Restless Leg Syndrome and Chronic Venous Disease

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that involves abnormal sensation and movement in the legs. People with RLS experience an unpleasant feeling or sensation in their legs when they lie down or when they are sitting still for an extended period of time. Most commonly this occurs when they are getting ready to go to sleep or when they are relaxing after a long day. Most people will feel a strong urge to move, and while moving sometimes makes the symptoms lessen, the need to constantly reposition and move makes rest and sleep challenging. Most people with RLS complain of not getting enough restful sleep.

When you sleep poorly, your daily tasks become more difficult and work productivity is noticeably less efficient. Often times a clear cause for restless legs is not evident which is why it is important to see a doctor and get an accurate diagnosis and then help to manage your symptoms.

While some people who seek treatment do not have any underlying problem, many patients who have varicose veins and RLS often describe improvement or resolution of RLS symptoms following treatment of their varicose veins.

The main symptom of RLS is an irresistible urge to move because of uncomfortable and sometimes painful sensations deep within a part of your body. In the case of venous insufficiency, blood that has already delivered oxygen to the tissues of the legs is inefficiently removed from the legs and causes the muscles and nerves in the leg to begin to react to this. The body makes an effort to move the legs and make the muscles help pump blood back to the heart and lungs where it is meant to be. When the blood is pumped out of the legs the symptoms get better. Most patients will describe RLS symptoms that are worse after a physically active day.

At first, symptoms may be mild and occur intermittently. However, symptoms often get worse with age. People over 50 often describe their symptoms related to this condition as occurring daily and can become a problem and cause a decline in quality of life.

If you experience these symptoms, you need to be seen by a medical professional and have a comprehensive history and physical examination.

If you have symptoms of restless legs, visible varicose veins, swollen legs or discolored skin on your lower legs, you should be evaluated for underlying chronic venous insufficiency. The professionals at Circulatory Centers are well equipped to evaluate you and determine if an underlying treatable cause for your symptoms exists.

Call 800.342.8918 to schedule a FREE consultation at one of our eight Ohio locations today!

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How to Plan the Perfect Picnic?

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's JournalHow to Plan a Perfect Picnic!  Submitted by The Medina County Health Department

PerfectPicnicNo ants, no bees, no food poisoning!  What better way to celebrate a beautiful summer day than with a picnic outside at the park, at the beach, or even in your own backyard.  Here are some tips to keep your picnic perfectly safe:

Plan ahead so you don’t forget essential items such as a food thermometer, cooler chest with ice, plenty of clean utensils, storage containers for leftovers, hand soap, paper towels, and trash bags.  Find out ahead of time if you’ll have running water, grills, picnic tables, and trash receptacles at the site.

If clean water will not be available, be sure to bring plenty of water for drinking, handwashing, and dishwashing.  Avoid drinking and using water from ponds, lakes, and streams.

Pack dish detergent to wash dishes or bring disposable utensils, plates, bowls, and cups.

In preparation for your picnic, don’t thaw meat on the counter overnight—that’s not safe.  Thaw food in the refrigerator or cook from the frozen state.  Cooking frozen meat or poultry will take approximately 50% longer than the recommended time for fully thawed or fresh meat and poultry.  Don’t partially cook meat and poultry ahead of time.  That can be risky.  It’s safest to cook meat and poultry to a safe internal temperature at the picnic.

For a worry-free picnic, place perishable foods, such as hot dogs, burgers, poultry, deviled eggs, and macaroni or potato salads in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.  They need to be kept cold at 41ºF or below. Also store raw meats separately to keep juices from dripping on other foods.

When you arrive at the picnic site, the first task is to wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food.  If running water is not available, use disposable wet wipes. Apply hand sanitizer to clean hands before touching food and after touching raw meat as well as after changing diapers, using the restroom, or handling pets.

Don’t leave foods out in the sun. Keep the cooler in the shade.  Serve food quickly from the cooler and return it fast.  In hot weather, above 90ºF, food shouldn’t sit out of the cooler over an hour. Since beverage coolers tend to be opened frequently, store them in a separate cooler.

