What Causes Migraines

Woman With Migraine
A migraine is a severe form of a headache that causes throbbing, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or sensitivity to light and sound. The migraine pain can last for hours or even days without proper treatment. This type of pain can be disabling enough to interfere with daily activities. Migraines often begin in childhood or early adulthood. Chronic migraines can produce symptoms 15 days or more each month.

What can trigger a migraine?

Although the exact cause of migraines is still unknown, researchers have narrowed down possible triggers. If you are prone to migraines, avoiding possible triggers is one way to manage them. Each person’s trigger will be unique. Some of the most common migraine triggers include:

  • Salty or processed foods
  • Skipping meals
  • Alcohol or caffeine
  • Preservatives and sweeteners
  • Hormonal changes
  • Hormone medications
  • Stress
  • Sleep cycle changes
  • Weather changes
  • Allergies

 

How are migraines treated?

Each individual will respond differently to treatment and will depend on the frequency and severity of your migraine and the degree of disability they cause. Any other medical conditions you may have will also be considered. Medications are often used to help relieve or prevent migraines. Your doctor will be able to find the right medication for your specific symptoms. Some medications that are used include pain relievers or anti-seizure medicine.

Alternative medicine has also been shown to mark improvement for migraine sufferers. This includes treatments such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Herbs, vitamins and minerals

Often, at home self-care can lessen the symptoms of migraine pain. This could be anything from relaxation techniques or getting enough rest. The first step is to pinpoint what may be causing the migraines before deciding on a treatment. Using a headache diary can help in this instance.

Dr. Minsoo Kang, MD is a Board-certified physician practicing in and around Buffalo, NY. He specializes in neurology with a focus on headache related issues such as migraines.

Call or stop by his offices today for an appointment.

At What Age Should I Have My First Gynecology Exam

Gynecology Doctor Visit

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, females should have their first gynecological exam between the ages of 13 and 15. It is normal to feel embarrassed or nervous about the visit. Knowing what to expect can help put your mind at ease.

Why Do I Need Gynecologic Exams?

Regular gynecological exams starting at the age of 13 can help you:

  • Get answers to important questions about your body, menstrual period and sex.
  • Learn how to prevent pregnancy.
  • Find treatments for painful periods or other problems.
  • Learn about sexually transmitted diseases.

During the appointment, ask the doctor any question that you have, no matter how embarrassing it might be. They have probably heard the question before and everything is kept confidential.

What Will Happen at the First Appointment?

At the first appointment, the gynecologist will ask you about your health history. Here are some questions that you might be asked:

  • What age was your first menstrual period?
  • When was your last period?
  • Do you have pain or heavy bleeding with your period?
  • Do you have vaginal sores or itching?
  • Have you ever been sexually active? Did you use condoms or other protection to prevent pregnancy and STDs?

After getting your medical history, the doctor will perform a physical examination. The physical is similar to the one that you probably have at your pediatrician’s office. An assistant will take your vital signs. The doctor will then listen to your breathing and heart. He or she may examine your abdomen, neck and breasts. This helps the gynecologist get a better idea of your health.

The doctor may also perform an external exam of your genitalia. The purpose of this is to look for swelling, sores or other issues. You may not need a full pelvic examination at the first appointment.

If you or your daughter needs a gynecologic exam, contact Dr. Alexander Eswar with CCS Healthcare. Dr. Eswar provides exceptional care and makes every effort to ensure that the first visit is as comfortable as possible. Call our office at (716) 932-7785 to schedule an appointment.

What Are the Different Stages of Cancer

Mother Who Has Cancer Hugging Her Child

Getting a cancer diagnosis can be extremely traumatic, and prompt a lot of questions and concerns. Yet part of understanding a diagnosis and working to treat it rests in analysis what stage of cancer it is.

Staging is a method of describing the magnitude of a cancer and how much it has grown. In making an initial cancer diagnosis our team of oncologists carry out tests to determine the size of the cancer and how much it has spread into adjacent tissues or other parts of the body.

Why Staging?

Staging is important to draw up a treatment plan. If the cancer is localized in one area then a local treatment like surgery or radiotherapy can be used to best eradicate it without having a damaging impact on the rest of the body.

If cancer staging reveals that the cancer has spread, then a more whole body systemic treatment should be used, such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or biological therapy that circulates throughout the bloodstream.

If cancer staging shows that the cancerous cells have spread to the lymph nodes then concurrent treatment like chemotherapy after surgery, is normally prescribed to remove it completely.

Types of Staging

There are two major types of cancer staging systems: the TNM system and the number system. These both ensure that doctors have a commonly used language to explain the magnitude and advancement of cancers, that treatment can be more accurately analyzed in research studies, and that standardized guidelines for treatment between hospitals and clinics can be implemented.

The TNM staging system applies to tumor, node, and metastasis. This system outlines the initial size of the cancer (tumor), if it has spread to the lymph nodes (node), and if it has spread throughout the rest of the body (metastasis). Numbers are then used to catalog the cancer under each criterion:

  • T as the size of the cancer and how much it has spread to neighboring tissue – ranked 1 (small) to 4 (big).
  • N as to whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes – ranked 0 (no lymph nodes with cancer cells) to 3 (a lot of lymph nodes with cancer cells).
  • M as to the spread of cancer throughout the rest of the body – ranked 0 (has not spread) to 1 (spread).

