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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 we 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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 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

February 26th, 2015 · Leave a Comment


By Dana Sparks

young girl is sick and having her temperature taken

Fever treatment: Quick guide to treating a fever

Dense breast tissue: What it means to have dense breasts

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Blood pressure chart: What your reading means

Diabetes diet: Create your healthy-eating plan

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Tags: Blood Pressure Chart, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Dense Breast Tissue, Diabetes, fever, Thursday Consumer Health Tips

February 26th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

What Do You Know About Superbugs?

By balzerdeb

illustrations of superbugs microbiome animationYou may have heard the term superbug in the news lately. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (En-tero-bacteria-ce·ae) (CRE) has been linked to several deaths around the United States after those patients had endoscopic procedures using a duodenoscope. CRE is often referred to as a superbug because it's resistant to the carbapenem antibiotic and other commonly used antibiotics.

The duodenoscope is a complex instrument used in an endoscopic procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Bret Petersen, M.D., calls the ERCP a very important procedure that potentially saves many lives and says more than 100,000 ERCP procedures are done annually in the U.S.

Instruments used in common procedures such as colonoscopy and upper endoscopy have not been related to these cases of CRE. Dr. Petersen says patients should not be fearful of having these important procedures.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Petersen are available in the downloads. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Colonoscopy, CRE, Dr Bret Petersen, duodenoscope, superbug, upper endoscopy

February 26th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines 2/26/15

By balzerdeb

In today's headlines, a link between allergies in children and dishwashers. Vivien Williams has more.
Click here for script.

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February 25th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

What to Do About Dry Skin

By Micah Dorfner

Dry skin is can be temporary — for example you might only suffer from it during the winter months — but for some it can be a lifelong condition. Although skin is often driest on your hands, arms and lower legs, this varies from person to person. What's more, signs and symptoms of dry skin depend on your age, your health, where you live, time spent outdoors and the cause of the problem.

Megan Johnston Flanders, M.D., family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, says dry skin is likely to cause one or more of the following:

  • A feeling of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing or swimmingwoman scratching her arm, dry skin itch
  • Skin that feels and looks rough
  • Itching (pruritus)
  • Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling
  • Fine lines or cracks
  • Gray, ashy skin in people with dark skin
  • Redness
  • Deep cracks that may bleed

Dr. Johnston Flanders says the following measures can help keep your skin moist and healthy: Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dermatology, Dr Megan Johnston Flanders, Dry Skin, Mayo Clinic Health System