What Vaccinations Do Young Adults Need?

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Much of the conversation on vaccines is geared toward infants and young children, but as back-to-school season quickly approaches, it’s important to remember that young adults, especially those going to college, need to be up to date on their vaccines, too.

Students in college often live in close quarters to one another, sharing dorm rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, making them more likely to come into contact with germs that can spread disease.

Vaccination requirements can vary by state and by school, so be sure to check the policies. Many larger universities follow the state vaccine requirements, but if you’re attending a smaller school, they may have a policy of their own.  Continue reading.


What is a Vaginal Rejuvenation Procedure?

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Jada Pinkett Smith made headlines recently when she spoke about undergoing a vaginal rejuvenation treatment to resolve bladder issues on an episode of her Facebook series, Red Table Talk. It led to many people questioning what, exactly, vaginal rejuvenation treatment is, whether or not it’s safe, how it works and which treatment is best for them.

The simple answer is: it depends. There are several different treatment options available to fit a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from non-invasive to surgical, radiofrequency to laser and more. Continue reading.


Performing Arts Wellness Program Helps Dancers and Gymnasts Recover from Injury

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When a dancer or gymnast sustains an injury, they may not know where to turn for treatment.

At some point during a dance or gymnastic session, a sport-related injury may be sustained. During the session, many individuals just power through the pain and discomfort, hoping the end will provide a must needed rest and recovery.

The unfortunate thing is that not all injuries are able to heal on their own once the individual has been suffering from the injury from multiple weeks to months. This is where physical therapy can help dancers or gymnasts to recover more efficiently from the injury sustained during the sports season.

At MidMichigan Health, we have a Performing Arts Wellness Program that can evaluate and provide treatment for any dancer or gymnast so they are ready to start their sport in the next season, injury-free.

If you have sustained a dance or gymnastic injury and didn’t recover from that injury on your own, please discuss physical therapy with your physician as a possible treatment option. Those interested in physical therapy through the Performing Arts Wellness Program may contact Physical Therapist Ashley Ghose, P.T., D.P.T., who specializes in dance and gymnastic injuries.


Bone Bits: Bone Density Scans

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Bone densitometry, also called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or DEXA, is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis and to assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. A DEXA scan is simple, quick and non-invasive. It’s also the most accurate method for diagnosing osteoporosis. It uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower spine and hips) to measure bone loss. DEXAs are also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss.

This outpatient exam requires little to no special preparation. Tell your doctor and the technologist if there is a possibility you are pregnant or if you recently had a barium exam or received an injection of contrast material for a CT or radioisotope scan. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam. The Central DEXA devices measure bone density in the hip and spine and are usually located in hospitals and medical offices. Central devices have a large, flat table and an “arm” suspended overhead. Continue reading.


Wounds Can’t Wait

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They say that “time heals all wounds.” But when it comes to physical wounds, time is of the essence.

The Wound Treatment Centers at MidMichigan Health want you to know how important it is to quickly identify and report any non-healing wounds to your doctor. As these graphs show, recognizing and reporting a wound early can improve both the time it takes to heal your wound and the likelihood that it will heal. Getting an early referral to a specialized Wound Treatment Center can make all the difference.


Non-healing wounds can interfere with your quality of life and may even lead to amputations if not properly treated. When wounds persist, specialized methods like those offered at the Wound Treatment Center are required for healing.

Certain people are more likely to develop wounds and should be especially on the lookout for cuts, scrapes or sores that do not heal quickly and normally. These include people with:

  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation
  • Poorly functioning veins
  • Reduced mobility
  • Previous radiation treatment for cancer

The Wound Treatment Centers in Alma, Clare, Midland and West Branch specialize in treating non-healing wounds. They use an interdisciplinary model of care, including infectious disease management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory evaluation, nutritional management, pain management, diabetic education, radiology testing and debridement to address the patient’s overall health. In addition to these comprehensive treatments, the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been proven effective in reducing swelling, fighting infection, building new blood vessels and ultimately, producing healthy tissue.

