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Breast Cancer: Know Your Genetic Background and Lifestyle Risks

October is breast cancer awareness month. As a female oncologist, I am very aware of the importance of this topic. In the US and across the globe, breast cancer remains the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. In fact, one in eight women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.(1) …

efir, milk or Turkish Ayran drink are poured into a glass cup from a bottle. A glass stands on a wooden stand on a rustic wooden table.

Calcium Supplementation: Why You May Need It

Calcium is a popular supplement and for a good reason. This is because taking calcium as a supplement helps the body build strong bones and may reduce the risk of fractures. Although clear scientific studies may not show overt evidence for reducing risk of fractures, most experts still recommend supplementation. How Much Calcium Does a …

Football from the couch

Go Team! Safe Viewing Tips for Football Fans

Football is a prime fall social activity, but COVID-19 precautions shouldn’t get tossed aside for big game gatherings. We’ve all observed scenes of packed bars with few masks and no social distancing. We’ve also seen COVID-19 cases climb in college towns and vacation spots. These two factors are related — congregating with people without taking …

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Caught in the Cycle

During the month of October it’s important to shed light on a topic that impacts many members of our community in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1 in 3 women have been physically assaulted by an intimate partner in their lifetime. However, the rate …

Mature African American woman smiling and exercising.

Debunked: 8 Myths and the Truth about Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure that requires a commitment to significant lifestyle changes. For that reason, it’s important to be fully informed about the surgery before deciding to go forward. It’s also important not to let misinformation about bariatric surgery affect your decision. The following common myths, and others, are also addressed by the …


The Benefits of Testing and Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. It is often very slow-growing: studies have shown that 90 percent of men aged 90 and over have microscopic evidence of prostate cancer. How Do We Test for Prostate Cancer? Patients should understand the benefits of testing and treatment for prostate cancer. Two initial tests are …


7 Reasons Adults Need a Primary Care Provider

We take children to the doctor’s office regularly for illnesses, immunizations and growth milestones. Adults, on the other hand, tend to go to the doctor less often even though you don’t outgrow your need for health care. Routine primary care visits for adults are just as important, particularly for health concerns that emerge as we …

Senior woman is having doctor's visit at her home.

You’ve Been Diagnosed with Diabetes. Now What?

Now is a great opportunity for you to take a look at this disease as something you can live with, and how it can actually make you healthier because you’re going to have a different focus on diet and exercise now. For me, being diagnosed with diabetes, it drew me more to think, “How can …

Close up of a doctor doing a medical exam while both him and the patient are wearing protective masks

Breast Cancer: What We Know, What We’ve Done, and Where We’re Headed

Yes, it is still here. Breast cancer, and most other cancers, still exist today; we talk about them, we fear them, we treat them, we try to control them, yet often they leave us and our loved ones torn and frustrated. What We Know About Breast Cancer Breast Cancer is still the leading cancer in …

Nutritionist giving consultation to patient with healthy fruit and vegetable, Right nutrition and diet concept

What is Prediabetes?

Did you know one in three American adults have prediabetes? What does that really mean? Prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are running higher than normal but they haven’t quite reached the type 2 diabetes numbers. That means that your cells are not effectively using insulin and blood sugar like they should. What is …

Medical healthcare holding COVID-19 , Coronavirus swab collection kit, wearing PPE protective suit mask gloves, test tube for taking OP NP patient specimen sample,PCR DNA testing protocol process

A COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know

Since mid-March of this year, it is not an exaggeration to say that life has been turned upside down by something that is as old as time itself and microscopic in size.  The newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2 or HCoV-19) was first identified in the Wuhan, Hubei province in China, in December 2019, following cases of …

lavender essential oil

5 Essential Oils for Stress Relief

What are some natural steps we can take when having a stressful day? When there is so much going on in the world around us, and we want to bring ourselves to a state of tranquility and relaxation, what is something else we can turn to? While there are many natural remedies, essential oils have …

Sliced banana bread on a wooden cutting board

Baking Basics for Diabetes and Blood Glucose Control

A common question that arises during diabetes education consults – is it necessary to eliminate all baked goods and desserts in order to control blood glucose levels?  The answer is no!  However, eating too many carbohydrates at one time can result in high blood sugars.  In addition, these food items commonly contain an excessive amount …

