danasparks

Dana Sparks @danasparks

About Me

Organization Name
Dana Sparks

Organization Country
USA

Organization Website
mayoclinic.com

Media Formats You Use
MP4

I have read and accept the Terms of Use for the site.
1

I will not release information before the embargo date provided for each resource.
1

Activity by Dana Sparks @danasparks

danasparks

3 days ago by @danasparks · View  

Home Remedies: Helping a hoarse voice

a Caucasian woman sitting in bed holding her neck in pain with a sore throat

You've likely had days when your voice sounds excessively husky, raspy or weak. You may have even lost your voice for a short time laryngitis. Laryngitis is an inflammation of your voice box (larynx) from overuse, irritation or infection. Inside the larynx are your vocal cords — two folds of mucous membrane covering muscle and cartilage. Normally, your vocal cords open and close smoothly, forming sounds through their movement and vibration.

But in laryngitis, your vocal cords become inflamed or irritated. This swelling causes distortion of the sounds produced by air passing over them. As a result, your voice sounds hoarse. In some cases of laryngitis, your voice can become almost undetectable.

Laryngitis may be short-lived (acute) or long lasting (chronic). Most cases of laryngitis are triggered by a temporary viral infection or vocal strain and aren't serious. Persistent hoarseness can sometimes signal a more serious underlying medical condition.

Some self-care methods may relieve  and reduce strain on your voice:

  • Breathe moist air. Use a humidifier to keep the air throughout your home or office moist. Inhale steam from a bowl of hot water or a hot shower.
  • Rest your voice as much as possible. Avoid talking or singing too loudly or for too long. If you need to speak before large groups, try to use a microphone or megaphone.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration (avoid alcohol and caffeine).
  • Moisten your throat. Try sucking on lozenges, gargling with salt water or chewing a piece of gum.
  • Stop drinking alcohol and smoking, and avoid exposure to smoke. Alcohol and smoke dry your throat and irritates your vocal cords.
  • Avoid clearing your throat. This action irritates your vocal cords.
  • Avoid decongestants. These medications can dry out your throat.
  • Avoid whispering. This puts even more strain on your voice than normal speech does.

medical illustration for open and closed vocal folds or vocal cords

Acute laryngitis

Most cases of laryngitis are temporary and improve after the underlying cause gets better. Causes of acute laryngitis include:

  • Viral infections similar to those that cause a cold
  • Vocal strain, caused by yelling or overusing your voice
  • Bacterial infections, such as diphtheria, although this is rare, in large part due to increasing rates of vaccination

Chronic laryngitis

Laryngitis that lasts longer than three weeks is known as chronic laryngitis. This type of laryngitis is generally caused by exposure to irritants over time. Chronic laryngitis can cause vocal cord strain and injuries or growths on the vocal cords (polyps or nodules). These injuries can be caused by:

  • Inhaled irritants, such as chemical fumes, allergens or smoke
  • Acid reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Habitual overuse of your voice (such as with singers or cheerleaders)
  • Smoking

Less common causes of chronic laryngitis include:

  • Bacterial or fungal infections
  • Infections with certain parasites

Other causes of chronic hoarseness include:

  • Cancer
  • Vocal cord paralysis, which can result from injury, stroke, a lung tumor or other health conditions
  • Bowing of the vocal cords in old age

The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies provides answers you need to take care of common health problems on your own. This reference covers 120 of today’s common health problems in an easy-to-follow, A-to-Z format. Learn what you can do for yourself and when to seek medical attention.

book cover of Home Remedies

Login here to comment.
danasparks

4 days ago by @danasparks · View  

Something to Think About: Healing old hurts

a young woman looking at her phone messages looking sad and hurt
Dr. Amit Sood says, "Revisit old wounds to heal them, not open them afresh."

Dear friend,

In the soil rich with fear, selfishness, greed, and ignorance, the seeds of unkind words and actions sprout. Such seeds, when they get lodged in a vulnerable mind, give birth to saplings of hurt. These saplings are initially weak. Your ability to reframe the situation—to focus on what went right within what went wrong, find meaning, and accept the situation for what it was—can prevent the saplings of hurt from taking root. I wish I were that wise.

Instead of launching a fresh, mature perspective, my mind feeds the sapling. In thinking of how the hurts could have been prevented, I focus less on what I learned from them and more on whom to blame. I lament the event, get angry, and think of ways to exact revenge. Ruminating on past hurts, I make my life miserable. I could do better than that.

