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Recap: Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer? Millions of new cases are opened each year for the disease, making it the fourth most common type of cancer in the U.S. 

Fortunately, if everyone age 50 and older were screened regularly, six out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March, here are some signs to look out for and how you can make a difference.

Schedule a screening during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and follow these tips to help stop the disease.

LEAP Study Offers Strong Support for Early Introduction of Peanut Products

Results from the Learning Early About Peanut (LEAP) study have been published in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine  offer strong support that early introduction of peanut products may offer protection from the development of peanut allergies.

The prevalence of peanut allergy has doubled over the past 10 years in the U.S. and other countries that have advocated avoidance of peanuts during pregnancy, lactation, and infancy. The LEAP study was based on a hypothesis that regular eating of peanut-containing products, when started in the first year of life, will elicit a protective immune response instead of an allergic immune reaction.

Study shows that early introduction of peanuts can curb peanut allergy

Warning Signs for Most Common Heart Issues

It’s always good to be prepared. Of course, it’s hard to get ready for something that you never see coming. There are many warning signs for common heart issues that can help you stay healthy during American Heart Month and beyond.

Cardiovascular Diseases

A trip to Westshore Primary Care may help uncover some warning signs for common heart issues.


Roughly a quarter of all American deaths are attributed to heart disease. Fortunately, there are plenty of signs that can help you avoid a premature death.

People with high blood pressure are three times more likely to die from heart disease and four times as likely to die from stroke. High blood pressure is hard to detect without a screening, but regular screenings from a primary care provider can help you become aware of heightened health risks.

Other warning signs include chest pain, shortness of breath, and numbness or coldness in your arms and legs. Listen to your body to help prevent the leading cause of death in the nation.

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Symptoms of Childhood ADHD

It’s natural for parents to worry about their children. They want to see their son or daughter grow up from a happy, healthy kid into a happy, healthy adult. That means parents are always on the lookout for warning signs for various conditions or illnesses so that they can afford them the best care possible. 

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (more commonly known as ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental conditions and one that is typically diagnosed during childhood. According to the Center for Disease Control, roughly 11 percent of children ages 5 to 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.

Is your child showing signs of ADHD?

How Do I Know if My Child Has ADHD?

It’s not uncommon for kids to be inattentive now and again, but there are signs that may indicate that your child may have ADHD.

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How to Manage Menopause Symptoms

Change can be scary, but proper guidance can help make any transition an easier process. Perimenopause and menopause mark a major shift in a woman’s life, but proper care and a few lifestyle changes can help alleviate some symptoms.

Managing symptoms of Perimenopause and menopause can make a woman’s life easier during a confusing time.

Perimenopause vs. Menopause

First thing’s first: let’s go over the difference in perimenopause and menopause. Perimenopause is the first stage of when a woman’s body naturally transitions toward infertility. This period of time is marked by changes in estrogen levels and menstrual cycles. On average, perimenopause lasts about four years, but it has been known to span over a decade.

Once a woman has gone 12 straight months without a menstrual period, she has reached menopause. The average woman usually hits this stage around her early 50s, but it some people may reach menopause as early as their late 30s or as late as 60. 

Perimenopause and a menopause can cause several changes in a woman’s body. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to

Hot flashes

Breast tenderness

Lower sex drive

Fatigue

Vaginal dryness

These effects can be unpleasant and unavoidable, but there are many ways that a woman can manage menopause systems to improve the quality of her life during this important stage.

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Tips for Heart-Healthy Living

The heart may not be the strongest or largest muscle in the human body, but it’s arguably the most important, beating roughly 35 million times each year just to keep you going every day. 

However, one out of every four deaths is attributed to heart disease, making it the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. In fact, most people don’t know that cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills more Americans than all cancer deaths combined

Heart-healthy living doesn’t have to be hard, so in honor of American Heart Month here are a few simple tips to keep your clock ticking like normal.

Image of red fruits, berries, and grape tomatoes. Berries are a heart healthy food. Learn more.

Dieting

Don’t be afraid of the word “diet.” There are plenty of foods that are heart friendly and can still taste great, such as oatmeal, berries, and salmon. Dieting also doesn’t mean that you have to completely cut certain foods out of your life. 

