Vital Signs is a weekly consumer health chat featuring leading North Texas medical figures. Hosted by Sam Baker, topics range from flu to skin cancer to exactly what a New Year’s cocktail does to your body.
Even though people sleep less as they age, it doesn’t mean they need less sleep. A geriatrics specialist talks about factors that can impair sleep for seniors and steps they can take to get some needed rest.
Five years ago, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against routine blood tests to measure your level of prostate-specific antigens – the PSA test. The task force now recommends men 55 to 69 should talk with their doctor about whether to have the test.
An umbilical cord after birth yields about three to five ounces of cell-rich cord blood. That's not a lot, but enough of it can help treat more than 80 or so diseases. A North Texas oncologist says education's key to boosting limited supply.
Another potentially dangerous trend: the "eraser challenge." That's where you vigorously rub an eraser on your skin while reciting a certain phrase or the alphabet. The results can be disfiguring or worse.
It hasn’t been scientifically proven as beneficial, but that hasn’t stopped many from trying for the goal of 10,000 steps a day, which is touted as a way to stay in shape. However, a new study finds 15,000 steps might be better.
The term "cardiomyopathy" refers to diseases of the heart muscle that make it difficult over time for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. As many as one in 500 people may have the condition. One form of it – dilated cardiomyopathy — contributed to the death of singer George Michael.
Fish oil is among the most widely used supplements in the U.S. An estimated 20 percent of Americans consume them, but some nutritionists recommend sticking with the real thing – an oily fish like salmon or tuna.
An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, which is very treatable, according to the American Thyroid Association. But more than half the people with thyroid disease don’t know they have it.
Effective screening and prevention have limited deaths from cervical cancer to about 4,000 each year. But a recent study of a dozen states over 10 years found experts may have underestimated the risk of dying from the disease.
At one point, a heart surgical procedure required opening your chest. Technology’s now made it possible in some cases to avoid open heart surgery in favor of minimally invasive procedures that are actually better for some patients.
One of the most common and potentially life-threatening food allergies, peanut allergy tends to develop in childhood and is usually lifelong. But new recommendations offer the chance to reduce the risk of children developing peanut allergy.
The New York Times recently reported on an ongoing health problem: People once vigilant about vaccinating their children aren’t nearly as careful about protecting themselves as they age – even though some diseases are particularly dangerous for older people.
Most years, Texas sees only about 20 cases of mumps statewide. But the current outbreak in North Texas includes more than twice that many in Johnson County alone. Cases also have been reported in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties.
Tens of millions of Americans currently use statin drugs. Doctors have based that on cholesterol levels and various lifestyle factors. However, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests age should also figure into the decision.
After a downturn in 2015, a rare disease affecting the nervous system is on the rise again. The CDC says 89 cases of acute flaccid myelitis has been confirmed this year in 33 states, including Texas. Five of those were in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties.
They're two problems that go well beyond mere “tummy trouble.” Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease sound similar – and share some similar symptoms – but one can have far greater consequences. Here's the difference between the two.
A recent CDC study found seven out of 10 U.S. adults, ages 65 and older, have hypertension, but nearly half do not have it under control. A hypertension specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center says the reasons go further than just forgetting to take needed medication.