Local Stories

Power of a Name - GYN cancers


For those of you who lived through the 1980s, you may remember that TV commercials often used jingles to get their point across.

These quirky tunes would get stuck in your head for days. Being named Libby, was particularly aware of the canned food commercial that touted, “Libby, Libby, Libby on the label, label, label, …” won’t go on because to this day, it still makes me cringe. I actually got kicked off the school bus in kindergarten for beating up a boy who was teasing me with that song. Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate my unique name.


How heart smart are you?

If you’re like most people, you think that heart disease is a problem for other folks. But heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S. It is also a major cause of disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.

There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. It’s the major reason people have heart attacks.

Other kinds of heart problems may happen to the valves in the heart, or the heart may not pump well and cause heart failure. Some people are born with heart disease.

Take this quiz to find out how heart smart are you


Digestive diseases

When you eat, your body breaks food down to a form it can use to build and nourish cells and provide energy. This process is called digestion. Your digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube. It runs from your mouth to your anus and includes your esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. Your liver, gallbladder and pancreas are also involved. They produce juices to help digestion.

Here are five common misconceptions about digestive diseases:

1. Spicy foods cause ulcers.
The truth is, almost all stomach ulcers are caused either by infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or by use of pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, the so-called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Most H. pylori-related ulcers can be cured with antibiotics. NSAID-induced ulcers can be cured with time, stomach-protective medications, antacids and avoidance of NSAIDs. Spicy food and stress may aggravate ulcer symptoms in some people, but they do not cause ulcers. (more…)

Five tips to take care of your eyes

eye diseasesAs the U.S. population ages, the number of Americans with major eye diseases is increasing, and vision loss is becoming a major public health problem, according to the National Eye Institute.

By the year 2020, the number of people who are blind or have low vision is projected to increase substantially, according to the Archives of Ophthalmology. Blindness or low vision affects 3.3 million Americans age 40 and over, or one in 28, according to study authors. This figure is projected to reach 5.5 million by the year 2020.
So what can you do to keep your eyes healthy?

Here are five tips from preventblindness.org:


Parenting after Newtown

The senseless killings in Newtown, Conn. have come to mean many things to many different people. What they mean to Parenting after Newtown is that now more than ever children need guidance. They need help. Debi Lynes, a licensed professional counselor, helps get you started.

Parenting after NewtownThe questions pile up to dizzying, overwhelming heights. Who does this? Why are so many of these shootings happening in our schools? Why are many of these murderers adolescents and young adults? What is happening to our teens? Maybe he watched too many video games? Why did no one notice? Why does something like this have to happen before we realize we have a public health crisis?

And no matter how many questions as we ask, or how many of society’s ills we blame, we get no closer to an answer. Perhaps there is no one answer. But rather than react to these tragedies, doesn’t it make more sense to become educated about the psychological development of our children? The evidence and research is there, documented in the literature, to help people become more proactive and prevent future incidents.

Parenting does not come with a rule book and each generation of teens and young adults have their own culture, complete with previously unknown challenges, pressures, and stressors. Parents of previous generations may have had to worry about drugs and violence, but never the vagaries of Facebook or the alarming lack of empathy that seems to plague this generation of children. So before you say, “This is the way I was raised and this psychology stuff is voodoo and malarkey,” it may not hurt to look at some cold, hard facts.


The power of pink

survivors-hall014It’s easy to get caught up in the over saturation of pink that soaks the month of October, running through all 31 days like a Pepto-tinted flood.

In every NFL game, players sprint up the gridiron in specially designed pink Nikes and catch deep passes in pink gloves. Every publication (including, guilty as charged, Monthly) goes “pink” in the name of awareness. And across the country, breast cancer awareness events give people an excuse to carry around oversized novelty plush boobs.

ome might say all of this levity detracts from the seriousness of the message. That an evil as powerful as breast cancer should be fought with stoicism and a stiff upper lip. But here’s the thing; maybe we dress Breast Cancer Awareness Month up in pink parades and bumper stickers with the word “TaTas” on them because the thing itself, the actual demon we’re trying to defeat, is just too terrifying. Maybe the fear of what this disease can do is just too deep, the sting of those lost still so fresh, that we can’t look it in the eye. So we just paint everything pink and try not to look too closely.

Because underneath all the pink is breast cancer. And breast cancer is a horrific, remorseless murderer of mothers, daughters, wives and friends.


What is Sensory Processing?

All day, every day, we receive information from our senses – touch, hearing, sight, taste, smell, body position, and movement and balance. Our brains must organize this information so that we can successfully function in all aspects of daily life – at home, at school, at play, at work, and during social interactions.  We also have preferences regarding how much, or how little of each sensory area we can tolerate, or seek.  For instance, one jolt of coffee may be all you need to get started in the morning… or perhaps you need more?  Some quiet yoga, or a walk on the beach?

Consider the following descriptions, and your own sensory processing preferences: (more…)

Do you know your cardiac calcium score?

Special to Monthly By Hilton Head Regional Healthcare

You know the score from your favorite team’s last game, may or may not want to remember the score of your most recent golf game, and are trying to lower your cholesterol score. But do you know your cardiac calcium score? Based on a scale of 0 to over 400, your cardiac calcium score can help predict if you are at a higher risk of a heart attack or other problems before you have any symptoms.Cardiac calcium scans use noninvasive techniques to obtain information about the location and extent of calcium buildup in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Healthy coronary arteries do not have plaque, a buildup of fat and other substances including calcium. A higher cardiac calcium score means more plaque in the arteries of your heart, putting you at greater risk for coronary artery disease (CAD).

Cardiac calcium scans most often are recommended for men over the age of 45, women over the age of 55 or who are postmenopausal, and those who have risk factors for CAD but show no symptoms. In addition to age, risk factors for CAD include unusually high cholesterol, family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity. You probably would not have this test if you have had a heart attack, coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty with or without stent placement, or if you are or might be pregnant.