By Lockport Express Medical 03 Sep, 2016
Packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, whole grains offer amazing nutritional benefits. Studies show that a diet rich in whole grains can lower your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. A grain is considered whole when it contains bran, germ, and endosperm in its natural proportions. Some examples include:

  • Barley
  • Brown Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa
  • Whole Wheat bread, pasta, or crackers
  • Wild Rice

Refined grains — such as white rice, white flour and white bread — are milled, a process which removes the bran and germ to extend shelf life and improve texture. Unfortunately, this refining process also “strips away more than half of wheat’s B vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin E, and virtually all of the fiber” ( Harvard School of Public Health ). The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half the grains you eat are whole. So, how can you incorporate those healthy whole grains into your diet?

5 Easy Ways to Choose Whole Grains

  1. Start your day off with whole grains by eating oatmeal or buckwheat pancakes for breakfast.
  2. Add quinoa or wheat berries to your salads.
  3. Cook soups with barley or soba noodles.
  4. Snack on popcorn. It’s a whole grain and can be a healthy snack if you cut back on added salt and butter.
  5. Making a sandwich? Build it on a whole grain pita or slices of sprouted grain bread.
By Lockport Express Medical 02 Aug, 2016
Your child’s back-to-school physical may seem like just another item on your To Do list, but it is so important! This annual check-in provides the chance to:

  • Help you understand and track your child’s medical history.
  • Access your child’s progress and general health.
  • Address any underlying emotional, developmental, and/or social issues.
  • Prepare your child to safely play sports.

Curious about what, exactly, a physical entails? First, the doctor will check your child’s eyes, ears, throat, lungs, and abdomen. They will also check in about injuries, nutrition, training, exercise, and attitudes toward school and exams, as well as ensure that all vaccines are up to date. When your child becomes a teenager, the doctor will discuss sex, drugs, alcohol, and unsafe activities.

But remember: the doctor should not be the only one asking questions! Make sure to check in about:

  1. How well you child is growing. Are they getting proper nutrition? The right amount of exercise?
  2. How to identify if your child has a learning disability.
  3. Upcoming issues or developmental milestones to watch out for.

If your child is interested in playing a sport, they will likely be required to get a sports physical. You, your child, and your child’s doctor need to discuss:

  • The basics of the sport and how much energy it will require.
  • What position your child will play.
  • Your child’s size, and whether they can safely play the sport in question.
  • Common injuries to be aware of.
  • The required protective gear.
  • How to safely play the chosen sport — and how to make the sport safer!
By Lockport Express Medical 02 Jul, 2016
July 4th is fun, and the fireworks displays are beautiful, but this holiday sends thousands and thousands of people to the ER every year: In 2014 alone, emergency rooms reported:

  • 10,500 injuries from fireworks.
  • 7,000 injuries from fireworks in the 1-month period around July 4th.
  • 11 deaths due to fireworks.
  • That 1,200 of these injuries were to the eyes, and happened due to sparklers (1,400), firecrackers (1,400), and bottle rockets (100).
  • That men comprised 74% of the injuries; women 26%.
  • That 4% of the injuries happened to children under 15 years of age.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to let the pros do it. But if you can’t imagine July 4th without lighting a few fireworks at home, here are are the Dos and Nevers of fireworks safety:


  1. Point the fireworks away from people, places, and things.
  2. Keep water nearby in case anything happens, and put water on spent fireworks.
  3. Make sure whoever is lighting fireworks off is wearing safety glasses.
  4. Light one firework at a time.
  5. Use fireworks in wide areas, and on dirt or cement if possible.


  1. Point fireworks at a person, even as a joke.
  2. Relight a firework that didn’t go off.
  3. Drink while handling or lighting fireworks.
  4. Buy or use fireworks that come in brown bags, as they could be illegal or dangerous.
  5. Light fireworks in dry grass.