I can learn from the ethics of good reporters and historians. A good reporter communicates all aspects of the truth, fairly and in an engaging fashion. Historians are reporters of the past. A good historian helps us understand the past, without needing to commend or condemn it. Good reporters and historians try their best not to be biased. I should look at my past with their eyes.

When I study human history, I get a recurring feeling of humility. I learn that even the best intentions and efforts fail, and that chance is tremendously powerful. Every person acts under unique constraints. Every action has unintentional and unpredictable consequences. Maybe the person who hurt me acted in innocent ignorance rather than the vicious intention that I assumed.

I should look at my past as historians look at human history. I should zoom out of my experience and try to see it in totality. If I can do that, I will see not only the hurtful words and actions but also their origins in underlying suffering, self-defense, and ignorance. I will truly and deeply find gratitude for the right within the wrong, develop compassion toward people hurt by the wrong, and have a lower threshold for acceptance. With this mind-set I might find greater meaning in the experience and give forgiveness a chance.

As a result, I will stop watering the hurts, so they will stop at the sapling stage and not become large trees with complex root systems and countless additional seeds that spawn fresh saplings.

History is humility packaged as a true story. Become a true historian of your past, with an intention to understand and heal. This perspective will help you cherish the happy moments, learn from adversity, and be grateful for both.

May you cherish the happy moments, learn from adversity, and be grateful for both.

Take care.
Amit

Dr. Sood 2

Read previous blog posts and follow @AmitSoodMD on Twitter.

Dr. Sood is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program on Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in Minnesota. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.
Login here to comment.
danasparks

4 days ago by @danasparks · View  

Making Mayo's Recipes: Butternut Squash Raviolis

making-mayo-recipes-butternut-squash-raviolis1-16-x-9
See how to make butternut squash ravioli from scratch — it’s easier than you might think! This healthy pasta incorporates flax seed, which is high in fiber and omega3 fatty acids. After boiling the ravioli, you can saute briefly in a little olive oil or butter, if desired.

Each Thursday one of the 100+ tasty video recipes from the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program is featured on the Mayo Clinic News Network, just in time for you to try at the weekend. You can also have the recipes delivered via the Mayo Clinic App.

Journalists: The broadcast-quality video (1:33) is in the downloads.

Created by the executive wellness chef and registered dietitians at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. Find more recipes and other healthy-living insights on the Mayo Clinic App

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  3. 5 eggs
  4. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  5. 3 cups roasted butternut squash
  6. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

In a food processor, combine the flour, flaxseed, 4 eggs and oil, and pulse. Process until the flour is incorporated and evenly moistened. Lightly flour the countertop. Remove the dough and knead. Set the dough aside to rest for about 30 minutes.

Place the squash in the food processor. Add the cheese, 1 egg, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Process until well-mixed and smooth. Bring a large pot of water to a low boil. Roll out the ravioli dough into 2 long thin sheets that are approximately the same length and thickness. Place 1 tablespoon of the squash mixture every 2 to 3 inches down the center of one of the sheets of dough. Lightly brush the dough around the squash mixture with water. Place the second sheet of dough on top, and gently press to remove air and seal dough around each mound of squash mixture.

Cut the ravioli into squares or circles and place in the boiling water for about 8 minutes. Remove with a strainer or slotted spoon.

Login here to comment.
danasparks

5 days ago by @danasparks · View  

Women's Wellness: Screening tool for dense breasts

a patient having a breast cancer procedure called MBI - molecular breast imagingA breast cancer screening tool developed at Mayo Clinic may benefit women with dense breasts. It's called molecular breast imaging (MBI), and research shows the technology detects more breast cancers in this group of women than mammography. Up to half of women have dense breast tissue.

MBI is a test that uses a radioactive tracer and special camera to find breast cancer. Rather than simply taking a picture of a breast, molecular breast imaging is a type of functional imaging. This means the pictures it creates show differences in the activity of the tissue. Tissue that contains cells that are rapidly growing and dividing, such as cancer cells, appears brighter than less active tissue.

