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July 31st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

The Right and Wrong Way to Apply Bug Spray

By Dana Sparks

woman putting bug spray on her armWhile insect repellent is a good way to ward off disease-carrying insects, you may be making common bug-spray mistakes. One of the common mistakes is to not read bug-spray labels. The repellent you choose should depend on the type of insect you’re trying to ward off. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest using repellents with picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to prevent mosquito bites, while a spray with 20 percent or more DEET should be used to fight both ticks and mosquitos.

According to Bobbi Pritt, M.D., Director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic, “Permethrin-containing products can also be used directly on clothing but should not be applied to skin.” In addition to being aware of bug-spray ingredients, it’s important to wear it whenever bugs may be present.

Read more: Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

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July 31st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Health Letter: Highlights from the July 2014 Issue

By Brian Kilen

ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Here are highlights from the July issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required.elbow pain Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit http://www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter July 2014 (for journalists only).

Elbow pain: Recovery quicker working with a health care provider

When elbow pain stops golf, tennis, gardening or household chores, it’s wise to see a doctor to determine the cause and a treatment plan. The July issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers common causes of elbow pain, self-care tips and why seeing a doctor sooner ― rather than later ― is a good idea.

In the absence of a bone fracture, most elbow injuries aren’t serious. But nagging pain can interfere with sports and day-to-day activities. Most elbow pain is related to overuse that results in irritation and tissue degeneration near areas where tendons connect to bones of the elbow joint. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 31st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Staying Safe in Scorching Temperatures

By Dana Sparks

 

thermometer pointing up toward bright sunshine

Today is National Heatstroke Prevention Day

Many northern  communities in the United States are used to the winter thermometer dipping into negative numbers, but summer heat can often rival the challenges of a cold, snowy winter. As we move into August, one of the hottest months of the year, temperatures can easily exceed 100 degrees F, bringing the threat of heat illness and heat-related afflictions. Regional director of Mayo Clinic Health System Urgent CareRuth Bolton, M.D., offers this important preventive information.

Q. What is heat illness?

A. Heat illness is exactly what it sounds like — a sickness caused by heat. Heat illness can take multiple forms, each ranging in severity. The different types of heat illness, from mildest to most dangerous, include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Q. What are the symptoms of heat illness?

A. As heat illness progresses from cramps to exhaustion to stroke, the symptoms become more extreme.

Symptoms of heat cramps include:
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July 31st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Algorithm Reduces Use of CT Scans when Diagnosing Children with Appendicitis

By Chloe Piepho

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Implementation of an algorithm aimed to diagnose pediatric patients with suspected appendicitis reduces the utilization of computed tomography (CT) scans, without affecting diagnostic accuracy, Mayo Clinic Children's Center researchers have found. The study was recently published in the journal Surgery.

Acute appendicitis is the most common cause of acute abdominal pain in children. Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and filled with pus. CT scans are often used to diagnose acute appendicitis because they are accurate, widely available and have the ability to provide clinicians with advanced information in appendicitis cases suspected of complications.

However, CT scans are expensive and expose patients to ionizing radiation. “This algorithm was developed by a multidisciplinary group of pediatric emergency room physicians, pediatric surgeons and radiologists to eliminate unnecessary exposure to radiation,” explains Michael B. Ishitani, M.D., lead author of the study.

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July 31st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Eye-tracking devices offer added pilot safety, Mayo Clinic study says

By Jim McVeigh

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The use of small, portable eye-tracking devices in cockpits could be a future additional safeguard for pilots and other safety critical operators, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the July issue of Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine.

Eye movement metrics have been recognized as promising indicators of altered cognitive performance caused by hypoxia at high altitudes. Hypoxia is a lower than normal level of oxygen in your blood. To function properly, your body needs a certain level of oxygen circulating in the blood to cells and tissues. When this level of oxygen falls below a certain amount, hypoxia can cause a variety of symptoms including shortness of breath, impaired speech, slowed reaction time and passing out which can be a safety threat at high altitudes.

