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Educational health information to improve your well-being.

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translucent 3D model of the human body with the liver highlighted

Why Your Liver is the Gatekeeper to Good Health

October 2, 2018

October is Liver Awareness Month! It's well-deserved recognition for this often underappreciated organ. In fact, your liver is the superstar of your digestive system. Everything you consume passes through your liver and is sorted for nutrients. It decides what stays in your body for nourishment and what toxins to expel. Healthy habits keep your liver running like a well-oiled machine. Unhealthy habits can damage this vital organ. So, how can you keep your liver, the gatekeeper to good health, in prime shape? Understanding the Hardworking Liver Your liver is not only the gatekeeper to good...Continue Reading

A doctor examining a patient's neck

Small Gland, Big Job: Why Your Thyroid is So Important

September 11, 2018

Did you know you have a butterfly with a shield in your neck? That's right; your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland with a name that comes from the Greek word for "shield." The thyroid gland sits at the base of your neck below your Adam's apple and weighs less than an ounce. This small but mighty gland controls your metabolism – the process of converting food into energy. Your thyroid is so important that you are unable to live without it unless you have medicine to replace its hormones. The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system – the system that includes all the glands in your...Continue Reading

Doctor checking a patient's heart

5 Surprising Facts About the Life of a Doctor

August 30, 2018

Doctor's hold a revered position in our society. Beyond patient's normal interactions with doctors there are interesting facts about the lives of doctors, that may surprise you. For instance, doctors work an average of 1.5 times more hours per week than the average American. In other words, it would take 54 years to complete the work that a doctor does in 36 years. What does the life of someone so busy look like? Can they sustain healthy friend and family relationships? Here are five unique facts to better explain the mind of the average doctor in today's society. Reporting for Duty There are...Continue Reading

Friends throwing leaves in the air

4 Healthy Actions You Should Take Before Fall Arrives

August 28, 2018

As summer draws to a close, it's time to look forward to the transition into fall. Crisp days, leaves changing color, pumpkin patches, and hot apple cider makes for the perfect fall day. The change of seasons is also the ideal time to take seasonal precautions for your health. With a little planning, it's easy to make fall a healthy and happy season! Get Your Flu Shot The most recent flu season put most of us on notice about the importance of getting a flu shot. In fact, during the 2017-2018 flu season upwards of 4,000 Americans were dying each week from the flu. The flu can be tricky because...Continue Reading

Father playing guitar while his daughter watches

Could These Five Hobbies Improve Your Health?

July 12, 2018

In addition to having something enjoyable to do on your free time, hobbies may have many health rewards! Many activities improve overall wellness while others may prevent specific health concerns. To get your wheels turning about which hobbies will enrich your life and improve your health, here are five unique activities you should consider weaving into your daily schedule: Coloring Any activity that repetitively puts your hands to work may help relieve stress. Coloring can be viewed as a therapeutic activity, leading to several mental health benefits. A study in the Western Journal of...Continue Reading

Woman with her hands on the side of her face

Pain Points: The Anatomy of Headaches and Migraines

June 6, 2018

Nearly everyone has experienced a headache in their lifetime. The problem may be caused by something as simple as staying up too late or being overly stressed. However, headaches may be signaling to you that something more serious is at hand. How does a headache happen in your body, what type of headaches do you have, and when do you need to contact your doctor? The anatomy of headaches Even though it feels like it, a headache is not truly a pain in your brain. Most headaches happen in the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles that cover a person's head and neck. Often, the tissues or blood...Continue Reading

Two surgeons in an operating room performing surgery

An Inside Look at Treating Trauma

May 28, 2018

What does a crushed leg sustained in a car accident, a severe burn from scalding water, and a concussion from playing football have in common? They are all considered traumas. However, trauma includes a complex layering of both physical and psychological ramifications. Health care professionals deal with trauma in a variety of capacities from life-saving medical interventions to long-term emotional care. It’s estimated that at least 70% of people will experience a traumatic injury or event in their lifetime. In recent years, developing new treatment programs and revising old ones to meet...Continue Reading

nurse teaching citizen

Human Innovation: Faith Community Nurses

May 11, 2018

Faith Community Nurses Reach Out to Provide Compassionate and Professional Care Throughout Augusta County Sometimes innovation comes in the form of human connection. Augusta County is the size of the state of Rhode Island, and its small communities stretch its width and breadth. Augusta Health's Community Health Needs Assessment indicated that the health concerns among the communities were similar, but fluctuated. So how could Augusta Health reach out to these widespread communities, connect with them, and meet their health needs? The answer turned out not to be a high tech social media app...Continue Reading

grove of trees

Beware of the Bite: Why is Lyme Disease So Hard to Diagnose?

May 9, 2018

The thought of a tick burrowing into your skin and sucking your blood is enough to give anyone a case of the creepy crawlies. These pests are more than just a minor nuisance. The blacklegged tick, sometimes called a deer tick, carries bacteria that can infect humans with Lyme disease. Each year, approximately 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease. Ninety-five percent of Lyme disease cases come from: Virginia Vermont Wisconsin Rhode Island Pennsylvania New York New Jersey New Hampshire Minnesota Massachusetts Maryland Maine Delaware Connecticut Diagnosing Lyme disease can be...Continue Reading

hand holding a cigarette

FDA to Cut Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes

April 23, 2018

Smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, and firearm-related incidents combined. Because of this, the FDA is working to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, the portion that causes the smoker to become addicted. What are the real health risks of smoking, and why is the legislation being processed now? An Overview of Smoking An estimated 37.8 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000...Continue Reading

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