Why It's Important to Establish a Primary Care Physician
In today’s society, many adults are not visiting a health-care physician nor a primary care physician at all. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only approximately 84% of adults living in the United States saw a health-care provider at least once last in 2017.
Vaccinations Don't Only Protect You - They Protect Others, Too!
Let’s face it. Any topic can be up for debate. By now, you have probably heard the pros and cons to vaccinations. However, the truth still remains that vaccinations help protect us (and others!) from infectious diseases.
Our team at Medical West wants to dig deeper into the importance of vaccinations and why you should consider making a visit to our medical facility if you are unsure whether or not you are up-to-date on your vaccinations.
Keep Calm and Find Migraine Relief
When a headache strikes, it can strike hard, taking us down for the count and causing us to miss important events. At one time or another, we have all had a headache come on, causing us to need to reach for the ibuprofen. However, when do we really know when a headache is just a headache, or a sign of a migraine? Dr. Benjamin A. Jones, MD, neurologist at Medical West, helps answer some frequently asked questions related to headaches and migraines so that you can find relief and return to your quality of life as soon as possible.
Tired? It Could Be Your Thyroid!
Although the thyroid is small, it plays a mighty role in your health. While your thyroid might only be a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, it can surely make its presence known when it doesn’t act like it should.
Putting an End to Opioid Addiction
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 130 people living in the United States died due to an opioid overdose. Currently, the United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis, leaving many medical professionals and patients eager to learn more about what they can do in order to help put an end to the opioid epidemic. While there is work that still needs to be done, our team at Medical West Baccus & Baccus Health Center want to bring awareness to opioid addiction to hopefully try and make a difference in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
Tips to Stay on Track for Your New Year's Resolutions
In the excitement of the New Year, it can be easy to get roped in to creating New Year’s Resolutions that may be overwhelming to achieve. This year, I want to get in shape, or I want to eat healthy are common resolutions that, with effort, can be achievable. But in order to meet your resolutions, you’ll need to make goals that are not only realistic, but work for you and your lifestyle.
Exercise in the New Year: 5 Tips To Keep Yourself Safe
You’ve set a New Year’s Resolution of incorporating more exercise into your lifestyle, but for those who are new to exercise (or have been off the wagon for a while), jumping into a rigorous exercise regimen without necessary oversight can cause injury to your body.
So where do you start? We’ve compiled a list of tricks to ensure that your New Year’s Resolution doesn’t send to you to the ER.
Signs and Symptoms of Atypical Strep Throat
Unlike other common illnesses, strep throat (short for “streptococcus”) can cause severe pain and lasting problems if left untreated. But how do you know what strain you have? Although most symptoms, like sore throat and painful swallowing, are similar across strains, understanding the different forms of strep (and what they can lead to) can mean better relief, faster.
We’ve compiled the different forms of streptococcus: Group A and Group B; each strains’ symptoms; and when to see your doctor below.
Tips to prepare your junior athletes for success this year
Before your football star gets on the field, Dr. Stephen Gould wants to make sure injury-prevention stays on the forefront of everyone’s mind
Gearing Up for Back to School - and Sports!
The Great "Hearing" Debate - Yanny VS Laurel
Who knew one simple video clip posted back in May 2018 by a high schooler on Reddit would catch the ear of social media influencer and YouTuber Cloe Feldman, who then turned it into a viral sensation.
Almost immediately, “Yanny VS Laurel” was the new debate heard around the world.
Are you sleeping well?
Are you sleeping well? One in three Americans suffer from sleep-related issues. If you or someone you know suffers from a sleep disorder, there has never been a better time to find a solution.
Do I Have a Cold or the Flu?
Sneezing, nasal congestion, a scratchy throat — flu and cold symptoms often overlap, making it difficult to know which one you have. Typically, flu symptoms are more severe than those associated with a cold, but this isn't always the case. Here's how to tell whether you have the flu or a cold.
