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Expecting too much from yourself can be damaging to your self-esteem and overall well-being, causing unnecessary stress. It’s great to set high standards for yourself, but it’s also vital to be reasonable. Having reasonable, realistic, and healthy expectations of yourself is crucial to managing your stress.
Each person has his or her unique stressors, so managing stressors will vary from person to person. When you schedule an appointment with our nerve block treatment specialists in Merrillville, IN, they will assist you in pinpointing the best way to manage your stress to restore your life to a comfortable standard.
How Midwest Neurology Associates Help You Manage Stress - YouTube
It is not uncommon for a neurologist in Merrillville, IN, to recommend that patients suffering from chronic pain undergo a nerve block treatment. Initially, some patients may have reservations about the treatment, but once the treatment process is explained, those same patients have come to appreciate the pain relief that nerve block treatments offer.
We’ve created this detailed overview of a nerve block treatment to help patients who are considering undergoing the procedure get a better understanding of how it works and the many benefits it can offer.
What is a Nerve Block?
While there are several types of nerve block treatments available, in general, a nerve block consists of temporarily or permanently disrupting the activity of a specific nerve or multiple nerves. This disruption can be achieved in many ways depending on the case, but the overall goal of the producer is to decrease the severity of pain in a certain region of the body by blocking nerve activity.
There are three common types of nerve blocks:
Local Nerve Block – consists of injecting or applying local anesthetics to a certain area of the body that is experiencing pain.
Neurolytic – uses alcohol, phenol, or thermal agents to treat chronic pain conditions.
Surgical Nerve Block – is performed by a neurosurgeon and involves surgically removing or selectively damaging certain areas of the nerve.
Nerve block treatment can be used to minimize pain in many regions of the body including but not limited to:
Why Should I Have a Nerve Block Treatment?
Nerve block treatments serve a double purpose for patients experiencing chronic pain. As we previously mentioned, a nerve block treatment can be used to reduce pain throughout the body, but they can also be used by neurologists to diagnose chronic pain conditions. A nerve block is often used by doctors to pinpoint the exact cause of chronic pain conditions by narrowing down the problem area.
The ability to pinpoint problem areas is especially beneficial for patients who suffer from multiple pain generators. With the ability to narrow down pain generators, doctors can focus their treatment efforts on the areas of the body that need it most. If you are a patient who has multiple pain generators, you will more than likely need to undergo multiple treatment sessions to identify and treat each pain generator.
Those interested in learning more about how a nerve block treatment can reduce their chronic pain can find a neurologist near Lake County, IN, by calling 219-200-4676.
According to an article published by Everyday Health, over 76 million Americans aged 20 and older experience chronic pain. Many experts also agree that chronic pain (pain lasting 12 weeks or longer) is much more than just a physical and emotional experience, but a disease.
How much pain is too much pain, though? How do you know when it’s time to see a pain specialist for your chronic migraines or stubborn lower back pain? A lot of people will first turn to their primary physician in Lake County, IN, for pain management, but a pain specialist that caters to your unique neurological condition will have you feeling better much faster. Is it time that you finally see a pain specialist? Here are three signs you should.
You Take More and More Medications and Still Have No Pain Relief
When you take the same medications over a period of time, eventually you will build a tolerance. Over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Advil will only go so far until you feel little to no relief at all from them. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s time to find a new way to treat your pain by visiting a pain specialist. They will review the medicines you’ve been taking and find alternatives to help manage your pain more effectively.
The Pain is Daily and Has Exceeded Three Months
Acute pain will resolve itself and generally get better within a 12-week span. Chronic pain, on the other hand, exceeds three months and is much more severe. Chronic pain almost always needs intervention and treatment from a pain specialist. Some commons forms of chronic pain are linked to conditions such as headaches, arthritis, cancer, nerve pain, and back pain. If you are experiencing daily pain that is associated with any of the conditions mentioned above, contact the Highland, IN, pain management specialists at Midwest Neurology Associates for help today.
The Pain Impedes Your Sleep & Daily Life Activities
When your chronic pain starts to interfere with your daily life activities such as walking, sleeping, and even just watching TV on the couch, it’s time to call a pain specialist. They will be able to pinpoint the exact location where the pain is originating from and create a pain management program that is specific to your condition.
There is an alternative to living in pain, and it starts at Midwest Neurology Associates. Learn more about how we can help you conquer your chronic pain once and for all my scheduling an appointment today.
Our brain is the most complicated organ of the entire human body. It is the command center for our central nervous system, allowing us to talk, chew, breathe, and more. In fact, pretty much everything we do is due to our properly functioning brain. In addition to controlling our physical aspects of life, the brain also controls our thinking, emotions, how we behave, how we perceive and understand what’s around us, plus so much more.
While you probably knew about these standard and basic functions of the brain, our Crown Point, IN, neurologists at Midwest Neurology Associates have a few more fun and interesting facts up our sleeve that we’d like to share!
A woman’s brain weighs approximately 2.6 pounds and a man’s weighs in around 2.9 pounds. You would think the bigger the brain, the smarter the person, but that is entirely false. Albert Einstein was one of the most intelligent human beings to walk to the earth, and his brain weighed in at around 2.7 pounds.
Synaesthesia is a condition of the brain in which those diagnosed can hear colors, smell words, or see a concept. The condition was first discovered and observed in the 19th century and is caused by brain trauma or some type of degeneration.
Did you know that 75% of the brain is made up of water? That’s why even the slightest bit of dehydration can debilitate our normal brain functions.
Doctors and scientists are still unsure of how or why we dream. Some suggest that dreaming is a way to “exercise the brain” and keep it stimulated while we sleep, and others believe it’s a way for the brain to absorb thoughts and memories from the day.
When a friend or sibling tickles you, this stimulates the millions of nerve endings you have lying beneath the skin. In turn, you either laugh and squirm in delight, or cry and squirm in pain. However, if you were to trying to tickle yourself, the cerebellum would prevent you from doing so. The cerebellum, which is responsible for the body’s physical movement, can predict the sensation that is about to happen, and prevent you from reacting to it.
While these are just a few fun facts about the human brain, if you’d like to learn more, stop by to see one of our Highland, IN, neurologists at Midwest Neurology Associates today!