To your good health columns
There are two major types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: chronic bronchitis, where the primary problem is productive cough; and emphysema, which is destruction of the small airways.
The EKG uses the electrical activity in the heart to give important information about the structure and function of the heart. Although it is a very useful test, it isn’t perfect. “First degree heart block” just means that the electrical impulse in the heart is a little slow.
Osteopenia, also called low, is a risk factor for osteoporosis. The risk of developing a fracture depends on a person’s age and sex, height and weight, results of their bone density test and presence of certain other medical risk factors.
When taking the blood pressure, the goal is to approximate the blood pressure in the heart. That means that the blood pressure cuff should be at the level of the heart. If the blood pressure cuff is above the heart, then the blood pressure reading will be artificially low.
Medical professionals have been attempting to screen for lung cancer for decades. Chest X-rays proved insensitive: By the time cancer could be seen on X-ray, it was usually too late to do anything about it.
A mammogram is an X-ray that is designed specifically to look for abnormalities in breast tissue. Mammograms have been extensively studied and proven to reduce mortality in women between the ages of 50 and 74. Outside these ages, there remains extreme controversy.
The “pressure” in “blood pressure” is given in millimeters of mercury. It is a measurement of the pressure inside large blood vessels, first at its peak during the left ventricle squeezing and then at its lowest, right before the ventricle starts squeezing again.
Factor V is a blood clotting factor made in the liver. A common mutation in the gene, called factor V Leiden, confers a small increased risk to developing blood clots.
By far, the most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This happens in people who are overweight, or in people whose neck anatomy predisposes them to the condition.
The body has two ways of clotting blood: the blood clotting factors and platelets, which are special blood clotting cells.
Cologuard is a brand of test that looks at DNA in stool for evidence of cancer. Certain DNA mutations are highly suggestive of cancer. In addition, Cologuard does an immunochemical test looking for blood.
Starting a new activity will often cause people to overuse some muscles that aren’t used to the strain. Bowling involves forceful extension of the thigh, which is the gluteus maximus muscle, as well as other muscles in the hip to maintain stability.
Chronic cough — lasting more than several months — is most frequently a result of acid reflux, asthma or postnasal drip, although there are many more causes, including infection, which would be a concern given that you have a clear idea of when it started.
The patient instructions in the over-the-counter versions of proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole, do recommend a 14-day course. However, longer courses may indeed be prescribed by a licensed prescriber.
There is no magic diet. What works for someone else — even your twin sister, if you had one — might not work for you. For this reason, one single type of diet does not fit all. It may take patience and trying several different options before finding what works for you.