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Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Woman exercising outside and drinking water from a water bottle

Go the Distance with Hydration

August 31, 2017

Harrowing tales of being lost at sea have always captured our imaginations. Who can forget Tom Hank's portrayal of a shipwreck survivor in the movie Castaway? In all these tales, finding water is a vital, primal need that makes the difference between life and death. In fact, water is more important than food in a survival situation. Your body is unable to function long without it. The human body is 65% water. Your brain is around 70% water, and your lungs are nearly 90% water. For proper body function, you need to replace about 2.5 quarts each day by consuming food and liquids. Hopefully,... Continue Reading

a lit cigarette with smoke

Are you Shortening Your Life with these 5 Unhealthy Habits?

August 29, 2017

Very few people look forward to getting older, but most people would agree that it's better than dying before your time. While most people would love to stop the aging process somewhere around age 25, this fantasy probably won't happen very soon. However, it is possible to increase your odds of living a longer and healthier life by practicing healthy habits. Unhealthy habits are one of the leading reasons why people die earlier. In 2010, the life expectancy for individuals living in the United States was 78 years. Just two short years later, this figure is rapidly declining for certain age... Continue Reading

Ketchup with sad tomatoes

Why People Who Suffer from Recurring Heartburn Should Avoid Tomatoes

August 23, 2017

You're probably already familiar with that burning sensation in your chest and the bitter taste of acid in your throat that seems to come on without warning. It can last for hours after consuming your favorite plate of pasta or pizza. Unfortunately, it can be hard to resist your favorite tomato-based dishes even though it's often a dietary disaster. Why Does Your Love for Tomatoes Punish You So? Unfortunately, for heartburn sufferers, tomatoes contain two types of acids, malic and citrus, that trigger heartburn. When you consume tomato-based products, your stomach produces gastric acid to... Continue Reading

Boy with book on his head in classroom.

Fidget Gadgets: Do They Really Help?

August 17, 2017

Foot shaking, pen tapping, finger drumming, or hair touching; welcome to the world of fidgeting! Fidgeting is a small, restless, physical action that seems to have no link to the primary task we're performing. Ask anyone who finds themselves stuck in a long meeting, class, or time of intense concentration, and they can probably tell you their favorite fidgeting behavior. In fact, fidgeting is so common that a wave of "fidgeting gadgets" are taking the consumer market by storm. Fidgeting spinners, cubes, and sensory balls are flying off the shelves, but do they work? The Science of Fidgeting... Continue Reading

Girl writing at her desk in a classroom

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

August 2, 2017

With school starting back soon, it is important to make sure your children, younger siblings and their friends are all in good health. Back to school time can be overwhelming between orientation forms, schedules and immunizations but it's important to make sure their eyes are also checked. August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, bringing forth education and awareness to the health and safety of children's eyes. This initiative is in connection with the American Academy of Ophthalmologists and Prevent Blindness America. Routine vision screenings are crucial in preventing long-term... Continue Reading

Augusta Health Doctors Awarded VCOM Preceptors of the Year Awards

VCOM Preceptor of the Year Awards

July 12, 2017

Dr. Olson was awarded the award of 3 rd Year Preceptor of the Year for the Eastern Virginia Region by the 3 rd Year VCOM students. Dr. Turner was awarded the same award except as a 4 th Year Preceptor of the Year by the 4 th Year students. Both of these awards are decided upon by the students who have rotated through Augusta Health. VCOM stands for the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is a non-profit osteopathic medical school. Graduates of this program will receive their DO, which is virtually indistinguishable from an MD. Physicians with a DO receive additional training in... Continue Reading

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day

Raise Awareness to Eliminate Hepatitis

July 12, 2017

The liver plays many important roles in the body including filtering toxins, storing minerals, and producing bile to help digestion. This organ is located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. Hepatitis is considered an inflammation of the liver. The World Health Organization explains that this condition can be caused by many different factors including infections, toxic substances (i.e. alcohol or certain drugs) and autoimmune diseases. The most common cause of hepatitis is the hepatitis virus. Although there are five specific hepatitis viruses that scientists have identified and... Continue Reading

A man holding his chest while speaking with a doctor

Breathe Easy: How Doctors Diagnose Asthma

July 10, 2017

Few medical symptoms are scarier than compromised breathing. If you are experiencing recurring symptoms that effect your breathing, you may want to be tested for asthma. Asthma occurs when your airways swell and become narrow making it difficult to breathe. Common triggers include: Allergic reactions to things like pollen, mold, or animals Environmental irritants such as smoke, chemicals, and air pollution Medications Exercise Stress These triggers can cause asthma symptoms such as: Wheezing Coughing Trouble breathing Chest tightness These symptoms are also present in many other illnesses. So... Continue Reading

Handmade graphic showing the decrease in cigarette usage when quitting smoking

Love Your Lungs: What Happens When You Quit Smoking

July 7, 2017

Smoking – maybe you started in high school or picked up your first cigarette during a stressful time. No matter how you started, one thing is for sure, smoking is a hard habit to break. Some even delay quitting because they feel the damage to their health is already done. It's true that smoking increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and many other illnesses. However, there's good news for those that decide to kick the habit. In fact, the benefits of being smoke-free start in as little as 20-minutes after you quit. A Journey Begins With a Single Step: The First 24 Hours After... Continue Reading

A woman sneezing with a field of wild flowers behind her

AHH-CHOO! Common Allergy Culprits and How to Avoid Them

July 5, 2017

Sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, and hives. These are some of the frustrating symptoms of allergies. We know the signs, but what are the culprits causing such discomfort? A variety of factors cause allergies. It can take a bit of detective work to find the actual source. Here's a rundown of how to identify and avoid those pesky allergy culprits. Common Allergy Culprits Finding the source of your allergies helps determine an effective treatment plan. Allergy sufferers can be susceptible to one or many of these common triggers: Pollen Dust mites Mold Food Animals and Cockroaches Insects... Continue Reading