The Waiting Room

Seriously Shingles

November 14th, 2017
If you’re over 50, and especially if you’re 60 or older, you need to think seriously about shingles. In the US, there are an estimated one million cases of shingles each year, about 50 percent of them in people 60 or older. It affects one in three Americans during their lifetime. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like those odds. And from what I’ve heard, shingles is a real pain! Shingles is a painful skin rash that usually…

Stimulating the Brain

November 14th, 2017
There’s good news and bad news about Parkinson’s disease, the neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. The bad news is that an estimated seven to ten million people worldwide have it, and that number is growing with the aging population. The good news is there might be a new, noninvasive way to treat it. Treatment for Parkinson’s, as well as other movement disorders such as essential tremor, rigidity, stiffness and walking problems, are generally initially treated with medications. These medications target…

Skin Deep and Beyond

November 13th, 2017
Let me ask you this: How often do you think about the health of your skin? When you do, how often do you consider the skin that’s NOT on your face? After all, the skin is the largest organ in the human body, safeguarding everything underneath. Want to learn a little more about this protective organ and how to take better care of it? Read on. Skin has many functions, including shielding our bodies from germs and the harsh elements…

Contemplating COPD

November 6th, 2017
How much do you know about COPD? For one thing, it’s a killer. In fact, it’s the third leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 16 million Americans have COPD, but many more have it and haven’t be diagnosed, which pushes the estimate closer to 30 million. That’s because 50 percent of people who have it don’t know they do. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is actually an umbrella term for a group of progressive lung diseases…

Is It Cold or Flu?

November 4th, 2017
Flu season typically runs from early October and can last into May. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends healthy adults and children be vaccinated to prevent the oftentimes deadly virus from spreading. Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and are worse than those of the common cold. Those symptoms may include: Body or muscle aches Chills Cough Fever Headache Sore throat Flu-related hospitalizations since 2015 range from 140,000 to 710,000 annually, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have…

Conversation Starters

October 24th, 2017
This month, let’s take a closer look at a very serious issue facing our nation: the prevalence of domestic violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reports that an average of 20 people in the United States are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. That adds up to more than 10 million victims of abuse every year. Domestic violence is epidemic. It affects all people regardless of race, age, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. It can…

A Different Kind of Drug Problem

October 15th, 2017
The world has a drug problem! It’s getting so bad that the United Nations held a special meeting last September to discuss it - only the fourth time ever the UN called a high-level meeting on a global health issue. This time, the delegates discussed antibiotic-resistant infections, the superbugs impervious to our current arsenal of germ-fighting drugs. Drug-resistant bacteria, as well as drug-resistant parasites, viruses and fungi, have been lurking for a while. One superbug has been popping up, even…

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 9th, 2017
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the importance of early detection of the disease. The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons, and the color pink in general, identify the wearer or promoter with the breast cancer brand and express moral support for women with breast cancer.  Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. Currently, the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her…

Focused Distraction

October 7th, 2017
Recently, my sister and I went out for breakfast and noted how many people in the restaurant had their heads buried in their cell phones. Even babies and toddlers had phones and tablets and were staring at images on the screens. If there was any conversation at those tables, it was about something heard or seen on the phone. This is not an unusual occurrence. According to a 2017 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), more than 65 percent…

Age Healthy!

September 25th, 2017
According to the US Census, there were 47.8 million Americans age 65 and older on July 1, 2015. This group of people accounted for 14.9 percent of the total population of the United States. The number of Americans in that age group is expected to climb to 98.2 million in 2060. That’s nearly one in four US residents. I’m one of the more than 76 million baby boomers currently over 50, and although I’m not the party girl I was…

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