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How to find time for exercise Many men and women cite hectic schedules as the primary reason they fail to get enough exercise, but daily exercise can drastically reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes and help reduce stress. Because exercise can vastly improve quality of life and even life expectancy, it’s imperative that even the busiest men and women find time to exercise several times per week. The following are a handful of ways to do just that.

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Transform your commute. Many men and women find their commutes to be a significant waste of time. But instead of sitting in traffic or napping on public transportation, consider transforming your daily commute into an exercise regimen. If you live close to your office, ride your bicycle to work each day rather than driving or taking the bus or train. If that’s not an option, avoid working during your commute so you aren’t stressing out on your way into or home from the office. Instead, spend your commute listening to an audiobook in the car or reading a book or watching a movie if you take public transportation. Use your commute as an opportunity to exercise, ease into your day or unwind after a long day rather than extending the workday. Make the most of your lunch hour. Many working professionals are aware that a big lunch in the middle of the day can drain them of energy and make the afternoon crawl. So instead of indulging in a big lunch, use your lunch hour to squeeze in a workout. If your company has an on-site fitness facility, visit it during your lunch hour. If not, walk around the campus during lunch instead of sitting at your desk. Exercising during your lunch hour is a great way to squeeze in a workout, and chances are your afternoon productivity will benefit from your midday workout. Get up early. Men and women who workout in the morning often rave about the impact such workouts have on the rest of their days. While it might not be easy to rise when it’s still dark out, waking up as little as 30 minutes before you normally would can work wonders. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week and some musclestrengthening activities that focus on all the major muscle groups on two or more days per week. So setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier and making the most of that dusty fitness equipment in the basement is all that stands between you and a much healthier lifestyle. Forgo happy hour for workout hour. The days when professionals would finish off a workday with a few drinks at a nearby tavern are largely a thing of the past, but some professionals still like to indulge in one or two alcoholic beverages at the end of the workday. If that’s your modus operandi but you bemoan your lack of time to get to the gym, then say goodbye to happy hour in favor of working out at the gym. Working out after work is a healthier way to relieve stress than having a few drinks, and choosing to work out instead of going out for drinks is a great way to trim your waistline.

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How to find time for exercise.................................................................................................................................. 2 Quest for better health helps change a community.................................................................................................... 4 Proactive ways to reduce your risk of developing cancer............................................................................................ 5 Get the facts about fibromyalgia............................................................................................................................. 6 Symptoms of an enlarged prostate.......................................................................................................................... 7 Understanding and diagnosing hearing loss............................................................................................................. 9 Fitness tips for women looking to be more active..................................................................................................... 10 Natural ways to ease arthritis pain.........................................................................................................................11 Remain calm after mammogram callback............................................................................................................... 12 Get the facts on migraine headaches.................................................................................................inside back cover

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2013 Medical Guide and Directory | Sidney Daily News | Becky Smith advertising director | 1451 N. Vandemark Rd. | Sidney, OH 45365 | 937-498-5930 | sidneydailynews.com

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Quest for better health helps change a community Nurses are known for helping others. So it should be no surprise that when a Texas nurse decided to make changes to improve her own health, she began to better the health of others as well. This is the story of Austin resident Shirlet Fowler, a registered nurse who was overweight and had high cholesterol, which put her at risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African-American adults, like Shirlet, are 1.4 times as likely as Caucasians to be overweight or obese. “This means they are at a higher risk for high blood pressure and chronic diseases such as diabetes,” said Leonard Jack, Jr., PhD, MSc, director of the Division of Community Health at the CDC. But Shirlet decided not to stay on this path. When she started having pain while picking up her two-year-old daughter, she

