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Vinegar can help control blood sugar levels

A variety of vinegar flavors can dress your salad while helping to keep your glucose levels low.

A variety of vinegar flavors can dress your salad while helping to keep your glucose levels low.

(NAPS)—During November, National Diabetes Month, or at any time, there could be sweet news for the 29.1 million people the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates have diabetes.

According to Dr. Carol S. Johnston, professor and associate director of the Nutrition Program in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University, vinegar can be part of a diet strategy to manage blood glucose.

Why Vinegar

Here’s why: Eating foods that are high in starch, such as bread and rice, causes surges in blood glucose levels, Dr. Johnston explains. These high levels of blood glucose have been linked to higher or increased cardiovascular disease risk in healthy populations and can also increase complications among those with type 2 diabetes.

Consuming small amounts of vinegar—one to two tablespoons— before your meal, however, can reduce these high levels of glucose, she says.

In fact, for individuals with type 2 diabetes, studies have shown that consuming vinegar prior to meals on a daily basis can significantly reduce blood levels of A1c, a key indicator of average blood glucose concentrations.

In addition to consuming vinegar alone, consuming foods high in vinegar is an option. Vinegar is found in pickled products and salad dressings and can also be consumed before a meal on a salad.

Why it’s Important

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most food you eat gets turned into glucose, or sugar, for your body to use for energy. The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Diabetes can have serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, but you don’t have to be in such statistics. The International Life Sciences Institute reports that “Several studies have demonstrated that vinegar can help reduce hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia and obesity.”

What else to do

In addition to adding vinegar to your diet, other helpful changes can include:

•Eat smaller portions. Learn what a serving size is for different foods and how many servings you need in a meal.

•Eat less fat. Choose fewer high-fat foods and use less fat for cooking.

•Exercise for at least 30 minutes at least five days a week.

•Follow your doctor’s advice about any health issues you experience.

Learn more

For more information on vinegar, including studies, recipes and more, visit www.versatilevinegar.org.

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Redefining good days while living with breast cancer 

Left to right: Models of Courage Laurie Tennent, Cati Diamond Stone, and Aimee Bariteau join together in a group painting session as part of Ford Warriors in Pink’s Good Day Project. To learn more, visit Fordcares.com.

Left to right: Models of Courage Laurie Tennent, Cati Diamond Stone, and Aimee Bariteau join together in a group painting session as part of Ford Warriors in Pink’s Good Day Project. To learn more, visit Fordcares.com.

(BPT) – When facing bad news—like something as serious as a cancer diagnosis—it can be difficult to imagine that any day of the coming journey would be “good.” But for many of the millions of men and women in the U.S. who have been affected by the disease, the experience has transformed their understanding of support and redefined their sense of normalcy.

Survivor Karen Martinez was prepared to go through chemotherapy alone, but was thankful to have two friends who insisted they be at her side for every appointment, which sometimes lasted five to six hours.

“They just sat there, and we were either joking, reading or talking,” says Martinez. “For a bad experience—which it was—I still looked forward to it. Not the treatment, but the friendship.”

Other survivors found peace in solitude.

20 breast cancer survivors and co-survivors join Ford Warriors in Pink’s Good Day Project to share their stories and give more good days to others affected by breast cancer.

20 breast cancer survivors and co-survivors join Ford Warriors in Pink’s Good Day Project to share their stories and give more good days to others affected by breast cancer.

“There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. I knew I had my family,” says survivor Marisol Rodriguez, a 50-year-old teacher from Portland, Oregon, who, after initially being accompanied by her husband to chemotherapy, eventually chose to go alone. “When your friends want to visit you, in my [Latino] culture, you have to entertain them. While it was greatly appreciated, it did take a lot of energy, so I chose to just relax during this time.”

Both experiences underscore the complexity of support. While many people want to help, they’re unsure of the best way and what comforts one person might not work for another.

“The worst thing you can say to someone going through this experience is, ‘Well, let me know what you need’ or ‘Let me know what I can do,’” says survivor Tracy Nicole. “No one said that to me because they knew that I wasn’t going to ask for anything.”

