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Even while sleeping, your brain is hard at work. About 100 billion specialized cells in the brain called neurons act like tiny messengers. Neurons send and receive messages using electrical impulses that create brain waves, which indicate what’s happening inside your brain.

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Whether you’re training for your first 5K or already have several under your belt, the proper shoes and training techniques can mean the difference between pain and gain. Thomas Starnes, MD, a runner himself and a primary care sports medicine physician at Asheville Orthopaedic Associates, ex…

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Stress affects all of us these days. Jobs, family issues, the daily news and hundreds of other factors can all help create and promote the stress and anxiety that so many of us feel.

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You know the old saying — “When you gotta go, you gotta go!” We have all been there! However, when you are unable to control the leakage, we are talking about urinary incontinence (UI). Some sources report that over half of women over 60 experience UI. Men also commonly deal with UI. Though …

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Brian Ware, DO, an osteopathic family physician with Mission Family Medicine – Old Fort, refers to the thyroid, a small gland at the base of the neck, as the body’s thermostat. “It determines metabolism — how much energy you burn, how energetic you feel and your weight,” he said.

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Head, shoulders, knees and toes – knees and toes! Why don’t they sing about our joints – the cartilage between the bone that provides a “cushion” and allows the bones to glide over each other? What happens when this cushion wears away? It is not uncommon to have joint issues be the limiting …

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Every parent has heard complaints about summer boredom. Our kids may initially welcome that summer freedom, but all that empty time can sometimes become a burden.

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Summer. Crocuses popping up optimistically in the yard. Kids yelling at each other outside instead of inside. Looking through half-full bottles of sunscreen and bug repellent, and wondering how on earth we already have poison ivy. Start getting ready for those glorious outdoor days ahead.

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Are you as happy now as you were when you were younger? Do you have as much pep as you did last year? Your answer to these kind of questions concerning your views of self-aging can have tremendous implications for your health as you age.

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The best solution for constant complaining from your children this summer is to keep them busy. Here are a few suggestions for some enjoyable summer outings that they won’t soon forget.

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If you’re like many people, weight loss is always top of mind. Yet, attaining and maintaining a healthy weight is a goal that seems just out of reach for many. Whether you have a few pounds to lose or a more significant goal, try incorporating these expert tips from Garth Davis, MD, Medical …

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Each year, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association sponsors Better Hearing & Speech Month, an awareness campaign dedicated to educating the public about communication disorders.

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Knowledge is power, and the urology team at Mission Health wants you to be as educated as you can about your prostate health so you can be empowered in your well-being. Mission Health’s Brian Cohen, MD, walks us through the tough conversation that is easier to shy away from: different aspect…

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There are so many things we love about summertime, but nowhere on that list is the return of all the bugs. Warmer weather means that mosquitoes and ticks are back in full force. Bug bites have always been a summer nuisance, but recently there is even greater concern about diseases that can b…

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As we age, one of the things we worry about is keeping our mind sharp. For you, that may look like a sudoku puzzle over coffee or enjoying the morning sun with a crossword puzzle. While these things are good for stretching those brain muscles, physical activity is shown to improve executive …

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Kids can be amazing. They develop new cell phone apps, set athletic records, volunteer with the elderly, and perform lots of good deeds. Unfortunately, much of the time it seems these are someone else’s children.

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Seeking immediate care within the first “golden hour” is critical for treating, surviving and recovering from a stroke. Do you know what signs and symptoms to look for and what things to do (and not to do) in order to save a life? Alex Schneider, MD, chief of neurosciences at Mission Health,…

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People usually associate concussions or head injuries with sports, like soccer, football or basketball, but concussions can happen during recreational activities for fun too. It’s that time of year here in the mountains for western North Carolinians’ favorite outdoor activities – hiking, can…

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We all know that pain is our body’s protection mechanism, but often pain does not tell the whole story. Pain is interpreted based on previous experiences, expectations, and the signals from body tissues. We often stop activity at the first pang, but sometimes guarding and protection can cont…

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As a parent you want to be there for your teenager. You try to learn what’s happening in his or her life and try to help with problems or uncertainties he or she may be facing.

