Extreme obesityOver the past decade, we’ve had a mind-boggling increase in what is fast emerging as the most serious and costly health problem in the U.S.: morbid obesity. About 35 percent or 72 million American adults are obese, and of that number, 7 million adults are morbidly obese, a health condition which substantially raises the risk of mortality (death) and morbidity (chronic disease).

The rate of obesity has increased by almost 25 percent but the rate of morbid obesity has grown even faster: people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40 increased by 50 percent. Perhaps most alarmingly, people with a BMI over 50—extreme obesity—grew by 75 percent, three times faster than the rate of obesity. Our children are not immune from the epidemic; we’ve seen a 300 percent increase in overweight children. Obesity-conditions are the fastest growing cause of death, and the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

digestiveWhen you eat, your body breaks food down to a form it can use to build and nourish cells and provide energy. This process is called digestion. Your digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube. It runs from your mouth to your anus and includes your esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. Your liver, gallbladder and pancreas are also involved. They produce juices to help digestion.

DiabetesCommon warnings signs of diabetes include:

– INCREASED HUNGER (Especially After Eating)
– UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS (Even Though You Are Eating And Feel Hungry)
– FATIGUE (Weak, Tired Feeling)
– DIABETIC COMA (Loss Of Consciousness)

protect your skinEating healthy and being sure to not overdo sun exposure will help protect your skin immensely, but they're only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a healthy, skin-boosting lifestyle. Just as it's important to eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, it’s important to avoid exposing your skin to lifestyle habits that can cause damage.

heart smartIf you’re like most people, you think that heart disease is a problem for other folks. But heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S. It is also a major cause of disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.

There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. It’s the major reason people have heart attacks.

strokeThe most common sign of stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm or leg, most often on one side of the body.

Other warning signs can include:

eye twitchingEye twitching is a repetitive, uncontrollable blinking or spasm of the eyelid, usually the upper lid. Eye twitching (blepharospasm) usually affects the eye muscles of both eyes. If you have eye twitching, you may have an involuntary movement that recurs every several seconds for a minute or two.

Tired of hitting the gym? Try “HIIT”-ing the beach instead. A HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout on the beach packs a punch and doesn’t require equipment. According to Daily Burn, “this popular training method challenges your aerobic and anaerobic systems, meaning you’ll improve cardiovascular endurance and build strength at the same time. Plus, your muscles will work overtime blasting more calories than they would with just steady state cardio alone.” As an added bonus, the sun gives you a vitamin D boost and the sand simulates a Bosu ball workout so that various muscles in the body — which might not normally engage on pavement or a gym floor — are activated.

On par with the RBC Heritage tournament, this month’s health column is dedicated to you golfers. According to professional golfer Krista Dunton, who Golf Magazine named as one of the top 100 teachers and is the lead instructor at Berkeley Hall, yoga is a great way to improve your game. 

2016 Palmetto Heart WalkDaughter’s condition prompts local family to sponsor Palmetto Heart Walk

When Meredith Walls was four months pregnant with her daughter, Ryan Elizabeth, she was given news that no parent wants to hear. 

The baby had a third-degree congenital heart block, a life-threatening condition that slows the heartbeat.