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Karen Miller

Stories by Karen

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Yoga: Take a deep breath

Inner peace may improve mental health

Yoga is an ancient discipline that combines meditation with certain positions called asanas. Yoga has been found to improve physical health, and studies now suggest that it can improve mental health as well.

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Exercise for mental health

Good for the body; good for the mind

It is well established that exercise improves health and can lower the risk of several chronic illnesses. Exercise can also prevent or help control depression.

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Anxiety: When worry or panic takes over

More than ‘fight or flight’

Anxiety is the most common type of mental health disorder. It is most often characterized by panic attacks, phobias or generalized anxiety disorder.

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Major depressive disorder

You don’t just ‘snap out of it’

Depression is one of the most harmful mental health disorders.

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Bipolar disorder

Not the normal ups and downs

People with bipolar disorder have mood swings that shift from depression to mania or hypomania.

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Mental Illness

Very common but often goes untreated

Mental illness is one of the most common health disorders. Yet, a large percentage of those afflicted do not get treated.

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Mental health providers

More than just psychiatrists

Although psychiatrists are doctors trained in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders, there are several other types of professionals that treat people with mental disorders.

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Stigma of mental health: The sound of silence

An obstacle to seeking care

A high percentage of people with mental health disorders often refrain from seeking care due to the stigma of mental health.

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The facts behind processed meats

What are they, anyway?

Processed meats are red meats and poultry that are preserved by smoking, curing, salting or addition of any chemical preservatives.

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Insurance coverage increases the likelihood of getting preventive services

Screenings can find illnesses earlier when they are easier to treat

Screening tests can often find a disease before symptoms occur. The Affordable Care Act mandates that several screening tests be performed at no cost to the insured individual.

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Adults are not exempt

Immunizations are required for people of any age. Some conditions require one dose only while others are recommended yearly.

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The FDA pulls the plug on artificial trans fats

Trans fats a major cause of heart disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made the decision that artificial trans fats are not “generally recognized as safe” and are therefore being removed from processed foods.

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The long goodbye

One family recalls its struggle with AD

Alzheimer’s disease is not a solitary affliction. Family members often assume the unpaid role of caretakers.

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Family caregivers

They give assistance and they need assistance

Alzheimer’s disease has spurred the growth of a large network of informal, or personal, caregivers. Most of these caregivers are unpaid family members and friends.

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Autumn Salad

What’s good for the heart is good for the brain

This recipe – Autumn Salad – contains walnuts and leafy greens that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Exercise can help ease some Alzheimer’s symptoms

It's never too late to start

Regular physical activity is recommended for all adults regardless of age. Exercise can often ease some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Salmon Kebabs with Creamy Tzatziki Sauce

This is a tasty recipe for salmon kebabs. Some research indicates that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fatty fish like salmon, can help ward off dementia.

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Clinical Trials

All groups should reap the benefits

Clinical trials are research studies to determine how well a new treatment or procedure works in people.

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Harvard Aging Brain Study

A test of memory

Studies are ongoing to detect the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Memory tests and brain scans are used to detect the earliest changes in memory and the brain that may signal the onset of dementia.

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The A4 study – Alzheimer’s prevention

The purpose of the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s study, or A4 study, is to prevent memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease. People between the ages of 65 and 85 are eligible to apply for the study.

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Do you forget to remember?

Memories are formed through a three-step process

Memory is a three-step process that includes encoding, or processing the thought, short-term to long-term memory and retrieval. Failure to encode a memory prevents retrieval of the memory at a later time.

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Is it depression or Alzheimer’s or both?

The overlap

Some symptoms of depression are also symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Regardless of the cause, depression should be evaluated and treated.

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Alzheimer’s Disease

When they no longer know your name

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive, degenerative disease that robs victims of memory, reasoning, thinking and communication and eventually their life.

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Transient ischemic attack: A warning … and an opportunity

TIAs are often signs of an impending stroke

Although TIAs and stroke share symptoms, TIAs are transient and leave no permanent deficits. However, people who have a TIA are more likely to have a stroke.

