It's that time of year again. The holiday season is a time of big family gatherings, office parties, festive cookies, candies, and other indulgent meals. It might feel like gaining weight during this time is inevitable. On average, one might gain a pound or two during the holiday season. You may be thinking, why is this a big deal? The thing is, most individuals never lose the weight gained during this season. This weight can add up and can potentially lead to obesity and a variety of other health problems.
It’s that time of year again – time for road trips and long flights to see loved ones across the country (and abroad) in celebration of the holiday season. Thankfully, with most adults in the US now vaccinated, holiday travel to gather with loved ones and friends will be much safer this season than last. However, those long plane rides and leg-numbing road trips can increase the risk of a dangerous condition known as DVT – that is, blood clots in the deep veins of the legs (“Deep Venous Thrombosis”). Sometimes, fragments of these blood clots can break off and travel to the lungs - this is known as pulmonary embolism, or PE, and it can sometimes be fatal.
The cool fall breeze is in the air! The month of November has finally arrived, with that comes lung cancer awareness month. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the United States and worldwide. Lung cancer is responsible for more deaths in the United States than the next three most common causes of cancer death combined – colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Each year, about 218,500 people in the United States are told they have lung cancer, and about 142,000 people die from this disease.
Flu vaccines are available now for the 2021-2022 flu season! The Flu vaccine is recommended every year for everyone 6 months of age and older with only a few exceptions. Many of you have doubts and fears about the Flu Vaccine, especially given recent highly publicized debates over the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what you need to know.
When you think of November, what comes to mind? Some may say Thanksgiving, football, or that month where it’s almost socially acceptable for me to put up my Christmas decorations. Though all true, November is also COPD awareness month.
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and it refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two of the more common diseases that fall under the category of COPD. COPD is caused by long-term repeat damage to the lungs. In the United States, tobacco smoke, either first or second hand, is the most common risk factor for developing COPD. Other risk factors include occupational exposures to dusts, gases, and fumes, as well as chronic respiratory infections and genetics.
Every summer, they come – the Mosquitos, the Wasps, the Hornets. We wonder if they bring some extra baggage with them. We have all heard of insect borne diseases, so what can we expect in our area of the country? Thankfully, we live in an area where these itchy little critters won’t make us too sick. Everyone has heard of Lyme disease with ticks, but here in all of Texas, we only see about 50 cases a year of this infection. We don’t need to worry about the ticks too much.
Depression is a common, serious condition that men, women, and people of all ages experience. Imagine walking around the grocery store. Many of the people you walk by have experienced depression. In fact, in the United States about 1 in 6 people experience depression during their lifetime.
October is here and that means you are going to be seeing pink everywhere. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month—the international campaign to raise awareness and funds for research for breast cancer which accounts for about 30% of new cancers in the US. Originally conceived 36 years ago by the American Cancer Society (ACS) in partnership with a now defunct chemical company (which interestingly likely produced various products eventually found to have cancer links), the campaign was meant to promote the use of screening mammography as a tool for catching breast cancer early. The month has now evolved to promote fundraising for research into all aspects of breast cancer prevention and care and to serve as an annual reminder about a disease for which there is a 13% lifetime risk for women (phenotypically female for the purposes of this article) in the US. In 2021 alone the American Cancer Society estimates approximately 43,600 women will die from breast cancer. The lifetime risk for men (phenotypically male) is less—1 in 833. Approximately 530 men are estimated will die in 2021 from the disease.
Acne vulgaris is a skin disorder that is very common skin condition. That said, it can still lead to a profound psychological impact resulting in low-self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Acne can be particularly troubling for teens who can already have troubles adjusting to their social environments. Although acne is most common in teens, it can present at all ages with most people having resolution of acne by their 30s. Potential complications from acne can be the dark spots or hyperpigmentation and scarring which can increase the negative psychologic effects.
In Western films it is not unusual that when the trigger is pulled against the hero, a fire does not follow, and the crowd cheers that part of the mechanics inside the firearm got stuck. This is similar to what happens with trigger finger: one’s finger is stuck bending and cannot be smoothly straightened.
When we move our finger, the muscle pulls the bone via the tendon, a fibrous cord connecting the muscle to the bone. While we move our finger numerous times a day, we don’t have to worry the wear and tear of the tendon, because it is surrounded by a sheath and protected from abrasion. However, if the sheath narrows down by inflammation or other tissue changes, the tendon can be trapped so that we cannot pull the trigger, our finger, freely.