Influenza, also known as the flu, is a viral infection most seen during winter months. Typical flu symptoms are fever, chills, cough, body aches and fatigue that begin abruptly. My patients would often say “I feel like I was hit by a truck” or “I ache so bad even my hair hurts,” sentiments commonly felt by those suffering from flu. While the flu, like many … Continue reading The Doctor’s Note: Get your flu shot this year
According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the long-awaited coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is now available. There are many questions and feelings of uncertainty when it comes to a new vaccine and we want to help you feel safe and informed. We asked Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Fong, to answer the … Continue reading The Doctor’s Note: Answering your questions about the coronavirus vaccine
With the focus on coronavirus (COVID-19) these past several months, it may be surprising that we are talking about a different virus today. However, with similarities between a flu and COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to prevent the respiratory illnesses we can. According to the CDC, the flu vaccination is “the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.” Blue Cross and … Continue reading The Doctor’s Note: Should I get the flu shot?
Summer has arrived in Kansas and many of us are enjoying the long days, sunshine and warmth by getting into the great outdoors. Unfortunately, these adventures can have the unwanted side effect of contact with ticks and mosquitoes. While most tick bites are painless or may cause only mild redness, swelling or itching, some ticks carry diseases that can cause infection in humans. Tickborne diseases … Continue reading The Doctor’s Note: Protect yourself against ticks and mosquitoes
On average, menopause occurs in women at 51 years of age. Common symptoms include hot flashes, mood changes, sleep disruption and altered tissue linings of the vagina and urinary tract. Loss of ovary function and estrogen production are responsible for these changes.Continue reading “The Doctor’s Note: Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy”
Cancer of the colon is a common cancer in both men and women. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Approximately one in three people who are diagnosed with this type of cancer will die of their disease. There are things you can do to reduce your chance of developing colon cancer: Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grain … Continue reading The Doctor’s Note: Reduce your chance of developing colon cancer
Exercise is important, but often we can’t find the time or energy to do some kind of exercise on a regular basis. A recent study provides evidence that not exercising can be worse for your health than having diabetes, heart disease or smoking. If you have a chronic condition, exercise can be as beneficial as the medications you take.Continue reading “The Doctor’s Note: Is exercise worth the commitment?”
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Health IndexSM is a valuable resource. This health metric uses de-identified claims data collected from a commercially insured population to determine the health conditions with the most significant impact on the American population. The data can be drilled down to the state or county level.
According to this index, although major depression (10.1 percent), high cholesterol (8.1 percent), and coronary disease (6.5 percent) are worthy runner ups, hypertension (12.5 percent) takes the cake for Kansans, as well as Americans. The data indicates hypertension is responsible for more adverse health impact than any other health condition. Continue reading “The Doctor’s Note: The condition with the greatest impact on the health of Kansans”