A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Your Health: Buttermilk might not help your ulcer, but an antibiotic just might

By Dr. Brenda Jobson Special to KyForward You may remember your dad drinking buttermilk, taking antacids, denying himself rich, spicy foods and grumbling under his breath about his ulcers when he was under stress. It’s now known that ulcers are not caused by stress or a rich, spicy diet -– although stress and spicy foods might make symptoms worse if you already have them. Buttermilk, milk and cream...

Your Health: Can this hybrid diet significantly reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s?

By Melanie Johnson Special to KyForward Research in the past few years has found that following a Mediterranean diet may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but now a hybrid diet has been shown to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent in participants who adhered to the diet rigorously, and by about 35 percent in those who followed it moderately well. The MIND diet focuses on...

Your Health: Learn to calm a newborn and much more at April 30 maternity event Expecting Great Things

By Shari H. Stewart Special to KyForward Becoming a parent is one of life’s biggest joys and responsibilities. Like many major events, the more planning and preparation done beforehand, the easier the transition is once the big day is here and you are suddenly responsible for the most precious baby ever. For first-time parents, one of your most anxiety-provoking and helpless situations can often...

Your Health: Small changes can make a big difference in lowering cholesterol

By Dr. Mehul Suthar Special to KyForward Heart attacks and strokes make up some of the most common causes of incidence of disease and death. Even with modern advancements, such diseases lead to devastating consequences to one’s life. The goal of a primary care physician is to prevent such conditions from happening in the first place. In the case of heart disease, prevention is by controlling risk...

Your Health: Complete and accurate family medical history is valuable tool for you, your doctor

Dr. Cherie Gambrel Special to KyForward If you’ve ever tried to track your ancestors, you know that family history is a complex puzzle with many missing pieces. Constructing your family medical history is an even more complex process, but if you persevere and do it right, you can gain important information that can affect your own health and longevity. Many common diseases and chronic medical conditions...

Your Health: A leaky heart valve can be repaired without open-heart surgery

By Dr. Mo Imam Special to KyForward Health education and better medication has led a decrease in coronary artery disease. Still troublesome, however, are diseases of the heart valves, which are naturally designed to ensure that blood flows in one direction from the lungs to the heart and then to the rest of the body. One of the most common heart valve problems is a leaky heart valve, also known as...

Your Health: CT scans are proving effective at detecting lung cancer in early stages

Dr. Abdi Vaezy Special to KyForward Anyone who has smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or longer has more than likely thought about the possibility of lung cancer. More than 150,000 Americans die of lung cancer every year, and the five-year survival rate is only 15.6 percent compared to more than 50 percent for many other common cancers. Lung cancer creeps up quietly with few specific symptoms...

Your Health: Those with A-fib may be symptom-free, but condition still needs to be treated

Dr. John Chaney Special to KyForward Atrial fibrillation, often shortened to A-fib, is an irregular heart rate that can cause strokes, heart attacks and blood clots. Atrial fibrillation is the most common abnormal heart rhythm affecting more than 35.2 million people worldwide in 2010, with 5 million new cases diagnosed each year. Risk factors for the development of atrial fibrillation include advanced...

Your Health: Cancer link to obesity should provide motivation to healthy weight maintenance

By Victoria Meyer Special to KyForward If you need one more motivation to exercise, eat right and maintain a healthy weight, consider the obesity and cancer link. Two thirds of adults in the United States are obese. This means they have a body mass index (a calculation of height and weight) more than 30. Studies in both the United States and Europe have documented that being overweight or obese can...

Your Health: Being familiar with symptoms of a heart attack can help save a life, beat the odds

Dr. Dennis Havens Special to KyForward More than 1 million Americans have heart attacks each year, and 40 percent of those people die from the consequences of the attack. Many of these deaths occur early in the course of the attack. Ventricular fibrillation, a lethal heart rhythm, is the most common cause of early death after a heart attack. This rhythm can be treated and often prevented with standard...

