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Health in a Minute: Late Summer 2023

Q. My father is in his late 60s and has been experiencing aphasia after a stroke. He is currently participating in speech therapy, but... is there anything I can personally do to help with his recovery?

A. Aphasia can be a challenging and frustrating condition associated with difficulty with communication. It can involve both auditory comprehension and verbal expression. The levels of aphasia can differ, so it is important to understand at what level your loved one is understanding you and expressing himself. One of the best ways you can help a loved one dealing with aphasia is to be patient and supportive. It can be very frustrating for both you and your father.

Changing your communication strategy can help him comprehend and understand better. This does not necessarily mean speaking louder but may mean giving your father more time to process what has been said. I suggest attending some of the speech therapy sessions with your father to better understand which strategies can help him the most. Your speech therapist may also give homework to further progress his language. Use this homework as an opportunity to engage in conversation more with your father, which will help his confidence while helping him to communicate more efficiently and effectively.
illustration of colorful dialogue bubbles, lips, and a quotation mark

Q. I’ve been considering facial fillers, but I’m a bit nervous. How can I decide if they’re right for me?

A. Absolutely! Feeling nervous about facial fillers is normal. With the proper education from an experienced provider, you will be able to make a decision that is right for you. Around age 30, we start to lose collagen in the face due to normal aging which becomes increasingly noticeable throughout the years. Eating foods rich in amino acids and vitamin C can help increase collagen and hyaluronic acid in the body, however, it is not always absorbed properly and does not always produce the desired effect that we had hoped for. Facial fillers are a great addition as they can restore lost volume and create a smoother appearance. Not only that, many facial fillers contain hyaluronic acid which naturally exists in the skin and can stimulate collagen production. In addition, it also attracts water, which allows the skin to recreate that natural plump and hydrated appearance.
hand holding syringe

Q. My husband and I always seem to be at odds with each other on family vacations. I like to go with the flow, but he prefers a plan. Any advice?

A. This is actually a fairly common dynamic for couples who travel together. I like to encourage them to sit down and discuss the non- negotiables they have in mind for their experience on vacation. Do they need three to five hours at the beach and then a more routine schedule for the evening or vice versa? I am a firm believer that vacation expectations should be discussed beforehand anyway, but even more so when there are two different mindsets about what a fulfilling vacation should include. Certain personality temperaments can make these conversations more difficult, but I encourage people to err on the side of overcommunicating before the trip. Then try to check in while the vacation is happening and ask if things are going how each person would like. Keeping a metaphorical finger on the pulse of the vacation dynamics can be a helpful mindset and will make the vacation more of an enjoyable success.
yellow suitcase

Q. I am in my early 40s, but I’ve recently been experiencing night sweats and changes in my period. Is it possible that I’m already experiencing menopause, and if so, what can I do about it?

A. The average age of menopause in the United States is 51 and is defined by a woman’s last menstrual period. However, women often begin going through a phenomenon known as “perimenopause” as early as 5-10 years prior to that. These symptoms are more consistent with peri-menopause and would warrant further evaluation by talking to your provider and obtaining some lab work. Depending on that evaluation and your hormonal status, there are both hormonal and non-hormonal options that we can offer to help manage these bothersome symptoms.

Q. I’ve been dealing with chronic fatigue for a long time now. My bloodwork always comes back normal, but is there anything I can do to feel better?

A. Chronic fatigue can be a result of many factors, but sometimes applying and implementing certain lifestyle changes and available tools can help increase energy levels significantly. Traditional bloodwork does not always account for nutritional deficiencies which plays a huge role in fatigue. We have seen great success by having our patients increase their intake of B-vitamins through nutrition with whole foods as well as supplements. We also use other technologies such as pulsed electromagnetic field therapy and red-light therapy at our clinic which have been proven to help improve chronic fatigue. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy uses technology to stimulate and exercise cells to help resolve cellular dysfunction, increase bioavailability, and support overall cellular health. Red light therapy targets and stimulates the mitochondria to work more effectively, which results in more energy available to the body. If you are suffering from chronic fatigue, there is hope to get your energy back and live your best, fullest life.

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