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Showing posts from March, 2017

Is It Safe To Crack Your Back?

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Long days spent running errands or sitting at a desk would leave just about anyone feeling stiff and tired. This is especially true when it comes to your back. So, when you’re in search of some much needed relief, you might try a satisfying back crack. That should help, right? Well not so fast. Despite the immediate relief you may feel when you hear your back pop, relieving back pain this way may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.
Now, you’ve likely heard that cracking your knuckles is safe and doesn’t seem to cause any long term damage, but is the same true for cracking your back? To help provide better understanding into what cracking your joints does, as well as the safety of cracking your back, the experts at Gwinnett Medical Center’s Back Pain Center, share their insights.
What happens when you crack your joints?
Every joint throughout the body is lubricated by synovial fluid, which contains oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. When you bend, twist or compress your joints, the p…

The Surprising Truth About Triglycerides

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When it comes to heart health, everyone knows that blood pressure and cholesterolare important. But what about triglycerides? Surprisingly, knowing your triglyceride levels can say a lot about your overall health, especially heart health, and is as easy to check as your cholesterol. In fact, the National Cholesterol Education Program suggests that triglyceride levels greater than 150 mg/dl are unhealthy for your blood vessels.
So, now that you know that triglycerides are important, you’re probably wondering what exactly they are and how they differ from cholesterol. To help provide clarification, Martin Siegfried, MD, a cardiologist with Gwinnett Cardiology Services, shares his expertise.
What are triglycerides?
Like cholesterol, triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in your blood. In fact, triglycerides are the most common type of fat in your body. Whenever you eat or drink, your body uses calories for energy. As for the excess calories that your body doesn’t need or use, these …

8 Basics About Your Newborn Baby's Body

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For the past 9 months, you’ve been getting ready for your baby’s arrival. And during that time the excitement has continued to build. But now that you’re bringing home your bundle of joy, you may feel a little anxious, too. How will you ever remember everything? What should you expect in those first few weeks? Even the most-prepared parents may be surprised by a few things that are completely normal in newborns.
Birthmarks
These common spots and stains may be present at birth and are usually harmless. Many eventually disappear on their own: 
Stork bite (nevus flammeus.) This is seen on the forehead or on the back of the neck, or both. This mark almost always disappears as the child grows.Mongolian spot (congenital dermal melanocytosis). This is a birthmark that may look like a bruise. It appears over the lower back and upper buttocks on darker pigmented babies. This spot frequently disappears by age 5 or 6.Mole (congenital nevus). Moles don’t disap…

Curious About Colon Cleanses? Here's What You Should Know

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Whether you’re hoping to shed a few pounds, to gain more energy or even detoxify your body, colon cleansing may seem like the perfect option. This is especially true with more and more DIY options for colon cleansing, these include: laxatives, herbal teas, enzymes and a variety of supplements.
So, what exactly happens when you colon cleanse?
The belief is that colon cleanses help to remove undigested food in your gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to a buildup of toxins. Overtime, these toxins are believed to cause fatigue, headache, weight gain, allergies, arthritis and many other symptoms.
Despite the popularity of this theory, many experts believe that colon cleansing simply isn’t necessary. This is because your digestive system and bowel are already very effective at removing waste material, bacteria and other toxins from your body. Here’s a close look at what your body already has the power to do, even without the help of a colon-cleansing aid: Bacteria naturally live in your

The 6 Metabolism Mistakes You're Making

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Metabolism is tricky topic to tackle. While you likely know that a higher metabolism means that more calories are burned, this doesn’t necessarily equal weight loss. The truth is, your metabolism is incredibly complex. In fact, your metabolism is the result of your body breaking down all the food you eat to provide your body with energy. So, while there are certain factors you can’t control, like your genetics, your gender and your age, there are other ways you can help or hinder your metabolism. For instance, simple changes, like building muscle by lifting weights, getting more sleep and eating adequate levels of protein, can all give your metabolism a boost. On the other hand, everyday mistakes like these can slow your metabolism without you even noticing.
You don’t do dairy. While there are many reasons you may choose to skip dairy products, you may also be missing out on valuable nutrition benefits. The milk-based proteins, whey and casein, support muscle growth and repair, helping…

Could You Have A Food Intolerance? Watch For These 5 Signs

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Oftentimes when people think of food allergies, they imagine the severe symptoms of their throat closing, having swollen eyes and even getting hives. Surprisingly, though, just because you don’t have symptoms like these, doesn’t mean that you don’t have a food intolerance.
In fact current statistics estimate that nearly 4 percent of adults in the U.S. have a food allergyof some sort, and it’s likely that significantly more have food intolerances. Unfortunately, food intolerances are notoriously difficult to detect due to subtle symptoms that can range in severity and can develop gradually. So, to help you identify whether your stubborn weight gain or skin irritations are due to a food intolerance, let’s take a closer look at what they are.
What are food intolerances?
When your body has difficulty digesting certain foods, it can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms. A food intolerance is a digestive response, rather than an immune system response that occurs with a food allergy. With foo…

Tips To Keep You Hydrated (Without Drinking More Water)

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You likely already know that staying hydrated throughout the day is important—really important. When you keep your body well hydrated, you’re supporting healthy digestion, preventing fatigue and soothing joint pain, among many other benefits.
Unfortunately, it’s often easier said than done, though. This is partly due to the fact that there is no perfect amount of water to drink each day. At minimum, drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water is recommended; however, the ideal amount is more like 11 cups for women and 15 cups for men.
On top of that, many of us overlook the subtle signs that our bodies are dehydrated, like fatigue, headache and decreased urine output. And by the time you’re feeling thirsty; your body is in need of hydration ASAP.
 So, instead of telling you to drink more and more water, let’s look at some of the other easy ways you can keep your body hydrated. With what you eat daily accounting for nearly 20 percent of your daily hydration, simple changes, like eating more…

DYK: There Are Self-Exams For These 4 Types of Cancer?

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When it comes to cancer, early detection is key. When found early, cancer is often times more treatable and in some cases is even curable. And while annual cancer screenings are usually recommended for individuals 40 and older, it is never too early to start self-exams and other forms of early detection
Self-exams are not used to diagnose cancer; however they do provide a valuable opportunity to become more self-aware. By becoming more familiar with your body, you are able to learn what normal means for you personally. Having this foundation will allow you to better recognize any abnormalities in the future.
Tiffany Holmes, MPH, an American Cancer Society Patient Navigator at Gwinnett Medical Center, provides helpful tips on how to perform four different self-exams. Keep in mind that with self-exams if you find anything abnormal or suspicious, talk with your doctor.
Colorectal cancer, is surprisingly one of the deadliest cancers; however, like many other cancers, it is treatable and …

Springtime Sniffles? Tips To Tell Allergies From Colds

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Spring has sprung! That means that these beautiful, sunshine-filled days are often filled with sneezing, watery eyes and headaches for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. But before you assume that pollen is the culprit behind your congestion, it’s important to make sure you aren’t actually suffering from a cold.
Both seasonal allergies and the common cold have many symptoms in common, such as sneezing, stuffy nose and a sore throat, just to name a few. And if that isn’t confusing enough, cold bugs can be just as common during the spring months as seasonal allergies. So, to help you determine which one you may have, Hira Kohli, MD, a family medicine specialist with Gwinnett Medical Group, provides the the key symptoms to watch for:
It’s probably a cold if…
You have a fever. A fever is your body’s way of fighting off certain bacteria and viruses; therefore, if it’s just allergies, you won’t have a fever. Keep in mind that it’s normal for temperature to vary between 97 degrees and 9…