Health Articles

CT Scans for Smokers

A panel of experts has recommended that heavy smokers receive an annual computed tomography (CT) scan to screen for lung cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says current and former smokers ages 55 to 80 who have smoked at least 30 "pack-years" should undergo the... Read more

Cut Caffeine for Better Sleep

If you are having trouble falling asleep, take a close look at how much caffeine you are consuming in the afternoon and evening; it may be the culprit. The reason you feel sleepy is because of a neurotransmitter in the brain called adenosine. The longer you stay... Read more

CyberKnife: Fighting Cancer, Saving Patients

The CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System is one of the newest weapons in the fight against cancer. It is also one of the most powerful. At Saint Francis Medical Center, the remarkable results are starting to roll in. The only one of its type in the region, Saint... Read more

Dangers of Earbuds

If you frequently listen to loud music while using earbuds or headphones, you could be damaging your hearing. An MP3 player played at 70 percent of its top volume is nearly as loud as a chainsaw. "Over time, earbuds and headphones can cause noise-induced hearing loss when... Read more

Dangers of Not Sleeping

When you do not sleep enough, the negative effects stretch far beyond grumpiness during the day. Lack of sleep can have serious long-term consequences, including obesity and heart disease. “Studies have shown that people with short sleep times (generally less than six hours a day) are more... Read more

Dangers of Sunburn

When you do not properly protect yourself from the sun, you run the risk of many health problems, including skin cancer. “The sun’s ultraviolet rays cause sunburns,” says Charles M. Moon, MD, dermatologist on staff at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Most sunburns affect only the outer layer... Read more

Dealing With Night Terrors

Any parent whose child has experienced night terrors knows all too well how terrifying they can be: The child sits straight up in bed, eyes wide open and screams inconsolably. Though he appears to be awake, he will not remember the incident in the morning. It is... Read more

Deep, Barky Cough Might Mean Croup

There is the proverbial “frog in the throat,” and then there is the croup, which often sounds more like a barking seal in the throat. Due to its bark-like cough, noisy breathing (stridor) and agitated crying, this inflammatory condition of the upper airways is scary for... Read more

Depression and IBS

Although depression does not cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and IBS does not cause depression, the two are closely related. Studies have shown that more than half of the people with IBS also suffer from depression. “People with IBS may be so anxious about experiencing a... Read more

Destress During Holidays

More than any other time of the year, the holidays can be a major source of stress. To minimize stress, remember to take time for yourself. “No matter how much you have to do or how many people you need to see, you must carve out... Read more

Detect Birth Defects

Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor may order several tests to detect potential birth defects. "When we know there are problems, we might be able to take steps to prevent them from worsening," says Grant D. McWilliams, DO, obstetrician and gynecologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. When you... Read more

Developmental Clinic Follows up with Babies

Babies at risk for developmental problems benefit from periodic visits with a neonatologist. In Saint Francis Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Developmental Clinic, neonatologists follow up with babies after they are discharged. Dr. Laura E. Al-Sayed, MD, FAAP “We see all babies who were... Read more

Diagnosing and Treating a Weak Heart Muscle

Cardiomyopathy is the medical term for a weak heart muscle. With this diagnosis, it is important to find out what is causing it to begin treatment immediately. People with cardiomyopathy seek medical attention because they are having trouble breathing, retaining fluid, exercising, extremely fatigued and cannot lie... Read more

Diagnosing Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. Early detection can make a big difference in the treatment of this life-threatening condition. Doctors routinely screen newborns for cystic fibrosis using a blood test that checks for abnormally high levels of... Read more

Diet Lowers Cholesterol

While your diet can raise your cholesterol to dangerous levels, it can also lower it. “There are certain foods that improve the quality of the fats in your bloodstream,” says Clifford R. Talbert Jr., MD, FACC, interventional cardiologist, Saint Francis Medical Partner. “These foods lower the... Read more

Dietary Fiber

While dietary fiber can minimize constipation and help with hemorrhoids, it also can reduce obesity and lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol level. Stephen Nagy, MD “Most Americans take in about 50 percent less than the dietary guideline requirements for fiber intake per day,” says Stephen... 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

Dig For Life Provides Screenings to Women in Need

Breast cancer is most curable when doctors catch it early. That is why annual mammograms starting at age 40 are so important – and why Saint Francis Medical Center is committed to helping women obtain mammograms, even if they cannot afford them. Saint Francis’ Dig for Life... Read more

Disruptive Dangerous: Sleep Apnea Is More Than Snores

The snoring from sleep apnea may disturb your household. The other symptoms of sleep apnea – interrupted breathing, shortness of breath, reduced oxygen – can eventually endanger your life. For the sake of yourself and the people around you, follow these steps to manage your condition. First... Read more

Distracted Walking Injures Pedestrians

Walking and chewing gum is easy compared to walking and texting. Nationwide, pedestrians are increasingly suffering injuries due to “distracted walking,” or walking while using an electronic device. These people are so distracted by their devices that they fail to notice the sidewalk cracks, lampposts and... Read more


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