Take Action. Seek Specialized Treatment.

If you or someone you love is living with a non-healing wound, don’t wait — seek specialized treatment. Call the Wound Treatment Centers toll free at  (877) 683-0800 or visit www.midmichigan.org/woundcenter.


Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Can Lead to Serious Complications

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Infographic: 1 in 20 Americans over 50 has PAD. 1 out of 3 people over 50 with Diabetes is likely to have PAD.

[click image to enlarge] People with PAD are more likely to develop non-healing wounds that require specialized wound treatment. If you or someone you love has these symptoms or risk factors, be on the lookout for non-healing wounds.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the arteries that reduces blood flow to the legs. It affects between eight and 12 million people in the United States. While the majority of people with PAD don’t know they have it, they have the same five-year mortality rate as people with breast and colorectal cancer.

PAD is often underdiagnosed. One in 20 Americans over age 50 has PAD, and one in three Americans over 50 with diabetes is likely to have it.

Since PAD often has no noticeable symptoms, it is important to know the factors that could put you more at risk. These include:

  • smoking
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • personal history of heart or vascular disease
  • Age (people are  more likely to get PAD as they get older)
  • Race (African-Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to have the disease.)

Just knowing your risk can help you to be on the lookout for PAD warning signs while also Continue reading.


Bone Bits: Weight-Bearing Exercises

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Weight-bearing exercises are an important part of the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. The MidMichigan Bone Health Clinic suggests 30 to 40 minutes of weight-bearing exercises three to four times per week. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises are weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis and dancing. Examples of exercises that are not weight-bearing include swimming and bicycling. Although these activities help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, they are not the best way to exercise your bones.

If you have osteoporosis, ask your doctor which activities are safe for you. If you have low bone mass, experts recommend that you protect your spine by avoiding exercises or activities that flex, bend or twist your back such as yoga or Pilates. Furthermore, you should avoid high-impact exercise to lower the risk of breaking a bone. Examples of high-impact, weight-bearing exercises are dancing, aerobics, hiking, jogging/running, jumping rope, stair climbing and tennis.  Continue reading.


Diabetes Can Lead to Non-Healing Wounds and Amputations

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Infographic: 29.1 million Americans have diabetes. Approximately 25% will develop a foot ulcer. 15% of diabetic foot ulcers progress to amputation. 50% of people who undergo amputation will die within 5 years.

[click image to enlarge] Every hour, ten Americans will undergo an amputation due to diabetes. Of those, 50% will die in five years. People with diabetes need to be on the lookout for non-healing wounds and seek treatment right away.

It is estimated that 25 percent of the 29.1 million people living with diabetes will develop a diabetic foot ulcer. Without treatment, these wounds can lead to amputation or even death. Every hour, ten Americans undergo an amputation as a result of diabetes.

What’s even more startling – 50 percent of people who have an amputation will die within five years.

“The statistics are truly sobering when you realize that about 60 percent of non-traumatic limb amputations are performed on people living with diabetes,” said General Surgeon James R. Shepich, M.D., medical director of the Wound Treatment Center at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland.

But there are steps you can take to avoid becoming a statistic.

Check Your Feet

Patients with diabetes – or their caregivers  – should check their feet at least every other day to Continue reading.


Her Painful Veins Faded Away after Sclerotherapy

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Jean Moore knows firsthand that varicose veins can be painful. “When I finally decided to have something done about them, it was not a matter of cosmetics, it was because of the pain,” she said.

Moore had been dealing with the varicose veins in both legs for the last 20 years. The retired educator said the pain was initially manageable. “I had occasional pain if I was standing a lot or did a lot of exercise,” she said. “Later on, if my husband and I biked or walked, I had pain in both legs more often than not.”

The active 75-year-old did not let pain slow her down. “It was never excruciating, but it was getting worse,” she said. “I didn’t let it stop me and over-the-counter pain relievers helped.” Continue reading.