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March 3rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Q & A: Chronic sinusitis symptoms resemble a cold, but last months

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I’ve had an awful cold for months. My doctor recommends that I be tested for chronic sinusitis. What would that involve? How is chronic sinusitis treated?illustration of person's face with sinus infection and inflammation

ANSWER: Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, which are the air-containing pockets in the skull and facial bones around your nose. Chronic sinusitis develops when inflammation lasts for more than 12 weeks. Testing involves a visit to an ear, nose and throat, or ENT, doctor who will examine your sinuses. Most chronic sinusitis can be managed with medical therapy. However, if your symptoms or the inflammation do not respond to medical therapy, surgery may be necessary. The goal of treatment is to restore sinus health and function.

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis often resemble a cold. A cold is usually caused by a viral infection and is often accompanied by a runny or stuffed-up nose, sneezing, sore throat, watery eyes and a fever. This kind of acute viral sinusitis usually lasts seven to 10 days.

In rare instances, you may get a bacterial infection as a result of a cold, resulting in acute bacterial sinusitis. If that happens, cold symptoms get worse after seven to 10 days. You also may have yellow or green nasal drainage, pain in your face or teeth, and a fever. Acute sinusitis lasts up to four weeks. When symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks, you may have chronic sinusitis. But some cases of chronic sinusitis can develop subtly, without a preceding viral infection. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: chronic sinusitus, Dr Devyani Lal, Mayo Clinic Q A, sinusitis

March 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

With Daylight Saving Time Approaching, Learn Why Sleep Health is Important

By Micah Dorfner

Alarm clock on bedside table and woman asleepMANKATO, Minn. — Fall back, spring forward. We’ve all heard the saying, and it helps people remember which way to set their clocks for the start and end of Daylight Saving Time. Although it’d be nice to gain an hour of sleep twice a year, that’s not the case. Starting Sunday, March 8 at 2 a.m., we’ll all lose an hour. Altering your sleep schedule, or having poor sleep habits to begin with, can have a greater effect on your health than you may think.

“With Daylight Saving Time, we lose an hour of sleep, which causes significant fatigue in most people and can linger for days or weeks,” says Martha Yanci Torres, M.D., neurologist and sleep specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. “To minimize the impact, you can make gradual adjustments.”

She provides this advice:

  • Go to bed 15 minutes early, starting several days before the change, and increase by 15 minutes every couple of nights. Make an extra effort to be well-rested the week before the time change.
  • If you feel sleepy the Sunday after the change to Daylight Saving Time, take a short nap (15 to 20 minutes) in the early afternoon — not too close to bedtime. Assess how a nap affects your sleep quality. For some, napping can make nighttime sleeping harder. But for others, a short nap can be revitalizing without ruining their night's sleep.
  • Avoid sleeping in an hour longer in the morning.
  • In general, you should try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This helps your body regulate its sleep. If possible, wake up at the same time on the weekends too, which makes Monday mornings easier to bear.

“Regardless of the time of year, proper sleep is an essential part of life,” says Dr. Yanci Torres. “There are many benefits to practicing good sleep health, as well as risks for cutting sleep too short.”

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Tags: Daylight Saving Time, Dr Martha Yanci Torres, Mayo Clinic Health System, Neurology, Sleep health

March 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

U.S. Women’s Awareness of Breast Density Varies by Race and Ethnicity, Education and Income, Mayo Clinic Study Finds

By Joe Dangor

Disparities in the level of awareness and knowledge of breast density exist among U.S. women, according to the results of a Mayo Clinic study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Xray of non dense breast with cancer

Image A: Non-dense breast tissue showin.g a small cancer (upper left)

Breast density is the term used to describe the variation in dense tissue on a mammogram image. Fatty breast tissue appears more radiologically translucent than dense (fibroglandular) breast tissue. Regions of a breast that comprise fatty tissue will appear darker on a mammogram, while regions that comprise dense tissue appear whiter.

Dense breast w cancer

Image B: Dense breast tissue with palpable lump, cancer diagnosed (far right center)

Increased breast density has been shown to mask cancers on the mammogram as well as to be associated with future risk of breast cancer. Recent legislation in several states mandates that women be given information about breast density in order to guide decisions about breast cancer screening.

Researchers conducted a national cross-sectional survey of 2,311 women ages 40 to 74 in English and Spanish. The survey response rate was 65 percent. Overall, more than half of women who responded (58 percent) had heard of breast density, 49 percent were aware that breast density affects breast cancer detection and 53 percent knew that breast density is associated with cancer risk.

Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

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Tags: Breast Cancer, breast density, Deborah Rhodes, disparities, Dr Rhodes, JCO, Journal of Clinical Oncology, M.D., Mayo Clinic, Minnesota news release, News Release

March 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines 3/2/2015

By balzerdeb

In today's Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines with Vivien Williams:

  • Good news for coffee drinkers
  • Peanut allergies and children

Journalists: Video is available in the downloads. Click here for script.