MBI - mammogram Xray

Molecular Breast Imaging (right) detected 3.6 times as many invasive cancers as digital mammography (left) in the latest study of more than 1,500 women with dense breast tissue. Results are published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

During MBI, a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein in your arm. The tracer attaches to breast cancer cells that can then be detected using a camera that detects the gamma radiation released by the tracer (gamma camera).Dr. Deborah Rhodes in a blue suit standing in a hospital hallwayIn this Mayo Clinic Minute, reporter Vivien Williams talks to Dr. Deborah Rhodes, a lead researcher in pioneering this tool for tumor detection.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Molecular breast imaging may be used to:

  • Screen for breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue. Molecular breast imaging, when combined with a breast X-ray (mammogram), detects more breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue than a mammogram alone.Typically, if you and your doctor decide you will have molecular breast imaging, it is done every other year along with an annual mammogram.Breast tissue is composed of milk glands, milk ducts and supportive tissue (dense breast tissue), and fatty tissue. Women with dense breasts have more dense breast tissue than fatty tissue. Both dense breast tissue and cancers appear white on a mammogram, which may make breast cancer more difficult to detect in a woman with dense breasts. Studies show combining molecular breast imaging and a mammogram results in finding 3 times more breast cancers than a mammogram alone.Although molecular breast imaging isn't approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for breast cancer screening, there is evidence of its benefits in detecting cancers in women with dense breasts.
  • Investigate breast abnormalities. Molecular breast imaging may help doctors evaluate a breast lump or an unusual area detected on a mammogram. Your doctor may recommend molecular breast imaging if other imaging tests have been inconclusive. Molecular breast imaging may be used in women for whom an MRI is recommended, but can't be performed, such as those with allergies to the contrast material.

Related Mayo Clinic News Network posts:

Cost-effective addition to mammography in detecting cancer in dense breast tissue

Mayo Clinic Q & A: In addition to mammogram, MBI useful for women with dense breasts

Breast Exam Nearly Quadruples Detection of Invasive Breast Cancers in Women with Dense Breast TissueWomen's Wellness logo

Login here to comment.
danasparks

5 days ago by @danasparks · View  

Infographic: Living Kidney Donation

infographic for living kidney donation

Learn more about living kidney donation.
Other health tip infographics:
mayohealthhighlights.startribune.com 

Login here to comment.
danasparks

6 days ago by @danasparks · View  

In the Loop: 'Blessing Bags' to Show Patients They're Not Alone

gift bag supplies on a tableJust before Thanksgiving last year, Anthony and Kari Lindsay were wondering if they'd ever have anything to be thankful for again. Earlier that fall, Anthony had noticed a strange bump on the roof of his mouth. "I asked my dentist about it and he wasn't really sure what was going on," Anthony tells us. "He did some X-rays, but we really couldn't figure it out."

A biopsy later confirmed what the couple had come to fear: Anthony had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. "At that point, you don't know whether it's only in the mouth or if it's spread," Kari says. She then pauses to look down at their soon-to-be two-year-old son, Nathan. "And then, of course, you start thinking, 'Is he going to be around to see our little guy grow up?'" Kari continues. "That was our – my – first concern." Read the rest of their story.
___________________________________________________
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Sun, Nov 27 at 3:57pm EST by @danasparks · View  

Sharing Mayo Clinic: From sharing a workplace to sharing a kidney

kidney transplant patientsWhen Dawn Odenthal sat down for a meeting with her colleague Jolinda Conzemius in June 2014, organ donation was nowhere on her radar. The two women knew one another through their work at a company that specializes in school photography, yearbooks, church directories and other forms of memory preservation. Dawn is a regional sales director, and Jolinda is a photographer. They were meeting to talk about a project they had been assigned to work on together.

By the time they got up from the table that afternoon, however, they had started a process that would culminate in Dawn donating one of her kidneys to Jolinda for a life-altering kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic. “I absolutely wanted to do this for her,” says Dawn. “There wasn’t a question in my mind.”
Read the rest of their story.
____________________________________________
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Fri, Nov 25 at 6:00am EST by @danasparks · View  

Home Remedies: Gas, belching and bloating

a man in a white t-shirt pressing on his stomach like he's in pain

Bloating, burping and passing gas are natural and are usually caused by swallowed air or the breakdown of food through digestion. You may experience gas and gas pains only occasionally or repeatedly in a single day. When gas and gas pains interfere with your daily activities, there may be something wrong. Find out how to reduce or avoid gas and gas pains, and when you may need to see your doctor.

Bloating: Gas buildup in your stomach and intestines

When gas doesn't pass through belching or flatulence, it can build up in the stomach and intestines and lead to bloating. With bloating, you may also have abdominal pain that can vary from mild and dull to sharp and intense. Passing gas or having a bowel movement may relieve the pain.

