Health news tip sheet News tips for the week of Aug. 22

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    Health care providers and researchers with the University of Louisville are available to discuss any of the following health topics this week. Click on the headline or scroll down for more information:

    MANAGING HEARTBURN

    It’s called heartburn for a reason — the pain can be so intense it is confused with a heart attack or other heart conditions.

    For those who suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, it can be draining because of its intensity. Heartburn can affect our quality of life, limit productivity and, because it can occur at night, cost us valuable hours of sleep.

    Acid in the digestive system can back up and cause the burning sensation in the middle and upper part of the chest beginning around the breastbone, even being felt up into your neck and throat.

    For those who live with heartburn, there are a number of treatments and tips to curb the discomfort:

    • Try to sit up or elevate your upper body as much as possible during heartburn. Laying down can exacerbate the condition. Standing up often helps.
    • Avoid spicy, acidic and fatty foods, and onions and tomatoes. Other causes can include alcohol, milk, some juices including citrus, and caffeinated and carbonated drinks.
    • Avoid eating close to bedtime.
    • Do not wear tight clothing.
    • Over-the-counter antacids are available. Some over-the-counter medications provide more immediate relief while others are available in two-week regimens that might not provide more immediate comfort. A doctor or pharmacist can help in determining the best option for you.

    For more information, visit UofLPhysicians.

    WHY IS BREASTFEEDING A BIG DEAL?

    August is National Breastfeeding Month. Breastfeeding provides a number of health benefits for mothers and babies.

    Babies who are breastfed have less risk of a long line of illnesses. A breastfed baby has a lower chance of developing ear infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, childhood obesity, diabetes and even leukemia. Allergies and asthma also occur at a lower rate, and a breastfed baby has a decreased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

    A woman who breastfeeds has less bleeding after delivery and is less likely to suffer from postpartum depression.

    The benefits for mom don’t stop when she stops breastfeeding. She will have less risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. She will also have less risk of developing diabetes and osteoporosis. Even when her children are grown, she is still reaping the benefits of breastfeeding.

    As a Baby-Friendly designated birthing facility, the Center for Women and Infants at UofL Hospital is proud to support breastfeeding moms and babies throughout the breastfeeding experience.

    CAN YOU PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?

    Dementia or “memory loss” is a term familiar to all of us. Dementias are subdivided on the basis of their underlying pathology, largely defined by accumulation of specific types of abnormal protein in the brain cells.

    Dementia from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was first identified in 1906 and globally accounts for approximately 60 percent of all dementias. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5.5 million Americans, most of them age 65 or older, may have dementia caused by AD.

    Those having a family member or providing health care to those with a diagnosis of AD may be familiar with the disease process; realizing how painful it can be at times to see your loved ones suffering and, in worst case, stop recognizing you. AD can have substantial consequences for patients, their families, and society in terms of morbidity, mortality, and health care costs.

    A diagnosis of AD is suggested by insidious onset and gradual progression in two or more cognitive domains, one being memory.

    Research has extensively shown that healthy lifestyle choices may potentially reduce the risk of developing dementia. Studies have determined that the risk of developing AD may be reduced by approximately 60 percent in study participants who adopted a healthy lifestyle:

    • Physical Activity
    • Not Smoking
    • Engagement in cognitively stimulating activities
    • Low Carbohydrate and Fiber Rich Foods