HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Dr. Pereles speaking with a patient

Getting to Know Dr. Tom Pereles

February 21, 2017

Shortly before our interview is set to begin I receive a call. An urgent, unplanned surgery has just come up and Dr. Pereles has asked if we can push back our meeting 30 minutes. I tell Dr. Pereles, who insists I call him Tom, that won't be a problem. For Tom, this is just another day at Augusta Health. Tom spent his early days as a child growing up in the Maryland suburbs outside of our nation's capital where he attended public schools. He graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, MD before going off to study at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where he received... Continue Reading

Echo-ing the Interior of Your Heart

February 20, 2017

For avid fishermen, the ability to 'see' underwater to determine choice fishing spots is key to a successful day of fishing. Some of them use ultrasound to help them find schools of fish. The ultrasound waves are created and beamed through the water, and when they encounter fish—marked by a change in the density of the water—the ultrasound bounces back to the fisherman in the boat. The fisherman's ultrasound equipment can analyze the beam to determine the shape and size of the objects bouncing back. So with the aid of ultrasound, the lucky fisherman has found fish. Rodney Graber, MD, FACC, a... Continue Reading

Types of Heart Defects

Cardiology 101: Understanding the Different Types of Heart Defects

February 17, 2017

A healthy heart has arteries, valves, and chambers that are responsible for carrying blood throughout the body. When these components work as they should, blood is pumped in a circulatory pattern, through the heart, then to the lungs to obtain oxygen, back to the heart, and finally, throughout the body to deliver oxygen. If anything is amiss with the arteries, chambers, and valves, circulation can be impaired. What is a Heart Defect? Heart defects are structural problems that arise due to abnormal formation of the heart or major blood vessels. There are at least 18 different types of... Continue Reading

Keith Cooper enjoys life with his family and horses again

Be Still My Heart: Treating Atrial Fibrillation

February 17, 2017

For most people, a fast-beating heart is a sign of excitement, exercise or anticipation. For approximately five million adults in the United States, however, it is a symptom of Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib. AFib is a serious medical condition. It's a major cause of stroke, congestive heart failure, heart attacks and hospitalizations. "AFib is an abnormal heart rhythm that causes the heart to beat fast and chaotically, and at times even slow down and stop," explains Glenn Brammer, MD, a cardiologist at Augusta Health Cardiology and an expert in cardiac electrophysiology. "Our heart has four... Continue Reading

Office desk with a computer

9 Tips for Staying in Shape with an Office Job

February 9, 2017

Staying fit when you work behind a desk 40+ hours per week can be a real challenge. To make things even worse, our lives are busier than ever and finding time to go to the gym can seem impossible. However, a sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on our healthy lifestyles and increase our risk of developing illness, and reduce our overall energy levels. We decided to put together some basic steps you can implement into your busy lives to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, even at the office. Out with the Bad Consuming less unhealthy food throughout the day can make a dramatic difference in... Continue Reading

Man with heart pain clutching his chest

Heart Attack Warning Signs You Should Not Ignore

February 8, 2017

Heart attacks are the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, approximately 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack or myocardial infarction. Ventricular fibrillation is a leading cause of death of heart attack sufferers, and this typically occurs before victims can make it to an emergency room. For those who can get treatment in time, the prognosis is excellent, as most modern treatments yield a survival rate of more than 90 percent. The remaining percentage of those who do eventually die are those who have suffered significant damage to the... Continue Reading

A healthy salad and entree ready for meal time

3 Heart-Healthy Meals for Winter

February 7, 2017

You may be hoping for rising temperatures, but there are still several more weeks of winter. In celebration of Heart Month, treat yourself to three warm dishes packed with flavor and kind to your heart.Continue Reading

Calling an ambulance instead of driving yourself to a hospital when a loved one suffers a heart attack may save their life.

Life Saving Advice: What to Do if a Loved One Suffers a Heart Attack

February 2, 2017

When someone you love is suffering from a heart attack, every minute matters when seeking medical care. How you react when the unthinkable happens can be the difference between life and death. To help, we’ve put together some incredibly important information about how to react to a heart attack. If somebody you’re with is suffering from a heart attack you should immediately call 9-1-1, request an ambulance, and have the person chew and swallow a Tylenol while waiting for an EMT to arrive. It is strongly advised during a heart attack that you should not drive them to the hospital yourself,... Continue Reading

Stressed office worker

Reducing Stress has Immediate and Long-Term Effects

February 1, 2017

What is stress? According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), stress is the brain's response to any demand, usually triggered by change. This stress-causing change can be a positive or negative, real or perceived, long-term or short-term, major or minor, harmful or harmless. Not all stress is bad- stress; responses that follow dangerous situations can save your life by heightening your senses and trigger a "fight-or-flight" response to threats. However, chronic stress can cause that same "fight-or-flight" response to be triggered within the body for a lengthy period of time and... Continue Reading

Too much exercise can lead to health issues

Can Too Much Exercise Be Bad for You?

January 31, 2017

Everyone knows exercise is necessary to have a truly healthy lifestyle, but is it possible to get too much of a good thing? While exercise yields a wealth of health benefits, pushing yourself too long or too hard may increase your risk of injury or have other adverse effects. But how do you know when you’re pushing yourself too hard? There is a fine line between an intense workout and overdoing it. Here are five signs that your workout routine may be over the top and you should consider reigning things in a bit: Exercise Leaves You Exhausted When you work out, it's normal to feel tired during... Continue Reading

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