Bloating may be related to:

  • Eating fatty foods, which can delay stomach emptying and make you feel uncomfortably full
  • Drinking carbonated beverages or eating gassy foods
  • Eating too quickly, drinking through a straw, chewing gum or sucking on candies, resulting in swallowing air
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Smoking
  • A gastrointestinal infection, blockage or disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome, a condition characterized by abdominal pain or cramping and changes in bowel function
  • Conditions such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance in which the intestines aren't able to digest and absorb certain components of food

To reduce bloating, it may help to avoid or reduce the amount of gas-producing foods you eat. Many carbohydrates cause gas, and the following items are common culprits:

  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Cauliflower
  • Chewing gum
  • Fruits, such as apples, peaches and pears
  • Hard candy
  • Lettuce
  • Milk and milk products
  • Onions
  • Sugar alcohols found in sugar-free foods (sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol)
  • Whole-grain foods

Belching: Getting rid of excess air

Belching or burping is your body's way of expelling excess air from your stomach. It's a normal reflex caused by swallowing air. You may swallow excess air if you eat or drink too fast, talk while you eat, chew gum or suck on hard candies, drink carbonated beverages, or smoke.

Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can have the same effect. If stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, you may swallow repeatedly to clear the material. This can lead to swallowing more air and further belching.

Some people swallow air as a nervous habit — even when they're not eating or drinking. In other cases, chronic belching may be related to inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis) or to an infection with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for some stomach ulcers.

You can reduce belching if you:

  • Eat and drink slowly. Taking your time can help you swallow less air.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks and beer. They release carbon dioxide gas.
  • Skip the gum and hard candy. When you chew gum or suck on hard candy, you swallow more often than normal. Part of what you're swallowing is air.
  • Don't smoke. When you inhale smoke, you also inhale and swallow air.
  • Check your dentures. Poorly fitting dentures can cause you to swallow excess air when you eat and drink.
  • Treat heartburn. For occasional, mild heartburn, over-the-counter antacids or other remedies may be helpful. GERD may require prescription-strength medication or other treatments.

Bloating, belching and intestinal gas: How to avoid them

Bloating, belching, gas and gas pains can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Here's what causes these signs and symptoms — and how you can prevent them.

Making lifestyle changes may help reduce or relieve excess gas and gas pain:

  • Try smaller portions. Many of the foods that can cause gas are part of a healthy diet. So, try eating smaller portions of problem foods to see if your body can handle a smaller portion without creating excess gas.
  • Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and don't gulp. If you have a hard time slowing down, put down your fork between each bite.
  • Avoid chewing gum, sucking on hard candies and drinking through a straw. These activities can cause you to swallow more air.
  • Check your dentures. Poorly fitting dentures can cause you to swallow excess air when you eat and drink.
  • Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking can increase the amount of air you swallow.
  • Exercise. Physical activity may help move gas through the digestive tract.
If the odor from passing gas concerns you, limiting foods high in sulfur-containing compounds — such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts or other cruciferous vegetables, beer, and foods high in protein — may reduce distinctive odors. Pads, underwear and cushions containing charcoal also may help absorb unpleasant odors from passing gas.

The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies provides answers you need to take care of common health problems on your own. This reference covers 120 of today’s common health problems in an easy-to-follow, A-to-Z format. Learn what you can do for yourself and when to seek medical attention.

book cover of Home Remedies

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Thu, Nov 24 at 2:00pm EST by @danasparks · View  

Something to Think About: The comparison trap

a young boy with a graduation cap sitting in front of a global map

Dr. Amit Sood says, "Avoid the comparison trap."

Dear friend,

I want to feel good about myself. But I do a poor job at it. Ideally I should be happy about the good within me and admire the good in others. I do just the opposite.

When I see good in others, instead of admiring it, I experience low self-esteem and envy; when I think I am good, instead of being grateful, I become haughty and inflated.

Even worse, I am highly skilled at zeroing in on the not so good in others. I judge others in domains where I am the strongest (and they are the weakest). I judge myself in domains where I am the weakest (and they are the strongest). Both these comparisons make me miserable and depressed. I am caught in the comparison trap.

I compare because I want to know where I stand. I compare because I lack confidence. I compare because my earliest haunting memories are of being compared to a distant cousin who always scored 100 percent in math, never lost a pencil, never drank soda, and started flossing at the age of nine.

