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

Most often, when the topic of cancer and women’s health comes up, people first think about breast cancer. It’s got a lot of marketing power behind it – its own month, its own signature color, and several highly publicized annual fundraisers complete with celebrity spokeswomen. Because of the prominence breast cancer is given – and the education about the disease that comes with it – women are more likely to have routine screening and to recognize possible signs that will prompt them to seek out medical attention.

However, at Laredo Emergency Room, we are seeking to shine the spotlight on another disease that’s taking the lives of thousands of women each year: ovarian cancer, which begins in the ovaries, the two small reproductive organs in which a woman’s eggs are produced. While the American Cancer Society ranks ovarian cancer fifth for cancer deaths among women, it’s still a very deadly disease – because while fewer women get cancer of the ovaries, it causes more deaths than any other cancer of female reproductive organs.

While a variety of tests, such as pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and biopsies, can help a physician diagnose ovarian cancer once it is suspected, the main problem lies in that there are no routine screenings for ovarian cancer. This means that more often than not, ovarian cancer has progressed to an advanced stage before it is caught.

A second problem is that ovarian cancer brings with it an assortment of ambiguous symptoms such as bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, a need to urinate frequently or urgently, and feeling full quickly during meals. The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance also warns that fatigue, pain in the back or with intercourse, constipation, and menstrual irregularities can also signal the presence of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer symptoms can even include gas, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite, along with weight fluctuations.

These are symptoms that we know many women wouldn’t even come to Laredo Emergency Room to treat, even though a deadly disease is lurking underneath. That’s because the symptoms of ovarian cancer are so generalized and easily mistaken for signs of other women’s health conditions or even simply for issues with diet or stress.

Because ovarian cancer is so sly and therefore difficult to catch in its earliest stages, the best course of action for women is to become knowledgeable of their own risk factors for the disease:

  1. 1. Women of advancing age – About half of all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are age 63 and older.
  2. 2. Women who never had children or had children later – Not having a full-term pregnancy by the age of 35 puts women at greater risk for ovarian cancer.
  3. 3. Women who have undergone IVF – In vitro fertilization treatment increases a woman’s risk of certain types of ovarian cancers.
  4. 4. Women who take hormone therapy – Using estrogens after menopause can increase a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer.
  5. 5. Women with a personal or family history of cancers – If a woman has had breast cancer – or has a family history of breast or ovarian cancer – she is at greater risk.

While knowing your personal risk factors for ovarian cancer and any women’s health concerns can help you become more self-awareand more likely to start the right kinds of conversation with your physician


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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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