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Health Tips

4th Of July Safety – Boats & Fireworks

Summer is all about spending time in the sun, being on the water and seeing friends and family. From celebrating on the 4th of July to Friday night barbecues, there’s no shortage of good times. However, along with the games and relaxation, safety can sometimes be overlooked. It is important to always be aware of the risk that comes along with long days in the sun, boat rides and fireworks. Luckily, there are easy steps you can take to make sure your summer is smooth sailing.  

Boat Safety

While spending the day swimming, cruising and tubing on a boat is blast, it can go south quickly if the right safety measures are not being followed. There are many to preparations to be aware of before setting off for the day and rules to follow while you are out in the water, including:

  • Always wear the correct size life jackets & have enough for every person in attendance (even if he/she knows how to swim)
  • Make sure you have everything you need on your boat, especially water, food and a first aid kit
  • Do not drink & drive a boat
  • Know your limits & use common sense in decisions, specifically in regards to weather & dangerous currents
  • When tubing, water-skiing, etc. always have a spotter & use common hand signals

Following these guidelines is extremely important for the safety & wellbeing of everyone involved in your boating day. In 2019, the Coast Guard counted 4,168 accidents that involved 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries and approximately $55 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. Staying alert, using common sense and following standard boating/water safety rules will be the key to a perfect, easy-going day on the water.

Firework Safety

With the 4th of July quickly approaching, it’s important to follow recommended guidelines when using fireworks of any kind. 

While no 4th of July celebration is complete without fireworks, it is important to follow all safety guidelines when using them. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2018, there were 9,100 firework-related injuries treated in hospitals all across the United States. To avoid the summer celebration ending with an Emergency Room trip, follow these guidelines from the CPSC:

  • Never allow young children to directly play with or ignite the fireworks
  • Always have adults supervise firework activities, including the use of sparklers 
  • Never hover over a firework when lighting
  • Always back up to a safe distance (approximately 30ft) after lighting
  • Never try to re-light or pickup fireworks that did not fully ignite
  • Never point or throw at another person
  • Keep a bucket of water available in case of fire
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them off in a container
  • Douse the used fireworks in water before throwing away to prevent a trash fire
  • Only use legal fireworks 

Summer Activities With Covid-19

In addition to boating and firework safety, it is important to remember that COVID-19 is still a threat. Throughout days at the lake, summer barbecues and 4th of July celebrations, please continue to social distance and wear a mask whenever possible. If you start showing symptoms including but not limited to a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath, call your doctor and do not venture out into the community until further instruction. 

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial Hospital in Humble, TX, our medical staff is trained to care for and treat any injuries, including those from boating and firework accidents. You can find us off of 59N and FM 1960 at the corner of 1960 & Townsen Rd. for 24/7 emergency care. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

5 Most Common Surgical Procedures

It is estimated that 234 million surgeries are performed each year worldwide. This means that 1 out of every 25 people will have a surgical procedure done each year. Having to undergo surgery may seem frightening, but if you have a painful condition that can be cured with surgery, it is beneficial to consider it. While no surgery is without risk, weighing out the benefits versus risks is a good way to make that kind of decision. 

Some surgical procedures are a lot more common than you may think, and doctors have successfully performed these procedures many times over. 


Thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland, which is located in the front of the neck. The thyroid gland produces hormones that control all aspects of your metabolism. It affects your heart rate as well as how quickly you burn calories. A Thyroidectomy may be recommended as a treatment for thyroid cancer, goiter, or hyperthyroidism

Breast Biopsy

A biopsy is a procedure to remove a piece of tissue or a sample of cells for testing. It is also used to remove abnormal breast tissue. A biopsy may be done using a hollow needle to extract tissue, or a lump may be partially or completely removed for examination and/or treatment.


A mastectomy is the removal of all or part of the breast. Mastectomies are usually done to treat breast cancer. There are different types of mastectomies such as partial mastectomy, total mastectomy, or modified radical mastectomy. 

  • A partial (segmental) mastectomy involves the removal of the breast cancer and a larger portion of the normal breast tissue around the breast cancer.
  • A total (or simple) mastectomy is when the surgeon removes the entire breast, including the nipple, the areola, and most of the overlying skin, and may also remove some of the lymph nodes under the arm, also called the axillary lymph glands.
  • Modified radical mastectomy is when the surgeon removes the entire breast (including the nipple, the areola, and the overlying skin), some of the lymph nodes under the arm, and the lining over the chest muscles. In some cases, part of the chest wall muscles is also removed.

Partial Colectomy

A partial colectomy is the removal of part of the large intestine (colon) which may be done to treat colon cancer or inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis or diverticulitis.


An appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix, a small tube that branches off the large intestine, to treat acute appendicitis. Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of this tube due to infection.

A medical professional informing you that you need surgery can be scary, but rest assured, you are in the right hands at Townsen Memorial Hospital and Emergency Room. Our skilled surgeons provide patients with the best quality surgical care and offer services in multiple medical specialties. Our facilities contain the most up-to-date medical technology, allowing our experienced surgeons to perform surgeries laparoscopically or with very minimal scarring. Our surgeons are dedicated to ensuring an efficient surgery and a smooth recovery, allowing you to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial, safe, effective, and affordable care is our top priority. Therefore, we strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. The high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and up through our Townsen Memorial Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

8 Health Issues For Women Over 65

As women age, the chances of developing certain health issues begin to increase. Your biological makeup plays a role in how predisposed you are to certain illnesses. We have compiled a list of the most prevalent health concerns impacting women who are over 65 and what can be done to manage those risks. 

1. Heart Disease 

More women die of heart disease than any other condition. Heart disease is a general term used to describe different consequences of blocked arteries that include Coronary Artery Disease, Heart attacks, Arrhythmias, and heart failure. Symptoms of a heart problem include chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, weakness or lightheadedness, fluttering heartbeat, fainting, and pain in the neck and jaw area. Sometimes these symptoms get confused with heartburn or overexertion and are dismissed entirely. 

High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease and can also cause hypertension which can result in a heart attack or stroke. Keeping your cholesterol down and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is pivotal in preventing heart-related diseases. That includes exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, a healthy diet and reducing smoking and drinking. 

2. Stroke

There are three types of stroke: hemorrhagic, or bleeding in the brain, ischemic, or the blockage of a blood vessel that causes impaired blood flow, and transient ischemic. Strokes have a very specific set of symptoms that show on the surface. These symptoms can be remembered by the acronym BE FAST. This stands for Balance, Eyes, Face drooping, Arm weakness, Slurred speech, Time to call 9-1-1. 

3. Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the biggest health concerns among seniors. It is a condition that affects the body’s ability to process sugar and convert it to energy. If your body can’t process sugar, it causes high blood glucose levels, which can lead to a variety of health concerns like obesity, cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, and nerve damage. Although it is not exclusive to women, it does increase the risk for heart disease by four times in women. Women are also more susceptible to diabetes-related complications such as blindness and kidney disease. 

