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Posts made in October, 2012

Make Your Wishes Known

Healthcare Decisions Week Is Oct. 28 to Nov. 3 – Complete Your Advance Health Care Directive Today

If an injury or sickness leaves you unable to communicate your treatment preferences, an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) can ensure your wishes are followed and save your family unnecessary grief.

Frances Huang, Mills-Peninsula medical social worker

On an AHCD you can indicate whether or not you want life-sustaining treatment and your preferences for other treatments, such as pain relief. The form also allows you to choose a person to make health care decisions for you, if you are unable. Any person older than 18 years can fill out an AHCD form. Read More

Urinary Tract Infections and Incontinence

Two of the most common women’s health issues seen by urologists are urinary tract infections and incontinence, according to Dieter Bruno, M.D. “Besides the discomfort women experience with urinary tract conditions, there are some important reasons you should not ignore symptoms,” he says.

While blood in the urine may be a sign of a urinary tract infection, it can also be a symptom of bladder or kidney cancer. “If you ever have blood in the urine, it’s not normal,” Dr. Bruno says. “Don’t just chalk it up to a urinary tract infection. See your primary care doctor, if you have one, or a urologist.”

Two groups of women tend to get urinary tract infections, according to the doctor. “Younger women who are sexually active and older women who are postmenopausal and have decreased estrogen levels.”

Stress incontinence is also extremely common. “In general, stress incontinence is an involuntary leakage of urine when women cough, sneeze or exercise. If you are overweight – stress incontinence is more likely to affect you,” Dr. Bruno says.

For overall good urinary health, Dr. Bruno suggests two simple measures:

  • Drink more fluids
  • Go to the bathroom regularly to empty your bladder

“This will help you protect against urinary tract infections and maintain kidney health,” he says. If you have any of the following symptoms, he urges you to see your doctor or urologist:

  • Issues with urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Painful urination
  • Pain in the back or kidneys

To learn more about women’s health don’t miss the 2012 Universal Sisters Conference, Hosted by Mills-Peninsula Health Services and the African American Community Health Advisory Committee on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at the San Francisco Airport Marriott. Keynote speakers include Gloria Mayfield-Banks, Director, elite executive national sales, Mary Kay, Inc., and James E.K. Hildreth, M.D., dean, College of Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis. The day includes a continental breakfast, educational workshops and luncheon. Tickets are $50. Register here.

 

Depression – Adolescents at Risk

Every year in the U.S. approximately 500,000 to one million young people ages 15 to 24 attempt to take their own lives. This fact was tragically brought home to the Peninsula in late 2009 and 2010 when a rash of teen suicides rocked the community of Palo Alto, California.

“Suicide is the third leading cause of death in teenagers after accidents and homicide,” says Dan Becker, M.D., a psychiatrist and medical director for Mills-Peninsula’s Behavioral Health Services. While accidents and violence relate to behavioral problems, Dr. Becker says that suicide is more closely related to psychiatric disorders, particularly depression. Depression occurs in approximately 15 percent of teens. “For these reasons and others, it’s important that communities have appropriate treatment programs and facilities to help adolescents and their families,” he says. Read More

Drop, Cover and Hold On for the Great California ShakeOut

Get ready to rock, California. Mills-Peninsula Health Services and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation will join more than nine million expected participants in the Great California ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill ever.

On Oct. 18 at 10:18 a.m., organizations throughout the state will practice how to be safer during a major earthquake. Read More

Exercise – Why Warm Up?

When you exercise, do it like a professional, says exercise physiologist Brooke Benjamin. “Prepare your body before you hit the field, court or pavement with a proper warmup. It helps prevent injuries, but also benefits you in many ways you might not think of,” she says.

Add a warmup before exercise to:

  • Burn more calories
  • Gain better muscle control
  • Improve your range of motion
  • Prevent sore muscles
  • Perform longer workouts
  • Prepare yourself mentally
  • Avoid strains, sprains and other injuries

Benjamin demonstrates simple warmup and cool down exercises in this video segment from Healthpoint TV.