HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

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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

Advance Planning

April 16, 2018

Most people know that April 15 is 'Tax Day'—the day taxes are due to the IRS. But many don't realize that April 16 is a day just as important. It's National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day that highlights the importance of letting healthcare providers, family and friends know what measures you want taken—or don't want taken—at the end of your life. National Healthcare Decisions Day is a collaborative effort between national, state and local community organizations to be sure that all adults have the resources they need to communicate their wishes about future healthcare decisions. These...Continue Reading

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A Month of Laughter

April 2, 2018

April is National Humor Month . National Humor Month was founded in 1976 by comedian and best-selling author Larry Wilde, Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor. Steve Wilson, Psychologist, Joyologist, Cheerman of the Bored and Founder of World Laughter Tour, is the Director of National Humor Month. Fun and Happy designated days in April are International Fun-At-Work Day on April 5 th and Pursuit of Happiness Day on April 13 th . (April 13 th is Thomas Jefferson's birthday. He is author of the famous 'pursuit of happiness' phrase in our Declaration of Independence.) To bring joy into your...Continue Reading

Futuristic scan of human body

The Body’s Filter: Keeping Up with the Kidneys

March 22, 2018

Just like your favorite water bottle with the filtering cap, your kidneys separate the good substances in your body's fluids from those that might harm you. March is National Kidney Month so it's the perfect time to learn more about these often-misunderstood organs. What are your kidneys? Your kidneys sit on each side of the spine underneath the rib cage and look like two bean-shaped organs, each the size of a human fist. These organs are important not only as filters, but also for balancing the body's natural acid, potassium, and salt contents. Kidneys filter waste and toxins out of the...Continue Reading

Woman looking in a mirror

Fountain of Youth: Could a new pill prevent aging?

February 22, 2018

Anti-aging pills are not new in our lifetime. Most of them have been around even more than some of us have. Perhaps the one thing that keeps getting better is the hype and marketing around such pills. Increasingly, these pills promise youthfulness and other transformative anti-aging effects on the human body. It is a known fact that preventive health is good business and those who can find a magic pill first stand to make billions. The latest addition to the anti-aging race is Lenny Guarente, a prominent player in the gerontology field. Until recently, he was the head of MIT's Paul F. Glenn...Continue Reading

Pile of peanuts in the shell

Can a Patch Prevent Peanut Allergies?

January 16, 2018

For nearly 15 million Americans, sitting down to a meal or grabbing a snack comes with a whole host of considerations because of food allergies. An allergic reaction can range from mild symptoms to critical flare-ups that require emergency care. Of the eight major food allergens including milk, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish – peanut allergies affect over 3 million Americans. Food allergies are especially pesky since most people are allergic to more than one food. The prevalence of food allergies has prompted researchers to focus on new ways of treating the condition. A...Continue Reading

Researcher looking through a microscope

New Culprit Found in the Hunt for Causes of Parkinson’s Disease

January 8, 2018

Researchers working to unearth the cause or causes for Parkinson's disease are following a line of evidence linked to farmers. It is known that farmers are more prone to getting Parkinson's disease. One of the reasons this may be the case is may be due to exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. One 2006 study that had followed patients for 9 years, showed that patients with regular exposure to pesticides had a 70% higher incidence of Parkinson's. But this study didn't look at specific types of pesticides. Now, more recent data shows that Paraquat and Rotenone, specifically, may cause more...Continue Reading

Patient getting his blood pressure checked

Nearly 50% of Americans Have High Blood Pressure. Could You?

January 5, 2018

When you go to the doctor, more than likely your appointment starts with a check of your vital signs – temperature, pulse, respiration rate, and blood pressure. We're all striving to fall within the healthy range in these areas. However, a recent announcement by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology changes the range for what's considered healthy. This new guideline means that 46% of Americans, nearly half the population, is now diagnosed with high blood pressure. The New Normal Previous guidelines define high blood pressure as a systolic reading of 140 or more...Continue Reading

Woman giving medicine to a man laying in bed

Inflammation: Why It's a Red Flag for Your Health

December 12, 2017

Remember the last time you cut your finger or stubbed your toe? More than likely you noticed signs of inflammation as your body was healing. The redness, swelling, warmth, and stiffness you experience after an injury is your body's way of repairing the damage and warding off dangerous bacteria or viruses. Inflammation is a natural process that occurs when your white blood cells kick into high gear and produce substances to protect and heal the body. A Closer Look at Chronic Inflammation In some instances, the body can trigger inflammation incorrectly, resulting in damage to normal tissue...Continue Reading

Female provider talking with a patient

Yes or No? When Are Antibiotics the Right Answer?

December 7, 2017

Whether it's a persistent cough, a stuffy nose, or a fever – the expectation when seeing a doctor is that we'll be given medicine to make us feel better. While short-term relief is what we're after, could our reliance on antibiotics be harming us in the long run? It turns out that overusing or misusing antibiotics may result in antibiotic resistance – one of the world's most concerning public health problems according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). So, how do you know when to say yes and when to say no to antibiotics? Bacteria versus Viruses The culprits of what ail us come in two...Continue Reading

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