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Kidney failure: A leading cause of death in African Americans

Diabetes and high blood pressure largely to blame

Chronic kidney disease, which results largely from diabetes and high blood pressure, is often preventable.

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Almost 50 percent of cases of cancer are preventable

Survey shows low understanding of cancer risks

With healthy lifestyles almost half of the most common cancers can be prevented.

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Heart disease: Myths vs. reality

Knowing the facts can save your life

Misperceptions about heart disease are common. Knowing the facts can save your life.

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Heart disease in women

The number one killer

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women and kills more women than all types of cancer combined.

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Buttons and bows pasta

A healthy combination of pasta and vegetables

Buttons and bows pasta is a simple and healthy recipe that combines whole grains with vegetables.

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Dietary fiber: For good health and regularity

Found only in plant foods

Although roughly 25 grams of dietary fiber are recommended every day, the average consumption is closer to 15 grams a day.

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Cancer of the uterus: the most common GYN cancer

Obesity is a key risk factor

Early detection and treatment of uterine cancer can increase the survival rate.

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Diet is a four-letter word

Individual healthy eating plans now recommended for those with diabetes

The eating plan recommended for those with diabetes is the same as that recommended for everyone.

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Chickpea Salad

This recipe for chickpea salad is low in sodium, but high in fiber and protein.

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Exercise is medicine

Physical activity key to controlling glucose

Regular exercise, or physical activity, is recommended for those with diabetes to help control their blood glucose levels.

Not just pasta

Counting carbohydrates

People with diabetes must watch their consumption of carbohydrates, which are sugar, starch and fiber.

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Diabetes: The leading cause of kidney failure

A major complication of diabetes

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and accounts for more than 43 percent of new cases.

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Just 7 percent of body weight

Diabetes Prevention

With a change in lifestyle, researchers have found that people at risk of type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

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Diabetic retinopathy

A leading cause of blindness

Diabetic retinopathy — damage to the blood vessels in the retina — is the leading cause of new blindness in persons aged 25 to 74 years in the United States.

Type 2 diabetes: Myths vs. Reality

There are several misperceptions and misunderstandings about type 2 diabetes.

You won't know until you are tested

Blood tests are used to diagnosis diabetes and prediabetes because disease type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms in the early stages. The test is repeated before a diagnosis is confirmed.

Diabetes signs, complications and risk factors

Although diabetes is often silent in the initial stages, specific symptoms emerge as the disease progresses. Poor control of glucose levels increases the risk of complications of diabetes.

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Often preventable … but the numbers are increasing

Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or controlled once diagnosed.

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Managing your diabetes: Not just glucose levels

Tests to prevent complications

In order to detect or prevent complications people with diabetes are advised to have several tests and checkups each year.

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Take a deep breath in

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung cancer is largely preventable. Almost 90 percent of all cases of lung cancer are caused by tobacco smoke, which contains known cancer-causing agents.

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

A healthy dose of vitamin A

Acorn squash, a type of winter squash, is heralded for its richness in vitamins A and C, fiber and potassium.

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Medication safety

October is Talk about Prescriptions Month

Medication errors, which can result in harm or even death, are largely preventable.

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OTC drugs: Safe when taken correctly

Read the drug facts label carefully

Although over-the-counter, or OTC drugs are available without a prescription, their ease of use has not diminished their potency. Dosages and precautions listed on Drug Facts Labels should be followed closely.

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A healthy whole grain snack

Whole-Wheat Fruit Bars

A “healthy snack” sounds like an oxymoron. The two words seem to be on opposite ends. But that does not have to be the case. In this recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research, whole grains are combined with dried fruit and juice for a healthy treat.

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HPV vaccine remains underutilized

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Although a vaccine for HPV has been available since 2006, the compliance rate remains low.

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Osteoarthritis: Oh, those painful knees

Osteoarthritis, which can range from mild to severe, is one of the most debilitating diseases in this country.