Children and sports: Choices for all ages

August 21st, 2013 by admin

by Mayo Clinic Staff

Children’s sports promote fitness, but not all children thrive in formal leagues. Help your child find the right sport and venue — school, recreation center or backyard.

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Want to give your child a head start on lifelong fitness? Consider children’s sports and other kid-friendly physical activities.

With your encouragement and support, chances are a few sports will spark your child’s interest. Fan the flame by taking your child to local sporting events and sharing your own sports interests with your child.

Consider age-appropriate activities

Your child is likely to show natural preferences for certain sports or activities. Start there, being careful to keep your child’s age, maturity and abilities in mind.

Ages 2 to 5


Toddlers and preschoolers are beginning to master many basic movements, but they’re too young for most organized sports. Keep in mind that toddlers who participate in organized sports also typically don’t gain any long-term advantage in terms of future sports performance.

At this age, unstructured free play is usually best. Try:

  • Running
  • Tumbling
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Swimming
Ages 6 to 9
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Click here to read the rest of this article from the Mayo Clinic

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Mayo Clinic breast cancer mammogram video — What to expect

January 2nd, 2013 by admin

By Mayo Clinic staff

Click here to see the ‘What to expect’ video >>> Mayo Clinic Mammogram Video

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Copy of  the video text below:

A mammogram is a picture of your breast taken with a safe, low-dose X-ray machine. It’s the most effective exam for early detection of breast cancer.

There are two types of mammography exams: screening and diagnostic. A routine screening mammogram is performed when you have no symptoms. Ask your doctor when you should begin regular screening mammograms.

A diagnostic mammogram is performed if there is concern regarding your breasts or if a screening mammogram requires additional studies. You don’t need to prepare for a mammogram. You can eat normally, and if you take medications, continue to do so. However, you may be asked not to wear deodorant on the day of your mammogram because such products may show up on mammogram images. Also, if you are premenopausal, it’s best to schedule your screening exam during the week following your menstrual period, when your breasts may be less tender.

Once checked in, you’ll undress from the waist up and wear a special robe. A mammography technologist will perform your mammogram. She has specialized training in mammographic positioning and techniques.

If you are asked to complete a breast-health survey prior to your exam, your technologist can assist and review the survey with you.

Once in the exam room, you’ll be asked to stand in front of the mammography unit, a special type of X-ray machine. It can move up and down and side to side.

Your technologist will position your breast between two firm surfaces that compress your breast as flat as possible, to ensure good X-ray pictures. For example, here you can see how the machine flattens the technologist’s hand.

She may also switch paddles to get a different view.

Compression is necessary to spread the breast tissue and eliminate motion, which may blur the picture. This may be uncomfortable but shouldn’t hurt.

Compression usually lasts no more than 20 to 30 seconds. During this time, an X-ray beam comes from above and penetrates your breast tissue. The X-ray image is either created on a film cassette, located below your breast, or recorded digitally and stored in a computer. Denser tissue, such as cancer, appears bright and white, whereas less dense tissue, such as fat, appears dark or gray.

The images are then processed and made available for review and interpretation.

Here we see a baseline mammogram of a 40-year-old woman. Five years later, her formerly clear image now shows cancer.

Don’t be concerned if you are asked to remove your gown or reposition, even if it means standing on your toes. This ensures that your gown won’t interfere with the pictures and that you are standing correctly. If you are uncomfortable, please tell your technologist.

After the pictures are taken, you may be asked to wait while the X-ray images are processed.

During this time, technologists check your images to assure they are acceptable. If they aren’t clear, you may be asked to have more X-rays done. Don’t be alarmed if this happens, your technologist simply wants the best images.

A doctor trained to read X-ray images, a radiologist, will examine your mammograms. Under federal regulations, the radiologist must be experienced in reading mammograms.

If no further studies are required, you’ll be released and can resume your regular activities.

Based on what your radiologist sees on your mammogram, you may be asked to return for a diagnostic mammogram. It’s not unusual to be called back after a screening mammogram. This is because your radiologist may not have any previous comparison or may need to look more carefully at a specific area of the breast. The additional imaging is usually necessary to clarify a finding on your screening mammogram. Most findings are not cancer, but it’s important to have the additional imaging done. This may include specialized and tightly focused X-ray pictures, known as a magnification or compression view, or possibly a breast ultrasound.

