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December 20th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Weekend Wellness: Take steps to combat prediabetes and prevent its progression

By lizatorborg

the word glucose on diabetes testing stripsDEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is it possible to cure prediabetes, or does being diagnosed with it mean you will either always have it or eventually become diabetic?

ANSWER: Having prediabetes does not automatically mean you will go on to develop diabetes. But it is a warning sign. If you do not make any changes, then the risk is high that prediabetes may eventually progress to diabetes. But taking certain steps, such as improving your diet and exercising regularly, can often make a big difference.

Diabetes happens when you have too much sugar, also called glucose, in your blood. Normally when your body digests food, sugar goes into your bloodstream then into your cells where it serves as fuel for those cells. Sugar gets into the cells with the help of the hormone insulin. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Diabetes, Dr Adrian Vella, Dr Vella, Prediabetes, Weekend Wellness

December 19th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Lois and her doctor daughter-in-law

By Dana Sparks

Lois McIntosh with daughter in law Dr. Amy McIntosh on StoryCorps

Listening to patients is what medical teams at Mayo Clinic do each day. To honor Mayo's 150th Anniversary, StoryCorps was asked to listen to and record several patient stories. Each Friday, until the end of 2014, a new story will be posted on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Lois McIntosh tells her daughter-in-law Dr. Amy McIntosh about her health issues and the special care she (and her dog) received at Mayo Clinic. Hear Lois' story.

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Tags: Dr. Amy McIntosh, Lois McIntosh, StoryCorps

December 19th, 2014 · Leave a Comment


By Dana Sparks

Medical News 2014
We're taking a look back at some of the important medical news of 2014!

This Saturday, December 20, at 9 a.m. CT, we'll discuss a less invasive way to test for colon cancer, talk about research that led to using the measles vaccine to fight cancer and the discovery of using stem cells to unravel the mysteries of ALS. We'll also talk about robots that help diagnose patients suffering from stroke of concussion. There are a lot of wonderful medical discoveries to share from 2014 that are leading the way into the future of health care.

Follow #MayoClinicRadio and tweet your questions.

To listen to the program on Saturday, click here.

Mayo Clinic Radio is available on iHeart Radio.

Listen to this week’s Medical News Headlines:  News Segment December 20. 2014 (right click MP3) Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: ALS, Mayo Clinic Radio, Measles Virus, News Highlights, stem cells

December 18th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

New Mayo Clinic Technology Lowers Risks for Premature Babies

By Dana Sparks

'Mayo 150 years serving humanity' 150th Sesquicentennial Logo
Baby Jase's entry into the world was sudden ... and two months too early. A new tablet-based technology allowed local doctors and Mayo Clinic specialists to collaborate on life-saving medical care. [TRT 3:50]

Journalists: A broadcast quality video package is available in the downloads.  

This is a special report produced for the Mayo Clinic 150th Anniversary Collection of Stories. To view other stories and learn about Mayo Clinic's sesquicentennial, please click here.





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Tags: e delivery room, HL, Mayo Clinic Health System, Pkg

December 18th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Inspiration for the Holidays

By Dana Sparks

Blue and white banner logo for 'Living with Cancer' blog

Inspiration for the holidaysmother and children decorating holiday gingerbread house
Cancer survivors need to try and reduce stress, especially during the holiday season. Focus on what's really important — your health and the special gifts you share with others.

Find out about this serious bone marrow disorder that disrupts your body's normal production of blood cells.

Bladder cancer symptoms
Bladder cancer signs and symptoms may include: Blood in urine (hematuria) — urine may appear dark yellow, bright red or cola colored.

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Tags: bladder cancer, Living With Cancer Blog, myelofibrosis, stress

December 18th, 2014 · Leave a Comment


By Dana Sparks

close up of woman putting aspirin pills into her hand

Daily aspirin therapy: Understand the benefits and risks

Low-fiber diet

Caregivers, take good care of yourself during holidays

Oil of oregano: Can it treat sinusitis?

