- By Laurel Kelly
Consumer Health: Understanding sickle cell anemia
What is sickle cell anemia?
September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, which makes it a good time learn more about the facts and signs of sickle cell anemia. It's an inherited form of anemia — a condition in which there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body. For most people, there's no cure, but treatments can relieve pain and help prevent problems associated with the disease. What do you know about sickle cell anemia?
Also in today's tips ...
Video: 'Alzheimer's 101'
Research shows that a combination of genetics and environmental factors play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Research also shows that a heart-healthy diet, as well as engaging in regular physical, intellectual and social activities, may reduce that risk. Watch this video and learn more from Dr. Ronald Petersen, a Mayo Clinic neurologist and director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Research Center.
Axona: Medical food to treat Alzheimer's
Axona is a prescription dietary supplement that claims to target the nutritional needs of people with Alzheimer's disease. It's marketed as a medical food, which means it's specially formulated and produced to help manage a condition that causes nutritional deficiencies. According to the Food and Drug Administration, however, Alzheimer's disease doesn't create nutritional needs that require a medical food. Learn more from Dr. Jonathan Graff-Radford, a Mayo Clinic neurologist.
Baby sign language
Baby sign language — when babies use modified gestures from American Sign Language — can be an effective communication tool. Limited research suggests that it might give a typically developing child a way to communicate several months earlier than those who use only vocal communication. Teaching and practicing baby sign language also can be fun, and give you and your child an opportunity to bond. Learn more from Dr. Jay Hoecker, an emeritus Mayo Clinic pediatrician.
Breakfast and weight control
Some research suggests that regularly eating a healthy breakfast may help you lose excess weight and maintain your weight loss. Other research suggests that skipping breakfast may not be bad for you and may help with weight control. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.