It’s More Than Memory Loss: Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

A well-known disease, Alzheimer’s affects millions of people of all ages with varying severity. Though not preventable, Alzheimer’s is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. It’s important to stay aware of the symptoms and risk factors to protect you and your loved ones.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s “is a type of disease that causes issues with memory, thinking and behavior.” Thinking, reasoning, making judgements and decisions, and even changes in personality or behavior could be affected by the condition. Some symptoms develop slowly and in later stages of life or others may get worse over time.

What are some risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease?

Staying aware of the symptoms and how they may relate to you or your loved ones may prevent undiagnosed and unmonitored symptom development.

  • Age The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s increases with growing age.
  • Family History & Genetics If a “first-degree” relative has the condition, you have a higher risk of developing it.
  • Down Syndrome Likely related to 3 copies of chromosome 21, symptoms tend to appear 10-20 years earlier in people with Down Syndrome.
  • Sex There are more women with the disease because they generally live longer than men.
  • Past Head Trauma Severe head trauma sufferers have a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Poor Sleep Patterns Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep are associated with an increased Alzheimer’s risk.
  • Lifestyle & Heart Health Following a healthy lifestyle of exercise & a healthy low-fat diet may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Smoking and other underlying health conditions may increase risk.

How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed?

Doctors may conduct tests to assess any memory impairments while testing other thinking skills, judging functional abilities, and identifying any behavior changes. Doctors may also perform a series of tests to potentially rule out other causes of these symptoms.

Only a medical doctor can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, so if you or a loved one show symptoms of the disease, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.

Does Culbertson offer programs for those affected with Alzheimer’s or other health conditions?

Yes! Culbertson Memorial works to expand our high-quality services to better serve more of our patients. If you or a loved one are showing potential symptoms of Alzheimer’s, schedule an appointment with your trusted provider team at Culbertson Memorial Hospital.

For more information on our programs and services, contact us here!

Understanding the Benefits of Physical Therapy

Maybe the most recognizable type of therapy, physical therapy helps patients prevent and manage their conditions to achieve short- and long-term health goals. In fact, physical therapy could help more conditions than expected. Some people may find a healthy body could still benefit from routine appointments with a physical therapist.

What is a physical therapist?

A physical therapist works with patients to form an individual treatment plan to help heal, repair, strengthen, or prevent injuries. Physical therapists usually practice in outpatient clinics, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, schools, hospices, and fitness centers.

What conditions can physical therapists treat?

Physical therapists help patients with a multitude of health conditions and issues. Some of the most common conditions include:

  • Strokes & other neurological problems
  • Back & neck pain
  • Limitations in joint range of motion
  • Work-related injuries (eg. rotator cuff, lower back, sciatica/pinched nerve, etc.)
  • Sports & recreational injuries
  • Burns
  • Post-orthopedic surgery 

How will I know if I need physical therapy?

Physical therapists offer more than just post-injury repair. In fact, most people could benefit from incorporating physical therapy into your day-to-day life. Consider scheduling regular physical therapy appointments if you’re:

  • A Dedicated Gym Goer. Preventative physical therapy helps ensure your body is functioning properly & any potential injures are addressed early.
  • Thinking of Starting a New Sport. Before starting a new activity, schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to receive helpful advice on protective equipment, proper footwear, & even injury prevention tips.
  • Training for An Endurance Event. Training for a race or any physically intensive event could lead to injury if done improperly. Physical therapists can teach proper techniques for safe exercises and productive rest times.

Is physical therapy offered at Culbertson Memorial Hospital?

Yes! The Culbertson Therapy Services Team provides outpatient therapy for patients needing physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

In order to qualify for therapy services, you will need a current prescription from a licensed medical provider. Contact your health insurance provider to learn about your coverage.

For more information on physical therapy or other therapy services, contact your trusted Culbertson team here!

Early Detection Saves Lives: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer found in U.S. women, and understanding possible symptoms and warning signs could make all the difference.

Who’s at risk for breast cancer?

