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Search our database of hundreds of health information articles. They are current, constantly updated, and authoritatively sourced!

Reproductive Hazards

Both the male and female reproductive systems play a role in pregnancy. Problems with these systems can affect fertility and the ability to have children. Something that affects reproductive health is called a reproductive hazard. Examples include:

  • Radiation
  • Metals such as lead and mercury
  • Chemicals such as pesticides
  • Cigarettes
  • Some viruses
  • Alcohol

For men, a reproductive hazard can affect the sperm. For a woman, a reproductive hazard can cause different effects during pregnancy, depending on when she is exposed. During the first 3 months of pregnancy, it might cause a birth defect or a miscarriage. During the last 6 months of pregnancy, it could slow the growth of the fetus, affect the development of its brain, or cause premature labor.

Rubella

Rubella is an infection caused by a virus. It is usually mild with fever and a rash. About half of the people who get rubella do not have symptoms. If you do get them, symptoms may include

  • A rash that starts on the face and spreads to the body
  • Mild fever
  • Aching joints, especially in young women
  • Swollen glands

Rubella is most dangerous for a pregnant woman's baby. It can cause miscarriage or birth defects.

Rubella spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People without symptoms can still spread it. There is no treatment, but the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine can prevent it.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rural Health Concerns

People in rural areas face some different health issues than people who live in towns and cities. Getting health care can be a problem when you live in a remote area. You might not be able to get to a hospital quickly in an emergency. You also might not want to travel long distances to get routine checkups and screenings. Rural areas often have fewer doctors and dentists, and certain specialists might not be available at all.

Because it can be hard to get care, health problems in rural residents may be more serious by the time they are diagnosed. People in rural areas of the United States have higher rates of chronic disease than people in urban areas. They also have higher rates of certain types of cancer, from exposure to chemicals used in farming.

Small Intestine Disorders

Your small intestine is the longest part of your digestive system - about twenty feet long! It connects your stomach to your large intestine (or colon) and folds many times to fit inside your abdomen. Your small intestine does most of the digesting of the foods you eat. It has three areas called the duodenum, the ileum, and the jejunum.

Problems with the small intestine can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Infections
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ulcers, such as peptic ulcer

Treatment of disorders of the small intestine depends on the cause.

Sodium

Table salt is a combination of two minerals - sodium and chloride Your body needs some sodium to work properly. It helps with the function of nerves and muscles. It also helps to keep the right balance of fluids in your body. Your kidneys control how much sodium is in your body. If you have too much and your kidneys can't get rid it, sodium builds up in your blood. This can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to other health problems.

Most people in the U.S. get more sodium in their diets than they need. A key to healthy eating is choosing foods low in sodium. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that most adults eat less than 2.3 grams per day. That equals about 1 teaspoon of table salt a day. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of salt than others and should eat less. This includes people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney problems, or are African-American or over age 50. Reading food labels can help you see how much sodium is in prepared foods.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute