Love’s Great Challenge
Oct31

Love’s Great Challenge

  Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient By David Buice   Though there are rewards for caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, including deepening bonds of compassion and love, providing this care impacts every aspect of the caregiver’s life. A person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can live up to 20 years, and as the disease progresses and the patient loses one ability after another, it’s essential that you, the caregiver, maintain your own...

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Silent Type
Oct31

Silent Type

  Understanding symptoms, treatments, and types of diabetes By David Buice   Diabetes, a disease afflicting over 30 million Americans, occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose gives your body energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, helps glucose move from your bloodstream into your body’s cells to produce energy. Unfortunately, sometimes the body...

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Taking Your Breath Away
Oct11

Taking Your Breath Away

Looking at a Few Common Lung Issues By David Buice   Breathing is essential to life, and our lungs are part of a very complicated apparatus that expands and contracts nearly 20,000 times daily as our bodies take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Lung disease can result from problems in any part of this vital system—and there are a few problems that afflict tens of millions of Americans every year.   Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary...

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Deep In The Heart
Sep04

Deep In The Heart

Focus On Being Heart Healthy. Cardiovascular disease takes many forms. These include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease, stroke, and arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat). Astoundingly, the World Health Organization estimates that worldwide 17 million people die annually from cardiovascular disease. In this country about 80 million people have some form of cardiovascular disease, and it’s responsible for...

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Abundant Allergens
Sep04

Abundant Allergens

Our state is a hot spot for sniffles and sneezes. We all know Texas is big. Almost three United Kingdoms or more than six Icelands could fit inside the Lone Star State. Unfortunately, Texas is also a huge hot spot for allergy sufferers. In its report released in spring of this year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) listed McAllen as the No. 1 most challenging place to live in the entire nation for spring allergies,...

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Urgent or Emergent
Apr11

Urgent or Emergent

How to know where to go when things suddenly aren’t how they should be Accidents happen, and we don’t get to say when or where—including after hours or away from home. As a result, it can be difficult to know whether to go to the emergency room or an ur care facility. How serious is serious enough for the ER? Can an urgent care clinic address your specific injury? How do you balance the time you’ve got with the budget you’ve...

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New Knees, Please
Apr09

New Knees, Please

Knee replacement surgery that’s a real game changer. Is chronic knee pain slowing you down? If nonsurgical treatments aren’t providing adequate relief, it’s probably time to explore full or partial knee replacement surgery with an orthopedic surgeon. Knee replacements are often performed using minimally invasive techniques if you are a good candidate, and with surgical innovations that include robotic and computer-assisted knee...

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Stop Kiddin’ Around
Mar14

Stop Kiddin’ Around

Know when it’s time for a kidney screening When it comes to kidney disease, to screen or not to screen? That is the question. The short answer is yes—if you’re at an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease, that is. If you are, medical experts agree that you should undergo routine, annual kidney screening, because early detection can head off dialysis or kidney transplant and prolong life. But how to know if you’re at...

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Back to Basics
Mar14

Back to Basics

Back pain is one of the most common ailments sending Americans to their doctor’s office for treatment. According to some medical authorities, the odds are you’ll have an episode of back pain severe enough that you seek medical attention about once every 15 years. Common Causes Back pain often develops suddenly without a specific cause your doctor can easily identify, but conditions commonly linked to back pain include the following....

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Nice Eyes
Feb06

Nice Eyes

Protecting your perception—and not just in hindsight Protecting our eyesight is one of the most important things we can do to maintain the quality of our lives. Yet according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), 20 million Americans suffer from severe vision loss. While not all eye problems can be prevented, there are numerous steps we can take to help our eyes remain healthy. Get a baseline eye exam. Most major causes of...

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Cardiac Kindness
Feb06

Cardiac Kindness

Living a heart-healthy lifestyle Of all the vital organs in your body, your heart is the MVP. This hard-working muscle pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood through your body every day. Needless to say, your heart loves you, but are you reciprocating? Unfortunately, cardiac disease is one of the most common afflictions in men 45 years of age and over, and in women 55 and over. Triggers include genetics, lifestyle, and diet choices....