Pointing out mole on face

If You Have Skin Cancer on the Face, Scalp or Ears, this Treatment can Help

When we hear about cancer in the news we often see reports about three of the most common malignancies, breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer.  However, skin cancer remains the most prevalent cancer in the United States with 5 million cases diagnosed each year.  1 in 5 Americans develop skin cancer and although most …


Can Vitamins Fight COVID-19? Expert Advice on Supplement Use

We all want to protect ourselves, and our families, from the Coronavirus. Could adding vitamins to your morning routine give you an edge? Studies are ongoing but there is no clear information regarding how vitamins and minerals impact COVID-19. We simply can’t – as of yet – say with any certainty whether they offer any …

Sleep baby, tender mom

Top Tips for Mothers Choosing to Breastfeed

Becoming a mother can bring on a wealth of questions and concerns, including how to feed your child. Mothers do have options for this, and breastfeeding is one of them. Luckily, there are many resources out there for a mother to make informed decisions for her child. Since August is National Breastfeeding Month, we wanted …

woman at laptop overwhelmed with mask and hand sanitizer

Fearful Times: Facing the Everyday Anxieties of 2020

Call it a side effect of chaotic times, a rational worry about becoming seriously ill can quickly turn into a downward and dark thought spiral, or ruminating about current events can mushroom into apocalyptic visions of the future. Anxiety has been called “fear that has no name.” It seems a particularly fitting way to describe …

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Exercise and Bariatric Surgery: 10 Steps to Get Started

We all know exercise is good for us. For those who’ve had bariatric surgery, it’s even more important because it helps maintain lean muscle that can be lost with rapid weight loss. That’s just one benefit. Exercise also increases circulation which promotes healing, decreases risk of blood clots, improves digestion and bowel function and decreases …

Young woman scratching arm from having itching on white background. Cause of itchy skin include insect bites, dermatitis, food/drugs allergies or dry skin. Health care concept. Close up.

Below the Surface: Psoriasis is More Than a Skin Condition

At its worst, psoriasis is a heartbreaking condition. Sometimes the skin feels like it’s on fire and the red, scaly blotches can be embarrassing. The disease can inflame blood vessels, causing atherosclerosis and leading to a three times greater risk of heart attack. Psoriasis sufferers are also twice as likely to have depression– not just …


Cells Going Rogue: How Cancer Starts

Some 30 trillion cells make up the human body. Miniscule but efficient, cells do the work that makes the body function. Each cell has a lifespan and undergoes apoptosis, or programmed cell death. It instructs old or damaged cells to stop dividing and begin dying. Meanwhile, new cells are made daily through a process of …


Testicular Torsion: Embarrassing to Talk About, but a Very Serious Matter

Pain in the testicle may be difficult or embarrassing to talk about, however sometimes this can be a very serious matter and shouldn’t be ignored.  Some common causes of pain include: Trauma (like getting kicked in the groin) Urinary tract or sexually transmitted infection Inflammation Skin infection around the scrotum (skin around the testicle) Hernia …


How to Breathe While Running

One of the most important things to learn while running is how to breathe through your diaphragm as opposed to your chest. Breathing through your chest will elevate your shoulders. It’s an inefficient way to breathe because it’s a smaller amount of action you’re getting to your system, as well as using your body’s energy …

Movement Disorders Uncovered

Movement Disorders Uncovered

Your hands are like a multipurpose tool – they do so much, it’s easy to take them for granted. But for people with tremors, the simplest activities can become impossible. Today on CHI Health Uncovered, learn about movement disorders that cause tremors and exciting advances in treatment happening here at CHI Health. Types of Movement …


Why Do Patients Like Virtual Visits?

