Answers to Common Questions

Expert answers to key health questions

Questions & Answers

  • What are whole grains?
  • Grains are what make up common foods like bread, rice, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, tortillas, crackers and popcorn. Whole grain foods include the entire grain seed, which keeps all nutrients like fiber and iron intact. Refined grains, on the other hand, remove a portion of the seed to create a finer texture, which depletes key nutrients. Thus, guidelines encourage choosing whole grains over refined grains as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • What is dementia?
  • Dementia includes a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking and social skills and that interfere with normal daily functioning. Common symptoms include memory loss, difficulty finding words, personality changes and inability to reason. It’s important to see a doctor if you or a loved one experiences symptoms, as some causes can be treated.
  • What are risk factors for dementia?
  • Some risk factors for dementia can’t be controlled, such as age, family history and down syndrome. However, there are many risk factors that can be controlled, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking and heavy alcohol use. It’s important to address any risk factors you may have to reduce risk for dementia and other serious conditions.

  • What is an arrhythmia?
  • An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm that causes the heart to beat too quickly, too slowly or irregularly. There are many types of arrhythmias, some of which are harmless. However, treatment may be required depending on the type and severity of arrhythmia a patient has.

  • What is vasovagal syncope?
  • Vasovagal syncope is the most common cause of fainting. It occurs when heart rate and blood pressure suddenly drop, causing a brief loss of consciousness. Vasovagal syncope is often triggered by stressful events, such as seeing blood or getting a shot. Although fainting is generally not serious, it’s important to see a doctor if it happens often or is associated with other symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain.

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