realized it was time to make a change. She started walking and asked family members and friends to join her. “It wasn’t easy,” recalls Shirlet of that first day. But within six months, her group went from walking a couple miles to five miles every day. The group meets monthly to celebrate, share healthy recipes and check blood sugar and cholesterol. They enjoy monitoring their goals and socializing while walking. They also enjoy better health. Several walkers have lost weight, Shirlet’s cholesterol has dropped 100 points, and she can pick up her daughter without pain. She also feels in control of her health for the first time, which has improved her self-confidence and well-being. Today, Shirlet says, “I feel stronger. I am stronger.” The healthy habits Shirlet has adopted set a good example for her young daughter, too, which Shirlet feels is extremely important. “If you don’t have your health, nothing else matters,” she said. Inspired by the success of the group, Shirlet teamed up with the Alliance for African American Health, an organization that helps make it easier for African Americans to get exercise. She also became a spokesperson for healthy living habits through a partnership with a local medical center and her local school district. “Shirlet’s story is one of many healthy success stories around the United States,” said Dr. Jack. “The CDC applauds her and all the many other individuals and programs working to improve access to healthy foods, physical activity, and reduce tobacco use and exposure in their communities.” To learn more about making your community a healthier place, visit www.MakingHealthEasier.org.

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Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a devastating moment in a person’s life. While many cancers are treatable, a cancer diagnosis is still a life-changing moment that leaves many people asking themselves if there was something they could have done to prevent getting cancer. It’s easy to take a reactionary approach to a cancer diagnosis, but many people might not know they can take a proactive approach to reduce their risk of developing cancer in the first place. Though the following tips can’t guarantee you will never receive a cancer diagnosis, they can help you reduce that risk considerably. Maintain a healthy weight. Numerous studies have indicated that being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing certain cancers. Uterine, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers have all been linked to being overweight or obese. Speak to your physician about a plan to help you lose weight and then maintain that weight. Your doctor should be able to provide insight on nutrition and how you should approach exercise if it’s been awhile since exercise was a part of your daily routine. Avoid tobacco or quit smoking. Cigarette smoking is responsible for a majority of cases of lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Smoking causes about 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in men and roughly 80 percent of lung cancer deaths in women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men who smoke are nearly 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men who don’t, while women who smoke are 13 times more likely to develop lung cancer than women who avoid smoking tobacco. Smoking also increases a person’s risk of developing other cancers, including cancer of the larynx, mouth

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Proactive ways to reduce your risk of developing cancer

Reducing your alcohol consumption can lower your risk of developing cancer.

and throat, kidney, esophagus, bladder, and pancreas. Smokers who quit smoking will see their cancer risk reduce dramatically the longer they go without smoking. Steer clear of secondhand smoke. Even if you don’t smoke you might be putting yourself at risk if you allow others around you to smoke in your presence. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, exposure to secondhand smoke can increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer by as much as 30 percent. That’s because the concentration of many toxic and cancercausing chemicals is higher in secondhand smoke than the smoke inhaled by smokers. Reduce alcohol consumption. A 2007 study from the World Health Organization revealed that daily consumption of 50 grams of alcohol, or about 1.8 ounces, doubles or triples a person’s risk of developing mouth, voice box or throat cancers. In addition, many studies have linked alcohol consumption to a heightened risk of primary liver cancer and an increased risk of breast cancer. Also, a variety of studies have linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Take precautionary measures when spending time in the sun. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays has been linked to skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer in the United States. When spending time in the sun, always apply adequate sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15. In addition, wear appropriate clothing, including sunglasses, and seek out shaded areas when spending a significant amount of time in the sun. Men and women do not have to wait until a cancer diagnosis to start living healthier. Adopting a proactive approach can greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer and a variety of other health issues as well.

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Get the facts about fibromyalgia Characterized by widespread pain with no apparent cause, fibromyalgia is a condition that has had many people scratching their heads and desperate for answers. Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome where a person has long-term bodily pain, particularly tenderness in the muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but some theories suggest it may stem from physical or emotional trauma or abnormal pain responses in the central nervous system. The U.S. Library of Medicine states fibromyalgia is most common among women ages 20 to 50, although it can be present in men as well. African-American women are more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia than Caucasians and other races. However, Caucasian women report significantly more pain over sufferers of different ethnicities. Doctors are unsure why this is the case. Symptoms of fibromyalgia are largely painful “tender points” over the body. Painful areas generally occur in the soft tissue on the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, and lower back. Pain may radiate out from these areas and can be a deep ache or a shooting, burning pain. Depending on the individual, pain may begin in the morning and ease up with daily activity.