Comparison isn’t inherently bad. Comparison helps you weigh options, separate wrong from right, and pick from among a number of choices. Comparison that inspires and admires can be a powerful force. My comparisons, however, are biased to see the imperfections.

The reality is that most people are strong in different ways. Society values particular strengths based on its present needs. If someone isn’t highly valued today, it may be because his or her domains of strength are not aligned with the present societal needs. That doesn’t change his or her intrinsic value.

I should recognize my weaknesses and soften my negative judgments about others. I should value others’ intrinsic values, such as kindness, caring, sense of humor, presence, and creativity, instead of comparing myself with their success, looks, or net worth. When I do compare, I should take pride in others’ strengths and my own. I should actively seek what is right and excellent. No athlete has ever won gold medals in both the hundred-meter sprint and wrestling at the same event. I should default to admiring and being inspired.

As for my near-perfect cousin who contributed to my childhood misery—I have come to know that someone was inflating his accomplishments. However, if I had known this fact at that time, I wouldn’t have pushed harder to match up with him, and I would be selling tomatoes at a street corner today. I am grateful to him, and I should remember to be grateful (instead of envious) to everyone whose excellence inspires me today.

May you be accepted and admired for who you are; may you accept and admire others for who they are.

Take care.
Amit
Dr. Sood 2

Read previous blog posts and follow @AmitSoodMD on Twitter.

Dr. Sood is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program on Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in Minnesota. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.
Login here to comment.
danasparks

Thu, Nov 24 at 11:00am EST by @danasparks · View  

Making Mayo's Recipes: House ranch dressing

making-mayo-recipes-house-ranch-dressing-16-x-9

Need a last minute dressing for the Thanksgiving table? Guests at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program can't get enough of the house ranch dressing, made from fat-free plain Greek yogurt. You can whisk ingredients together in a large bowl if you don't have a food processor.

Each Thursday one of the 100+ tasty video recipes from the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program is featured on the Mayo Clinic News Network, just in time for you to try at the weekend. You can also have the recipes delivered via the Mayo Clinic App.

Journalists: The broadcast-quality video (:45) is in the downloads.

Created by the executive wellness chef and registered dietitians at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. Find more recipes and other healthy-living insights on the Mayo Clinic App

Ingredients

  1. 2 cups plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  2. 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  3. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  4. 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  5. 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  6. 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and process until ingredients are evenly dispersed. Pause the food processor and scrape sides as needed. Serve immediately or store in a plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Wed, Nov 23 at 2:30pm EST by @danasparks · View  

Women's Wellness: Facts about menopause

an African-American woman holding her head in her hands looking tired, worried or maybe with a headache

Menopause is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period and marks the end of menstrual cycles. It can happen in your 40s or 50s and is a natural biological process. Although menopause also ends fertility, you can stay healthy, vital and sexual. Some women feel relieved because they no longer need to worry about pregnancy. Even so, the physical symptoms, such as hot flashes, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or — for some women — trigger anxiety or feelings of sadness and loss.

Mayo Clinic experts say, although symptoms vary, there are three facts about menopause every woman should know. In this Mayo Clinic Minute, reporter Vivien Williams talks to Dr. Stephanie Faubion, director of Mayo Clinic's Women's Health Clinic, about menopause.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists:

Symptoms

In the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you might experience these signs and symptoms:

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Loss of breast fullness
It's possible, but very unusual, to menstruate every month right up to your last period. More likely, you'll experience some irregularity in your periods.

Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Often, menstrual periods will occur every two to four months during perimenopause, especially one to two years before menopause. Despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you've skipped a period but aren't sure you've started the menopausal transition, you may want to determine whether you're pregnant.

When to see a doctor

Starting at perimenopause, schedule regular visits with your doctor for preventive health care and any medical concerns. Continue getting these appointments during and after menopause.

Preventive health care can include recommended screenings at menopause, such as a colonoscopy, mammography, lipid screening, thyroid testing if suggested by your history, and breast and pelvic exams.

Always seek medical advice if you have bleeding from your vagina after menopause.

Women's Wellness logo

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Wed, Nov 23 at 12:00pm EST by @danasparks · View  

Taking the turkey from store to table

turkey in a roasting pot with a thermometer
Former Mayo Clinic chef Richard Johnson shares his expertise and demonstrates how to take a turkey from the grocery store to the table, including how to properly select, thaw, prepare, roast and serve a turkey. These tips could be helpful this holiday weekend.

