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Health Articles

Don’t Dismiss SAD, Seek Help Instead

Do the cold, dark months make you sad? You are not alone. “Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), can range from minor doldrums to serious depression in winter,” says Sarah A. Aydt, MD, FAAP, FACP, internal medicine physician/pediatrician at Saint Francis Medical Center. “It’s ultimately a... Read more

Preterm Babies at High Risk

Newborns are naturally tiny, but babies born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces, are tinier than most, and therefore more susceptible to health complications. “Babies born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy often have difficulties with feeding and breathing soon after birth. Additionally, they have more... Read more

Butterfly Rash Is Sign of Lupus

A butterfly is a welcome sight. A facial rash resembling a butterfly is not. Although not all lupus patients develop this rash, it is a distinctive sign of this chronic inflammatory disease in which a person’s immune system attacks their tissues and organs. “A rash covering the... Read more

Echocardiogram Shows How Blood Flows

An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test for your heart. It’s also one of the best ways to examine the valves and chambers of your heart. One type of echocardiogram used at Saint Francis Medical Center is a transesophageal echocardiogram. In this procedure, the cardiologist passes a tube... Read more

Circuit Training

With today’s hectic schedules, it is not uncommon for people to find it difficult fitting gym time into their busy days. Others might find that they have simply become bored with their workouts. Circuit training could be the answer for those who are short on time... Read more

Mothers’ Milk Bank Helps Mothers and Babies

Babies need breast milk – especially the premature and critically ill babies in Saint Francis Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics and numerous other healthcare experts agree that breastfeeding is the best food source for... Read more

Take Care When Working Out Outside

Is it safe to exercise in cold, wet weather? Only if you protect yourself first. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising outdoors. As long as you dress warmly and take other precautions, you can exercise safely all winter long. Dress in layers... Read more

Is Eating Chocolate Good for Your Heart?

Chocolate Can a sweet tooth help your heart? Recent studies by Cleveland Clinic and other organizations suggest that small quantities of chocolate might actually be good for your heart. Chocolate is high in flavanols, a type of chemical with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants have been shown to help lower... Read more

Stop Meningitis Before It Spreads

Meningitis is more than a pain in the neck. If you or a loved one are experiencing the telltale symptoms – stiff neck, headache, fever, nausea and confusion – it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Delaying treatment could be fatal. Erica E. Gibson, MD “Meningitis can be... Read more

Weight Loss Team Prepares Patients for New Life

In addition to their remarkable physical changes, bariatric surgery patients also experience profound psychological changes. In fact, to maximize the success of this weight-loss procedure, patients must learn how to rethink their relationships with food, health and body image both before and after their surgeries. Ryan A.... Read more

Are Your Muscles “Confused?”

You have probably heard the term “muscle confusion” and may wonder what it really means and why is it important. Muscle confusion, or more accurately periodization training (after all muscles do not really get confused), is a training protocol designed to avoid plateaus by continually challenging... Read more

Different Migraines Need Different Meds

A migraine attack can ruin your day. How can you stop the pain? How can you prevent it from starting? Answers vary. Different patients need different medications; it depends on the frequency and severity of your migraine attacks and whether the goal is pain relief or prevention.... Read more

Wake Up: Sleep Apnea Is Serious

Sleep apnea literally takes your breath away. While you sleep, the disorder repeatedly interrupts your breathing and reduces oxygen to your body and brain. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes and depression.  “Sleep apnea is a common... Read more

High-Salt Diet Harms the Heart

Too much sodium assaults the heart. To function properly, the average adult only needs to consume a small amount of the nutrient every day – about 2,300 mg of sodium, the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt. Over time, too much sodium can lead to a... Read more

Rehab Reduces Risk of Repeat Fractures

Broken bones heal, but they can break again. The older generation is particularly at risk. Patients with osteoporosis have low bone density, which means that if they fall, they are more likely to break a bone either once or repeatedly. Patrick R. Knight, MD To prevent broken bones... Read more

Breathe Easy: Respiratory Therapists Restore Lung Health

Respiratory therapists help you breathe. For hospitalized patients of any age, these highly skilled, highly trained practitioners provide much-needed oxygen. Their role in easing pain and saving lives is vital for critically ill babies, trauma patients and people of all ages with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary... Read more

Vitamin D Builds Strong Bones and More

So much depends upon vitamin D. “As a child, vitamin D is important for bone development and strong, healthy bones,” says Erica E. Gibson, MD, family practice physician at Saint Francis Medical Center. “As an adult, it helps prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis. If you’re... Read more


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