Flu Basics by Linette Anaya-Lavenant

The flu which is also known as the influenza is a contagious illness which is caused by a virus which affects mostly the nose, lungs and throat. If this illness is not treated immediately it can be fatal for some. It is easy to mistake the flu for a cold, because the symptoms are very similar. The age population who is at higher risk for developing the flu are children younger than 2 years of age and adults of age 65 and older.

 The main symptoms for influenza include:

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fever

  • Congestion

  • Body ache

  • Headache


The virus (flu) spreads through the air, so if a person diagnosed with the flu sneezes or coughs without covering their mouth, it is easily transmitted. Also the flu can be passed along through shared objects or touched things. People having the flu can be highly contagious.

Treatment

Rest at home and drink lots of fluids because this will help your body fight the infection.  If the flu is detected early, Tamiflu (a prescribed medication) can be helpful for a speedier recovery.  Over-the-counter medications can help relieve the pain and help ease the symptoms.

Prevention

The flu can be prevented by getting the flu vaccine once a year which is recommended.  Things to consider for prevention of the flu is covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, avoid sharing cups/utensils, washing your hands regularly, clean and disinfect surfaces.  This will stop the spread of germs.

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

How to Reduce Workplace Stress

 

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It is no surprise that many people experience a great deal of stress in the workplace. Having too much stress at work can lead us to taking that stress home.  This can cause depression, weight gain, and ultimately making more healthcare appointments.

So what is stress and how can we prevent it?

According to the Medical Dictionary, stress is defined as, “a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension”. This type of stress can range from big to small such as a persistently squeaky chair, continuous noise from a coworker, an overly-demanding boss, overwhelming deadlines, or complaining clients, customers, or co-workers.  These are examples of stressors that can make it challenging to effectively do your job and maintain a healthy lifestyle at home.  The great news is that there are many simple things we can do each day to help reduce this stress!

Some things that help me include:

  1. Taking a 10-15-minute walk at lunch. On very stressful days, I like to take a short break and just simply take a walk. After about 10 or 15 minutes my mind already feels clear and ready to go back to work.

  2. Set goals for each day. I know we all learned in school that goal-setting was very important. Most of us rolled our eyes and forgot about it, but when it comes to reducing stress, setting goals is key. Each day that I go into work, I set 3 goals. It does not matter if they are large, time-consuming goals or simple goals that will only take a minute. If these 3 goals are finished by the end of the day, I am automatically uplifted and ultimately happier with the job I have performed.

  3. Eat for health and do NOT eat because you are stressed! It is very easy to be stressed out and start eating unhealthy foods such as chips, candies, or grabbing fast food because we think we don’t have enough time. Eating this way will make you feel worse and create even more stress because you’ll have the added problem of weight gain.  Every Sunday before my next work week begins I prep my meals. This helps me in two different ways:



  • It is very relaxing to cook and helps you to focus on something other than work.

  • You are guaranteed to stay away from the temptation of eating unhealthy.


With these 3 simple tasks, you are sure to reduce your stress at work and in the end become happier, healthier, more focused and productive.

Questions?  We are here for you! 1-877-MY DOC NOW (1-877-693-6266)

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The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

The Basics of Healthy Skin Care by Krista Clark

krista low resTaking care of your skin and moisturizing daily is extremely important, especially if you want to keep those wrinkles away and have your skin looking fresh and glowing. There are so many commercials that claim and swear up and down that their lotions will make you look like a million dollars. Do you sometimes feel confused and overwhelmed when you’re at the store debating which skin care is the best?

Look no further, the main basic steps to maintaining flawless looking skin are:

  1. Cleansing your skin daily to remove grime, chemicals, and toxins.

  2. Keeping your skin moisturized which will replenish the skin.

  3. Sunscreen is the most important thing when you’re outside (even on overcast days)! Protect yourself, you don’t want to make the mistake of frying that beautiful skin.


