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Health Highlights: Stroke risk factors for women + small bowel obstruction

stroke imaging

Are women aware of what makes them at greater risk of suffering a stroke?

Leslie Ingold is a longtime stroke coordinator at OSF HealthCare. She says women, specifically those 80 and up, may not be up on the risk factors including hypertension, a-fib, diabetes, being physically inactive, stress and depression, abnormal cholesterol and smoking. 

Bad headaches and hiccups can even be a sign. 

Aside from healthy living, Ingold says a good step to prevent a stroke is to see a primary care provider. Don't rely on your OB/GYN. 

“Make an annual appointment with your primary. Know what your blood pressure is. Get annual lab work. Then discuss it all with your provider and see if you need to make some lifestyle modifications," Ingold says. 

Ingold adds if you have stroke symptoms, don't sleep them off. Call 9-1-1 and have a doctor evaluate you. 


It was a year ago that Lisa Marie Presley died from a small bowel obstruction. 

The importance of monitoring for signs and symptoms of a potential obstruction remains crucial, especially when you've had surgery involving your abdomen.

The main cause of a complete or partial obstruction is from adhesions or scar tissue from prior surgery, hernias, and even cancer. 

Raman Kumar, MD, a colorectal surgeon with OSF HealthCare, explains what to look out for.

“If you go back to the garden hose, no water is coming through, so all the water is going to back up.," Dr. Kumar says. "In a human, that means nausea, vomiting, you’re not able to pass any gas or have a bowel movement. You’ll feel like you’re pregnant, your abdomen bloats up, and you’re going to be in a lot of pain.”

Dr. Kumar says to prevent a small bowel obstruction; exercise, don't smoke, eat well and avoid sugary drinks and alcohol. 

He adds if you have had surgery or small bowel obstruction in the past, make sure you chew your food well to make it easier to digest.

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