Top Ways to Get Involved in National Diabetes Month
Diabetes is one of the top reasons for annual deaths in America. In fact, one in every ten Americans suffers from this disease. That’s about 30 million people in the country suffering from diabetes every day.
Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep is a very important activity, that we often take for granted. It is especially important in children as it allows for proper neurological development. One disorder that is more and more common is sleep apnea, or interrupted sleep from breathing issues. We generally associate sleep apnea and distressed breathing while sleeping with adults, but it does occur with children - actually in 3-5% of children.
4 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy During the Summer
Summer is here! For many families, the stress of waking up early for the school rush is over. Days are longer, vacation is in full swing, and the kids are having a blast. However, the mindful parent will always do what they can to make sure that their children are the healthiest they can be, especially during summer.
Here are four helpful things to keep in mind, and keep your child healthy throughout the summer holidays.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy. Learn more about how this type of diabetes occurs and whether or not you may be at risk.
Spring Forward With Ease!
It happens every year, but Daylight Saving Time still manages to catch many people by surprise. Every spring, clocks are pushed forward one hour from 2:00am to 3:00am to start Daylight Saving Time. Even though the clocks change by only an hour during Daylight Savings Time, the effects can be noticeable! This is especially true in the spring, when people lose an hour of the day and that hour is often subtracted from time spent sleeping.
That means that the second Monday in March is likely going to be a day when most people will feel exhausted, thanks to a way-too-early-seeming wake-up call.
Medical West's Sleep Center
Have you ever said?:
- I have been told that I snore
- I suddenly wake up gasping for air during the night
- I have been told that I stop breathing while sleeping
- I feel tired during the day even though I slept all night
We would like to introduce you to our Sleep Center here at Med West!
Women And Strokes
Understanding Women and Stroke
- Stroke is the third leading cause of death for women (in comparison, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for men).
- Each year 55,000 more women have a stroke than men. Because in general women live longer than men, stroke will have a more negative impact on their lives.
- More women will:
- Live alone when they have a stroke
- Be more likely to live in a long term health care facility after a stroke
- Have a worse recovery after a stroke
Exercise Yourself to Sleep Better!
Want to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more rested? Get moving! As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep!
Experiencing a Heart Attack
February is Heart Health month, so here is more information to help you keep your heart healthy and beating! A heart attack strikes someone every 43 seconds. Every second of every minute matters if you feel like you are experiencing a heart attack.
It’s not always the crushing pain in your chest you may think comes with a heart attack, especially for women who experience different symptoms. Here’s what you need to know so you can act fast!
National Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The good news? It is also one of the most preventable. Making heart-healthy choices, knowing your family health history and the risk factors for heart disease, having regular check-ups and working with your physician to manage your health are all integral aspects of saving lives from this often silent killer. FEBRUARY IS HEART HEALTH MONTH. Time to make your heart happy and healthy!
When To Go To the ER
When you wake up in the middle of the night with an alarming symptom—maybe it's a high fever or splitting headache—it's hard to know whether to rush to the emergency room or not. You don't want to overact, but you definitely don't want to underreact either. So how do you know when to go to the Emergency Room (ER) or wait until the next morning to go to your doctor? Here are the most common symptoms that you may experience- and that may leave you wondering what to do!
Lose Weight - The Healthy Way
Working on weight loss? Then you probably want results -- fast. However, you really want to lose weight the healthy way! Remember, if a diet plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Fad diets and fast plans may have results but the results don’t last. Fad diets also set you up for failure by depriving you of what you want. You can't eat like that for long, and it's too likely that you'll rebel and end up back where you started. You deserve better than that! And you have healthier options you can start on -- today!
Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but the disease is virtually always preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening with Pap and HPV tests. Let’s work to spread the word in their communities about issues related to cervical cancer, HPV disease, and the importance of early detection.
New Year, New Beginning! Keep Those Resolutions Going!
Here are some tips that will help keep one’s New Year’s Resolution!
Germs? No Thanks!
