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Karen Miller

Stories by Karen

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Glaucoma: The silent thief of sight

Many people lack awareness

Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness in this country. There is no cure for glaucoma, but it can be treated with medicine and surgery.

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The flu: Will antibiotics work?

The difference between bacteria and viruses

Antibiotics are often prescribed for people suffering from the flu. However, antibiotics are designed to treat infections from bacteria. The flu, on the other hand, is a virus and does not respond to antibiotics.

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January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month

Cervical cancer largely preventable

With the advent of Pap smears and immunization against certain types of HPV, the incidence of cervical cancer in this country has plummeted in the past 50 years.

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Diabetes and Cancer

An unexpected link

Current data indicate that the incidence of diabetes may be on the decline. Since research suggests that there is a link between type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer, a drop in diabetes rates may result in lower cancer rates.

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The Food and Drug Administration: Attack on added sugars

Limit to 12½ teaspoons a day

The Food and Drug Administration is at it again. Now the target is sugar, but it’s not just any sugar. It’s the added sugar the administration is going after.

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Exercise and high blood pressure

An alternative method to keep your pressure low

Regular exercise can increase the efficiency of the heart, which can help prevent or control high blood pressure.

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Edamame stew

This recipe is high in potassium and fiber and low in unhealthy fats and sodium. This combination will help lower blood pressure and decrease its risk.

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Quinoa-stuffed tomatoes

This side dish pairs quinoa, a whole grain, with vegetables for a healthy recipe that is low in unhealthy fats, sodium and calories and high in fiber, protein and potassium

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Kidney failure: A silent complication

Dialysis and transplant the only treatments

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the leading causes of kidney failure. Once diagnosed, the only treatments available are dialysis and kidney transplant.

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Heart failure: A weakened and enlarged heart

An inefficient pump

Heart failure, one of the leading causes of death, is often caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure. Because of increased resistance, the heart has to pump harder in order to supply blood to the body.

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Home monitoring of HBP

Frequent checks help keep tabs on blood pressure

Home monitoring of blood pressure is particularly beneficial for those with hypertension and those with several risks for the disorder. It is important to buy an approved monitor and to use it correctly.

Keep high blood pressure at bay

Many cases are preventable

Some cases of high blood pressure are difficult to avoid. It may run in families or a medical condition precipitates it. For everyone the risk of hypertension increases with every tick of the clock. But too many times our behavior brings it on. Here are risk factors that are in our court. Fortunately, we can have some control.

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Pass the salt, please

Americans consume more than twice the quantity recommended

According to the American Heart Association, consumers eat more than twice the recommended daily limit. Salt, or sodium, is available in many foods we purchase or eat in restaurants.

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The 10 greatest sources of sodium

More than chips and snacks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that more than 40 percent of the sodium people regularly consume comes from 10 types of foods.

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The hidden meaning of nutrition labels

Sodium content is not always clear

Nutrition labels indicate the amount of sodium in each serving. For foods with limited sodium content, however, the labeling is less clear and not well understood.

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Over-the-counter medications and HBP

Although over-the-counter drugs are readily available to consumers, those with high blood pressure need to be careful in their choice. Some OTC drugs can increase their pressure or make their medication less effective.

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High blood pressure

A silent and dangerous killer

Although high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most common chronic conditions in this country, roughly half of those afflicted do not follow their prescribed medication regimen.

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Complications of high blood pressure

Years of uncontrolled blood pressure can cause life-threatening disorders. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of stroke and heart disease.

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Risk factors of high blood pressure

A risk factor increases the risk of a particular disease or condition. Having a particular risk factor, however, does not mean that you will get that disease.

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More women may be eligible for breast-conserving surgery

Size of tumor not always key

Some cases of breast cancer can be treated by lumpectomy, a breast-conserving surgery. A recent study has found that more women than previously thought could be eligible for lumpectomy.

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New guidelines for breast cancer screening

Which ones should you follow?

The American Cancer Society recently updated its screening guidelines for breast cancer. The ACS now recommends that women of average risk of breast cancer initiate screening at 45 rather than 40.

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Pomegranates: The “seeded apples”

Antioxidants make them a superfood

Pomegranates, known for their bright color and odd shape, are available only during the fall to early winter. Because of their high content of antioxidants, pomegranates have gained a reputation as a superfood.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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