HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

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

Girl friends smiling

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Cervical Health

January 3, 2018

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Cervical health is one of the most sought-after health topics today, and as a woman, it's in your best interest to stay aware about cervical cancer and its potential threats. Fortunately, cervical cancer is preventable when you get the necessary screenings and follow your doctor's care recommendations. When doctors find cervical cancer early, there is hope for a cure, but it can still be life-threatening. Due to this risk, you should take the first step to ensure that you know the status of your cervix so that you can stay healthy. What is Cervical... 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

Man in thought

HPV in Men: A Growing Health Concern

December 5, 2017

In recent years, the human papillomavirus or HPV, has become a hot topic. Vaccines to protect against the virus have gained media attention and are a topic of debate for many parents since vaccines are recommended around 11 or 12 years of age. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that almost 80 million people are currently infected with HPV in the United States. In 2017 alone, 14 million people, including teenagers, are expected to be diagnosed with HPV. Most of the recent HPV media coverage has focused on women since HPV can cause several types of gynecological cancers like... Continue Reading

Stresses woman with a hand on her forehead

Cope with Stress and Depression During the Holidays

December 1, 2017

The holiday season, stretching from Thanksgiving through New Years, can be a time of joy, celebration, gatherings with family and friends and reflection of blessings. This is not the case for all, as many people reflect on their current situation, be it financial, relational, spiritual or other. They look at the past with disappointment and to the future with uncertainty. Holiday Depression and SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder are two distinct mental health conditions that are real during this time of year. According to Mental Health America, many factors can cause the "holiday blues":... Continue Reading

checking blood glucose

Diabetes: One of the Fastest Growing Diseases in America

November 29, 2017

Over 100 million adults in the United States have diabetes or pre-diabetes according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control . Alarmingly, the rate of type 2 diabetes has doubled over the last five years. This chronic condition can cause other serious health complications and even death if left untreated. It's imperative to know the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of diabetes. What is Diabetes? Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce insulin correctly. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use and store sugar from food for energy. Problems occur when the pancreas... Continue Reading

A woman escorting her mother to a doctor appointment at a hospital

What are Advance Directives and Why Are They Important?

November 29, 2017

By planning in advance, you can get the medical care you desire while relieving loved ones of making major medical decisions during moments of grief or crisis. Advance directives help reduce the confusion and disagreements about medical care. Many people think advance directives are only for the elderly. However, unexpected end-of-life situations can happen to anyone at any age. It’s important for everyone to prepare an advance directive.Continue Reading

Man hiking through the woods

National Take a Hike Day

November 17, 2017

The Shenandoah Valley offers the fortune of having the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains to look at every single day. On November 17 th , we celebrate National Take a Hike Day. According to WebMD, hiking increases the amount of calories burned compared to walking on a flat surface. With the fortune of having mountains all around us, we have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of this day, or any sunny day in the Shenandoah Valley. Days like National Take a Hike Day reminds us to get off of the couch and exercise. Some examples of health benefits to walking and hiking are: Reduces the risk... Continue Reading

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