Unless your idea of a good time is being laid up for days with headaches, diarrhea, chills, and muscle aches that are all courtesy of the cold and flu season, you really don’t want to get sick this year! Up to 15% of the country gets the flu every year. The number of people that get the common cold is even higher! Here are the top 3 ways to avoid being one of them!
The shopping and crowds. The back-to-back diet-busting parties. The interminable chats with the in-laws. Talk about stressful. The average American spends 42 hours a year on holiday activities. That's one standard work week spent shopping, wrapping and returning presents, attending holiday parties, and traveling from place to place. Often these extra activities get squeezed into already busy schedules. We understand how easy it is to feel not so wonderful at this most wonderful time of the year. Here are some holiday stress-busting tips to help you dodge the seasonal blues and stay happy, healthy, and energized.
Holiday lights and displays are part of the joy of the holiday season, and bring holiday cheer to us all! But sometimes we aren’t fully aware of the risks that holiday lights and decorations pose which can lead to a holiday decorating disaster! In fact, for the fifth consecutive year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) anticipates an excess of 12,000 emergency room visits for falls, cuts, shocks and burns related to holiday decorating. Here’s how to decorate for the holidays so that you avoid a decorating disaster!
Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving meals are traditionally family events where certain kinds of food are served. First and foremost, turkey is the featured item in most Thanksgiving feasts (so much so that Thanksgiving is sometimes facetiously referred to as “Turkey Day”). Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, turnips, rolls, pecan pie and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner. While it’s a wonderful time with family and friends, many leave feeling stuffed and the holiday season isn’t always an easy time to eat healthy. It can be done though! The key to avoid feeling like a stuffed turkey is moderation! Here are some tips for eating healthy on Thanksgiving Day!
Did you know that 1 in 11 Americans today has diabetes? Despite its prevalence, diabetes is an invisible disease. It affects men and women, people young and old, and people of all races, shapes and sizes. Often there are no outward signs from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day. That’s why there is a critical need to foster awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many of us. Your diabetes care team will help you, but day-to-day diabetes care is up to you. You can do it!
National Healthy Eating Day
Eating healthy is a way of life and can be simple yet have wonderful benefits! It’s not about strict dietary habits or never having good food… it’s about feeling great having more energy, improving your health! Eating Healthy starts at home and can be done in simple steps!
Here are some tips to help you and your family start eating healthier:
Adjusting to Daylight Savings Time
Why is the change of one hour so hard? In the fall, when you’ve gained an hour of sleep, you might not feel tired, but you may get cranky when you have to wait an extra hour before your lunch break or when it feels like work should have ended an hour ago. It may be harder to stay up an hour later and wake up an hour later when your body and internal clock is used to a different schedule and can affect your quality of sleep when a different schedule is forced upon it. When the clocks move forward in the spring, you'll be robbed of an hour of sleep. That night, you may not be able to fall into your normal sleep rhythms an hour earlier than you’re used to, and you won’t get as much quality sleep as you need.
Enjoy the Season Safely
As we begin to celebrate cooler, fall weather and the changing of the leaves in Alabama, our children and grandchildren are gearing up for a big night of trick-or-treating. I wanted to share some tips for keeping you and your family safe, not to mention the excited, young guests who will soon be visiting our streets and homes.
The Centers for Disease Control offers several safety recommendations to enhance kids’ safety as they trick-or-treat, including...
The Flu? No Thank U!
Oh the Flu… no thank you!
Unless your idea of a good time is being laid up for days with headaches, diarrhea, chills and muscle aches that are all courtesy of the flu, you really don’t want to get sick this year! Up to 15% of the country gets the flu every year. Here are the top 3 ways to avoid being one of them!
Breast Cancer Awareness - Early Detection!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Facts about Breast Cancer:
- Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease.
- Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.
· Studies show that women with disabilities are less likely than women without disabilities to have received a mammogram during the past two years.
How Can You Prevent Diabetes?