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Feed Your Teeth
Feb06

Feed Your Teeth

Vitamins and minerals that’ll keep your chompers chompin’ Not all foods are created equal! When it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, dental professionals recommend a core group of essential vitamins and minerals for optimum oral health. Calcium Found in milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, and salmon, calcium helps build bones and provides structural support throughout your body. In your mouth, it helps harden your enamel and...

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Jog for Life
Jan03

Jog for Life

A little morning activity might be the best thing for you Your friends hustling off to the gym might not believe it, but a morning walk or jog lasting 20 or 30 minutes will give you many of the same benefits of that gym workout at a fraction of the cost. Just invest in some comfortable walking or jogging shoes. A few laps around the neighborhood can work wonders! Weight Loss Take a brisk walk before breakfast and you’ll burn about 100...

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A Resolution to Stick With
Jan03

A Resolution to Stick With

Resolve to keep your other resolutions by caring for yourself first Many of the best New Year’s resolutions are never followed through on. Life offers a lot of resistance when we try to change deeply ingrained habits. We want to improve ourselves for the benefit of those we love, but it’s difficult when we don’t feel well or lack energy. That’s why the most important thing you can do in life is to take good care of yourself. That...

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On the Mind: Using Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Dec04

On the Mind: Using Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

At the end of the year, many to-do lists are probably on your mind. Unlike many of them, however, using the money in your flexible spending account (FSA) will prevent you from losing money. Basically, if you have put off medical or dental check-ups or procedures and you have FSA money stashed, now is the time to use your FSA funds and improve your health. What is an FSA? An FSA—also sometimes referred to as a flexible spending...

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Achy Breaky Body?
Dec04

Achy Breaky Body?

Common symptoms and possible causes Aches, pains, cramps, and creaks… from athletes, weekend warriors, and busy parents to sedentary coach potatoes and the otherwise unmotivated, everyone experiences pain now and then. Bodily pains can be an underworked or overworked body’s way of saying “Hey, I need some help here!” or “I’m sick!” For your peace of mind—and peace of body as well—don’t rely on “Dr. Google” to help you perform a DIY...

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Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease
Nov01

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

What to know about symptoms and progression Alzheimer’s disease. There are few word pairings more dreaded in the English language. First identified in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, this insidious malady attacks the brain without warning, has no known cure to date, and progresses through stages until it finally kills everyone it afflicts. Once diagnosed, an Alzheimer’s patient typically lives anywhere from three to nine years, though...

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Taking It All In
Nov01

Taking It All In

Over the holidays, help friends or family deal with eating disorders by being observant and compassionate Holidays and happiness go hand-in-hand for many. Celebrations with friends and family highlight the season; lights, festivities, and fancy food add to the joy. For some, however, the holidays are difficult—those without loved ones, those who struggle with addiction, and those with eating disorders, to name a few. Our desire is to...

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Just Ask!
Nov01

Just Ask!

Take advantage of holiday conversations with loved ones—for your health Beyond exchanging hugs and old stories, family gatherings present an opportunity to talk to relatives about hereditary health issues. It may not be easy to ask about your grandma’s heart attack or your uncle’s battle with cancer, but these questions could save your life. “Your family medical history can help you understand your own risks,” said Shawn Sheble, a...

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The Good Kind of Loss
Oct02

The Good Kind of Loss

Anticipated and surprising changes after bariatric surgery Jay felt lousy. “My feet hurt. My back hurt. My knees hurt,” he said. “I had sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and gout. I was borderline diabetic, had zero willpower, and no sex life.” At 46 years old and 353 pounds, Jay looked back on years of yo-yo weight loss. “I’d diet and exercise and lose some weight, then I’d gain it right back,” he said. “I lost 30 pounds once playing...

