is the number one killer in America, claiming approximately 600,000 lives each
year. This startling statistic reinforces the importance of reducing your risk factors for heart disease, and it's never too early, or too late, to start.
Though some risk factors for heart disease may be out of
your control, there are several lifestyle choices you can make to improve your overall heart health. Check out these mobile apps to help reduce your risk factors for heart disease and keep you on track to achieving the heart-healthy future you deserve:
1. Know Your Blood Pressure
Try This App: HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker
What It Does: HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker is an easy-to-use application designed to quickly record and keep track of your blood pressure, allowing you to create spreadsheets of your blood pressure, pulse and weight history.
2. Quit or Don't Start Smoking
Try This App: QuitSTART App
What It Does: A free mobile app, QuitSTART helps smokers drop their addiction by tracking cravings, identifying triggers and sending personalized "pick me ups" to help promote successful outcomes.
3. Manage Your Diabetes
Try This App: MyNetDiary Diabetes
What It Does: MyNetDiary Diabetes provides comprehensive tracking of blood glucose, insulin, medications and calorie intake to help manage your diabetes easier.
4. Control Your Cholesterol Levels
Try This App: iCholesterol
What It Does: Log your cholesterol data, including LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides with iCholesterol. This free app also has a built-in medication reminder to help you stay on top of your cholesterol.
5. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Best Mobile App: MyFitnessPal
What It Does: Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle includes eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise. Use MyFitnessPal as a diet and exercise journal to help you maintain a healthy weight and heart.
Reduce Your Risk for Heart Disease with UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
Though mobile apps are helpful for maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis, your best defense against heart disease is visiting your doctor frequently to monitor and maintain your health. As the trusted provider of cardiology in central Iowa, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines has the support and resources you need to get heart-healthy and stay heart-healthy.
Whether you are looking for an experienced cardiologist in Des Moines or require reliable emergency cardiac care upon heart attack or stroke, UnityPoint Health - Des Moines is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive heart care available. To learn how we can help reduce your risk for heart disease with our coordinated, patient-centered cardiac care, please contact us today.
Kids seem to have boundless energy; they’re always running around, bouncing off the walls and jumping off who knows what. Although as a parent it’s hard to keep up, most of the time, all the flurry is harmless. But, imagine your child’s latest adventure involved a flight off an objective a little too high, resulting in a thud as he or she hit the ground. Your parent’s intuition tells you it’s a broken bone. And sure enough, now your child is sporting a cast and will need to see a physical therapist to help him fully heal.
But, what does physical therapy involve, especially for someone as small as your child? It’s ok if you don’t know the answer, since your main focus is helping your son or daughter get back on the go as soon as possible.
In addition to injury rehabilitation, pediatric physical therapy covers a broad spectrum of conditions, such as genetic disorders and developmental delays. Pediatric physical therapists (PTs) work with children and their families to help infants through adolescents develop, regain or improve physical movement. Depending on a child’s age and individual needs, PTs assist with various skills and areas, including, but not limited to:
Specialized Treatment Plan
- Comfort and pain
- Range of motion
- Motor skills
- Muscle strength
Blank Children’s has three locations around the Des Moines metro devoted to pediatric physical therapy. Each therapy program is catered to the child for whom the plan’s designed. The programs are packed with fun and educational activities, your child won’t even think it’s therapy! Whatever your child needs – one-on-one sessions, special equipment, you name it – we’re here to serve you. To learn more about our services, see the contact information below.
Pediatric Therapy Locations
- Blank Children’s Hospital
- West Des Moines
When choosing a pediatrician for your child, it’s easy to focus primarily on the type of provider, the provider’s credentials and the provider’s personality. And while those things are important, considering the clinic is crucial, too.
There are numerous pediatric clinics throughout Des Moines and the metro area, so how do you know which clinic to choose?
Shopping for a Pediatric Clinic
With so many options, it may be tempting to just go with the first clinic you find. But, by taking your time and shopping around, you’ll find the pediatrician and pediatric clinic that work best for you and your family. Here are the three big items to make sure you check off shopping list:
Here When You Need Us
- Office hours. Between your work and your child’s school and activities, it may be hard to find a good time for an appointment. Contact a pediatric clinic to find out if it offers after hours visits or weekend appointments.