Journalists: All tip segments are broadcast-quality video clips in the downloads.

 

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Tue, Nov 22 at 5:30pm EST by @danasparks · View  

In the Loop: Caring Canines is ‘love at first sight’ for patients

Caring Canines dog with patient petting her
After a career as a physician in Minneapolis, Denise Krivach, M.D., was looking forward to spending her retirement years in the solitude of the Montana backcountry. As the Star Tribune reports, however, those plans abruptly changed when she woke up one day to find her body "non-functional." Local doctors initially diagnosed her with early onset dementia, but the Strib reports the former physician "rejected" that diagnosis and came to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion.

"After months of testing" at Mayo's Rochester campus, Denise's doubts about her diagnosis were confirmed. Doctors told her she did not have dementia but instead was suffering from autoimmune encephalitis — a diagnosis that, in short, meant "her immune system was attacking her brain," the newspaper reports. Read the rest of the story.
___________________________________________________
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Tue, Nov 22 at 4:06pm EST by @danasparks · View  

Saving Lives With Gus: Incarcerated Hernia

doctor and medical staff with Gus on hospital bed treating him for a 'hernia'

An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. The resulting bulge can be painful, especially when you cough, bend over or lift a heavy object. An inguinal hernia isn't necessarily dangerous. It doesn't improve on its own, however, and can lead to life-threatening complications.

If you aren't able to push the hernia back in, the contents of the hernia can be trapped (incarcerated) in the abdominal wall. An incarcerated hernia can become strangulated, which cuts off the blood flow to the tissue that's trapped. A strangulated hernia can be life-threatening if it isn't treated.

This Saving Lives with Gus video is designed to educate, entertain and deliver life-saving tips with high-tech mannequins. 

Journalists: The broadcast-quality video pkg. (3:25) is in the downloads.

Signs and symptoms of a strangulated hernia include:

  • Nausea, vomiting or both
  • Fever
  • Sudden pain that quickly intensifies
  • A hernia bulge that turns red, purple or dark
  • Inability to move your bowels or pass gas

If any of these signs or symptoms occurs, call your doctor right away.

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Tue, Nov 22 at 2:30pm EST by @danasparks · View  

Discovery's Edge: Storytelling on research discoveries at Mayo Clinic

Discovery's Edge displayed on digital devicesAre you a journalist looking for story ideas, contacts, expert interviews? Check out research news on Discovery's Edge.

Healing open wounds with regenerative medicine
Imagine a condition bad enough to eat a hole through your body that cannot be surgically repaired. That’s how bad Crohn’s disease can be. Now, a team of Mayo Clinic researchers has found a way to repair that hole using a person’s own stem cells.

Jimmy Carter is not alone: Immunotherapy is helping cure cancer patients
Immunotherapy treatments are proving successful for thousands of patients suffering from melanoma and other cancers. Where did this “new” therapy stem from? In part from early research at Mayo Clinic that is only now starting to make a huge difference.

Last–moment, lifesaving technology: Aortic aneurysms
The aneurysm could burst at any time. The patient was told to settle his affairs, that nothing could be done.  Then, a second chance: a research procedure, an experimental stent and a willingness to try everything possible.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

Finding answers for bipolar disorder from a biobank
After years of trial-and-error medication, patients with bipolar disorder are being treated with drugs that are more likely to match their genetic makeup. In turn, genetic research findings based on biobanked samples are helping psychiatrists link genes to conditions to find better therapies.

Mayo’s education dean wants you to know this isn’t your father’s medical school
The waterfront is changing when it comes to medical education, graduate school and residency programs. Mayo’s new dean of education is also a researcher, and his plans reflect a strong exposure to medical science at all levels.

Video: Regenerative medicine is permeating medical specialties
This video shows how Mayo’s regenerative medicine scientists are translating stem cell techniques and discoveries into applications that are helping patients  now. Not science fiction, not science, but medicine.

Republication with permission.

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Sun, Nov 20 at 10:00am EST by @danasparks · View  

Sharing Mayo Clinic: “Never Stop Fighting. Never Give Up”

patient Stacy with her family
Stacy Neumayer was a teenager when she received her first kidney transplant. Her health problems began when she was 4 years old. Over time, Stacy developed a condition called glomerulonerphritis, which causes inflammation in the tiny pockets of the kidneys that help remove excess fluid, electrolytes and waste from the bloodstream.

The illness affected Stacy’s kidney function, and she was put on dialysis until a donor kidney became available.

