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Showing posts from June, 2016

Your Itinerary for Healthy Travel

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Before you pack your suitcase and renew your passport, there is something you should add to your international travel checklist—a personalized travel health plan. When we dream of travel, it is easy to focus on the exciting adventure that awaits, overlooking the health and safety risks.
The good news is that despite the inherent risks that come with international travel, there are helpful tips you can utilize before, during and after your trip. As many of us have learned the hard way, it’s better to have something and not need it, than to need it and not have it—the same rule applies to a travel health plan.
Healthy Preparations Before You Travel
Do your research! Learn about the local food and beverages, insects and pests you may encounter and the availability of emergency medical care. Make sure you will have insurance coverage.Contact your doctor for an up-to-date immunization record and make an appointment to receive necessary or recommended vaccinations at least 6 weeks before you…

Keep Calm, You're Not the Only One: Experiencing panic attacks

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Keeping calm during a panic attack sounds like an oxymoron, but what a relief to know you’re not alone. Roughly six million Americans experience a panic attack or panic disorder in a given year. Panic attacks have commonly been misunderstood as brief moments of internse panic that can be overcome by simply taking deep breaths and thinking about something positive to calm down. That simply is not the case.
Panic attacks are complex, involving multiple parts of the brain as well as other parts of the body. The cause of panic attacks is still being explored as there are no clear explanations to why some people experience them, while others do not. It has been found that panic attacks are far more common in women than men; nearly double the number.
When Anxiety Turns to Panic


Panic, similar to anxiety, is driven by a sense of fear or worry. Panic attacks can be debilitating and scary to experience as they occur unexpectedly with the onset of sudden, overwhelming fear and/or panic. Often ti…

Just Keep Swimming: Pool safety for parents

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Warmer weather sends many people into the water. That makes summer a high time for drowning and other water-related injuries. Some common injuries can include pulled muscles and swimmer’s ear, but drowning is far too prevalent. Fortunately, many water-related injuries are preventable and treatable. With oceans, lakes, rivers and pools there are tons of options when it comes to swimming. Each of these carries with it its own hazards and safety risks. Surprisingly, residential swimming pools claim the most injuries per year. David Goo, a pediatric emergency physician at Gwinnett Medical Center, shares his swim safety tips to use this summer. By practicing pool safety you can minimize pool-related injuries or even better, prevent them entirely, as Dr. Goo emphasizes, “Just a second of inattention can cause a lifetime of pain.” Here are 7 steps to help protect your little swimmers this summer: Have a Swim Buddy! Never leave your child alone near water at or in the home, or around any body of…

How to Protect Your Beach Babe from the Sun's Harmful Rays

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As we embark on the hottest months of the year, make sure your summer plans include protecting your baby from the sun’s harmful rays. Of course we all know sun protection is important at every age; however, babies’ skin is especially delicate and sensitive to the sun.
When it comes to sun protection, most of us immediately jump to sunscreen as the best defense against the summer sun, but there are several other ways to keep your baby’s skin safe and healthy. According to Gwinnett Medical Center’s Women’s Health Navigator, Sheila Warren, RN, BSN, LCCE, below are some important things to keep in mind before your baby soaks up sunshine.
You’re already up early, why not enjoy the outdoors earlier rather than later? While it is best to keep infants, especially those under 6 months old out of the sun, that can be nearly impossible. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when ultraviolet (UV) rays are most intense.Babies will put anything in thei…

Summer Reminders: Best-by, Use-by & Sell-by Dates

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With summer back in full swing, spending more time outdoors enjoying the weather gets bumped a little higher on the ‘to-do’ list. Grilling-out is a great way to relax with friends and reconnect with family all while building healthy summer eating habits. With everyone gathered at your house, ready to eat, one thing can really put a damper on your cookout – spoiled food.
As the heat sets in for the coming months it is imperative for you to keep an eye on the status of your food.  By making a habit of checking the best-by, use-by & sell-by dates marked on your groceries, you can ensure safer eating for your family and friends.

What Do These Dates Really Mean?
As defined by the USDA:
Best-By: This date is recommended for best flavor or quality – not a purchase or safety date. ·This is a suggestion to the consumer on which date the product should be consumed by to ensure ideal quality ·Food can still be okay to eat past this date but peak quality should not be expected
Use-By: This is an i…

The Clock is Ticking: How to avoid & treat ticks fast

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Who would’ve guessed that one of the biggest hazards this summer would be something so small? That’s right, we are talking about ticks. It seems that with more time spent outdoors, more rural development and warmer temperatures, ticks are almost unavoidable. 
Unfortunately, many tick bites carry with them bacteria, infections and diseases. Remember, when it comes to ticks, time is of the essence. To keep everyone in your family safe and tick-free, here is a quick reference guide addressing everything from facts about ticks to removing and preventing them.
Basic Facts About Ticks:
Ticks are not only found in wooded areas and tall grass, they are also found in bushes and along seashores.They prefer to attach in hairy, warm areas, such as the scalp, behind the ear, in the armpit and groin and also between fingers and toes.Ticks are most common during the spring and summer months, as well as at night.Ticks can be transferred from pets to humans, so pay close attention to where all members o…

