Health Topics Information

Health Topics

Immunizations protect you for a lifetime

Immunizations protect you for a lifetime

When it comes to protecting your health, immunizations are one of the most effective tools we have for minimizing the spread of infectious disease.

Vaccines have allowed us to control many infectious diseases that were once prevalent in this country and around the world, including polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Smallpox, one of the most harmful diseases in history, has been eradicated due to vaccines.

“The consequences of many of these diseases are substantial and may be fatal,” says CHI St. Alexius Health Pediatrician Menelik Mulu, MD. “Immunizations should be a priority for everyone, particularly those who are most vulnerable to severe disease such as infants, young children, the elderly and those who are immunosuppressed.”

Sleep is a Superpower for Super Days

Sleep is a Superpower for Super Days

Want to feel better every day? Getting enough ZZZZs at night is perhaps one of the most overlooked ways to improve your physical and emotional resilience.

Adults are recommended to get eight hours every night. School-age kids should get nine to 11 hours and preschool children should be sleeping 10 to 13 hours each night. But most Americans are missing out.

How to diffuse stress in your life

How to diffuse stress in your life

No matter how hard we try to avoid it, in today’s fast-paced society, stress seems to go with the package.

Stress can have a serious impact on your health. “Stressful lifestyles are linked to a variety of medical problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, digestive problems, cancer, sleep deprivation and a failed immune system,” said CHI St. Alexius Health Physician Afaq Sharieff.

The Power of Talking to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Abuse

The Power of Talking to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Parents often feel like their children aren’t listening. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, research shows parents’ words can make an impact on their children’s decisions. Youth were 50 percent less likely to use drugs if parents talked to them early and often about the dangers of substance use, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). In fact, an open and strong relationship with a parent is one of the most influential factors on adolescence and the decisions they make, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Heart disease begins in childhood

Heart disease begins in childhood

When most of us think about heart disease, we think of it as something we don’t have to worry about until later in life. But the truth is, the development of coronary artery disease starts in early childhood. The accumulation of plaque is a lifelong process so it’s important to practice healthy habits at a young age and to pass these along to your children.

Heart disease is the number one killer of all Americans. But it doesn’t have to be. “Heart disease is largely a preventable disease that is associated with many risk factors that are modifiable,” says CHI St. Alexius Health Cardiologist Peerawut Deeprasertkul, MD. “Armed with the right tools, you can help prevent heart disease from playing a major role in your life and that of your children.”

Childhood depression is on the rise

Childhood depression is on the rise

Depression among children is on the rise. And if not identified or treated early on, chances that your child will experience a relapse are very likely, with each episode becoming more severe.

Globally, pre-pandemic levels of anxiety and depression among our youth hovered at 11.6% and 12.9% respectively. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, studies show that the incidence has doubled to 25.2 and 20.5%. Those numbers are reflected in calls to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline. In 2019, the helpline received a total of 656,953. Calls jumped to 833,598 calls in 2020, a 27% increase.

How to Model Healthy Relationships for your Children

How to Model Healthy Relationships for your Children

As parents, it can be easy to forget that almost everything we say or do has an impact on our children.

“Children are like sponges and more than likely, they will model our behaviors later in life,” said CHI St. Alexius Health Nurse Practitioner Anna Wolf, MSN, APRN, FNP-C. “Modeling healthy relationships with them and the people around us during their formative years to give children the tools they need to practice positive relationships later in life.”

It begins with your family. You should strive to spend quality time together and with each child. Laugh and do fun things together, show acceptance, affection and teach your children to respect each other, and offer help and support to one another. “Having healthy relationships and feeling connected socially also promotes emotional wellbeing and mental health,” Wolf said.

When Heart Fails: 5 Essentials for Heading Off Heart Failure

When Heart Fails: 5 Essentials for Heading Off Heart Failure

It has been called a condition of epic proportions. The incidence heart failure is alarmingly rising, affecting at least 6.5 million adults in the U.S. 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 to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to support your body’s other organs. Your heart still works, just not as well.

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition. Without treatment and lifestyle changes, your heart function will continue to worsen. In 2017, heart failure was a contributing cause of 1 in 8 deaths.2