It may worsen at night. The pain may escalate when the weather is cold or damp or the person feels anxious and stressed. In addition to pain, fatigue and depression are associated with fibromyalgia, and these symptoms may stem from interrupted sleep patterns due to the pain. Other symptoms can include migraine headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritable bowel syndrome, and reduced ability to exercise. Sexually active women may experience pain during intercourse, and menstrual cramping may be more intense. WebMD says roughly 5.8 million Americans are affected by fibromyalgia, while approximately 443,000 Canadians are believed to have fibromyalgia. Treatment options vary with symptom severity. Fibromyalgia treatments vary depending on the individual. Treatments for the condition typically involve medications and self-care. Exercise and alternative treatments also may be tried. A 2010 report from CNN says fibromyalgia is notoriously difficult to treat and only 35 to 40 percent of people with the chronic pain condition get relief from the available medications. Some have requested prescriptions from their doctors for medical marijuana to ease symptoms. Historically, marijuana has been used as a painkiller and to relax the body. While some doctors prescribe it where it is legal, many others prefer to wait for synthetic cannabis compounds to be studied and produced. Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that affects millions of people, a majority of which are women. Those with widespread pain should visit a doctor to develop a course of treatment. Common fibromyalgia treatments Analgesics: Pain relievers are the first line of defense against fibromyalgia. Reducing pain can make activities tolerable. If over-the-counter pain relievers are ineffective, a doctor may prescribe a stronger medicine. Antidepressants: Certain antidepressants like duloxetine (Cymbalta®) have been approved for use in relieving pain and fatigue. Doctors may use a combination of antidepressants to help promote sleep and take away the pain of fibromyalgia. Anti-seizure medications: In some cases, drugs that are used to treat seizure disorders have been effective at relieving pain caused by fibromyalgia. Pregabalin: This drug, marketed under the name Lyrica®, is the first drug approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia. Lifestyle changes: Reducing stress, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly can help alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia. Also, consuming a healthy diet and reducing caffeine intake may help. Alternative therapies: Some people find that massage therapy, tai chi, yoga, and acupuncture promote relaxation and can relieve symptoms.

Many women find that massage therapy alleviates symptoms of fibromyalgia.

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Symptoms of an enlarged prostate urination. Also, because of the prostate’s location, the single best way to detect enlargement of the gland is through a digital rectal examination, or DRE, during which a doctor will insert his or her finger into the rectum and feel for the prostate to see if it is enlarged or tender. Should there be any indication of an abnormality, a prostate-specific antigen blood test, or PSA, or an ultrasound may be suggested. Treatment: Medical treatment often helps alleviate the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. A doctor may prescribe alpha-blockers, which relax the muscles around the urethra to help urine flow more freely. If enlargement is due to infection, antibiotics could be given. Other medications, such as 5-alphareductase inhibitors, reduce the level of a certain form of testosterone called DHT. With less DHT present, the prostate shrinks. If medications do not alleviate symptoms, surgery may be necessary. In some cases, an enlarged prostate may be an indicator of prostate cancer. A doctor may want to run tests to see if cancer is present. Prostate cancer is often very slowgrowing, and some people prefer a wait-and-see method of treatment if symptoms are not troublesome. Understanding enlarged prostate symptoms can help men with the condition feel better faster.