 

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July 31st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

THURSDAY CONSUMER HEALTH TIPS

By Dana Sparks

group of pregnant women meeting in prenatal class

Heart conditions and pregnancy: Know the risks

Food Poisoning

Caregiver depression: Prevention counts

Bladder control problems: Medications for treating urinary incontinence

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July 30th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Eating for Eye Health

By Dana Sparks

Close-up high-tech image of human eye. Technology concept

Most people have heard that carrots are good for their eyes, but do you know that other foods help protect vision and prevent eye disease?  The National Eye Institute and other vision experts note that a healthy diet is an important factor in eye health. Researchers have found that certain nutrients with antioxidant properties are beneficial. These include carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, and vitamins C and E. Zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are also important for eye health.

Mayo Clinic eye and nutrition experts offer the following lists to help you choose foods for better eye health:

  • Vegetables: Kale, collard greens, peppers, broccoli, sweet potato, spinach, peas, pumpkin, carrots and Swiss chard
  • Fruits: Peaches, blueberries, oranges, tangerines, mango, tomato, apricot, papaya, cantaloupe, honeydew, avocado and grapefruit
  • Sources of zinc: King crab, lamb, bulgur, lean beef, fortified breakfast cereals, beans, lean pork, dark meat of poultry, whole-wheat or buckwheat flours, pumpkin seeds
  • Omega-3-rich foods: Salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, rainbow trout, sardines, flaxseed, English walnuts, canola oil, roasted soybeans

Read more Eating for Eye Health

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July 30th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic News Network — Headlines 7/30/14

By Dana Sparks

 

Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines include:

  • Concussions in the water
  • Sports injuries for young hockey players
  • High cholesterol without medication

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

 

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July 30th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Early Diagnosis and Aggressive Approach to Rheumatoid Arthritis

By Dana Sparks

Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis can be frightening. It's a lifelong chronic condition that not only causes painful damage to your joints but can affect other areas of the body, including heart and kidneys. So, an early diagnosis and an aggressive approach to treatment can mean having much better control of the disease. [TRT 2:35]

Journalists: The video report, additional b-roll and animation are available in the downloads. News Network pkgs. can be edited into vo/sots and incorporated in your reporting. Click here for script.

 

 

 

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July 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Bacardi’s Gift to Significantly Advance Mayo Clinic’s Regenerative Medicine Research

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Imagine a future in which a new lung is grown for a patient in need, using the patient’s own cellular material, or a day when an injection of replacement cells will enable a patient to self-heal damage in the brain, nerves or other tissues.

 

Regenerative medicine is no longer science fiction, and a substantial gift from Jorge and Leslie Bacardi of the Bahamas will significantly accelerate the research of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine on the Florida campus. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tuesday Q and A: Eye infections common, especially in children

By lizatorborg

little boy with conjunctivitis or pink eyeDEAR MAYO CLINIC: My grandson had a virus with flu symptoms. Then one of his eyes got very red, but it wasn’t itchy or mattered shut. When my daughter took him to the doctor, she was told it was the virus settling in his eye. But it wasn’t pink eye. What’s the difference between this type of eye infection and pink eye? Are the treatments different?

ANSWER: The two conditions you mention are both eye infections,
and they are actually also both forms of
pink eye
. The difference is that the type of infection your grandson had is caused by a virus. The other is caused by bacteria. Viral eye infections typically do not require any treatment. Bacterial eye infections are usually treated with antibiotic eye drops.

Eye infections are common, especially in children. As in your grandson’s case, they often happen when a child has a cold. Both viral eye infections and bacterial eye infections are called conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

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July 28th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Announcing Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Online: Smart Technology Empowering Employee and Group Health and Wellness

By Brian Kilen

A digital, individualized Mayo Clinic approach to better health through lifestyle and behavior change   

Rochester, Minn. — Mayo Clinic announced today a new health engagement platform called Mayo Clinic Healthy Living online. Designed for employers and other groups to help members improve and stay healthy, the platform focuses on lifestyle areas where change can have the most beneficial effect on overall health. As a result, this new solution promises positive results, not only for the individual, but for the employer/client in terms of controlling health care costs and optimizing performance and productivity. The science underpinning the platform draws upon the expertise of Mayo Clinic and leverages the new Mayo Clinic Healthy Living program as a learning lab to research and measure outcomes to improve health and wellness.