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Tags: coffee, Dr. Donald Hensrud, Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines, Peanut Allergy, Vivien Williams

March 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

CREEPY, DREADFUL, WONDERFUL PARASITES: A Parasitologist’s View of the World – Week of March 2, 2015

By Dana Sparks

macroscopic image of giardia 2C parasite
Every week Bobbi Pritt, M.D., posts a new case, along with the answer to the previous case. 
Read Dr. Pritt's blog: Parasite Wonders and submit your answers, comments and questions. Enjoy science!

Note from Dr. Pritt: All opinions expressed here are mine and not my employer's. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. I do not accept medical consults from patients. 

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Tags: Dr Bobbi Pritt, MML, Parasites

March 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

What the New Dietary Guidelines Mean to You

By balzerdeb

If you are confused about what foods to eat and what to avoid to maintain a healthy lifestyle, don't worry. You are not alone. Remember the old food pyramid? It's time to rethink what we put on our plate and in our bodies.Woman holding bag of vegetables for vegetarian diet

The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently released a 571-page report that offers a new take on some previously thought nutritional data. The report is the primary body of literature that guides all recommendations on how Americans should eat and is targeted to those making nutritional policy in the U.S.

Donald D. Hensrud, M.D., says the report shows a continued emphasis on plant-based diets and less meat consumption. He stresses the guidelines change as new information and research becomes available, calling guidelines evolutionary, not revolutionary.

Guidelines recommendations include:

  • Increase plant-based diet
  • Consume less red and processed meat
  • An egg a day is okay
  • Less sugar consumption
  • Coffee and caffeine may have health benefits

Dr. Hensrud recommends the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid which emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains along with lean protein from a variety of sources and a limit on sweets and salt.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Hensrud are available in the downloads, along with b-roll of  examples of packaged food products (gluten-free, sugar sweeteners, beans, whole wheat)

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Tags: Caffeine, dietary guidelines, Dr. Donald Hensrud, healthy diet, Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid, whole grains

March 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Webinar: Stroke Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment Options

By Dana Sparks

word cloud with stroke, brain, blood pressure

Wed., Mar 4,  12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. CT

This webinar will cover a variety of stroke topics. Robert Brown, M.D, M.P.H., will discuss the prevention and diagnosis of stroke, and Giuseppe Lanzino, M.D., will talk about the surgical and non-surgical treatment options for stroke. Both physicians will answer questions after their presentations.

Please  and receive email reminders for the event.

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Tags: Dr Giuseppe Lanzino, Dr. Robert Brown, Mayo Clinic Connect, Social Media, stroke, Webinar

March 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Jen O'Hara

Fitting in fitness: Finding time for physical activitywoman exercising outdooors and walking her dog
Can't seem to make time for exercise? Try taking your dog for daily walks, ramping up chores, moving while watching TV and more.

About the size of apple seeds, bedbugs hide in and around beds. Know how to keep them out of your home and how to avoid them when traveling.

Dental Floss vs. Water Pick:  Which is Better?
Discover why you may not want to toss your floss in favor of a water pick for a healthy smile.

Energy Drinks: Do They Really Boost Energy?
Energy drinks may give you a temporary energy boost — but it doesn't last long.

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

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Tags: acne, Bedbugs, dental hygiene, energy drinks, fitness, Healthy Recipes, hypertension, Monday's Housecall, sore throat, stress

February 28th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Q & A: Regardless of risk, take steps to protect heart health

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am a 37-year-old man and have no health problems, but both of my parents have heart disease. My dad had his first heart attack at age 50. Are there things I can do now to prevent it, or is heart disease inevitable for me because of my family history?word cloud for heart disease, coronary arteries, heart attack

ANSWER: Based on your family history, your risk for heart attacks is higher than the risk of a person without that kind of history. But that does not mean heart attacks are inevitable. A thorough medical evaluation can help determine your specific risk of developing heart problems. You can also take steps to help protect your heart health, no matter what your risk level.

A family history of heart attacks — especially one in a parent younger than 55, as in your father’s situation — is a major risk factor for the type of heart disease known as coronary artery disease, sometimes called CAD. Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients — your coronary arteries — become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits, or plaques, and inflammation in your arteries are usually the source of coronary artery disease. There are many factors that may cause coronary artery disease, including high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, smoking, obesity and high blood pressure, to mention some.

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Tags: Coronary Artery Disease, Dr Francisco López-Jiménez, Dr Lopez-Jimenez, heart attack prevention, Heart Disease, Mayo Clinic Q A

February 27th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Something to Think About ~ When do you truly fail?

By Dana Sparks

ripe crabapples on tree branch

"Our crabapple is more resilient than I am. I try. I fail. And then I stop trying. I lose hope, get frustrated and impatient, and then give up..." M
ore from Amit Sood, M.D. - When do you truly fail?

Dr. Sood is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.