Patients tend to like our virtual visits because of some of the convenience that it offers, for example, if someone’s working from home, they can take a break, get a quick visit in and get their refills or whatever is appropriate, and then move on with their day. It also can allow parents to have …

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Anatomy and Functions of the Pelvic Floor Muscles

Today, I’m going to be talking about the anatomy and the functions of the pelvic floor muscles. In my hands, I am holding a model of the female pelvis. Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor First, let’s go over structure of the pelvis that kind of give us some landmarks. We have the pubic bone in …

Upset girl suffering from headache

Migraine 101: Inside This Debilitating Condition

Anyone who’s had a migraine knows these headaches can be extremely painful. In fact, migraines are the second most disabling neurological condition globally in terms of years lost to disability. What Are Migraines? Migraines are a neurological disease that occur as a result of complex neurochemical and neurophysiological processes in multiple areas of the brain. …

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Friends having dinner outside together

Why You Can Feel Lonely When You Are Not Alone

Do you ever feel lonely even when you’re surrounded by people? Loneliness affects us all at times. It’s more common for some, such as those who live alone or have limited mobility, but we all face it to some extent. Loneliness can be hard to identify, and it’s often mistaken for feeling tired, sad, or …

Healthy protein and veg diet snack box for lunch

The Importance of Protein for a Post Bariatric Surgery Diet

Consuming the right amount of protein is essential for optimal body function. Getting the right amount can help with healing, immune function, muscle gain and much more.  Protein needs vary among individuals.  Knowing how much to get, when to consume it, what foods to eat – these are just a few of the questions that …

Young woman at home eating healthy fruit and working on her laptop

Simple Snack Staples – Easy Meals and Snacks for Bariatric Patients

Having an easy and delicious go-to list for snacks can be very helpful when planning meals or on-the-go options.  Here are some great ideas and resources for snacks on both the savory and the sweet sides. Savory Snacks Add your own spin to these by trying different seasonings! 2 oz. shredded chicken + 2 Tbsp. …


How to Make Your Next Grill-Out Healthy

Summertime is here which means days at the pool, weekends at the lake and plenty of outdoor activities to fill your time. Warm weather also means grilling season is officially here. According to the 24th Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, 25% of people are grilling to be healthier. Healthy Ideas for Your Next Summer Grill-Out The …

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Migraine Headaches: Common Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

Did you know that nearly 1 in 4 households in the United States has someone that suffers from migraine headaches? A staggering 12% of the population, approximately 38 million people, suffers from this condition in the United States. Let’s take a closer look at symptoms of a migraine headache and how this differs from a …

Senior woman playing with her dog

Get Your Best Summer Body: It’s About Progress, Not Perfection!

What if we could challenge societal views on body image? What if we could approach summer as an opportunity for learning? An opportunity to think about ourselves in a more compassionate light? Could I impose a suggestion for this summer? It’s body acceptance! Would you be willing to give yourself permission to have compassion towards …

Am I Enough?

The 14th Curse Word

We all have had moments in life where we let words slip out that we regret. Words come out that are designed to bring us and others down. Often called “four letter” words or curse words, these are those words that we speak out of anger, frustration, pain, and even apprehension. These words carry enormous …

Tablet with the word Heat Stroke on the display

When Heat Stroke Strikes

Heat stroke is an elevated body temperature associated with altered mental status—confusion, weakness, dizziness. It can happen quickly, in as little as five minutes in certain temperatures. Heat Stroke Can Cause The Following: Fevers Muscle weakness Heart racing Dizziness Passing out People of Extreme Ages Struggle With Heat People who are either really old or …


Celebrating Our Cancer Survivors

June is National Cancer Survivorship Month. National Cancer Survivors Day is observed each year on the first Sunday in June. The staff at the CHI Health Regional Cancer Center at St. Francis would like to take this opportunity to recognize the importance of this cancer awareness time. What is a Cancer Survivor? The term “cancer …

Woman wearing mask and glasses

Facemask Hacks for “Mask-ne” Acne, Fogging and Other Problems

The pandemic has brought a new accessory to our lives: facemasks. When wearing a facemask for the first time, or for extended periods of time, four problems can come into play: “mask-ne” acne, perioral dermatitis, friction irritations and – for those with glasses – fogging. “Mask-ne” You might be getting some acne-type eruptions. That’s not …

Turmeric powder, turmeric capsule and turmeric on wooden background

Is a Turmeric Supplement Good for You?

