By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

With vaccines to protect against COVID-19 now available and about half of Americans having received one or both doses of the vaccine, one question that keeps coming up is, “If I’m vaccinated, why would I still wear a mask?”

There are several reasons why wearing a mask, continuing to practice social distancing from people you don’t live with, limiting time indoors in poorly ventilated spaces and in crowds, and regular, thorough hand washing are still helpful in our fight against the pandemic.

By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

For a year, Michelle hadn’t been feeling well. She saw several doctors, but no one could provide a diagnosis. When she and her young daughter were both finally diagnosed with celiac disease, she was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to turn. She shared how PinnacleCare helped her gain access to the care and advice both of them needed:

I had been sick on and off for a year, going back and forth to different doctors. One thought I had gallstones, so I had gallbladder surgery, but I still didn’t feel well. The doctors offered a lot of excuses about why…

By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of people in the U.S. and around the world who are living with anxiety and depression. One report in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report noted that during a single week in late June 2020, 40% of adults in the U.S. reported struggling with mental health and substance use issues. Another report from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that one in four American adults reported symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic.

The rates of depression and anxiety have also increased in children…

By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

Years ago, when you perused the drugstore shelves for vitamins and minerals, you probably came across what looked like alphabet soup. There were vitamins A, C, D, E and several types of vitamin B, in addition to minerals like iron and calcium. However, the more research scientists have performed through the years, the more we have learned about the benefits of other nutrients for the body.

This begs the question: Beyond the usual vitamins and minerals, which supplements would you benefit from the most? Here are a few tips:

· First, make sure you have a complete multivitamin/mineral supplement. It…

By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

Many women don’t think of heart health as a top concern, but recent data show why they should. Not only are heart attacks the leading cause of death for women in the U.S. annually, causing more deaths than all types of cancer combined, data from the American Heart Association show that the incidence of cardiovascular disease is rising in women under the age of 55. That increase in poorer heart health is linked to an increase in the number of women under 55 who have key risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

In addition…

By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

Thyroid cancer is one of the fastest growing cancer diagnoses in the U.S., with nearly 53,000 new cases diagnosed in 2020, according to the National Cancer Institute. Recently, researchers have been exploring whether this rapid growth in the number of new cases is the result of increased screening and over diagnosis. If you’ve received a thyroid cancer diagnosis, what should your next step be?

Why are the number of cases increasing?

In the last two decades, the incidence of thyroid cancer has more than doubled in this country according to statistics gathered by the National Cancer Institute. …

By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

There are approximately 16 million adults in the U.S. who are living with major depression, but some statistics suggest that nearly 66% of people living with depression do not actively seek or receive appropriate treatment for their condition. There are a range of reasons people don’t seek treatment, including fear of the social stigma that is sometimes associated with mental health issues, lack of insurance benefits for mental healthcare, and a shortage of mental healthcare providers in a number of areas in the U.S.

But getting treatment for major depression…

By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

During the past 20 years, the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer before their 70s and 80s, the typical age for diagnosis of this disease, increased nearly six-fold, according to research published in the journal Nature Reviews: Urology. The study explores the risk factors associated with these earlier diagnoses.

Although prostate cancer can be a slow-growing malignancy, the new research suggests this may only be true among men who are diagnosed in their 70s or older. …

By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

Like all types of medical care, treatment for breast cancer comes with both benefits and risks. A scientific statement published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation spurred media coverage of the link between some types of breast cancer treatment and an increased risk of developing heart failure and other types of heart disease. And while many media reports focused on the potential cardiotoxic effects of some chemotherapy drugs, targeted therapies, and radiation, that was not in fact the central message of the statement.

The goal of the statement was…

By Miles J. Varn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer at PinnacleCare

If you’re living with depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, or other mental health issues, receiving the care and support you need from experienced mental health providers is an essential part of managing your mental wellbeing. With the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and the social distancing requirements in place to slow the spread of the disease, you may not have the same access you usually do to in-person mental health care. …


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