There are two types of diabetes: 

Type 1 

This is where your pancreas cannot produce insulin on its own, therefore the body attacks the insulin-producing islets rendering them useless. Type 1 is the lesser common of the two. 

Type 2

This is the more common form of diabetes as 90% of diabetics have type 2. This develops over time where your blood sugar levels rise too high that your body can’t produce the necessary amount of insulin to regulate itself. 

Warning signs for both forms of diabetes are increased urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, and fatigue. To lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, try to maintain a healthy diet and weight, exercise frequently, and quit smoking. 

4. Depression

Depression is twice as likely to affect women as men. Elderly women can go through a lot of trauma in their later life that can lead to depression such as losing a partner or loved one, developing a chronic illness, decrease in social networks, or other stressful life events. There are three types of depression: Major depression, Persistent depressive disorder, and Minor depression. 

Depression can be treated by a therapist or psychiatrist, who can prescribe medication or help get to the root of the problem. 

5. Arthritis

Arthritis is a term used to describe a disease that inflames joints, primarily in your knees, elbows, fingers, and ankles. There are dozens of types of arthritis but the most common types in women are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Gout. One of the best ways to deal with arthritis is to stay active to prevent loss of range of motion. Treatment starts with pain management to allow you to stay active and once joint pain is tolerable, an increase in exercise such as lifting weights can help build up muscles around the joints. 

6. Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women and is also the leading cause of cancer deaths for women. Monthly self-examinations can help you identify any changes to your breasts. Early detection can save your life which is why it is recommended that the average risk women start getting annual breast cancer screenings when they turn 40.

You can manage risks by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising and quitting smoking. For those who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, your chances of getting breast cancer are higher and your physician can make recommendations about how to monitor you more closely.

7. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to weaken, making them susceptible to fractures or breaks. Some risk factors can include certain medications, early menopause, a low body mass index (BMI), cancer treatment, and genetics. You can offset these risks by increasing your calcium intake, staying active with appropriate weight-bearing exercises, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol use. Some warning signs of osteoporosis are: 

  • Brittle bones
  • Loss in height
  • Slouchy posture
  • Family history

You may not notice you’re suffering from osteoporosis until the disease has fully onset. It’s recommended that you request a bone density test from your doctor every year starting around age 50 to keep track of your bone density levels.

8. Dementia

Dementia is a broad term that describes any form of memory loss from disease or trauma. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. This disease happens when plaques form in the brain, destroying healthy brain cells. Alzheimer’s is a progressive illness that gets worse over time. Some warning signs include loss of short-term memory, difficulty retaining information, and general confusion. While the exact cause of dementia is unknown, experts say a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk. 

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial, safe, effective, and affordable care is our top priority. Therefore, we strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. The high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and up through our Townsen Memorial Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

8 Signs You Should See An ENT

August is wellness month, and a resource to help you in your overall wellness is an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, or ENT. An ENT specializes in all ailments of the ear, nose and throat, and can help you with the following eight conditions. 

#1 Hearing Loss

If you feel like your hearing has gotten worse, or if you often find yourself turning up the volume on your devices, it may be time to seek hearing help from an ENT. Your ENT can work with an audiologist to uncover the cause of your hearing loss. Causes range from a buildup of earwax or an ear infection, to a ruptured eardrum or inner ear damage. 

#2 Chronic Ear Infections

Ear infections are infections of the air-filled space behind the eardrum. Most commonly affecting children from ages six months to two years, ear infections can cause congestion, swelling, fever, headache, impaired hearing and loss of balance. 

If your child is consistently developing ear infections, it’s a good idea to talk with an ENT specialist. Ear infections can impact their ability to hear clearly, and recurrent infections can cause speech, social and developmental delays. 

The most common treatment for chronic ear infections are inner ear tubes that help ventilate the ear and prevent any future fluid buildups. 

#3 Tinnitus or Ringing in the Ear

Tinnitus or ringing in the ear, refers to head or ear noise from no external source that persists for longer than five minutes and occurs more than once per week. For many patients, tinnitus is incredibly bothersome and can affect their ability to go about their daily lives. Though there is no cure for tinnitus, an ENT can help you with strategies to decrease your perception of the ringing. 

#4 Vertigo

Vertigo, or chronic dizziness, is most commonly caused by dislodged calcium crystals in your inner ear. It can sometimes be a short-term issue, like when you stand up too quickly, have a migraine or are taking certain medication. Over 30% of Americans have reported experiencing vertigo at some point in their lives. If you have chronic vertigo, especially when moving your head by rolling over, looking up or bending down, an ENT can help you with strategies to manage this problem. 

#5 Sinusitis

Chronic stuffy nose, or sinusitis, occurs when your sinuses are inflamed and swollen. The swelling interferes with your nasal drainage, causing a stuffy nose. Patients with sinusitis may find it difficult to breathe through their nose, have tenderness around their eyes, and/or have a discolored discharge from their nose. Chronic sinusitis is marked by a history of sinus infections that don’t respond to typical treatment. An ENT can help determine the cause of your sinusitis and develop a treatment plan that works best for you. 

#6 Swollen Lymph Nodes

Your lymph nodes play a key role in helping your body ward off infections. You have many lymph nodes in your head and neck that can become swollen or tender due to infection. 

Most swollen lymph nodes get better on their own; however, if they are persistent for more than two weeks, get bigger, feel hard or rubbery, or are associated with fever, night sweats and weight loss, you should seek the help of an ENT immediately. 

#7 Chronic Tonsillitis

If you have a chronic sore throat, or your tonsils are constantly inflamed, your ENT can help diagnose your symptoms and help determine a treatment plan. Common symptoms of tonsillitis include sore throat, tender lymph nodes and difficulty swallowing. 

#8 Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a dangerous condition characterized by patients who stop breathing or experience shallow breath patterns during sleep. When this occurs, you may snore loudly or make choking sounds as your brain tries to regulate your breathing. More than 18 million Americans are living with sleep apnea, but many go undiagnosed. 

An ENT can perform a sleep study to measure your oxygen levels. Treatment is important as sleep apnea can cause your brain to be oxygen deprived during sleep, causing restlessness and chronic fatigue.

Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in East Texas – Townsen Memorial

At Townsen Memorial, our family of hospitals are equipped with the latest in ENT technology and specialists. If you’re suffering from any of the conditions above, we can help. 

We strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. Our standard of high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and through our Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Be Fast To Identify A Stroke And Save A Life

What Is A Stroke? 

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, so the brain cells die. 

There Are 3 Types Of Strokes: 

Ischemic Stroke

Most strokes are ischemic strokes. They make up about 87% of all strokes each year in America. Ischemic strokes happen when the blood flow through the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked. This leads to brain damage or death of brain cells.

Transient Ischemic Stroke

A Transient Ischemic Stroke is usually called a “mini stroke.” In a transient ischemic stroke, blood flow to the brain is blocked for only a short time (usually about 5 minutes). This type of stroke serves as a warning sign of a future stroke. 

