Expert Health Articles

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition for those who frequently partake in repetitive or vibratory activities such as construction or factory work, hair styling, driving and more. This occurs when the median nerve within the carpal tunnel inside the wrist becomes surrounded by inflammation. Patients with this syndrome may experience numbness, tingling and/or weakness in the hand as well as "shooting" pains from the hand through the forearm.
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  • Lung Cancer Screening and Prevention
    Lung cancer is currently the leading cancer death in the United States. There are several ways to lower your risk of lung cancer, including smoking cessation and lung cancer screening programs. Several services offer assistance to patients who are trying to quit smoking, and providers can refer patients to screening programs. Defend yourself against lung cancer with these prevention tactics.
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  • Defining a Whole Grain
    Whole grains provide nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals, contributing to a well-rounded diet. The most common types of whole grains in the United States are wheat, rice, corn and oats, but other types include barley, rye, quinoa and more. Whole grains are made up of three parts—the bran, endosperm and germ—that each provide nutrients. Purchasing whole grain products can be tricky, since labels are often misleading. Look for specific words on labels and ingredient lists to add healthier, whole grain products to your diet.
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  • Summer Exercise and Heat Illness
    Many people enjoy taking advantage of summer’s warm temperatures by exercising outdoors. However, exercising in the heat increases the risk of heat illness, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat cramps are muscle spasms caused by being overly hot, heat exhaustion is dehydration as a result of excessive sweating, and heat stroke—the most serious heat illness—occurs when the body can no longer maintain a normal temperature and extreme symptoms occur. Take preventative actions to reduce your risk of heat illness before exercising outside.
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  • Everything You Need to Know About Abdominal Herinas
    Abdominal hernias occur when an irregular or abnormally large hole appears in the lining fascia, a thin layer of tissue that encloses muscles or organs. While certain holes in the fascia are normal, over time holes can enlarge or new holes can appear that cause organs to slip out. Under certain conditions, these can be painful and even dangerous. It is important to take preventative actions such as exercising regularly and quitting smoking to prevent holes from enlarging. Talk to your provider about the steps you can take to prevent or repair hernias.
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  • The Challenges of Managing Asthma
    Management of asthma requires understanding the underlying condition, knowledge about specific triggers (viral infections, weather changes, cigarette smoke, exercise, allergens), recognition of signs/symptoms and prompt treatment with rescue medications. Children with persistent or poorly controlled asthma may also need to use daily medications to adequately control their symptoms.
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  • Reflux in Infants
    It is very common for a baby to have reflux after feeding, also known as spitting up. At least 90 percent of babies have some reflux symptoms by four months of age and more than 50 percent of babies spit up regularly in the first months of life.
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  • Beyond the Backpack: Back-to-school shoe shopping tips to keep kids healthy and parents happy
    Foot health is directly related to an individual’s overall health, no matter their age. Proper footwear is essential to foot health, so it’s important for parents to ensure kids go back to school with a good foundation on their feet. Shoes are one of the most important back-to-school purchases parents will make.
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  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program
    The #Metoo movement has empowered men and women to come forth and share their story regarding sexual assault. However, recent statistics reveal that only five to six percent of sexual assault cases are reported. Come to the emergency room. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault a medical and forensic exam can be provided free of charge.
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  • Hold the Gluten
    Gluten is a protein found in grains such as barley, wheat and rye. It is the protein that gives bread its chewy texture. When someone with celiac disease eats foods containing gluten, the body reacts to the protein and causes damage to the villi of the small intestine, which then cannot properly absorb nutrients. Celiac is not a food allergy, but rather a condition that causes intestinal issues. Patients can be diagnosed with celiac disease by blood tests or endoscopy and must follow a strict gluten-free diet after being diagnosed.
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  • The Benefits to Healthy Snacks
    In America, snacking can have a large impact on your health. The average American eats 2.2 snacks per day and can consume up to one-quarter of their total calories from snacks. If the snacks you choose to eat are healthy, they can be beneficial by increasing nutrient intake, sustaining energy and recovering quickly post-exercise. Additionally, if you struggle with blood sugar levels, eating snacks high in fiber and protein can prevent the fluctuation of blood sugar levels between meals. Managing your portion sizes is important to avoid weight gain, so preparing healthy snacks ahead of time can help you control how much you are consuming.