The number staging system uses the TNM system to divide the cancer further into four different stages, often times expressed in Roman numerals:

  • Stage I – The cancer is small and contained within the original tissue it began in.
  • Stage II – The cancer hasn’t yet spread to surrounding tissue but the tumor has grown.
  • Stage III – The cancer has grown larger and may have started to spread into nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV – The cancer has spread from where it began into another area of the body.

Have questions? We are here to help. Please contact us about staging or setup up an appointment if you have concerns about your health.

Tips for Sticking with Your New Year’s Resolutions as 2017 Unfolds

CCS HealthcareJust one month into 2017 and you may feel as though you are starting to falter when it comes to your New Year’s Resolution.

The excitement and motivation that inspired you to select a health related goal for 2017 may be waning, and you just don’t know how to push through for continued success.

Here at CCS Healthcare we understand how difficult it can be to adapt to (and stick with) a new health and fitness routine, and we want to help you ensure 2017 is a healthy and positive year for you.

Remember, becoming a healthier you takes much more than just a month to do. So push through and keep making healthy decisions with the following words of advice.

Find Support

Instead of trying to reach your goals all on your own, find like-minded individuals who are looking to improve themselves in the same ways that you are. Sign up for a class at the gym with a friend from work, or turn healthy eating into an enjoyable cooking challenge that you and your spouse can take on together.

  • Having a strong support system is the best encouragement you can find when working to become a healthier you.

Stick to a Schedule

Although it can be difficult to change the way you do things, the best way to ensure that you are meeting your goals is to create a schedule and stick to it.

This might mean spending Sunday afternoon meal prepping your lunches so you don’t order takeout from the office during the week. Or maybe it means going to the gym on the same days and times each week.

  • Whatever change you are looking to make in 2017, a schedule will help you hold yourself accountable and ensure you are always working towards your goals.

Acknowledge Your Progress

Many of us make the mistake of just choosing one overarching goal to be our New Year’s Resolution. And while it is great to think big and look ahead, it is also important to take note of your smaller successes.

Did you make it to the gym each day that you planned to last week?  Or maybe you dropped your first pants size.

  • When you make progress, hitting a milestone big or small, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it!

For more advice on sticking with your New Year’s Resolutions, check out this Forbes article. And don’t forget to schedule an appointment with CCS Healthcare this year.

An annual checkup is an important part of everyone’s healthy lifestyle.

Create an Ideal Waiting Room

Whether your waiting room is in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or an outpatient office, it is important to make sure your patients feel comfortable in it.

Create an Ideal Waiting Room A waiting room is not only a first impression for potential patients but is a place where current patients also spend a good chunk of their time while visiting your office.

A waiting room should be accommodating and pleasant for all visitors.

Prioritize Privacy

For many people, visiting a medical office of any kind is a nerve-wracking experience.

  • If a patient has a pressing medical issue that is uncomfortable for them, they should never feel like other patients can overhear them discussing it with staff.

Your medical office should provide all patients with a sense of privacy and that sense of privacy is deserved from the minute they walk into the office. Ensuring privacy is one of the most vital things a healthcare facility can do to keep patients at ease.

You should ensure that all waiting room seating is a good distance away from the reception desk so patients know that others cannot hear what they are discussing with the staff.

Constant Cleanliness

The cleanliness of your waiting room can affect a potential patient’s decision to choose your office and it can make or break the loyalty of current patients.

  • Patients will not trust a healthcare facility that cannot manage or maintain the cleanliness of their waiting room.
  • Your waiting room should have clean floors, clean tables, and clean furniture.
  • It should be free of visible garbage, ripped magazines, dirty tissues, etc.

If you have bathrooms attached to your waiting room, keep those clean as well.  Make sure you stock your waiting room with furniture that can be cleaned frequently and stand-up to healthcare cleaning products.

Prioritize Patients

Whether you are setting up your waiting room for the first time or you are rearranging your current space, your patients should always be your top priority.

  • They visit your office expecting to feel cared for, and you need to provide that care from the very start of their experience.

For instance, if you are a geriatric office, you should consider purchasing furniture that is easy for senior citizens to get in and out of. If you are a pediatrician office, your waiting room should accommodate both children and parents.

When designing your waiting room, consider what furniture and amenities appeal to your target audience.

For more healthcare news and hints, visit CCS Healthcare’s blog.

Protecting Your Health at Work

Protecting Your Health at Work Public places are a breeding ground for germs and viruses during winter months. Although we rarely consider our place of employment a public place, it absolutely is. We share bathrooms, kitchens, and break rooms with our coworkers among many other things. It is important to practice healthy habits at work to avoid a major office illness.

Wash Your Hands

You are probably tired of hearing this but washing your hands is vital to maintaining your health, especially during winter months. Our hands touch just about everything from the communal coffee pot to the bathroom door handle. You should be washing your hands with soap and water for 30 seconds whenever possible to get rid of possible viruses and bacteria.

