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Stroke Symptoms And Heart Attack Symptoms: How To Look Out for These Serious Medical Events

By |2020-03-08T20:33:18+00:00March 30th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , , , |

Heart attacks and strokes are both very serious medical events. Depending on the severity, they can take months to years to recover from. Some individuals never recover at all. Due to the severity of the conditions, it is smart to know some symptoms and signs ahead of time. This week we are exploring both stroke symptoms and heart attack symptoms. Read on to learn what exactly strokes and heart attacks really are as well as the most common stroke symptoms and heart attack symptoms.

Disclaimer

The symptoms explored in this article are simply the most common symptom of their respective conditions. If you believe you or a loved one are experiencing a heart attack or stroke, seek medical attention immediately or dial 911.

Heart Attacks Defined

A heart attack occurs when something interrupts the blood flow to the heart. Usually, that blockage is plaque that has formed a clot in the arteries to the heart. Plaque is made up primarily of cholesterol and other fats.

Strokes Defined

A stroke, or brain attack, is when the brain does not get enough blood flow. The restriction occurs either due to a blocked blood vessel, or one that has burst. No matter what causes it, strokes damage the brain, leading to potential long term mental and physical disabilities.

Heart Attack Symptoms

First and foremost is any sort of discomfort in your chest. People have described it in many different ways. Pain, tightness, pressure, burning, and pinching are all the most common descriptors. This is especially common in men. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for women to have a heart attack with zero chest discomfort.

Instead, women’s pain from heart issues tends to settle into the stomach. Nausea, indigestion, or stomach pain take the place of chest discomfort. Men are much less likely to report this symptom.

One of the classic symptoms people are told to watch out for is pain that radiates out and down the left side of the body. Whether that pain is originating in your chest or in your stomach, it most commonly extends to the left arm.

Additionally, heart attacks often leave sufferers feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or off balance. Obviously no one of these symptoms alone means that you are having a heart attack . However, if you experience these symptoms in conjunction with another, especially for longer than a few seconds, seek medical attention.

Brain Attack Symptoms

The most common stroke symptom is a sudden numbness or feeling of weakness. Usually this is restricted to one side of the body. It also causes issues with coordination, simply walking becomes a struggle.

Additionally, strokes often cause sudden and severe headaches that come out of nowhere. Often times, the headache is so bad it leads to trouble seeing. Again, the impact is usually limited to one eye or the other.

Finally, someone suffering from a stroke often experiences confusion that seems to come from nowhere. They may also struggle with speaking or writing.

Medical Scans 101: An Introduction

By |2020-03-08T20:35:56+00:00March 23rd, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , , , , |

Medical imaging is a way for doctors to look inside of patients without actually having to open them up. However, many patience don’t actually know what medical scans are doing to their bodies. This week, we are exploring the most common types of medical scans. Read on to learn all about medical scans, how they work and what they’re doing to your body.

X-Ray

X-rays have been used by medical professionals for over 100 years. X-rays use X-ray radiation in order to produce images of bones, tissue, and organs. Most commonly X-rays are used to look at bones. When patients hear “radiation”, it often frightens them. The machine does not give off enough radiation to be dangerous except in two possible cases.

One, the patient has had a similar x-ray or x-rays within the previous six months. Two, if the patient is pregnant, the radiation is not good for the baby.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound scans are often used to examine organs, such as liver, kidneys, and pelvic organs. The ultrasound machine uses high frequency sound waves to create an image, the requency is so high that humans cannot hear it. In addition to organs, ultrasounds are used for musculoskeletal issues, as they are very good for checking blood flow.

Most commonly, people are exposed to ultrasounds through pregnancy. In a pregnancy ultrasound, the sonographer uses the ultrasound wand and presses it against the woman’s abdomen. The baby’s image is outlined by the soundwaves.

MRI

An MRI is also known as magnetic resonance imaging. These types of medical scans produce detailed pictures from multiple planes. Superconducting magnets and pulsed radio waves produce the image. There are no negative side effects as far as modern science knows.

