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Health

Read how Bob Robinson's diabetes diagnosis led to a healthier life

Bob Robinson and his wife, Sherry, moved backed to East Texas and now enjoy spending time at their lake house and with their 6-year-old grandson. However, in 2010, Bob started to feel extremely fatigued and overall less-than stellar, which led him to speak to his primary care physician. The results came back, giving him a life-changing diagnosis.

Bob was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a lifelong disease that affects the way your body handles glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood. People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don't use it as well as they...

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Dr. Tolleson explains how the TAVR procedure is changing heart surgery

The health of your heart can be affected negatively by a number of factors, including birth defects, high blood pressure or simply aging. One issue that is caused by both birth defects and aging is aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening. This condition restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta and may also affect the pressure in the left atrium. To correct this issue, surgery is the best option. However, over the past several years, a new, minimally invasive procedure, transcatheter aortic valve replacement...

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Read how a few heart tests ended up saving Steve's life

Last year, at age 68, Steve Skommesa and his wife, Susan, relocated to East Texas. They did all the normal things you do when you move like forward your mail, meet the neighbors and find the closest grocery store, but he also set up an appointment with his new UT Health primary care physician’s assistant, Tony Jameson.

After doing a routine physical, Jameson saw that Steve’s cholesterol level was a bit elevated and suggested a next step. “He asked if I had 150 dollars,” Steve recalls. “Then he said I should take...

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An explanation of rheumatoid arthritis by Dr. Adam Shar

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million people in the United States. It affects more women than men and it’s commonly seen from ages 30 to 60. This type of arthritis can start with seemingly small symptoms such as tenderness, swelling and/or redness in the joints, but can lead to deforming and shifting of joints.

 

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Tips on how to get to a healthy weight

When the conversation of weight is brought up, it’s not always as straightforward as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18-25 kg/m2. Instead, it’s more important to find a point where a person’s weight isn’t having a negative impact on his or her health. “Studies have shown that a 5-10 percent weight reduction can reduce the chance of developing diabetes by as much as 50 percent,” says Dr. Katherine Root, internal and obesity medicine physician at UT Health East Texas. “With this in mind, a goal of losing 5 percent body weight is a good place to start.”

Dr. James Menard,...

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Cervical cancer prevention and the HPV vaccine

Cancer of the uterine cervix is the third most common gynecologic cancer diagnosis in the United States. The good news is that the rate of cervical cancer has declined significantly due to widespread use of Pap smear screenings, HPV vaccines and the availability of treatment of precancer.

The cervix is the neck of the uterus, or the lowest part of the uterus, sitting on top of the vagina. Due to cancer, cells of the cervix become abnormal and grow out of control and invade surrounding organs. The average age of diagnosis of cervical cancer in the United States was around 48 years...

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Length of flu symptoms and how to prevent catching the flu

Influenza seems like it hits around autumn and winter every year, but this virus can be found year-round. Flu season refers to the time between December and February when flu activity is at its peak. The unpredictability and complications that can arise from catching the flu make it essential to protect yourself from the virus. “Flu can be deadly even for healthy adults, and you can catch it even from one exposure to a stranger,” says Dr. Philip Pippin, family medicine physician at UT Health...

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Quit Smoking tips from Dr. Tran

If you smoke, you hear certain things on repeat: how you need to quit, how expensive the habit is and how bad it is for your health. All of these things are true, but it’s also true that quitting can be exceptionally hard and may take several attempts. Thirty-eight million adults smoke in the United States, and rural areas in East Texas have the highest numbers of smokers in the state. If you are considering...

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Facts and Myths of Impaired Driving

New Year’s Eve brings plenty of celebrations, and with that can come drunken-driving accidents.

“Nationwide, crashes involving alcohol have become the single largest single source of preventable death and injury,” says Dr. Austin Eagleton, trauma surgeon at UT Health East Texas. “Twenty-five percent of all fatal crashes involve alcohol.”

Beyond worrying about getting in an accident, drivers in East Texas have another factor that could make things even riskier. “As the majority of East Texas is...

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Lite-4-Life Olympic Center Program Story

It’s right around the corner - the time when everyone makes a New Year’s resolution, usually to lose weight and be healthier. Even though this is never a bad promise to make to yourself, your plans often fall apart for a number of reasons. However, the Olympic Center’s Lite-4-Life program offers a better way to reach your goals that will result in lasting changes. This 13-week program shows participants how to properly eat and work out. Fritz Fryer and his wife joined the program after realizing their weight had creeped up on them.

Fritz is retired, but he has continued to stay...

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