Nearly 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, a serious disease in which blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal. Most people with diabetes have type 2, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes. But now more young people, even children, have the disease because many are overweight or obese. Diabetes can lead to problems such as heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease, and nerve damage. Diabetes prevention is proven, possible, and powerful!
Healthy Lunches for Kids
Yes, we are all back to school and it’s still early in the year! We have pencils and all supplies, but what do we pack for lunch? A packed lunch isn't automatically healthier than one they’ll buy at school. If you pack chocolate cake and potato chips, that's not a nutritious meal!
Following these 10 tips for packing healthy lunches can help encourage your kids to eat right and maintain a healthy weight.
Childhood Obesity and Setting a Good Example
Approximately 1 in 5 children in the U.S. have obesity. The obesity epidemic in the U.S., which affects about 10.4% of children between 2 years and 5 years of age and more than 23 million children and teens in total, is estimated to cost our nation $117 billion per year in direct medical expenses and indirect costs.
Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases. Here are some tips for preventing childhood obesity:
Each Year over 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 2016, more than 22,000 will receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer and 14,000 will die from it. Learn more about ovarian cancer, the signs and symptoms and when you should see a physician.
The Lifestyle to Address Your High Blood Pressure
Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. Here are 10 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it that way!
Healthy Back to School Tips
After summer months of staying up late, zoning out in front of the TV or video screen, running wild outside, and eating snacks throughout the day, kids are in for a big adjustment as they head back to school. Most children need help transitioning back into a routine with deadlines for a successful start to the school year. Give your child the best possible launch with these healthy back to school tips!
Back to School: How to Prevent Ankle Injuries
It’s that time of year! Yes, it’s back to school time, but it’s also back to practice time! Even though there are a tremendous amount of physical and social benefits to participating in sports, there is the downside injury risk.
National Immunization Month
August is here! August is National Immunization Month (NIAM). NIAM is a yearly observance in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages from infants to elderly. The goal of NIAM is to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.
Why are vaccines so important?
- Vaccines protect against serious diseases.
- These diseases still exist and outbreaks do occur.
- Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives.
- Vaccines are very safe.
Who all needs vaccines? Everyone!
Rolling Back the Bedtimes: How to Get Back on Track and Back to School!
Where did summer go? Although children may not be ready to start thinking about the upcoming school year, parents should begin now to reset their child’s sleep schedule. During the summer break, many children go to bed later and wake-up later than they do during the school year. Here’s how to get back on track for those early school days and how to maintain healthy sleep habits throughout the year!
The Dreadful Summertime Cold!
We all look forward to summer—time to get away, get outside and have some fun. So what could be more unfair than catching a cold when it’s warm? Most people think of the common cold as a winter problem. But— you can definitely come down with a summer cold, too. Unfortunately, germs don’t go on vacation. The sneezing, sniffling and achiness that accompany it can be miserable when it’s nice outside and you don’t want to be cooped up indoors.
The Dangers of Leaving a Child in a Hot Car: Safety Tips for Parents This Summer
Every summer, there are heartbreaking deaths that occur when children are left alone in a hot car. Although preventable, these deaths do occur. Summer is a good time to remind ourselves of the dangers of children being left in parked cars and of what causes and prevents these tragedies.
Boom, crackle, pop! We all love the sound of fireworks and celebration on the Fourth of July! However, let’s remember to enjoy them carefully! Almost 10,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for firework related injuries each year. Almost 40% are under the age of 15! The best way to protect your family and friends is to attend a public fireworks display- let the professionals light up the sky! If choosing to do your own display, remember these tips to make a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday.
Summer Pet Safety
The heat is on - time for pet parents to practice summer safety. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and comfortable all summer long.
Summer Skin Safety
Salue the sun this summer - but do it safely! We have some safety tips on how you can still enjoy the summer outdoors, while reducing the risk of damage to your skin.
Summer is finally here, and we are ready to enjoy it! During all the fun you may have planned, remember these safety tips to make your summer shine bright!
