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By SMH Webmaster on 9/9/2010 3:07 PM
At first, each of the diets seemed to work. After awhile, the limited food choices became boring and the desire to eat other foods won. Once I gave into temptation, I never resumed the diet and ended up gaining more than I had lost. Then I felt like a failure and again sought comfort in food. Sound familiar? It is to many of us. The health effects of being overweight are tremendous; increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, orthopedic issues, lower self—esteem and quality of life, and cancers are just a few of these effects.

How does one successfully achieve a healthy weight and maintain it? The choice must be individual. Certain interventions have been shown to increase one’s chance of success. One study indicated that a person’s perception of life events influences their success. Those who did not attribute their previous weight to medical or psychological factors were more likely to succeed. In other words, they felt strongly that their...
By SMH Webmaster on 6/21/2010 9:50 AM
Little did I know, I would grow up to save people too. I carry a stethoscope instead of a gun, listen to stories of death defying acts and try to keep some lipstick on in the midst of crisis. Recently I went to the American Heart Association’s (AHA) ‘’Go Red for Women” luncheon and heard a story that is all too familiar. The speaker described an experience of having a heart attack; she went to the hospital several times with crushing chest pain and was told she had anxiety. When the pain became so severe that she could not walk, she was too embarrassed to tell anyone because she thought she was crazy and hysterical. Finally, a friend took her back to the hospital where she had a heart catherization confirming a myocardial infarction (MI). No one believed her because she was too young and didn’t have the picture—perfect risk factors. She watched her mother die of a heart attack and was passionate about making a difference. Her presentation made me rethink our position on how we care for women.I have worked in critical...
By SMH Webmaster on 12/10/2009 4:31 PM
Signs and Symptoms

Emotional sadness Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or restlessness Lack of energy or fatigue Changes in sleep patterns Irritability or anxiety Thoughts of death or suicide TreatmentTreatment for depression may include therapy, medicine or both. The medical therapy may include medicine for anxiety or sleep and/or antidepressants. These drugs may be used on a temporary basis or more permanent basis, depending on the patient and situation. Below are some other strategies to help you cope with the holiday season:

Keep expectations manageable. Set realistic goals for activities, shopping, etc. Make lists and prioritize them. Learn to say “NO”. Accept only the invitations you really want to attend and let the others go. Try to leave “yesteryear” in the past and look forward to the future. Life brings changes. Each season can be enjoyed in a different way. Try not to compare now to “the good ol” days. Volunteer. Helping others makes you feel...
By SMH Webmaster on 12/1/2009 1:53 PM
What is the cause of Vitamin D deficiency?Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by any of the following:

Not consuming the recommended amount. Limited exposure to sunlight. Dark skin: Pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability to produce Vitamin D in sunlight. Kidney disease: As people age, the kidneys are less able to convert Vitamin D to its active form. Digestive disorders/medications can affect the intestines’ ability to absorb Vitamin D. Obesity: Vitamin D is extracted from the body by fat cells, altering its release into the circulation. People with a BMI of 30 or greater often have low blood levels of Vitamin D. How do I know if I have enough Vitamin D?A simple blood test can determine your Vitamin D level, which should be 50—80 ng/ml. Anything below 50 ng/ml indicates chronic substrate starvation, indicating that the body is using Vitamin D as fast as your body is producing it. If you take a blood test, make sure it is 25 (OH) D level. If you are unsure whether or not it’s the correct test, check...
By SMH Webmaster on 9/21/2009 2:24 PM
CAD is the narrowing or development of blockage in the coronary arteries that can limit or prevent the flow of blood to your heart. If the heart doesn’t get all the nutrients and oxygen it needs, it can fail.

CAD is the number one killer of women in the United States. American women are four to six times more likely to die of a myocardial infarction than from breast cancer.

We often hear about CAD, but usually it’s about the symptoms that men encounter. However, the Shawnee Mission Heart & Vascular Center has learned during the last several years that women often present with more vague symptoms for CAD and later in life than men do. We have seen many women discharged from ERs with vague symptoms and return only to be diagnosed with a heart attack. The Heart & Vascular Center has done extensive education to prevent this from happening in the future.

Common Signs of a Heart Attack

Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest, mild or strong, and can last up to five minutes or may be intermittent....
By SMH Webmaster on 8/19/2009 11:04 AM
What is Sleep Apnea?Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is broken up during sleep. Referred to as “apnea”, these lapses can cause people to stop breathing hundreds of times throughout the night.

At least 2 million Americans have sleep apnea and because it occurs while sleeping, most people don’t know they have it. It’s also difficult for doctors to detect because they can’t actually see it during a routine office visit and there’s no blood test to check for it.

When you sleep, your body rests and restores energy, impacting your mental and physical well—being. A good night’s sleep is the best way to help cope with stress, overcome illness, solve problems and function effectively at work or school. During the periods of apnea, the oxygen levels in the blood drop and a flood of hormonal reactions occur. You may wake up as many as 30 times an hour in a state of “fright” or “panic”, as if you were being chased by a wild animal.

As you can imagine, sleep apnea...
By SMH Webmaster on 7/1/2009 12:57 PM
If you smoke or have known peripheral artery disease, the risk is even greater. Other factors that can add to the risk of blocked arteries include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, which for men is a waistline greater than 40 inches.

Although it is not the most comfortable topic to bring up with your physician, talking about it can help you identify the symptoms of heart disease early on. And, if you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, knowing the connection and taking the appropriate precautions is crucial to improving and maintaining erectile function.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself if you think you might be experiencing erectile dysfunction:

Do I have high blood pressure?Do I have difficulty staying aroused when in the mood?How often does this happen — occasionally, often or rarely?Do I take blood pressure medication?Do I have known coronary artery disease?

Shawnee Mission Medical Center has a great online tool that can help determine whether...
Shawnee Mission Medical Center
9100 West 74th Street
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204
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Lenexa, Kansas 66227
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