Hemorrhagic Stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain leaks blood or ruptures. The leaked blood puts too much pressure on brain cells, which damages them. Health conditions like high blood pressure and aneurysms can cause a hemorrhagic stroke. 

The brain is one of the most complex organs in the body that controls various body functions. If a stroke occurs and blood flow can’t reach an area of the brain that controls a certain body function, that part of the body won’t work as it should. 

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in America and the 5th leading cause of death. The biggest hurdle of strokes is recognizing the symptoms and understanding that strokes are medical emergencies. The faster a person recognizes the symptoms of a stroke and gets medical attention- the greater the chance a life can be saved. 

B.E. F.A.S.T. 

Use the letters in “B.E. F.A.S.T.” to spot early warning signs of a stroke and know when to call 9-1-1.


Is there a sudden loss of balance or coordination? Is the person leaning to the side or staggering when walking?


Is there sudden blurred of double vision or sudden, persistent vision trouble?


Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile lopsided or uneven?


Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward or feel heavy?


Sudden difficulty in speaking or understanding. Does the person have slurred speech? Ask the person to say/repeat a simple phrase. 


Call 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention if you notice one or more of these signs. Take note of when the symptoms began. 

Quick action is key to treatment for strokes. Be informed, vigilant, and if you think you or someone else might be having a stroke, BE FAST. 

Townsen Memorial Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial, our emergency room provides 24/7 around the clock care with no wait times. Our innovative facilities and experienced staff mean you’ll be comfortable during your stay and that you can trust us with your medical care. We are located in Humble, TX off of FM 1960 and Highway 59. If you have any questions visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Black History Month: How Heart Disease And Stroke Impact African Americans

February is Black History Month. We take this time to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and honor the significant role and impact they have made on American society.

This year during Black History Month, we want to discuss the health disparities that African Americans face. Heart disease and stroke are two leading causes of death of African Americans. At Townsen Memorial, we can improve the odds of preventing and beating these diseases by helping African Americans understand the risks and taking simple steps to address them. High blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes are common conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure, also known as hypertension, is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high. In African Americans, high blood pressure is found to be more severe and develops earlier in life. About 2 out of every 5 African American adults have high blood pressure and less than half of them have it under control. If you know your blood pressure is high, you need to check it regularly and notify a doctor at Townsen Memorial of any changes so that they can adjust your treatment. 


African Americans are extremely affected by obesity. According to the CDC, African Americans are nearly 1.5 times as likely to have obesity as compared to other races. While it can be challenging, the main way to prevent obesity is to make lifestyle changes. At Townsen Memorial, we have a knowledgeable bariatrics team who can lead you through every step of the way to a healthier life.  


Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and African Americans are more likely to develop diabetes than other races. In the United States, Black adults are 60 percent more likely than white adults to develop type 2 diabetes. Family history, obesity, and insulin resistance are all factors that contribute to the risk of diabetes in the African American community. 

What You Can Do For Your Health: 

Living a healthy lifestyle is the main factor that can help prevent heart disease and stroke. Here are some tips to maintaining a healthier lifestyle: 

  1. Eat a Healthy Diet
  2. Exercise Regularly 
  3. Stay Smoke-Free
  4. Limit Alcohol Use
  5. Know your Family History 
  6. Manage your medical conditions. Stay up to date with annual checkups with a physician. 

Trust Townsen Memorial With Your Health

Townsen Memorial you can work with a medical professional to learn your specific risk factors and the things you need to do to take care of your health. Living a healthy lifestyle and receiving regular checkups with a physician helps to prevent heart disease and stroke. Talk with a doctor to understand your risks based on your lifestyle and family history. Our innovative facilities and experienced staff mean you’ll be comfortable during each visit and that you can trust us with your medical care. We are located in Humble, TX off of FM 1960 and Highway 59. We can help you get back on your feet and do the things you love in no time. If you have any questions visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Breast Cancer And Early Detection

As you probably already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While participating in charity runs and wearing pink are great ways to raise funds and awareness, knowing the early warning signs of breast cancer can help you detect the disease early. Whether it’s yearly screenings or monthly self-checks, familiarizing yourself with the early signs of breast cancer can save your life. 

Early Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Many patients report only noticing one or two symptoms at first. If you notice something is wrong or has changed, contact your physician. Some early symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • A change in the breast or nipple appearance, i.e. a change in breast shape, skin dimpling, unexplained swelling or shrinkage, turned or inverted nipple, or scaly, red or swollen skin around the nipple or areola.
  • Bloody or Clear Nipple Discharge
  • Nipple Tenderness
  • Lumps (while all lumps need to be examined by a professional, not all lumps are cancerous)
  • Enlarged pores in the skin of the breast, that can sometimes mimic the look of an orange peel

It is important to note that while women who experience breast pain, discomfort or tenderness may be concerned about breast cancer, breast pain is typically not a symptom. 

How to Check Yourself for Breast Cancer

While noticing any one of the symptoms listed above can be scary, it’s important to remember that not every symptom automatically means you have cancer. By performing monthly self-checks, you can more easily identify any changes to your breasts and alert your doctor if necessary. 

Once per month, all adult women should take a few minutes to examine their breasts. According to Johns Hopkins, forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump. While mammograms can help detect cancer before you feel something is off, regularly examining your breasts will get you familiar with how they normally feel and look so you can let your doctor know if something changes. 

You can perform a self-exam one of three ways: lying down, in the shower, or in front of a mirror. 

Lying Down: When you’re lying down, your breast tissue spreads out evenly along your chest wall. After placing a pillow under your right shoulder, put your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your index, middle and pointer fingers around your entire breast and underarm. Inspect the area with light, medium and firm pressure. Then squeeze your nipple to check for discharge or lumps. Repeat these steps with your left breast. 

In the Shower: With the pads of your index, middle and pointer finger, check your entire breast and underarm area by pressing down with light, medium and firm pressure. Feel for any lump, hardening, thickening or any other changes.

In Front of the Mirror: With your arms flat at your sides, visually inspect your breasts. Then raise your arms above your head. Look for any changes in your breast shape, like swelling or dimpling, or any changes to the appearance of your nipples. Then, put your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. While most women do not have perfectly symmetrical breasts, look for any puckering, dimpling or changes, especially on one side. 


A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast tissue that allows your physician to check for any suspicious lumps or changes. While breast self-exams can help you detect any changes and alert your doctor, regular mammograms can detect tumors before you can feel them. However, if you do feel a lump during a self-check, contact your physician and try not to panic, as 80% of these tumors turn out to be non-cancerous. 

Breast Cancer and Townsen Memorial

If you have concerns about changes to your breasts, or need to schedule your yearly mammogram, our team at Townsen Memorial can help. Conveniently located in Humble, off of FM 1960 and Highway 59, our team of certified medical professionals are available for your emergency, clinical or hospital care.To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Common Hand Surgeries And How To Prevent Them

If you’re like most people, you use your hands all of the time. In fact, your hands and wrists are probably one of the most used parts of your body. From cleaning and cooking, to writing and typing, to making music and art, to driving a car, we use our hands when we do almost anything.