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Measles is increasing at an alarming rate across the country. Although Western North Carolina hasn’t had any confirmed cases, we remain vulnerable due to below-average immunization rates in the area. Current hot spots are New York, Washington and Michigan. There have been five confirmed case…

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A new three-year grant of $863,000 to the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness (NCCHW) at UNC Asheville will help build North Carolina’s capacity for community-based programs to address diabetes.

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I frequently have patients tell me about encounters with healthcare providers who dismiss their complaint with a flippant “you are just getting old.” Now, that may be true, but we can’t give in that easily. Let’s take a quick look at some ideas we need to let go as we age.

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Just when most people feel energized because it is spring, others want to pull the covers over their heads. Seasonal change can be harder on those with anxiety and depression. Speaking with your primary care physician can be a first step in feeling better.

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Memes. Texts. Gifs. While teens keep things light with friends, studies show they want to know more about important topics that can affect their overall adult health but are reluctant to talk with parents present. Just when teens are exploring their interests and boundaries, an open relation…

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Mononucleosis may be the king of “kissing diseases,” but other orally transmitted diseases are no joke. Bacterial meningitis, herpes simplex-1 and cytomegalovirus can all spread through saliva. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself (and any teenagers under your roof).

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It is hard to overstate the benefits of exercise for health, wellbeing, and function. However, exercise is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and finding an activity that you connect with is the key to long-term participation. If you are in search of exercise to increase strength and flexi…

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Have you ever turned over or sat up in bed and the whole world started spinning? You are not alone. This is typically caused by a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), also known as displaced crystals in your ear. Nearly 3 percent of people experience BPPV in their li…

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The big get-together is tonight, but you are exhausted. You already RSVP’d so you make yourself go, and before you know it you are the last one to leave. If you have had the “I’m-so-glad-I-went” experience, then you know that our body has reserves that are just waiting to be activated.

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As the obesity crisis continues to escalate in America, there is another emerging threat to women’s health and their ability to have children. The threat is called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This is a hormonal imbalance often brought on by obesity and increases a woman’s risk of Typ…

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Blue Ridge Health (BRH) has announced the appointment of MaryShell Zaffino, MD, as its new Chief Medical Officer (CMO), effective immediately. She previously served as the Medical Director of BRH – Chimney Rock Road before being promoted to Assistant CMO in February 2017.

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Concierge House Calls, an Asheville medical practice that provides in-office and at-home care, is offering solutions for challenging medical conditions via alternative therapies that are new to the Asheville area.

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I am an ice cream fanatic. If there is ice cream in my freezer, I think about it. A lot. It is always there in the back of my mind, nagging me when I walk into the kitchen or sit to watch a movie. X-ray and MRI results can be a lot like that ice cream in the freezer, continually creeping int…

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Do you notice your balance isn’t what it used to be? Perhaps you have had a stumble and just barely caught yourself. Or maybe you didn’t! The good news is that balance is a skill, and with intentional practice your balance can improve. Whether a little unsteadiness is creeping in or you use …

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Western North Carolina is known for its long and winding roads. And while the scenic journeys add to the charm of our region, they can be a hindrance for those who need to travel for medical care. Anne Buchanan of Morganton knows this firsthand. The 77 year old frequently traveled to Mission…

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Today more of us are living longer. The changes we've seen in people's lifestyles, along with improved health care, have meant that living into our 80s and 90s is becoming more common.

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“Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is like your heart being stuck in fourth gear,” said Jason Lappe, MD, cardiologist at Asheville Cardiology Associates, an affiliate of Mission Health. “It may be operating fast, but your heart’s output is reduced by 20 percent.”

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Do you love carbs – or do you avoid them? You’ve probably heard something along the lines of, “carbs are bad for you.” But we’re here to tell you not to be afraid of carbs. Rather than asking yourself if you should eat carbs, the better question is – what kinds of carbs should you be eating?…