“Eventually my body and my kidneys started shutting down, so I went on dialysis until I had my first transplant,” Stacy says. “Unfortunately, my body rejected the donor organ before I even left the hospital, so it was back to dialysis.” Read the rest of Stacy's story.
_______________________________________
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Fri, Nov 18 at 11:30am EST by @danasparks · View  

Home Remedies: What to do with warts

close up of a hand with warts

Common warts are small, grainy skin growths that occur most often on your fingers or hands. Rough to the touch, common warts also often feature a pattern of tiny black dots — sometimes called seeds — which are small, clotted blood vessels.

Common warts are caused by a virus and are transmitted by touch. Children and young adults are more likely to develop common warts, as are people who have weakened immune systems. Common warts usually disappear on their own, but many people choose to remove them because they find them bothersome or embarrassing.

Home treatment is often effective in removing common warts. Many people have removed warts with:

  • Peeling medicine (salicylic acid). Nonprescription wart removal products such as salicylic acid are available as a patch or a liquid. For common warts, look for a 17 percent salicylic acid solution or a 15 percent patch. These products require daily use, often for a few weeks. For best results, soak your wart in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes before applying the medication. File away any dead skin with a disposable emery board or a pumice stone between treatments.
  • Freezing. Some liquid nitrogen products are available in nonprescription liquid or spray form (Compound W Freeze Off, Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away, others). The Food and Drug Administration cautions that some wart removers are flammable and shouldn't be used around fire, flame, heat sources (such as curling irons) and lit cigarettes.
  • Duct tape. Cover the wart with silver duct tape for six days. Then soak it in water and gently remove dead tissue with a pumice stone or disposable emery board. Leave the wart exposed for about 12 hours, and then repeat the process until the wart is gone.Study results have been mixed on the effectiveness of duct tape in removing warts, either alone or with other therapies.

Alternative medicine

The following alternative treatments have worked for some people, but no evidence shows they're any better than salicylic acid and cryotherapy:

  • Zinc. This is available as an ointment you apply to the wart or as a pill. The oral form may be particularly effective in people with a zinc deficiency.
  • Silver nitrate. This is available as a solution or ointment you apply to the wart.
  • Smoke. Some people showed benefit from treating their wart in a "smoke box" with smoke from burnt leaves of a type of poplar tree called Populus euphratica.

The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies provides answers you need to take care of common health problems on your own. This reference covers 120 of today’s common health problems in an easy-to-follow, A-to-Z format. Learn what you can do for yourself and when to seek medical attention.

book cover of Home Remedies

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Thu, Nov 17 at 4:30pm EST by @danasparks · View  

Something to Think About: Bless the sneeze

a woman getting ready to sneeze and covering her nose with a tissue
Dr. Amit Sood says, "Sprinkle deeper values in routine daily activities."

Dear friend,

The sneeze is a useful reflex to rid your nose of irritants. Coordinated by a sneezing center in the lower part of the brain (also called the brainstem), sneezing involves elevation of the tongue and lowering of the palate, thus causing partial closure of the mouth, along with rapid expulsion of air from the nose and the mouth. The expelled air can reach speeds of thirty to forty miles per hour (or more).

Unlike coughs, sneezes have a lot of associated myths. In India, sneezing is considered inauspicious if it occurs when one is starting a new venture or when someone is leaving the house. I also grew up learning that you sneeze when you are in someone’s thoughts—the louder the sneeze, the more intense the remembrance. In ancient Greece, a sneeze was considered a prophetic sign from the Gods, of something good materializing.

Another myth associated with sneezing prompts us to say, “Bless you.” This practice originated from the belief that during a sneeze one is vulnerable to evil spirits entering, or that blessing the person might prevent him or her from developing the flu, the plague, or sudden death. No matter the beliefs, I like the idea of connecting a routine occurrence with a nice thought or saying.

So, like most of you, I bless when people sneeze. I was thinking the other day, “Why don’t I bless when people yawn or cough?” Perhaps I have picked a social norm and haven’t creatively expanded it. If I could bless people on yawns and coughs, I might double my bless yous every day and start seeing others’ yawns as motivators to send good wishes rather than signals that I am boring.

Expanding further, I need to connect my daily life with thoughtful practices that remind me of our sacredness. When washing hands, I could see a blessing in flowing water. Anywhere I sit, I could imagine I am within a sacred abode.