Magnetic resonance imaging is used in all areas of the body . It is particularly good had identifying problems in soft tissue. For example, it shines when imaging nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

During an MRI patients lay on a special table that goes into a large tube where the magnets move around the body to create the image. It is actually a relatively calm procedure. Patients usually wear headphones to drown out the noise of the magnets. Some people even fall asleep!

CT Scan

CT stands for computed tomography scan. To a patient, there is very little difference between an MRI and a CT scan. Both medical scans require the patient to lay down on a special table that goes into a large tube. However, CT scans use x-rays rather than radio waves to produce the image.

CT scans function on two axes. Essentially, it allows doctors to analyze a problem area slice by slice. This is especially useful for complicated organs like the brain. Medical professionals locate the issue at a highly exact location, thanks to the two axes.

Pneumonia Versus Walking Pneumonia: What’s The Difference?

By |2020-03-08T20:30:25+00:00March 16th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , |

Pneumonia and walking pneumonia can both be very scary experiences. However, most people don’t really know the difference when it comes down to pneumonia versus walking pneumonia. This week, we are exploring the two conditions. Read on to learn the difference between these two medical conditions that are more alike than many people think.

The Short Answer

When it comes down to it, there is a simple question for the pneumonia versus walking pneumonia question. Walking pneumonia is a more mild case of the illness. In fact, “walking” isn’t even a medical term. The medical term for the condition is atypical pneumonia.

Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia

  • A fever under 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • A sore throat
  • An unproductive cough that lasts longer than a week
  • Difficulty breathing accompanied by chest pains
  • Headaches that come and go
  • Chills
  • No interest in food

Symptoms Of Pneumonia

  • A fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit that usually maxes out at 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sore throat
  • A productive cough that results in mucus
  • Shortness of breath accompanied by intense chest pains even from shallow breathing
  • Headaches that turn into migraines
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite

The Comparison 

As you can tell, the symptoms are not all that different. Essentially, walking pneumonia puts someone out of commission for a few days to a week. On the other hand, pneumonia puts people on bed rest for a few weeks. That’s a pretty big difference.

The Causes

This comparison begs the question “why is there such a big difference between the two conditions?” The answer, as it turns out, boils down to what causes the condition.

Walking pneumonia is typically caused by bacteria. There are three common types of bacteria the cause the illness. Other than that, it is unusual to see walking pneumonia pop up.

On the other hand, the illness can be caused by a virus, a bacteria (like the walking version), or even fungi. Primarily, pneumonia is viral. In fact, about 50% of all people with pneumonia have a viral version of it. The fungal based pneumonia often comes from when people inhale soil. Soil that has bird droppings in it is a particularly common cause of fungal pneumonia.

Who Is At Risk?

As with many illnesses, there are certain groups that are more at risk for pneumonia than others.

First and foremost, age plays a factor. Children under two years of age and older adults above 60 five years of age are both at increased risk. Additionally, those people are in high risk environments. Spaces with dense populations that live and work together or at a high risk for spreading pneumonia. most common of these are nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and dorms.

Additionally, people with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, are hit hard by pneumonia. If the respiratory condition is severe enough, pneumonia can put an individual on bed rest for months.

Coronavirus 101: Need To Know

By |2020-03-08T20:24:15+00:00March 9th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: |

Currently, the coronavirus is a huge concern to the global health community. With instances popping up in the US, Americans are getting concerned. That concern is entirely understandable. However, there is no need to panic. Today we are exploring the basics of the coronavirus. Read on to learn what exactly you need to know.

Disclaimer

All of the information in this article is pulled from the web sites of two international health organizations. The Centers for Disease control and prevention (the CDC) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) this article is not intended to be a comprehensive guide. Instead, it is an introduction that includes only the most important facts. Visit the CDC and WHO websites for more information.

How Does The Virus Spread?

