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What's Going Around Dec. 9, 2012

Doctors at St. Vincent clinics all over central Arkansas are treating patients for cold and flu symptoms. But it seems the most common reason people are seeing the doctor is because of a persistent cough.
Doctors at St. Vincent clinics all over central Arkansas are treating patients for cold and flu symptoms. But it seems the most common reason people are seeing the doctor is because of a persistent cough.

Coughing is a reflex that keeps the throat and airway clear and it's the body's way of healing and protecting us, but you and I know it's annoying.

It can be a result of asthma, allergies, smoking and many other things.

If you have a cough that won't go away - get it checked out, especially if you're coughing up blood or mucus.

Dr. Sanjay Dass at the Longevity Center at St. Vincent is treating patients for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease that's also known as COPD.

It's lung condition that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The airways and air sacs in the lungs become inflamed or damaged - usually from smoking.

Your doctor can treat COPD with medication, but there is no cure.

Patients are also being treated for acid reflux disease which, by the way, can be another reason for coughing.

Anyone can get it, including infants.

Medication or surgery can lessen the symptoms and it's best to avoid alcohol, spicy, acidic or foods that are high in fat.

Dr. David Lou at the Longevity Center at St. Vincent is seeing people who can't sleep.
In some cases it lasts for days but some people suffer with insomnia for months.

There are so many causes, including health issues, but if you're stressed out, depressed, not getting enough exercise, that can be a factor.

See your doctor if insomnia goes on for too long.

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