News Classifieds Recreation Entertainment Yellow Pages Community Events City Guide
Home
Things to Do Shopping Dining Education Churches Clubs Obituaries Weather
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Travel to Myrtle Beach
- Myrtle Beach Information
- Student Rates & Senior Week
- Our Hotel Picks
- Myrtle Beach Golf Vacations
Our Top Picks
- Police Blotter
- Dining Reviews
- NC Sex Offender Reg.
- Health News
- Free Wall Paper
- Contact Us
Visit our other sites!

This site is a member of the Experience North Carolina Network.
Myrtle Beach Golf Vacations
Myrtle Beach Golf Vacations
Local Stuff
- Stanly County Museum
- Oakboro Regional Museum of History
- Stanly County Pageant Scholarship
- Stanly County Arts Council
Area Information
- About Stanly County
- Area Links
- Area Hotels
- Facts & Figures
Liza Paige



We are in the process of creating an online Medical Directory. If you are a health care provider and are interested in being included, please contact us at info@stanlycountyonline.com or call us at 704-244-1937.

 


Muscle Spasms, Cramps, and Charley Horse

You could be out for a run or drifting off to sleep when it happens: The muscles of your calf or foot suddenly become hard, tight, and extremely painful. You are having a muscle cramp.

Sometimes called charley horses -- particularly when they are in the calf muscles - - cramps are caused by muscle spasms, involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. In addition to the foot and calf muscles, other muscles prone to spasms include the front and back of the thigh, the hands, arms, abdomen, and muscles along the rib cage.

Almost everyone experiences muscle cramps, which come without warning. What causes them, and what can you do to relieve them?

Possible Causes of Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps can have many possible causes. They include:
Poor blood circulation in the legs
Overexertion of the calf muscles while exercising
Insufficient stretching before exercise
Exercising in the heat
Muscle fatigue
Dehydration
Magnesium and/or potassium deficiency
Calcium deficiency in pregnant women
Malfunctioning nerves, which could be caused by a problem such as a spinal cord injury or pinched nerve in the neck or back

Muscle cramps can also occur as a side effect of some drugs. Medications that can cause muscle cramps include:
Lasix (furosemide), Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide), and other diuretics ("water pills") used to remove fluid from the body Aricept (donepezil), used to treat Alzheimer's disease Prostigmine (neostigmine), used for myasthenia gravis Procardia (nifedipine), a treatment for angina and high blood pressure Evista (raloxifene), an osteoporosis treatment Brethine (terbutaline), Proventil and Ventolin (albuterol), asthma medications Tasmar (tolcapone), a medication used to treat Parkinson's disease Statin medications for cholesterol such as Crestor (rosuvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), or Zocor (simvastatin).

Treatment of a Muscle Spasm

When muscle cramps occur, there are several things you can do to help ease them, such as massaging, stretching, or icing the muscle, warming the muscle, or taking a bath with Epsom salt.

For a charley horse in the calf or a cramp in the back of the thigh (hamstring), try putting your weight on the affected leg and bending your knee slightly, or sit or lie down with your leg out straight and pull the top of your foot toward your head. For a cramp in the front of the thigh (quadriceps), hold onto a chair to steady yourself and pull your foot back toward your buttock.

To help reduce the risk of cramps in the future, try the following:
Eat more foods high in vitamins and calcium.
Stay well hydrated.
Stretch properly before exercise.

In most cases, self-care measures are sufficient for dealing with muscle cramps, which typically go away within minutes. But if you experience them frequently or for no apparent reason, you should speak to your doctor. They could signal a medical problem that requires treatment.


Should Blood Pressure Be Taken in Both Arms?
Differences in Blood Pressure Between Arms May Signal Blood Vessel Problems

Differences in blood pressure readings taken from the left and right arms may be a sign of heart and blood vessel disease and death risk, according to a new review of recent research.

Researchers found that a difference of 15 points or more in the readings between the left and right arms raised the risk of peripheral vascular disease, a narrowing or blockage of the arteries, by two-and-a-half times.

That same 15 point-difference in systolic readings (the top number in a blood pressure reading) also increased the risk of cerebrovascular disease by 60%. Cerebrovascular disease is associated with thinking problems, such as dementia, and an increased risk of stroke.

Researchers say the results suggest that doctors should routinely compare blood pressure readings from both arms to prevent unnecessary deaths.

