A high fever, aches all over, a severe cough and sore throat – these are some of the uncomfortable symptoms of the flu that may last for days. The flu can make you feel miserable, but that’s not all. Highly contagious, the flu can lead to pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, dehydration, hospitalization and even death. It’s particularly dangerous to babies, young children, pregnant women and the elderly, as well as people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.
Nobody wants to get the flu – so how can you protect yourself and your family?
“The single best thing you can do to prevent getting the flu is to get vaccinated every year,” says Charles Weiss, M.D., MPH, chair of PAMF’s Infectious Diseases Committee. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccination.” Read More about Get Vaccinated for Best Flu Protection
Feeling sad on occasion is a normal part of life, but how do you know when a blue mood has crossed into depression?
“Depression is a very common condition, especially in women,” Kimberly Jong, M.D., a Palo Alto Medical Foundation internal medicine physician, says. “One in five women will have depression at some point in their lives.”
Symptoms of depression include low mood, sleep deficit or excessive sleep, lethargy and fatigue, loss of interest in usual activities, inability to concentrate and feelings of worthlessness or guilt. The key to knowing the difference between the normal ups and downs of life and clinical depression is persistence of symptoms. The technical diagnosis for depression is when symptoms last longer than two weeks. Read More about Is It Depression or Just the Blues?
Although there may not be a fountain of youth, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your chances for a long, healthy life.
Despite its prevalence in our society, heart disease myths persist. One of the biggest heart disease myths is that it strikes only men and older adults. In fact, heart disease is also the No. 1 killer of women and it’s more deadly for women than all kinds of cancer combined.
Yet, “it’s been drilled into our culture that heart disease is a male disease,” Tania Nanevicz, M.D., a cardiologist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation says. “So women themselves don’t always recognize what’s happening.”
Complementary medicine is used together with mainstream medical care. An example, according to the National Institutes of Health, is using acupuncture to help with side effects of cancer treatment. When health care providers and facilities offer both types of care, it is called integrative medicine.
Complementary medicine is growing in the U.S. Americans spend about $34 billion annually on treatments such as acupuncture and herbal supplements, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. Read More about Complementary Medicine: Is It for You?
Probiotics are touted as a way to ensure good health – but what are they and should you be taking them? Probiotics are tiny living bacteria and yeasts that are found naturally in your body, mainly in your digestive system. Our bodies contain trillions of “good” or “helpful” and sometimes “bad” or “harmful” bacteria. Probiotics are considered the good guys and can help you stay healthy.
“Probiotics are particularly important for maintaining normal bowel function, good digestive and oral health and keeping the immune system strong,” says Bruce Eisendorf, M.D., a Palo Alto Medical Foundation family medicine doctor. Read More about Probiotics: Can They Improve Health?