Cook meat and poultry to a safe temperature as measured with a food thermometer.  Just because a hamburger looks done on the outside doesn’t mean it is done on the inside.  Use your food thermometer to be sure! Insert the thermometer in the thickest area of food. Fish, steaks, and pork should be cooked to 145ºF; ground meats (hamburgers) to 155ºF; and poultry and stuffed foods to 165ºF.

Insulated containers and foil should be used to transport hot foods from home. Check in advance if electrical outlets are available for keeping foods hot in roasters and crock pots.

Serve food items  from the grill on a clean platter.  Don’t use the same plate and utensils for cooked food that were used for the raw food.  Use a clean plate and utensil set for cooked food.

Don’t forget to unpack that cooler as soon as you return home.  Refrigerate leftover meats and salads which have stayed cold; discard if they can’t be refrigerated or stored in ice within an hour of serving .

For more information about food safety, contact the Medina County Health Department at 330-723-9688, option 3.

Buzz-worthy trend – CLEAN eating!

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

Buzz-worthy trend – Clean eating!  Clean Eating is a major food movement, spurred by people from all walks of life, who want to feel good about what food they’re putting in their bodies.

CleanEatingWhat is CLEAN eating all about?

Clean eating is a growing trend among people focused on health and wellness. A relatively simple concept of selecting foods that are minimally processed; clean eating intends to instill a greater understanding of the pathway between a food‘s origins and the final products that end up on grocery store shelves,dinner tables and our stomachs.

Choosing whole or “real” foods that are as close to their natural forms as possible is a staple of clean eating. The availability of convenience foodproducts has never been greater, and not all packaged foods are unhealthy. But clean eating encourages consumers to be more aware of the ingredients in the foods they eat while selecting those foods that are minimally processed. Many foods designated as “clean,” including vegetables and fruits, whole grains, free-range meats, low-fat dairy products, unsalted nuts, and whole seeds, are straight from the farm.

Another component of clean eating is eliminating or greatly reducing the consumption of refined sugar. Many health experts advise that refined sugar is a large contributor to unnecessary calories. Many people can get all the energy they need by consuming foods with natural sugars.

If an ingredient list includes names you cannot recognize or if the natural form of the food has been changed (i.e. removing the bran from whole grains), it cannot be included in a clean-eating plan. Also, foods that have a lot of additives, including salt, sugar and fat, are not classified as Clean.

Jessica Fanzo, assistant professor of nutrition at Columbia University, advises that not all food processing is bad. Processing is sometimes necessary to prevent pathogens that can lead to illness. For example, pasteurizing milk is a processing method, but one that some people feel is necessary to stop the proliferation of bacteria. Even steaming foods is processing in some form, but it is not on par with some of the overly processed foods available.

The benefits to clean eating are numerous. Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables can boost your immune system and serve as a nutritious way to maintain a healthy weight. Clean eating may help you become more conscious of everything from meal ingredients to portion sizes.

Those interested in Clean eating can begin slowly. Start to introduce more fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and farm-fresh foods into your diet. Look for foods in their natural form, such as whole oats and other grains. Avoid highly refined ingredients and limit sugar and salt intake. Opt for fresh herbs and spices to season food. Over time you can make other changes.

Adopting a clean-eating approach to your diet is a great way for men and women to start living healthy lifestyles. Speak with a doctor or nutritionist about healthy and effective ways to transition to Clean eating.  Let me know how it goes.

The Healthy Medina initiative can help.  Visit for more information.



5 Tips to Sell Your Home This Spring

deb holmBy Deb Holmstrom, Berkshire Hathaway Kovack Realtors


1. Put A Plan In Place. Develop a plan of action before you sell your home. Are you planning on buying another home once your home sells? Do you have the option to move in with family? Can you rent, if need be? Can you buy before you sell?

2. Consult a Lender to Find your “Purchasing Power.” I would be happy to recommend local lenders committed to customer service.