Although the practice of taking blood pressure from both arms as a part of heart disease screening has been adopted in Europe, and some guidelines in the U.S. recommend it, American Heart Association spokesman Richard Stein, MD, says its not routinely done in the U.S.


What Is Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the part of the nervous system that affects the legs and causes an urge to move them. Because it usually interferes with sleep, it also is considered a sleep disorder.

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

People with restless legs syndrome have uncomfortable sensations in their legs (and sometimes arms or other parts of the body) and an irresistible urge to move their legs to relieve the sensations. The sensations are difficult to describe: they are an uncomfortable, "itchy," "pins and needles," or "creepy crawly" feeling in the legs. The sensations are usually worse at rest, especially when lying or sitting. The sensations can lead to sleep deprivation and stress.

The severity of RLS symptoms ranges from mild to intolerable. Symptoms can come and go and severity can also vary. The symptoms are generally worse in the evening and at night and less severe in the morning. For some people, symptoms may cause severe nightly sleep disruption that can significantly impair a person's quality of life.

Who Gets Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome may affect up to 10% of the U.S. population. It affects both sexes but is more common in women and may begin at any age, even in young children. Most people who are affected severely are middle-aged or older.

RLS is often unrecognized or misdiagnosed. In many people it is not diagnosed until 10 to 20 years after symptoms begin. Once correctly diagnosed, RLS can often be treated successfully.

Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome

In most cases, doctors do not know the cause of restless leg syndrome; however, they suspect that genes play a role. About half of people with RLS also have a family member with the condition.

Other factors associated with the development or worsening of restless legs syndrome include:

Chronic diseases. Certain chronic diseases and medical conditions, including iron deficiency, Parkinsons disease, kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy often include symptoms of RLS. Treating these conditions often gives some relief from restless legs symptoms.

Medications. Some types of medications, including antinausea drugs, antipsychotic drugs, some antidepressants, and cold and allergy medications containing antihistamines may worsen symptoms.

Pregnancy. Some women experience RLS during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. Symptoms usually go away within a month after delivery.

Other factors, including alcohol use and sleep deprivation, may trigger symptoms or make them worse. Improving sleep or eliminating alcohol use in these cases may relieve symptoms.

Diagnosis of Restless Legs Syndrome

There is no medical test to diagnose restless legs syndrome; however, doctors may use blood tests and other exams to rule out other conditions. The diagnosis of restless legs syndrome is based on a patients symptoms and answers to questions concerning family history of similar symptoms, medication use, the presence of other symptoms or medical conditions, or problems with daytime sleepiness.

Treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome

Treatment for RLS is targeted at easing symptoms. In people with mild to moderate restless legs syndrome, lifestyle changes, such as beginning a regular exercise program, establishing regular sleep patterns, and eliminating or decreasing the use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, may be helpful. Treatment of an RLS- associated condition also provides relief of symptoms.

Other non-drug restless legs treatments may include:
Leg massages
Hot baths or heating pads or ice packs applied to the legs Good sleep habits

Medications may be helpful as RLS treatments, but the same drugs are not helpful for everyone. In fact, a drug that relieves symptoms in one person may worsen them in another. In other cases, a drug that works for a while may lose its effectiveness over time.

Drugs used to treat RLS include:
Dopaminergic drugs, which act on the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Pramipexole (Mirapex), rotigotine (Neupro), and ropinirole (Requip) are FDA approved for treatment of moderate to severe RLS. Others, such as levodopa (Larodopa, Dopar) and pergolide (Permax) may also be prescribed. Benzodiazepines, a class of sedative medications, may be used to help with sleep, but they can cause daytime drowsiness.
Narcotic pain relievers may be used for severe pain. Anticonvulsants, or antiseizure drugs, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and gabapentin (Neurontin, Horizant).

Although there is no cure for restless legs syndrome, current treatments can help control the condition, decrease symptoms, and improve sleep.


15 Cancer Symptoms Women Ignore

Women tend to be more vigilant than men about getting recommended health checkups and cancer screenings, according to studies and experts.

They're generally more willing, as well, to get potentially worrisome symptoms checked out, says Mary Daly, MD, oncologist and head of the department of clinical genetics at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

But not always. Younger women, for instance, tend to ignore symptoms that could point to cancer. "They have this notion that cancer is a problem of older people," Daly tells WebMD. And they're often right, but plenty of young people get cancer, too.