Turmeric has been in the news lately in connection with Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Conflicting articles and news reports have added to the confusion about whether turmeric could be helpful or harmful for COVID-19 symptoms, so I thought I’d delve into what exactly turmeric is and how it’s used. What is Turmeric? I like to cook, so …

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Iron Supplementation – Do I Need it?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, and can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells. In the United States, it is estimated that around 10 million people are iron deficient, …


7 Tips to Get the Most out of Your Virtual Visit

Virtual visits are getting rave reviews for convenience. But if you’ve never had a virtual meeting for work or with loved ones, you might hesitate to take your clinic visit to the small screen. Seeing your doctor on a device – instead of in a clinic – is easier than you might think. How to …


Focus on Cancer Screenings during Women’s Health Month

You’ve probably seen your neighborhood flourish with walkers, runners and bikers since the beginning of quarantine. The COVID-19 pandemic has created time for many of us to improve our fitness. Women can build on that momentum during May, which is Women’s Health Month. Think of it as an opportunity to focus on your overall well-being …

physical therapist discussing blood flow restriction with patient

What’s Blood Flow Restriction? New PT Technique Strengthens Muscles with Lighter Loads

After an injury or surgery, patients are often anxious to work on strengthening – so they can get back to normal. But they have to wait because injured tissue requires a certain amount of time before it is safe to do resistance strengthening exercises such as lifting weights. For example, an athlete recovering from a …

Mother Carrying Son And Daughter As They Play In Park

Parenting in Quarantine: You are Enough

We all have insecurities and what we perceive are flaws. We are not perfect. In the age of social media parenting, parents are comparing themselves to other parents they follow on social media. You know the ones I’m talking about. The seemingly perfect families. They are always posting about the fun and special things that …


Keep Meals Fun While Dining at Home

Like me, you’re likely finding yourself eating and cooking at home more than normal.  Not everyone loves to cook in the first place, so the additional meal prep can feel like a burden.  Planning meals and cooking can be a fun way to get the family engaged in an activity together.  Looking for ways to …

Dr. V demonstrating how to properly wear a mask

How to Properly Wear a Mask

So it’s really important when we wear a mask to cover our nose and our mouth. If the mask is not covering the nose–just the mouth– and you have an infection, you’re still at risk of exposing others. So, it’s very important to cover your nose and your mouth so that you’re not exposing others …

Sunscreen on arm

Keep it Cool and Practice Sun Safety on “Don’t Fry Day”

Maybe it’s a 60-degree day and you don’t feel the sun’s heat. Or you’re working in the yard and lose track of time. Perhaps your kids ran out to play before you could get the sunscreen slathered on them. That early summer sunburn can sneak up on you. That’s why the National Council on Skin …


Childbirth Education Resources in the Time of Covid-19

Raise your hand if you were excited to go to a childbirth education class that got canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Or, did you want to sign up for a class but it was just outside of your budget? Well, I have a few solutions for you! Even if we cannot know what to …

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When Kids Ask, “Why?”

Many parents may feel overwhelmed by the flood of “why” questions that they receive from their kids regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic. These questions can range in topic and extend to the minute details of life. Their questions may gradually become more complex, frequent, and difficult to answer. Parents often scour the internet to find the …

kids in a tent

Ideas and Resources For Family and Kids Activities

Overall in these stressful times, we can all try to find positivity and be a little less stressed with these ideas for the whole family. It is good for parents and families to try to keep to some sort of a routine. This means trying to do things at the same time each day to …

A man with his son making vegetable salad.

Gallbladder Diet: Tips for Eating After Removal

If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, and you’re still experiencing diarrhea, gas or bloating, you may want to consider changing to a gallbladder diet. 6 Tips For Eating After a Gallbladder Removal Limit fats. That means fried, greasy and fatty foods, including gravies. Look for low-fat alternatives that have 3 grams of fat or less …

woman starting gallbladder diet

Gallbladder: Your Not-So-Vital Organ

Call it necessary but not quite essential. Your gallbladder is a small organ that’s tucked behind your liver. Its job is to store the fat-digesting bile produced by the liver. What makes it unique is that it’s one of few organs that can be removed without major consequence.  How Does the Gallbladder Work? Normally, when …


