Acid reflux affects over half of the population in the United States, with about 20% of people experiencing symptoms several times per week. Reflux occurs when stomach acid, bile, or occasionally food, washes back up into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is supposed to close to prevent food and acid from traveling back up into the esophagus. When this sphincter is damaged or weakened, acid reflux occurs.
Each year more than 800,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States. It is the 5th leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability. Of these 800,000 people, about 185,000 of them will die from their stroke and many will be left with permanent disabilities.
There are 2 major types of strokes: hemorrhagic and ischemic. Hemorrhagic strokes account for about 15 % of stroke, while the other 85% involve ischemic strokes. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when there is bleeding into the brain, while ischemic strokes happen from a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes often occur from an aneurysm, while blood clots are largely responsible for ischemic strokes.
Some patients experience what is called TIA’s or transient ischemic attacks that are mild and last less than 24 hours. They are mini-strokes that are a critical warning to patients to seek medical attention before they suffer a stroke.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month and is intended to bring about a greater awareness of the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. Vaccines play an important role in preventing serious and sometimes deadly diseases.
Vaccines make the immune system produce antibodies, just like it would normally do if it was exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity or protection to that disease, without having to get the disease first.
Flu vaccines are one of the many important vaccines that people should get each year. Each year, an average of 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized from flu related complications. Many of the most seriously ill are those individuals with underlying medical conditions involving the lungs, heart, kidney, and liver. There are no exact numbers as to how many people die each year from the flu, because often the cause of death is listed as another issue, such as respiratory failure. Many of those who are sickened or die each year are over age 65. In fact, about 90% of flu related deaths occur in people 65 and older.