Memorial Day Weekend and Summer Safety
It’s Memorial Day Weekend! The official start of summer is here. It’s a time for gathering with friends and family for outdoor fun and remembering lost veterans. Whether you are planning to travel, grill, host a picnic, have fun in the sun or spend time outdoors, remember these safety tips for a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!
Summertime Sleep Tips for Kids!
Yes, it’s a fun time to “slide” away from academics, but don’t let your sleep slide! It is easy to get off schedule during the summer when out of the school routine. We think of summer as a time to catch up on sleep, but kids can experience a sleep debt that makes them grumpy. Then, you’ll wish for school to return!
So what can a parent do?
Earnest With Your Sunscreen
Warm weather is now coming in, and with it - hopefully - comes the urge to get outside and have some fun. We are all for that. When you’re outside, you’re being active, social and feeling good!
Let’s just be sure that we apply some sunscreen while we’re out enjoying ourselves.
Whether it’s from work, family or any number of sources - just about all of us goes through stressful periods. And people respond to stress differently, which makes a “one-size-fits-all” solution difficult to prescribe. Even so, if you are feeling overwhelmed by stress - there is one thing that we all must do: take action.
While the source of our stress can vary, always keep in mind that you are the one that has control over your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions and how you handle problems. How is this possible? Take a step back from it all…
Spring is now (officially) here, and that’s not the only season that’s started…
Welcome to Allergy Season. The good news? You’re not alone. The bad news? If you have seasonal allergies, you still have them, no matter how many other folks do, too.
Sleep Tight, Feel Right!
It may sound funny, but one of the best things you can do for better health… close your eyes.
The Best Foot Forward!
As inconvenient - and irritating - as it can be, know that you are not alone. The American Pediatric Medical Association has found that 77% of adults experience foot pain at some point in their lives. To manage this, it’s a good idea to apply basic foot care practices for mobility and long-term health.
The best thing? Move your feet! Stretching your feet and elevating your feet when you are seated are great ways to boost circulation.
Loosen Up (With Stretching)!
Did you know that more than 28 million (!) Americans develop some kind of musculoskeletal problem each year? Whether it’s from work, exercise, fun, or just an accident - lifting that box the wrong way - from time to time, the body has a breakdown.
School is out and it’s officially SUMMERTIME! Bring on the fun in the sun but let’s make sure to remain SAFE while doing so. Summertime means more time outside whether it is relaxing at the beach or lake or simply riding bikes and exploring the great outdoors. In Alabama, we are blessed with beautiful scenery and plenty of SUNSHINE but we must take precaution as too much of anything can be a bad thing. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we have fun but stay safe this summer:
Sickeningly Sweet: The Silent Killer
In America today, a silent killer is lurking – and, for many, has already begun to wreak its havoc.
What is this medical menace, we may ask?
The answer is obesity.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (shortened to COPD from here on out) is the term for a collection of lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive airways disease, and emphysema.
People with COPD suffer from long-term damages to the lungs (usually because of smoking) and have great difficulty breathing in and out. Their airways have narrowed, resulting in obstruction of the airways.
The Flu - Time to Take It Seriously
Sometimes when we are consistently exposed to something, we can become numb to it. Whether it be foul language, good manners, tragic news coverage - all kinds of things in our lives where the more we see of it, the less of an impact it seems to make, and the less attention we give to it.
I think that this may have happened with the flu.
We’ve had a few really severe cold spells already this year. And while it can bring some nice things - snow, maybe some snow days for the kids, and perhaps a comfy movie night with those you care about - it can also bring along some much scarier items, especially to those who may not be able to care for themselves.
Just 30 Minutes
Sometimes, when it comes to getting in shape, the hardest part just starting. There are so many different ways to exercise now (CrossFit, pilates, old-fashioned running, on and on…), that it can be overwhelming as we look for what is most appealing to our lifestyle - and what will give you results.
Testing and Preventing Cervical Cancer
Being a woman isn’t easy. Any woman will tell you that.