Diabetes Diagnosis: What You Should Know

Have you been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes recently? Are you feeling lost or confused? Talk to your health care provider! We are here to help you. Diagnosis of diabetes should not be taken lightly. Here is some information to help you understand and manage your diabetes. The first thing you should do is find …

head lice and nits

Head Lice: What Parents Need To Know

My name is Laura Denning, I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the CHI Health West Broadway Clinic and I serve the Pediatric population up to age 21. Who Gets Head Lice? Everyone can get head lice, it doesn’t mean you’re dirty, and it doesn’t mean you have a lot of germs. What is The …

Delivering Food During Coronavirus Lockdown

Pandemic Panic? Try 6 “C”s for Coping During a Crisis

During a crisis, it is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the Coronavirus outbreak is extremely important. Each of us have social responsibility to try to give positive …

Smiling African American woman sitting at her kitchen table in the morning using a digital tablet while eating a healthy breakfast

Diet Plans in Review: Mediterranean, DASH, and Vegetarian

Diet plans, meal plans and eating programs are everywhere. How many have you tried and how long did they last? Knowing what to eat can be overwhelming. So, let’s look at the evidence behind some popular diet plans like the Mediterranean, DASH and Vegetarian diet plans. Mediterranean Diet Plans The Mediterranean diet plan encourages a …

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Are There Ways I Can Boost My Immune System to Fight Illness?

The human body is by far the most advanced and sophisticated machine imaginable.  The level of complexity, number of systems, and processes that happen in the body to sustain life and health have intrigued and, at times, mystified scientists for centuries.  How Complex is Our Immune System? Our body’s immune system represents one of the …

African young mom listening teen daughter sitting on couch together

3 Strategies for Talking to Children About COVID-19

Many parents might be worried about whether or how to talk to their children about COVID-19. One thing to keep in mind is that all children, even toddlers, are being exposed to COVID-19, either by adults around them, or through social media or the TV. So one thing to keep in mind is that children …

Involved in her daughter's education

How to Help Children Feel Safe During Difficult Times

Many families might be wondering about how to talk with their child about COVID-19. You might be wondering how to help your child with anxiety or stress and how to make sure that the disruptions in their lives are minimized as much as possible. Build Safety Through Routine The first skill that I want to …

Woman talking to friends and family about her anxiety

Coping With Anxiety During Social Distancing and COVID-19

Anxiety is a normal human emotion and a little bit of that anxiety is necessary for us to be able to take care of what we need to take care of. For example, if I don’t have any anxiety, or if I have only a little anxiety, I wouldn’t take necessary precautions to decrease the …

family dying Easter eggs

Celebrating Easter During Social Distancing

Easter, along with other major holidays, are times for families to be together. We go to church together, have Easter egg hunts, and prepare large meals to share around crowded tables. Every family has their own unique traditions they look forward to. Now, in this time of social distancing, we find our routines and traditions …


Skin Bump or Lump? What to Make of Little Growths Called Lipomas

If you have a painless little skin lump, don’t panic. It’s likely a fatty tumor called a lipoma. One in 1,000 people have a lipoma, and of those, one in five will have more than one. Here are six things you need to know about these mysterious skin bumps. 6 Things to Remember About Lipomas …


Mental Health is as Important as Physical Health

We know mental health is very important for the wellbeing of an individual. If you are not in a healthy state of mind, most likely you are at a higher risk to have physical problems. As a matter of fact, studies show that when people struggle with significant mental health problems they are at higher …

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Helping the Family Stay Calm, Connected, and Less Stressed

 Many families might be wondering how to keep their family calm during a stressful time and how to create peace and a sense of comfort for their children and for themselves. Feeling Negative Emotions is Normal First let me say that negative emotions are normal. Feeling like you’re out of control, feeling sad, mad, …


Supporting Cancer Caregivers

Talk about unsung heroes. Caregivers are challenged with developing new skills and performing new tasks due to a loved one’s cancer diagnosis – while also dealing with the emotional side of the cancer experience. Oncology Social Workers know this because we see it firsthand. Oncology Social Workers Want to Do More That’s why we’re always …

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Mother and Son Doing the Dishes

Children, Teens and COVID-19: Identifying and Validating Feelings

During times of increased stress, a skill that you can practice with your child is to be a feelings role-model. What this really means is to label feelings that are obvious that you see your child feeling. So if you can tell when your child’s mad or scared or sad, label that feeling for your …


What Cancer Patients Should Know About Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19 is having a huge impact on people worldwide, including cancer patients and their caregivers. Cancer patients are among those identified as being high risk because their immune system is compromised by their cancer and its treatment. It’s important that all cancer patients, whether currently in treatment or not, …

A woman getting vaccinated

Why Should You Get Vaccinated?

