In the late fall or early winter, do you tend to have low energy, feel depressed a lot of the time, and have trouble sleeping? Do these symptoms get worse as the winter progresses and then go away, or at least get better, in the spring and summer when the days are lighter and longer? If this sounds familiar, you may have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a type of depression brought on by changes in the seasons, particularly fall and winter.
When asked if they should make their health a priority, most people would say yes. However, not all of us do. Between work, kids, housework, yardwork, carpooling, paying bills, visiting with friends and family, and a host of other tasks, paying attention to our health often gets pushed to the bottom of the list. We know we should eat less red meat and more vegetables, exercise more, get more sleep and drink more water, but we don’t do it. Or don’t do it consistently. However, despite our busy schedules, family obligations and never-ending to-do lists, it is possible to make our health a priority and actually enjoy it.
Your Medicare wellness exam is more than a preventive exam
If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you are entitled to have a yearly wellness visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan. This plan is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors. Please remember, the annual wellness exam is not the same as a physical. The purpose of this visit is to make sure you have what you need to be healthy.
Yes, the flu shot works and we strongly recommend getting it
Every flu season, many people do not get the flu shot because they think it will actually give them the illness. Not only is this not true, but it allows the flu to spread to others. Whenever you get a vaccine, your body mounts an immune response to produce antibodies to defend itself in case it contracts that illness in the future. Yes, you might have a mild reaction to the flu shot, but that is 100 times better than getting the flu itself. For your own health and the health of those around you, it’s very important to get vaccinated, every year.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. For many people, depression significantly limits their ability to feel happiness, maintain relationships, achieve goals and fully live their lives.
Depression can interfere with sleeping, eating, exercise and working, and if not treated, it can lead to drug and alcohol dependency, other serious health conditions, suicidal thoughts and even death.
At Westchester Health, we take a comprehensive approach to screening patients for depression and treating your depression.
Which type of doctor do you think sees the largest number of patients every year…cardiologist? ENT? Pediatrician? Gynecologist? Actually, it’s none of those. Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That’s 214 million office visits each year in the U.S., nearly 74 million more than the next largest medical specialty.
Often when people hear the word cholesterol, they think it’s something that’s bad for you. In fact, though, your body needs cholesterol to produce hormones (such as cortisol, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen) and vitamin D. The liver also uses cholesterol to make bile, which plays an important role in the processing and digestion of fats.
Although women are at greater risk of osteoporosis, men get this potentially debilitating bone disease, too. In fact, as Baby Boomers age (currently the largest U.S. generation), more men will get this disease as the number of men above the age of 70 continues to increase and life expectancy continues to rise. So that men can be more informed about their risk of developing osteoporosis and hopefully take steps to lower it, we at Westchester Health offer this blog of facts, guidelines and preventative measures.
Most people acknowledge that cigarette smoking is bad for your health, but did you know that it is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States? It’s true—cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths every year (nearly 1 in 5 of all U.S. deaths). However, we at Westchester Health want to draw your attention to one very important word in the paragraph above: preventable. Smoking is a choice, and quitting smoking is also a choice.