Hagen_Philip_13MMayo Clinic Healthy Living online is at the forefront of the next generation of digital wellness and lifestyle behavior change tools. The program is designed to engage members by leveraging new technologies, connectivity to remote devices, data-driven user personalization, incentive capabilities, and user-driven responsive design, all underpinned by evidence-based approaches validated though the medical practice and research at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic research was used to identify areas with the most potential to improve health. The platform focuses on diet and nutrition, physical activity, and weight management, with plans to build out stress, sleep and resiliency offerings. “What we are doing with this tool is bringing Mayo expertise outside the walls of the clinic. People are struggling with their wellness goals, and we want to use technology to provide the support necessary for wellness and disease prevention,” says Philip Hagen, M.D., M.P.H., medical director for Mayo Clinic Healthy Living online. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 28th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Monday’s Housecall

By Dana Sparks

Housecall Banner blue and white pile of prescription drug bottlesTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Menopause hormone therapy: Pros and cons
Hormone therapy can provide effective relief from menopause symptoms. Talk with your doctor to weigh your personal risks and benefits.

Best sunscreen: Understand sunscreen options
With so many types of sunscreen out there, it can be hard to know which to choose. This Q&A with a Mayo Clinic dermatologist can help.

Buying prescription drugs online Ordering prescription medications online can save you time and money, but not all pharmacies are licensed. Stay safe with these do's and don'ts.

EXPERT ANSWERSfood allergies sign that says 'no peanuts' next to peanut butter jar
Are there any effective alternative treatments for food allergies?
Find out which alternative treatments have shown promise for treating food allergies.

Acute hepatitis C infection: Is it serious?
Acute hepatitis C infection precedes chronic hepatitis C. Find out how acute hepatitis C develops and what the diagnosis means.

Thirdhand smoke: What are the dangers to nonsmokers?
Toxic tobacco residue clings to walls, carpets, clothes, cars and other surfaces.

Click here to get a free e-subscription to the Housecall newsletter. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 26th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Weekend Wellness: Thorough evaluation needed to determine if surgery an option for patient with emphysema

By lizatorborg

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My father, 68, has advanced emphysema. Medication for it doesn’t seem to help as much as it used to. We’ve heard that volume reduction surgery is sometimes used in cases like his. What does this surgery involve? What are the benefits? How do we find out if he’s a good candidate for it?medical illustration of damaged lung with emphysema

ANSWER: Lung volume reduction surgery can help treat some severe cases of emphysema. The procedure involves removing part of the damaged lung tissue, so the remaining healthy tissue can work better. But it is only appropriate in a small number of cases. A thorough medical evaluation would be necessary to see if your father might be a good candidate for lung volume reduction surgery.

Emphysema is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, that damages the lungs’ air sacs, called alveoli. The alveoli are clustered like bunches of grapes. In emphysema, the inner walls of the air sacs weaken and eventually break down. That creates one larger air space instead of many small ones. This decreases the surface area of the lungs and lowers the amount of oxygen that reaches the bloodstream.

Emphysema cannot be cured. Medications and pulmonary rehabilitation are the main therapies for this disease. Medications including bronchodilators, inhaled steroids, oxygen and antibiotics often are used to help ease breathing problems and prevent flare-ups. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 25th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

MAYO CLINIC RADIO

By Dana Sparks

montage of Mayo Clinic Radio pictures

If you have shoulder problems the next Mayo Clinic Radio is for you!  On Saturday, July 26, at 9 a.m. CT, John Sperling, M.D., will join us to discuss the many causes of shoulder pain. What do you know about shoulder bursitistendinitis and something called Wiiitis? How are torn rotator cuffs diagnosed and repaired? We'll discuss a new option for patients with arthritis called reverse arthroplasty. Join us!

Myth or Matter of Fact: Rotator cuff tears can heal without surgery.

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 July 26, 2014 (right click MP3) 

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