Health advice and news from Sutter Health’s Northern California experts. The latest on fitness, nutrition, menopause, disease prevention and more.
‘Tis the season for holiday parties and indulgent foods, when sweet treats, fried goodies and alcoholic drinks reign supreme. Many of us look forward to our traditional piece of turkey and pie on Thanksgiving, followed soon after by creamy eggnog and Christmas cookies. The problem is those rich holidays foods can wreak havoc on our digestive systems, making us feel sluggish, constipated and in some cases very sick.
In fact, there’s anecdotal evidence from doctors and surgeons that emergency rooms often see a spike on Thanksgiving of people needing their gallbladders removed. Vinod Kurupath, M.D., a gastroenterologist with the Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, says a typical holiday feast can precipitate a gallbladder attack in people with gallstones.
It’s a bit ironic — or perhaps extremely well timed — that an awareness week devoted to understanding severe heartburn coincides with the nation’s Thanksgiving festivities. After all, how many times have you eaten a hefty meal of turkey, buttery mashed potatoes and pie a la mode only to experience a horrible burning sensation in your chest a few hours later?
You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 20 percent of the nation’s population has gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD. This condition is characterized by chronic heartburn caused by stomach acids flowing back up into your esophagus. Medical experts encourage people who frequently experience these symptoms to talk to their doctors, as GERD is not only painful, but can be doing damage to your body.
Just days before Halloween, foodies got bad news that was neither a trick nor a treat.
The World Health Organization’s cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), classified eating red meat – beef, veal, pork, lamb – as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” This new classification puts steak and pork chops in Group 2A, the same group as inorganic lead compounds and malaria.
Alzheimer’s disease affects 5.3 million Americans and is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that damages the brain, causes mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease dementia. The disease gets worse over time, and there are no treatments to prevent it or reverse it. But Sutter researchers may have discovered a way to slow down its onset through an innovative clinical trial using blood plasma infusions.
Sutter Institute of Medical Research conducted a study – in partnership with Sutter Neuroscience Institute and Sutter Neuroradiology – that investigated the effects of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusions administered during the pre-dementia phase of Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re confused about when you should start getting mammograms, you’re not alone. The American Cancer Society’s new guidelines recommend women begin having mammograms at the age of 45. However, this doesn’t align with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation of 50 years old or the American College of Radiology’s recommendation of 40 years old.