And with all the things that we deal with as we develop, it’s important to be aware of what we need to do to best care for our bodies and our health. We just recently had national breast cancer awareness month, but there’s another cancer that women should dedicate more attention to.
When you hear friends or doctors talk about glaucoma, it’s really a collection of conditions with the eye that result in damage to the eye’s optic nerve. Most commonly, it’s caused by an unusually large amount of pressure inside the eye.
Why is it a big deal? Well, it is one of the leading causes of blindness in the US - the leading cause of irreversible blindness in African Americans. Even worse, glaucoma is often asymptomatic until there has been an advanced loss of vision, and once vision is lost, it cannot be regained.
Ever experienced blurred vision, odd glares, seeing haloes, and/or real difficulty in low light conditions? You could have cataracts. And cataracts can be a serious thing.
First, let's define what a cataract is. It's a clouding of the natural intraocular lens that focuses the light entering the eye onto the retina. They can be very common in older people - in fact, more than half of all Americans who reach age 80 have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
Don't pass the salt? Pass on the salt!
I'll be the first to say it. Salt is great. Makes things taste good, it helps us store food for longer periods of time, and is stupendous on a baked potato.
However… when you've had too much, salt is a demon on your body in all kinds of ways. And it's important that you know what you're doing to your body, especially in a situation where you don't have to have as much salt as you are likely taking in.
Treatment for prostate cancer has improved survival rate and the quality of life for those affected. The treatment factors are different for everyone, of course, as the rate of growth can be different, the stage, and other health factors all mix into the treatment strategy.
SPY Elite System
As healthcare providers, It is among our goals to consistently look for opportunities to improve our methods of care for our patients. Because of the day and age we live in, we are always exploring, evaluating, acquiring, and implementing the latest technologies.
Breast Masses and Treatment of Breast Cancer
As you have seen in this space and in others around the web, early detection has become a major piece of successful healthcare. We are fortunate to be living in a time that has seen miraculous improvements in healthcare knowledge and techniques, that almost everything has become treatable, if not curable.
A Solution for Damaged Rotator Cuffs and Shoulders: Reverse Shoulder Prosthesis
Thanks to advancing technologies, there is an option that addresses both the painful arthritis and the damaged rotator cuff. It the the Reverse Shoulder Prosthesis. It looks a little bit like a handheld shower head, but the head looks up at roughly a 45 degree angle. Made of metal and polyethylene, the prosthesis replaces the damaged joint and mimics the original shoulder's anatomy, but with a deeper socket to stabilize the joint.
The ABCs of Hepatitis
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. The liver is a vital organ that helps filter toxins from your body. Hepatitis can be caused by numerous reasons including viruses, drugs, metabolic disorders and fatty infiltration. In this post, we will focus on viral hepatitis, specifically hepatitis A, B and C. All 3 forms of hepatitis are sexually transmitted and have similar symptoms initially.
Diagnosed in almost 225,000 Americans each year, almost a quarter of diagnoses are made when there are no symptoms. Which is a big reason why people should get their checkups on a regular basis - 25% of lung cancer diagnoses are made when doctors are checking for something else.
One of the most common – and painful -- forearm fractures I see is the distal radius fracture. The radius is the larger of the two bones of the forearm. The end toward the wrist is called the distal end – hence the term, distal radius fracture.
When it comes to frequency, the radius is the arm bone folks are most likely to break. In our office, we see radius fractures in a variety of situations: if a fall causes you to land on your outstretched hands, if you are in a car or bicycle accident, a fall from a horse – the list is more like a scroll that rolls to the ground and then some.
Sudden Cardiac Death
If you've ever heard of or known someone who suffers a "sudden death", it can be quite a disturbing story. Many times, what seems to be a relatively young and healthy person can just "drop dead".
Known as sudden cardiac death (SCD), it is a sudden, unexpected death caused when the heart stops functioning. The cause of approximately 325,000 adult deaths in the US each year, it is the largest cause of natural death and responsible for 50% of heart disease deaths in the US.
