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Health briefs

Health related news items including a heart-health seminar and free health screenings Congestive Heart Failure seminar at Methodist North

Dr. Claro Diaz, cardiologist with Sutherland Cardiology Clinic, will speak on the topic “Congestive Heart Failure Risk Factors & Prevention” during an upcoming lunch and learn at Methodist NorthHospital.

The event is scheduled for June 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 3950 Covington Pike, Suite 250. Dr. Diaz will discuss the causes, risk factors and treatment of congestive heart failure.

Free blood pressure and cholesterol screenings will be available.The event is free and open to the public. A light lunch will be served and seating is limited. Register by calling 888-777-5959.

Free dental sealants for children in June

The Shelby County Health Department’s school-based Preventive Dental Program is offering free dental sealants and exams for children at two locations for the month of June. The exams and sealants are free of charge for children ages 5 through 15. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian or have a signed parental consent form.

The program will be at the following locations Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will see patients on a first come-first serve basis:

Through June 30: Latino Memphis, 2838 Hickory Hill Road No. B-25

Monday, June 13 through June 30, Hickory Hill Community Center, 3910 Ridgeway Rd.

The Little Clinic offers free health screenings

The Little Clinic, located in select Kroger stores in the Memphis area, is wrapping up three months of free health screenings by offering free blood pressure and body mass index screenings to consumers during the month of June.

Additionally, educational information on heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) will be available at all clinic locations as part of The Little Clinic’s partnership with Zantac, a company providing over-the-counter and prescription medication for heartburn relief. For The Little Clinic locations and operating hours, visit www.thelittleclinic.com.

“One of the best things that you can do for your health is to know your numbers and be diligent about keeping up with them,” said Dr. Kenneth Patric, Chief Medical Officer for The Little Clinic. “In June, consumers can stop by The Little Clinic to educate themselves on heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues, as well as lifestyle changes that can help provide relief.”

Both high blood pressure and elevated body mass index have been correlated with heartburn, so from June 1-31 The Little Clinic is partnering with Zantac to offer screenings to consumers. Screening participants will also receive a special gift from Zantac while supplies last.

The Little Clinic locations are staffed with licensed and Board Certified Nurse Practitioners and/or Certified Physician Assistants, specialists in family practice. They are authorized to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common illnesses such as bronchitis, respiratory, sinus and ear infections and the flu, as well as for minor injuries. The clinics also provide services such as physicals, flu shots, screenings and a number of other vaccinations. Appointments are not necessary, with care provided for the entire family from age 18 months and up.

Antacids may mask serious problem

Taking an over-the-counter antacid on a regular basis could be a sign of trouble, warns a Baylor College of Medicine physician.

“If you are taking an over-the-counter antacid on a daily basis, you have more than just occasional heartburn,” said Dr. Waqar Qureshi, associate professor of medicine and chief of endoscopy at BCM. “If that is the case, you should see a doctor.”

Heartburn can occur when certain foods cause the muscle controlling the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus to relax, allowing stomach acid to rise more easily into the chest and leaving a burning sensation and a sour taste in your mouth.

You can improve the symptoms by avoiding large meals, eating several hours before bedtime and reducing your weight, if you are overweight. If these measures don’t help, prescription medications may be necessary, said Qureshi.

“The bottom line is to not ignore heartburn,” Qureshi said, “If you are having heartburn several times a week, especially if it interrupts your sleep, or notice difficulty swallowing, you should see a doctor.”

Keep up with eye exams

Many eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, can go undetected and destroy your eye sight later in life.

That is why Dr. Douglas Koch, professor of ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine, stresses the importance of keeping up with routine eye exams to detect early onset of these and other diseases.

Family history and secondary condition such as diabetes can also increase your risk of developing these conditions.

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