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Health Matters, Aug. 11, 2021: Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a huge problem for young people. A recent report indicates that more than 33% of students between the ages of 12 and 17 are victims of cyberbullying. University Medical Center Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Dr. Marissa Giggie explains what cyberbullying is, how it happens and what you can do about it. “Cyberbullying or

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Health Matters, Aug. 4, 2021: Digital technology and children

Children and adolescents are constantly using digital technology because cellphones, the internet and video games play an essential informative role in their lives. University Medical Center child and adolescent psychologist Dr. Marissa Giggie said digital technology has a big impact on its young users. “Suicide the the No. 1 cause of death for 10- to

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Health Matters, July 28, 2021: Healthy Snacks

When it comes to road trips, healthy eating is often thrown out the window. It’s easier to rely on fast food options and gas station snacks along the way, but those quick food choices come with a price: lots of sugar, processed fats and empty calories. University Medical Center Registered Dietician Suzanne Henson said it’s

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Health Matters, June 23, 2021: COVID and children’s mental health

COVID-19 has certainly made a big impact on everyone’s mental health, and children are no exception. Predictability is a stabilizing force for children, but that’s been disrupted during the pandemic. University Medical Center Child and Adolescent Psychologist Dr. Marissa Giggie said the isolation and uncertainty caused by COVID has given children a tough time coping

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Health Matters, June 26, 2021: COVID and Millennials

One of the groups suffering the most from the COVID-19 pandemic is millennials. Many were just starting their careers when the 2008 recession hit, meaning they entered a tight job market while saddled with a bunch of student debt. Now, COVID is another setback. Studies show some millennials are anxious about their jobs, their bills

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Health Matters: Food triggers

Stress. Boredom. Loneliness. These emotions can sometimes cause people to eat even when they’re not hungry. They’re called “food triggers.” University Medical Center Registered Dietician Suzanne Henson said there are some things you can do to overcome these triggers. “You can write things down,” Henson said. “Some patients tell me having a pencil and paper

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Health Matters, June 2, 2021: COVID and mental health

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, a third of U.S. adults reported the pandemic was impacting their mental health. By the end of last year, more than 50% did. Contracting COVID, fear of family members getting sick, and homeschooling children topped the list. Increased rates of anxiety, depression and loneliness were also factors. University

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Health Matters, May 26, 2021: Exercise and aging

As we age, our fitness routine should change. Younger adults may focus on strength and endurance, but older adults need to consider exercises that improve their ability to do daily activities and prevent falls. University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences Associate Professor of Community Medicine and Population Health Dr. Raheem Paxton said exercise

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Health Matters, May 19, 2021: Exercise

Exercise can improve health and reduce the risk of diseases like high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, and it can also help improve sleep and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences Associate Professor of Community Medicine and Population Health Dr. Raheem Paxton said regular exercise can

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Health Matters, May 12, 2021: Sex Education

Sexual health education is important for adolescents because it provides knowledge about avoiding sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy. University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences Assistant Professor of Community Medicine and Population Health Dr. Joy Bradley said it’s important sexual health education classes are taught by qualified instructors. “The one thing that I

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Health Matters, May 5, 2021: Pregnancy and Food Insecurity

Nutrition is important for pregnant women, but many mothers who are expecting live in places where access to fresh food is not readily available. University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences Assistant Professor of Community Health Medicine and Population Health Dr. Joy Bradley said food insecurity has a big impact on mothers and their

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Health Matters, April 28, 2021: Black Women and Pregnancy

Expectant Black mothers are more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, and levels of education and income are not necessarily protective factors. University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences Assistant Professor of Community Medicine and Population Health Dr. Joy Bradley said chronic stress because of structural inequalities and racism can lead

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Health Matters, April 14, 2021: Family Physicians

Family medicine physicians often choose to incorporate obstetrics into their practice so they can better serve their patients. This is particularly helpful for patients in rural and under-served areas where the nearest obstetrician might be counties away. University Medical Center Family Medicine Obstetrician Dr. Connie Leeper said doctors like her can also provide continuity of

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Health Matters, March 31, 2021: Endometriosis

Endometriosis is an often painful condition in women which occurs when the lining of the uterus grows outside the organ. University of Alabama Medical Center OBGYN Dr. John McDonald said it’s a complicated disease that can cause debilitating symptoms. “Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial tissues that’s normally part of the menstrual cycle each month,

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Health Matters, March 24, 2021: Health Among Minorities

University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences Professor of Community Medicine and Population Health Dr. Pamela Payne-Foster studies minority health and health disparities. Here, she discusses those disparities and their impact on Alabama’s minority communities. “Even just recognizing that there are racial disparities, we even use the term ‘inequities’ because we want people to

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Health Matters: Pregnancy and COVID-19

COVID-19 has impacted almost every aspect of our lives, and pregnancy is no exception. Expecting mothers are wondering if they should get a COVID-19 vaccine. University Medical Center OBGYN Dr. John McDonald said there’s a reason it’s recommended. “It will definitely help if you were exposed to the virus,” McDonald said. “You do not want

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Health Matters, March 12, 2021: COVID and the Elderly

COVID-19 has significantly impacted the elderly, from the risk of severe illness to isolation from family and friends. University Medical Center Psychiatrist Dr. James Reeves said those older than 65 are proving resilient amid the pandemic. “When you talk to seniors, when you do these studies you find that they have dealt with much more

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Health Matters, March 3, 2021: COVID-19 Update

We’ve all been dealing with COVID-19 since last March. University Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Weida said things are getting better, but the pandemic is far from over. “We’re going to need to watch the variations, watch for responses to the vaccine,” Weida said. “I’ve seen a few patients who actually get COVID

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Health Matters, Feb. 24, 2021: COVID-19 Vaccines

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are more widely available, it’s important that you understand more about them. University Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Weida said each of the vaccines available have their own safety guidelines, effectiveness and potential side effects. “I would say most who are gonna get the vaccine don’t really have any

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Health Matters, Jan. 20, 2021: Considerations Before, During Pregnancy

Women strive for optimal health during pregnancy, but it’s important that they’re healthy even before they get pregnant. University Medical Center Family Medicine Obstetrician Dr. Connie Leeper said a considerable amount of development takes place in the first weeks of pregnancy, often before women even know they’re pregnant. “I usually recommend that if they are

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Health Matters: Detecting Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is common among American women, but is often easily treatable if discovered early. University Medical Center OB/GYN Dr. John McDonald said it’s important to stay aware of breast cancer risk factors and symptoms, as well as keeping up with the necessary screenings. “By the time you reach age 50 you have a one

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Health Matters, Jan. 6, 2020: Medicare Wellness Visits

If you receive medical care through Medicare, you’ll want to know about an opportunity that is available to you: a Medicare wellness visit. These visits are different from regular physicals but are equally useful. University Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Weida said Medicare wellness visits are important for your health. “For Medicare patients,

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Health Matters, Dec. 16, 2020: Don’t Push Off Your Mammogram

Screening tests can prevent illness and disease even before you have symptoms. Some screenings for women’s health include mammograms and PAP smears are done regularly, and University Medical Center OBGYN Dr. John McDonald said he urges women not put off these screenings because of COVID-19. “When COVID first came about in March of this year,

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Health Matters, Dec. 9, 2020: COVID-19 in 2021

We’ve all been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for much of this year. University Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Weida has an update on where we are now and what we can expect in 2021. “I’m thinking that most likely we’ll have a good supply of vaccine and people will get vaccinated probably

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