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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... Read More »

Haydn Michael Tijerina joined UT Health East Texas EMS|AIR1 on Dec. 3, 2018, and is already making a difference in his patients’ lives. On Jan. 21, Haydn and his partner responded to an individual living alone. The house was not in good living condition; no doors, windows, heat or air conditioning, the refrigerator was not working and there was no toilet. This individual only ate canned goods out of a can. The patient had water, but electricity was through an extension cord that... Read More »

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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Learn how vaping can be damaging to a teen's health

 

Vaping and e-cigarettes have been in the news more and more these past several years, so you’ve probably heard and seen a lot about it. Most recently, Tyler’s City Council banned the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces, mimicking restraints put on conventional cigarettes. The biggest issue is that this habit-forming activity is being most used by teenagers. So what are the dangers of vaping? Dr. Tashfeen Mahmood, pulmonologist at UT Health East Texas, is here to help clear the air by bringing you up to speed.

 

The Dramatic Effects on Teenagers

One... Read More »

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,... Read More »

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... Read More »

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... Read More »

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... Read More »

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... Read More »

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... Read More »