Another “Do” is to have a first aid kit on hand in case an accident does happen. You should have the following in your first aid kit:

  • Sterile saline: For cleaning eyes and/or affected areas.
  • Sterile wraps: For wrapping the the wound while on way to get care.
  • Aloe vera: Helpful for treating and alleviating pain from minor burns.
  • Blunt scissors: For cutting clothing off the affected area.
  • Blanket: For smothering a fire.

Remember to always stay safe when using fireworks. Most importantly HAVE FUN!
By Lockport Express Medical 25 Jun, 2016

Headaches are a continuing pain in the head (sorry, we had to) for many, many people in the United States. Check out the stats:

  • 1 to 4 people in a household get headaches
  • Over 12% of the population gets headaches
  • 18% of them are women and 6% are men
  • If a parent has headaches, there is a 40% chance their children will get them

There are 4 main factors to address when trying to prevent headaches:

Stress will often trigger a headache. Reduce causes of stress in your life whenever and wherever possible.
Sleep — or lack thereof — is a big factor. The average person needs 7 – 8 hours of sleep. In addition, keeping a regular sleep schedule can help protect against headaches.
Exercise is vital — getting 20 – 40 minutes of exercise can help reduce stress (and therefore headaches). So get moving!
Diet is the final of the Big Four. You can help stave off headaches by not skipping meals and drinking plenty of water. Note that consuming too many caffeinated beverages can trigger headaches.

If you are unsure of what triggers your headaches, try keeping a headache journal. Make sure to track the following every day until your next doctor appointment:

  • All consumed food and beverages
  • Any medications you take
  • Your sleep cycle (When do you sleep? What time do you go to bed and wake up?)
  • Any physical activities or exercise
At your next doctor appointment, show your doctor the heachache journal so she or he can figure out what you need to do next.


Do you know or suspect that you from migraines? You are not alone: an astounding 36 million Americans do as well.

But what is a migraine exactly? A migraine is a recurrent, throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision. Other symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and odors

Severe migraines may trigger additional symptoms. Be sure to see a doctor if you experience the following:

  • Confusion
  • Fever
  • Numbness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slurred speech
  • Stiff neck
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Unexpected symptoms affecting your ears, eyes, throat,or eyes
  • Unremitting diarrhea
  • Vision loss
  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
A migraine can be debilitating, but you don’t have to take it lying down: you can reduce or even stop your migraines using the following 4-step system:

  1. Maintain Your Overall Health: Achieving or maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial.
  2. Avoid Triggers: These can include alcohol, caffeine withdrawal, stress, and skipping meals.
  3. Incorporate Acupuncture: Acupuncture may help relieve stress, a common factor in the triggering of migraines.
  4. Take Medication: Depending on how frequent and/or severe your migraines are, you may need medication. To explore the current options, see your primary care provider (PCP).

Finally: as with headaches, it may be helpful to keep a migraine journal. If necessary, you can take the journal back to your PCP and inquire about next steps.

By Lockport Express Medical 21 May, 2016
Nearly 26 million Americans have asthma, while an astounding 30% of adults and 40% of children have allergies. (Count yourself lucky if you somehow have neither!) This month, in the interest of offering information — and hopefully relief — we’re focusing on both asthma and allergies, and when to seek medical help for one or both.
By Lockport Express Medical 16 Apr, 2016
Alcohol consumption is a charged topic. We constantly see bars and alcohol advertisements — as well as cautionary, if sensationalized, tales in the media — but we rarely have the necessary and difficult discussions about safety, addiction, and abuse. Education and open communication can, however, go a long way to ensure that we consume responsibly and pass on healthy habits to future generations.

It’s important to know how alcohol works in order to understand its power. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows the function of the central nervous system and alters the drinker’s perception, emotion, movement, vision, and hearing. When you drink alcohol, about 20% is rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. The rest absorbs into your gastrointestinal tract.