Vaccines have come a long way since the first vaccine was developed. In 1796, Edward Jenner successfully used cowpox material to create immunity to smallpox. It took almost 100 years to develop the next vaccine, when Louis Pasteur developed the rabies vaccine in 1885. Fast forward to the 1930’s, when many vaccines were developed that …

Leftovers in the fridge

Leftovers Going Bad? Use These Food Safety Preparation Tips

Have you ever stared into your refrigerator at to-go boxes and containers of leftovers wondering…is it still good? Maybe you tried the sniff test or asked your family “Does this look ok?” Knowing how long food is safe to consume after it is prepared is essential to preventing food-borne illness. Utilizing proper cooking and holding …

Nice aged man opening a pill container

Should You Continue Taking Your Medications During the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

I’ve received a lot of questions from patients about whether or not to continue medications, whether those be prescribed prescription medications or over-the-counter medications. The short answer to that question is you should continue to take your prescribed medications. The Risk of Stopping Medication Outweighs the Risk of Coronavirus There’s been a lot of information …

Shot of an adorable little girl using a digital tablet with her grandparents at home

Community Positivity During Stressful Times

During times of uncertainty, something that we can do for others that could be really beneficial for them, as well as ourselves, would be to check in on our neighbors, family and friends. Maybe it’s elderly neighbor who may not have a lot of visitors, maybe their family lives out of town, or maybe it’s …

Back to school concept

How to Establish a New Routine Amidst Public Coronavirus (COVID-19) Changes

During uncertain times, one thing that we can do to help ourselves is create a routine. A lot of us are home from work, home from school, and typical routines are all kind of wobbly and up in the air. Care For You Emotional Well-Being Through Routine One of the things that I think it’s …

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable young woman washing her hands in the bathroom basin at home

Top Questions Around Coronavirus, Answered

How Do We Know the Difference Between Coronavirus and the Flu? It’s hard to tell them apart just on symptoms; ideally when we do a lab test you could tell if it’s influenza or if it’s a COVID-19 infection. But with both of these infections you’re going to have fevers, cough, sometimes shortness of breath. …

functional dry needling

Functional Dry Needling – How it Can Help Treat Low Back Pain

At CHI Health St. Mary’s we use a multitude of therapy interventions in the treatment of low back pain. In addition to the normal joint mobilization and corrective exercises, we also like to utilize functional dry needling. How Functional Dry Needling Works During functional dry needling, we insert a tiny needle into your muscles to …

Girl Feeling the Sunday Scaries

Sunday Scaries – Have You Ever Felt Them?

Dread. Worried. Doomed. Preoccupied. Unhappy. Anxious. Scared. I found each of these words associated with the Sunday Scaries. What, on Earth, are the Sunday Scaries? Good question! The Sunday Scaries are an underlying feeling of worry, even dread, that can start over the weekend, typically on Sunday. This feeling of dread is directly related to having …


What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus is one of the most common viruses that causes the common cold during winter seasons. But currently we have another strain which is called COVID-19. The Best Defense Against the Coronavirus Wash your hands for the minimum 20 seconds with soap and water or hand sanitizer. If you are around someone who is ill, …

low back pain

What’s Causing Your Low Back Pain?

Lower back pain can actually be pretty common. In fact, 80% of us will experience it at some point in our lives. The vast majority of us will also go onto experience some type of lumbar disk herniation and/or pathology. How to Prevent/Treat Low Back Pain When looking at preventing and treating low back pain, …


Tools to Build a Smoke-free Life

Smoking is one of the hardest habits to break, but it can be done. Some smokers have to quit several times before actually breaking the habit. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Different Ways To Quit Smoking …

atrial fibrillation treatment

Atrial Fibrillation – How to Protect Yourself Against a Stroke

A parachute comes in handy if you are hurtling toward the earth. Now, a tiny version is saving people with atrial fibrillation from stroke, and a lifetime of blood-thinning medications! What is Atrial Fibrillation? Atrial fibrillation or afib is a common condition marked by a quivering or irregular heartbeat called an arrhythmia. Having atrial fibrillation …

Meal Kits

Meal Kits – Are They Worth it? How to Make the Most of Them.

