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Maria Parham Healthbeat

A publication of Maria Parham Medical Center and The Daily Dispatch

Kelli Balentine Registered Nurse ICU/PCU

Jane Haithcock

Peter Peguhl

Tech Support Specialist Information Technology

Jennifer Beresheski Assessment Coordinator Center for Rehabilitation

Fred Carswell

Registered Nurse MP Oncology Center

Director Quality Management

Clinical Audit Manager Patient Resource Mgmt.

Sarah Hayes

Inja Homscheck Assistant Director Medical Unit

Hispanic Patient Educator Education

Erin McIntyre

Mary Neal

Mike Noble

Dana Renn-Repp

Manager Cardiopulmonary Rehab

Dietary Aide Dietary

Director Facilities Management

Pauline Liles

Clinical Auditor MP Oncology Center

January 20, 2010

2009 Circle of Excellence recipients announced The Circle of Excellence represents the top two percent of all Maria Parham Medical Center employees when it comes to providing excellence in service. They are nominated by their peers and final selections are made by the 2008 Circle of Excellence selection committee, made up of members of the 2008 Circle of Excellence. The employees pictured at left were recently recognized as the 2009 Class of the Circle of Excellence. Maria Parham Medical Center would like to once again congratulate and thank the members of the 2009 Circle of Excellence for making our hospital a better place.





Some suggestions for Keep a winter survival kit on hand healthy 2010 resolutions As we look ahead to 2010, it’s time to reflect on the past year, recognizing our accomplishments, identifying the things we could have done better, and setting new goals. If you haven’t thought about your own resolutions yet, or just can’t think of something different from years past, read on … the ideas below may spark an interest in you. • Just breathe: focus on your breathing, always trying to make it deeper, slower, quieter and more regular. • Shape your family’s tastes: cook healthy not only for yourself, but for your family as well. Take the opportunity to teach your spouse, kids and grandkids about healthy food choices, providing them with healthy snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Or, plan to prepare one new healthy entrée three times a week. • Focus more on intimacy: take the opportunity to look at your relationships, and spend time with your spouse or significant other holding hands or share an evening with your son or daughter talking and laughing. • Resolve to walk: make regular exercise a habit. Allow yourself to “steal” at least 30 minutes a day to stretch and walk. Research shows that women who exercise more than three hours a week have less heart disease, osteoporosis, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancer and depression. • Be good to yourself: men need to take care of

The snow is here and the roads are getting icier. It is time to put a winter survival kit in the back seat of your car in case you have an accident, get stranded, or come across someone who needs help. It should be kept in the back seat if possible, since it can be more difficult or even impossible to get it out of the trunk after an accident. You could fill your car with things that could be used in an emergency, but selecting a few of the most important items is worthwhile for anyone who will be driving on winter roads. Essential items include: • Dry mittens, gloves, headgear and clothes • Flashlights, flares and candles • Blankets/sleeping bags

• Candy bars/non-perishable foods • Waterproof matches and a knife/hatchet • A three-pound metal coffee can with cover for melting water • Plastic garbage bags (for windbreaks or containers) • Shovel, sand and rope • Road map and compass • First-aid kit, paper towels and tissues If you do have an accident which leaves you stranded in winter weather, remain calm, keep dry, conserve your energy and wait for help to come. It is usually safer to stay with your vehicle, which provides a shelter and something easy for rescuers to spot, than to try to walk out of a snowstorm. If you run the car’s

motor, do so at intervals and keep adequate ventilation at all times to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Beckford Medical Centers their bodies like they do their cars, and women likewise should take care of themselves just as they do their spouse, kids or grandkids. Become actively involved in your health, practice healthy habits, and find a physician who shares your philosophy. • Grow playful: take up line dance lessons or shag lessons, play games with the kids or grandkids, take a walk and along the way, skip for a little while. Learn to laugh again. • Maintain your brain: read. Become educated. Practice crossword puzzles

or other “mind-challenging” puzzles. • A timeless resolution: give up smoking. • Dive for dollars: money can be the ultimate motivator. Put a dollar in a jar every time you exercise. At the end of the month, treat yourself to a massage. • Activate indoor chores: at home, vacuum with gusto and mop to music. It’s a win-win situation — you work your heart and other muscles and get clean floors. May the year 2010 be heart healthy, prosperous and joyful!

