Did you know that the health of your kidneys affects how the rest of your body functions? The kidneys are crucial to maintaining the stability of your blood, which helps the body function properly. So, what are key reasons that you may need to check your kidneys?
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes and/or heart disease. Chronic disease can have a detrimental affect on the kidneys, so regular blood and urine testing is in the best interest of someone diagnosed with the aforementioned conditions.
If you have a family history of kidney disease and/or failure. This should be a no-brainer, but any person with a history of kidney failure in their family should have their kidneys checked regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.
There are a lot of preventative steps you can take to safeguard the health of your kidneys. Here are some of the most recommended steps:
If regularly prescribed medication by your physician, take only the recommended amount prescribed.
Minimize doses of NSAID’s (Aleve and Ibuprofen) prescriptions such as mobic
(Meloxicam or Codine).
Reduce salt intake back on salt – consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day.
Eat heart-healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods.
Limit your alcohol intake.
Maintain regular physical activity.
If you are overweight, take measures to lose excess weight.
If you are a smoker, quit. Cigarette smoking can worsen existing kidney damage.
If taking over-the-counter medications, do not take more than the recommended dosage.
If consuming supplements and/or adhering to herbal remedies, use caution. Excessive amounts may be harmful to kidney function.
In short the basic rule of thumb to ensure kidney health is: the healthier your body, the better your kidneys will function.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Cancer can be a frightening disease, but if you and your loved ones take simple precautions, you will both reduce your risk of cancer and increase detection of early signs of cancer. Treatment for cancer is most effective when detected early, which means it is important for you to pay attention to changes in your health and body. Recommended changes in behavior are simple, but are most effective when implemented regularly.
What are some of the basic lifestyle changes your can make to reduce your risk of cancer?
Avoid smoking and tobacco use. This is an obvious one, but still important, as smoking and tobacco use result in almost 30 percent of all cancer deaths.
The food we consume influences more than the numbers on our scales, it also affects the likelihood of prostate and colon cancers. High fiber intake especially reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Even if you do not lose weight, regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of colon, prostate, breast, and reproductive cancers.
Limit alcohol intake. If you are a regular drinker, stick to one-to-two drinks per day. Excessive drinking can increase likelihood of mouth, larynx, esophageal, liver, and colon cancers. Women who drink excessively are also more vulnerable to breast cancer.
Regular medical care. In addition to regular screenings with your physician, regular self-examination increases the chances of early discovery and, therefore, introduction of treatment.
Skin protection. Skin cancer may be one of the most common kinds of cancer, but it is also one of the most preventable. Regular use of sunscreen combined with avoidance of tanning beds and/or sunlamps has been proven to reduce the likelihood of skin cancer.
As is true with most areas of individual health, your active participation in cancer prevention is critical. If you see or feel a change in your physical health, do not panic, but do schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Even if it results in being a minor issue, you will be relieved to know that you took the necessary steps to prevent and detect cancer.
Most all of us want to improve our fitness and health in one way or another and the beginning of a new year is a good time to begin a plan to get fit – or, get back on track. It’s a tough task to sift through all the information out there on how to do this and figure the best ways to reach your goals. But if you start with three main areas to attack, your goals won’t be as overwhelming you’ll make progress and then may even be ready to add more objectives to a “Get Fit” plan.
Tip #1: Get a good night’s sleep
It’s possible you may be worn out and not feeling great because you’re not getting enough sleep. For the body to function at its best, the National Sleep Foundation points out adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep per day while children (ages 12-18) need eight to nine hours of sleep. You may not be able to control all the factors that interfere with nighttime rest but if you keep these habits in mind you will be encouraging yourself to have a better sleep:
Stick to a sleep schedule – Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, if possible. Being consistent reinforces the body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don’t go to bed either too full or hungry. Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol can disrupt sleep too so use cautiously!
Create a bedtime ritual and do the same things each night when it’s time to sleep. Relaxing activities like listening to soothing music or reading a book (works for adults and children!) are good choices.
Tip #2: Add more fruits and vegetables to your family’s diet
This one is simple to remember. Just reach for the produce in the grocery store, and if you can’t make it to the produce aisle, frozen fruits and veggies are good options too! Did you know that people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases? Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body. Here are just some of the great benefits you will be providing for your family if you add vegetables and fruits to any meal:
Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Some vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans and tomato products.
Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease.
Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
Tip #3: Try to exercise and incorporate cross training
Some exercise is better than none, so please try incorporate what you can into your daily routine. However, if you are connected to only one exercise routine you could might think you’ve got the physical fitness part of your life figured, but you’re only working certain muscles and probably less fit that you think. Here are a few ideas to mix up your exercise routine:
If running or walking has been your only activity, an idea for better fitness could include strengthening exercises for the pelvis and hips as well as weight workouts to build the upper body.
If you’ve been doing only weight lifting routines, add a cardio workout (walking or running on a treadmill) to your plan.
The good news is cross training doesn’t even require specific exercises. As long as you create variation in your activity, you are cross training!