Primarily, the virus spreads when people who are sick transfer it through proximity or touch. The CDC estimates that the average distance for person to person spread is about 6 feet. Additionally the virus spreads through droplets from the sick person sneezing or coughing.

Health officials believe that the virus can be spread when people make contact with infected surfaces or objects. For example, if someone with the virus coughs into their hand and then touches a door handle. While this is a legitimate concern, person to person spread is much more common.

Symptoms

With an illness like coronavirus, everyone wants to make sure that they don’t have it. This concern is made worse because America is at the tail end of it’s flu season. Coronavirus has a few very distinct and identifiable symptoms.

First and foremost, professionals characterize the virus by a high fever. Oftentimes, that means temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and nearing 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other than the fever patients exhibit symptoms of a respiratory infection. A cough is the most common symptom. With the second most common being a shortness of breath.

The problem with these symptoms is that people with the flu often have a fever and cough. So how do laymen tell the difference between the two illnesses. Medical professionals need to check on anybody who is possibly sick. In the meantime, do not panic. People with the flu often experience chills and an overall achy feeling. Professionals have not tied either of those symptoms with the coronavirus.

Prevention

Preventing coronavirus is actually more simple than most people believe. The most important line of defense is washing hands. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Make sure to get the palms of the hands, the backs of the hands, in between your fingers, and under your fingernails.

As far as face masks are concerned, they really aren’t necessary. The only individuals that need face masks are people exhibiting symptoms and health professionals who are treating those individuals. A face mask is unlikely to protect you from the virus and people are buying face masks at such a volume that is difficult for hospitals to maintain their supply. This is ultimately less safe for everybody.

Common Sports Injuries

By |2020-01-24T03:26:42+00:00February 24th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: |

Last week we spoke about the most common injuries experienced in performance sports and arts. This week, we are expanding that scope and exploring the most common sports injuries experienced by athletes across a wide range of sports. Read on to learn all about those injuries and potential ways to manage them.

Disclaimer

The suggested treatments listed below are simply best practices or potential options your doctor may prescribe you. If you are experiencing any of the following conditions, see a medical professional for an official diagnosis and treatment plan.

Groin Pull

There are a variety of sports that increase the possibility of a groin pull. The most common sports that lead to groin injuries include soccer, football, baseball, and hockey. Groin pulls are characterized by muscle pain in the inner thighs or groin area. Usually, this sensation makes it difficult or painful to walk.

Physicians generally suggest rest above all else for groin injuries. Just like any other muscle injury, aggravating a groin pull leads to a worse muscle pull or even a tear. In addition to rest, use ice, compression, and anti-inflammatory medicine to keep the pull in check. If you experience noticeable swelling, seek out a sports medicine professional.

ACL Tear

An athlete tearing their ACL is potentially one of the most debilitating injuries they an experience. It is usually a very scary and painful experience. ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament; it is the ligament that bridges the knee and the leg bones. The ligament can be strained, pulled, partially torn, or completely torn. A tear is often characterized by a loud popping sound from the knee accompanied by a healthy dose of knee pain.

ACL injuries are most common in contact and impact sports, such as football. If an athlete tears their ACL, they will need surgery and physical therapy in order to regain mobility. Unfortunately, the healing process is a long one, but it is not impossible to come back from.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow obviously impacts tennis players, but it also plagues golfers, football players (quarterbacks in particular), baseball players, and basketball players. The official medical name for tennis elbow is epicondylitis. Essentially, tennis elbow occurs because repeated aggressive motions lead to micro-tears or irritation in the ligaments in the elbow.

The chances of experiencing tennis elbow increase as your age increases, with most cases originating in middle-aged adults ages 30 through 60. The only real cure for tennis elbow is rest, so don’t be afraid to take time off.

Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the tissue that connects your calf muscle to your heel. If athletes do not stretch properly or wear the right shoes, the tendon accrues damage quickly. Running of any type has the potentially to damage the tendon, but running with sudden cutting motions or stops is particularly dangerous. These sorts of injuries range in severity and need to be diagnosed by a medical professional before a course of treatment can be decided.

The Most Common Performing Arts Injuries

By |2020-01-24T03:32:12+00:00February 17th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , , |

Performing arts injuries are often underestimated or dismissed, but there are many common injuries that range in severity. The term “performing arts” includes activities such as dance, gymnastics, figure skating, colorguard, marching band, and circus arts. This week we are exploring the most common performing arts injuries. Read on to learn what those injuries are, as well as ways to treat them.

Disclaimer

The suggested treatments listed below are simply best practices or potential options your doctor may prescribe you. If you are experiencing any of the following conditions, see a medical professional for an official diagnosis and treatment plan.

Sprains

Sprains and strains are extremely common in nearly every performing arts activity. Ankle sprains are the most common type of sprain. Medical professionals describe sprains in degrees, which increase depending on severity. Fortunately, sprains are simple to treat, as long as you remember PRICES.

  • Protect the sprain through compression wraps or braces.
  • Rest the injured area.
  • ICe the injured area for fifteen minutes at a time every hour.
  • Elevate the sprain.
  • Seek medical attention.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are small cracks or spots of bruising in a bone that occur from repeated overuse. These small injuries carry a big impact. The easiest way to determine if a regular ache has evolved into a stress fracture is if you can pinpoint exactly where the pain is coming from. Generally, a widespread ache is typical muscle fatigue, while a stress fracture radiates pain from a specific point. Stress fractures are most common in the feet, on the shin, and around the hip joint.

Typically, physicians will prescribe rest for as a treatment for stress fractures. Depending on the severity of the fracture, you may eve be asked to wear a soft cast or compression wrap. Those tools help the fracture heal faster because they immobilize the bones.

Lower Back Strain

Lower back strain is a vague category because there are so many different injuries that may occur in this region. Female performers in particular experience high levels of lower back strain. The two most common sources of pain are overworking the spinal muscles and injury to the joints in the spine. Additionally, lower back muscles tend to spasm as a protective measure when there is an injury. Back muscles spasms range from a slight twinge to debilitating pain.

Usually the treatment for these injuries are triple-pronged. First and foremost, on the agenda is rest. Resting the back prevents further injuries and gives the muscles time and space to heal. While resting, use cold packs or ice and take some anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen. The cold and the medicine work together to reduce the swelling that oftentimes leads to the spasms.

In extreme cases, people experiencing lower back strain may need to wear a back brace or attend physical therapy. If your doctor prescribes these measures, it is in order to preserve your full range of motion in your back.

 

CES 2020 Shows What’s To Come For Health Technology This Year

By |2020-01-24T03:30:17+00:00February 10th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , , |

CES is the annual technology conference that gives consumers a look into what technology is premiering in the upcoming year. The acronym is short for Consumer Electronics Show, and it lives up to its name. The conference holds any and every from of technology that people can buy. Fortunately for us, that includes health technology as well. Read on to learn some of the most fascinating health technology that was presented at this year’s CES.

VoiceItt

AARP helped bring VoiceItt to the public via their sponsorship. The device uses speech recognition technology to translate illegible speech in real time. Primarily, this device is for people with longstanding disabilities or those who have lost their voice due to a traumatic medical event. The primary developmental focus was on individuals who experienced a stroke.

Lumi

Lumi is a smart baby monitoring and diaper system from Pampers and Verily Life Sciences that gathers a variety of data for parents. The system uses both an HD video monitoring system and an activity sensor in the diapers. The physical components connect to an app on parents’ phones to deposit all the data. Ultimately, the tech gives parents information on sleeping, feeding, and diapering. While the system certainly gives all parents peace of mind, it is especially useful for babies with chronic health problems.