J.E. Kenny, MD F.C. Aniekwensi, MD S.E. Reed, PA-C W.M. Davis, PA-C L.A. Tharrington, MSN, ANP-C Henderson, NC 27536 Phone: 252-492-2161 Warrenton, NC 27589 Phone: 252-257-6213





Tooth decay is a common threat to all of us

Dr. James Hardy

Special dates and holidays listed on our calendars seem to have multiplied. Chances are there is at least one special day of remembrance and several awareness themes competing for attention every month. February is no different! In addition to Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day, it is National Black History month and National Children’s Dental Health Month (among others). The number of Americans who do not receive nec-

essary dental care is something worthwhile to note. Despite the fact that most oral diseases are preventable, dental care is routinely dismissed. Tooth decay is the most common disease in the world. Specifically, it affects over 25 percent of children age 2-5 and over 50 percent of school-age children. This number climbs to over 80 percent for those age 17 and older. Even the U.S. Surgeon General has declared oral disease a “silent epidemic” afflicting

millions of minority and low-income Americans. According to federal statistics, 82 million adults and 26 million children have no dental insurance. Unfortunately, sacrificing dental care compromises your overall health. Cavities can begin at an early age without proper hygiene habits. Oral bacterial infections that enter the blood stream can travel throughout the body. Neglecting your teeth and gums can negatively affect (and even trigger)

other health issues. A good dentist can identify health issues from a simple dental exam. Each February, dentists across the country join the American Dental Association to stress the importance of oral health, beginning with the first tooth. A trip to the dentist does not need to be negative or painful at any age. Finding a dental home and scheduling regular checkups is the first step toward preserving and/ or restoring your teeth.

Dr. James Hardy is a general family and cosmetic dentist who received his medical training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He treats patients across Franklin, Nash, Vance, Wake and Warren counties (ages 4 and up) at his office located at 122 Jolly St. in Louisburg. The practice was established in 1981 to bring exceptional dental care to an underserved rural community. For comments or patient care, call (919) 496-4088.

Vaccination can help guard against pneumonia “Shots” are not just for children. We are getting more and more useful vaccines for other infections, and many of these are for older age groups. One of the most important vaccines is the pneumonia shot. Pneumococcus is a bacteria which frequently causes pneumonia as well as a number of other serious infections, such as meningitis. This shot will protect a person against 90 percent of the important strains of this bacteria and help prevent pneumonia. It does not protect against other bacterial pneumonia or viruses, however. Often a pneumococcal infection strikes and

spreads so rapidly that it becomes life-threatening before antibiotics can take effect. This is especially true in the elderly, whose immunity is usually weaker and responds more slowly. The vaccine may give a person that extra protection he needs to keep a serious infection at bay or slow the spread of infection until antibiotics and white blood cells take effect. Who should get the vaccine? Like with flu shots, those who are at highest risk are persons over 50 and anyone with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart, lung or kidney disease. The vaccine is extremely important for

Information for this section was provided by the Marketing and Community Relations Department at Maria Parham Medical Center.

anyone who has had his spleen removed. Your doctor can advise you about the many other indications that might exist for you. Serious side effects from the vaccine are rare, but soreness at the site of the

injection, a low-grade fever, and mild muscle aches are not uncommon. In most respects it is similar to the flu shot, but the one big difference is that the shot is only given once, not each year.

However, many doctors are now giving a booster shot if it has been over six or eight years since the first shot. Talk to your doctor to find out if getting a pneumonia vaccine is right

for you. If you do not have a physician and would like to find one that is right for you, please go to Maria Parham’s Web site at or call (252) 436-1800 for additional information.


Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Surgery Shoulder Injuries Hand & Wrist Injuries Work Injuries Arthroscopic Surgery Hips & Knees Neck & Lower Back Tx. of Fractures, Sprains & Strains X-Ray & Rehab Facilities on Site We Treat Patients of All Ages

