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Viewing posts from: August 2017

General Info About Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alzheimer's Disease... Alzheimers Disease Your mind is such an important part of your being. Many Americans often start losing their memory and all too common suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. At first, someone with Alzheimer's disease may notice mild confusion and difficulty remembering. Eventually, people with the disease may even forget important people in their lives and undergo dramatic personality changes. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia — a group of brain disorders that cause the loss of intellectual and social skills. In Alzheimer's disease, the brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function. Current Alzheimer's disease medications and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms. This can sometimes help people with Alzheimer's disease maximize function and maintain independence for a little while longer. But because there's no cure for Alzheimer's disease, it's important to seek supportive services and tap into your support network as early as possible.   Starting to feel a difference in your memory and have additional questions about Alzheimer's disease? Make sure to talk to your doctor.

Hand Washing for Kids

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Handwashing Kids don't always listen when parents tell them to wash their hands before eating, after using the bathroom, or when they come inside from playing - especially in the ball pits that we’ve all heard so much about. But it's a message worth repeating — hand washing is by far the best way to keep kids from getting sick and prevent the spread of germs. Germs spread in many ways, including through touching dirty hands. They can spread by:

  • touching dirty hands
  • changing dirty diapers
  • through contaminated water and food
  • through droplets in the air released during a cough or sneeze
  • on contaminated surfaces
  • through contact with a sick person's body fluids
When kids come into contact with germs, they can become infected just by touching their eyes (think Pink Eye!), nose, or mouth. And once they're infected, it's usually just a matter of time before the whole family comes down with the same illness. What is the best way for kids to wash their hands? Each this to your kids — or better yet, wash your hands together often so they learn how important this good habit is:
  1. Wash your hands in warm water. Make sure the water isn't too hot for little hands.
  2. Use soap and lather up for about 20 seconds (antibacterial soap isn't necessary — any soap will do).
  3. Make sure you get in between the fingers and under the nails where germs like to hang out. And don't forget the wrists!
  4. Rinse and dry well with a clean towel.
Wash and wash always! It’ll help stop the spread of germs.

What is Gastroparesis?

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Gastroparesis Have you ever heard of Gastroparesis? I’m sure your guess consists of something related to the gut, but it is actually a condition that affects the normal spontaneous movement of the muscles (motility) in your stomach. Generally, strong muscular contractions propel food through your digestive tract. But, if you have gastroparesis, your stomach's motility is slowed down or doesn't work at all, preventing your stomach from emptying properly. Gastroparesis is sometimes treated with medications, such as opioid pain relievers, some antidepressants, and high blood pressure and allergy medications, and can lead to slow gastric emptying or cause similar symptoms. For people who already have gastroparesis, these medications may make their condition worse. Gastroparesis can interfere with normal digestion, cause nausea and vomiting, and cause problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition. The cause of gastroparesis is usually unknown. Sometimes it's a complication of diabetes, and some people develop gastroparesis after surgery. Although there's no cure for gastroparesis, changes to your diet, along with medication, can offer some relief. If you feel that you may have Gastroparesis or a similar condition, call us today and make an appointment to see your doctor.  

National Breastfeeding Month

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Smiling mother holding baby Did you know, August is National Breastfeeding month? Breastfeeding is very beneficial to you and your baby, but is also a completely personal decision and has both pros and cons depending on your situation.   Here are a few benefits and quirky facts about breast feeding: 1. Breastfeeding can actually reduce baby’s risk of disease later in life, including:

  • Asthma
  • Crohn’s disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Type I and II diabetes
  • Leukemia
  • Obesity
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • And more
2. Human milk boosts a baby’s immune system—helping baby fight viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections, including:
  • Respiratory infections
  • Ear infections
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Common colds and flus
3. Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.  The longer she breastfeeds, the higher the benefit. And did you know, breastfeeding a baby girl actually reduces her lifetime risk of breast cancer by 25%? 4. Breastfeeding saves a family approximately $2 to $4 thousand dollars annually (compared to cost of formula). 5. Breastfeeding helps the mother heal faster in the postpartum, helping her uterus return to pre-pregnancy size faster and lowering overall postpartum blood loss. 6. Breastfeeding can help the mother return to her pre-baby weight.  It takes 1,000 calories a day on average to produce breast milk.  Women are advised to consume an extra 500 calories a day, and the body dips into reserves it built up in pregnancy to make the rest (it’s important to consume those extra calories or the body actually goes into “starvation mode” and holds onto the reserves). 7. Producing breast milk consumes 25% of the body’s energy; the brain only uses 20% by comparison. 8. On average, babies remove 67% of the milk the mother has available—they eat until fullness, not until the breast is emptied. 9. Almost 75% of all moms produce more milk in their right breast, whether they are right- or left- handed. 10. The mother’s body is constantly making the perfect milk for the baby.  Milk changes its nutritional profile as the baby grows (milk made for a 3 month old is different than for a 9 month old).  Milk can even change day to day—for example, water content may increase during times of hot weather and baby-sickness to provide extra hydration.   There are even more benefits to breastfeeding and it’s a great month to celebrate them. Happy Breastfeeding Awareness month!  

It’s back to school and sports physical time!

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With summer racing by, as a parent here is what you need to know about your kids back to school and sports physical, as we head back to the school year. Back-to-school-chalkboard Before school starts, many young athletes will start preseason practices for fall sports. Prior to the start of preseason, all young athletes should have a pre-participation physical examination or sports physical to ensure they are healthy and ready to return to sports. Sports physicals ensure that your child is healthy enough to participate in the sport that he or she loves. The Colorado High School Activities Association requires that all athletes have medical clearance to participate in sports prior to the start of each new school year. The sports physical exam is similar to a normal well-child check-up with your doctor. This is what you can expect at your child’s visit:

  • Height, weight and blood pressure measurement
  • A detailed overview of past medical and family history. It is very important, especially if someone other than your regular doctor is performing the sports exam, to accurately and completely fill out the pre-participation history form
  • An exam looking at the head, eyes, ears, neck and throat, heart and lungs, abdominal region and an assessment of strength and flexibility. Any specific known problem areas or sites of previous injury will also be closely examined.
After the exam, if the physician feels that the athlete is healthy and safe to participate, he or she will complete a clearance form that the athlete’s family returns to the school. If the young athlete needs further evaluation and other medical tests before they are cleared to play, arrangements for the next steps of the evaluation will be made. The goal is to get the athlete back to the sport he or she loves as soon as it is safe. Your child’s pediatrician or family doctor is the best place for a yearly physical exam, including a sports physical. Your family doctor knows your child best and already has essential family and past medical history information. Ideally, sports physicals should be done 6 weeks prior to the start of preseason practice. This allows time for consultation with specialists if any abnormalities are noted during the exam. So, if you have not booked your appointment for your child’s sports physical contact us today!