Of course, some women are as skilled as men are at switching to denial mode. "There are people who deliberately ignore their cancer symptoms," says Hannah Linden, MD, a medical oncologist. She is a joint associate member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle. It's usually denial, but not always, she says. "For some, there is a cultural belief that cancer is incurable, so why go there."

Talking about worrisome symptoms shouldn't make people overreact, says Ranit Mishori, MD, an assistant professor of family medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. "I don't want to give people the impression they should look for every little thing," she says.

With that healthy balance between denial and hypochondria in mind, WebMD asked experts to talk about the symptoms that may not immediately make a woman worry about cancer, but that should be checked out. Read on for 15 possible cancer symptoms women often ignore.

What Is Your Cancer Risk? Take the WebMD Cancer Health Check

No. 1: Unexplained Weight Loss

Many women would be delighted to lose weight without trying. But unexplained weight loss -- say 10 pounds in a month without an increase in exercise or a decrease in food intake -- should be checked out, Mishori says.

"Unexplained weight loss is cancer unless proven not," she says. It could, of course, turn out to be another condition, such as an overactive thyroid.

Expect your doctor to run tests to check the thyroid and perhaps order a CT scan of different organs. The doctor needs to "rule out the possibilities, one by one," Mishori says.

No. 2: Bloating

Bloating is so common that many women just live with it. But it could point to ovarian cancer. Other symptoms of ovarian cancer include abdominal pain or pelvic pain, feeling full quickly -- even when you haven't eaten much -- and urinary problems, such as having an urgent need to go to the bathroom.

If the bloating occurs almost every day and persists for more than a few weeks, you should consult your physician. Expect your doctor to take a careful history and order a CT scan and blood tests, among others.

No. 3: Breast Changes

Most women know their breasts well, even if they don't do regular self-exams, and know to be on the lookout for lumps. But that's not the only breast symptom that could point to cancer. Redness and thickening of the skin on the breast, which could indicate a very rare but aggressive form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, also needs to be examined, Linden says. "If you have a rash that persists over weeks, you have to get it evaluated," she says.

Likewise, if the look of a nipple changes, or if you notice discharge (and arent breastfeeding), see your doctor. "If it's outgoing normally and turns in," she says, that's not a good sign. "If your nipples are inverted chronically, no big deal." It's the change in appearance that could be a worrisome symptom.

If you have breast changes, expect your doctor to take a careful history, examine the breast, and order tests such as a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, and perhaps a biopsy.

No. 4: Between-Period Bleeding or Other Unusual Bleeding

'Premenopausal women tend to ignore between-period bleeding," Daly says. They also tend to ignore bleeding from the GI tract, mistakenly thinking it is from their period. But between-period bleeding, especially if you are typically regular, bears checking out, she says. So does bleeding after menopause, as it could be a symptom of endometrial cancer. GI bleeding could be a symptom of colorectal cancer.

Think about what's normal for you, says Debbie Saslow, PhD, director of breast and gynecologic cancer at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. "If a woman never spots [between periods] and she spots, it's abnormal for her. For someone else, it might not be."

"Endometrial cancer is a common gynecologic cancer," Saslow says. "At least three- quarters who get it have some abnormal bleeding as an early sign."

Your doctor will take a careful history and, depending on the timing of the bleeding and other symptoms, probably order an ultrasound or biopsy.

No. 5: Skin Changes

Most of us know to look for any changes in moles -- a well-known sign of skin cancer. But we should also watch for changes in skin pigmentation, Daly says.

If you suddenly develop bleeding on your skin or excessive scaling, that should be checked, too, she says. It's difficult to say how long is too long to observe skin changes before you go to the doctor, but most experts say not longer than several weeks.

No. 6: Difficulty Swallowing

If you have difficulty swallowing, you may have already changed your diet so chewing isn't so difficult, perhaps turning to soups or liquid foods such as protein shakes.

But that difficulty could be a sign of a GI cancer, such as in the esophagus, says Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Expect your doctor to take a careful history and order tests such as a chest X-ray or exams of the GI tract.

No. 7: Blood in the Wrong Place

If you notice blood in your urine or your stool, dont assume it's from a hemorrhoid, says Mishori. "It could be colon cancer."

