Bethany Austin, M.D.
Co-Medical Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute
Dr. Bethany Austin has been a cardiology specialist with Saint Luke’s since 2010 and is an associate professor at UMKC’s School of Medicine. As a mother of two boys, this Vermont native stays heart-healthy by attending fitness classes before work with a group that calls themselves the Morning Maniacs and having a self care routine.
1. Cold Medicine
“I have a lot of cold medicine because of my kids,” Austin says. Her family always has Robitussin, Mucinex and nasal antihistamines on hand. “We tend to generally stay away from the stronger decongestants, like pseudoephedrine, because it can cause issues with high blood pressure, palpitations and higher heart rates.”
“I’ve used it a long time for acne. It’s ironically also a great medicine for heart failure. It’s a gentle diuretic, but it also interrupts abnormal hormone signals that the heart gets with heart failure.”
3. Turmeric Supplement
“This is kind of a new one. It’s an anti-inflammatory that’s supposed to help workout and muscle recovery. I generally don’t do supplements much because they’re not regulated, but I’m going to try this one for a while and see how it goes.”
4. Bath Oils
“I love a bath at the end of the day to relax mind and body. I mix bath oils with relaxing scents and epsom salts to help with muscle soreness.”
5. Not Pictured: Chocolate
“I can’t live without chocolate. I’m an ‘all things in moderation’ person, so I try to balance that with other healthy stuff.”
Daniel Aires, M.D.
Director of Dermatology at the University of Kansas Health System
Director of Dermatology at The Health System, Dr. Daniel Aires focuses his work on skin cancer, psoriasis and aging.
1. Topical Antibiotic
Aires recommends washing cuts and scrapes with soap and water before layering on antibiotic ointment and a bandage. “If you’re like my family and there’s a little dirt in the wound, it’s not a terrible idea to use an antibiotic ointment for the first couple days,” he says.
2. Badger Lip Balm
“Ideally, a mineral-type SPF is best, meaning something with zinc or titanium, partly because you don’t want to worry about ingesting chemicals but also because chemicals don’t last as long.”
3. Lotrimin Ultra Antifungal Cream
“When someone gets an itchy red rash, there’s often a temptation to put a steroid cream on it. Putting a steroid on a fungal rash makes it look and feel better, but it also lets the fungus grow deeper and makes it hard to treat later.”
4. CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
“I like this one a lot — it’s great for those who just can’t stand the feeling of grease on their bodies but want a moisturizing lotion.”
Jennifer Schultz, M.D.
Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Physician at AdventHealth
Dr. Jennifer Schultz has been practicing internal medicine and pediatrics with AdventHealth for twelve years. When she’s not working, the physician hits the bike trails with her family.
1. Aquaphor Healing Ointment
“This time of year, I have the worst dry hands because I wash my hands so much and use a lot of hand sanitizer. This is greasy, so I usually put it on at night before I go to bed.”
2. Halls Cough Drops
“I have these by the bag. We get lots of colds and lots of dry throats in our house during the winter.”
3. ThermaCare Heat Wrap
“I sit on a computer a lot of the day, so these help. They just stick on and get hot and help with tight muscles in my neck and shoulders.”
4. Ibuprofen Liquid
“I have two kids, and whenever they have fever and headaches, this is what I use. I like to stock up on it.”
Michael Monaco, M.D.
Internal Medicine Physician at Menorah Medical Center
Dr. Michael Monaco has been with Menorah Medical Center since it was on the Plaza, before it moved its headquarters to Johnson County in 1996. The physician is also in his twenty-fifth year as an internal medicine doctor for the Chiefs.
1. Coenzyme Q10
“I take a statin for cholesterol, so I always make sure I take 100 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 because that nutrient is actually depleted by statin.”
2. Fish Oil
“I’m a big fan of omega three fatty acids,” Monaco says. “There’s a lot of data from the EPA in terms of cognitive function and how it works with triglycerides and LDL cholesterol to help reduce cardiovascular disease,” and added benefits include softer skin, fewer wrinkles and improved eye moisture. Pro tip: Monaco recommends storing the pills in your freezer to avoid getting fish-flavored burps after taking them.
3. Glucosamine Chondroitin
“I’ve been taking this for several years for joint health,” Monaco says. This is also a common supplement given to older dogs for joint strength.
“This red wine extract is the active ingredient in the red grape that enhances HDL cholesterol. It’s what is in the grape that actually makes it heart healthy.”
5. Vitamin D3
“I take this seasonally due to lack of sunlight in the wintertime.”
Colleen Johnson, M.D.
Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist at Ascentist Ear, Nose & Throat
An Air Force veteran and mom of four, Dr. Colleen Johnson has been at Ascentist Ear, Nose & Throat (formerly ENT Associates) for three years. Her main areas of focus are thyroid surgery, voice disorders and advanced sinus surgery. She also enjoys treating military service members and their families based in Fort Leavenworth.
Johnson suffers from year-round allergies, so she takes this every day. “I’ll often switch it up with Zyrtec and Claritin because you can actually build up a tolerance to allergy medications,” she says.
2. Prenatal Vitamins
“I have four kids and although I don’t plan on having more, I still take prenatal vitamins to help with overall deficiencies.”
3. Calamine Lotion
“My boys are active in camping and [boy] scouting, so I always have this on hand in case of poison ivy.”
4. What You Won’t Find:
Decongestant sprays. “You can use them for the short term, but there’s a rebound property to them,” Johnson says. “When you stop using them, your nose actually swells up even more.” Instead, she reaches for a nasal antihistamine like Flonase.