Health Matters

  • Atrial fibrillation: Irregular heartbeats can be managed effectively

    December 11, 2019

    Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can be managed effectively when diagnosed promptly.

    During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly—out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. While AFib itself is not life-threatening, it is a serious medical condition that can lead to other more dangerous problems, such as strokes or heart failure.1

    One of the most serious concerns with AFib is the potential to develop blood clots within the upper chambers

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  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

    December 10, 2019

    Breathing easier starts with smoking cessation

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a family of very common lung diseases that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

    COPD usually progresses gradually, causing limited airflow in and out of the lungs. It also adds to the work of the heart by reducing the amount of oxygen that goes to the blood. High blood pressure in blood vessels from the heart to the lungs makes it difficult for the heart to pump. Lung disease can also make the body produce too many red blood cells, which might make the blood thicke

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  • Complex PTSD

    Prolonged or repeated trauma turns PTSD into complex PTSD

    Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD) is a psychological condition caused by prolonged or frequent exposure to traumatic events.

    PTSD is generally related to a single event, while complex PTSD is related to a series of events or one prolonged event. Symptoms of PTSD or complex PTSD can arise after any traumatic episode, such as a car crash, an earthquake, or a sexual assault.1

    “PTSD is a clinical diagnosis, meaning that there are no lab tests or X-rays that confirm the diagnosis. Rather, a menta

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  • Contending with rotator cuff tendinitis

    Shoulder surgery is not always the answer

    Rotator cuff tendinitis—the inflammation of key tendons in the shoulder—is the most-common cause of shoulder pain and it can usually be treated without surgery.

    The earliest symptom is a dull ache around the outside tip of the shoulder that gets worse when you push, pull, reach overhead, or lift your arm up to the side.1

    Lying on the affected shoulder also hurts, as do common activities like getting dressed, lifting anything, or raising your arms over your head for any reason. Eventually, the pain may become more severe and

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  • Surgery complications: What to be aware of and how to prevent them

    When an illness leads to surgery, it can be a very frightening and difficult experience. Even with the modern advances that reduce recovery times and make patients more comfortable, complications still can occur.

    The most common complications vary from surgery to surgery and patient to patient. Most complications are minor and resolved quickly and easily in the days following an operation. But for some patients, surgery can lead to more-serious types of problems, such as pneumonia or an infection.1

    “Wound infection is probably the most common universal complication,” accor

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  • 8 tips for staying heart-healthy at any age

    August 20, 2019

    Nearly half of all adults in the United States have some type of heart disease, which can build slowly over time to cause health issues or lead to a cardiac event. Heart attacks and strokes, occurring as a result of cardiovascular disease, limit blood supply to the heart or brain.

    Cardiovascular disease is not an “old person’s problem”—the disease and the conditions that lead to it can start at any age.1 Half of us have at least one of its top-three risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.1

    Whether you have these heart disease risk factors

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  • What to do about your osteoarthritis

    April 2, 2019

    Arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, is an extremely painful degenerative disease that affects the joints and incapacitates those who suffer from it.

    In the face of this disease, major advances are being promoted by governments and institutions of different countries through research of diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms. However, the approach to the disease has changed considerably.

    According to some experts, the concept of osteoarthritis as a disease has seen a transformation from being a disease that affected only the cartilage tissue to a chronic diseas

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  • Get a second opinion before you have an irreversible surgery

    Orthopedic conditions like arthritis, joint issues, back pain, and chronic pain affect an estimated 126.6 million Americans, twice the number of Americans living with chronic heart or lung conditions.1

    Why are orthopedic conditions on the rise?

    With the advancements being made in healthcare technology, it’s surprising that the results of surgeries for orthopedic issues aren’t improving. Often, after surgery, the pain comes back or potentially worsens. This is due to several factors including the weight of the patient, where the issue resides, and what the X-ray shows versu

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  • AIDS and HIV

    March 7, 2019

    Basic causes and prevention

    Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), has had a profound effect on global thinking about health and disease since it was first identified in the 1980s.

    HIV attacks the immune system, causing gradual damage that can lead to serious infections and cancers that a healthy immune system would fight off.1 An HIV test is the only way to know if you are HIV-positive and susceptible to AIDS.

    Current treatment for HIV works by reducing the amount of the virus in the body, enabling the imm

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  • Malignant neoplasms in the prostate

    Very common, but with high survival rates

    There were 1.3 million new prostate cancer cases in 2018,1 but the slow growth rate of the tumors (or “malignant neoplasms”) makes it a highly manageable illness.

    A malignant neoplasm is a cancerous tumor that grows in the prostate gland, a walnut-shaped male reproductive gland just below the bladder that controls the flow of semen. With early diagnosis, most men with this type of cancer can live for years with no problems.

    Prostate cancer is often a slow-growing disease. Because of this, you are more likely to die from othe

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