3. Clean and Organize. Give your home a thorough “spring cleaning.” Clean out closets and pack away items you do not use. It’s important that you de-clutter and organize your home. Don’t forget to go the extra mile, wash your windows, dust your blinds, dust baseboard trim and clean appliances.

4. Interview Prospective REALTORS®. It is critical when selling a home that you interview a REALTOR®. As the weather warms up the top producing REALTORS® will only continue to get busier. Now is the time to start reaching out to the agents you think would be a
great representative to sell your home.

5. Be Proactive and Prepare. A licensed Realtor will help you prepare and navigate every step of the process. As a full time Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Kovack Realtors, I am committed to meeting the needs of my clients while we travel through the process of buying and selling a home. I would love to meet with you and help you sell or buy your next home sweet home.

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Veggie garden tips for beginners!

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

Veggie garden tips for beginners!

PalletteHerbPlanting a vegetable garden can be a worthwhile endeavor for anyone who has an available patch of land. Gardens don’t need much space, and even apartment and condo dwellers without yards can plant small gardens in containers they place on patio’s or window boxes.



Although establishing a garden is easy enough, beginners may make a few mistakes along the way. Those who already have paved the garden way before can offer novice gardeners some worthwhile tips.

One of the first decisions novice gardeners must make is which crops to grow. This will help determine how much land you will need and which supplies or soil amendments will be necessary. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a common error for beginners is planting too much and more than anyone could ever consume, so it’s best to start small and be proud of that small garden.

Plants such as peppers, squash and tomatoes produce throughout the season, so you may not need many plants to provide for your needs. Less prolific plants may require a greater investment to produce a similar yield.

Locate your garden in an area that gets adequate sun. Many vegetables need between six and eight hours of sunlight per day. Without enough light, they will not bear as much and could be susceptible to insect infestation. Vegetables and fruit also need plenty of water because they’re not very drought-tolerant, so keep gardens close to a water source.

Another good tip is to locate the garden near the house or barbecue grill. This way you can easily harvest fresh produce and use it when cooking.

Soil preparation is also key. Till the soil and remove debris like rocks, sticks and hard clumps of dirt. Work with organic material, such as manure or compost. Apply mulch after planting to help maintain moisture levels in the soil.

Plant the tallest crops at the rear of your garden bed. Work forward with shorter crops. Try to leave a foot or more between planting rows for cultivating.

It’s easy to get a garden started and enjoy fresh food for many months to come.


Summer is around the corner and so is outdoor dining!

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

 Outdoor Dining in Medina County

Patio Collage

“Dining out” takes on an entirely new meaning when spring and summer sunshine arrives.

Can you name these patios? All are in Medina County!


Rather than being cooped up inside for meals, diners flock to cafes and restaurants that boast al fresco seating to enjoy a bit of scenery and fresh air with their meals.

When the sun comes out and the breezes are warm, blooming gardens and trellis-covered restaurant patios can be ideal dining spots to grab a meal. Good food combined with a hearty dose of fresh air can make everything from a cappuccino to a hamburger taste better.

Considering the best outdoor-dining spots can fill up quickly, and enjoying a meal outside takes a bit of finesse, follow these tips to make the most of any outdoor-dining experience.

* Make a reservation. Outdoor seating is not always easy to get. To ensure you will have a spot at your favorite restaurant, call ahead and reserve a table. Otherwise, you may have to wait quite a while for a table to become available or be forced to sit inside.

* If you are hoping to try a new restaurant that boasts outdoor dining ask about the layout of the space. Many restaurants, even those without ample outdoor space, cater to the outdoor-seating crowd, even if their outdoor dining area is limited to a handful of cafe tables placed near the curb. Unless you want to spend your meal with pedestrians walking by or inhaling car exhaust fumes, call or visit the restaurant online ahead of time to ensure that the outdoor seating is more amenable to an enjoyable meal.