Willow

In other baby technology, the company Willow is aiming to update an often-neglected technology: breast pumps. Breast pumps have remained unchanged for decades, so it does not take much effort to update them. Willow’s goal is to make the pumps more discreet and easier to use. This is especially important as more and more women work to balance full careers and motherhood.

Willow’s current focus is a breast pump that works in a bra. Essentially, the person using the product simply has to wear it and switch the pump on as necessary. It is intended to help working mothers both avoid judgement and continue working while they pump.

Skiin

There are plenty of “smart” devices available to consumers already: smart phones, smart TVs, and smart watches are all available. Consumers need to prepare themselves though, smart technology is about to get a lot more intimate. Myant, a textile computing company, is releasing smart underwear in early 2020.

The cloth for the underwear has sensors embedded in it that communicate with an app. Myant claims that the product monitors and catalogues a wide variety of biometrics. The list includes measurements such as heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature, movement, posture tracking, and sleep information.

The underwear is just the first product in an entire line of smart clothing, called Skiin. Myant announced that the entire line will be released sometime in the first few months of 2020.

How Does Diet Relate To Mental Health?

By |2020-01-24T03:29:11+00:00February 3rd, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , , |

While mental health treatment and discussions are openly available in modern health studies, there’s still a lot of unanswered questions. One of the things we are finding out is just how much external factors, like environment, impact mental health. Simultaneous to the rise in mental health awareness, physicians have seen a rise in concerns about nutrition and dietary wellness. So how do those two components of health impact one another? This week we explore the connection between diet and mental health. Read on to learn all about nutritional psychiatry.

The Two Are Definitely Related

Psychologists know that there are a few things that link food and mental health. Physical components of health such as gut bacteria, hormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters are all impacted by food. Human brains need nutrients and all of the components of food to function.

However, trying to get specifics about how specific foods impact mental health is a very challenging process. As with a majority of mental health studies, everyone has a slightly different answer. Those widely varying answers are additionally obfuscated by potential pre-existing health conditions that the responder is not aware of.

Correlation Not Causation

For example, if someone develops a wheat allergy later in life, they may not be aware of it. However, whenever they eat things with wheat in it, they feel the negative impacts on their allergy. The physical issues impact the person mental health-wise as well. Instead of connecting the issue to wheat, the person possibly connects the negative side effects to carbohydrates. When they cut out carbs, they’re cutting out wheat.

Once they eliminate carbs, they start feeling better, both mentally and physically. However, their improvement is due to the elimination of wheat, not carbs. This person likely believes that not eating carbohydrates improves people’s mental health in general. However, this is simply not the case. All that happened was that the individual in question stopped ingesting the food that they were allergic to.

Possible Ties Discovered Thus Far

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a nutritional system that is derived from the typical diet of European countries. It emphasizes plant-based eating, cooking with olive oil, fish, poultry, beans, and ancient grains. Recent studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet works as a proactive measure against depressive episodes.

Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet is a nutritional plan that consists of foods high in natural fats and low in carbohydrates. Some scientists have posited that the keto diet helps children with drug resistant epilepsy prevent seizures. Less seizures leads to less trauma and better mental and emotional health.

Vitamin B-12

B-12 deficiencies are linked to psychosis and mania as well as other mental health symptoms. For those people with deficiencies, taking B-12 supplements significantly improves both mental and physical health.

Top Dental Health Tips

By |2020-01-14T00:23:45+00:00January 30th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , |

When you say healthcare, most people do not immediately think of their teeth. However, dental health and hygiene is an important part of overall health. Dental hygiene can impact how we talk, breath, and even cause headaches. So how do people guarantee that those pearly whites stay pearly and white? Read on to learn some top tips on how to preserve your dental health. Who knows, maybe your dental checkups will seem less scary in the future?

Daily Schedule

Keeping dental hygiene on a daily schedule means that you are less likely to forget, and more likely to follow through.

Brushing

Brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. It should take you about two to three minutes to brush your teeth each time. Make sure to brush gently in even circles, make sure not to miss a spot. Most dentists recommend toothpaste with fluoride in it to really help eliminate plaque.