Here are things that alcohol consumption can make us feel at first:

  • Relaxed
  • Self-confident
  • Happy
  • Sociable

Time and/or further consumption can lead to:

  • Slower reflexes
  • Poor coordination
  • Impaired thinking
  • Poor decision-making
  • Depressed mood
  • Memory lapses
  • Reduced ability to operate a vehicle

As you can see — and perhaps know from personal experience — alcohol can produce good feelings but also can, in excess, lead to negative feelings and experiences. The reality is that alcohol consumption is associated with a litany of problems, including:

  • Violent behavior and unprotected intercourse in teens and young adults
  • Sexual assault
  • Car accidents (in 2013, roughly 31% of car accidents were caused by drinking)
  • Suicide
  • Relationship issues
  • Drowning
  • Cirrhosis, ulcers, stomach bleeding, and pancreatitis
  • Heart-related issues such as cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, and arrhythmia
  • Bone deterioration and osteoporosis
  • Neuropathy (a common nerve condition)
  • Cancers, including of the liver, breast, esophagus, pancreas, mouth, larynx, and pharynx

All of this might be less worrisome were drinking not so incredibly common: about 87% of people 18 and older have consumed alcohol, with about 70% doing so in the last year and 56% in the last month. More worrisome is the frequency of binge drinking (defined as drinking 5 or more drinks in one sitting) and heavy drinking: roughly 25% of those 18 and older said they had a binge drinking incident in the past month and 7% said they participated in heavy drinking in the past month.

Okay so we have all of this information — now what do we do about it? The National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides excellent resources for identifying, avoiding, and addressing alcohol abuse and alcoholism, including the following tips for moderation and talking to your teen about drinking. Check out the condensed versions below and then head to NIAAA’s website for more information.

Moderation can be hard for all us — especially when it comes to an addictive substance like alcohol. NIAAA recommends the following techniques for reducing and moderating your drinking ( full list here ):

  • Keep track.
  • Count and measure.
  • Set goals.
  • Pace and space.
  • Find alternatives.
  • Avoid “triggers.”
  • Plan to handle urges.
  • Know your “no.”
Talking to your teenage child about drinking is vital to avoiding problems down the line and resolving them if/when they do arise. NIAAA suggests doing the following when talking to your child about alcohol ( full list here ):

  • Treat the discussion as a two-way conversation — not a lecture.
  • Ask about their own views on alcohol.
  • Explain important facts about alcohol.
  • List the many good reasons not to drink.
  • Dispel the “Magic Potion” myth.
  • Discuss methods for resisting peer pressure.
  • Think about how you will or would answer the question “Did you drink when you were a kid?”
By Lockport Express Medical 12 Mar, 2016
When it comes to your diet, the guidelines are fairly simple: eat a diet rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and unsaturated fat. The hard part, of course, is actually doing it!

In the interest of helping you start — or continue — to eat healthily, we’ve put together a list of the benefits of a good diet. Some may surprise really you!
By Lockport Express Medical 13 Feb, 2016
You know that donating blood is important. But do you know how important? In honor of National Blood Donor Month, we’re taking a hard look at the numbers. And they are truly staggering:

  • Someone is in need of blood every 2 seconds.
  • More than 41,000 blood donations need to be made every single day.
  • 4 million people could die every year without blood transfusions.
  • 38% of the population is eligible for donating blood, but less than 10% actually do.

Clearly, donating blood is helpful to others (and by helpful, we mean life-saving!). What many people don’t realize is that donating blood is good for the donor as well! Donating blood has been shown to:

  1. Uncover potential health problems. Doctors can determine if you have any health problems and address them before more serious issues arise.
  2. Reduce harmful iron stores. One in every 200 people is affected by a condition called hemochromatosis that causes an iron overload and can trigger heart attacks and strokes.
  3. Reduce your risk of suffering a heart attack. Donating blood once a year can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 88% and 80% in reducing the risk of a major stroke. High levels of iron in your blood can cause heart attacks and strokes.
  4. Reduce your risk of developing cancer. Patients who regularly donate blood have a lower risk of developing cancer and suffering a stroke than those who do not.
  5. Gives you a sense of significance. Donating blood means someone somewhere will be getting the blood they need. The average donation is about 1 pint, and every pint can help save 3 people — which means you could help nearly 20 people a year!

