Doc Talks

Heart tests – sorting out what is best

Blocked heart arteries are the ultimate cause of heart attacks. These blockages occur slowly over a person’s lifetime and many people do not have any symptoms until the blockage causes 70 percent narrowing or more in a blood vessel. People at risk for heart attack include those with elevated lipids – cholesterol and triglycerides – patients who smoke, those with diabetes, overweight individuals (especially those with poorly controlled blood pressure), and individuals with certain ethnic backgrounds. A strong family history…

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Exercise and the elderly

There are some health issues that don’t get the attention they deserve, including exercise for the elderly. As persons become older, their strength, endurance, balance and coordination decline. However, these aging conditions can be delayed with appropriate instructional activity. Even moderate exercise and physical activity can improve the health of people who are frail or who have diseases that accompany aging. When should exercise begin? Well, it begins at birth. If at any age a person stops exercising, when should…

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Your Aching Back May Need Emergency Medical Care

Most people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. The nature of the pain can vary from a generalized muscle ache, stabbing or shooting pain, limited flexibility, stabbing or shooting pain or an inability to stand up straight.   Often, back pain is innocuous and resolves itself. However, severe or unusual back pain can be symptomatic of a larger health issue – one that may need care from the emergency room.   When does back pain become…

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Medications and the retired

Patients over 65 years of age take an average of six to eight prescriptions a day. Often, these patients take additional over-the-counter drugs – which they may or may not mention to their doctors, believing that these over-the-counter drugs are not medications. Elderly patients are twice as susceptible to adverse drug reactions as younger patients. Errors in administration may also occur with drugs similar in size, shape and color because of vision problems. Understanding a few medical concepts can help…

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Falls Are Dangerous, But Preventable

By E. David Kirk, MD Internal Medicine Kansas Physician Group Falls are common. One-third to one-half of adults in the community and resident facilities will fall. Falls are more common in resident facilities because of frail patients. Accidents are the fifth leading cause of death in the elderly and fall cause two-thirds of these deaths. Falls cause hip and other fractures, head and other injuries. Falls cause patients to be at high risk for disabilities, hospitalizations and admissions to nursing…

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Intimacy After Cancer

By Melissa J. Hague, MD Obstetrician and gynecologist Heartland Women’s Group Life after the cancer diagnosis is scary. Many women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer fight hard, only to face some disappointments on the other side of the battle. I have seen many patients in my practice that after the surgery, chemotherapy and radiation or other medications, face frustrations that come along with surviving. One patient told me her elation over living through breast cancer treatment was deflated…

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