PAMF Health Blog

Be Well, Be Well Informed

Tips for a Safe and Healthy Holiday


Holiday decorations, twinkly lights, special foods, gifts and family get-togethers. The holidays can be a magical time of year for children, but all that excitement and fun can sometimes result in accidents and health hazards. Follow these precautionary tips from Karin K. Wertz, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation to ensure that everyone in your family enjoys a safe and healthy holiday season. Read More

The Gift of Mindfulness

Woman breathing deeply

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the holidays, give yourself the gift of mindfulness.

“Mindfulness invites you to notice when you’re being pulled into past regrets or future worries and return to where you actually are, in the present moment,” says Janetti Marotta, Ph.D., a psychologist who teaches mindfulness classes  at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the author of the book 50 Mindful Steps to Self-Esteem.”

“How often do we miss out on this special time of year because we’re daydreaming, obsessing, judging or worrying. Being aware of the present moment that mindfulness cultivates, shifts your focus from what’s wrong to what’s not wrong – one of the many “presents” of mindfulness.”

Marotta offers these five tips to give yourself the gift of mindfulness during the holiday season and beyond: Read More

Safe Sleep for Babies


Sleep is an important part of your baby’s development, and good sleep habits can be a blessing for both babies and parents alike. It is also important to know how to create safe sleep for babies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. Stephanie C. Chiang, M.D., MPH, a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, offers the following simple tips for ensuring safe sleep for babies.  Read More

Vitamin D Deficiency: What to Know


Are you fully protecting your bones? If you’re not getting enough vitamin D, you’re not – no matter how much calcium you or your kids get from milk, cheese or yogurt.

Sayali Ranadive, M.D., a specialist in pediatric endocrinology at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, explains the important role vitamin D plays in our health, and why many Americans — both adults and children — suffer vitamin D deficiency, but don’t know it.

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How to Prevent ACL Tears in Teens


ACL tears happen suddenly, almost without fail, each high school sports season. A teenager jumps or pivots fast to get the ball. The teen may feel a pop in the knee, but usually can walk off the field. Within 24 to 48 hours the teen’s knee is severely swollen.

And if your teenage athlete is a girl, her risk of tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is four to six times greater than a boy’s. Why? “That’s the hot question right now,” says Sally Harris, M.D., a pediatric sports medicine doctor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. At first, researchers thought hormones and girls’ body structure increased their risk. But studies now indicate those are minor points. More likely, Dr. Harris says, girls are at greater risk for ACL tears because of two factors, both preventable:

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Prostate Cancer Screening: Is the PSA Test for You?


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (after skin cancer). Although it is a serious disease, it can often be treated successfully. More than 2 million men in the United States are prostate cancer survivors, according to the American Cancer Society.

Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men. About 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 66.

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2014 are: Read More

Flu Facts and Fiction


Each year 5 to 20 percent of Americans get the flu (influenza) and more than 200,000 end up in hospital due to flu complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To stay healthy, the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receives a flu vaccine. However, when it comes to the flu, several myths and tales persist. Test your flu facts and fiction knowledge with this quiz from the CDC. Read More