With all of the extra use your hands and wrists see, they are susceptible to all kinds of joint and muscle problems. When that happens, it can be quite debilitating, and can hinder your ability to do a myriad of things important to your daily life. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent some of the most common causes of hand surgery, and if you do end up needing surgical intervention, our certified surgeons can help you find the relief you’ve been looking for. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What it is: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the transverse carpal ligament, or TCL, narrows, or the surrounding tissues pressure the median nerve, which goes down your arm into your hand. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by the compression of the TCL on the section of the median nerve that connects the base of your wrist and your hand. 

Common Symptoms:First presenting itself as tingling and/or numbness on the thumb side of the hand, Carpal Tunnel can progress to loss of feeling and weakness within your thumb muscle. 

How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: 

  • Improve your posture at work. You can try to use a wrist pad for your mouse and keyboard, or adjust your seat to help you sit up straight. 
  • Ice your wrists when they feel sore.
  • Avoid sleeping in positions that bend or curl your wrists. 
  • Take frequent breaks from typing or lifting heavy objects. 
  • Stretch your hand, fingers and wrist hourly. Flex your palm and rotate your wrists in a circular motion. 

Treatment: Though the previous steps can help prevent surgical intervention, a solution isn’t always that simple. In the early progressions of the disease, your doctor may provide a brace or oral steroid to help alleviate your symptoms. If your symptoms continue or worsen, surgery is usually the next step. During carpal tunnel surgery, your surgeon will make an incision at the base of your palm, cutting the TCL, relieving the median nerve compression. During recovery, scar tissue builds over the gap in the TCL. For some patients, symptoms go away immediately, while for others total symptom relief may take up to six months. 

Ganglion Cysts

What they are: Ganglion Cysts are small lumps filled with fluid or a viscous substance on the hand and wrist that appear randomly. 

Common Symptoms: For some patients, these cysts cause pain and discomfort. For others, they can actually inhibit their ability to move their hand or wrist. 

Treatment: Because these cysts occur randomly, there is no way to prevent them. However, they can be treated in a variety of ways–including aspiration or drainage from your hand surgeon. If a cyst persists and becomes too symptomatic, your doctor may perform surgery to remove it. 

Basal Joint Arthritis

What it is: Arthritis is a common condition that occurs due to the normal wear and tear of your body due to life. Characterized by the deterioration of the cartilage that lines your joints, arthritis creates bone-on-bone friction. When arthritis occurs in the hand at the base of the thumb, it is known as Basal Joint Arthritis. 

Common Symptoms: Basal Joint Arthritis can cause inflammation, irritation, loss of motion, weakness, pain, stiffness and swelling. 

How to Prevent Basal Joint Arthritis: The following hand exercises can be used to help prevent the onset of arthritis in the hand. 

  • Bend each of your fingers down towards your palm. Straighten them out again. 
  • Curve your fingers to create an “o” shape. Hold them there for a few seconds before releasing. 
  • Lay your hand on a flat surface. With each finger, lift up and hold for a few moments before returning them to the flat surface.
  • Regularly stretch your wrist up and down. If needed, apply slight pressure. 
  • Several times per day, create a fist with your thumb on the outside. Stretch your fingers and return them to the fist position. 

Treatment: In the early stages of Basal Joint Arthritis, your doctor may provide you with topical or over-the-counter medications, injections or splints. However, if your symptoms progress, your hand surgeon may recommend a ligament reconstruction tendon interposition, a surgery that removes the bone from the base of the thumb to eliminate grinding and pain. Recovery usually takes up to six weeks and requires hand therapy. 

Trigger Finger

What it is: Trigger Finger occurs when nodules form on a flexor tendon. These nodules, caused by tendon friction, then prevent the tendon from gliding and moving your finger. This results tin your finger remaining locked in a bent position. 

How to Prevent Trigger Finger: Daily hand stretching can give your hands a much needed break and can even prevent the onset of Trigger Finger. These exercises include the following:

  • Pinch your fingertips and thumb together. Put an elastic band around your fingers and then spread your fingers open. 
  • Twice per day, scatter small objects, such as coins, buttons, or tweezers, across the table. Pick up one object at a time using only one finger and your thumb.

Treatment: Non-surgical treatments for Trigger Finger include corticosteroid injections. Your doctor may try injections up to three times. If your symptoms don’t improve, your doctor will likely recommend surgery to remove the nodule(s) to allow your tendon to flex properly again. 

Contact the Hand Specialists at Townsen Memorial Today

At Townsen Memorial, we have a team of highly-skilled surgeons to help you with your hand condition. Dr. Mark Khorsandi is one of the top double board-certified hand surgeons in the Houston area. A leader in the surgical field, Dr. Khorsandi has developed the discipline of hand surgery, and has earned a reputation as a skilled physician who puts his patients first. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

CT vs. MRI: What Is The Difference?

Two of the most well-known imaging exams are CT Scans and MRIs. Both are used to capture detailed images of organs, bones, and other tissues. The biggest difference between the two is that MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) use radio waves and CT (computed tomography) scans use X-rays.

While both are relatively low risk, there are advantages and disadvantages to each, and how doctors choose which option is best depends on the circumstances that may make one a better option over the other.

CT Scan

CT scans work much like an X-ray, only in greater detail. During the scan, the patient lies on a table that moves through a narrow scanning ring, which is taking a series of images from different angles. These images that are collected can be assembled to form three-dimensional images. These images are used to detect abnormalities in both bone and soft tissues, joint problems, tumors, cancer, heart disease, evidence of internal bleeding, or blood clots. A contrast dye may also be used for better clarity on the resulting images.

Advantages Of A CT Scan

With a CT scan, we can create an image of almost the entire body, from the neck to the thighs, in a few seconds. CTs are incredibly useful for diagnosing cancer patients, checking whether it has come back, and monitoring whether a treatment is working. CT scans are more widely used than MRIs and are typically less expensive.

Disadvantages Of A CT Scan

Because CTs use ionizing radiation, they could damage DNA and may very slightly raise the risk of developing cancer. CT risks also include harm to unborn babies and a potential reaction to the use of dyes.


MRI also creates detailed pictures of areas inside the body, but it uses radio waves and a powerful magnet to generate the pictures. During an MRI, the patient lies within a tube-like machine that produces a strong magnetic field to create its images, which are processed and stored in a computer. Similar to a CT Scan, these pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue.

Advantages Of An MRI

An MRI is highly adept at capturing images that help doctors determine if there are abnormal tissues within the body. MRIs are thought to be superior in regards to the detail of the images, but where MRI really excels is showing certain diseases that a CT scan cannot detect. Some cancers, such as prostate cancer, uterine cancer, and certain liver cancers, are pretty much invisible or very hard to detect on a CT scan. Metastases to the bone and brain also show up better on an MRI. MRIs also do not use ionizing radiation, so there is no issue of raising cancer risk.