Rafael E. Negron, MD Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery

Steven K. Neunkirchner, OPA-C

Walk-ins & Referrals Accepted

(252) 436-1314 120 Charles Rollins Road, Suite 205

Henderson, NC





Secondhand smoke can be as harmful as smoking We know how harmful it is to smoke. But there is a growing volume of evidence that indicates that non-smokers also suffer from other people’s smoke. In fact, experts estimate that about 50,000 people die each year from illnesses caused by secondhand smoke. These experts state that many people die from lung cancer and other cancers, but the majority die from heart disease. The same chemicals that contribute to heart disease in smokers are inhaled by non-smokers. Obviously, lung problems such as asthma and emphysema are also made worse by secondhand smoke. Children suffer from secondhand smoke in other ways, such as infections. Children in homes where there is a smoker suffer many more infections of the ears, lungs and sinuses than children in non-smoking households. This is especially true if it’s the mother or primary caregiver who smokes. The children also have more trouble with wheezing and coughing. Smoke can even stunt the growth of a child’s lungs, preventing his full potential for sports and vigorous activities. Here are two specific reasons why secondhand smoke is so bad. First, the smoke which comes off the burning end of a cigarette has a higher concentration of the chemicals which cause cancer and heart disease than the smoke inhaled through the cigarette. Second, this smoke is composed of very small particles which are able to penetrate deeper into the lungs and thus take longer to clear out of the lungs. The annoyance caused by secondhand smoke is only one

Overuse or injuries are the most common causes of shoulder pain.

Shoulder pain can have many causes

Secondhand smoke is more than just annoying; it’s unhealthy.

It is common to get a little “bursitis” in the shoulder. The shoulder is a very complex joint that commonly gets overused in work and sports. The shoulder also suffers as a result of falls and other injuries. Muscles and tendons, rather than ligaments, are primarily used to hold the shoulder joint in place.

This allows the shoulder to be very loose and mobile, which makes it possible to do activities such as throwing balls, swimming and scratching our backs. There are several categories of shoulder pain, and each category has many possible causes. Tendonitis and bursitis are some of the most common causes of shoulder pain. They usually come on

from overuse or injuries. Bursas are the sheathes which lubricate the tendons and allow them to move freely. Often bursitis does not develop alone. The tendons are often inflamed as well, along with other portions of the joint structure. Injuries, such as fractures or torn ligaments, can cause PLEASE SEE SHOULDERS, PAGE 10

of the reasons why you should avoid it. The other reason is your own health. For more information about secondhand smoke, go to the American Lung Association’s Web site,, and search for “secondhand smoke.”

Britthaven of Henderson A Unique Nursing Center

Voted Best Nursing Home in Vance County Call Britthaven of Henderson (252) 492-7021 or visit

Carl L. Smith, MD

Anuradha Rao-Patel, MD

Offering Pain Management, Rehab & Sports/Physical Medicine • Neck & lower back pain • Muscle Aches & Pains • Stroke • Sports injuries • Spinal Cord injuries • Brain injuries • Nerve injuries • Carpel Tunnel • Arthritis • Workers Compensation • EMG The JW Jenkins Building 568 Ruin Creek Rd. Suite 128 Henderson, NC

(252) 436-1380

A Department of





Babies need to learn to comfort themselves and go back to sleep It may be hard to get some infants to go to sleep when you want them to. They cry and squirm and eventually get the mother or father to come back and rock them to sleep. This can occur every one to two hours during the night for some infants. So how do you train a baby to go to sleep? One of the major lessons a small infant has to learn is how to comfort himself and fall asleep. Yes, it is a learned process. Your child needs to be given time to learn this skill. Parents should let their infant cry for a period of time before checking on him and comforting him.

The child must eventually learn to make himself comfortable to prepare for sleep. Of course, if it is time for a feeding or he needs a diaper change, there is no reason to delay. One of the important reasons for learning this skill well is that the sleep cycle of an infant is only an hour long, so he will arouse every 60 minutes. If he is unable to comfort himself and go back to sleep, he will cry until a parent comes to rock him back to sleep. Parents should not feel guilty over rocking their baby to sleep, but by returning too soon, they do not allow an infant the time

needed to learn to comfort himself for sleep. Returning too soon can train the infant to cry until he gets the parents’ attention. But a parent should also not feel guilty about giving an infant time to fall asleep on his own. After 20-30 minutes of crying, however, it is wise to check on your baby, change diapers if necessary, try feeding the baby, and if everything is well, settle him down and put him back in the crib to go to sleep. Consult your pediatrician if your baby has trouble falling asleep or is constantly irritable. There may be an underlying cause.

Don’t rush too quickly to comfort a baby who cries at bedtime.