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Health IQ: Restless Legs Syndrome
Oct02

Health IQ: Restless Legs Syndrome

Cindy Clark had a good night last night. She slept like a rock. The night before, this was not the case. “I decided to try a night without my RLS medicine,” she said. “Probably won’t do that again.” Since she was a teenager, Cindy has suffered with RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome). And it doesn’t just rob her of sleep. “Sitting in a meeting, on a plane, or in the car is unbearable after about 30 minutes,” she said. “No spontaneous road...

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Don’t Sugar Coat It
Oct02

Don’t Sugar Coat It

What is the relationship between diabetes and sugar? Causing more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined, diabetes is a serious disease that nearly doubles a person’s chance of having a heart attack when it isn’t properly controlled. Although people understand that diabetes is a disease they should avoid, many myths surround diabetes, its causes, how diabetics deal with their condition, and especially what role ingested sugar...

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Bringing the Hospital Home
Oct02

Bringing the Hospital Home

The increasing popularity of comfortable care Are you one of the millions of Americans that juggle the daily demands of work, home, children, and caring for a loved one? As the care taker for someone who is recuperating after a hospital stay, has mobility issues, or is aging, disabled, or ill, managing the associated emotional decisions and physical demands can be overwhelming. It can also impact your lifestyle—and even your own...

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Ways to Lift Your Spirits
Sep29

Ways to Lift Your Spirits

Beat the winter blues before they arrive As the days get shorter, you may find your mood dropping faster than the leaves from the trees. But you don’t need to wait until the winter blues have you in their clutches to take positive steps to lift your spirit. In fact, 40 percent of your happiness is believed to be controlled by your thoughts, actions, and behaviors, with a mere 10 percent being determined by your circumstances. 50...

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Tidy Teeth
Sep27

Tidy Teeth

Steer clear of periodontal disease If you’re worried about gum disease, you’re not alone. Nearly half of adults in the United States suffer from periodontal disease, according to a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Periodontal disease is an infection of the area around your teeth including gums, ligament, and bone. It’s not pleasant to think about, but our mouths are full of bacteria. A build-up of...

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Standing Up to Breast Cancer
Sep27

Standing Up to Breast Cancer

Laura celebrates two years cancer-free post treatment Catching breast cancer early saves lives. Women can discover they have a potentially cancerous lump in many ways—even before other breast cancer symptoms appear—through screening mammograms, by their physician performing a clinical breast exam, or through a breast self-exam. In Laura’s case, a tumor was discovered during a nuclear medicine cardiac stress test. Thankfully, her heart...

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Digital Detox
Sep27

Digital Detox

Sometimes, it’s smart to put away the smartphone It’s not easy these days to get away from the presence of television, cell phones, computers, notifications, and the ever-present need to be “connected” all the time. Modern technology brings many blessings, but like anything else it has its disadvantages too. Learn to identify the times when it’s best to step away from tech for a moment—you’ll probably notice your mood improve! 1....

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7 Healthy Habits for a Healthy Life
Sep27

7 Healthy Habits for a Healthy Life

It’s a truism that most of us want to live long, happy, successful, and healthy lives. Unfortunately, in our pursuit of success we often take shortcuts with our health—and wind up suffering from various ailments and disabilities that we could have avoided. It doesn’t have to be that way at all. Though many of us live stressful, demanding lives, with just a little tweaking here and there, we can develop habits that will help us live...

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On the Mind – How many calories should I be eating each day?
Aug28

On the Mind – How many calories should I be eating each day?

Calories are simply a tool of measurement. Like a cup or an inch or the number of miles in your daily commute, calories measure the energy a food or beverage provides from the carbs, fat, protein, and alcohol it contains. Calories provide us with fuel to work and think and play–even to rest and sleep. Unfortunately, they can also give us love handles and muffin tops. Though that standard “2,000 calorie diet” is well known, the number...

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At Risk
Aug25

At Risk

Common health concerns facing Texans Drive around any large to fair-sized city in Texas, and it appears there’s a new 24/7 gym popping up on virtually every corner. And no matter the time of day or the temperature, you can usually find runners, bikers, and walkers out on our streets and trails. All of that, of course, is good! But don’t let the outward appearances fool you. By most metrics, Texas is not a particularly healthy state....