Meal Kits. They seem to pop up everywhere. It may be an ad on your favorite social media platform, discussed on a podcast, or you simply see the box sitting on a neighbor’s porch. We just can’t seem to get away from them. Whether you have tried one of the various services out there, know …


PMS – Could It Actually Be Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)?

Around ‘that time of the month’, do you feel like your mood is out of control and you’re spiraling? You are not alone. Many women experience symptoms related to their period. When these symptoms affect your daily life, you may have PMS or PMDD. What is PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome? PMS is when a woman …

macronutrients food groups

Tracking Macronutrients: Forget About the Numbers

Alright, alright, now don’t freak out. Yes, macronutrients are important but we tend to get caught up in the numbers. The numbers can make things more difficult. The amount of macronutrients can vary based on many things – Are you sedentary? Are you working out every day for at least 30 minutes? Are your workouts …


5 Ideas For Making Meals out of Leftovers

There is nothing worse than throwing away leftovers at the end of the week. All that time and money going into the trash. What if you could find ways to use up your leftovers and make some delicious meals? Get creative and don’t be afraid to try new combinations! Reusing Leftovers Will Save Money, Boost …

Heart Stressors Image

Effects of Stress on the Heart and How to Cope

Everyone experiences stress. Today, we’re going to uncover what stress does to your heart and ways to deal with it. Hi, I’m Doctor Eric Van De Graaff, a Cardiologist at CHI Health. How Stress Affects Us Since the beginning, stress has been a natural defense mechanism that creates our fight-or-flight mentality and has allowed us …


Five Steps to Break Bad Habits

We all have things we want to change about ourselves – so called “bad habits” such as biting our nails or twirling our hair. Habits are physical patterns of behavior that are engaged in automatically and unconsciously. Many of these behaviors are benign and generally cause no harm. However, some habits can cause difficulty in …

Lovely mother and daughter looking at camera

Don’t Face it Alone: Insider’s Guide to Seeking Children’s Mental Health Services

When we’re sick, it’s sometimes difficult to know if it’s serious enough to go to the doctor – or if we should wait. The same thing can happen with a mental health or behavioral issue – especially when it involves a child or teen. People often hesitate to seek help because they’re unsure if help …

Buddha bowl dinner with boiled egg, chickpea, fresh tomato, sweet pepper, cucumber, savoy cabbage, red onion, green sprouts, spinach leaves, blueberry, walnuts, chia and quinoa. Healthy dish, lunch bowl. Detox diet. Balanced food. Top view

Spruce Up Your Salad: Think Beyond the Leafy Greens

Arugula, spinach, micro greens and more – lettuce salads have transformed in recent years.  Because of this, the term “salad” now expands to include so much more than our green leafy friends!  Lets look at some ways to mix up your salad routine. Try a Different Salad Base Cabbage – red or green – offers …

Heart failure

When Hearts Fail: 5 Essentials for Heading off Heart Failure

It’s been called a condition of epic proportions. Heart failure is alarmingly common, affecting 6.5 million adults in the U.S. It’s also on the rise. The prevalence of heart failure among adults older than 20 is expected to increase 46% by 2030.1 Also called congestive heart failure, this condition simply means your heart is struggling …

super bowl Sunday food

Super Bowl Sunday: The Healthy and Easy Choice (recipes included)

The Super Bowl is approaching and it’s time to gather with family and friends to enjoy the game, commercials, and of course, food! How Do You Celebrate The Super Bowl? That’s the question I asked some co-workers and as you can imagine, the answers vary widely from, “I don’t watch football,” to “I have a …

Opioid pain killers

Pain Control and Patient Safety in the Age of the Opioid Epidemic

“Nice to meet you Doctor, I’ll be needing a refill on my oxycodone pills.”  These words from a patient can bring on one of the greatest challenges of patient care in this day and age. So, how do we treat pain and keep patients safe? I’ve Taken Opiates for Years. Should I Be Worried? Many …


Restless Legs Syndrome – How Do I Get My Legs to Calm Down?