Moderation is a key aspect to dieting, so make sure that you limit things like sodium, which can make your heart work harder when consumed in excess. Protein is a good thing; just try to limit meat servings to roughly the size of your palm. Living at a healthy weight for your size is big part of heart-healthy living.

Exercise

You don’t need a fancy gym membership to work out. Even in winter, there are plenty of simple ways to keep active. According to the American Heart Association, walking is one of the easiest ways to help your heart. 

Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can provide heart health benefits, so fit in some cardio where you can, whether that’s walking around the mall or grocery store while shopping or simply going up and down stairs at home. Even housework can help you reach your goal! 

There are plenty of free apps for your mobile device that can keep track the amount of steps each day, letting you know just how active you are on a daily basis. 

Check out this list of the 25 best fitness apps to help you keep track. 

Healthy Relaxation

Everyone needs to blow off some steam once in a while, but make sure to not harm your heart for the sake of relaxation. Smoking can lead to coronary heart disease in addition to a variety of other health issues. Much like certain foods, alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation. High levels of stress can negatively impact blood pressure. 

Combat stress by finding an activity that you enjoy, like starting a new hobby or listening to music. Even sitting calmly and comfortably for 10 minutes can lead to a healthier future.

Physicians: Spread the Word

Get a free 11x17 “Think Again” poster from the Ohio State Medical Association to encourage patients and professionals to “think again” about the risk factors and symptoms associated with heart disease, particularly as it relates to their gender and ethnicity. 

Download the Free Thank Again Campaign Poster (11”X17”) 

What steps are you taking to be more heart healthy this month? Let us know in the comments below. 

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.



Photo Credit:  “Red Fruits” by Martijn Van Sabben is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Game-Day Recipes: 3 Healthy Alternatives for Your Favorite Snacks

It's the end of January so that means the big game is just around the corner.

Have fun this Sunday with these health-conscious versions of our favorite game-day recipes. Your friends and family won’t notice the difference in calories or fat, especially since these snacks and dips are packed with tons of flavor. Low-fat yogurt, vegetables, and lean ground turkey make these a crowd-pleaser for every guest!

Baked Spinach Dip

Ingredients

  • 7 oz plain hummus
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Whole grain pita chips

Directions

  1. Place spinach and garlic in a food processor and pulse until garlic is diced and the spinach is in small pieces.
  2. Mix together the yogurt and egg in a bowl. Add in the hummus, spinach, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Place the mixture into an oven-safe dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. 
  5. Serve with pita chips, veggies or baked tortilla chips!

See the full recipe and more pictures for clean eating baked spinach feta dip

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What is Palliative Care?

Caring for loved ones with a serious or long-term illness is stressful. Spending time agonizing over decisions and trying to determine what the best course is for treatment can be daunting even for those who have been through it before.  

Patients and families who want more control of their health care, or the health care of a loved one, have turned to palliative care. You can get palliative care at the same time as treatment for the disease so that you can live your life as well as possible. 


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What is Palliative Care?

Think of palliative care as a team approach to caring for someone with a chronic illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for the patient and family while focusing on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness. 

I often talk about palliative care as having two arms: one is addressing goals of medical care and treatments and the other is aggressively trying to manage symptoms. Neither of these should prevent a person from continuing active treatment or pursuing a cure (if possible) of their disease. 

Palliative care is intended to better educate patients on the course and progression of their disease, to help their medical team better understand the patients’ goals and priorities, and to do all this while improving the patients’ everyday life and controlling symptoms.

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Dry Itchy Skin: The Winter Itch

Do you notice your skin is scaly and itchy since the winter has started?

The cold, dry air and lower humidity may lead to an impaired barrier of the skin and scaly and itchy skin. As one gets older this can especially be more prevalent and more severe. 

image of dry itchy skin

The tendency for dry skin may run in families and is usually a recurring problem, especially in winter. Because of this seasonal occurrence, it is sometimes referred to as "winter itch." In addition, several skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis, lead to dry skin and typically worsen in the winter months. 

Risk factors for dry skin include age 65 or older, living in a dry, cold climate and showering frequently.

Get Rid of the Itch!

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My Head Is Killing Me: Headaches & Treatment Options

Headaches can be a serious problem. Symptoms can range from mild discomfort that comes and goes, to severe and debilitating pain. 


So what can you do to improve your situation, and when should you seek professional medical help? 

Here is some information about common headaches and some information about when you need to see your doctor.