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Health

How Fit Are You, Really?

fitasyouthink4 tests to measure strength, balance and flexiblity can help you set fitness goals

How much effort would it take for you to go from sitting on the floor to standing up? Determining how easily you could do it can help predict how long you’ll live, according to a study by Brazilian researchers.

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Sleep Well and Here’s How

sleepwellMore and more I’m meeting people who tell me they're experiencing some type of sleep disorder. Sleep disorders are conditions that affect how much and how well you sleep. The causes range from poor habits that keep you awake to medical problems that disrupt your sleep cycle.

In my own case, I don’t know what causes me to lie awake some nights. It’s funny, I can go off to sleep as if there is nothing wrong, but with the slightest bit of noise in the house, I’m awake and it’s almost impossible for me to go back to sleep. Needless to say, I don’t rest easy. I suspect that I am not the only person who goes through this more than I should.

I’ve been told to see a doctor…I’ve also been told that insufficient sleep poses a serious threat to my health and safety.

Research has linked sleep deprivation to car accidents, relationship troubles, poor job performance, job related injuries, memory problems and mood disorders. Recent studies also show that sleep disorders may contribute to heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Scary and it’s all because one doesn’t get enough ZZZZZZZs at night.

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Change Bad Habits Early, Save Your Heart Later

twomenonbikeschangelifestyleYoung adults who adopt healthier lifestyle can cut their heart disease risk, researchers say

Young adults who drop their bad health habits can reduce their risk of heart disease as they age, new research suggests.

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7 Everyday Habits That Can Cause Cancer

cancers7You know that smoking can cause oral and lung cancer. You’re careful about sun exposure to minimize the risk of skin cancer. You scrub your fruits and veggies to get rid of pesticides and have had your house tested for radon. But you might not know that these simple habits can up your cancer risk as well; some are just for women, some are for women and men:

1. Wearing your cell phone in your bra

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Are Medical Tests Overexposing You to Radiation?

overuseCTscanCT scans are vital diagnostic tools, but experts are increasingly concerned that their overuse is putting patients at risk

For the last decade, the number of computed topography, or CT, scans ordered for patients in the United States has risen each year by about 10 percent. CT scans use X-rays to generate images of cross-sections of the body and are employed for a variety of diagnostic needs. Advances in radiology allow doctors to use scans to quickly identify, and therefore better treat, everything from lung cancer and blood-vessel blockages to kidney stones and appendicitis.

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How to Choose a Physician

 

howchoosephysicianWe’re Here to Help You Make the Right Choice for Your Family

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare gives you many choices in primary care physicians, specialists, and sub-specialists. With us, you’ll have access to more than 1,300 physicians, which includes Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group and independent physicians.

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HIV/AIDS

hivaidsmanAlso called: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS, HIV, Human immunodeficiency virus

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body's immune system cells. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV.

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12 Heart Symptoms Never to Ignore

12symptomsHeart disease is the No. 1 killer of U.S. men and women, accounting for 40% of all U.S. deaths. That's more than all forms of cancer combined.

Why is heart disease so deadly? One reason is that many people are slow to seek help when symptoms arise. Yes, someone gripped by sudden chest pain probably knows to call 911. But heart symptoms aren't always intense or obvious, and they vary from person to person and according to gender.

Because it can be hard to make sense of heart symptoms, doctors warn against ignoring possible warning signs, waiting to see if they go away, or being quick to blame them on heartburn, muscle soreness, or other less serious, noncardiac causes. That's especially true for people over 65, as well as for people with heart risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease.

"The more risk factors you have, the higher the likelihood that a symptom means something is going on with your heart," says David Frid, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. "People often don't want to admit that they're old enough or sick enough to have heart trouble. Putting off treatment for other medical problems might not be so bad, but a serious heart problem can mean sudden death."

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The ABCs of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

hypertensionHigh Blood Pressure Treatment

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is dangerous because it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, or kidney disease. The goal of hypertension treatment is to lower high blood pressure and protect important organs, like the brain, heart, and kidneys from damage. Treatment for hypertension has been associated with reductions in stroke (reduced an average of 35%-40%), heart attack (20%-25%), and heart failure (more than 50%), according to research.

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Will I Have Chest Pain If I Have a Heart Attack?

heartattackNot always, our expert says. And that's why you should know all the potential symptoms of a heart attack.

Q: I'll know I'm having a heart attack because my chest and arm will hurt, right?

A: Not necessarily. While some heart attacks do feature classic symptoms like chest and arm pain, the idea that they all do is FALSE.

About 25% of men and 40% of women don't have chest pain during heart attacks, says Harmony Reynolds, MD, associate director of the Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.

With or without chest and arm pain, women may have "shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, sweating, palpitations, dizziness, loss of appetite, or pain in other areas such as the jaw, throat, neck, shoulders, or upper or middle back," Reynolds says.

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Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers, written as a ratio like this:
 

bloodpressureabSystolic

The top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).
 
Diastolic

The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).

 

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The Warning Signs of Stroke

strokewarningsignsA stroke occurs about every 40 seconds. Each year, about 795,000 Americans have a stroke. Do you know the warning signs?

Sometimes symptoms of stroke develop gradually. But if you are having a stroke, you are more likely to have one or more sudden warning signs like these.

  • Numbness or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side
  • Confusion or trouble understanding other people
  • Trouble speaking
  • Trouble seeing with one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking or staying balanced or coordinated
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache that comes on for no known reason

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Heart Attack Symptoms

heartattacksymptomsSymptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm or below the breastbone
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm
  • Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
  • Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats

 

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