STAY HEALTHY. STAY OUT OF THE ER.


We love interacting with the people of the Laredo community, but we’d much rather do it outside the ER than inside it. Keep up with the latest knowledge from our professionals to help keep yourself in the peak of health.




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13/Dec/2018

Here’s the good news: the rate at which American men are getting prostate cancer has been undergoing a fairly steady (and significant) decline for years  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the bad news is that prostate cancer is still the second most common cancer in American men. This makes having a basic understanding about the disease, as well as your personal risk factors for getting it, as important as ever for men.

The prostate sits just below a man’s bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounds the urethra. While its normal size is about that of a marble, it tends to grow as a man advances in age, which can put pressure along the urethra, affecting the flow of urine. Enlarging of the prostate is a relatively common occurrence, but, unfortunately, the symptoms of prostate cancer can be mistaken for the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Therefore, it’s critical to see your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • A frequent urge to urinate, especially at night
  • Difficulty controlling the flow of urine
  • A weak, interrupted urine flow
  • Pain during urination or ejaculation
  • Difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Pain or pressure in the rectum, lower back, hips, or thighs

Again, the problem with this list of symptoms is that it is eerily similar to those of other conditions, such as an enlarged prostate – which causes many men a great deal of discomfort, but for which many men may also procrastinate seeking treatment… a delay that can be deadly when we’re talking about something as serious as cancer.

(By the way, at Laredo Emergency Room, we do treat men who have experienced medical emergencies associated with enlarged prostates, and we can tell you that seeing your doctor sooner rather than later is best, even if you don’t suspect cancer as the culprit.)

 

When the above symptoms indicate the presence of cancerous tumors, it usually means the cancer is more advanced and more difficult to treat. That means screenings are essential to your men’s health routine – and can find the cancer before you experience significant symptoms. Laredo Emergency Room physicians advise our patients without symptoms to have prostate screening done yearly beginning at age 40 if you have a family history of prostate cancer, age 45 if you are African American, and by age 50 for everyone else.

 

To be screened for prostate cancer, you need only have a simple blood test called a PSA test, which measures the level of protein produced by the prostate. Some physicians will conduct a rectal exam in addition to a PSA test. Elevated PSA levels may prompt your doctor to ask you to undergo further testing.

 

When screening is this easy, it’s hard to understand why so many men put it off … so Laredo Emergency Room urges you to take control of your health and talk to your doctor – especially if you have any symptoms. Taking a little bit of time out of your busy schedule once a year as your doctor recommends can save your life.

 

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Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 


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13/Dec/2018

Studies have found that people have the potential to be their happiest in their 50s. If you are in your 50s with many of life’s challenges well behind you, you may agree. Perhaps you have a little more free time – more time to focus on what fulfills you. More time to find new interests. More freedom and flexibility.

 

However, your 50s can also be a time of some physical decline for those not staying vigilant about their health. A slower pace of life can also induce boredom and even depression. Physical aches and other medical conditions can begin to show up, seemingly out of nowhere, leaving you with a feeling of hopeless.

 

On the other hand, there is good news! In your 50s, you are still young enough to stay fit – or even to get fit if you aren’t already. And you are also young enough to learn new habits, adopt new ways of thinking, and adapt to new lifestyle changes that will leave you happier than ever – like these:

 

  • Eating smarter – Including more healthy fats, like those found in salmon, almonds, and avocados, has been shown to improve heart health. Eating more fruits and vegetables, fortified cereals, and other sources of whole grains, are great choices for bodies with slower metabolisms. Be sure to drink your milk, too – or find calcium in other foods like low-fat cheeses.
  • Exercise – It’s never too late to start the latest exercise craze – or to return to a sport you loved in your youth. Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of memory problems later in life, keep your joints strong and flexible, and lower your risk of heart problems and cancer. Whether you enjoy a brisk walk, a jog in the park, yoga, or even weight lifting, exercise is great at any age – and using technology to track your progress is a great way to stay on track and accountable to yourself. Smartphone apps and wearable gadgets abound and can help you improve your health one step at a time.
  • Continue to learn – This phase of life is the perfect time to learn something new – like a musical instrument, a foreign language, a craft or technical skill, or even a new vocation that can turn you into a budding entrepreneur. Science shows us that learning actually keeps our brains healthy, in addition to making us happier people.
  • Socialize – In our 50s, many of us are starting to find ourselves with empty nests. That makes it a great time to build our social circles. Host a book or dinner club. Organize a block party. Make new friends. Even a new friend with four legs can be a great addition to your life – and pet owners have been found to have lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Go figure, and go adopt today!
  • Take care – Even if you aren’t the type to dutifully visit your physician’s office once every year, make it a habit in your 50s. Staying on top of your health with regular well checks in your 50s can help you identify early signs of manageable, treatable conditions – before they become debilitating.  In other words, visiting the doctor now while you are still healthy can help keep you that way for decades more to come.

 

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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13/Dec/2018

When we contemplate eating healthfully, we usually think about the types of foods to avoid – things like saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, sodium, added sugars, etc. As part of Nationals Men’s Health Month, we are excited to celebrate all the amazing foods and beverages that are both delicious and healthy – and are especially good for your heart.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the US, and one way to help lower your risk is by eating well daily. Making changes in your diet to consume more heart-healthy foods and fewer unhealthy foods can be easier when you enjoy these tasty options:

Salmon and other fish rich in omega-3 fats – Try to eat at least eight ounces of salmon and other fish like tuna and trout each week.  These types of fish contain high amounts of omega-3s, which have an anti-clotting benefit to keep your blood flowing and can lower your triglycerides.

Other examples of heart-healthy foods include:

1.) Walnuts – like salmon, walnuts, along with other nuts like almonds and cashews, are high in omega-3 fats and can improve your cholesterol levels. Eat five ounces each week for a heart-heathy snack or use as a salad topping

2.) Berries – Raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries are all high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, which can help lower your risk of stroke.

3.) Oatmeal – Start your day with a hearty bowl of oatmeal, which is loaded with soluble fiber that can help reduce heart disease and improve cholesterol.

4.) Fruits and vegetables – You can’t go wrong with a diet high in fruits and vegetables, but choosing spinach, tomatoes, asparagus, avocados, and broccoli will deliver nutrients that are great for your heart health.  Fruits like oranges and cantaloupes are also high in fiber and nutrient rich.

5.) Coffee and green tea – Even that cup of joe you look forward to every morning can help decrease your risk of developing heart failure and stroke, when consumed in moderation. Green tea has been shown to help reduce high blood pressure, too.

6.) Red wine – When consumed in moderation, red wine, with its antioxidants, is a better choice for your heart than other alcoholic beverages and can improve good (HDL) cholesterol levels.

7.) Dark chocolate – Perhaps we’ve saved the best for last – and it’s the perfect dessert to end a heart-healthy meal. Dark chocolate, in moderation, has been shown to protect against atherosclerosis – a build-up of plaque inside the arteries.

We think these heart-healthy foods are winners for their taste and for their health value – and with all of these heart-healthy choices, it will be easy to observe National Men’s Health Month with great eating. For more ideas on how to incorporate heart-healthy choices into your diet, check out the American Heart Association’s “Healthy for Good” recipes at https://recipes.heart.org/.

Here’s to your health – and to great, heart-healthy food!

For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


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