Women and men could be at risk for developing breast cancer. For women, regular mammograms and yearly physical exams are key to preventing advance stages of malignant tumors from damaging healthy tissues or growing uncontrollably (metastasizing) to other areas of the body.

What are some signs & symptoms associated with breast cancer?

Different cancers have different risk factors; and one particular risk factor does not guarantee if you will or will not develop the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, women should be aware of these symptoms when doing self-exams:

  • Swelling of all or part of a breast—even if no distinct lump is felt
  • Skin irritation or dimpling (resembling an orange peel)
  • Pain in breast or nipple
  • Nipple retraction (nipple turning inward)
  • Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • Any nipple discharge (other than breast milk)

What are the types of breast cancer?

In general, breast cancer falls under two broad categories: invasive and noninvasive. Noninvasive breast cancer tends to stay within the milk ducts or lobules in the breast. Invasive breast cancer grows into healthy, normal tissues potentially spreading to other parts of the body.

What tests help detect breast cancer early?

There are several tests used by doctors in a breast cancer screening, which can include self-exams, physical exams, mammograms, breast ultrasounds, or breast MRIs.

Self-exams are a great way to become familiar with your breasts. Knowing how your normal breast tissue feels will help identify any potential abnormalities down the road. If you feel anything out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.

Are these provider specialists available at Culbertson Memorial Hospital?

Yes! Culbertson Memorial offers a full range of high-quality services to better serve the needs of our patients. Join us for our Pampered Pink event honoring breast cancer survivors and patients on October 23 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Old Homestead Barn. Enjoy manicures, shopping, wine-tasting, & more! Plus, stay informed with talks about women’s health & unique dietary nutritional needs!

For more information on Breast Cancer Screenings or the Pampered Pink event, contact your trusted Culbertson team here!

Stay Ahead of the Game: Schedule Your Prostate Cancer Screening

Heads up, fellas! September represents Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know a simple blood test & examination could be the difference between staying in the game or being benched mid-season?

Can Prostate Cancer be prevented?

Understanding the normal functions of the prostate will help identify potential issues. Though no direct link, the American Cancer Society sites some studies that describe how healthy body weight management through appropriate physical activity and diet could lower risk of prostate cancer overall.

What are some risk factors associated with Prostate Cancer?

Different cancers have different risk factors; and one particular risk factor does not guarantee if you will or will not contract the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, researchers have found several factors that could affect a man’s risk:

  • Age
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Geography
  • Family History
  • Gene Changes

What tests help detect Prostate Cancer early?

There are two main tests used by doctors in a prostate cancer screening.

Prostate-specific Antigen Blood Test (PSA)

PSA is a substance made by cells in the prostate gland—both in healthy & cancerous cells. According to the American Cancer Society, “men with PSA levels between 4 and 10 have about a 1 in 4 chance of having prostate cancer. If the PSA is more than 10, the chance of having prostate cancer is over 50%. Many factors could affect your PSA test results. Your doctor will know any next steps you’ll need to take based on those results.

Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)

For a DRE exam, doctors manually check for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate that may indicate cancerous cells. The exam may be uncomfortable for men, but it should not be painful, and it only lasts a short time.

Who treats prostate cancer?

Cancer is a complicated disease that requires the expertise of several healthcare professionals to include urologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, rehabilitation specialists, plus many more specialists.

Are these provider specialists available at Culbertson Memorial Hospital?

Yes! Culbertson Memorial works to expand our high-quality services to better serve more of our patients. Starting this month, Culbertson welcomes Dr. Tina Schuster of Blessing Health Urology. She will bring years of expertise to Culbertson to provide critical urology services for our patients.

 

For more information on Prostate Cancer screenings or urology care, contact your trusted Culbertson provider team here!

Let’s Work on Lowering Your Risk for Diabetes

What is diabetes?

According to the CDC, diabetes is “the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy.” Our bodies are built to break down our food into glucose (sugar) to use for energy. Your pancreas produces insulin, the hormone that helps gets glucose into the cells. Diabetics either don’t produce enough or can’t use the provided insulin, which could lead to some serious issues. There are also several types of diabetes that affect different demographics. Continue reading “Let’s Work on Lowering Your Risk for Diabetes”