Instead, Tracy Nicole’s family and friends helped with things like organizing meals, childcare and other household errands. Through the online platform Meal Train, Jenny Price, Tracy Nicole’s friend, organized a calendar and identified specific errands that friends could help with on certain days and times, including ironing her daughters’ school uniform or preparing meals for the day.

Insights like these from breast cancer survivors and co-survivors inspired Ford “Warriors in Pink” to launch The Good Day Project, an initiative to help friends and family take small, actionable steps that will bring more good days to breast cancer patients.

Free access to Meal Train’s premium service, Meal Train Plus, is offered as part of the program. Warriors in Pink also provides patients with free rides to and from appointments at select cancer treatment centers via the ride-sharing service Lyft. On its website, Warriors in Pink offers a variety of resources and tips for giving “good days.”

Here are some of their “good day” tips for others living with breast cancer and their supporters:

For those diagnosed, in treatment, or in recovery:

  • Celebrate small victories: Aimee Bariteau recalls the simple joy she got from being able to walk to the park for the first time after treatment. “Rather than being annoyed that I couldn’t do it before, I was happy when I could do it. It’s a long haul, so when something good happens, be sure to acknowledge and enjoy it.” Fellow survivor Camari Olson documented her surgeries and hair regrowth after chemotherapy in a photo project that she looks back at to remind herself how far she’s come.
  • Let others know how they can help by simply listening: “People know they can’t take the disease away from you,” added Olson. “There were times I needed to express my fears about dying or the sadness at having my body forever changed, and my friends and family helped by simply listening and not denying me those fears and feelings.”
  • Share your experience and advice with others: Steve Del Gardo says this is especially important for men with breast cancer, as there are fewer support resources dedicated to the male experience. He volunteers as a Peer Support Navigator through the Friend for Life Network to support other men affected by the disease.

For supporters:

  • Think about how you can help others affected by someone’s diagnosis, such as their children or partners: Carrie Vieceli was living more than 3,000 miles from her close friends and family when she was diagnosed. Despite her own challenges and day-to-day care needs, she worried about the responsibilities that her husband handled on his own. “He could have used so much support—in caring for me as well as emotional support for himself.”
  • Remind your loved one that you’re thinking about them: Take five minutes to send a postcard. Survivor Cati Diamond Stone enjoyed receiving random cards from her friend on a weekly basis. Free Warriors in Pink postcards are available at fordcares.com or at their website.
  • Remember your loved one’s interests are probably still the same: While help with physically taxing tasks (laundry, driving, groceries) are much appreciated, don’t assume your friend or loved one doesn’t want to be invited to something they can’t fully participate in. If they love hiking, for example, consider a route that allows them to enjoy a scenic break.

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Don’t wait for professionals to help a cardiac victim

HEA-Cardiac-victim

By Mary Kuhlman, Michigan News Connection

Help from a bystander is often the difference between whether a person suffering from cardiac arrest will live or die.

Kelli Sears with the American Heart Association (AHA) says while there are some minor changes in the organization’s guidelines, the most significant emphasis for the public remains to take action even if you’re not formally trained in CPR.

“If you’ve taken a CPR class and have been taught how to give breaths, then the breaths are still recommended,” she says. “If you don’t know CPR and you haven’t taken a class, then we just recommend hands-only CPR or compression-only CPR. Push hard and push fast and do something.”

Sears says the chest compressions should be done at a rate of 100 to 120 per minute, with the beat of the Bee Gees’ classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive” a perfect match for the timing. A quick demonstration of hands-only CPR can be found online at the American Heart Association website.

Sears notes that bystanders getting involved—calling 911, performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator if one is available—is  especially critical in rural areas where it can take time for emergency crews to respond.

“Having people who can initiate CPR before an ambulance can arrive or before first responders can arrive is vital in giving a patient any chance of survival in a cardiac arrest situation,” she says.

Sears says bystander CPR can double or even triple the odds of survival for those with cardiac arrest but less than half receive such help.

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Rethinking breast cancer treatment: One woman’s story

Amy Thigpen

Amy Thigpen

(BPT) – In the United States, one in five new breast cancer cases is stage 0 disease, but for Amy Thigpen, a mother of three who works in an oncology clinic, breast cancer is not a statistic; it is personal. After all, her mother is a breast cancer survivor, and later, she too faced-off with a similar diagnosis.

