Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder involving the large intestine. Patients with IBS generally have overactive nerves and muscles in their intestines that over respond to normal stimuli such as eating. It is thought to affect 14 % of the United States population, but only about 3% of those affected seek medical advice and get diagnosed. The average age of diagnosis generally is in patients 25-54 years old, with women being twice as likely as men to suffer from the disorder. Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms can vary from person to person. Diarrhea, constipation, cramps, gas, and mucus in the stool are all common symptoms of IBS. This disorder can be difficult to clearly diagnose because there are no specific tests for it. Generally, a physician will diagnose based on symptoms and also by exclusion of more serious issues. Stool samples, blood work, and a colonoscopy may be performed to

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Plantar Fasciitis

PLANTAR FASCIITIS Plantar Fasciitis is a relatively common problem of the foot affecting about 1 in 10 people sometime in their lifetime. The plantar fascia is a ligamet (flat band) that runs from the heel, to the front of the foot. It is a very common cause of heal pain. The plantar fascia can easily become inflammed, weakened, or swollen and cause a great deal of pain to an individual. Activities such as running and jumping, as well as having an occupation that involves a great deal of standing predipose someone to getting plantar fasciitis. Obesity can also contibute to the develop of this foot condition. The pain that is produced by a damaged fascia is usually worse after the foot is in a resting position, and then a person gets up either out of bed or from a sitting position.  It can be extremely painful for a few steps

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GERD-Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Acid reflux affects over half of the population in the United States, with about 20% of people experiencing symptoms several times per week. Reflux occurs when stomach acid, bile, or occasionally food, washes back up into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is supposed to close to prevent food and acid from traveling back up into the esophagus. When this sphincter is damaged or weakened, acid reflux occurs. There is a wide range of symptoms that can happen when acid washes back up into the esophagus. These include: • Burning• Chest pain• Cough• Hoarseness• Sore throat• Difficulty swallowing• Lump in throat• Bloating• Burps/Hiccups• Nausea• Vomiting Over time, acid can cause severe irritation to the esophagus that can lead bleeding, scar tissue, ulcers, and narrowing of the esophagus. Chronic acid reflux can cause Barrett’s Esophagus which is a precancerous change in esophageal tissue. Some people have reflux symptoms that occur

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Stroke

Each year more than 800,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States. It is the 5th leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability. Of these 800,000 people, about 185,000 of them will die from their stroke and many will be left with permanent disabilities. There are 2 major types of strokes: hemorrhagic and ischemic. Hemorrhagic strokes account for about 15 % of stroke, while the other 85% involve ischemic strokes. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when there is bleeding into the brain, while ischemic strokes happen from a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes often occur from an aneurysm, while blood clots are largely responsible for ischemic strokes. Some patients experience what is called TIA’s or transient ischemic attacks that are mild and last less than 24 hours. They are mini-strokes that are a critical warning to patients to seek medical attention before

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National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and is intended to bring about a greater awareness of the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. Vaccines play an important role in preventing serious and sometimes deadly diseases. Vaccines make the immune system produce antibodies, just like it would normally do if it was exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity or protection to that disease, without having to get the disease first. Flu vaccines are one of the many important vaccines that people should get each year. Each year, an average of 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized from flu related complications. Many of the most seriously ill are those individuals with underlying medical conditions involving the lungs, heart, kidney, and liver. There are no exact numbers as to how many people die each year from the flu, because often the cause of death is

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Asthma Information & Tips

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children. Asthma is a disease that affects the airways of your lungs. With asthma, your airways’ lining tends to always be in a hypersensitive state characterized by redness and swelling (inflammation). It’s similar to how your skin becomes red, irritated and sensitive after a sunburn. This hypersensitive state makes the airways react to things that you are exposed to every day, or asthma “triggers.” A trigger could be the common cold, stress, changes in the weather, or things in the environment, such as dust, chemicals, smoke and pet dander. An asthma attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The attack happens in your body’s airways, which are the paths that carry air to

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Approaches in Cancer Treatment

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stops working. Old cells do not die and cells grow out of control, forming new, abnormal cells. These extra cells may form a mass of tissue, called a tumor. Some cancers, such as leukemia, do not form tumors. Treatment options depend on the type of cancer, its stage, if the cancer has spread and your general health. The goal of treatment is to kill as many cancerous cells while minimizing damage to normal cells nearby. Advances in technology make this possible. The three main treatments are: Surgery: directly removing the tumor  Chemotherapy: using chemicals to kill cancer cells Radiation therapy: using X-rays to kill cancer cells The same cancer type in one individual is very different from that cancer in another individual. Within a single type of cancer, such as breast cancer, researchers are discovering

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