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Take Heart
Feb28

Take Heart

A cardiologist can treat your symptoms and advise you on the road back to heart health. Heart health is more important than ever, especially as we age. Knowing the signs for heart disease can help keep you well, and can give you the spark you need to maintain—or work your way back—to overall health. Taking preventative measures to care for your heart is better for your general well-being. A cardiologist can treat your symptoms and...

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What do I need to know about vaccines?
Feb28

What do I need to know about vaccines?

What’s a vaccine?  Vaccines are dead or weakened viruses or bacteria introduced into your body where your immune system is meant to recognize them and create antibodies to defend against future infection. Ancient history Ancient civilizations in India and China were believed to have inoculated their children against smallpox, 1,000 years ago, using a process called “variolation.” Early attempts Physician Edward Jenner first poked...

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Health IQ: Endometrial Ablation
Feb28

Health IQ: Endometrial Ablation

Are you finished having children? Is your regular visit from Aunt Flo ruining your vacations and your life? Would you rather avoid taking oral contraceptives to control your periods? If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep reading. There is a way to reduce (or possibly even stop) heavy periods without having to remove any lady parts. It’s called endometrial ablation. Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure that...

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Life is a Contact Sport
Feb28

Life is a Contact Sport

Avoid injury while staying active Living an active life can unfortunately sometimes lead to injuries, and the probability for pain can become more likely as we age. However, regardless of our age group, physicians agree that it’s important to listen to our bodies. Whether we’re at work, participating in recreational or competitive sports, or just working out, physical activity can hurt our bodies if we overdo it or use incorrect form....

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Our Cancer Breakthrough
Feb28

Our Cancer Breakthrough

Immunotherapy is changing the face of cancer treatment In President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address, he called on Vice President Joe Biden to lead the initiative for the “Cancer Moonshot,” a plan to accelerate cancer research and treatments with a goal to achieve a decade’s worth of advancements in five years time. Now, one year later, we are beginning to see the impact of this push to cure cancer with the rapid advancement of...

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Breaking Bad Habits
Feb28

Breaking Bad Habits

Beating everyday addictions Most of us have a few habits that we know aren’t the best, but that we indulge in anyway. Smoking, overeating, too much caffeine, too much Facebook… we tell ourselves that we earned them, that we deserve it, or that we’re just relaxing after a stressful day. At the same time there’s a part of us that also says “next week I’ll do better,” or “I’ll stop smoking after this big project at work.” Of course, we...

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Dump the Slump, Feel Better
Feb28

Dump the Slump, Feel Better

Around-the-house exercises to improve your posture Little did you know that when your mother told you to sit up straight, it could help you avoid health problems. We now understand that poor posture—a common byproduct of sitting at a desk or computer for extended periods of time, and watching hours of television each week—causes more mental and physical health complications than most people realize. In addition to back, neck, and...

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Mouth Health is Body Health
Feb28

Mouth Health is Body Health

Wellness that’s easy to swallow Brushing and flossing help keep your teeth and gums healthy, but did you know good oral hygiene can also lead to a healthier body? That’s because bacteria in our mouths can spread to other areas if left untreated—and may eventually lead to serious illness. As if that weren’t bad enough, many viruses are contracted through saliva, so how we care for our mouths is crucial to overall health. According to...

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Feb28

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

An Important Wake-Up Call Life often gets so hectic that we think feeling tired and sleep deprived is normal. But we shouldn’t always just shrug it off and go for that second triple shot latte. It may signal a serious, chronic condition called obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. When your airway is either completely or partially blocked, breathing...

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Is Your Diet Aging You?
Feb28

Is Your Diet Aging You?

We’ve all heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” No doubt, the foods we ingest have a big impact on what we see in the mirror — and we’re not just talking about a few extra pounds around the mid-section. I’m just going to give it to you straight. Plain and simple, your diet could be (prematurely) aging you. But, here’s the good news. A few changes to your eating habits now can help to keep your skin looking youthful, and your body...