After Amy’s mother was diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer, Amy was determined to be proactive about her breast health. She had a feeling something was not right and requested a mammogram from her doctors at the age of 34, even though clinical practice guidelines do not recommend screening before the age of 50. The mammogram found a small tumor that was confined to the milk ducts; fortunately, it had not spread to the surrounding tissue. At that point, Amy faced her diagnosis—stage 0 breast cancer, known as ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS.

An oncology nurse in the hematology oncology department at Physicians East in Greenville, North Carolina, Amy worked alongside a breast cancer specialist and had seen many patients battle the disease and struggle with the many decisions that had to be made – including whether or not to pursue post-surgery treatment. After caring for so many cancer patients over the years, Amy now was speaking with her doctors about a difficult decision of her own, as it was not clear whether her cancer would come back and if she needed radiation therapy.

Amy was familiar with genomic testing and a tool doctors sometimes used to guide treatment decisions. Her mother had received the Oncotype DX test for her invasive breast cancer and used the test results to help inform her decision of whether she needed chemotherapy. Inspired by her mother’s experience, Amy talked to her doctor about genomic testing, and since the Oncotype DX test was now available and validated to provide the 10-year risk of an invasive or a DCIS local recurrence in DCIS patients, they decided to move forward. The Oncotype DX DCIS Score result has been shown to change treatment recommendations in 30 percent of patients and doctors rank it as the most important factor in treatment planning for DCIS patients.

When Thigpen received her Oncotype DX test results, her DCIS Score result was zero. “I was so excited, I carried the results to my doctor and knew we had our answer. I wouldn’t have radiation. The test probably saved me from having to go through six weeks of radiation that my body really did not need, as well as the side effects that it can cause.”

“When a woman is diagnosed with DCIS, my goal as a physician is to accurately assess her individual risk for cancer returning so we can define and personalize an appropriate treatment plan with greater confidence,” said Michael Alvarado, M.D., breast cancer surgeon, the University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Reflecting on a UCSF-led study of the clinical utility of the Oncotype DX test for DCIS, Dr. Alvarado added that that test was “an objective biomarker that provides independent information beyond what has been available to physicians before, which can be seen as the biggest advancement in the management of DCIS in more than a decade.”

To encourage other women to pursue personalized treatment, Amy decided to share her story on www.MyBreastCancerTreatment.org, a patient education resource providing information around breast cancer and the benefits of genomic testing. The tools, resources and eligibility quiz offered on this website enable patients and their loved ones to empower themselves with information about their specific cancer and work with their doctor to confidently select a treatment plan that can guide personalized treatment decisions based on their individual tumor.

“You have to be your own advocate and push for what you truly feel in your heart is right, because when the day is over, you have to be 100 percent comfortable with your treatment plan.”

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Mammogram anxiety

HEA-mammogram

Confronting fear of a routine mammogram 

(BPT) Every October, women everywhere are reminded about the importance of early breast cancer detection and annual mammograms. While women know mammograms are key in the fight against the disease, many are plagued with mammogram anxieties that may actually be preventing them from undergoing the test. Here are some tips from WESTMED Medical Center on how these women can confront and deal with mammogram anxiety.

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Five simple time-tested tips for aging well

HEA-Aging-well(BPT) – A health renaissance is taking place in America as more people are embracing aging well and being proactive rather than reactive about their well-being. Prevention has become the focus, and many aging Americans are turning to time-tested methods for keeping their bodies and minds healthy so they can live longer, higher-quality lives.

Kristen Johnson, certified personal trainer, registered dietician and nutrition expert at www.ontargetliving.com points out five time-tested strategies for aging well:

Daily exercise

“Daily movement is the real fountain of youth. It keeps us healthy from the inside out,” says Johnson.

She notes that quality over quantity is what really matters.

“When it comes to improving overall fitness, high-intensity exercise for a short amount of time may be much more beneficial than low intensity for a long amount of time,” Johnson says. “Research suggests that fat-burning hormones like human growth hormones and testosterone are stimulated by high-intensity exercise, while fat-storing hormones like cortisol may be lowered. Try increasing the intensity and frequency of your exercise, while decreasing the time spent.”