Disadvantages Of An MRI

MRIs take much longer to complete than a CT. They require the patient to lie still within a closed space for about 20 to 40 minutes. This can affect some people with claustrophobia, and the procedure is very noisy. Earplugs are given but it can still be an uncomfortable procedure for some. Possible risks include reactions to metals due to magnets and increase in body temperature during long MRIs.

How Do Doctors Decide Which Option Is Best?

Your doctor will give you a recommendation based on your symptoms whether you should get an MRI or CT scan. If you need a general image of an area like your internal organs, or have a fracture or head trauma, a CT scan will commonly be recommended. Doctors may use CT scans first for most people, unless something such as a tumor is much better seen on an MRI. But they can go back and forth as needed. If they see something on a CT scan they’re unsure about, an MRI may be recommended for further evaluation. If someone has several MRIs and is unable to lie still or hold their breath to get a good image, a CT may be suggested as an alternative. Every patient and circumstance is different and choices are guided by the principle of whether the benefits of a test outweigh its risks which is what medical imaging is all about.  

Townsen Memorial Hospital’s Imaging Centers make Townsen Memorial Hospital Houston’s premier, one-stop shop. From CT to MRI, we offer a wide variety of services operated by skilled medical professionals to provide patients with the best in imaging and patient care. We not only have technological advancements, but we also have a medical team that is always going to put you first. 

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial, safe, effective, and affordable care is our top priority. Therefore, we strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. The high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and up through our Townsen Memorial Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Diabetes 101

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The disease, which affects more than 37 million people in the United States, is as common as one in ten people and is the seventh leading cause of death in the country. Even more staggering than that, according to the CDC, one in five people with diabetes aren’t even aware that they have it. This month, we’ve gathered what you need to know, including pre-diabetes, symptoms, management and more.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that directly affects how your body converts food into energy. Most people naturally produce the hormone, insulin, which assists in turning sugar from the food you eat into energy you can use or store for later. In patients with the disease, their body either doesn’t produce its own insulin, or it struggles to use the insulin it does produce. Either way, their blood sugar rises. This elevated blood sugar level can lead to serious health problems over time.

Type 1, Type 2 And Pre-Diabetes

If you know someone with diabetes, you’ve likely heard the terms type one and type two, which describe whether the patient’s body doesn’t produce insulin (type one) or doesn’t use insulin properly (type two). Fortunately for those with type two, the onset of the disease can be delayed or prevented entirely with lifestyle modifications.

If your blood sugar levels are elevated but not elevated enough for a diagnosis, your doctor may diagnose you with pre-diabetes. With this condition, your body may not be able to fully use the insulin you make, or your body may not make enough insulin to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. More than 96 million Americans (one in three people) have pre-diabetes.


If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, reach out to your doctor to have your blood sugar levels tested:

  • Frequent Urination, often at night
  • Extreme Thirst
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Severe Hunger cues
  • Blurry Vision
  • Numb or Tingling Hands or Feet
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Very Dry Skin
  • Slow to Heal Sores
  • Increased Number of Infections


Diabetes is a lifelong disease that can take a toll on a patient’s physical, mental and emotional health. Fortunately, there are things you can do if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes to improve your quality of life.

  • Eat Well: Maintaining a healthy blood sugar is the key to living with this disease. This means eating well, or more aptly put, it means eating healthy foods in the right amounts at the right times so your blood sugar stays in your target range as much as possible. The right diet looks different for every person. At Townsen Memorial Clinics, our doctors can work with you to find the right nutrition plan for your needs.
  • Stay Active: Physical activity is important for people with diabetes, as it makes your body more sensitive to insulin. On top of lowering your blood sugar levels, regular physical activity also lowers your risk of heart disease and nerve damage.
  • Take Care of Your Mental Health: People with diabetes are more likely to develop depression or anxiety, so be sure you’re regularly taking stock of your mental health and seeking treatment if you need it. Additionally, you may sometimes feel discouraged, frustrated, or tired of dealing with daily diabetes care, like diabetes is controlling you instead of the other way around. This is known as diabetes distress. While it can look like depression or anxiety, it can’t be treated effectively with medicine. Speak to your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms like skipping insulin or doctors appointments.

The Care You Deserve At Townsen Memorial

At Townsen Memorial, our family of hospitals, clinics and imaging centers are equipped with the latest in medical technology and diabetes management strategies. We strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. Our standard of high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and through our Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Diabetes 101: What You Should Know

Diabetes is a prevalent and complex health condition affecting millions worldwide. At Townsen Memorial Hospital Group, we aim to provide you with essential knowledge and insights into the management and understanding of diabetes. Whether you have recently been diagnosed or are seeking to expand your understanding, this blog will cover the basics of diabetes, including its types, symptoms, risk factors, and the significance of early detection and treatment. Join us as we dive into diabetes and empower you with valuable information for better management and overall well-being.

Understanding Diabetes 

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Diabetes occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone the pancreas produces that regulates blood sugar levels, allowing glucose to enter cells and be used for energy. There are two primary types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This results in little insulin production, necessitating lifelong insulin replacement therapy. Type 1 diabetes often develops in childhood or adolescence, although it can occur at any age.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is the most common form. Type 2 diabetes is typically associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity, sedentary habits, and poor dietary choices. In type 2 diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin, leading to inadequate glucose uptake by cells. While type 2 diabetes can be managed through lifestyle modifications such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight management, some individuals may also require oral medication or insulin injections.

Recognizing the Symptoms and Reducing Risk Factors 

Early detection of diabetes is crucial for effective management and prevention of complications. The common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and hunger, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and slow wound healing. However, some people with type 2 diabetes may experience mild or no symptoms, making regular check-ups and screenings essential for early diagnosis.

Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing diabetes. These diabetes risk factors include a family history of diabetes, being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, having high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, and belonging to specific ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, or Asian Americans. Additionally, women with a history of gestational diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

By addressing modifiable risk factors, such as adopting a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking, individuals can significantly reduce their chances of developing diabetes.

The Role of Townsen Memorial Hospital Group in Diabetes Care

At Townsen Memorial Hospital Group, we understand the far-reaching impact of diabetes on individuals, families, and communities. Our dedicated team of healthcare professionals is committed to providing comprehensive diabetes care, including prevention, diagnosis, education, and treatment options. We offer state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technologies to ensure accurate diagnosis and personalized management plans tailored to each patient’s diabetes needs.

Our team comprises endocrinologists, dietitians, nurses, and diabetes educators who work collaboratively to empower patients with the knowledge and skills to manage their diabetes effectively. We offer educational programs, support groups, and resources to help individuals make informed choices about their lifestyle, diet, and medication. By partnering with Townsen Memorial Hospital Group, you can rest assured that you’ll receive compassionate care and access to the latest advancements in diabetes management.

If you are interested in diabetes care at Townsen Memorial Hospital Group, make an appointment by calling this number, 1-877-494-95487, or visit our website.