Drink Your Water

During the summer months when temperatures are warm, it can be easy to gulp down several water bottles of water. In winter months when we are sitting in a cozy warm office setting, we rarely feel thirsty. However, we need just as much water in winter months as we do in summer months. Staying well-hydrated will help your body fight off possible illnesses.

Refuse to Share

Although this piece of advice goes against everything you were told as a child, you should not share anything with your coworkers during winter months. Do your best to avoid sharing pens, telephones, and keyboards, especially with people that have expressed that they feel under the weather. If someone does use something of yours, wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe and wash your hands after.

Drink More Tea

If you work in an office setting, you probably sip on coffee throughout your day. Many office buildings have a communal coffee pot that brews all day. Cold weather can make warm beverages tempting and you might be prompted to drink a few more cups of coffee than normal. If you’re craving a hot beverage at work, consider having a cup of tea instead and reap the health benefits that tea has to offer.

Stay Home Sick

If you end up getting sick, the best thing you can do for yourself and for your coworkers is to stay at home.  If you attempt to go to work when you are sick, you risk being unproductive and infecting your coworkers. If you do have to go to work sick, you should be washing your hands, taking medicine regularly, and limiting your contact with others as much as possible.

For more healthcare news and advice, visit CCS Healthcare’s blog.

Remaining Healthy this Winter

Maintaining our health during the winter months can be difficult, and it is important that we are doing what we can to practice a healthy lifestyle.

There are many things you can do to protect your health and well-being throughout the winter months and we have highlighted several:

Eating Right

Remaining Healthy this Winter The holiday season is full of sweet treats, rich meats, and plenty of calorie packed beverages.

Eating healthy throughout the winter months can be a challenge, with so many temptations around us.

However, it is possible to maintain a healthy life style in winter months.

Produce such as sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables,  and mandarins bloom in the winter months and all of them can play a role in a healthy diet through winter months.

Get Enough Sleep 

The winter months can feel overwhelming with the holiday season playing a big role in them. We often face a tremendous amount of stress when we think about wrapping gifts, traveling to loved ones, and hosting holiday parties.

However, it is important that we still focus on getting enough sleep.

  • Eight hours of sleep each night will help your immune system fight off winter illnesses. You should make going to bed at a decent time a top priority every day.

Daily Exercise

With winter weather often being dark and dreary, it is easy to come home and head straight for the couch.

However, it’s important to exercise during the winter months as well.

Exercise can help us maintain our energy level which often declines in winter months.

It can also keep us fit and healthy when it’s easy to indulge in sweet treats as an alternative.

  • Exercising in winter months will also help prevent weight gain which is common during the holiday season.

Skin Care

It can be easy to neglect our skin in winter months. In the summer, we often focusing on applying sunscreen to protect our skin.

However, we should also being protecting our skin from winter weather.

Cold weather can take a toll on our skin, making it dry, itchy, and irritated. Drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated and apply moisturizer every day to keep skin from getting dried out.

  • You should also wear sunscreen if outside for an extended period of time, you can still get burnt in the winter.

These suggestions should help you to remain healthy through the winter when it can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits.

For more health news and advice, visit the CCS Healthcare blog.

Four Ways Stress Can Affect Your Body

When it comes to health, there is much more to consider than just the physicality of it. Sure, it is important to exercise regularly and provide your body with proper nutrients through a healthy diet. However, it is just as important to take proper care of oneself mentally.  All too often, we forget to take care of our mental needs – taking time to relax and de-stress after a busy day – which can lead to a number of serious health problems.

Feeling stressed? Give yourself a break from the pressures of everyday life. Your body will thank you, for the following reasons and more.

Increased Blood Pressure

Stress is known to increase blood pressure in the moment, and researchers are starting to believe that chronic stress can have a similar effect on the body. With high blood pressure leading to blood clots, stroke and more, it is important to do everything you can to reduce the amount of stress you are facing to keep your body functioning at its best.

Trouble with Digestion

Although exact digestive troubles vary from person to person, it is all too common for individuals to face digestive problems while under a lot of stress. Constipation, diarrhea and stomach cramps can all occur when you are stressed out, and irritable bowel syndrome is often worsened.

Frequent Headaches

When our bodies are facing an abnormal amount of stress, fight or flight instincts kick in, flooding the brain with adrenaline and other chemicals needed to get your body moving. Oftentimes when individuals are facing constant stress, they also have to deal with persistent headaches and muscle aches caused by these adrenaline rushes.

Difficulty Sleeping

Have you ever been so worried about something that you just can’t get to sleep? Major stress can cause something called hyperarousal, a state where you do not feel tired. There are a few different tricks you can use to stop this problem, including a good workout (like yoga or aerobics) during the day and the use of sleep inducing techniques (like turning off your electronics or taking a hot bath) at night.

If you notice that symptoms of stress are beginning to affect your everyday lifestyle, we recommend calling your primary care physician for some advice. For families across the Western New York area, CCS Healthcare can provide a wide array of medical support. Just give us a call at 716-810-9631 to learn more about our healthcare facilities and schedule an appointment.