I can choose to see people with the same grace. I can imagine a two-year-old behind a sixty-year-old face. One of the children in my neighborhood will grow up to be a police officer, a nurse, a plumber, an electrical engineer, or a mail carrier. They all serve an important purpose, and I should look at each child and remember his or her phenomenal potential. I can carry this thought to the inanimate—I can choose to be awed by the uniqueness of each orange, see a sage in a tree, a selfless gift of nature in an apple, and the purity in each drop of water.

Once I start the habit of looking deeper, I might start seeing a taxi as a source of livelihood for a family of four and a telemarketer as someone who has to endure countless slurs. Thinking deeper might also help change my language. How about feeding two birds with a single grain rather than killing two birds with a stone, or calling a deadline an opportunity line?

Commit to connecting an ordinary event in your life with something profound.

May the ordinary daily events of life remind you of the profound truths you came here to learn.

Take care.
Amit

Dr. Sood 2

Read previous blog posts and follow @AmitSoodMD on Twitter.

Dr. Sood is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program on Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in Minnesota. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.
Login here to comment.
danasparks

Thu, Nov 17 at 2:30pm EST by @danasparks · View  

Making Mayo's Recipes: Roasted Cornish hen

making-mayo-recipes-cornish-hen-1-16-x-9

This is an alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving! See how to make roasted Cornish hen, stuffed with orange slices, garlic and fresh herbs.

Chef's note: The hen will continue to cook while it's resting, so pull it out of the oven before it reaches your desired doneness. This is called carry-over cooking. If you don't plan for carry-over cooking, your hen may be perfectly cooked when you remove it from the oven, but then overcook and dry out while it's resting.

Each Thursday one of the 100+ tasty video recipes from the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program is featured on the Mayo Clinic News Network, just in time for you to try at the weekend. You can also have the recipes delivered via the Mayo Clinic App.

Journalists: The broadcast-quality video (1:10) is in the downloads.

Created by the executive wellness chef and registered dietitians at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. Find more recipes and other healthy-living insights on the Mayo Clinic App

Ingredients

  1. 2 pounds Cornish hen
  2. 1 orange, thinly sliced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  4. 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  5. 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  6. 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Heat oven to 375 F. Place the hen in a baking dish that is 2 inches deep. Stuff hen with orange slices, half the garlic and half the herbs. Gently slide the remaining garlic, herbs, salt and pepper underneath the skin around both sides of the hen.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160 F. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and allow the hen to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. It will continue to cook as it rests so the internal temperature reaches 165 F. To serve, cut the hen in half, remove the skin, and then cut into quarters.

Login here to comment.
danasparks

Wed, Nov 16 at 3:30pm EST by @danasparks · View  

Women's Wellness: Vaginal yeast infections

a young woman talking seriously with counselor or medical personnel
A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva — the tissues at the vaginal opening. It's a type of vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina. Vaginal yeast infection (also called vaginal candidiasis) affects up to 3 out of 4 women at some point in their lifetimes. Many women experience at least two episodes.

Although a vaginal yeast infection isn't considered a sexually transmitted infection, you can spread the fungus through mouth to genital contact. Medications can effectively treat vaginal yeast infections. If you have recurrent yeast infections — four or more within a year — you may need a longer treatment course and a maintenance plan.

medical illustration of vaginal yeast infection vulvovaginal-candidiasis

Symptoms

Yeast infection symptoms can range from mild to moderate and include:

  • Itching and irritation in the vagina and the tissues at the vaginal opening (vulva)
  • A burning sensation, especially during intercourse or while urinating
  • Redness and swelling of the vulva
  • Vaginal pain and soreness
  • Vaginal rash
  • Watery vaginal discharge
  • Thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese appearance

Complicated yeast infection

You might have a complicated yeast infection if:

  • You have severe symptoms, such as extensive redness, swelling and itching that leads to tears or cracks (fissures) or sores
  • You have four or more yeast infections in a year
  • Your infection is caused by a type of candida other than Candida albicans
  • You're pregnant
  • You have uncontrolled diabetes
  • Your immune system is weakened because of certain medications or conditions such as HIV infection

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • This is the first time you've had yeast infection symptoms
  • You're not sure whether you have a yeast infection
  • Your symptoms don't disappear after treating with over-the-counter antifungal vaginal creams or suppositories
  • You develop other symptoms

Read more about: Treatments and diagnosis

Women's Wellness logo

 

 

Login here to comment.
Loading information...