Peptic Ulcer Disease
Pain is no fun, and you don't need a doctor to tell you that. But as a doctor, I see all different kinds of pains, in terms of severity and cause. There is the pain of a severe cut or bruise, but then there are those pains that stitches and ice can't help with - pains on the inside.
Congestive Heart Failure
Cardiovascular disease is our nation's #1 killer. Opinions vary on how it's gotten to be - diets, lifestyles, technology's impact on work habits, the way foods are prepared, or any combination of these and more.
However we got here, let's learn more about what is happening when the heart fails.
Spring is officially here, and many of you will be digging those tennis shoes out of the back of the closet and getting back out on the tennis court.
But your return to the court may bring along that uncomfortable twinge in the arm - tennis elbow.
Now, you don't have to play tennis to get it, but a name's a name.
Medical West Hospital - Pain in the Thumb
The dictionary says opposable thumbs allow the digits to grasp and handle objects and are characteristic of primates. The movement of opposition is a rotary movement in which the thumb, swinging about its own axis, comes to face the lower surface of the tips of the fingers.
All that is fine and good, but it doesn't help much when your thumb hurts!! And arthritis is often the culprit.
Colorectal Cancer Month
There are some things that people don't like to talk about. For one reason or another, some topics make people feel uncomfortable - especially the ones that folks may describe as 'icky'.
Thankfully, health organizations across the country and world are forcing the issue and shining light on potentially 'icky' health topics. By bringing topics such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, etc. into the public discussion, it has become much easier and more comfortable to discuss these issues with their friends, families, and doctors.
And here we are in March - National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Get comfortable.
Blood In the Urine
There are hundreds of day-to-day things that our bodies do without us even thinking about it. Breathing, chewing, seeing, smelling… you name it. It's only when something goes wrong with one of our basic "functions" do we concern ourselves at all. In fact, sometimes it can be rather unsettling.
You may never have heard the term hematuria. That's probably because it has a much more common reference: blood in the urine. A daily activity thrown askew. (And visually, it can scare someone.)
Don't Stop Being Aware of Heart Health
Every year, organizations all over the country take the month of February to raise awareness of heart health, and it has become American Heart Month. The awareness is greatly needed as cardiovascular disease continues to be the #1 killer of men and women in the United States.
It's serious stuff. Caused by cholesterol build-ups (know as 'plaques') in the arteries, Coronary Artery Disease will cause a buildup of pressure in the arteries and possibly create a situation where blood flow is blocked. When the blood flow is severely reduced (or completely stopped), a heart attack can occur.
"Amputation" is a frightening word. Many people find the instant images presented in their minds as unpleasant and uncomfortable. When it is a medical treatment possibility for you… it is even more fearful. A person may anticipate a great amount of pain and fear that they will forever appear disfigured.
There are obviously many levels of amputation - we usually think of the more obvious such as arms and legs, particularly as a military casualty.
But much more common are the the amputations involving a person's digits - the fingers and toes. These amputations come about from the accidents of everyday activities. Working with a saw, putting up a fence post, or - even - petting a dog that is a little on edge. It happens.
The Battle of the (Hernia) Bulge
Pressure in your groin area doesn't always mean that you've got to go to the bathroom. Sometimes something can be out of place, causing discomfort. If you've experienced pressure or weakness in your groin, or noticed a bulge on either side of your pubic bone - you could have an inguinal hernia.
In general, a hernia is a protuberance of an organ through a cavity wall in the body. Inguinal is the medical term for the groin area. Inguinal hernias can be felt when bending, coughing, or lifting heavy objects. And they don't feel good - usually a burning, aching sensation.
Don't Get Pulled (Muscles) by Your New Year Activities
As we march into a new year, maybe you'll be starting a new exercise regimen or joining a basketball league - you want to be active. This is a good thing! In almost all circumstances, doctors prefer for people to lead active, healthy lifestyles. Exercise does so many good things for your body (build muscle mass, losing excess weight, increases metabolism, on and on…) that it can really make a huge impact on a person physically and psychologically.
