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Archive for December 24th, 2012

December 24th, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Guts to Glory

By Margaret Shepard

Sam and Laura Kirstein standing next to bikes

Sam and Laura raised awareness and funding for IBD research with their "Tour de Guts" in 2006.

Sam and Laura Kirstein first met in college where they both were runners on the school's athletic teams. They had one other thing in common: both had been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Sam had ulcerative colitis; Laura had Crohn's disease. And for both, IBD soon halted their active lifestyles.

As their symptoms worsened, Sam and Laura feared that their athletic careers were over. "There were a number of years where I really didn't do anything," says Laura. "It's difficult enough to manage a regular life with IBD, let alone trying to throw in athletics." Laura eventually found the right mix of medications to keep her symptoms in check. Medications didn't work for Sam, and after running out of options, he was referred to Mayo Clinic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Crohn's disease, IBD, Laura Kirstein, Mayo Clinic, Sam Kirstein


December 24th, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Relief for pain caused by Chiari type I malformation

By Margaret Shepard

Sean Murphy on the ski slopes

After surgery for a Chiari malformation, Sean Murphy is back to skiing and his other normal pastimes.

When Sean Murphy's chronic headaches set in, they first bothered him after physical exertion, then after a stressful day at work.

Within months, the headaches were constant, always localized in the back of his head. The pain became debilitating.

Murphy consulted his family doctor and was referred to a neurologist. His hometown physicians were stumped.

Murphy was referred to Mayo Clinic, where he was diagnosed with Chiari malformation type I, a rare condition in which the brain tissue at the back of the head protrudes into the spinal canal. The disorder causes a variety of neurological symptoms, but is treatable.

Mayo Clinic physicians initially sought to relieve Murphy's symptoms with medication, but as his health continued to worsen they decided surgery was his best option. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Chiari Malformation, John Atkinson, Mayo Clinic, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Sean Murphy


December 24th, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Holiday Health Hints and the Faces of Stroke Prevention

By CSMMayo

Group photo of people in the American Heart Association's "Together to End Stroke" PSA video

As I get ready to celebrate the holidays with my family this year, I’m preparing to pay special attention to my father and grandmother. Both have had a stroke in the past. And while both are doing well, I learned earlier this year while working on a project that the biggest risk for a stroke is to have had one already. I also found that the incidence of stroke – and heart attacks – increases at the holiday season.

I’m hopeful that I won’t be calling 911 but I’m much more aware of the signs and symptoms of stroke, particularly after participating this past August in a nationally syndicated public service announcement (PSA) supporting the American Stroke Association. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Christmas, heart attack, heart problems during holidays, Holiday Heart, Mayo Clinic, MayoClinicFL, stroke, TIA