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Wake Up, Work Out, Repeat
Feb08

Wake Up, Work Out, Repeat

Supplement your gym with home workouts So here we are. It’s February, we’ve depleted our Starbucks cards on pumpkin spice lattes and under-the-counter sweets, and those ripped abs seem as out of reach as an Olympic gold medal. Well, take courage. It’s never too late to make a change of lifestyle. And for those who are already fit, it’s time to take it to the next level. It all comes down to the hard truth that in order to maintain a...

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Out of Sight
Dec30

Out of Sight

Take your vision seriously—even what you can’t see No symptoms, no pain, no warning. Over 3 million Americans have it, yet only half of those know it. Sometimes, the loss is so gradual that if left unchecked, the result can be total blindness within a few years time. It’s incurable, and yet treatable. And it’s the leading cause of adult blindness in the United States. With treatment, doctors can now stop its progression at best, and...

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“How Do I Start A New Eating Plan?”
Dec30

“How Do I Start A New Eating Plan?”

Begin with the end in mind—Are you attempting to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle? Have you got longevity in mind or are you trying to eliminate something that’s causing you problems (like lactose or gluten)? Knowing where you’d like to go with your new eating plan will help get you started and keep you on track when the going gets tough. Let change be gradual—There are many great and healthy diet options: paleo, vegan,...

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Health IQ: Shin Splints
Dec30

Health IQ: Shin Splints

Lots of people take up running at the beginning of a new year. It is a wonderful hobby, but many new runners are plagued by shin splints, which is pain that appears after or during a run in the front or sides of the shin. Shin splints are an injury, mainly to the bones of the lower leg, that occurs when they are not yet strong enough to withstand the high-impact effects of running. It is important not to “run through” shin splints; it...

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I’m Only Sleeping
Dec04

I’m Only Sleeping

Settle in for a long winter’s nap… and to all, a good night The holidays are a joyful season full of feasting and celebration. They can also be a time when we’re overrun with relatives and burdened by unexpected expenses. All the excitement can be stressful, and while the children lay “nestled all snug in their beds,” we grownups may have trouble falling asleep at night. According to Jessica Payne, associate professor and director of...

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Finally, Flu
Dec04

Finally, Flu

It’s here… prevent the spread of disease during flu season It starts with the sudden onset of a high fever. Body aches and chills. Sore throat and breathing difficulties accompanied by fatigue and cough. When you’re hit by the flu, you really feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. And influenza isn’t something to ignore: historically, flu pandemics can race through a population and can cause far more damage than a simple inconvenience....

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Holiday Hustle
Dec04

Holiday Hustle

Hanging with the healthy lifestyle through the holidays We get it. For many folks, the holidays are stressful: fighting with relatives, the endless parties, eating and drinking entirely too much, racing towards a sale on Black Friday — after all, those cute, designer boots marked down 75% aren’t going to buy themselves. Staying in shape is probably the last thing on your mind. All that chaos and commotion can really do a number on...

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Pins and Needles and Pain, Oh My!
Nov03

Pins and Needles and Pain, Oh My!

With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at a painful and prevalent associated condition—peripheral neuropathy. It’s estimated that up to 20 million people in the United States have some form of peripheral neuropathy, and a common cause is diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy can also result from injuries, infections, chronic medical conditions, exposure to toxins, endocrine disorders that lead to hormonal...

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Go With Your Gut
Nov03

Go With Your Gut

According to the Postgraduate Medical Journal, this unimaginably large number amounts to about ten times more than the number of cells in the entire human body. With our own cells so outnumbered by the organisms inhabiting our gut, we might wonder who’s running things in our body—us, or our intestinal microbiota, otherwise known as “gut flora.” To some extent, it is our gut flora that determines our health by promoting normal...

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Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care: Which is right?
Nov03

Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care: Which is right?

It never fails. What you thought was allergies turns into a full-blown sinus infection over the weekend. You go in at 10:00 pm to check on a fussy baby, and she feels warm. Your son takes a line drive to the elbow at Saturday’s baseball game. After-hours medical issues are never convenient, and much confusion exists about where to where to go for life’s minor (or major) emergencies when your doctor’s office is closed. Though there are...

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