My Blog
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
April 09, 2021
Category: Health
Tags: Exercise  
ExerciseWe’ve all heard that exercise is important for our health and wellbeing, but there are many benefits outside of just maintaining a healthy weight and looking fit. Especially now, we must be taking time out of each day to get up and move. No, you don’t have to join the gym to get the exercise you need for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Need a little motivational boost to get yourself moving? Here are some amazing benefits of regular exercise:

Boost Your Mood

Feeling a little down these days? If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, you’ll be happy to know that regular exercise can help to reduce stress and improve your mood. That’s because exercising releases endorphins, which are chemicals that help us feel more positive.

You don’t have to tackle an intense workout to reap the mood benefits, either. Studies have shown mood-boosting benefits during all forms of exercise, even low-impact activities such as walking.

Reduce Health Risks

Whether you’re at risk for heart disease, diabetes, or high cholesterol, it’s good to know that something as simple as incorporating regular exercise into your routine every day could have a profound impact on your health and greatly reduce your risk. To reap these benefits, adults need to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise a week to reduce their risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Enhance Focus and Concentration

Exercise is great for your brain and not just for its mood-enhancing properties. In fact, some studies suggest that regular exercise could prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Exercises improve blood flow to the brain, which helps to develop new brain cells and may even help you feel more focused. If you’re struggling with brain fog and focus while sitting at your desk, incorporating even 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine could help shake those mental cobwebs.

Improve Your Energy

It seems that more and more people are turning to their doctors because they just don’t have the same get-up and go that they used to. If you don’t have the energy you used to, or if you feel tired more easily, you may be surprised to discover that exercise can actually improve your energy. How is this possible? First, the endorphins coursing through your body certainly have something to do with it. Second, the body produces more mitochondria when you’re active, which helps provide the body with the energy and fuel it needs.

If you’re just not sure exactly where to begin when it comes to exercising, your general medicine practitioner is the perfect medical professional to ask. They can provide you with tips, guidelines, and recommendations to make sure that you are getting the exercise you need that is also safe and most effective for you and your health needs.
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
March 12, 2021
Category: Health
Tags: Prostate Exam  
Prostate ExamThe prostate is part of a male’s reproductive system and’s responsible for the production of semen. Unfortunately, prostate cancer is something that all men are at risk of developing. In fact, cancer.org reports about 1 man in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. As men get older, the risk for prostate cancer increases. This is why you should talk to your general medicine doctors about when you should begin getting a routine prostate exam.
 
What does a prostate exam involve?

To be fully screened against prostate cancer, your doctor will recommend both a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is a simple blood test. The blood test will look for higher levels of PSA within the bloodstream, which can be a sign of inflammation or damage to the prostate. A higher count of PSA does not necessarily mean that you have cancer, but it will require follow-up testing to find out why your PSA count is higher than normal.
 
A digital rectal exam will make it possible for your doctor to feel the prostate to look for any lumps and growths that may require further screening. This exam only takes a few seconds and while a bit awkward and uncomfortable (particularly if you have an enlarged prostate), it should not be painful.
 
When should men start getting screened?

Besides skin cancer, prostate cancer is considered the most common form of cancer in US men. This is why it’s incredibly important that men get screened for prostate cancer starting at age 50. Since African American men have a 70 percent higher risk for developing prostate cancer than white men, they should talk to their general medicine practitioner about starting routine screenings by the age of 40.
 
Early detection means that we can catch cancer fast when it’s still highly treatable. Prostate exams save lives, and screening is the only way to catch prostate cancer during the early stages when you’re also not likely to even know you have it.
 
Don’t wait until you experience warning signs of prostate cancer to take your health seriously. Your general medicine doctor can provide you with the appropriate prostate exam you need to protect you from cancer.
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
February 11, 2021
Category: Health
Tags: Cancer  
Family History of CancerYou got your mother’s blue eyes and your dad’s wavy brown hair. Everyone attributes your dimples to your great grandfather and your love of cooking from your grandmother. It’s cool to see how genetics and nurture have played a major role in you and your health.

Unfortunately, there are certain things that we wished we didn’t inherit. If cancer runs in your family, you could be at an increased risk. This is something that you need to discuss with your general medicine doctor at your next checkup.

My family has a history of cancer. Does this mean I’ll get cancer, too?

Not necessarily. While it’s true that genetics can play a role in what conditions or health problems you face throughout your lifetime, sometimes it’s certain habits and behaviors such as poor diet, not exercising, or smoking that are increasing your risk.

The good news is that while genetics cannot be changed, these bad behaviors can. Sometimes seeing the dangers of leading an unhealthy lifestyle through a family member who has developed cancer, can teach you a lot about the importance of quitting bad habits and leading a healthier lifestyle.

