OVARIAN CYSTS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

An ovarian cyst is a sac filled with fluid or semisolid material that forms on or within an ovary. These cysts are highly common, especially during the childbearing years. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ovarian cysts are less common after menopause; however, postmenopausal women who have an ovarian cyst are at higher risk for developing ovarian cancer. In most cases, cysts are harmless and typically go away on their own.

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MALE INFERTILITY

Creating a baby is no small feat. Many conditions, both in the woman and the man, have to be just right for pregnancy to occur. According to the Mayo Clinic, (www.mayoclinic.org), up to 15 percent of couples are infertile. They have not conceived a child even though they have had frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse for a year or longer. In up to half of these couples, male infertility is a significant factor.

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EXERCISE AND NUTRITION ARE KEYS TO LONG-LASTING WEIGHT LOSS

Anyone who wishes to lose weight and keep it off has to face the grim truth that this goal will never be achieved without some hard work – exercise – and a change in eating habits.  Exercise and nutrition are the key ingredients to long-lasting weight loss. The best approach is a combination of consuming fewer calories while getting more exercise. A nutritious diet works hand- in-hand with exercise to get your weight down. It is much better for your overall health to avoid pharmacological solutions

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Have you made a resolution to take better care of yourself this year? Be sure to consider not only your physical health but your mental health as well.


According to a new federal report from the Centers for Disease Control, people in the United States have made great progress in some health areas —for example, they get more exercise and fewer teens smoke cigarettes — but they have lagged behind in many others, particularly in the area of mental health.


If you need an incentive to take inventory of your mental health, be aware Medicare covers a yearly screening for depression. It is part of the Annual Wellness Visit, during which you would discuss and create with your doctor a plan of preventive care for the coming year. According to Medicare Interactive (www.medicareinteractive.org), these screenings are designed to be completed by a doctor or other primary care provider to ensure you are correctly diagnosed and treated and receive follow-up care. In order to get Medicare to cover it, the depression screening must take place in a primary care setting.


The screening includes a Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2 and PHQ-9) that helps discern if you may be at risk for or have symptoms of depression. If the questionnaire results indicate you are at risk

for or have symptoms of depression, your doctor will do a more thorough evaluation and, if necessary, refer you to a mental health professional for further care.


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (www.cms.gov) says screening for depression in adults is reasonable and necessary for the prevention or early detection of illness or disability. The CMS describes depression as a mental disorder characterized by alterations in mood. The symptoms of depression have been recognized as far back as ancient times. (Hippocrates called it melancholia.) Depression is not a single disease, says the CMS; it is a syndrome manifested by a variety of diseases with distinct causes. Its origin includes psychological, social and biological factors.


Depression affects people across the age spectrum. In older adults, depression is often linked with comorbidities such as cancer, arthritis, stroke, lung disease and cardiovascular disease. Grief is another important risk factor for depression, and older people generally experience an accelerated loss of friends and loved ones as they age. Diagnosis of depression is based on a highly variable set of

MEDICARE COVERS SCREENING FOR DEPRESSION

symptoms. These symptoms include depressed mood; diminished interest or pleasure in activities the person formerly enjoyed; significant weight loss or gain; fatigue or loss of energy; feelings of worthlessness; and insomnia or hypersomnia.


Depression screening is important because it can help improve mental health and general medical outcomes. Under-recognized and undertreated mental illness is a serious social problem. It creates significant impacts on public health and the economy. One study estimates the combined U.S. direct and indirect costs of depression to be $83.1 billion, including $31.5 billion in direct costs and the remainder in indirect, mostly workplace costs. Depression is projected to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020.

DR. JEFFREY FOXX

A Covington, Ky., native, Dr. Jeffrey Foxx founded Family Practice Associates of Lexington in 1983. Dr. Foxx holds the belief that “God is first, family is second and medicine is third.”

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