Duane Tull, MD

SPECIALIZING IN GENERAL & MINIMALLY INVASIVE LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY Complete surgical treatment of cancer and disorders of the skin, thyroid, lung, breast, hernia, acid reflux, stomach, colon, gallbladder and liver.

Cynthia Robinson, MD

Drs. Tull, Robinson & Noel are Board Certified Surgeons & Fellows in the American College of Surgeons (FACS).

120 Charles Rollins Road Suite 206 Henderson, NC

(252) 433-0430

Bob Noel, MD A Department of





Crippling rheumatoid arthritis Exercise during pregnancy must be treated early

can have many benefits

Everything seems to be easier when you are physically fit — even having a baby. Being fit makes mothers-to-be feel better about themselves, helps control weight gain and fluid retention, and will make labor less exhausting. During pregnancy, however, is not the time to go on a crash training program. A woman should be physically active and become fit before she gets pregnant. Then the level of fitness can be maintained throughout the pregnancy. These days, many women are active in sports such as running, biking and aerobics. Almost any sport that does not risk physical trauma can be continued. The level of exertion may be decreased slightly to make sure that there is not a temporary decrease in blood circulation to the baby. A woman may want to limit her maximum heart rate with exercise to about 120 beats per minute, especially if the exercise is prolonged. She should be very careful to avoid dehydration, which could result in decreased blood circulation to the baby and increased acids in the blood, both of which are harmful to the baby. Exercise should be done at a level that allows easy conversation. If a woman exercises to the point of being short of breath, she is starting to build up acid by-products, which could be harmful to the baby. In the later months of pregnancy, weight gain may make some activities, such as running, uncomfortable. Switching to biking or other sports may be helpful. Finally, by staying fit during the pregnancy, a woman will find it much easier to attain her desired level of fitness again after delivery. Always consult with your doctor before starting an exercise regiment, especially if you are pregnant.

A woman should be physically active and become fit before she gets pregnant.

Any arthritis is troublesome, but rheumatoid arthritis is the kind that is considered crippling. This is because of the severe changes that take place in the hands and other joints if it is not treated. The good news, however, is that with the medicines we have available today, the crippling changes are far less common. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known, but it is possible that it is brought on

by a type of virus. A virus or some similar factor disturbs the person’s immune system so that it begins to attack the person’s own tissue. With the immune system attacking the tissues of the joints, there is inflammation which leads to swelling and eventually damage to the joint capsule, cartilage and bones. Today, rheumatologists often give very potent medicines early in the disease to limit the damage from inflamma-

tion. These medicines are called “disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs” or DMARDs and they can prevent many of the crippling joint changes if they are started in the first six months or year of the illness. Methotrexate is one of the most commonly used drugs to quell the inflammation. Methotrexate can affect the bone marrow and liver, so blood tests for these PLEASE SEE CRIPPLING, PAGE 10


Depression among the young is a major cause of teen suicide Teenage depression is more common than most people think. Teenagers have many social pressures and often other significant stresses in their lives. Changes in their personalities can not always be dismissed as “phases� that they are going through. The symptoms of depression in teens can appear similar to that of adults — fatigue, changes in appetite and sleep disturbances. At other times, symptoms may include rebelliousness or anti-social behavior with drug or alcohol abuse and sexual promiscuity. There will likely be a loss of interest in normal activities and a drop in grades. If these changes occur in a teenager, it is important to consult a doctor. Medical problems, such as an abnormal thyroid, could be the cause. Whether it turns out to be depression or a medical illness, it is very important to seek treatment. Teenage suicide is growing in frequency, and depression is a major cause.



When is dementia actually curable?