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Many men suffer from an enlarged prostate gland. Because an enlarged prostate most often affects men over the age of 50, many younger men may be unaware of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. However, identifying warning signs early can lead to an earlier diagnosis and a more effective course of treatment. What is an enlarged prostate? An enlarged prostate, known as prostatitis or sometimes benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is the inflammation of the prostate. What causes the prostate to expand is largely unknown, but the condition has been linked to a few different factors. It may occur as a result of a bacterial infection or decreased immune function. Others find it is the result of weakening muscles. Genetics and the aging process also play a role in prostate enlargement. According to Prostate.net, men have a 50 percent chance of getting prostatitis in their lifetimes. Since the condition is so common, some believe that all men could eventually have an enlarged prostate if they live long enough. Symptoms of an enlarged prostate vary in their severity, and a small amount of inflammation can cause major symptoms and vice versa. Information from the United States National Library of Medicine says less than half of all men with an enlarged prostate actually have symptoms of the disease. Those who do may experience any number of the following: Weak or slow urine stream Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying Increased urinary frequency or urgency Testicular pain Pain with ejaculation Straining to urinate Continued dribbling of urine Stopping and starting while urinating For many men, the increased frequency to visit the bathroom is one of the first indicators that there may be an issue with the prostate gland. Those who have slept comfortably through the night may now be rising one or two times per night to urinate. Many times an enlarged prostate, which leads to an inability to fully empty the bladder, can trigger urinary tract infections. This may compound symptoms and cause additional pain or burning when passing urine, as well as increased urinary urgency. An infection also may lead to blood in the urine. Diagnosing an enlarged prostate: The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis. The prostate secretes fluid that nourishes and protects sperm, and is responsible for pushing this fluid into the urethra prior to ejaculation. The prostate gland’s proximity to the bladder and the penis is largely what causes the problems with

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Understanding and diagnosing hearing loss The ears are sensitive sensory organs of the body that are susceptible to damage, including hearing impairment or loss. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says approximately 15 percent of the United States population between the ages of 20 and 69 has high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise from work and leisure activities. School-aged children and even babies can have varying stages of hearing loss. Such loss might have been present at birth, but it also can be a byproduct of environmental factors. Statistics Canada reports more than one million adults across Canada have a hearing-related disability. Types of hearing loss Any person can experience hearing loss and at varying degrees. Medical professionals distinguish different levels of hearing loss as mild, moderate, severe, and profound. The deafness can be categorized in two main types: conductive and sensory-neural. If sound is blocked from reaching the inner ear in some way, then that person is said to have conductive hearing loss. If the problem stems from impairment of sensory cells inside of the ear or neurological impairment that compromises reception of sound or understanding of language, the person is said to have sensoryneural hearing loss. Hearing loss testing Tests will determine the type and the severity of hearing loss. Hearing tests may be part of routine examinations performed by pediatricians as children age. But once people reach adulthood, hearing tests are not common unless they are requested in response to a specific medical issue. The American Hearing Research Foundation identifies six types of hearing tests. Bedside testing: Doctors can use screening procedures to identify symptoms of hearing loss. A doctor may use some sort of common sound, such as whispering, snapping or a ticking watch, to quantify a patient’s ability to hear sounds. He or she also may use tuning forks to test at chosen frequencies. The Rinne test is a common tuning fork test that identifies hearing discrepancies when the tuning fork is placed on the mastoid bone and then one inch from the external ear canal. Audiometry: This test is conducted using an audiometer that gives off a variety of pitches. When higher levels of decibels are needed, this indicates hearing impairment. The source of the hearing loss then needs to be identified. Tympanometry: This is a measure of the stiffness of the eardrum to evaluate middle ear function. Tympanometry can identify fluid in the middle ear, perforations and abnormal middle ear pressure. Brainstem auditory evoked responses: This test, often referred to as a BAER test, measures the timing of electrical waves from the brainstem in response to clicks sounded at the ear. Both ears are tested and then delays in one side to the other may be indicative of a problem. Electrocochleography: This test is a variant of the BAER and uses an electrode placed on or in the ear drum to amplify sound waves. Otoacoustic emission: This is a relatively new procedure used to assess hearing loss in newborns and also verify if the cochlea, which is the spiral-shaped hearing organ inside of the inner ear, is working correctly. A small probe is inserted into the ear, and quiet tones are sent to simulate movement of the hairs on the cochlea.