Early Cancer Detection Using Mammograms And Breast Ultrasound

Early detection can help save lives, particularly when it comes to breast cancer. During a breast cancer screening, your doctor checks your breasts for signs of cancer, such as lumps or changes in the tissue. The most common imaging tests done to check for breast cancer are mammograms and ultrasound of the breast. Women should get annual screenings to ensure nothing has changed or developed that may be a cancer risk. If your doctor finds something unusual that will require another look, e.g., a hard lump, they may send you to get medical imaging done to check whether it is cancerous or benign.


A mammogram is a picture of the breasts taken using x-ray imaging. It is one of the most commonly used screening tools to detect breast cancer. In some cases, mammograms allow doctors to detect breast cancer up to three years before a tumor is palpable. A woman with an average risk of breast cancer can benefit from getting mammograms starting at age 40. However, a woman with a higher risk, i.e., has a family history of breast cancer, may want to start screening earlier. It is very important to know your family history so that you can take the best course of action. For instance, if your mother had breast cancer at age 45, your doctor may ask that you start your mammogram screenings ten years prior to her age of diagnosis, which is at 35. 

During a mammogram, your breast rests on a plate while a second plate gets lowered on top of the breast pushing it flat to hold it still while the x-ray machine takes the image. The radiology technician performing the test will capture images from the front and the side, taking four pictures total, two of each breast. Depending on your level of sensitivity, while the procedure may be a little uncomfortable, it should not be painful and should be done pretty quickly.

A disadvantage of a mammogram is that some women can have dense breast tissue, which makes it hard to find tumors because they both appear white on the images. In that case, an ultrasound is usually ordered alongside the mammogram. 

There are many factors that affect whether mammography is able to detect breast cancer:

  • The age and weight of the patient.
  • The size and type of tumor.
  • Where the tumor has formed in the breast.
  • How sensitive the breast tissue is to hormones.
  • How dense the breast tissue is.
  • The timing of the mammography within the woman’s menstrual cycle.
  • The quality of the mammogram picture.
  • The skill of the radiologist in reading the mammogram.

Breast Ultrasound

A breast ultrasound, or sonogram, uses sound waves to create a picture of the inside of the body. It does not use radiation so it is generally safe for those who need to avoid x-rays, such as pregnant women. A breast ultrasound can be helpful to your radiologist if they had trouble seeing your mammogram images due to dense breast tissue.

During an ultrasound, your technician will hold a wand, known as a transducer, over the breasts throughout the imaging test. The transducer sends sound waves that bounce off the breast tissue, traveling back to the transducer and creating an image.

Is One Better Than The Other?

Your doctor is very likely to order both tests as there are several notable differences between the two: 

  1. The imaging modality 
  2. The quality of the images produced
  3. The reasons for the imaging

A breast ultrasound alone is not currently a recommended screening tool for breast cancer, because it can miss many early signs of a tumor. However, some patients might be better candidates for an ultrasound as opposed to a mammogram. Pregnant women, for instance, should usually avoid having x-rays performed unless the imaging is essential. A breast ultrasound might also be a better option for younger women, particularly those in their 20s.

Whether an ultrasound or mammogram is the right option for you depends on your needs and your doctor’s recommendations.

Townsen Memorial Hospital’s Imaging Center in Humble is now open! From Ultrasounds to Mammograms, we offer a wide variety of services operated by skilled medical professionals to provide patients with the best in imaging and patient care. We not only have technological advancements, but we also have a medical team that is always going to put you first. 

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial, safe, effective, and affordable care is our top priority. Therefore, we strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. The high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and up through our Townsen Memorial Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Heart Disease: Risk Factors And Prevention

Each February, we celebrateAmerican Heart Month by motivating each other to adopt healthier lifestyles to prevent heart disease. Being physically active, eating healthier foods, getting enough sleep, not smoking, and finding healthy ways to reduce stress can help prevent heart disease. And, when we take care of our hearts, we set an example for those around us to do the same. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States claiming the lives of over 600,000 Americans every year. Heart disease affects all ages, genders, and ethnicities. Risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and excessive alcohol use. About 47% of people in the United States have at least one of these risk factors. 

Heart disease is a general term used to refer to several types of heart conditions. There are four common types of heart disease.

Coronary Artery Disease

This is the most common type of heart disease that affects blood flow to the heart that can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack is an immediate trip to the Emergency Room. 


Arrhythmia is a change in the heart’s sequence of electrical impulses that can result in heartbeats being too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregular (palpitations). In extreme cases, sudden cardiac arrest may occur. This is when the heart suddenly stops beating effectively and blood is not circulated by the heart. About 95% of individuals that have sudden cardiac arrest die from this condition. Time is of the essence and a call to 911 and a trip to the emergency room need to happen immediately. 

Heart Valve Disease

This occurs when a valve in the heart is damaged or diseased. 

Heart Failure

Heart failure is a condition where the heart does not work the way it should. It does not mean the heart has stopped beating but instead could mean it has fluid buildup. 

There is a long list of symptoms to watch out for when it comes to heart disease. Some of the most common include:

  • Pain, pressure, or discomfort in the center of the chest
  • Pain, tingling, or discomfort the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Sweating and cold, clammy skin
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness 
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, and abdomen
  • Fatigue

There are several imaging tests done in the hospital to determine heart disease including an Electrocardiogram, Echocardiogram, MRI or CT of the heart, stress test, and more. Some possible treatments include medication, surgery, or something as simple as a lifestyle change. 

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial, safe, effective, and affordable care is our top priority. Therefore, we strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. The high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and up through our Townsen Memorial Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Heat-Related Illnesses And How To Avoid Them

Summer temperatures are heating up, and while most enjoy the days at the beach and spending time in the great outdoors, the sun can actually be dangerous if you aren’t prepared. According to the CDC, heat stroke is responsible for the death of over 600 Americans each year. Fortunately, there are warning signs of heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke that you can look out for. 

Who’s Most At Risk? 

While spending time outdoors in hotter weather, those most at risk for a heat-related illness are the following: 

  • Infants and children under age 10
  • People 65 and older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who are ill, have chronic health conditions or are on certain medications

It’s also important to note that people and animals left in a hot car can become sick in a matter of minutes. Never leave a loved one or pet in a hot car, even if you’re just going inside for one thing. 

Heat Exhaustion

Heat Exhaustion occurs when your body loses too much water and salt through sweating. This can cause a variety of symptoms that you should know to look out for, including:

  • Sweating
  • Pale, ashen or moist skin
  • Muscle cramps (especially for those working or exercising outdoors in high temperatures)
  • Fatigue, weakness or exhaustion
  • Headache, dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate

If you’re with someone who is experiencing some of these symptoms, it’s important to act quickly. Heat Exhaustion can cause a stroke or even death. Move them to a shaded or cool area, give them water or other cool (non-alcoholic) drinks, and provide them wet towels to apply to their face, or even better, have them take a cool shower. 

