A diagnosis of prediabetes means that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal – putting you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The good news is there are simple things you can do to decrease that risk.
“The key is to make small, simple changes – but make them permanent,” says Dr. Mehta. “Incorporate change that is sustainable in your everyday life so that you can live an improved, healthier lifestyle and not go back to your old ways.”
Heart disease is the leading killer for both men and women in the United States. For years, doctors have monitored patients’ heart health through cholesterol levels, assessed through a simple blood test. They usually prescribed statins (a medication to lower cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk) when “bad” LDL cholesterol levels were higher than 160 mg/dL.
The new guidelines call for doctors to use an online cardiovascular risk calculator, which includes factors such as race, gender, age and heart disease risk factors beyond cholesterol numbers. The guidelines list four groups of people who would benefit from taking statins to prevent a heart attack or stroke. These are: Read More about New Guidelines for Preventing Heart Attacks – What They Mean for You
Our brains are hardwired to pay attention to the negative, and for good reason. Our ancestors who were alert, watchful and worried, survived. Those who weren’t got eaten. But today our DNA’s disposition puts us into a state of unnecessary chronic stress – stress that raises our blood pressure, causes anxiety or depression, and hurts our health in many ways.
“To survive better in our 21st century lives, it’s important to learn to react less automatically and negatively to the stresses that bombard us. We can do this by practicing skills that increase our capacity for appreciation, and for calming our bodies and minds,” says Renée Burgard, LCSW, a psychotherapist who teaches mindfulness and stress reduction classes at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and at Silicon Valley companies such as Google and Apple.
Every year 5 to 20 percent of Americans get the flu, and more than 200,000 end up in hospital due to flu complications, according to the U.S. 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.
“The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu is to get vaccinated each year,” says Charles Weiss, M.D., MPH, head of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Flu and Infectious Diseases Committees. “Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and pass it on to others.”
Pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with certain chronic medical conditions are particularly at risk, he says. “If you are in one of these groups, getting a flu vaccination is even more critical.”
At PAMF, we’re offering several ways to get the flu vaccine:
- Weekend Flu Express clinics on September 29 and October 27 at many locations
- Weekday drop-in clinics at selected locations, beginning October 1
- In your doctor’s office, at scheduled appointments for other reasons
Visit PAMF’s 2013 flu website for our vaccine clinic schedule and to learn more about this flu season and how to stay healthy.
Like many of us, you probably wait to find a doctor until you’re sick. But being proactive before you need a doctor can make a big difference in your health. So it’s worth taking the time to find the right doctor for you.
“A primary care doctor is the person you can always turn to if you have any concerns about your health,” says Kenneth S. Lin, M.D., internist and pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “He or she will help you coordinate any care you may need.”
To find a doctor who meets your needs, follow these tips from Dr. Lin. Read More about Find the Right Doctor
Your brain weighs about 3 pounds and comprises 2 percent of your body weight. Despite its relatively small size, it uses up to 25 percent of your daily oxygen and glucose stores – high energy demands compared to the rest of your body. The most energy-hungry part of your brain is the prefrontal cortex, the region just behind your forehead that helps you plan, organize and execute.
If you think of energy as a battery, many of us drain our brain power, in particular the prefrontal cortex, before half our day is over. When your rational prefrontal cortex is tapped out and your primitive brain structures take over, you become emotional, irritable and less able to deal with problems.
Fortunately, you can optimize your brain function so you’re more creative and productive at work and more patient and understanding at home. You just need to identify which of your daily activities drain more brain battery power and then plan your day accordingly. Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s internal medicine specialist Ronesh Sinha, M.D., offers five sure ways to recharge your brain.