Should these hairs move, a tiny microphone will record the hairs’ own sounds and produce a response that indicates the cochlea is working. Identifying hearing loss Tests are only functional if hearing loss is identified and people take steps to confirm diagnosis. Often it is up to parents, spouses and caregivers to recognize the signs of hearing loss and suggest testing. Some signs of hearing loss are more noticeable than others. Here are some indicators. • Asking people to repeat themselves • Turning up the radio or television volume to a level that is loud for others • Difficulty hearing on a telephone • Difficulty hearing when women or children speak • Problems following a fast-moving conversation • Feeling like others are always mumbling • Difficulty making out conversations in noisy places If you have repeatedly experienced any of these signs, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association suggests scheduling an appointment with your doctor. He or she can determine if an appointment with a certified audiologist is necessary. Although there is a strong relationship between age and hearing loss, anyone can experience hearing impairment. Being informed and seeking treatment can help improve hearing and communication in affected individuals.

Children are susceptible to hearing loss when they use earbuds and listen to music too loudly.

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Modern women have a lot on their plates. Women with families often must balance the considerable responsibilities of life at home with the demands of a full-time career. Women's health is too often sacrificed at the expense of their dueling responsibilities to work and family, and that can lead to numerous problems down the road. Women who want to get healthier need not fear that their new devotion to a healthier lifestyle will take some of their focus away from their families or their careers. In fact, women who feel better physically often find it easier to juggle family and career than those who don't make time for exercise. The following are a few tips to help women become more active so they can better handle the increasingly difficult balance of work and family life. Don't go it alone. The buddy system can be employed in many avenues of life, but it is perhaps most effective with regard to adopting an exercise regimen. Exercising with friends or even your spouse can motivate you to commit to exercise, as you won't want to let your exercise partner down. Your buddy also can help motivate you on those days when you really don't feel like exercising. Embrace daily activity. When you're becoming active again after a long hiatus from physical activity, you don't want to dive in too heavily and risk injury, but you do want to commit to being active on a daily basis. Being active every day does not necessarily mean you have to spend 60 minutes on the treadmill every morning, but stay active even when you aren't necessarily exercising. Go for a walk after dinner or take the stairs up to your office instead of the elevator. Take periodic breaks from your desk, walking to get a glass of water or walking just to stretch your legs. Even if it's minor, such activity can help you avoid falling back into bad habits on those days when you aren't embracing more strenuous physical activity. Find exercise you will enjoy. Far too many people have attempted to become more active only to ultimately abandon such efforts because their exercise regimens bored them. Women who have never before embraced lifting weights or enjoyed jogging on the treadmill likely won't find those activities agreeable now, either. Finding physical activity you enjoy is a recipe for success, whereas you're far less likely to embrace a fitness regimen if you find it boring or repetitive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-

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Fitness tips for women looking to be more active

intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week and some muscle-strengthening activities that focus on all the major muscle groups on two or more days per week. Those guidelines are not very restrictive, allowing women to tailor their workouts around activities they enjoy. For example, if you don't like lifting weights, you don't have to spend much time focused on muscle-strengthening exercises. Devote some time to such exercises, but leave the bulk of your time for activities you truly enjoy. Stay on top of your progress. If you are used to balancing work and family, then chances are you are adept at monitoring various things all at once. Your physical fitness is no different. While many women equate daily weigh-ins with their fitness progress, avoid using your scale as the way to monitor your progress, as scales can be misleading. Instead, keep a diary of your workouts and your diet, and write in how you felt each day. This diary can help you find out what works for you and what might not be working. Give yourself time each week to monitor this progress and make adjustments as needed. Embracing a physically active lifestyle after a long hiatus from exercise can be challenging, especially for women juggling the responsibilities of a family and career. But women who try a more physically active lifestyle often find this has a positive impact on their family and professional life.