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  • Female Urinary Incontinence
    Many women experience symptoms of urinary incontinence, or the involuntary leakage of urine. Urinary incontinence can have a negative impact on an individual’s quality of life, so it is important to understand the causes and treatment options. This condition can be a result of risk factors such as age, obesity, parity with vaginal delivery and smoking. Symptoms may be experienced when there is increased abdominal pressure, such as coughing, laughing and/or sneezing. While treatment varies between women, options include pelvic floor therapy, lifestyle modifications, medical devices, medications or surgery.
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  • Comprehensive Stroke Care is Closer Than You May Realize
    Blanchard Valley Health System in partnership with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center offer telemedicine services through telestroke in the emergency departments of Blanchard Valley Hospital and Bluffton Hospital. One of the major goals of the Telestroke Network is to increase access to advanced stroke care in regions of Ohio. When someone is taken to one of those emergency departments with stroke symptoms, experts are mobilized both there and at Ohio State through a “stroke alert.”
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  • Why Fiber?
    Most people are told throughout their lives that eating more fiber is healthy. This is because fiber is only present in plants and does not naturally exist within animals, yet it provides significant health benefits. Soluble fiber assists us in forming gasses to maintain intestinal bacteria, while insoluble fiber aids the passage of food through the digestive system. Additionally, fiber improves satiety and reduces risk of heart disease. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend men and women consumer differing amounts of fiber each day to experience the benefits.
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  • The Importance of Professional Grade Monthly Facials
    Despite how busy life can become, it is important to take time to care for our skin. Receiving a monthly facial can simulate blood and oxygen flow to increase elasticity, slow aging processes and protect the top layer of skin from imperfections. Facials bring balance to the skin and promote cellular turnover to help achieve these results. Additionally, most facials include a certain amount of face, neck, décolletage and shoulder massage to help rid the body of toxins. Facials are an excellent way to distress and bring your skin to full health.
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  • Kawasaki Disease
    Kawasaki disease is a self-limiting, acute febrile illness associated with generalized vasculitis, which is defined as the inflammation of the small and medium-sized blood vessels, causing thickening and obstruction of coronary arteries. This most commonly occurs in children and can lead to a number of health problems, such as coronary artery aneurysms, myocardial infarction and sudden death. While the etiology of Kawasaki disease in western countries is still unknown, diagnostic criteria and treatment procedures have been defined.
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  • Colorectal Cancer
    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States. Although thousands of new cases of colorectal cancer are expected to develop this year, there are prevention methods that can be used to reduce modifiable risk factors such as losing weight or limiting red and processed meat intake. Additionally, preventing colorectal cancer by removing polyps significantly lowers risk. Men and women of average risk should begin receiving colonoscopies at age 50 to remove potentially cancerous polyps as soon as possible. Start lowering your risk factors, getting screened and decreasing your chances of developing colorectal cancer.
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  • Pain Associated with Endometriosis
    Endometriosis is a common disease affecting an estimated 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, equating to approximately 5 million women in the United States alone. This disease involves the lining of the uterus growing outside the uterus, leading to severe pain that worsens during menstruation. Unfortunately, many women with endometriosis avoid telling their health care providers about the pain they experience due to lack of awareness, feeling as if they are exaggerating their pain or avoiding the subject out of embarrassment. Awareness of endometriosis can help provide women with a variety of treatment options and prevent them from missing out on work and activities due to pain.
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  • Preparing for Spring
    Many people tend to prepare for spring by cleaning indoors. Keeping your surroundings fresh and clean gives you a calm and accomplished mentality, which is good for your health. During the winter, take advantage of not wanting to leave your home by completing inside cleaning projects. Start small, such as organizing your kitchen drawers and cabinets. Donate duplicate items and sort through your kitchen supplies. Then think bigger: De-clutter all closets, scrub marks off cabinets and doors or clean your carpets and furniture. Spring cleaning helps you feel mentally and physically better, so start today.
