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What you need to know about a stroke

stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with approximately 795,000 people suffering stroke each year. However, did you know that studies have shown that up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable?

A stroke occurs when a blood clot or broken blood vessel interrupts blood flow to the brain, causing brain cells to die. A transient ischemic attack (TIA), or mini-stroke, happens when blood flow to the brain stops briefly and then resolves. While this generally does not cause permanent damage, a TIA can be a warning sign that a full stroke is coming. Other signs and symptoms of stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause. Continue Reading »

Jog, hop or skip for health, but don’t skip breakfast

breakfast

I often hear people say that mornings always feel rushed. Even on weekends it seems like there are a million things to get done. For many, one way to save time is to skip breakfast. However, that is not a very wise choice. Even though there might be kids to drop off at school, work to get to on time and other deadlines in the morning, breakfast is important: it helps with attention span, weight control and helps replenish your body with nutrients.

While it is preferable to have a sit-down breakfast, sometimes that’s simply not an option that fits into our schedules. Many people have shared with me their strategies and food items that ensure breakfast is part of their morning routine, no matter how hurried they feel. Below are a few recommendations.

1. Set the breakfast table the night before. Give kids simple but healthy options to choose from and put non-perishable items (breakfast cereals, fruit cups, whole fruit, etc.) out on the table.

2. Pack a breakfast bag and put it in the fridge. Grab it as you walk out the door. Continue Reading »

What moms really want for Mother’s Day

moms

Listen up spouses, pay attention kids. You might be surprised to learn that boxes of chocolate, expensive perfumes or beautiful jewelry are not what many moms really want for Mother’s Day.

I decided to conduct a very informal poll of moms of all ages to find out what they really wanted for Mother’s Day. You might be surprised to hear their responses. Here are the top five answers.

5. “Special” gifts. Many moms mentioned that receiving hand-made gifts from little ones is very special. A hand-made card, a piece of artwork, a home-cooked meal, anything that reflects that time and effort were put into making that gift special is always appreciated. One mom commented that a gift made from the heart “is the gesture that meant that they thought of me and took the time to make something just for me.” This mom continued to say that a gift of any kind is especially treasured when it comes from teenagers. Another mom said “to hear an ‘I love you mommy’ from my kids is always precious!” Continue Reading »

Combating cancer-related fatigue

cancerfatigue

According to the American Cancer Society, fatigue is the most common side effect found in individuals going through cancer treatments. In fact, about 90 percent of patients have fatigue while they are receiving treatment. While working with various individuals throughout different stages of diagnosis in treatment I have found this to be a fairly accurate symptom assessment. The main difference that most people do not understand is that cancer-related fatigue is completely different from everyday tiredness or fatigue. Cancer-related fatigue makes general activities such as shopping, showering, dressing, household chores or work extremely difficult. The other major difference is that it can occur without warning and is not relieved with rest. Cancer-related fatigue is physically, mentally and emotionally draining for an individual, and it affects their ability to actively participate in daily life.

Some sings of cancer-related fatigue are: Continue Reading »

Uncover your cancer risk with a genetic counselor

genetic counselor

Genetic counselors are specially trained health care professionals with skills in medical genetics and counseling who work in a variety of settings, including cancer genetic risk assessment. We provide information and support to families who may be at risk for inherited conditions.

Consider meeting with a genetic counselor if you or a relative (aunts/uncles, grandparents, cousins, parents, siblings, and children):

  • Have had cancer at a young age (before age 50), and/or
  • Had two or more separate cancers, and/or
  • Have multiple family members with cancer

A genetic counselor will evaluate your family health history and talk about risks for inherited cancer, as well as screening and management for those at increased risk. If genetic testing is available, the counselor will tell you about the tests and help you decide if testing would be useful to you.

Continue Reading »

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.