Health Articles

Parents Welcome in NICU

When you have a very sick newborn, it is important to spend time with him or her. In Saint Francis Medical Center's Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), doctors and nurses encourage parents to get to know their little ones.  "Just touching your newborn makes a... Read more

Pediatrician Values Exercise

Gary S. Olson, MD, FAAP, FCP, pediatrician, Saint Francis Medical Partner, encourages his young patients to stay healthy by exercising. He practices what he preaches: Olson wakes up at 5 am every day to work out on his elliptical machine and recumbent bike alongside his wife,... Read more

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder Happens While Sleeping

Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMS) occurs when your legs involuntarily move while sleeping. It can cause significant problems with nighttime sleep, which in turn leads to daytime drowsiness. “PLMS can be the result of an underlying condition, such as diabetes, anemia, or a spinal cord injury, or... Read more

Peripheral Nervous System Needs to Work Correctly

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is the part of your body that allows you to breathe, digest food and move your arms and legs. It is the communicator that connects the central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord) to your limbs and organs. “When your PNS... Read more

PET Searches for Cancer

Saint Francis Healthcare System has a special tool that can detect whether cancer has spread to the bone. The positive emission tomography (PET) F-18 bone survey uses radioactive fluorine to identify areas of cancer in the bone. “For many years, we have been using PET scans to... Read more

Physical Therapy Gives Woman Shoulder Stability

Five years ago, Caitlin Simmons of Cape Girardeau was sparring with a partner during a martial arts workout when she heard her shoulder pop and her arm went numb. After seeing a doctor, she found out her collar- bone had separated from her shoulder blade. Simmons, now... Read more

Pinched Nerves

A pinched – or compressed – nerve occurs when the nerve is pressed between ligaments, tendons or bones. The most common symptom is pain – in the lower back, neck, elbow, hands, wrists or fingers. Additional signs of a pinched nerve include pain that radiates out... Read more

Pink Pals Support Pink Up

Saint Francis Foundation’s annual Pink Up™ campaign brings together the business and educational communities in support of breast cancer awareness at a spectacular level. An initiative this grand in scope comes with its share of manpower challenges, and the Pink Pals are helping meet those needs. “Pink... Read more

Plan for Medical Crisis

No matter how old you are, you should understand the importance of a durable power of attorney and a living will. These documents could be critical in letting your loved ones understand your healthcare wishes if you are someday not able to speak for yourself. A living... Read more

Planning for Childbirth

While you never know exactly what will happen during your baby's birth, it is a good idea to be as prepared as possible. Take a childbirth education class and work with your doctor to develop a birth plan. One important issue to think about is whether you... Read more

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

If a woman has irregular periods; excess hair growth over her face, chest and back; extreme problems with acne; or difficulties becoming pregnant, she may have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is an endocrine disorder that is thought to be one of the leading causes of... Read more

Post-Concussion Syndrome Can Last for Months 

The effects of a concussion sometimes can last for months after the original injury. Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include headaches, dizziness, irritability, fatigue, decreased concentration and fogginess. “Post-concussion syndrome is not dependent on the severity of the injury,” says Heidi J. Hunter, MD, physical medicine and rehabilitation... Read more

Postpartum Anxiety 

While postpartum depression has received much attention in recent years, fewer people are aware of its cousin: postpartum anxiety. Postpartum anxiety occurs when a new mom experiences racing thoughts, worries continuously and has a constant dread that something terrible will happen. “It is normal to experience stress... Read more

Preclampsia Condition Complicates Pregnancy

Preeclampsia usually involves high blood pressure and protein in the urine. If an expectant mother has these symptoms in her 20th week of pregnancy or later, she may have preeclampsia, and a reason to see her physician. “Preeclampsia usually is mild, but it can be devastating,” says... Read more

Premature Menopause

While the average age for menopause onset in the United States is 51, some women undergo the "change of life" much earlier – sometimes even before age 40. This could occur as the result of chemotherapy or radiation therapy; an autoimmune disease such as lupus, hypothyroidism or... Read more

Prenatal Care Keeps Mom and Baby Healthy

If you’re pregnant – or want to become pregnant – regular medical care is crucial. When planning your pregnancy, be sure to see your physician for preconceptual counseling. “Meet with your physician prior to conception to review your family history, medical history and medications that could potentially... Read more

Prepare for a Race

If you are training for a race, you may want to see a personal trainer at Saint Francis Medical Center's Fitness Plus. "When you work out by yourself, you tend to stay in your comfort zone," says Carlen Mulholland, PhD, ATC, personal trainer at Fitness Plus. "Personal trainers... Read more

Prepare for Your Surgery

Surgery is never stress-free. But if you know what to expect and are prepared for your procedure, you can make it as easy as possible for you and your loved ones. “Make sure you understand exactly what the surgery involves,” says William Ray Silliman, MD, FACS, general... Read more

Prepare Siblings for Baby

A new baby in the house is a big adjustment for everyone, including parents and older siblings. Saint Francis Medical Center offers a special class that helps prepare siblings for the new arrival. “Older siblings are often eager to help with a new baby,” says Beverly L. Brown,... Read more

Prescription Testosterone

Some men believe the answer to low energy and decreased sex drive is prescription testosterone. But you should talk to your doctor about your problem rather than seeking out a so-called "low-T clinic." "If you have suddenly begun experiencing low energy and erectile dysfunction, you may be... Read more


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