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  • Massage Therapy and Your Immune System
    Massage has been known to reduce pain, depression, anxiety and stress along with boosting the immune system. Stress can cause a number of health problems, and massage therapy can help decrease the stress we encounter in our everyday lives. Research has shown that receiving regular massage therapy can also increase the activity of white blood cells, which help our body fight diseases and boosts our immune system. If you feel stressed on a regular basis, massage therapy may be a way for you to avoid health problems that may result. Ask your health care provider if massage therapy is right for you.
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  • The Composition of a Fad Diet
    Fad diets are diet plans that claim unrealistic or unhealthy outcomes. These types of diets are commonly found in magazines or internet advertisements and promise some sort of implausible outcome. These outcomes may sound appealing, but a closer look reveals they are unreasonable to keep up. Learn to spot the red flags of these fad diets to help ensure you will not fall for their empty promises. Instead of fad diets, consider making small dietary changes and exercising to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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  • The Dangers of Dr. Google
    Anyone can collect essentially any type of information from the internet. This can become dangerous when overconfidence in that information tricks us into thinking we know more about a subject than the experts of that field. When people research medical problems online, they often receive non-reputable sources. Placing trust in our health care providers rather than these sites will help patients receive better care.
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  • Advanced Directives and Code Status
    As a patient, you may face many difficult decisions regarding your health care options. Little conversation or education within the health care community regarding wills and code statuses may contribute to the difficulty of these decisions. By learning the difference between a living will, legal will and health care power of attorney form, you can be more informed as you create them and thus fully understand your choices. Furthermore, knowing the different types of code statuses, such as “do not resuscitate” versus “do not resuscitate/comfort care,” you will be able to decide which code status is right for you.
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  • Apps for Health Goals
    People often make resolutions relating to health and fitness. However, within a couple months of the New Year, most people often fall off track and fail to meet their goals. By incorporating technology into our resolutions, we have the option to use apps that help keep us accountable for our goals. This article highlights a list of nutrition and exercise tracking, stress management and healthy recipe apps that can help us stay strong and succeed in our resolutions.
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  • Cervical Cancer and HPV
    January is Cervical Cancer awareness month. It is estimated that 12,820 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2018. The cervix is located in the lower part of the uterus. Cervical cancer is defined as cells in the cervix growing out of control. The two most common forms of cervical cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the cervix.
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  • Choking Prevention in Children
    A child will die every five days in the United States from choking. Approximately 17,000 children under the age of 14 are treated each year in an emergency room for choking. Food, coins and toys are the primary causes for choking, however, food is the leading cause of choking in children under the age of four. Prevention is the first line of defense. Parents and caregivers should learn first aid for choking and CPR in the event that a choking episode occurs.
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  • Migraine Headaches
    Migraines are usually characterized by a pounding pain in your head, or a dull steady ache. Sometimes they occur on one side of the head, and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and light or sound sensitivity. They can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Migraines can severely interfere with a person’s quality of life. Research shows that the tendency to develop migraines may be inherited.
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  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disease that causes the contents of your stomach to repeatedly come up into your esophagus, causing pain and heartburn. Certain factors such as obesity and smoking can increase the likelihood of GERD in individuals. Although complications can occur if GERD goes untreated for an extended period of time, most symptoms can be relieved with over-the-counter treatment and by avoiding certain foods. However, surgical options are available for those with chronic GERD.
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  • The Truth about Sports Drinks
    The regular use of sports drinks may lead to unwanted weight gain and spikes in blood glucose. For those who are not high-intensity athletes, frequently consuming sports drinks puts you at risk for diabetes and other health problems. This is because sports drinks usually contain high levels of sodium, sugar and calories. Considering alternatives to sports drinks such as flavored water or tea.
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  • Eating Carbohydrates with Diabetes
    Eating the right amount of carbohydrates while managing diabetes is important because carbohydrates are easily changed into sugar for the body to use as energy. Non-starchy vegetables such as green beans or carrots are the best group of foods to make yourself feel full and obtain the carbohydrates you need without the calories. However, starchy vegetables and grains tend to harm diabetics if consumed improperly. Managing your blood glucose levels by recognizing the different types of carbohydrate foods can help diabetics live a healthier lifestyle.
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