The most important thing you can do on your way to becoming more fit this year is to just get started by adding a few healthy rituals to your life. These suggestions, approved by your doctor, should get you going and soon they’ll become top priority because you should see progress in becoming more fit in 2017!
‘Tis the season for gift giving for your little ones. Did you know that there are more than 250,000 toy-related injuries in the United States each year—mostly involving children under the age of 5?
If you are among the millions purchasing gifts for children for the holidays, it’s important to make sure that the gifts are both safe and appropriate for the children to whom they will be received.
We know that toys are meant to provide education and fun for children of any age, however, many people too often forget that they can also provide a great deal of danger. Depending on the toy, injuries can happen to the child’s eyes, mouth, throat, neck, ears, arms or legs.
Finding age-appropriate toys at times can be a challenge, especially if the child is asking for a gift that it not yet their part of their age group. But, all labels and instructions should always be followed.
When shopping for gifts this holiday season, please reference these toy safety tips to keep everyone safe:
Buy gifts only meant for their age group
Show the child how to safely use their toy
Never leave a child unattended with toys. Children tend to become curious, which may lead to an unexpected accident.
Always read all warnings and instructions on toys
Don’t be afraid to give family members recommendations for toys that you feel are acceptable for your child.
Do not gift toys with small parts to young children. Younger kids tend to put just about everything in their mouths, so small parts and cords leads to a greater risk for potential harm.
Avoid toys that are cheaply made, because often this leads to them breaking into small pieces.
Inspect all toys before giving them to a child
Keep toys that are intended for older children away from younger children.
With a little research, a little common sense and a lot of supervision, you can make sure that you keep the happy and healthy in your holidays.
Sources: L afcweb.com; babycenter.com; injuryinformation.com
Research shows that Alzheimer’s is a complex neurological disease where brain cells die and causes memory and cognitive loss. The disease, which starts mild and then advances to worse, is known for being the most common form of dementia.
Unfortunately in the United States, more than five million people suffer from the disease and more than 10 million provide care to someone who is suffering.
We complied a list of common symptoms to look for if you believe that a loved one is developing Alzheimer’s:
Are they experiencing memory loss? Often, one of the most common early symptoms of dementia is forgetting recently learned information. Usually the person starts to forget more often and is unable to remember the information later.
Do they have problems with performing familiar tasks? This usually begins to happen with everyday tasks, such as forgetting how to make a telephone call, how to cook a meal, etc.
Are they having difficulty with language? One who is developing Alzheimer’s will begin to forget simple words or substitute words.
Have you noticed them having disorientation to time and place? You will begin to notice big changes, such as them getting lost in their own neighborhood or forgetting where they are and then not knowing how to get home. You may also find them just wandering.
Has their judgment decreased? It’s very important to look for this. Too many times someone who is developing Alzheimer’s will lose their best judgment and end up giving large sums of money away. It is also common for them to begin dressing inappropriately.
Have they began to misplace items? The person may begin to place objects in unusual places, such as their phone in the refrigerator or placing their laundry in the trash.
Do you notice a sudden change in mood behaviors or personality? Someone who is developing Alzheimer’s may begin to experience very noticeable mood swings that are caused by no apparent reason.
Is there a loss of initiative? They may begin to lose interest in their favorite activities or begin to sleep more than usual. It’s important to look for signs of them beginning to become very passive.
If you feel that a loved one is developing these symptoms, please call Dr. Schumacher at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment to discuss treatment options.
Did you know? One out of every four students reports being bullied during the school year.
Research shows that children who are bullied are more likely feel like they are alone, different, powerless and unpopular.
In 2006, PACER National Bullying Prevention Center declared October as National Bullying Prevention Month. The campaign works to unite communities nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention. Throughout the last 10 years, the campaign has involved hundreds of schools and organizations that have signed on as partners. Some of the partners are Disney, CNN, Facebook, Instagram, TLC and Yahoo!.
The campaign helps both parents and kids understand that bullying is never acceptable. Research shows that children who bully do it because they think the bullying will help them be popular, they want to copy their friends or they think they are better than the child they are bullying.
Bullying is no longer just being mean to another child. Today bullying can include:
Leaving kids out on purpose
Yelling at the child
Talking about hurting the child
If you suspect that your child is being bullied, some common signs to look for include:
Experiencing low self-esteem
Having poor grades
Isolating themselves so they have only a few friends
Developing a negative view of school and education
Experiencing physical symptoms, such as feeling sick, headaches, tiredness, etc.
Experiencing mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts
Most kids who are bullied believe the bully is more powerful than they are. Children who are bullied can also have problems later in life, which can include alcohol and drug abuse, dropping out of school and getting into fights.
If you or someone you know is being bullied, call Dr. Schumacher at (614) 299-9909 to discuss options.
Research shows that vaccines have been one of the most effective preventive health interventions ever created. For more than two centuries, humans have been benefitting from immunizations.
We wanted to highlight a few of childhood diseases that are preventable through immunizations. It is recommended for children to be vaccinated for these up through the age of six:
Haemophilus influenzae type b
It is important for children to receive immunizations. This helps their bodies recognize germs as antigens (“foreign invaders”), which signals the body to produce antibodies to fight them. The immune system eventually builds up immunity, meaning if they get infected again, even as an adult, the body remembers the antigen and is able to produce antibodies faster.