But - you can get hurt if you don't take the proper precautions. Pulled muscles, strains, and sprains.
Lower Back Pain Is A Pain In the You-Know-What
It's a pose that you have performed and seen probably thousands of times. A tensed up face, leaning to one side, and an arm hooked to holding the lower back.
Lower back pain is an extremely prevalent condition in the United States. A study from a few years back found that over the course of three months, more than 1/4 of U.S. adults have experienced lower back pain lasting at least a day. I'd wager that over the course of a lifetime, just about everyone will experience lower back pain. (It is reported to be the fifth most common reason for going to the doctor.)
Whether it's drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, to driving to work, using a computer, to eating your dinner at night - we use our hands in almost everything we do. When your hands aren't working like they should, life gets uncomfortable and more difficult real quick.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is when there's pressure being placed on a nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to the thumb's side of the hand. When you've got carpal tunnel, it can lead tingling, weakness, numbness, or muscle damage in your hand.
Cholesterol: Some is Good, Too Much is Bad
Ready for a fancy medical word?
You can also call that high blood cholesterol.
Your body needs cholesterol, which is a fat (or 'lipid'), in order for it to work properly. This would make one think that the more cholesterol, the better, right? Well, unfortunately that's not the way it is.
Bad To The Bone
Did you know that bone is a living tissue? It's true. During our lives, bone is being continually replaced by new bone. But what happens when you don't produce enough new bone to replace the old? Well, you've got osteoporosis.
Why Should We Control It; Your Blood Pressure That Is
The term 'hypertension' is often misunderstood. Some folks think it describes someone who is just really uptight and tense all the time. And that's okay - as long as you aren't diagnosing anyone.
What hypertension really describes is high blood pressure. If you have hypertension - then you've got high blood pressure. The pressure that is measured is actually the force against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body.
Lose Consciousness? What Happened is What We Try to Find Out.
Have you or every been around someone who has lost consciousness? It can be very scary - for anyone around, because there are a few seconds there with a lot of confusion as they try to assess what is going on, and for the person who has passed out, as they awake and are unsure as to what just happened.
Well, you can guess that there is a better medical term than "passing out", and you'd be correct. A temporary loss of consciousness is referred to as syncope. And it happens when there is a sudden lapse of blood flow to the brain. Your brain doesn't get the blood it needs, and - WHAP! - you've fallen on the floor.
Let's Talk Sugar!
Sugar is sweet, and in most cases, it's a treat to get. But when we talk about sugar in the blood stream - too much is not a good thing.
Usually a chronic (lifelong) disease, diabetes usually comes about when the pancreas' production of insulin is deficient. Insulin is what removes sugar from your bloodstream and moves it to muscles, fat, and liver cells - giving you energy. When enough insulin isn't being produced, that sugar never makes it to become fuel for your body.
And that is no good.
Irregular Heartbeats Aren't Always 'No Big Deal'
When it comes to irregular heart beats, the most popular kid in the class is Atrial Fibrillation. Affecting over 2 million folks in the US, there are over 150,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Atrial Fibrillation (AF) features disorganized electrical activity in the upper chambers of the heart, which translates into rapid and random vibrations in these chambers.
The concern is that AF can lead to increased risks of stroke or heart failure.
OA? No Way!
For just about everyone, our body is our main mode of transportation. Whether if you are physically active exercising several times a week, if you walk to work, or just going back and forth from the kitchen to the couch - it takes your body moving to get there. And that involves all those bones inside rotating around, rubbing on each other, and stabilizing your body. Your joints are where all this happens.
Prevention and Treatment of Heart Disease
Most of us walk around every day without giving much thought to what keeps us going. Heart disease just doesn't happen to "other people" - it is something that all of us need to give attention to.
Obesity: It's Time To Take It More Seriously
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Alabama was the 4th most obese state in 2011. Their data showed that 32% of Alabamians have a Body Mass Index of over 30, qualifying them as obese.