 Stress management: Examine your stress reaction

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Tags: aspirin, Caregivers, Low-Fat Diet, sinusitis, stress, Thursday Consumer Health Tips

December 17th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

7 Steps for Managing Grief and Loss

By Dana Sparks

LE SUEUR, Minn. — Grief is summarized as sadness felt after suffering loss. Although that’s a fine cursory definition, it doesn’t really give grief true meaning. Grief is a deep and sometimes complex response to loss. Behavioral health provider and social worker at Mayo Clinic Health System Jessie Wolf says, “Even though it’s often associated with death, grief can be the result of any sort of loss or major life change. Losing your job, getting divorced, even moving — these all can elicit feelings of grief.”sad, crying grieving woman with man comforting her

Initial grief frequently comes as acute emotional pain. While it may seem insurmountable when it first grasps hold of your life, there are ways to cope with grief. Supplying yourself with knowledge and grieving tactics is the best way to combat your loss. Wolf provides some tips to help you during the grieving process.

Give yourself permission to feel.

Grieving is a normal part of dealing with loss. But you can’t grieve if you don’t allow yourself the opportunity. Be sure to recognize the need to grieve and let it run its natural course. Your emotional health will be better served if you face your grief. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Grief, Mayo Clinic Health System

December 17th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic News Network — Headlines 12/17/14

By Dana Sparks

Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines include:

  • Healthy holiday eating
  • Breast cancer and tamoxifen therapy
  • Sleep tips

Journalists: The video is in the downloads. Click here for script.

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Tags: Breast Cancer, holiday eating, Sleep, Tamoxifen, Weekly Headlines

December 17th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mumps Outbreak in the NHL?

By Dana Sparks

Mumps is often thought to be a childhood disease but in a recent article reporter Tara Haelle says, "The number of NHL hockey players diagnosed with the mumps may rise to 14 soon, depending on the test results that come back for Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett." Mayo Clinic vaccine expert Gregory Poland, M.D., explains in the same article one factor could be some players never received a second vaccine dose. Read more in Forbes.


Some people infected with the mumps virus have either no signs or symptoms or very mild ones. When signs and symptoms do develop, they usually appear about two to three weeks after exposure to the virus and may include:Young Toddler with Mumps

  • Swollen, painful salivary glands on one or both sides of face
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain while chewing or swallowing

The primary — and best known — sign of mumps is swollen salivary glands that cause the cheeks to puff out. In fact, the term "mumps" is an old expression for lumps or bumps within the cheeks.

More about causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention on


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Tags: Dr. Greg Poland, Forbes, Mumps, vaccine

December 16th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Women’s Wellness ~ Is the way I’m doing the holidays working for me?

By Dana Sparks

Women report more stress over the holidays compared to men. They say it’s harder to relax during the holidays. Women also are more likely to engage in default coping skills, like comfort eating. Why is this the case?Women's Wellness logo

Just take a look at the magazine rack at your local grocery store. Women are being instructed to make the perfect meal, decorate the home, buy the perfect gifts — all this pressure for perfection. This societal pressure is strong, and research shows women are almost twice as likely as men to say they’ll do all the work necessary to pull off the festivities. No wonder women have more stress than men when it comes to the holidays. So, how do you handle this stress?

In-the-moment de-stressors:

  • Read a book, go for a walk, journal.
  • Have a lunch or phone date with a friend.
  • Deep breathing – Pretend you’re breathing air all the way down to your toes - inhale for five, and exhale for five. Notice your belly moving up and down, not your chest.

Journalists: B-roll and soundbites with Dr. Rullo are available in the downloads. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Jordan Rullo, Holiday Stress, Women's Wellness

December 16th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Physicians Say High-definition Scopes Accurately Assess Polyps, Costly Pathological Examinations May Not Be Necessary

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It may not be necessary for experienced gastroenterologists to send polyps they remove from a patient’s colon to a pathologist for examination, according to a large study conducted by physician researchers at the Jacksonville campus of Mayo Clinic.

The benign hyperplastic polyp appears very pale and bland on imaging.

The benign hyperplastic polyp appears very pale and bland on imaging.

Their 522-patient study, published in the December issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, found that physicians correctly evaluated whether a polyp was precancerous or benign using high-definition optical lenses during a colonoscopy. Their assessment was 96 or 97 percent accurate — depending on which of two generations of scopes was used — compared with a standard pathological evaluation of the polyps.