Your Health: Thyroid disorders can be the source for a number of troublesome symptoms

By Dr. Emily Furlow White Special to KyForward Thyroid disorders are common in the United States. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism. If your thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism), you may feel anxious or weak. You may experience tremor, palpitations, increased perspiration and weight loss despite normal or increased appetite. Hyperthyroidism also can cause increased heart...

Your Health: Cancer link to obesity should provide motivation to maintain healthy weight

By Victoria Meyer Special to KyForward If you need one more motivation to exercise, eat right and maintain a healthy weight, consider the obesity and cancer link. Two thirds of adults in the United States are obese. This means they have a body mass index (a calculation of height and weight) more than 30. Studies in both the United States and Europe have documented that being overweight or obese can...

Your Health: Glandular disorders can cause a wide gamut of nonspecific and varied symptoms

By Dr. Paritosh Suman Special to KyForward Are you always tired? Can’t fall asleep? Always anxious? Your body hurts everywhere? Before brushing these symptoms off as an inevitable consequence of your daily grind, think again. In our bodies, there is a system of hormone-producing glands called endocrine glands, the disorders of which can lead to a whole gamut of such nonspecific symptoms. Fortunately,...

Your Health: If you have diabetes, know your ABCs – your A1c level, blood pressure, cholesterol level

More and more Americans are getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, despite all the advances in health care. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, a disease where your body does not use the main source of fuel (glucose) correctly. Kentucky has one of the highest prevalence of diabetes. This is partly due to the fact that Kentucky also ranks high in some of the risk factors for diabetes,...

Your Health: Passing on a flu shot could mean weeks of misery this winter

By Dr. Paul Pedersen Special to KyForward Have you had a flu shot? Not only is your doctor appealing to you to get vaccinated, so is your pharmacist, and with good reason. A flu shot is your best protection from two to three weeks of misery, missed days of work or school and, possibly, some very serious, even life-threatening complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends...

Your Health: Best treatment for the flu has always been prevention, including vaccination

By Dr. Mehul Suthar Special to KyForward   As fall settles in, so does the flu season.   The myriad of advertisements and signs for the flu shot should not be ignored. The influenza virus causes a contagious respiratory illness that can lead to a range of symptoms. For many, the flu is about a week of cough, congestion, muscle pains and fevers. For others, especially the elderly and young...

Your Health: At any time of the year, check with your doctor if you can’t seem to get warm

By Dr. W. Jeffrey Foxx Special to KyForward   Why am I so cold? That’s a question I hear frequently from patients, not just during winter months but also in the summer.   Although certain individuals may have a natural tendency to be cold, there are a variety of conditions that could explain their constant chill.   Hot and cold symptoms are part of thyroid function. The thyroid is...

Your Health: Many start an exercise regimen, few able to continue it throughout the year

One strategy is to focus on creating a habit of exercising rather than worrying about how much you exercise, how hard to exercise or what kind of exercise you are going to do (Creative Commons Photo)   By Grant Gensheimer Special to KyForward   One of the most common New Year’s resolutions involves getting more exercise. This can be a difficult undertaking; many start but very few continue...

Your Health: Watch for symptoms of post-concussion syndrome after a head injury

By Nancy B. Swigert Special to KyForward   School-age athletes. Elderly individuals who are unsteady on their feet. Any age adult who has a car accident. What do they have in common? Any of these individuals may have suffered a head injury.   If a person hits their head in a fall or a blast, in a car accident or on the sports field, they might suffer a concussion. A concussion is a brain...

Your Health: Managing expectations could
be key to ‘most wonderful time of the year’

By Elaine F. Greer Special to KyForward   The winter holiday season as portrayed in storybooks, movies and TV specials is a wonderful time of year, filled with meaningful religious services, school programs, family get-togethers, parties and colorful celebrations.   In reality, however, the winter holidays can turn into a nightmare of unrealistic expectations. Most of those expectations we...