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) also known as Willis Ekbom Syndrome, is characterized by an uncomfortable need to move your legs, primarily at night while trying to sleep. It is present in 2-3% of the general population, more common in women, and the Caucasian population. What’s Restless Legs Syndrome? My patients often tell me that it …

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Motivation Concept

Commit Not to Quit – Motivation Tips for Wintertime

Well, we are a month into a new year and the holiday season is behind us for another 9 months. Whew!!! For most of us, we are back to our “normal” lives and the daily grind. For some, the children are back to school and have homework to keep them busy each night. Hopefully, our …

woman's face half in the dark

An Emotional Rollercoaster: Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

Swirling emotions, impulsive decisions, panicked reactions, angry tirades. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. Once considered an extremely difficult condition, there is hope for those with borderline personality disorder. In fact, with proper diagnosis and treatment, people with BPD can have better outcomes than those with conditions like bipolar disorder or …

Female doctor discusses something with young mixed race patient

Cervical Cancer is Preventable: Life-Saving Actions You Should Take

Women shouldn’t have to die from cervical cancer and it is preventable – if you take action. For a physician, that’s the best possible news, we have the tools we need to help women protect themselves. The Numbers Associated With Cervical Cancer Getting women to take advantage of those tools is our challenge. A study …

Multiple Sclerosis

New Hope for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Nearly 1 million adults in the U.S. are living with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to the recent MS Prevalence study sponsored by National MS Society. This central nervous system disease affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves in the eyes. Unpredictability is the hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS) because symptoms range from minor to …

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What is Chronic Pelvic Pain and How is it Treated?

Chronic pelvic pain is one of the many pelvic floor disorders that women suffer from. Basically, it’s pain that lasts longer than six months. The pain is below the belly button and it can be internal or external. The pain can be variable, meaning it can be burning, it can be sharp, it can be …

Woman touching stomach painful suffering from stomachache causes of menstruation period, gastric ulcer, appendicitis or gastrointestinal system disease. Healthcare and health insurance concept

Bloated, Constipated or Worse? It Might Be Diverticulitis

It’s easy to take your digestive system for granted, until something goes wrong. In fact, a lot goes on undetected in your intestines. What is Diverticulitis? Sometimes small pouches or sacs form in the intestine lining, usually in the lower part of the large intestine or colon. These marble-sized pouches, called diverticulum, occur when a …

Shot of a group of friends studying together in a coffee shop

A Vaccine for Cancer? HPV Shot Protects Against Cervical Cancer for Life

What if there was a vaccine for cancer? People would line up to get it. What if I told you a vaccine already exists for cervical cancer, and nearly anyone can and should get it? What Causes Cervical Cancer? Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women. It’s almost always caused by human …

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Plant based diets

The Plant Craze: Facts on the Vegetarian, Vegan, and Plant-Based Diets

We have heard the terms vegetarian and vegan thrown around for years, and more recently the plant-based diet has emerged. The question is: should you be following one of these diets to improve your health? A lot of the research surrounding animal based foods vs plant-based foods is conflicting and it can be hard to …

Candida auris fungi, emerging multidrug resistant fungus

Will a Change in Diet Help Candida Overgrowth in the Body?

Candida is a yeast-like fungus that is found throughout the body. Under normal circumstances, bacteria and fungi balance is carefully maintained. What Happens if Candida Gets Out of Balance? The balance can be knocked off and can cause candida to grow too much. Impact of the overgrowth can be felt with infections manifesting in a …

Counselor leads group therapy session

Psychological Evaluation Before Bariatric Surgery: An Important and Helpful Step

Bariatric surgery is life-changing and requires personal effort to be successful. Those who choose this approach to weight loss have likely given it considerable thought because it alters not only your body but also your daily life. It’s helpful to understand that this procedure is not only physical, but also psychological in nature. For that …


Hernia Uncovered

The human body can do some pretty amazing things. Your muscles keep your body moving. They also help hold your insides…in. A weak spot in a muscle or tissue can let part of your insides squeeze through. That, my friend, is a hernia. CHI Health is here to tell you three things you should know …

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