Health Articles

Hypoglycemia and Diabetes

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which a person's blood sugar has dropped to a dangerously low level. While it is defined as any level lower than 72 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), it can vary depending on a person's age and health. Diabetics are particularly at risk... Read more

Hypothyroidism and Heart Disease

If you suffer from heart disease, you may also be at risk for hypothyroidism, a disorder in which the thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone. "Hypothyroidism can cause significant cardiac symptoms, especially for people who already have heart disease," says Ahmad Z. Sheikh, MD, FACE, ENCU, CCD, endocrinologist at... Read more

Identify the Cause of Your Insomnia

While almost everyone has trouble sleeping occasionally, chronic insomnia can become a big problem. There are many possible causes of insomnia, including: Anxiety: Whether you have temporary anxiety or an anxiety disorder, it can seriously disrupt sleep. “Sometimes, simply worrying about whether you will fall asleep... Read more

Identifying and Managing Heart Failure

Despite its name, heart failure does not mean your heart has completely failed. It means your heart does not pump blood as well as it should. According to the American Heart Association, there are four main stages of heart failure: Stage A: High risk for developing heart... Read more

Identifying Dementia

As you age, it may take you a little longer to remember a person's name or follow a complex cooking recipe. But when this slower processing begins to interfere with your daily life, it is time to consider screening for dementia. "Alzheimer's disease is the most common... Read more

Ignoring Back Pain Can Set You Back

Slipped, ruptured, herniated, prolapsed – whatever you call a damaged disk, when you get one, you need to call your physician. “All up and down your spinal column, disks provide cushion between your vertebrae,” says Brandon J. Scott, DO, neurosurgeon at Saint Francis Medical Center. “When one of these... Read more

Image-guided Biopsies

Twenty years ago, doctors performed biopsies using a large surgical incision. Today, they can do the same procedure through a tiny cut in the skin, thanks to image-guided biopsies. People typically need biopsies to diagnose an abnormality in the body, such as cancer. With image-guided biopsies, a... Read more

Immunotherapy Offers New Hope for Cancer Patients

Cancer patients have another weapon in their fight against the deadly disease: immunotherapy. It is changing cancer care, and making treatment more powerful with fewer side effects. Immunotherapy uses the body’s natural defense system to fight against cancer. Unlike chemotherapy, which destroys both cancer cells and healthy... Read more

Important Screenings for Seniors

As you age, it is a good idea to see your primary care physician on an annual basis. He or she can ensure you stay current on all the screenings and wellness checks you need to be healthy. “At each stage of life, there are different aspects... Read more

Improving Lives at Saint Francis ALS Clinic

Amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurological disease that affects as many as 30,000 people in the United States. Commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS causes nerves in the brain and spinal cord to slowly die, making it difficult to walk, eat, swallow and even... Read more

In the Pool with Arthritis 

If you suffer from arthritis, Arthritis Aquatics classes at Saint Francis Healthcare System’s Fitness Plus may be the perfect way for you to find relief from your pain. “The water’s buoyancy takes pressure off your joints,” says Sandy Duncan, MSA, ACSM, EP-C, manager for Health and Wellness... Read more

Increase Odds of Pregnancy

The best way to increase your odds of becoming pregnant is to have timed intercourse within a few days before or 24 hours after ovulation. Of course, to do this, you need to know when you will ovulate – and that can vary from cycle to... Read more

Increase Vitamin D

If you do not receive enough vitamin D, you could be putting yourself at risk for a host of health problems including heart disease, dementia and cancer. Often called the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is manufactured by the body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin... Read more

Infant Jaundice is Common

Jaundice is a yellowish color of the skin and eyes. It occurs when a newborn baby has too much bilirubin in his or her blood. Bilirubin accumulation results when the body breaks down old red blood cells. Almost all newborns have some degree of jaundice, but... Read more

Infected, Inflammatory: Sepsis Is Serious

Don’t ignore that infection. If left untreated, it could lead to sepsis, which Bindu Finnell, MD, hospitalist at Saint Francis Medical Center, defines as "an infection all over your body." This toxic, life-threatening infection causes inflammation and a host of other symptoms: high fever or severely... Read more

Integration of Patient Care

When a patient needs a knee replacement, Saint Francis Medical Center team members work with them throughout the process – from diagnosis, through surgery, until they have completed outpatient rehabilitation. When the orthopedic surgeon makes the diagnosis and determines that surgery is indicated for the patient,... Read more

Interventional Cardiology Instead of Surgery

William K. LaFoe, MD, FACC, FSCAI Not all major heart problems require surgery. Often, interventional cardiologists can perform minimally invasive procedures using catheters to fix the heart and blood vessels and diagnose problems. "We consider most interventional cardiology procedures to be minimally invasive because they do not... Read more

Introduce Foods Slowly to Baby

When you begin introducing solid foods to a baby, do so slowly and one at a time. That way, it is easier to identify potential food allergies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you start trying solid foods when your baby is between 4 and 6... Read more

Is a Midwife Right For You?

Saint Francis Healthcare System’s Certified Nurse Midwives Program offers a holistic approach to pregnancy and childbirth. Our certified midwives, the first in Cape Girardeau County, are trained specialists who provide individualized care to patients through each stage of pregnancy. This care includes education, clinical care, advice and... Read more


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