Superfoods

The foods you eat influence how you look and feel, from glowing and confident to lethargic and sick. Selecting foods that people have eaten historically as nutritional powerhouses can help boost overall wellness.

“Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, ancient grains, healthy fats and lean proteins,” says Johnson. “These foods naturally contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which all contribute to healthy aging.”

A few to focus on:

  • Carrots, squash and sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial for eye and skin health, thanks to high levels of beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A.
  • Any brightly colored fruits and vegetables will have an abundant amount of antioxidants, and these help prevent oxidation and cell damage. Examples: raspberries, kale and cabbage.
  • Carbohydrates like healthy grains, beans and potatoes help you produce serotonin, a calming and satiety hormone that helps fight stress and anxiety’s negative effects.

Nutrients

Supplements help fill nutritional gaps, especially as the aging body requires greater amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. Johnson points out the importance of omega-3s for aging well.

“Omega-3 fats are essential for getting you healthy from the inside out, all while helping improve hormonal balance, brain health, weight loss and metabolism,” she says. “Omega-3 fats are also extremely helpful for healthy skin, hair and nails.”

Her favorite? Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil. “This contains EPA and DHA, both of which contribute to a healthy heart and brain,” she says. “Cod liver oil also helps improve cellular function, energy and mood. Did you know cod liver oil can actually taste good? Try their delicious orange flavor.”

Sleep

“Chronic lack of sleep is one of the fastest ways to age the human body,” Johnson says. “Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on the appearance of skin, causing fine lines, wrinkles and dark under-eye circles. Not getting enough sleep can also cause your body to release a stress hormone called cortisol.”

She notes that adequate sleep can positively influence cognitive ability, mood, weight loss and skin rejuvenation, so it should be a top priority for an aging-well routine. While the right amount of sleep will vary between individuals, the goal for most adults is around 7 to 8 hours a night.

Social activity

Human interaction can decrease as people age, but it’s more important than ever to form and maintain bonds with others. Participating in social activity is a fun way to enjoy life and reap real health benefits.

“The American Medical Association has noted that stress is the basic cause for more than 60 percent of all human illnesses and diseases,” says Johnson. ‘”When you are socially active and surround yourself with people you enjoy, you may be less likely to feel lonely, unhappy, or unfulfilled, all of which can cause unwanted stress.”

Finally, there’s no need to become overwhelmed; start an aging-well routine by taking one small step and building healthy habits over time. This is what will lead to long-term success.

“Remember that it’s never too late to start living a healthy and happy life,” Johnson says. “Give yourself more reasons to smile and laugh! Did you know research suggests that happy people live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives?”

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Why Water is Your Workout Buddy

 

HEA-Water-is-your-workout-buddy2

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features) If you think drinking water during a workout is just about keeping your mouth from drying out as you pant your way through each set, think again. In addition to keeping you comfortable, staying hydrated is a necessary aspect of any healthy workout.

Your body is composed of 60 percent water, but on average, you lose 2-5 percent of your body weight from water loss every time you work out.

Once you get into your workout groove, you may find it hard to stop, even for a water break. What you may not realize is that water is an essential nutrient that keeps your muscles primed, blood flowing and the nerves in your brain firing. Taking a break to replace what you lose while exercising is actually a good way to keep your workout going.

The evaporation of sweat helps cool the body during exercise, but this diminishing hydration can lead to poor performance and even possible injury. Make the most of your workout and stay fit with these helpful hydration tips from the Army National Guard’s Guard Your Health campaign:

  • Cool, plain water is the best drink to replace the fluid lost as sweat and help regulate your core body temperature.
  • Plan to drink water before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration and help enhance performance. Sip a 16-ounce bottle of water every hour while working out.
  • Outdoor workouts require extra hydration, even during cooler weather. The water content in your skin helps it perform its protective functions, including limiting damage from the sun. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after any time spent in the sun.
  • Learn to recognize signs of dehydration, so you can take steps to reverse it. Early signs include muscle cramps and fatigue, while a dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, slurred speech and confusion all signal advancing dehydration. If your extremities become swollen or you become feverish, medical attention is necessary.
  • Another way to check your hydration level is by monitoring your urination. Urine should be clear or light yellow, and you should urinate every two to four hours.
  • If you find yourself dehydrated and water isn’t available, a melon, orange, celery, cucumber or bell pepper can help replenish your body’s water content.
  • Make it a post-workout practice to replenish electrolytes with a banana, dates or coconut water.
  • It’s important for everyday health to keep well-hydrated away from the gym, too. Staying properly hydrated helps regulate your body temperature, weight and mood. Keep a refillable bottle of water with you wherever you go, and if you need a touch of flavor, add lemon, lime, pineapple or cucumber for a refreshing twist. Aim to drink 50-75 percent of your body weight in ounces of water each day to stay hydrated.