 

Cleansing

To keep your skin looking radiant, cleansing your skin will easily remove dirt, debris, germs, and excessive oils. Do you feel like your skin is cleansed when it has a tight or “crisp” feel to it? You may have adapted to the roughness and itchiness of your skin and, not realizing that instead of helping your skin, your damaging it. You really must dig deep until you find the moisturizer that works best for you. Choosing the correct moisturizer may be a little difficult at times, make sure you know what skin type you have, and keep in mind that if you have a skin condition, choose the correct moisturizer wisely making sure that you don’t irritate your skin or the underlying problem. Perhaps seeking a dermatologist would be the next step if you are unsure as to what skin care regimen is right for you.

Sunscreen

Your chances of skin cancer increase when there is constant exposure to the sun and those UV rays. Unbelievably, UV exposure occurs throughout your everyday life and can occur by just sitting in your car or even walking out to take your trash out; your body is absorbing all those UV rays and a lot of people don’t even know it’s happening.

Applying sunscreen is imperative if you will be exposed to the sun for a long period of time, especially if you’re going to the beach or even having a picnic at the park. If you don’t plan to apply sunscreen to every part of your body, at least make sure that the rest of your body that isn’t covered with sunscreen is protected. You have come a long way in taking care of that beautiful skin, don’t ruin it by leaving your skin exposed to those pesky UVs.

Hydration

The skin needs hydration on an everyday basis, therefore it is imperative that you moisturize your skin as much as possible. Parabens play an important role because they help increase the water content of the skin and prevent any water loss. Reducing moisture loss can be maintained by applying moisturizers. Moisturizers can take the place of the natural oils and moisture that is lost. Natural skin care moisturizers are by far the best thing for your skin because many of them contain antioxidants. These antioxidants will not only enhance your skin’s UV resistance, but they will boost your immune system as well. Sensitive skin or not, natural unprocessed skin care will make your skin love you!

 

Begin beautifying your skin with these pure and natural home remedies:

  1. Coconut Oil


Strengthens underlying epidermal tissue, removes dead skin cells, protecting the skin from sunburns, and contains antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. Coconut Oil works best on hair when it’s dry and fried, it gives it both shine and smoothness.

  1. Sea Salt


Sea Salt contains loads of minerals and nutrients, it helps protect, and restore the skin. The salt contains anti-inflammatory molecules which sooth skin and calm breakouts, it also removes dead skin cells and helps the skin maintain moisture levels.

  1. Avocado


Avocados contain vitamins A, D, and, E. Avocado oils stimulate the production of collagen, helping your skin cells repair and regrow themselves. Avocados also contain provitamin A, which is what helps protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

  1.      Lemon Essential Oil


This can improve your complexion and leave your skin soft and radiant, it deeply nourishes the skin removing dead skin cells. It can tone oily skin, fight wrinkles and can also fade scars and age spots.

There are many safe beauty products on the market, but take note that there are also harmful ones out there as well. Unfortunately, it is a reality that some products we use on an everyday basis are filled with harmful ingredients that ultimately end up causing harm to you. With so many different options of skin care products, it is difficult to know which is the best for you.  Keeping an eye on certain ingredients that are in beauty products is necessary; you really need to be aware of what product is being placed on your skin. Unbelievably, most of the store-bought skin care products include poisonous ingredients and chemical fragrances that are associated with serious issues such as hormonal problems, cancer and even infertility.   Do you have questions about the safety of a certain beauty product?  EWG’s Skin Deep website http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search has a database showing the safety of more than 70 thousand products.

 

Tips on how to avoid opposing effects of beauty products:

  1. The patch test is imperative after having purchased a new beauty product.

  2. Be cautious of certain ingredients in skin care products prior to purchasing, there may be an ingredient present that is harmful to your skin.

  3. Avoid repeated changing of products.

  4. Oil based products are not recommended for oily skin, refrain from purchasing beauty products that contain high contents of oils, not recommended for oily based skin.

  5. Being on high alert for expiration dates on products is necessary, expired products can be harmful to your skin.

  6. Deodorant sprays are not recommended.

  7. Body sprays and such are to be sprayed on your clothes and should not have any skin contact.

  8. Henna hair dye is recommended for those who have allergies to regular hair dye because henna is more of a natural dye.