You may have underlying concerns about donating blood. Let us allay a few common concerns:

  1. Side effects are rare and — when they do happen — minimal.
  2. Donating blood is incredibly safe.
  3. Donating blood is quick and easy — according to the Red Cross, the process takes about an hour and 15 minutes.

Bottom line: not only does donating blood help people in great need, but it is good for you, too!

By Lockport Express Medical 16 Jan, 2016
Nobody likes talking about heart disease. But we need to: heart disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women — it results in 1 in 4 deaths nationwide — and yet a quarter of these deaths are preventable through simple lifestyle adjustments. Ready for a little good news? Between 2001 and 2010, the death rate from heart disease dropped by 29%. Let’s continue that trend!

Before we go on, we need to define our terms. Heart disease — also called cardiovascular disease — can include the following:

  • Blood vessel diseases
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart rhythm problem (arrhythmias)
  • Heart defects you were born with (congenital heart defects)
  • Narrow or blocked blood vessels, chest pain (angina), or stroke

You might see the above list and assume you are in the clear. Not so fast! Roughly half of all Americans have one of three top risk factors for heart disease:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. High cholesterol
  3. A smoking habit

Though other things — including existing health conditions, lifestyle, age, and family history — affect your risk for heart disease, you want to really watch out for and manage the big three.

Blood pressure, for instance, is incredibly common and risky. The more than 67 million people with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease compared to people with low blood pressure. But there are things you can do. If you have high blood pressure, take these steps:

  1. Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be.
  2. Take blood pressure medicine as prescribed.
  3. If you smoke — quit now! Your doctor can help.
  4. Reduce your salt intake.

It’s also important to practice heart-healthy habits. Strategies for maintaining a healthy heart include:

  1. Avoid smoking or using tobacco products.
  2. Exercise for 30 minutes 4 days a week.
  3. Eat a heart-healthy diet. This includes fruits, veggies, and good fats.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. Reducing your weight by only 5-10% can help decrease your blood pressure.
  5. Get quality sleep — and enough of it! Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  6. Get regular blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes screening.

And finally: if you think you may have any of the above ailments or are experiencing any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Upper body pain
  • Discomfort in arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Cold sweats
By Lockport Express Medical 05 Dec, 2015
With the holiday season just around the corner, stores will soon be stocking their shelves with eye-catching toys and rolling out deals to draw families from one store to another.

Among all the hustle and bustle of pre-holiday rush, many parents will not (understandably) have the time or focus to read the warning labels on the toys they purchase. This can be a dangerous oversight.

In order to prevent accidents at home, we have outlined three major tips for choosing safe, age-appropriate toys this holiday season.

1) Read the age guidelines.
Every toy manufacturer includes guidelines that identify which age group can safely use the toy in question. Make sure to check these guidelines every time. It only takes a second, and buying the right toys for the right ages will allow the child to play safely and you to have peace of mind.

2) Watch out for small parts.
It is developmentally appropriate for small children to put things in their mouth – it’s simply how they experience the world. Knowing this, it is your job as a parent, caretaker, and/or loved one to prevent playtime choking hazards. But how do you know which toys are safe for a young child and which are not?
Here’s an easy test: any toy that is able to fit through a toilet paper tube is too small for any child under 3 years old. And inspect each toy carefully before handing it over — toys that seem innocuous in the packaging and easily pass the toilet paper tube test may have parts that break off and become hazardous. For example, dolls and teddy bears often have easily removable buttons or eyes. This can lead to a swallowed part at best or a choking incident at worst.

3) Avoid toys with button batteries.
Steer clear of any toy with a button battery that can be easily accessed by a child. Button batteries are the squat single-cell batteries used to power toys, watches, and hearing aids (among other items); their small, round shape and poisonous contents pose a big risk for young kids. Toy cars, light-up jewelry, and remotes are common culprits, so make sure to check that each and every battery-powered toy you buy (or household item within reach) is child-proof.
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