Natural ways to ease arthritis pain A leading cause of disability in the United States and elsewhere, arthritis can be a debilitating disease. Pain and stiffness are the leading symptoms, and millions of people seek relief from arthritis every year. Contrary to popular belief, arthritis is not a disease of old age. The Arthritis Foundation says one in every five adults has arthritis, two-thirds of whom are under the age of 65. In a 2008 Canadian Community Health Study, 15.3 percent of Canadians aged 12 or older reported a diagnosis of arthritis. Even children can suffer from arthritis. A complex family of musculoskeletal disorders, arthritis consists of more than 100 different diseases that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage, and other connective tissues. This can compromise physical movement and lead to pain. Arthritis may result from the wearing down of joints and connective tissue through repetitive movement or injury, but it also may be the result of an autoimmune disease. Rheumatoid arthritis, for example, is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking the membranes around joints, particularly in the hands and feet. Treating a complex condition like arthritis is not always easy. Treatment of arthritis, which has no cure, typically involves reducing pain and improving mobility.

While pain medications can be prescribed to treat arthritis, there are other more natural ways to handle arthritis as well. Eat foods that reduce inflammation. Arthritis causes inflammation in the joints and connective tissues, so it makes sense that reducing inflammation could ease symptoms. A number of foods, including tart cherries, have been found to reduce inflammation. According to research from Oregon Health & Science University presented in 2012 at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in San Francisco, tart cherries have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. The antioxidant compounds -- called anthocyanins -- in tart cherries have been specifically linked to high antioxidant capacity and reduced inflammation at levels comparable to some well-known pain medications. Spinach, walnuts, garlic, and broccoli also can reduce inflammation.

Use hot and cold treatments. The University of Washington School of Medicine says hot and cold treatments can reduce swelling, relax muscles and relieve pain. Cold packs can numb sore areas and should be used when symptoms come on suddenly. Heat sources, in contrast, can help ease pain gradually and limber up tight joints and muscles. Always use a towel or barrier between a cold or hot pack and the skin to avoid injury. Exercise a few times per week. Although it may hurt to move around, frequent exercise can actually be beneficial in the long run. Low-impact exercises like walking, swimming and cycling three times a week can help to keep joint pain at bay. Always consult with a doctor before beginning an exercise regimen to find out if it is right for your condition. Once you get the green light, start out gradually. If you are experiencing pain for more than an hour after a workout, your workout was too much for your body to handle and you need to lighten the load during your next workout. Lose weight. Being overweight can put added pressure on joints and cause more pain. Shedding a few pounds may be all it takes to get substantial relief from pain associated with arthritis. Many natural therapies can effectively alleviate arthritis pain. Talk to a doctor if your symptoms are affecting your quality of life.

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Going for a mammogram can induce anxiety and raise questions before, during and after the procedure. Receiving a callback for further views or testing can put women even more on edge. But very often, these procedures are nothing to worry about. When a doctor requests additional mammogram views or even a biopsy, this doesn’t necessarily mean he or she has found cancer. It just means the doctor needs further clarification of an abnormality seen on the mammogram. Breast tissue is dense, and sometimes mammograms do not provide adequate views of all areas of the breast. An anomaly on a mammogram might be a benign calcification in the breast, a shadow or a noncancerous lump. Getting called back for another look is quite common. The American Cancer Society says about 10 percent of women who have had a mammogram will be called back for more tests. Only about 10 percent of those women will require a biopsy. And among those who do, 80 percent of the biopsies turn out to be benign. In general, most doctors will receive results of follow-up mammograms and biopsies within one to two weeks. What to Expect at a Follow-up Exam There are different steps doctors can take to further clarify an anomaly in breast tissue. One of the first procedures is another mammogram, typically called a diagnostic mammogram. The breasts will be imaged, but this time it may take longer because more images may be ordered of particular areas of the breast or breasts. The breast tissue needs to be thinned out considerably in a mammogram, and this can be uncomfortable for women, particularly those with large breasts. Some doctors recommend scheduling a mammogram after your menstrual period has ended, and you can take a painkiller to minimize pain.