For more health-related tools and information, visit www.guardyourhealth.com.

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Helpful tips to protect your hearing

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features)

Not only can noise distract, disturb and interfere with communication and sleep, it can affect your performance, behavior and hearing.

In many cases, hearing loss can be prevented by recognizing sources of damaging noise levels and using appropriate protective equipment. However, excessive noise exposure can cause permanent hearing loss that cannot be treated with medication, or result in constant ringing in your ears called tinnitus. Impaired hearing can reduce your ability to recognize your surroundings and listen for cues of potential danger.

HEA-Hearing2Learn how to protect yourself from future hearing damage with this advice from Guard Your Health, a health education campaign by the Army National Guard:

  • Know the safe volume limit to protect yourself from future hearing damage. Noise that is 0 to 80 decibels is generally safe, while noise that is 140 to 200 decibels can be dangerous.
  • Noise that exceeds safe parameters, even if it’s under 140 decibels, can still cause damage to your hearing over time. A general rule of thumb is the “three feet rule.” If you have to shout to someone who is three feet away (about an arm’s length), the noise level in that location could be damaging.
  • Be aware that a single exposure to a very loud sound (such as weapon fire) can cause permanent hearing loss.
  • Using proper hearing protection for the environment can help prevent damage to your eardrum and hearing. There are several types of hearing protection devices available including foam earplugs, silicone earplugs and earmuffs. For example, when shooting at the gun range, noise-activated earplugs can help you avoid sudden eardrum rupture.
  • Foam earplugs should be pinched when inserted, allowing the foam to expand in your ear until you achieve a tight, non-painful seal. Silicone earplugs should be inserted only until you feel a slight resistance to avoid damaging your inner ear. To wear ear plugs properly, straighten your ear by gripping the cartilage and stretching it away from your body. Insert the earplug then release your ear. Do a few jumping jacks to test the security of the earplugs; if they fall out, try again or get a smaller size.
  • Earmuffs should rest about two finger widths from your jawbone and completely cover your ears for a tight seal on the side of your face.

If you notice signs of hearing problems, ask your doctor to test your hearing. Common symptoms include a muffled sound in your ears after leaving a noisy area or event such as a car race, concert, wood working or hunting; prolonged ringing or buzzing in your ears after exposure to noise; and difficulty understanding what people are saying although you can hear them talking.

For more health-related tools and information, visit guardyourhealth.com.

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Back-to-School with grief  

Going back to school can be especially challenging for a child who has recently lost a loved one. Hospice of Michigan encourages parents and educators to understand the signs of childhood grief and then take steps to allow children the chance to grieve in a healthy, productive way.

Going back to school can be especially challenging for a child who has recently lost a loved one. Hospice of Michigan encourages parents and educators to understand the signs of childhood grief and then take steps to allow children the chance to grieve in a healthy, productive way.

While most kids will carry backpacks with books and school supplies when they return to the classroom, others will carry a much heavier and often invisible burden: the grief of losing a loved one.

“Going back to school can be especially challenging for a child coping with grief,” said Karen Monts, director of grief support services at Hospice of Michigan. “If a child has recently lost a parent, it can be difficult to hear other children talking about their families. And while father-daughter dances and grandparents day are special and fun-filled events, they can be painful reminders of loss to a grieving child.”

According to the Coalition to Support Grieving Students, approximately one in 20 U.S. children will lose a parent by the time they reach the age of 16. The vast majority of children experience a significant loss of a friend or relative by the time they complete high school. Monts encourages parents of a grieving child to reach out to the child’s school and alert staff to a recent death in the family. She also urges educators to equip themselves to help students suffering from grief. Books, websites and blogs about children and grief can all be great resources; www.kidsgrief.org is a good place to start.