Heat Stroke

The symptoms of this deadly illness include:

  • Body temperature above 103 degrees
  • Skin that is flushed, dry and hot to the touch; sweating has usually stopped
  • Rapid breathing
  • Headache, dizziness, confusion or other signs of altered mental status
  • Irrational or belligerent behavior
  • Convulsions or unresponsiveness

If a loved one is experiencing Heat Stroke, it can be scary. However, it is important to remain calm and get them medical help as soon as possible. Immediately call 911, move them to a cool place and remove any of their unnecessary clothing. Try to cool the victim by placing them in cool water, such as a shower, or covering them in cool towels. Monitor their health and breathing until their temperature is at or below 101 degrees. Be prepared to give them CPR if needed. 

It is important to NOT do the following things when treating someone who is having a Heat Stroke: 

  • DO NOT force the victim to drink liquids
  • DO NOT apply rubbing alcohol to the skin
  • DO NOT allow victims to take pain relievers or salt tablets

How To Avoid Heat-Related Illnesses

The best ways to avoid Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke include staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol, and using the air conditioning in your home to cool off. 

Wearing loose clothing and a hat can also protect you from the sun’s harsh summer rays. You should also avoid spending a lot of time outside during the hottest part of the day, which is from 11 am to 3 pm. If you’re sweating a lot, replace your salt loss with a sports drink or fruit juice. Finally, wear sunscreen because a sunburn can affect the way your body cools itself. 

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial Hospital in Humble, TX, our medical staff is experienced in treating heat-borne illnesses. We’re conveniently located off of 59N and FM 1960 at the corner of 1960 & Townsen Rd. to ensure you can arrive safely and quickly should you need medical attention. With a 24/7 emergency room and a hospital staff trained in all specialties, we’re here for you when you need us. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

How Doctors Find The Cause Of Pain

Living with chronic pain can be debilitating, especially if you don’t have the answers as to why you’re feeling the way you are. Fortunately, if you are living with pain, there are a variety of things your physician can do to help determine the cause. 

Most likely, your doctor will begin with bloodwork. From there, they may order a number of tests to help diagnose the cause of your pain. We’ve listed the eight most common below, and what you can expect from each of them. 


An MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, allows your doctor to see a clear picture of your internal health without the use of X-rays. Using a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer, an MRI takes anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour, depending on how many images your physician orders. You may be required to drink a contrast liquid to help produce clearer images. Because MRIs use a magnet, certain patients, such as those with a pacemaker, should not participate. 

CT Scan

CT scans, or Computed Tomography scans, use a combination of computers and X-rays to produce a clear image of a specific cross-section of the body. While the test is happening, you’ll be instructed to lie as still as possible, while the donut-shaped scanning device moves around your body. If it will help create clearer images, your doctor may give you a shot of solution before you begin. Like MRIs, most CT scans can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. 


These tests are used to diagnose patients who are considering surgery for chronic back pain. During the test, your doctor will inject dye into the disc that is suspected of causing your pain. The dye can highlight damaged areas that may be contributing to the problem. 


Another test for back pain, a myelogram involves your doctor injecting dye into your spinal canal in order to identify nerve compression caused by a fracture or herniated disc.

Nerve Blocks

Nerve blocks can not only help diagnose the cause of your pain, they can help treat it as well. During the procedure, your doctor will inject an anesthetic into a nerve location where you most severely experience pain. They may rely on an imaging test to determine the best place to inject the nerve block. Your response to the procedure can inform your doctor on possible causes of pain. 


An EMG, or electromyogram, helps your physician measure muscle activity. They’ll place small needles into your muscles and check their response to electroactivity. 


An ultrasound, sometimes referred to as sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of your body. The sound waves echos are then recorded and displayed as an image in real-time. 

Bone Scan

To help diagnose and keep an eye on infection, doctors use bone scans to measure problems or disorders of the bone. They’ll first inject a radioactive material into your bloodstream. The material collects in your bones and can cluster in areas that aren’t functioning normally, to help your doctor determine the cause of your pain. 

Pain Care At Townsen Memorial

At Townsen Memorial, treating your pain safely, effectively, and affordably is our top priority. We strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. Our standard of high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and through our Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

How To Read An Ultrasound

Ultrasound can be used for numerous reasons, from examining a fetus to diagnosing pain, swelling, and infection in the body. It can also be a helpful guide forbiopsies or assess any damage after a heart attack. Ultrasound is non-invasive and does not use any radiation.

How Does An Ultrasound Work?

An ultrasound is an examination that uses sound waves to create an image. The image the ultrasound creates is called a sonogram. Ultrasound is a safe imaging method used to see tissue. Sound waves from the probe penetrate the skin, bounce off structures, and return to the probe and CPU. The computer then translates the data and produces an image. Various body tissues conduct sound differently, and some tissues absorb sound waves while others reflect them. The density of the tissue dictates the speed at which the echoes return.

Learning The Colors

Fluid is always black, and tissue is gray. The denser the tissue, the brighter white it will appear. In ultrasound, any bone is bright white. The more that the waves can penetrate something, the darker it appears on the image. Therefore, amniotic fluid and blood will look black on a sonogram. Tissue appears in shades of gray because the sound waves can only penetrate a certain amount.

Image Orientation

Have you ever had an ultrasound done and wondered what you were looking at? First, when looking at a sonogram, start at the top of the image and work your way down. The top is where the probe rests, and the image that you see shows what the organs and tissues look like from the side. For instance, if you were looking at a sonogram of a uterus, the further down the sonogram image you look, you will see the deeper tissues towards the back.

Townsen Memorial Imaging Center in Humble opened its doors in October, making it the third imaging location throughout the Houston area. Townsen offers a wide variety of services operated by skilled medical professionals to provide patients with the best in imaging and patient care. We not only have technological advancements, but we also have a medical team that is always going to put you first.

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial, safe, effective, and affordable care is our top priority. Therefore, we strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. The high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and up through our Townsen Memorial Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Keeping Your Children Safe During Back To School

Back to school looks different this year for everyone–parents, kids, teachers and school staff alike. Whether you’re homeschooling, virtually learning, or sending your child back to school in-person, one thing that’s likely on your mind is how to make sure they’re safe. While there isn’t one sure-fire solution to protecting your child from COVID-19, there are many things you can do, and that you can teach your son or daughter to do, to help protect them. 

Physical Distancing

School provides tremendous social benefits. However, one of the biggest ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 is through physical distancing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends children and adults remain six feet apart. 

You can use visual aids and practice to teach your children how to interact with others at school while maintaining a safe distance. Start by explaining to them why they need to stay six feet away from their peers and teachers. You can then help them measure six feet with a measuring tape and find something of theirs that measures that length, like a favorite stuffed animal or toy. Another option is to have them guess what is 6 feet from where they are standing. For other ways to teach your children how to socially distance safely, click here

Wear A Mask

According to the CDC, “when used consistently and correctly, along with important mitigation strategies, cloth face coverings are important to help slow the spread of COVID-19.” Cloth face masks help prevent the spread of respiratory droplets and can help protect your child and the rest of your family if someone does come to school, knowingly or not, infected with COVID-19. 

Additionally, face masks are exceedingly important during times when proper physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Getting your child used to wearing a mask and teaching them not to touch or remove their mask while at school is one way you can mitigate their risk and others’.