The Mayo Clinic researchers conclude that the pathological polyp examination now required by national practice guidelines may not be necessary — an advance they say could result in substantial cost savings for the patient and the health care system, as well as more rapid information and recommendations for follow-up for the patient. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Colon Cancer, colonoscopy, Dr Michael Wallace, Florida News Release, Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic, Medical Research, News Release

December 16th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tuesday Q and A: In some cases, ED may be early warning sign of heart disease

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 58 and asked my doctor for a prescription for erectile dysfunction. He recommended I also have tests done to evaluate my heart. How are ED and heart disease related?illustration of atherosclerosis narrowing of the arteries

ANSWER: In some cases, erectile dysfunction, or ED, may be an early warning sign of heart disease. It is often a good idea for men diagnosed with ED to have tests to make sure that ED is not a symptom of a heart condition. That is especially true if you have risk factors that increase your chances of developing heart problems. If a heart condition is found, treatment for that disorder also may help reverse ED.

The connection between ED and heart disease involves a condition known as atherosclerosis — sometimes called hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis happens when plaques build up in your arteries. When plaques start to accumulate, the smaller arteries in the body, including those in the penis, are the first to get plugged up. The plaque lowers blood flow in the penis, making an erection difficult.

Erectile dysfunction alerts doctors to look for atherosclerosis in larger arteries that supply your heart and other organs and, if found, to take steps to treat atherosclerosis. In addition to heart problems, atherosclerosis also increases your risk of other serious health problems, including aneurysm, stroke and peripheral artery disease. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr David Simper, Dr Simper, ED, erectile dysfunction, Heart Disease, Tuesday Q and A

December 15th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Holiday Health and #ToxicStress

By Dana Sparks

Join  Tues, Dec. 16, 1-2 pm ET

holiday stress with woman in santa hat and holding presents

 What is it? How do you prevent it? How do you manage it?

When does stress go from mild to toxic, & what can you do about it?

Mayo Clinic's @AmitSoodMD & @DrAmyPollak will participate in the

#abcdrbchat w/ @DrRichardBesser to tweet about how stress harms your health.


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Tags: abcDrBchat, Dr. Richard Besser, Holiday Stress, Twitter Chat, Dr Amit Sood, Dr Amy Pollak

December 15th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks


Menus for heart-healthy eating: Cut the fat and salt
Do you want to adopt a heart-healthy diet but aren't sure where to start? Use these menus to jump-start your meals.

Coping with stress: Workplace tips
Year-end projects can be a lot to handle. Dealing with stress at work is easier when you identify your triggers — and address them head on.person sleeping with cold and flu medicine on bedside table

Self-care for the flu
The flu can make you feel awful, but if you're otherwise healthy and you're not pregnant, try these home remedies.

Ebola transmission: Can Ebola spread through the air?
Ebola virus disease is not transmitted through casual contact or the air. Find out how it is spread.

Click here to get a free e-subscription to the Housecall newsletter.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Ebola, Flu, Heart Health, Menopause, Stroke, Whooping Cough, Monday's Housecall

December 13th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Weekend Wellness: Carefully consider treatment options when diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I just found out I have stage I breast cancer, and I’m trying to decide on the kind of surgery I’ll have. My doctor says I could have either a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. I’m leaning toward a lumpectomy. But how do you know if a lumpectomy is enough treatment? I’m worried the cancer could come back.breast cancer word cloudANSWER: Research has shown that for women with early-stage breast cancer, survival rates are very similar between those who choose to have a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy and those who choose a mastectomy. Choosing which surgery to have is a very personal decision. It is important to take time to carefully consider your options.

A lumpectomy is surgery that removes the breast cancer along with a rim of normal tissue around the tumor, called the margin. This surgery allows you to keep the rest of your breast tissue.

A mastectomy involves removing most of the breast tissue from your breast. With early-stage breast cancer, radiation is not recommended after a mastectomy unless cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes or the tumor is larger than anticipated. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Dr. Judy Boughey, Lumpectomy, mastectomy, Weekend Wellness