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The Mayo Clinic Diet: A weight-loss program for life

August 3rd, 2011 by admin

The Mayo Clinic Diet is a different approach to weight loss. It’s a lifestyle that can help you maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.

By Mayo Clinic staff

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If you’re overweight, you’ve probably tried many diet and weight-loss plans, yet the weight keeps coming back. You might have even tried what you thought was a Mayo Clinic diet — but it was probably bogus.

If the diets you’ve tried haven’t worked, don’t be surprised or call it quits. Most people who diet find that weight loss is a never-ending roller coaster ride. You may lose some weight at first, but then the weight loss stops or you regain the weight.

The problem may be that you just haven’t found the right approach yet. The Mayo Clinic Diet — the real one, that is — can help. The Mayo Clinic Diet isn’t like most diets. The Mayo Clinic Diet is a lifestyle approach that can improve your health and help you maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.

The Mayo Clinic Diet: A new approach to healthy weight

The Mayo Clinic Diet is a program that helps you make simple, healthy, pleasurable changes in your lifestyle that result in a weight you can maintain for the rest of your life. Why the emphasis on lifestyle? It turns out that a healthy lifestyle is also a great way to lose weight and keep it off. You get better health and better weight. Not a bad deal.

Perhaps best of all, this program is enjoyable. Eating is one of the great joys in life. What you eat on this diet has to taste good, or you won’t do it. The Mayo Clinic Diet emphasizes foods that not only are healthy but also taste great.

The Mayo Clinic Diet: How does it work?

The Mayo Clinic Diet involves changing habits. With the Mayo Clinic Diet, you work to reshape your lifestyle by breaking unhealthy old habits that sabotage your weight and adopting healthy new habits that will lead you down a path toward better health.

The Mayo Clinic Diet has two phases:

  • Lose It! This two-week phase is designed to help you begin seeing results right away, with weight loss of 6 to 10 pounds (2.7 to 4.5 kilograms, or kg). Unlike fad diets that promise rapid weight loss, the Mayo Clinic Diet approach is safe and healthy while building momentum and enthusiasm. It’s based on changing habits for a lifetime so that the weight you lose doesn’t come back, as it probably has in the past on fad diets.
  • Live It! This second phase builds on Lose It! and is designed to help you continue to lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kg) a week until you reach your weight goal. This phase also helps you maintain your weight goal permanently by continuing and tweaking lifelong healthy habits.

Within each phase, the diet helps you uncover your inner motivation — what really matters to you — that will help keep you on track in your effort to lose weight.

Click here to go to Page 2 > Mayo Clinic Diet for Life

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Fibromyalgia misconceptions: Interview with a Mayo Clinic expert

March 30th, 2011 by admin

photo of Connie Ludtke, R.N.

Connie Ludtke, R.N.

by Mayo Clinic Staff

Get the facts about these common fibromyalgia myths. Learning all you can about fibromyalgia is the first step toward gaining control of your symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is a widely misunderstood condition that causes widespread pain and fatigue. If you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and are trying to learn all you can about the condition, you may come across some myths and misconceptions about fibromyalgia.

In this interview, Connie Luedtke, R.N., the nursing supervisor of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Clinic at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., answers questions about some of the most common misconceptions about fibromyalgia.

What is the most common misconception about fibromyalgia?

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The top misconception is that people think fibromyalgia isn’t a real medical problem or that it is “all in your head.” It’s sometimes thought of as a “garbage-can diagnosis” — if doctors can’t find anything else wrong with you, they say you have fibromyalgia. Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia does require that you meet specific criteria, including painful tender points above and below the waist on both sides of the body.

There’s a lot that’s unknown about fibromyalgia, but researchers have learned more about it in just the past few years. In people who have fibromyalgia, the brain and spinal cord process pain signals differently; they react more strongly to touch and pressure, with a heightened sensitivity to pain. It is a real physiological and neurochemical problem.

Click here to read the rest of this article on fibromyalgia misconceptions from the Mayo Clinic.

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