  9. Highly important to remember that not everyone is made the same, some products that are suitable for your friends may not be suitable for you.


Cleansing lotions, moisturizers, sunscreen, toners, scrubs, and face masks carry massive quantities of chemicals and even detergents. They steadily remove the natural nutrients and oil of the skin. Next time you’re at the store wondering what beauty product to purchase, remember to use the tips as stated above and if possible at all try to use more of the natural products for your skin.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Grip Strength by Bree Maloney

Grip Strength? ‘What does that have to do with anything?’ you might ask. When I first learned about it, it seemed like a complete waste of time. But the truth of the matter is, grip strength is a reliable indicator of health conditions including heart attack or stroke. Grip strength shows muscle health in the hands and forearms. As we age our grip tends to weaken, which eventually begins to affect our day-to-day lives. Grip strength is incredibly useful in everyday life. A strong grip does much more than provide you with a firm handshake or help open that jar of relish, it may also help you measure your risk for having a heart attack or stroke. Why? Because a stronger grip is generally an indication of more muscle mass, which comes from increased physical activity and better overall health.

Did you know that it takes 34 muscles to move your fingers and thumb? And guess what, all those muscles are in the palm of your hand and forearm. Strong muscles play an important role in helping you to maintain good balance and strength to perform your daily tasks efficiently.  The stronger your muscles and connective tissues are in your hand, wrist and forearm, the more injury-resistant you will be. And if an injury does take place, stronger tissue will usually recover faster so that you’re back to your normal self, faster.

So, what can help improve my grip strength? There are things you can do to keep your grip strength in a health range.

  1. Strength train often - Strength training 2 to 3 times per week for each muscle group. For a specific muscle group to recover, training sessions for that muscle group should be 48 hours apart.

  2. Lift heavier - Perform a farmer-carry exercise by holding a kettle bell or something heavy and walk the length of your living room. Vary the shape of the objects and slowly increase the weight.

  3. Simple exercises - Developing grip strength doesn’t take special equipment. Carrying grocery bags or squeezing out water from a washcloth will help increase grip strength.


Using a stress ball can reduce stress and strengthen hand and wrist muscles. Do these simple exercises at your desk or during short breaks.

  • Grip Strength: Squeeze the ball for three seconds, then relax your grip. Repeat for one minute, then rest a minute. Repeat three times then switch hands. As your endurance increase, squeeze the ball for 90 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.

  • Wrist Strength: Squeeze the ball for three seconds, then relax your grip. Repeat up to twenty times to a point of fatigue. This increases grip strength through the wrist and releases tension.

  • Finger and Thumb Strength: Pinch the ball with the thumb and each finger, one at a time. Then pinch the ball between just the fingers, giving the thumb a rest. Hold each pinch for a count of three and repeat up to twenty times or to the point of fatigue.


Remember to start out light on your grip strength training and move up slowly.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

Fall and Winter Skin Care by Dakota McCarthy

There always seems to be an abundance of new, trendy routines and all-the-rage products when it comes to skin care. But did you know weather plays a significant factor when determining what to do or what to use?  The warmer months such as summer and spring tend to create more oily skin, causing pores to get clogged easily. On the opposite end, the fall and winter months tend to dry out and irritate skin. What do you do to get ready for the cold days ahead?

First and foremost, keep your skin moisturized. Your skin is your best friend because it is your first line of defense against foreign bacteria. Dry skin can crack, opening the dermis, the outer most layer of skin. The dermis has 2 essential functions: keep water and hydration in while keeping harmful bacteria, germs and other pollutants out. Cracked skin allows bacteria seep in, causing irritated red patches and in some cases infections.

Wintertime can wreak havoc on your skin.  When you walk into a heated building after being outside with cold temperatures and a lack of humidity, your skin gets thirsty and will want to soak in whatever it can get - so it’s best to make sure it’s something helpful!  For this reason, typically heavier hydrating creams are essential during fall and winter seasons.

