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Viewing posts from: November 2015

Women’s Health: Menopause Signs and Symptoms

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Menopause is a natural process for women. Knowing about menopause can help you be prepared when your body starts to change and you start moving through the process. What is menopause? Menopause is part of a gradual and natural process in which the ovaries produce less and less of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, and menstrual periods gradually disappear. For most women this process generally begins around age 40 when periods may become less regular. This time of change is called perimenopause or premenopause. The average age women complete menopause is around 51. Some women experience menopause at younger ages due to premature ovarian failure, cancer therapy or surgical removal of both ovaries. What are the signs of menopause? Each woman experiences menopause differently. Changing hormone levels can cause a variety of symptoms that may last from a few months to a few years or longer. Some women have slight discomfort or worse. Others have little or no trouble. If any of these changes bother you, check with your doctor.   The most common menopause symptoms include:  

  • Change in periods:One of the first signs may be irregular periods. Some may have a lighter flow than normal; others have a heavier flow and may bleed a lot for many days. They may come more often and last longer. There may be spotting between periods.
  • Hot flashes: A hot flash is a sudden rush of heat in the upper part or all of your body.
  • Problems with the vagina and bladder: Vaginal dryness, itching and burning can make sexual intercourse painful. Vaginal infections can become more common. Some women have more urinary tract infections or problems with holding urine.
  • Sex: Some women find that their feelings about sex change with menopause. Some have vaginal dryness that makes sexual intercourse painful. Others feel free after menopause, relieved that pregnancy is no longer a worry. Until you have had one full year without a period, you should still use birth control if you do not want to become pregnant. After menopause, a woman can still get sexually transmitted diseases and should make sure her partner uses a condom.
  • Sleep problems: Some women find they have a hard time getting a good night's sleep. They may not fall asleep easily or may wake too early. They may need to get up to go to the bathroom and then not able to fall back to sleep. Hot flashes can interfere with sleep.
  • Mood changes: There may be a relationship between changes in estrogen levels and a woman's mood. Shifts in mood also may be caused by stress, family changes or feeling tired. Depression is not a symptom of menopause.
  Still have questions? Talk to your doctor for more information about menopause and what you can do to help with your symptoms.

Kids Health: What is Croup?

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  When you hear it, you know it. The raspy guttural cough that comes out of your child's mouth in the middle of the night. They’re starting to get sick, and it sounds like croup. Croup is a condition that causes inflammation in the upper airways, the voice box and windpipe. It often leads to a deep cough or hoarseness, especially when a child cries. Most case of the croup are caused by viruses, usually parainfuenza and sometimes advenovirus or respiratory synctial virus. Viral croup is most common. Symptoms are most severe in children 6 months to 3 years old, but can affect older kids too. Some children are more prone to developing croup when they get a viral upper respiratory infection. But, most cases of viral croup are mild and can be treated at home. Rarely, croup can be severe and even life threatening. The term spasmodic croup refers to a type of croup that develops quickly and may happen in a child with a mild cold. The barking cough usually begins at night and is not accompanied by fever. Spasmodic croup has a tendency to come back.  Treatment of symptoms is the same for either form of croup. Signs and Symptoms of croup:

  • At first, a child may have cold symptoms, like a stuffy or runny nose and a fever. As the upper airway becomes more inflamed and swollen, the child may become hoarse, with a harsh, barking cough. This loud cough, which is characteristic of croup.
  • If the upper airway continues to swell, it becomes even more difficult for a child to breathe, and you may hear a high-pitched or squeaking noise during inhalation. A child also might breathe very fast or have retractions. In the most serious cases, a child may appear pale or have a bluish color around the mouth due to a lack of oxygen.
  • Symptoms of croup are often worse at night and when children are upset or crying. 
In addition to the upper airway effects, the viruses that cause croup can cause inflammation farther down the airway and affect the bronchi. For more information or if you think your child may be getting croup call your doctor today.  

Kidney Stones

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UFMC-BlogImage   Kidney stones are common, but the more you know about these painful little kidney block, the better prepared you will be if you ever get one. What is a kidney stone? A kidney stone is a solid formation that forms in a kidney when there are high levels of certain substances in the urine. These substances are normally found in the urine and do not cause problems at lower levels. A stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract. Kidney stones vary in size. A small stone may pass on its own, causing little or no pain. A larger stone may get stuck along the urinary tract. A stone that gets stuck can block the flow of urine, causing severe pain or bleeding. You may have a kidney stone if you:

  • have pain while urinating
  • see blood in your urine
  • feel a sharp pain in your back or lower abdomen
The pain may last for a short or long time. You may also experience nausea and vomiting with the pain. If you have a small stone that passes on its own easily, you may not have symptoms at all. What causes kidney stones? Kidney stones are caused by high levels of calcium, oxalate and phosphorus in the urine. Some foods may cause kidney stones in certain people. You may be more likely to get a kidney stone if you have:
  • a condition that affects levels of substances in your urine that can cause stones to form
  • a family history of kidney stones
  • repeating, or recurrent, urinary tract infections
  • blockage of your urinary tract
  • digestive problems
You may also be more likely to get a kidney stone if you don’t drink enough fluids or if you take certain medicines. If you think you may have a kidney stone or if you would like more information about them, contact us today.

Movember – Raise Awareness for Men’s Health

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“Movember” is an annual month long celebration to raise awareness for men’s health issues, such as depression in men, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and other male cancers, and associated charities. During the month of November, men generally take part in this celebration by growing moustaches to raise awareness for the cause. The overall goal of Movember is to "change the face of men's health, according to the Movember foundation.   Are you growing your Movember moustache? Whether you are male or female click here to find out more about how you can support the cause.  

American Diabetes Awareness Month

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November is American Diabetes Awareness Month. By bringing awareness to this serious disease and teaching people how they can change their eating habits, increase physical activity, and work on weight loss solutions, we can make a difference, specifically with those high risk of type 2 diabetes. Know the facts about diabetes!

  • Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States.
  • Diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if it’s not controlled.
  • One in 11 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 29 million people. And another 86 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What is diabetes? Diabetes is when the body does not properly process the food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, helps glucose enter your body’s cells. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. For more information about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website, or talk to your doctor about how you can stay healthy and lower your diabetes risk.