PAMF Health Blog

Be Well, Be Well Informed

The Benefits of Exercise for Kids


Kids need to move. From school-age up through young adulthood, kids should get at least 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Unfortunately, most kids aren’t getting the recommended amount of daily exercise. The result? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Here are some tips and information from Mona Luke-Zeitoun, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, to help make physical activity a regular part of your child’s life for optimal good health.

Why is exercise important? Read More

Teaching Your Child Resilience


Although parents naturally to want to protect their children from the ups and downs of life, it’s not always possible, especially as kids get older. Accordingly, one of the most important things you can do is to help your child develop the resilience, confidence and skills they need to handle problems and setbacks successfully. In this blog post, Manisha Panchal, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, answers these common questions and offers tips to help parents teach their kids how to stay healthy and balanced even when the going gets tough. Read More

Reduce Your Risk of Colon Cancer


Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, this is a cancer that  begins in the colon (large intestine) or the rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Most colorectal cancers start as abnormal growths in the lining of the colon or rectum called polyps. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer.

Colorectal cancer is a largely a preventable type of cancer,” says Brennan Scott, M.D., Chair of Gastroenterology at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “We have tests that detect many different types of cancer, but colon cancer can be prevented by doing a screening test to find polyps and removing them before they have a chance to become cancerous.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be avoided by regular screening tests. At PAMF, the odds may be even better. New outcomes studies show that Dr. Scott and his team have surpassed national benchmarks for early tumor detection.

In this blog post, Dr. Scott answers common questions about colorectal cancer and explains how you can reduce your risk. Read More

What to Know About Heart Failure


According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million people in the United States have heart failure and that number is expected to rise to nearly 8 million in 2030. So what is heart failure and how can you avoid it?

“If you have heart failure, it means that your heart is unable to provide the support your body needs to function normally,” says Jared J. Herr, M.D., a cardiologist specializing in heart failure at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “It can’t keep up with pumping blood rich in nutrients and oxygen to all the organs in the body.” Read More

Naps: What’s Right for Your Child?


Nap: these three letters together sound very sweet to most parents. “These daytime shut-eye sessions let your child process the learning and growth he or she is experiencing during the day and provide an important opportunity to rest and recuperate,” says Audrey Hall, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Naps also ensure that your child doesn’t get overtired and cranky, and give parents chance to recharge their batteries, too. To determine your child’s optimal nap schedule, Dr. Hall offers these helpful tips.

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How Mindfulness Can Help at Work

Many of us rush through the day with only a vague awareness of gulping down breakfast, the autopilot commute and the non-stop blur of meetings and projects. The result: stress, burnout, anxiety and depression. But you don’t need to feel powerless. Practicing mindfulness can help.

Mindfulness is about paying attention to what you are experiencing right now with genuine interest and a willingness to accept that experience, says Kaveri S. Patel, D.O., a family medicine doctor at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “The health benefits are many. Studies show that mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety, and provides us with a sense of well-being and the ability to notice the joyful moments in life. It also helps us relate to each other from a kinder place, making work a more positive experience and giving us tools to better cope with challenges.” Read More

The Facts About Puberty


Puberty – it’s a time of many changes for your child. While kids often struggle with the timing of physical changes as compared to their peers, parents may find the emotional changes to be the most challenging. “One minute your child is yearning for independence, the next he or she wants to be close to you. It’s a time of constant rebalancing,” says Robin Drucker, M.D., a pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. In this blog post, Dr. Drucker answers common questions parents have about puberty.  Read More