Vaccinations can be used to help children build immunity without them getting ill first. Vaccines contain dead or modified viruses that connect cause with the disease but the body recognizes them as the disease. This allows the body to respond quickly and prevent any attacks by that disease.
In addition to children, it is also necessary for all adults to be up-to-date with vaccinations—to ensure that they stay protected from illnesses, such as pneumonia and the flu. It is always safer to prevent illnesses and diseases than to treat it after it occurs. It also helps to protect others who immune memory may have faded from catching the disease.
If you or someone you know needs an appointment for vaccines, or for all back-to-school/sports physicals, please contact Dr. Schumacher by contacting (614) 299-9909.
In the United States, approximately one out of every three children are affected by childhood obesity. As a result, many will still suffer into adulthood, and will have an increased risk of physical and mental health problems, diabetes and certain … Continue reading →
Is foot pain preventing you from enjoying sports and the great outdoors? If you answered yes to that question then your feet are more than likely trying to tell you something. Often times we forget about our feet and we end up missing crucial warning signs that our bodies are trying to communicate with us.
We have complied a list for you to use to check if your feet are happy and healthy:
Not experiencing numbness: Do you ever feel like you can’t feel your feet or that your feet have heavy pin and needles sensation? Often times that is your body’s way of giving you information from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. This may be a sign of peripheral neuropathy, which can have many causes, but two main causes are diabetes and alcohol abuse. It’s always best to see a physician to pinpoint the cause.
Healthy toenails: What’s the shape of your toenails? If they look sunken in with spoon-shaped indentations, it could be a warning sign for anemia, also known as iron deficiency. A physical exam will be necessary to properly diagnose and treat the symptoms.
No extreme foot cramping: If you are experiencing foot cramping quite often, it could mean that your diet isn’t getting enough calcium, magnesium or potassium. Be sure to always pay attention to your diet to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of nutrients.
Healthy skin on the feet: Do you have dry, flaky skin on your feet? You don’t have to be an athlete to get Athlete’s Foot, which is a fungal infection that starts with dry and itchy skin. It can be treated with frequent bathing of the feet, drying them thoroughly and using foot powder in shoes and socks. But, best to seek a professional if the symptoms worsen or lasts longer than two weeks.
Moderate pain: Of course everyone has those days that are hard on the feet. But if you are constantly experiencing foot pain, it could be a sign of a decrease in optimum bone density or a malnutrition, anorexia or a an issue with absorbing calcium. It’s best to see a doctor if the pain exists longer than two or three days.
No heel pain: If you are experiencing heel pain, it may be a sign of plantar fasciiitis, which is an inflammation that is an abnormal strain in the tissue beyond its normal extension. The pain could start in the morning and progress as the day wears on. Seek treatment if the pain persists more than a few weeks.
Taking care of your feet is just as important as taking care of your skin, heart and lungs. You can give your feet a treat by pampering yourself with regular pedicures or by purchasing a new pair of comfortable shoes.
If you are noticing any changes in your feet, know that it is more than likely signaling that there is a greater health issue in your body. If you or someone you know is experiencing these problems, contact Dr. Schumacher, M.D., at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment.
Skin cancers can appear suddenly, and in many shapes and sizes. Fortunately, it can almost always be cured when found early and properly treated.
Research shows that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. It is estimated that more than one million Americans develop skin cancer annually, and more than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma are treated. Also each year, in the United States, there are more new cases of skin cancer than there are combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers. That’s why May is designated to raise awareness about skin cancer, and to help people take action to prevent and detect it.
There are three types of skin cancer, which includes:
1. Basal Cell Carcinoma: BCC is the most common form of skin cancer. It is rarely fatal, but if left untreated, can become highly disfiguring.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This cancer is the second most common form of skin cancer.
Malignant Melanoma: This cancer is the most serious skin cancer. It is estimated that one person dies every 52 minutes from this condition.
No one is exempt from skin cancer, and can affect everyone’s skin and eyes. According to the American Cancer Society, some common factors that increase your chances of developing the condition include:
Having a family history of skin cancer
Had skin cancer in the past
Have several moles, irregular moles or large moles
Have freckles and burn before tanning
Have fair skin, blue or green eyes or blond, red or light brown hair
Live or vacation at high altitudes
Live or vacation in tropical or subtropical climates
Work indoors all week and then get intense sun exposure on weekends
Spend a lot of time outdoors
Have certain autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
Have certain inherited conditions that increase your risk of skin cancer, such as xeroderma pigmentosum or nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome.
Have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, such as HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
Have had an organ transplant
Take medications that lower or suppress your immune system
Take medicines that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight
Some methods of protecting yourself from harmful UV rays include using an effective sunscreen, seeking shade when possible, wearing clothing that provides protection, wearing hats with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim, wearing sunglasses and avoiding tanning beds and sun lamps.
If you or someone you know suspects skin cancer, please call Dr. Schumacher at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment. If you have a form of skin cancer, finding it early is the best way to ensure it can be effectively treated.