* Choose restaurants with overhead coverage. It is one thing to want to eat outdoors, and entirely another to be subjected to the wrath of Mother Nature. An outdoor seating area should be comfortable, offering the best blend of fresh air and ample protection from the elements. Umbrellas or a covered patio can provide shelter should it start to drizzle or you need relief from the summer sun.

*  Expect some uninvited guests. Dining outside means bees, flies, birds, and other animals. Those who are deathly afraid of all buzzing insects may want to eat indoors instead.  Enjoy summer dining as it only lasts just a few short months.

Local dining with patios!


Corkscrew Saloon



On Tap Grille

111 Bistro

Girves Brown Derby

Yours Truly

Fireside Restaurant at Rustic Hills Country Club


Tres Potrillos


El Patron

Rose Hill


Panini’s Bar & Grill

Red Onion

The Oaks in Chippewa Lake

The Galaxy in Wadsworth

Granite Grill in York Twp.

Evaluating a Job Offer: The Financial Perspective

When evaluating a job offer, it’s important to keep an open mind, as well as a firm idea of your priorities.


johnPresented by Jonathan S. Merckens, CFP ®

Receiving an offer for a new career opportunity can be an exciting event in your life. But even if a prospective employer promises an attractive salary, other benefits can make a big difference in whether or not you come out ahead financially. To decide if a job switch makes good financial sense, you need to evaluate the full compensation package.

Here are some key areas to consider before you sign on with a new company, as well as important steps to take if you do opt to change jobs.

Health and Wellness
• Medical/dental insurance: How do the new coverage options compare with your existing plans, and how much would the employer contribute? With your current plans, are you paying for more than you really need? Now is a good time to review your coverage needs and consider making a change, even if you end up staying with your current employer.

• Other benefits: Does the new company offer subsidized child care or allowances for dependent care? What about tuition reimbursement? And don’t forget about a fitness subsidy, which may seem minor but can really add up over the long run.

• When would you be eligible for these benefits? Depending on your start date, there may be some lag time between coverage under your old employer and coverage under the new employer.

Before you leave: If necessary, discuss the process for continuing your health care coverage under COBRA with your current company’s HR department. Also be sure to cash in on any unused benefits you can’t take with you, such as fitness reimbursements and company discounts for goods and services. Be aware, however, that certain benefits (e.g., tuition reimbursement) may have a repayment requirement.

Paid Time Off
• Will you be gaining or losing time off ? How long will it take you to accrue the amount of time off you have now?

• Are all paid days off lumped together or separated into categories (vacation, sick leave, and so on)?

• What is the company’s culture and policy related to life events such as the birth of a child, illness, and bereavement?

Before you leave: Take stock of your accrued vacation time, and keep a written record of the amount you should be compensated for upon your departure.

Retirement and Investments
• How do your current benefits stack up with the new company’s options in terms of:
o 401(k) match
o Pension
o Stock ownership
o Executive benefits

Before you leave: Consider how much money you might be leaving on the table if you’re not fully vested in your current employer’s retirement plan. Depending on the situation, you may want to negotiate for a later start date or some other type of compensation to make up for lost retirement funds. Also, explore your options related to executive benefits or non-qualified compensation plans, including potential tax implications.

Annual Bonus
• Does the company offer a bonus program?
• Is the bonus fixed or variable? What is it based on?
• What were the average payouts over the past couple of years for someone in your position?
• Would you be entitled to a bonus in your first year? Can you expect a prorated payout based on your start date?

Commuting Costs
• Would the commute add costs or savings compared with your current situation?
• Is working from home a possibility?

Making a Smart Choice
When evaluating a job offer, it’s important to keep an open mind, as well as a firm idea of your priorities. If you decide to accept a new job, you want to be sure that you’re getting more than you’re giving up—both financially and in quality of life.

Jonathan Merckens is a financial advisor located at 11925 Pearl Road, Suite 403, Strongsville, Ohio 44136. He offers securities and advisory services as an Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/ SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Contact Jonathan at (440) 638-4757 or

© 2015 Commonwealth Financial Network®