Click here to read previous blog posts. Follow Dr. Sood on Twitter @AmitSoodMD 

"Failing isn't in falling; failing is falling and not trying to rise." – Dr. Amit Sood

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Tags: Complementary Integrative Medicine, Dr Amit Sood, Something to Think About

February 27th, 2015 · Leave a Comment


By Dana Sparks

young girl blowing her nose in a kleenex

Mucus. It isn’t pretty, but it’s a frontline weapon in the fight against the common cold and sinusitis. On this week’s Mayo Clinic Radio, ENT specialist Dr. Erin O’Brien explains why.

Dr. O'Brien Also on the program, Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr. Rekha Mankad answers listener questions about heart health. And Mayo Clinic urologist Dr. Jeffrey Karnes discusses the pros and cons of the PSA test for prostate cancer.

Myth or Matter-of-Fact: Humming can improve sinus health.

Mayo Clinic Radio is available on iHeart Radio.

Click here to listen to the program on Saturday, February 7, at 9:05 a.m. and follow #MayoClinicRadio.

To find and listen to archived shows, click here.

Mayo Clinic Radio is a weekly one-hour radio program highlighting health and medical information from Mayo Clinic. The show is taped for rebroadcast by some affiliates.

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Tags: cold, Dr. Erin O'Brien, Dr Jeffrey Karnes, Dr Rekha Mankad, Heart Health, Mayo Clinic Radio, Prostate Cancer, PSA test, sinusitis

February 27th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Media Advisory: VICE Media Founder Shane Smith Announces $500,000 Matching Gift to Fund Cancer Research at Mayo Clinic

By Dana Sparks

WHAT: On Friday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT, HBO will air a documentary from VICE Media entitled Killing Cancer, which follows pioneering cancer researchers including those at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The broadcast will conclude with the announcement of a matching gift campaign established by the documentary’s host and producer Shane Smith to fund cancer research at Mayo Clinic.Shane Smith from HBO VICE on measles virus and cancer vaccine

WHO: Shane Smith, CEO and founder of VICE Media, is no stranger to the impact cancer has on families. To honor his mother, a cancer survivor, Smith is establishing a $500,000 matching gift to fund cancer research at Mayo Clinic.

WHERE: Gifts qualifying for the match can be made online here.

WHEN: Gifts made between February 27 and April 28, 2015, qualify for this matching gift opportunity.

Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284 5005,

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Tags: Cancer Center, HBO, Killing Cancer, measles virus therapy, oncolytic virus therapy, Research, Shane Smith, VICE

February 27th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Seasonal Affective Disorder or a Case of the Winter Blues

By balzerdeb

sad woman with depression, lonliness or seasonal affective disorder

The winter has been especially harsh for millions of Americans with record snowfalls and extreme temperatures forcing many to stay indoors due to inclement weather. Short days, lack of sunlight and cold temperatures especially in the northern areas of the U.S. are being blamed for bouts of cabin fever and the winter blues. You may also hear people refer to seasonal affective disorder or SAD this winter, however, there are some distinct differences.

Mark A. Frye, M.D., says SAD is a significant cyclical mood disorder that affects patients most winters beginning in late fall or early winter when the skies are gray during the day or the sun sets early.

While many people, especially during a difficult winter, struggle with cabin fever and winter blues, SAD depressive symptoms can be severe and functionally disabling. Dr. Frye says SAD is a mood disorder much like bipolar disorder or major depression but specifically related to the change of seasons.

Journalists: Soundbites with Dr. Frye are in the downloads. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Cabin Fever, Dr. Mark Frye, light therapy, mood disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Wellbutrin, Winter Blues

February 27th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines 2/27/2015

By balzerdeb

In today's Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines with Vivien Williams:

  • Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines
  • Winter Blues
  • What Color is the Dress

Journalists: Video is available in the downloads. Click here for the script.

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Tags: headlines, Lung Cancer Screening, Winter Blues

February 26th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Cancer Treatment and the Heart

By Dana Sparks

Blue and white banner logo for 'Living with Cancer' blog
Cancer treatment and the heart
red heart in woman and man hands
Radiation treatment and chemotherapy can increase the chance of heart damage. Know the risks.

Alternative cancer treatments: 10 options to consider
Looking for relief from cancer treatment side effects? These 10 types of alternative medicine may help.

cancer imaging for HBO measles virus documentaryMayo Clinic to be featured in "Killing Cancer" — a special report from VICE on HBO Don't miss the HBO documentary "Killing Cancer" on Friday, Feb. 27, at 10 p.m. ET. Follow the revolution happening in the treatment of cancer and discover how viruses will become a main driver for cancer therapy. Thanks to thousands of hours of research, the courage and optimism of our patients, and generous gifts from people like you, we are closer than ever to cures for some of the deadliest, hardest to treat cancers. Learn more.

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Tags: Cancer Treatments, HBO, heart, Living With Cancer Blog