Alzheimer’s disease takes another cause which can be easily treated. A low thyroid months to develop (usually will give an older person all at least six months, often the typical symptoms of Almuch longer). Memory of zheimer’s disease. Treating recent events is lost first: the abnormal thyroid will “Where did I put my keys,� Girls are far more likely to and, “Where did I put my cure the symptoms as well attempt suicide, but boys as prevent other medical glasses?� Other mental more frequently succeed complications. qualities, such as using because they often use Head injuries, even and understanding words, guns. The suicide rate for fairly mild ones, can cause only change slowly with white males has doubled a bleed that will compress Alzheimer’s disease. since 1970 and it is second Alzheimer’s disease is not the brain. This is called a only to accidental deaths subdural hematoma, and curable, but some causes of in teenagers. removing the blood clot can dementia are treatable and The depression can be return the brain function in fact can be completely treated with medicines to normal. Deficiencies cured. The two most comwhich help restore the of vitamin B12 or other mon causes of dementia normal levels of certain that are curable are depres- metabolic illnesses that can chemicals, called neucause dementia can also be sion and excessive doses of rotransmitters, in the treated. medicines. Depression can brain. The new antidepres- be difficult to diagnose, but When a person is develsants are very effective oping memory loss or confuit responds quite well to and are much safer than sion, it is important to check Alzheimer’s disease is not curable, but some causes of demedicines. It should never the older ones. mentia are treatable and in fact can be completely cured. for these treatable causes. be overlooked. Helping the teenager Not all dementia is caused Excessive levels of identify and understand by Alzheimer’s disease. medicines can sneak up his stresses and conflicts Sometimes it is curable. on a person because of a also helps him cope. A car- change in health, such as If you or someone you ing and concerned councare for is suffering from kidney failure or heart selor can be very helpful, dementia, seek help imfailure, or by adding in a and the teenager should medicine that may raise the mediately. For help finding receive close medical atlevel of another. Sometimes, a physician in this area, tention during the period a person is just taking more call Maria Parham Medical of recovery. medicines than the body can Center at (252) 436-1800 or For more information on visit www.mariaparham. handle, such as tranquilizteenage depression or to accom for a listing of medical ers and sedatives. cess help in treating it, conproviders. Thyroid diseases are tact your family doctor or visit www.teendepression. org. For a listing of the primary care physicians in Providing Quality Orthopaedic the area, please visit www. Care To The 4 County Area mariaparham or call (252) 436-1800 for a listing.


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25 Years



Gary L. Kaplowitz, MD

Henderson Professional Plaza  ! 






Should you consider a hearing aid?

Treatment of urinary incontinence can bring relief

It’s usually your wife or a friend that suggests it: “You need a hearing aid!” They are the ones who get tired of repeating things for you. It may be okay to do so in a conversation, but during a movie or meeting, having to ask what was just said is distracting to both persons, and both miss what happens next. How do you know if you need a hearing aid? The question you perhaps should ask is, “How do I know if I’d benefit from a hearing aid?” In contrast to treating hypertension or diabetes, treating poor hearing is important more for your own convenience and enjoyment of life than for medical reasons. Social situations are much more fun if you can hear the conversation. Poor hearing usually creeps up on you, allowing you to become accustomed to the change. Unless you have occasional hearing tests, you may be surprised at how much hearing loss has occurred. These tests are especially important if you are exposed to noise at work or with your hobbies. The appropriate way to evaluate your hearing is by a formal hearing test. This way, you can find out exactly how

Incontinence, or leaking of urine, can be a very troublesome symptom for a person, especially if he or she wishes to stay active and attend social events. Fortunately, there are ways to treat most causes of incontinence, resulting in some improvement if not always a cure. With urge incontinence, the bladder spasms can be controlled with medicines that relax bladder muscles. Side effects of the medicines could include a dry mouth, sedation, low blood pressure, possible worsening of glaucoma, and difficulty passing urine. Bladder retraining and biofeedback can also be used to help treat urge incontinence. Stress incontinence is first treated with exercises

right for you. Your physician may be able to perform a hearing test, or he/she can refer you to an audiologist, a doctor who specializes in hearing irregularities. To obtain a list of physicians or audiologists in the area, you can check out the “Find a Physician” section of Maria Parham Medical Center’s Web site –





not able to get to facilities for whatever reason, the underlying problem must be treated. There may be no cure, but making facilities easily available and more pleasant is often all that is needed. A bedside commode helps when arthritis or disabilities prevent a person from reaching a distant bathroom. If you are having trouble with urinary incontinence, consult with your family physician or go directly to a urologist, a physician who is specially trained to treat urinary issues. For a listing of family physicians and urologists in the area, please go to Maria Parham Medical Center’s Web site at www. or call (252) 436-1800 for additional information.