Playing it Safe: Tips to avoid playground injuries

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Whether your child enjoys swinging, sliding or even climbing, the playground is a great way to keep him/her entertained, active and social. Especially during these warm days, being outdoors supplies several benefits for kids so make sure they take a break from the TV and enjoy the fresh summer air.
On a playground, a kid can be a kid—right? While imagination is encouraged, safety is a must. To reduce the risk of serious injury, parents should monitor their children at all times. Injuries on playgrounds are very common, as the CDC estimates nearly 200,000 children under the age of 14 are injured on playgrounds annually. Of those injuries, the National Safety Council found that 80 percent of playground injuries are caused by falling.
What are some safety tips for happier play-days?
Examine the playground for sturdy guardrails.Inspect the playground for safety; look for evidence of sharp edges or rust.Monitor children to see that playground equipment is being used properly (e.g., sliding …

Get to Know Your OTC Pain Medication

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When we are struggling with minor aches and pains ranging from the tops of our heads to the tips of our toes, most of us reach for an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever. The most common over-the-counter pain relievers are sure to ring a bell: Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Advil (Ibuprofen), Bayer (Aspirin) and Aleve (Naproxen). While we may each have a favorite go-to medication that seems to work best for us, we may actually be using the wrong one.
Some of the most common ailments that many contend with include menstrual cramps, headaches, backaches, fever, earaches and muscle soreness. While on the surface these medications may appear to treat the same symptoms, there are key differences in how they treat symptoms and the effects they may have on the body. Here are some of the most common questions about over-the-counter-medications answered.
What is an NSAID?
NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which relieve pain and reduce inflammation and fever. Drugs in this class i…

Is Medical Weight Loss the Answer?

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For many of us, thinking about diet and exercise is a facet of everyday life. However, for some, diet and exercise are not just sources of stress, but something much more serious. Being overweight or obese creates several significant risk factors for many health conditions. The more body fat you have and the higher your weight, your chances of developing one or more of these health conditions greatly increase:

Coronary heart diseaseHigh blood pressureHigh cholesterol and or triglyceridesType 2 diabetesGallstonesBreathing problems such as sleep apnea, shortness of breath, asthma, etc.Certain cancers

Additionally, higher obesity rates correlate with higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety.  If you’re struggling with obesity, it may feel like you’re alone – but rest assured, you’re not.  The Center for Weight Management offers the Medical Weight Loss program as a safe and effective option for your weight-loss journey.  This is a unique program that addresses the whole individual an…

Oldies but Goodies: 5 games to play with your kids

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For many of us, our childhood years were filled with hours spent outdoors playing games. We knew how to enjoy fun with friends until the sun went down.The good news is that many of those games and activities we used to play aren’t just for kids. This summer, rekindle the fun and try playing some of your favorite childhood games as a great form of exercise.
Many childhood games come with added benefits that you may miss out on if you go straight to the gym. Benefits include:


Burning CaloriesImproving Balance and CoordinationMental Stimulation and FocusAffordabilityPortability and Time Outdoors

Try out these childhood favorites to get the most out of your summer:
Hopscotch: This is a great game to play with several people or by yourself. Because this game requires you to draw your own court or numbered spaces, this is a great chance to get creative and draw something unique.
Jump Rope: With so many different ways to do it, this is an activity you have to try. Not only is this a great form o…

5 Things All Men Should Do

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Men who would never be five minutes late to a baseball game or an important meeting are typically five years late in getting recommended medical screenings. They aren’t much better about having unexplained symptoms evaluated by a physician, either.
In fact, men see doctors for annual exams and preventative health services half as often as women. So it’s time to retire the “take it like a man” approach and get up to speed on prevention. Now is the perfect time to schedule exams and doctor’s appointments. These five health services will ensure that you’re your best and healthiest self.
Schedule a Check-Up: A regular health exam is the best way to identify health problems before they become serious. Early detection will not only prevent health problems from getting worse, it will also allow for more treatment options if needed. Regular check-ups are the best way to start developing a relationship with your physician and bonus; they are covered by most insurance plans. Find your physician…

Tips to Run Safer, Smarter & Better

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It may not be as trendy as Pilates or power yoga, but running is still one of the best aerobic workouts to burn fat and reduce stress. Experts have long linked many health benefits to running. It helps increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol; helps with weight loss; builds strong bones; improves balance and coordination; lowers your risk for heart disease and diabetes; and helps improve sleep.
As you can see, the health benefits of running are almost too many to count. Now comes the hard part—actually running. Before you lace up your running shoes, here are the running essentials to help you every step of the way.
Gait Analysis: Run Better
Getting a gait analysis at the Running Clinic at Gwinnett Medical Center, will enable you to improve performance and prevent injury.
Running is a very unique movement that includes stability, flexibility, mobility and strength. An analysis of these combined functions allows our experts to see how your body moves, including areas of inefficiency. These ineff…