Remain calm after mammogram callback A doctor may order an ultrasound as well. A technician will apply a clear gel to your skin and ask you to lie back on a table. The technician will then pass a transducer on the breast. This device sends out high-frequency sound waves and maps the echoes it receives to form a picture. This ultrasound is the same type of procedure used to check a fetus during pregnancy. An ultrasound may diagnose an abnormality that a doctor cannot see well on a mammogram. A doctor might resort to an MRI if ultrasound or a traditional mammogram prove inconclusive. MRI scans use magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images. There are now open MRI machines that minimize feelings of claustrophobia for those who have an aversion to the closed tubes of traditional machines. If you need a biopsy, a needle may be pushed into the breast to capture fluid or tissue from the suspicious area. Some doctors make a small surgical incision to remove abnormal tissue. The sample will be examined under a microscope to determine the types of cells. Learning about tests that are conducted for breast health can put women’s minds at ease while waiting for follow-up appointments and results. Discuss any questions you may have with your doctor and rest assured that a follow-up test is not indicative of a cancer diagnosis.

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Headaches are a common response to stress, but migraine headaches are a type of headache that seem to be a unique breed. Migraines cause significant pain and are often accompanied by other symptoms that make them particularly bothersome. Much is not understood about the cause of migraines, but environmental factors and genetics seem to play a role. According to The Mayo Clinic, migraines may be caused by changes in the brain stem and interactions between this part of the neurological system and a major pain pathway called the trigeminal nerve. Imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin, may trigger the formation of neuropeptides, which travel to the outer covering of the brain known as the meninges, causing pain. The World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion people will get a migraine at some point in their lives. Women are more prone to migraines, possibly due to hormonal fluctuations. In fact, many migraines are triggered by certain situations or conditions. Menstruation is a common trigger of migraines. Here are some other common triggers: Stress: Stressful situations may cause both mental and physical responses in the body, which can trigger migraines. Foods: Caffeinated products, monosodium glutamate, alcohol, aged cheeses, and even salty foods can bring on a migraine in some people.

Get the facts on migraine headaches Environmental changes: Migraines may be triggered by the weather and changes in barometric pressure. Sights, smells and sounds: Perfumes, unpleasant aromas, bright sunlight, or even loud noises may be the causes of migraines in some people. Medications: Some medicines, such as nitroglycerin, are known to cause migraines. Symptoms of migraines When a person has a migraine, he or she is likely to report a throbbing pain on one side of his or her head. But the pain may be on both sides of the head, too. Also, the pain may switch sides and doesn’t necessarily have to occur on the same side each and every time a migraine occurs. Many people report blurred vision, tunnel vision or a temporary blind spot as part of the symptoms of a migraine. Sensitivity to light is common, as is accompanying nausea. For some the nausea is so severe it leads to vomiting. Some people find they are able to predict when a migraine is coming. Seeing stars, zigzag lines or bright spots and colors called “auras” can often be warning signs that a migraine is coming on. Symptoms of migraines may linger after the migraine has subsided. One may experience neck pain, fatigue, loss of appetite and a feeling that you don’t have mental acuity. Treating migraines There is no one specific treatment for migraines. The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists a number of different medications and treatment options to alleviate migraines and subsequent side effects. Because serotonin is believed to play a role in migraine headaches, using certain SSRI medications normally prescribed for depression may help. Seizure medications and blood pressure medications may be prescribed as well. Triptans are prescribed very often for stopping migraine attacks. They constrict blood vessels in the brain and relieve swelling. Some doctors also use botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, to relax areas and reduce migraines. Nausea medications and pain relievers may be used in conjunction with other treatments. Stress-relief methods and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or massage therapy, may help delay migraine onset as well. Keep in mind that migraine headaches could be a risk factor for stroke in both men and women. Call emergency services if the headache is extreme, starts very suddenly, pain increases in severity when lying down or if there are any speech, vision or movement problems that accompany the migraine.


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