“Grief isn’t something children can leave at home; it will follow them to school and they may turn to their teacher for help,” Monts said. “Teachers should have a private discussion with the student when he or she returns to school. Just having the conversation can validate and normalize the grieving child’s feelings. The teacher and guardian should also ask if it’s OK to let the class know about the death the student is coping with. The teacher can explain that while discussing the recent death with the class might be uncomfortable, it will make things easier in the long run.”

Monts warns that it can be difficult to recognize a child struggling with grief because it’s often a feeling young children in particular can’t verbalize. Instead, feelings of grief in children typically come out in behaviors and actions. Some signs that a child might be having a hard time coping include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Spending a lot of time alone
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Increasingly anxious about being left alone
  • Regression to a previous stage of development
  • Problems sleeping or change in appetite
  • Falling grades or refusal to go to school
  • Frequent tearful outbursts
  • Constantly imitating or repeatedly stating that he or she wants to join the deceased

If educators recognize these symptoms in students, they should alert a parent or guardian. There are also things a teacher can do to help a student suffering from grief, including:

  • Comfort the child by being patient, spending extra time and letting the student know he or she is not alone.
  • Acknowledge the child’s loss and grief.
  • Listen, which can validate the child’s feelings, and make sure the child isn’t taking responsibility for the death.
  • Explain that strong feelings of sadness, fear, anger, etc. are normal and encourage the child to express these feelings.

If symptoms become severe, the school, parent or guardian might consider involving a social worker or counselor.

While school can present additional challenges for a grieving child, Monts explains that it can also be an escape. “When a family experiences a significant loss, life at home can become very sad and school can be a great diversion,” Monts said. “This is especially true if the classroom is a healthy place and the teacher has created a caring atmosphere that allows the child to share their feelings in a non-judgmental environment.”

Grief is a personal and individual experience that takes place over time. While it may take some children years to work through their grief, Monts explains that by working together, parents and educators can provide children with a better opportunity to grieve in a healthy, productive way.

Hospice of Michigan partners with other organizations and offers a variety of grief support and educational services, including individual visits, support groups and educational programs. Our services are available to all families involved with Hospice of Michigan as well as the community at large. For more information on any of the services we offer, visit www.hom.org.

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Spectrum Health United Hospital unveils new MRI unit 

 

New MRI provides patients with faster exams, excellent images, and an open concept that reduces claustrophobia

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exams—non-invasive  diagnostic imaging exams of soft tissue, bone and muscles—have become one of the fastest growing types of medical diagnostic tests in the United States. With Spectrum Health’s recent installation of a MAGNETOM® Aera 1.5T Open Bore MRI system, patients can now experience faster, more comfortable exams without leaving Greenville.

“United’s new MRI scanner is the latest technology available, one of the most advanced in West Michigan. It will allow us to perform more types of scans closer to home, where people really need us most,” said Dave DeBoode, Director of Clinical Diagnostics at Spectrum Health United Hospital.

Benefits of the MAGNETOM Aera 1.5T Open Bore include:

  • Superb image quality that may be used for a wide range of medical needs, from orthopedic and sports-related injuries to breast cancer testing, and can help physicians make quicker, more accurate diagnoses.
  • The tube-like structure of an MRI machine (where the patient lies during the imaging process) is larger and can accommodate patients up to 550 pounds.
  • The system’s ultra-short bore (145 cm) can help to alleviate concerns of claustrophobia since many exams can be performed with the patient’s head outside of the bore.
  • Mood lighting on the system, which can help create a calming environment for patients in the examination room.

“The new MRI unit is state of the art and it is an open magnet which allows us to accommodate more patients, said John Merchun, MD, Advanced Radiology Services, Spectrum Health United Hospital. “The newly constructed addition to the hospital that houses the magnet is both functional and beautiful. We will also be able to add new services in the near future such as breast and cardiac MRI. We are well equipped to serve the needs of the community for years to come.”

To schedule an appointment for an MRI or any other diagnostic imaging performed at United Hospital (including x-ray, Computerized Tomography (CT), ultrasound, digital mammography, nuclear medicine, breast biopsy, or bone densitometry), call 616.225.9090.

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