Cancer runs in my family. What can I do to protect myself?

Some people just assume that if cancer runs in their family that there isn’t much they can do to prevent it. Along with leading a healthy lifestyle, seeing your general medicine doctor for regular screenings can also provide peace of mind. Screenings can also identify and detect cancer early when it is highly treatable.

Talk with your general doctor about your risk so that you can decide which tests are right for you. We can also work with you to create a healthy lifestyle to reduce bad behaviors and habits that could be increasing your risk.

While many factors can play a role in whether or not you develop cancer over your lifetime, you must talk with your general medical practitioner to discuss ways to reduce your risk.
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
January 15, 2021
Category: Medical
Tags: COVID Vaccine  
COVID VaccineWe’ve been hearing a lot of news reports about the coronavirus vaccine. Perhaps you’ve seen them being administered on TV and you’re wondering whether you and your family should get vaccinated. You may have questions or even reservations about the vaccine. Here’s what we know so far about this new vaccine,
 
The Vaccine Supply is Limited
 
Since the supply of COVID-19 vaccines is limited it is first being given to first responders and healthcare workers who are on the front lines, as well as those working and living in long-term care facilities. In essence, this vaccine is being given to those who are most at risk for contracting the coronavirus at the moment.
 
As a larger supply of the vaccine becomes available within the US, the opportunity to get vaccinated will be an option for others. Those over 16 years old can get vaccinated, but the vaccine is not approved to be administered to,
  • Children and teens under 16 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • People with a history of severe allergic reactions
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant you should talk with your doctor first about whether you should get vaccinated.

You Need Two Doses
 
The Pfizer vaccine is the vaccine that’s being administered to the majority of the population at the moment. The vaccine consists of two shots taken three weeks apart. The Moderna vaccine is also given as two doses administered 28 days apart. While both are fairly similar vaccines in how they work, as well as their efficacy, Moderna’s vaccine does not need to be stored in very cold temperatures, while the Pfizer vaccine does. Even after refrigeration, the Pfizer vaccine only has five days in the refrigerator before it expires.
 
The Safety and Effectiveness of the COVID-19 Vaccine
 
There are two COVID-19 vaccines: one developed by Moderna and the other vaccine developed by Pfizer. As of late, the FDA has confirmed that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are equally effective, providing up to 95 percent protection against the coronavirus.

While the two COVID-19 vaccines have a high efficacy rate, patients of the trial did experience some side effects with the vaccine. Some of these side effects were similar to what you would experience with a cold or flu including,
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Soreness at the injection site
However, these side effects are minor, particularly when compared to the symptoms of COVID-19. Tens of thousands of people participated in the COVID-19 vaccine study. The FDA has approved the vaccine to be safe and effective.

The CDC will continue to update their site with valuable information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available. While it will take some time before the majority of the US is vaccinated, we understand that you may have questions, especially before getting vaccinated. Talk with your general medical practitioner today to find out if the COVID-19 vaccine is right for you.
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
December 10, 2020
Category: Health
Staying Safe During the HolidaysThe holiday season can be an exciting time spent with family and friends in front of cozy fireplaces, enjoying delicious treats, and making memories. Of course, this year in particular our general medicine practitioners want to make sure you plan when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations to keep both you and your family safe.
 
Enforce Proper Hygiene
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands properly and often. You should be washing your hands for at least 20 seconds (sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice to know that you’ve washed properly). Make sure to also wash under the nails and between your fingers. If you don’t have access to soap and water, make sure to at least use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands.
 
Get Stress Under Control
We know, easier said than done right? But doctors know just how stressful the holiday season is, especially this year. It’s important to still find ways to connect and support one another. Schedule Skype or Zoom calls with family and friends, make sure that you are getting proper sleep, and limiting alcohol and junk food. Also, take some time every day for you to practice some self-care. This could mean reading a book or simply soaking in a warm bath.
 
Practice Healthy Eating Habits
We know that the holidays are a time of delicious gluttony and that you want to be able to enjoy and imbibe how you want. While we don’t blame you, we also know that consuming lots of alcohol and eating rich foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar could leave you dealing with a load of problems from diarrhea and headaches to nausea and even holiday heart syndrome (caused by excess alcohol). So, we recommend eating treats and drinks in moderation and to fill up on some of those healthier foods first.
 
Keep Gatherings Small
With Covid-19, we also know that we need to minimize contact with others to prevent exposure to the virus. This may mean avoiding certain holiday events this year or creating more intimate gatherings with only your immediate family. Make sure to wear your mask, practice social distancing, and to be respectful of others this time of year, especially if you plan to travel.
 
Remember, the holiday season is not a time to become lax on hygiene. Our medical team wishes you and your family a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. We know that this year may look a lot different from years past, but we hope you can still make beautiful, festive memories.




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