Happy 4th of July!

May the second half of this year find you well.  Remember, exercise in moderation, get your sleep, and eat meals that are nutritional.  Smile a lot, and take care!

Tom Foster
Blue Ridge Health Clinic


Multiple Sclerosis…. Information You Should Know

27 MS Facts for World MS Day

By Editorial Team—May 27, 2015

Multiple sclerosis affects more than 2.3 million people around the world. In honor of World MS Day today, we have gathered 27 important facts about multiple sclerosis, to help our community raise awareness about MS.

We will be updating Facebook and Twitter with new facts throughout the day using the hashtag #strongerthanMS. To help spread awareness, please feel free to like, share, retweet, and/or comment on any or all of these 27 topics!

  1. Experts recognize 4 courses of MS: progressive-relapsing, secondary-progressive, primary-progressive, and relapsing-remitting.
  2. Of those diagnosed with MS, progressive-relapsing affects about 5% of people, about 10% are diagnosed with primary-progressive, about 85% are diagnosed with relapsing-remitting initially, and about 50% of people with relapsing-remitting develop secondary-progressive within 10 years of diagnosis.
  3. There is greater prevalence of MS in higher northern and southern latitudes.
  4. MS is much more common in females than males.
  5. MS is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 50 years.
  6. The lifespan of a person with MS is just about as long as the lifespan of a person without the condition.
  7. While much effort and research has gone into finding out hat causes MS, there are still no clear answers.
  8. In MS, a person’s immune system attacks the central nervous system, causing inflammation that damages myelin, the fatty coating that insulates and protects nerve fibers.
  9. To understand the central nervous system, it’s easiest to picture the nervous system as a tree. The CNS is the tree’s roots and truck.
  10. Out of the approximately 400,000 people who live with MS in the US, about 8,000 to 10,000 are children or adolescents.
  11. Fatigues the most common and potentially most disabling symptom, affecting between 75% and 90% of people who have MS. Another common, yet less understood symptom of MS is pain, and this pain exists in many different forms.
  12. Numbness or tingling are common symptoms and the result of damage to nerves that transmit sensations from body surfaces to the brain.
  13. relapse is when new symptoms or worsening of symptoms that persist for at least 24 hours and occur at least 30 days since a previous relapse.
  14. During a relapse, immune cells that normally circulated harmlessly in your blood stream attack and breakdown the blood-brain barrier.
  15. While there is no cure for relapses, treatment may help in speeding up recovery time.
  16. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)is an important tool used for diagnosing MS and monitoring disease progression.
  17. MRI scans reveal abnormalities in the majority (90% to 95%) of people with MS.
  18. Radiologists and neurologists will use MRIs to look for evidence of new damage, primarily lesions, and evidence of chronic damage to the CNS.
  19. Disease-modifying treatments (DMTs)have been shown to be effective in decreasing the frequency of relapses or exacerbation’s.
  20. DMTs are given either orally or by injection or IV.
  21. While DMTs are effective in the majority of cases of MS, they have not proven to be effective in cases of primary-progressive MS.
  22. People with MS may experience emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, pseudo bulbar affect (PBA), and stress.
  23. Clinically significant depression affects up to 50% of people with multiple sclerosis over the course of their lifetime.
  24. No specific diet has been scientifically proven to slow progression. Specialists promote the same low fat, high fiber diet recommended for all adults.
  25. Stress is a trigger for MS. It comes in many shapes and sizes from emotional and physical, to the stress on the body by extremes in temperature.
  26. Regular exercise, including exercises for strengthening, stretching, and coordination and balance, can be useful in managing many common MS symptoms.
  27. Scientists still have a lot to learn about the immune system and autoimmune diseases, but they do know it plays a role in the development of MS

There’s so much more to understand about multiple sclerosis beyond what we have in our list. We hope you will continue to be a part of our community and share stories and spread awareness about MS.


Women Need To Know This About Heart Health

There are some important health concerns women need to be aware of regarding Heart Health.  Remember that knowledge is one of the most powerful tools we have to protect our heart’s health with.

Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer does, but women seem more frightened about their breast cancer odds. One of the commonly shared myths about heart attacks, heart disease, strokes and other heart health problems is that it’s not as widespread among women as it is men.

It’s a myth that women don’t have the same (if not more) risks than a man does when it comes to the heart. It’s also a myth that a heart attack can’t happen to a woman at any age.

Although you can have a heart attack or heart disease without any signs or abnormal lab tests, what you need to know is that as a woman, there are certain risk factors that can target your heart. These factors can cause you to end up with heart disease or damage to your heart from a heart attack.

Maintaining a normal blood pressure is as important for a woman’s heart as it for a man’s heart. High blood pressure is a sign that your heart is working too hard. Continue reading “Women Need To Know This About Heart Health” »


Managing Pregnancy Pain

Having you have a baby it’s the most beautiful and wonderful experience a woman can have. It shouldn’t be marred by the pain that pregnancy and childbirth causes, but it’s an unfortunate reality.

There are several ways you can manage pain while pregnant or having a baby – some are medical in nature and others are alternative, non-medicated treatments. You have to choose what’s right for you and your baby.

Pregnancy lasts 9 months, and during that time, you’ll go through a range of pains such as sharp little stabbing pains that worry you, aching feet and back pains, and more.

Labor pains are even worse. Some people joke about “labor” living up to its name – but there’s no reason why you should have to suffer for 10-24 hours or more on what should be one of the happiest days of your life.

Let’s investigate some pain management strategies so that you feel more empowered about your choices through pregnancy and then into the labor and delivery process. Continue reading “Managing Pregnancy Pain” »


Do You Know How to Manage Menopause Symptoms

Ladies lets discuss that time in life when your body goes through a life change.  Many women are unprepared as it can be a subject seldom discussed.  So lets take some time here to go over a few things in preparation for this life change.

There are many jokes about aging and some of the jokes focus on what happens when menopause hits. But the symptoms that go hand in hand with menopause aren’t a laughing matter to anyone who experiences them. You can have a few signs that menopause is approaching or you can have a lot of symptoms associated with it.

Some women notice hot flashes as one of the first signs. This is a common symptom and makes a woman feel an increase in temperature to her face and chest. You can feel hot and feel like your skin is burning. Hot flashes can cause night sweats to the point that you’ll have to change your nightwear. Continue reading “Do You Know How to Manage Menopause Symptoms” »


5 Things A Woman Can Do to Lower Her Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can adversely affect your organs, especially your heart and your kidneys – and it can rob you of years of life. Remember, even if you’re a woman, you have just as great a risk of developing high blood pressure as a man does.

You can’t change some things when it comes to improving your odds against getting hypertension. Some women get high blood pressure as they age, but you can’t roll back the clock and become younger.

You also can’t change your genetic markers. If you have a history of hypertension in family members due to hereditary factors, you can’t change that. But there are five things you can do to lower your blood pressure.


Are You Worried About Imbalanced Hormones and Headaches

When hormonal imbalance occurs, it seems as if your entire body is working against you. Not just with headaches that occur during your period, but those that seem to linger with peri-menopause and even during menopause.

If you had severe headaches in adolescence during the years after starting your period, you might find that the same migraine type headache returns at menopause. Does not seem fair, does it?

It’s as if your hormones want to get back at you both coming and going. These headaches are probably related to hormonal shifts in your body. As a teenager, your headaches stopped after your body became use to your monthly cycle. Continue reading “Are You Worried About Imbalanced Hormones and Headaches” »


Ways To Lose That Baby Fat!

Moms everywhere struggle with losing the baby fat they have put on during pregnancy.  Here is a healthy tip  on doing just that from Tracy Sabol at News 8.

20 Ways To Be Heart Healthy: Working off baby weight safely

News 8’s Tracy Sabol has tips on safe ways to work off baby weight.

I hope you find this of help.  This is a universal problem that most women have to deal with after giving birth to their child.

(Courtesy of WMTW TV/wmtw.com)