Henderson Family YMCA 380 Ruin Creek Road Henderson, NC 27536



much hearing you have lost and also find out how many words you have trouble with. Some sounds of speech are softer than others, causing similar words to be confused, such as “white” for “wife” or “wise.” Once you know if you have a hearing loss, your doctor can advise you about the improvement you can expect with a hearing aid. Then you can decide if a hearing aid is


Others may realize you need a hearing aid before you do.

to strengthen the muscles below the bladder. If the bladder has fallen due to childbirth, surgery is usually very effective in improving the symptoms. Estrogens can help make the tissue around the bladder more healthy and youthful, which helps many women. For overflow incontinence where the bladder is overly distended, frequent bladder emptying or catheterization can be used. Catheters are usually used if there is an obstruction or a very weak bladder. If the prostate is enlarged, medicines which decrease the resistance to the flow of urine through the prostate may help. At other times, surgery may be appropriate. With functional incontinence, where a person is

Our 3rd Annual Father/Daughter Dance will be held on Friday, February 12th from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Tickets will be on sale now through February 10th, (limited number will be sold!) The cost is $20/couple and $8/ extra child. We will sell 35 couple tickets and 10 extra tickets. They will be kept at the front desk. We will have a spaghetti dinner beginning at 6pm with the dance beginning immediately after dinner. Billy Britt will be the DJ and pictures will be available for purchase by Leslie Ann Mills Photography.

Providing Services To Our Communities For Over 35 Years

“We Build Strong Kids, Strong Families, Strong Communities”






Too much acid is the culprit in most cases of heartburn Heartburn is a very common and troublesome symptom. Nearly everyone suffers from it occasionally. It is almost always caused by just one thing — too much acid backing up from the stomach into the esophagus. The pain is usually a burning sensation in the lower chest region. Heartburn is usually not related to ulcers, although the two may occur together because they are both caused by excess acid and both can be made worse by using alcohol and

tobacco. Hiatal hernias are often blamed for heartburn symptoms, although they do not contribute to it as much as doctors used to think. Heartburn can usually be treated quite well through a number of appropriate steps. One important step is losing weight, which will decrease the pressure on the stomach when a person lies down. It is also important not to lie down after meals and not to eat or drink before going to bed. Food and acid will easily be forced from a full stomach

up into the esophagus. It is also very helpful to elevate the head of the bed about four to six inches on blocks of wood. As with all acid-related problems, alcohol and tobacco should be avoided. They increase the acid secretion by the stomach, as well as relax the sphincter at the top of the stomach allowing acid to reflux more easily. Any foods that worsen the pain should also be avoided. Chocolate, mints, and spicy or greasy foods are common offenders. There are many extremely

effective non-prescription medicines, such as omeprazole, that reduce the amount of acid secreted by the stomach. Antacids can be used in addition to neutralize any remaining acid. See your doctor for an exam and a prescription if these conservative measures do not work. Talk to your physician if you have signs of heartburn. To find a physician in this area, call Maria Parham Medical Center at (252) 436-1800 or visit www.mariaparham. com for listings.

RSV — the bad respiratory virus Each winter, one of the most troublesome respiratory viruses of childhood makes the rounds. Most older children tolerate the respiratory syncitial virus (RSV) well and just suffer the symptoms of a cough, sore throat, runny nose and fever. For some children, however, the virus can be very serious. These are usually children who are between the ages of two and five months. They are old enough that they have lost the immunity they received from their mothers and too young to tolerate such a harsh virus. Children who

have lung, heart or immune problems are also at greater risk of complications from RSV. One of the other problems with this virus is that it may take two or three infections before a child develops good immunity to it. The virus is spread by coughing and close contact, such as touching hands. The virus is so common that most children have had the infection by three years of age. After this age, RSV infections are seldom a problem. The virus causes a great deal of irritation to the lining of the

Offering treatment and care for those who suffer from kidney/renal related ailments as well as hypertension. Office Hours

Monday-Friday 8:30-12:00 Please call for an appointment

(252) 436-1080 568 Ruin Creek Rd. Suite 006 Henderson, NC

airways and lungs. Increased mucus and sloughed cells cause the tiny airways to plug up. This plugging slows the air that is leaving the lungs, so the lungs become overexpanded in a way similar to emphysema. In the more severe cases, the airways become completely plugged up and the airways collapse. Treatment is usually aimed at reducing the symptoms and making sure a child is getting adequate oxygen. Infants often need to be hospitalized for RSV infections. A steroid syrup or shot is commonly

Ihab Zaggout, MD Board Certified in Nephrology & Internal Medicine

A Department of

used and can decrease the symptoms. In severe cases, an antiviral antibiotic can be used, but its usefulness is still being studied. Talk to your pediatrician of family physician to learn more about RSV infections.