Expect your doctor to ask questions and perhaps order testing such as a colonoscopy, an exam of the colon to look for cancer.

Seeing blood in the toilet bowl may actually be from the vagina if a woman is menstruating, Mishori says. But if not, it should be checked to rule out bladder or kidney cancer, she says.

Coughing up blood should be evaluated, too. One occasion of blood in the wrong place may not point to anything, Mishori says, but if it happens more than once, go see your doctor.

No. 8: Gnawing Abdominal Pain and Depression

Any woman who's got a pain in the abdomen and is feeling depressed needs a checkup, says Lichtenfeld. Some researchers have found a link between depression and pancreatic cancer, but it's a poorly understood connection.

No. 9: Indigestion

Women who have been pregnant may remember the indigestion that occurred as they gained weight. But indigestion for no apparent reason may be a red flag.

It could be an early clue to cancer of the esophagus, stomach, or throat.

Expect your doctor to take a careful history and ask questions about the indigestion before deciding which tests to order, if any.

No. 10: Mouth Changes

Smokers should be especially alert for any white patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue, according to the American Cancer Society. Both can point to a precancerous condition called leukoplakia that can progress to oral cancer.

Ask your dentist or doctor to take a look and decide what should be done next.

No. 11: Pain

As people age they seem to complain more of various aches and pains, but pain, as vague as it may be, can also be an early symptom of some cancers, although most pain complaints are not from cancer.

Pain that persists and is unexplained needs to be checked out. Expect your physician to take a careful history, and based on that information decide what further testing, if any, is needed.

No. 12: Changes in the Lymph Nodes

If you notice a lump or swelling in the lymph nodes under your armpit or in your neck -- or anywhere else -- it could be worrisome, Linden says.

"If you have a lymph node that gets progressively larger, and it's [been] longer than a month, see a doctor," she says. Your doctor will examine you and figure out any associated issues (such as infection) that could explain the lymph node enlargement.If there are none, your doctor will typically order a biopsy.

No. 13: Fever

If you have a fever that isn't explained by influenza or other infection, it could point to cancer. Fevers more often occur after cancer has spread from its original site, but it can also point to early blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma, according to the American Cancer Society.

Other cancer symptoms can include jaundice, or a change in the color of your stool.

Expect your doctor to conduct a careful physical exam and take a medical history, and then order tests such as a chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or other tests, depending on the findings.

No. 14: Fatigue

Fatigue is another vague symptom that could point to cancer -- as well as a host of other problems. It can set in after the cancer has grown, but it may also occur early in certain cancers, such as leukemia or with some colon or stomach cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.

No. 15: Persistent Cough

Coughs are expected with colds, the flu, allergies, and sometimes are a side effect of medications. But a very prolonged cough -- defined as lasting more than three or four weeks -- should not be ignored, Mishori says.

You would expect your doctor to take a careful history, examine your throat, check out your lung functioning and perhaps order X-rays, especially if you are a smoker.


100 Things to Make Your Home Safer

Safety doesn't take a lot of time, but it does take thought and planning. Not sure how to Commit a Minute to Safety? Pick one, 10 or 100 of the things below and get started today. You'll see that sometimes it just takes a minute to avoid what could be a lifetime of regret.

1.Test each smoke alarm in your home

2.Replace the batteries in each smoke alarm

3.Count how many smoke alarms you have in your house. If you do not have one on every level and near sleeping areas, purchase additional smoke alarms

4.Designate an outside meeting place for your family (for example: the mailbox) in case of a fire or emergency

5.Blow out candles before leaving the room or going to sleep

6.Use a sturdy candle holder or hurricane lamp

7.Turn down your hot water heater to 120 degrees or less to prevent burns

8.Roll up your sleeves before you start cooking

9.Have oven mitts nearby when cooking

10.Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove

11.Store all matches and lighters out of reach of children

12.Put hot food and drinks near the center of the table only

13.Put down your hot drink when carrying your baby

14.Test hot water with an elbow before allowing a child to touch

15.Post your fire escape plan on your refrigerator

16.Put water on cigarette butts before throwing them away

17.Unplug small appliances such as hair dryers and toasters after using them

18.Use flameless candles

19.Move anything that can burn, such as dish towels, at least three feet away from the stove