Flossing

Yes, you really do need to floss every single day. Flossing needs to be gentle sawing motion. The first few times someone flosses, it does cause some bleeding. However, regular flossing strengthens the gums and eventually the bleeding will stop. If you struggle with using dental floss, there are pre constructed flossers on sale at most drug stores.

Take Care Of Your Tongue

Plaque does not just build up on your teeth. The nasty stuff can also establish itself on your tongue as well. Brushing your tongue helps eliminate, and there is a recent growth in tongue scrapers guaranteed to help with this problem.

Mouthwash

Mouthwash is an amazing tool for everybody. However, it is especially useful for people who cannot floss, or who cannot floss well. In particular, children, older adults, and people with physical disabilities benefit from mouthwash.

Preventative Maintenance

Taking care of your teeth every day is a great step in the right direction. However, that does very little if people do not follow through with preventative maintenance.

  • Limit drinking sugary and acidic drinks. These types of drinks includes sodas, coffees, alcohol, and even tea.
  • Drink more water. Dentists know that most people are not going to cut out acidic or sugary foods entirely. Water helps wash away some of the debris that food leaves behind. The washing away prevents the sugar and acids in the food from eating away at teeth.
  • Strengthen teeth through eat crunchy and crispy foods. Fruits, such as apples are particularly good for this.
  • Don’t use teeth for anything other than eating food. People who rip open packaging with their teeth are at risk of chipping their teeth. Even worse, those who crack nuts or open bottles with their teeth risk cracking or splitting a tooth.

How To Use The Health App On Your iPhone

By |2020-01-14T00:22:32+00:00January 23rd, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|Tags: , |

While it has some drawbacks, there is no way to argue that smart technology is not a useful tool. One of the tools that has grown in popularity is the health app on smart phones. People use health apps for a wide range of reasons. For some, it is simply an exercise and workout tracker. For others, it is actually a medical tool that saves them a lot of time and worry.

A majority of the functions for the health app have to be monitored by smart watches or other apps. We do not officially endorse any of these products, they are simply what Apple suggests as the most compatible with the health app.

The Main Four

When users open the app, there are four main tiles that greet them. They are activity, mindfulness, nutrition, and sleep. These are the four major components of health in general that Apple chose to focus on.

Activity

Activity tracks the iPhone’s movements to determine how much physical activity the user is doing. The activity monitoring can be connected to an smart watch, but the phone itself is also a viable option.

The app tracks the number of steps taken, the distanced travelled, and the flights of stairs climbed in a day. Those numbers are all logged and saved on the day in the in-app calendar. Users also have the ability to track that data over the course of weeks, months, and even years.

Mindfulness

The Mindfulness tile tracks user’s meditation time, as well as other mindfulness activities. Apple recommends apps such as 10% Happier: Meditation, Calm, and Headspace. On these apps, users record the time spent on meditation and mindfulness. The Health app again logs these numbers and users track them over the course of time.

Nutrition

The Nutrition portion of the app gives users a space to document all their food data. Apple recommends apps such as Lifesum, MyFitnessPal, and 8fit Workouts & Meal Planner. Users have the option to document intake from Biotin and Caffeine to Water and Zinc. The tag line for the Nutrition portion is “Eat more real food. Eat less junk food. Mind the amount.”

Sleep

People are increasingly knowledgeable about how much health impacts sleep, and the Health app is here to help track that. Apple does recommend some apps ( Sleep++, Sleepiest, etc.), but there’s an easier way to track sleep cycles. The clock app has a Bedtime option that will help log sleeping hours for you.

Other

There are a few other options for tracking on the health app.

  • Body Measurements
  • Health Records
  • This is mainly for smartwatch users. People can track blood pressure, resting hert rate and more.
  • Reproductive Health. For women tracking their menstrual cycle.
  • Results
  • Vitals

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This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.