Health Articles

Know the Signs of a Stroke

Someone in the United States dies of a stroke every four minutes. And, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds.  One-third of the stroke victims are younger than age 65. These startling statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should signal everyone to recognize and... Read more

Know Your Spine

A healthy spine is made of small bones stacked on top of each other that run straight down the center of the back. There are three main types of spine curvature disorders that cause misalignment of the spine: Lordosis: The spine curves inward at the lower back. ... Read more

Lab Receives Accreditation

A neurophysiology laboratory is a facility dedicated to assessing and diagnosing neurological conditions. One of the procedures performed in the lab is an electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of your brain.  Special sensors (electrodes) are attached to the... Read more

Lactation Support in the NICU

When an infant is born premature, his parents often feel helpless. But there is one important way a mother can help her baby: pump breast milk. The lactation consultants at Saint Francis Medical Center’s Family BirthPlace and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) help mothers understand... Read more

Lazy Stomach Causes Discomfort, Pain

Some stomachs are too lazy to empty. If the stomach muscles – or the vagus nerve that controls them – have stopped working properly, they will not be able to move food into the small intestine as quickly as they should. People with this condition may... Read more

Learn About Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

If you regularly experience acid reflux more than once a week, talk with your doctor – you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a chronic digestive disease in which stomach acid flows up into the esophagus, or food pipe, and causes damage if not... Read more

Learn About Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a brain disorder that causes persons to have poor control over sleep-wake cycles throughout the day. Someone with narcolepsy may experience daytime drowsiness or suddenly fall asleep during work, school or another part of the day. At Saint Francis Healthcare System’s Sleep Disorders Center, experienced... Read more

Learn how to Lower Your Prediabetes Risk

If your doctor diagnoses you with prediabetes that means you have a blood sugar level higher than normal. While this condition often leads to type 2 diabetes, you can prevent it or reverse its effects by making significant lifestyle changes. Both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes have... Read more

Learn the Facts About Ebola

Ebola is a deadly virus that causes both internal and external bleeding. This year, West Africa has been experiencing the largest epidemic in history, causing worldwide concern over the virus. Researchers believe that Ebola begins in an animal – such as a bat – and spreads to... Read more

Less Invasive Valve Replacement

The aortic valve controls the flow of blood out of the heart. When it begins to fail, an aortic valve replacement is often the best option to solve the problem. While doctors typically recommend open-heart surgery, some patients are too fragile to be able to withstand... Read more

Lesser-known Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Many people know that chest pain can often signal a heart attack. But few are aware there are many other, lesser-known symptoms of the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. “A heart attack occurs when the blood flow from the artery that brings oxygen... Read more

Level III NICU Parents Enjoy Special Christmas Eve Dinner

The holidays can be a difficult time for parents of critically ill newborns. Instead of introducing their little one to family and friends, they are in a hospital room – sometimes far away from their loved ones. At Saint Francis Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care... Read more

Level III NICU Part of International Network

Parents whose newborns are in Saint Francis Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit need not feel alone: Neonatologists at Saint Francis use information gathered from nearly 1,000 NICUs to help optimize care for each infant. The Medical Center is part of the Vermont Oxford Network... Read more

Level III NICU Shares Knowledge

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) occurs when a newborn is suffering from drug withdrawal after being exposed to potent substances in utero. Saint Francis Medical Center recently hosted a symposium in Miner, Mo. for physicians and other healthcare providers on how to care for these babies and their families. "Many... Read more

Level III NICU Wins Excellence Award

Saint Francis Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has received a prestigious award for its efforts to reduce a debilitating condition in premature babies. The Missouri Hospital Association is awarding Saint Francis the Aim for Excellence Award, a new award recognizing Missouri hospitals’ innovations... Read more

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a form of dementia that affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans and their families. It is sometimes mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease because it causes similar symptoms. While every person is different, the main symptoms of LBD are: Progressive dementia (problems... Read more

Lighten Heavy Backpacks

Although heavy backpacks do not cause serious back issues in children, they can be the source of chronic problems. Your child's backpack should be no more than 10 to 20 percent of his body weight. That means if your child weighs 60 pounds, the backpack should... Read more

Limit Salt

If you and your family regularly consume processed foods that contain sodium or salt, you may be putting yourself at risk for heart disease. Sodium can increase blood pressure because it causes you to retain fluid, which forces your heart to work harder. “While adults know they... Read more

Lingering Congestion Causes Sinus Infections

Colds are common. Sinus infections are rarer and more serious. “Common colds typically go away within a few days or a week,” says Matthew B. Schumer, MD, family medicine physician at Saint Francis Medical Center. “If your symptoms linger or worsen after 10 days, you might have... Read more

Link Between Sleep Problems and Depression

Depression and sleep disorders are closely linked. In some cases, depression can cause problems with sleep, and in others, certain sleep disorders can contribute to depression. “One of the many purposes of sleep is to restore you,” says Michael T. Jedlinski, MD, FACP, internal medicine physician, Saint... Read more


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