20.Practice Stop, Drop and Roll with your kids

21.Schedule an appointment to have your furnace cleaned and inspected

22.Look for the UL Mark when you buy appliances

23.Tell kids to stay away from the stove/oven

24.Turn space heaters off before going to bed

25.Remove any gasoline from your home

26.Put non-slip strips in your tub and shower

27.Install night lights in the hallway

28.Put a flashlight in each bedroom

29.Wipe up spills as soon as they happen to prevent slips and falls

30.Use a sturdy Christmas tree stand

31.Water your Christmas tree every day

32.Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any heat source

33.Inspect your Christmas lights for signs of damage

34.Flip over large buckets so water cannot accumulate and become a drowning danger

35.Store cleaners and other poisons away from food

36.Post the Poison Control hotline number (1-800-222- 1222) next to your phone

37.If you have young children, use cabinet locks on cabinets that have poisons such as antifreeze, cleaners, detergents, etc.

38.Keep medicine in its original containers

39.Purchase a carbon monoxide detector for your home

40.Test your carbon monoxide (CO) alarm

41.Put your infant to sleep on his/her back

42.Remove any soft bedding, stuffed animals and pillows from your infant's crib

43.Cut your toddler's food into small bites

44.Use safety straps on high chairs and changing tables

45.Check www.recalls.gov to see if any items in your home (including cribs) have been recalled

46.Move cribs away from windows

47.Use safety covers on unused electrical outlets

48.Test small toys for choking hazards - if it fits in a toilet paper roll, it's too small

49.Remove all plastic bags from the nursery

50.Pick up any small items, such as coins or buttons, that can be choking hazards for infants and toddlers

51.Write down emergency contact information for your family and make sure everyone has these numbers

52.If young children live in or visit your home, move furniture away from windows so they don't climb up to look out and accidentally fall

53.Tie window cords out of a child's reach

54.Check your child's bath water temperature (use your wrist or elbow) to make sure it is not too hot

55.Remove drawstrings from your baby's clothing

56.Keep the toilet lid shut to prevent little fingers from getting slammed by a falling lid

57.If you have toddlers, install a toilet seat lock

58.If you have young children, install door knob covers on bathroom doors

59.Use a fireplace screen

60.Put toys away after playing

61.Don't refer to medicine or vitamins as candy

62.Put on safety glasses before any DIY project

63.Put tools away after your DIY project is complete

64.Post emergency numbers near your phone

65.Pick up one new thing for your family's emergency preparedness kit

66.Use a ladder, not a chair, when climbing to reach something

67.Use plastic instead of glass near the pool

68.Cover any spa or hot tub when it is not in use

69.Purchase a first aid kit

70.Drain the bath tub immediately after bathing

71.Remove clutter from the stairs

72.Use the handrail when you are walking up or down the stairs

73.If the power goes out, use flashlights instead of candles

74.Ask smokers to smoke outside

75.Wear proper shoes when climbing a ladder

76.Check your home for too many plugs in one socket and fix the problem

77.Install baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs if you have young children

78.Never leave food cooking unattended

79.Make sure pools or spas are properly fenced to keep out small children

80.Teach kids to tell you when they see matches or lighters

81.Turn out the lights when you leave the room

82.Unplug appliances that aren't in use (especially in the kitchen)

83.Take your hair dryer off of the bathroom counter and store it safely

84.Check your electronics for the UL Mark

85.Identify two exits from every room with your kids in case of fire

86.Check your holiday decorations - keep breakable decorations out of reach of young children

87.Replace an old light bulb with a new energy-efficient option

88.Check the walls for loose paint chips and re-paint with low-VOC or VOC-free paint

89.Check all the outlets in your home for overloaded sockets or extension cords 90.Remove any extension cords that are pulled under rugs or tacked up

91.Place fire extinguishers in key areas of your home

92.Place an escape ladder in an upstairs room that might not have an easy exit

93.Remove any painted furniture that is pre-1978 to avoid possible lead exposure

94.Lock medications safely in a cabinet

95.Consider low-flow toilets

96.Check that all major appliances are grounded and test your GFCIs

97.Clean the lint trap and hose on your dryer

98.Check your swing set for sharp edges or dangerous S- hooks

99.Take a tour of your home from your childs perspective looking for hazards

100.Hold a family fire drill