Heartburn can usually be treated quite well by adjusting eating and sleep habits.



Check the batteries regularly to make sure smoke detectors are functioning properly.



SHOULDERS, from page four arthritic changes. The joint capsule may tear and this frequently does not heal well. Without surgery, the pain from a joint capsule, or rotator cuff, tear may become chronic, even incapacitating. There are also many inflammatory forms of arthritis

that may affect the shoulder joint. These can include such illnesses as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Lyme Disease and other infections are serious causes of shoulder pain. Blood tests, x-rays and an exam can help determine

the cause of shoulder pain. Treatment may include rest, medicines, warm packs, physical therapy, and other modalities, depending on the exact cause. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, consult your physician. Depending on your

insurance provider, you may also be able to see a specialist, such as an orthopedist, directly. For help finding a doctor in this area, call Maria Parham Medical Center at (252) 436-1800 or visit www. for a listing of medical providers.

started for crippling arthritis before it becomes crippling. Rheumatologists are physicians who specialize in the treatment of conditions such as arthritis. Your family physician can prescribe treat-

ment for your condition. To obtain a list of physicians or rheumatologists in the area, you can check out the “Find a Physician� section of Maria Parham’s Web site at www.

CRIPPLING, from page six organs are needed routinely. And since the liver may be involved, using alcohol must be eliminated or at least kept to a minimum. Newer DMARDs have been created that treat rheumatoid

Don’t count on the smell of smoke to wake you if there’s a ďŹ re It’s easy to smell smoke. Why bother with a smoke detector? Fires are very dangerous, and thousands of people lose their lives in accidental fires each year. Thousands more suffer from severe burns that heal slowly, cause great pain and leave devastating scars. Many victims are children, and often fires occur when they are asleep. It is a great surprise to most people to learn that smoke will not wake a person up from sleep. The carbon monoxide in the smoke makes a person sleepier, and the smoke asphyxiates a person without even rousing him. Don’t count on the smell of smoke to wake you up! That’s why smoke detectors with loud alarms are so useful in preventing loss of life from house fires. They should be placed near sleeping areas where they will be heard easily if they go off. It is also important to make

sure that the batteries are fresh and functional. All too often, the batteries are “borrowed� to run a toy or some other device, but the person often forgets to replace them and is left with a false sense of security. This is an excellent reason for having more than one smoke detector in your house. Be sure to check the batteries monthly when you pay your bills. Besides using smoke detectors, there are many other things you can do to cut down on the risk of house fires. Maintain your furnace and heaters. Besides being safer, they will be more efficient and cost less to run. Do not leave matches or lighters where children can get a hold of them, and warn children against playing with fire. Keep flammable material safely locked away. And most importantly, do not smoke cigarettes — they are the cause of thousands of house fires.

arthritis by interfering with cytokine function and inhibiting molecules that initiate the cascade of inflammation. These new medicines are wonderful additions, but to be most effective, they must be

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The key to kicking the smoking habit is a real desire to quit

Talk to a physician about prescription medicines and other aids that can help in the fight to quit smoking.

Most smokers do want to quit smoking and have tried to stop at least once. Succeeding is the hard part. The most important thing is having a real desire to quit. Without that, no amount of help from doctors, classes or medicines will keep you from smoking. Even when you decide to stop smoking, it may take several attempts and perhaps trying different methods before you succeed. Besides your own desire to stop, the most effective single factor is the encouragement of your physician. Talk to him. He can suggest helpful hints

and perhaps prescribe medicines. Classes or support groups can help give you much-needed encouragement and incentive, and they will have many helpful educational tips. Regardless of which method you may choose, classes are worthwhile. Behavioral methods of quitting involve choosing other activities over smoking. A person is taught new habits to replace the old. Biofeedback and relaxation techniques can help people who respond to stress by reaching for a cigarette. One of the most common ways to quit is by

stopping cold turkey, preferably after cutting down to under a pack per day. There will be withdrawal symptoms, but seldom as bad as a person expects, and they last only a matter of days. The urge to smoke, however, lasts much longer than the withdrawal symptoms. Recently, nicotine patches and prescription medicines have become available which appear to help some people break the habit. Consult your doctor about their use. For more information or help in quitting smoking, contact the GranvilleVance Health Department at (252) 492-7915.



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