Another easy tip is to carry a water mist spray to refresh your skin during the long day. Don’t worry: most misting sprays aren’t strong enough to budge make-up but will still give adequate drying relief.

Exfoliation is also key, but be careful with this step. It’s very easy to over-exfoliate the skin and cause unwanted redness and irritation. With exfoliators, you typically want to stick with an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) or BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) exfoliant.

AHAs are usually more plant-based and are typically gentler when removing dead skin. BHAs are mostly used to clear up pores and calm the skin. Both are meant to exfoliate without harsh physical scrubbing.

Finally, and most importantly –be sure to wear sunscreen all year long! Regardless of the season, UV rays will pierce through the clouds and penetrate your skin. The easiest way to protect yourself is to apply sunscreen after your morning face routine to seal in the moisture and protect your skin. Sunscreen is the biggest long-term care you can give to yourself and should never be forgotten!

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin by Lauren Mitchell

Fall is here - which also means pumpkin season! But there's more to pumpkins than pie- pumpkins offer many health benefits! Both fresh and canned pumpkin are packed with so many healthy nutrients.  Here are some reasons why incorporating more pumpkin into your diet might be a clever idea:

  • Pumpkins are that delicious orange color because of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that turns into vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene is essential for healthy eyes and has also been linked to preventing coronary artery disease.


 

  • Pumpkin seeds are so nutritious! They're packed with protein, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium. Studies show that these seeds aid in blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lowering the risk of bladder stones, lowering cholesterol and lowering high blood pressure. They may even prevent some types of cancers due to the prominent levels of phytosterols (a group of compounds found in plants).




  • Eating pumpkin may aid in weight loss. Pumpkins and their seeds are low in calories and a high source of fiber, which keeps you full longer. Feeling full longer means beating those cravings and lessening the desire to snack too much. Eating a high-fiber diet boosts the metabolism, also aiding in weight loss.


 

  • Consuming pumpkin improves your complexion. Pumpkin contains lots of fruit enzymes and AHAs, which increase cell turnover, helping to brighten and smooth skin. It also contains antioxidants, which boosts collagen production and prevents wrinkles.


 

  • Eating pumpkin helps you sleep sounder! Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to that post-Thanksgiving dinner grogginess. Tryptophan makes you sleepy, but also helps the body produce serotonin, which is a calming neurotransmitter.


Try incorporating more pumpkin into your diet in a healthy way, like roasting cubes of it or sprinkling the seeds on top of your salad or morning yogurt parfait. Pumpkin is so versatile; the possibilities are endless! Have a happy and healthy pumpkin season!

References: https://www.curejoy.com/content/health-benefits-of-pumpkin/, https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/6-surprising-health-benefits-of-pumpkin#1, https://dailyburn.com/life/health/pumpkin-health-benefits/

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Candida Infections of the Mouth, Throat and Esophagus by Marilee Tapley

Marilee_new pulseCandidiasis in the mouth and throat is also called “thrush” or oropharyngeal candidiasis.  Candidiasis in the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach) is called esophageal candidiasis or candida esophagitis.  Esophageal candidiasis is one of the most common infections in people living with HIV/AIDS.

There is a type of fungus called candida that lives in our digestive tract and on our skin without causing us any problems. Candida can sometimes multiply and cause infection if the environment inside our mouth, throat or esophagus changes in a way that promotes fungal growth.

Here are a few symptoms of candidiasis in the mouth: white patches in the inner cheeks, roof of the mouth, throat, and tongue.  Loss of taste, redness or soreness, cottony feeling in the mouth, pain while swallowing or eating and cracking and redness at the corners of the mouth.

A healthcare provider can usually diagnose candidiasis simply by looking inside the mouth, or taking a swab culture and sending it out to the laboratory for testing.  Treatment is usually an antifungal medication to apply to the inside of the mouth for 7 to 14 days.  Treatment is sometimes with a medication called fluconazole.

