HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Swollen ankle being massaged

What's the Skinny on Lymphedema?

March 13, 2018

Up to 10 million Americans are suffering from a condition that causes disruptive swelling in the arms and legs – it's called lymphedema. The "lymph" in lymphedema refers to the lymphatic system which rids our bodies of toxins. "Edema" is a medical term for swelling. If you've ever had a sprained ankle or wrist, you probably experienced swelling at the injury site. This kind of swelling is normal and resolves itself naturally as the body heals. For those suffering from lymphedema, the swelling is caused by an impaired lymphatic system. Left untreated, lymphedema can seriously damage your... Continue Reading

Man covering his eyes

Everything You Want to Know About Colonoscopies But Are Afraid to Ask

March 8, 2018

Colon and rectal cancer are the 2 nd leading causes of cancer death in the United States. A colonoscopy is the "Gold Standard" screening test that saves lives through early detection and removal of masses. The American Cancer Society reports that having a colonoscopy decreases your risk of developing colon cancer by a whopping 80 percent. Yet, many people avoid having this potentially lifesaving screening because of embarrassment, fear, or misunderstanding. We've compiled a list of the most common questions about colonoscopies. Put your fears and embarrassment aside. Here's everything you... Continue Reading

3D model of the Human brain

More Than a Hard Knock: Identifying Brain Injuries

March 5, 2018

Head injuries are often some of the scariest injuries to occur. With car accidents, falls, or other trauma, a possible head injury is one of the primary concerns for doctors. But even a seemingly innocent head bump or "hard knock" could lead to a more serious brain injury. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Take the time to get the facts so that you can be vigilant in understanding these types of injuries. Brain Injury Overview: Different Types of Brain Injuries Though there are many types of brain injuries, there are two general categories called traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired... Continue Reading

A neatly organized counter

The Organized Kitchen

March 1, 2018

You want to eat healthier and lose some weight? As with many things in life, in order to achieve your goal, you need to plan and set yourself up for success. One of the most important, and often overlooked, steps in this process is to organize your kitchen! By organizing your kitchen, you will create a welcoming environment where you will be more likely to want to prepare healthy foods and eat at home. Here are some tips for setting up your kitchen to encourage healthy eating. Clear the counters, cabinets, and the refrigerator ​ It is hard to choose and/or prepare healthy menu items when we... Continue Reading

Group huddle

A Revealing Look at the Hidden World of Eating Disorders

February 23, 2018

Eating Disorders Awareness Week will take place from February 26 th through March 4 th this year. The international awareness week focuses on tackling the myths and stereotypes that surround eating disorders, and aims to raise awareness and action by talking about the topics that matter to those that suffer from such disorders. Even though an estimated 10 million Americans have some form of eating-related disorder, there is still a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication. In a culture where diet and body image are heavily discussed and scrutinized, this can lead to a negative stigma... 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

changing a flat car tire

The Effects of Stress on Heart Health

February 20, 2018

Whether it's an unexpected bill, a flat tire, or an argument with your spouse, stress is a regular part of the human experience. Do you pop your top or stay super chill when you're confronted with stressful issues? Are you someone who strives to take everything in stride or do the veins in your forehead start to pulse at the mere hint of an obstacle in your path? How you deal with stress can affect your quality of life and shorten your lifespan. Everyone experiences and reacts to stress in different ways. Of course, sustained levels of stress and how you deal with it can adversely affect your... Continue Reading

Doctor performing a catheterization

What is Door-to-Balloon Time & Why is it Important?

February 15, 2018

At least one million Americans suffer from heart attacks every year, and quite a few don't survive. One of the biggest barriers to survival is getting the right treatment promptly. Fortunately, recent developments in emergency care for individuals suffering from a heart attack has helped to improve overall patient outcomes. The number of deaths from heart attacks has been reduced as well. Door-to-balloon time has played an enormous part in reducing the number of heart attack fatalities. What is Door-to-Balloon Time? Door-to-balloon time refers to the time it takes for a heart attack victim to... Continue Reading

rows of assorted pastries

4 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Increases Heart Disease Risks

February 13, 2018

Adding sugar to food makes food sweeter and tastier. Sweet treats are delicious, but consuming too much sugar on a regular basis is not healthy. In fact, eating too much sugar can be downright deadly. Even people who are not obese are at higher risk of developing heart disease due to increased sugar consumption. Limiting sugar intake is the best way to ensure heart health. Here are four reasons why eating too much sugar increases your risks of dying from heart disease: Sugar Increases Your Blood Pressure Yes, sugar may be worse for your blood pressure than salt. Open Journal, an academic... Continue Reading

stent next to a pen tip for size comparison

Cardiology 101: An Overview of the Stenting Process

February 8, 2018

A stent is a slender, metal mesh-like tube placed inside the coronary artery. The device is designed to act as a scaffold or support to prevent the vessel from narrowing. This helps to improve circulation to the heart and reduces pain caused by angina. In many cases, stenting is used along with balloon angioplasty. Most patients undergoing balloon angioplasty have stents inserted as well. Stents can be used in many parts of the body—not just the heart. Stents can be placed in the carotid arteries, aorta, and peripheral arteries in the legs. What Happens Before a Stenting? This procedure is... Continue Reading

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