- Hospital affiliation. Clinics are great for the occasional cold, well-child visits and other minor inconveniences. But, you never know if your child may need greater care than your pediatric clinic can provide. Check and see with which hospital a pediatric clinic is affiliated, in case your little one would need emergency care.
- Location. When your child is sick, it matters whether you have to travel just down the block or travel across town to receive care. Choosing a pediatric clinic close to either or both your home or work
The Blank Children’s Hospital Pediatric Clinic is located in downtown Des Moines at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (phone lines open at 8 a.m.), our pediatric clinic is here, whenever your child may need care. And with Blank Children’s hospital right next door, you know your little one is in good hands. To learn more about the pediatric clinic or to schedule an appointment, call 515-241-8923.
Every night, nearly 18 million Americans will experience
unhealthy breathing patterns, starting and stopping as they sleep through the
In fact, 80 percent of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea cases
will go undiagnosed, leading to a number of physical and emotional health
Among the most common health complications that sleep apnea
can cause are extreme stress, fatigue and depression. However, it may surprise
you that, when left untreated, evidence suggests that sleep apnea and heart disease are linked, leading to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke and
other cardiovascular problems.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is defined as interrupted or shallow breathing that can last between 10 and 20 seconds, occurring up to as many as hundreds of times a night. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, happening when the soft tissues in the back of a person’s throat relax and block the airway to cause loud snoring throughout the night.
What are Sleep Apnea Risk Factors?
Sleep apnea affects a range of people – both children and adults. However, if you fall into one or more of the following categories, your risk for obstructive sleep apnea may be higher:
- 65 years of age or older
- Family history of sleep apnea
- Aftrican-American, Hispanic or Pacific Islander
- A smoker
What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can be hard to detect because most symptoms occur at night, when a person is fast asleep. Contact your doctor if you notice that you or your partner is demonstrating loud snoring, choking or gasping for breath during sleep. Other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Morning headaches
- Memory and/or attention problems
- Frequent urination during nighttime
- Extreme daytime fatigue and sleepiness
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking up
The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease
Sleeping five hours or less each night significantly raises the risk of developing high blood pressure in adults. Getting enough sleep is important to your health, and might be helpful in warding off high blood pressure, which can lead to a number of other problems, including heart and kidney disease and stroke.
Sleep Apnea is a Matter of the Heart for UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
In partnership with UnityPoint Health – Des Moines and The
Iowa Clinic, the West Lakes Sleep Center is deeply rooted in Central Iowa as the area’s first
state-of-the-art sleep center. If you think
you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, or know of someone else who
might be, consider scheduling a sleep study to help
diagnose and treat your sleep disorder and avoid the harmful effects that a bad
night’s sleep can have on your health, including heart disease. For more information and to learn
if a sleep study is the right option for you, please contact us at (515) 875 –
As a parent, you must decide who will provide health care for your child as he or she continues to grow. It’s a big decision, and choosing between all the types of providers, such as family practice doctors, nurse practitioners and pediatricians, can be confusing.
Pediatrics is the medical specialty fully focused on the physical, emotional and social health of children, from birth through adolescence (approximately 21-years-old).
The primary focus of pediatrics is on preventive health care, providing general services, such as routine physicals and check-ups, vaccines and immunizations and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries. But, pediatricians are interested in more than just physical well-being. Pediatricians collaborate with families on early prevention, detection and management of other childhood issues, including:
Education & Training
- Anxiety disorders or depression
- Behavioral challenges
- Developmental difficulties
- Social stresses
Pediatricians complete four years of medical school, followed by three years of pediatric residency. To become board-certiﬁed, pediatricians must pass a written examination given by the American Board of Pediatrics. Pediatricians must recertify by taking examinations every seven years. In addition, pediatricians must also take a certain number of continuing medical education courses each year to be eligible for license renewal in the state where they practice.
Des Moines Pediatricians
Whether your child needs a primary care provider or a pediatric specialist, Blank Children’s Hospital provides care you can trust. Blank Children’s pediatric clinic in downtown Des Moines provides a full range of medical services, including well-baby checks and well-child exams, sports physicals, illnesses, immunizations and other medical needs for children. From the day your child’s born to the day you send him or her off to college, and all the days in between, we’ll be here.