So, who gets candidiasis? You are at risk if you have HIV/AIDS, you smoke, or have cancer, diabetes, wear dentures, take antibiotics or corticosteroids.  Additionally, you are prone to candidiasis if you take medications that cause dry mouth or have medical conditions that cause dry mouth.

To prevent candidiasis in the mouth, throat or esophagus:  maintain good oral health and rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after using inhaled corticosteroids. Studies show that chlorhexidine mouthwash can help to prevent oral candidiasis in people undergoing cancer treatment.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

Fall Seasonal Skin Care by Your Marque Team

With the fall season quickly approaching, this means the change of leaves, cool breezes in the air, and the start of that dry, itchy skin that so many people fight with during this season.  Instead of struggling through these uncomfortable side effects of weather change, be proactive and apply these easy tips for healthy skin this fall:

#1 Drink Your Water!

This is something people hear from their healthcare providers frequently, but never seem to follow through with.  Hydration is key in replacing the moisture in one’s skin that is lost with the cold, dry air throughout this season.  There are many resources to help you remember to drink your water.  There are apps that can be downloaded to track water intake for the day as well as reusable water bottles marked with measurements on the side.  (Reusable bottles = helpful reminder to drink your water as well as fewer plastic bottles being used.  It’s a win-win.)

#2 Moisturizewater

Be sure to moisturize skin after bathing to ensure that the water you just replaced, gets locked in. Also, try and find a fragrance-free moisturizer.  Moisturizers with a fragrance tend to be more harsh and irritating to the skin, which is exactly what’s trying to be avoided. Try to remember, our skin is the largest organ of our body.  Just like we take daily precautions to protect the organs of the inside of our body, we should do the same for our largest, and most often, forgotten about.

#3 Protect
So often we forget that even on cloudy days, those damaging UV rays are still out to play.  Applying a sunscreen, or even moisturizer with low SPF, in the morning is extremely beneficial to protecting one’s skin.  A common concern among people regarding daily use of sunscreen is the oily, greasy look and feeling of sunscreen on their face all day.  I’ve heard many people mention this concern and I can assure you, I’ve been able to find some amazing brands on the market that dry quickly, have no fragrance, and can easily be worn under makeup. Incorporate this into your daily skin routine and your skin will thank you.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

General Rules after an Acute Injury by David Waterman

david-watermanOn a daily basis, we have multiple patients ask us if they can resume the same activity immediately after an injury. My response, “Well you probably would not be in our office if you could keep playing basketball, bicycling, football, swimming etc.”  Injuries serious enough to bring you into the doctor’s office should not be taken lightly or treated as an afterthought.

The first rule and most important rule of thumb when you are injured is, “if it hurts, STOP DOING IT.”  There are conflicting viewpoints to mine such as the sayings – “no pain, no gain” or “walk it off.”  Pain is sign of injury, so if it hurts, it’s probably an injury. If it hurts even more, you are probably injuring it more.

Ice is generally used to reduce swelling and pain by constricting the blood vessels at the site and numbing the nerves. Take note that a prolonged period of icing can reduce the benefits or in some cases cause more injury.  A general rule with icing is to do it no longer than 20 minutes. It’s good to note that blood flow also removes the swelling at the site of the injury, so constant constriction isn’t helpful to the healing process.

Elevate your injury as high above your heart as you can and allow gravity to assist in the reduction of swelling at the area of injury.

Heat Just like the natural properties of ice are used in treatment, so are the properties of heat. Heat increases the blood flow and looseness helping to release some tension and tightness and prepping the area of injury for good blood flow to carry away some swelling.

Move! Isaac Newton showed us that an “object at rest stays at rest” and an “object in motion stays in motion.”  Give yourself a day or two to rest after injury, but don’t let it entirely take you out. Try to start moving gradually.  Your body is like a car, and proper maintenance includes getting out and putting some miles on it.  If something breaks, you replace or repair it, fine tune it, and use it.  If you stop moving for too long, eventually it gets harder to get back to it- like the old saying goes “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” So get out there take care of yourself and get back in the daily fight.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.