Sanitize And Wash Hands Frequently

For both adults and children, frequent and thorough hand-washing is important in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Teach your children not only how to wash their hands, but the key times to do it, such as after using the restroom, before and after eating, when returning home from public areas, before touching their face or mouth, after touching pets and garbage and more. Plus, practicing these four easy steps will help younger and older children alike remember how to wash their hands effectively:

  1. Get your hands wet in clean water and put soap on your hands to make suds. 
  2. Rub. Rub rub rub your soapy hands together long enough to sing “Happy Birthday” in your head twice. Clean your palms, the back of your hands, and between your fingers. And don’t forget to clean under your nails, as they can trap dirt and germs.
  3. Hold your hands under clean, running water and rub them to rinse them fully.
  4. Shake your hands a few times, then dry them with a clean towel or hand dryer. 

Disinfect Supplies

Something you can do to help prevent exposure is to disinfect and sanitize your child’s school supplies, including their lunchbox, pencils, crayons, books, binders and more. This can help keep other members of your family safe as well. You can also ask your child’s teacher what they’re doing to ensure the furniture and supplies kept at school are cleaned. 

Limit Sharing

While we all learn the importance of sharing in school, this year is bound to look a little bit different. Explain to your child that right now, they shouldn’t be sharing supplies, clothing (including masks) or food with others. Doing so spreads germs and viruses like COVID-19. 

Rely On Your Neighbors At Townsen Memorial Hospital

At Townsen Memorial, your care and comfort is our priority.Our team is well-versed in infectious diseases, and can care for you or a loved one if you are experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19. 

Conveniently located in Humble, off of FM 1960 and Highway 59, our team of certified medical professionals are available for your emergency, clinical or hospital care.To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. It is important to remain educated, find resources, and make sure all those around us are aware of their risk too. Diabetes is a complex health condition that affects millions of people in America. Without proper management it can lead to serious complications. 

What Is Diabetes?

Nearly half of all-American adults have diabetes or prediabetes, yet don’t understand the serious life-long burden of this illness or the 24/7 work it takes to effectively manage. According to the CDC, 34.2 million Americans have diabetes. Another 88 million American adults have prediabetes. 

Diabetes Is A Long-Lasting Health Condition That Affects How Your Body Turns Food Into Energy

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Carbs are broken down to produce glucose, causing the blood glucose level to rise. The liver also stores glucose, which is used to avoid low blood glucose level when we’re not eating. 

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which regulates the blood sugar level between certain limits. It can remove glucose from the blood and transport it into the cells of the body where it is needed for energy. Insulin also regulates the production of glucose by the liver and switches off production when the blood sugar level is high. 

Normally, the body produces enough insulin to keep the blood glucose level at ideal levels by removing excess glucose from the blood and regulating how much the liver processes. People with diabetes are not able to remove the excess glucose from the blood-allowing the blood glucose level to rise.

With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use it like it should. 

There Are 2 Types Of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is a disorder that affects young children predominately and continues the rest of their lives. In Type 1 diabetes the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the carbs you eat into blood sugar that it uses for energy. Insulin is the hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. 

The key to managing Type 1 diabetes lies in working with your healthcare providers to discover what works best for you. Reach out to a doctor at Townsen Memorial to have a conversation about your concerns. We will work to find the resources that work best for you and help you find a balance in your life. We want you to feel comfortable in your lifestyle. 

Type 2 Diabetes

This is the most common type of diabetes. The body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough production of insulin, the glucose stays in the blood. 

Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious long-term problems such as: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease 
  • Vision problems
  • Stroke 
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Depression

Type 2 can be prevented or delayed by practicing a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating healthy food, being active, or losing weight if you are considered overweight. 

Avoid sugar and high-carbohydrate, processed foods. This includes sugary drinks, white bread, and candy. Practicing aerobic exercise with strength training can also help you maintain a healthy weight. A physician at Townsen Memorial can help you understand the steps you should be taking to live a healthy lifestyle if you are Prediabetic or struggle with Type 2 Diabetes.

Townsen Memorial Is Here For You

Our innovative facilities and experienced staff mean you’ll be comfortable during treatment and that you can trust us with your medical care. We are located in Humble, TX off of FM 1960 and Highway 59. We can help you get back on your feet and do the things you love in no time. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.

Pollen, Mold, & Hurricanes: How To Cope With Allergies During Hurricane Season

As hurricane season approaches in Houston, residents must prepare for more than just strong winds and heavy rains. The combination of pollen, mold, and hurricanes can make this time of year particularly challenging for those with allergies. In this blog, we’ll explore how these factors can exacerbate allergies and provide essential tips on how to cope during hurricane season.

Hurricane season in Houston typically spans from June to November, coinciding with the peak of pollen production and mold growth. This intersection of factors can be a perfect storm for allergy sufferers.

Let’s delve into how each element can contribute to worsening allergies:

  1. Pollen: Houston is notorious for its high pollen counts, especially from trees like oak, pine, and cedar. When hurricanes approach, they stir pollen particles, causing them to become more airborne and easily inhaled. This can increase symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion.
  2. Mold: Mold spores thrive in damp and humid conditions, prevalent during and after hurricanes. Excess moisture can grow mold inside homes, on walls, and in outdoor areas. Mold spores are a common allergen and can trigger symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and skin rashes.
  3. Indoor Allergens: During hurricane season, people often spend more time indoors to escape the inclement weather. However, indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander can become concentrated in indoor spaces, exacerbating allergy symptoms for those sensitive to these triggers.

Let’s explore practical strategies to manage allergies in Houston during hurricane season:

  1. Stay Prepared: Keep allergy medications on hand and follow your prescribed treatment plan. Consult with a Townsen Memorial professional at any of our nine locations for personalized advice, and consider getting allergy shots if recommended.
  2. Monitor Pollen Counts: Stay informed about daily pollen counts in your area. Many weather apps and websites provide this information. Consider staying indoors or wearing a mask when going outside on days with high pollen counts.
  3. Limit Mold Exposure: Take steps to prevent mold growth in your home. Ensure good ventilation, fix leaks promptly, and use dehumidifiers in damp areas. Consider using air purifiers with HEPA filters to reduce indoor mold spores.
  4. Allergen-Proof Your Home: Invest in allergen-proof covers for pillows and mattresses to reduce exposure to dust mites. Regularly clean and vacuum your home to minimize indoor allergens.
  5. Plan For Evacuation: If you must evacuate during a hurricane, pack essential allergy medications and supplies. Also, inform your evacuation shelter about your allergies so they can accommodate your needs.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help thin mucus and alleviate allergy symptoms. It can also help your body flush out allergens more efficiently.

Houston’s hurricane season can be challenging for allergy sufferers due to the convergence of pollen, mold, and inclement weather. However, by staying informed, taking preventive measures, and having a well-thought-out allergy management plan, you can minimize the impact of allergies and enjoy the season to the fullest.

Remember that consulting with a healthcare professional, such as our doctors at Townsen Memorial, can provide personalized guidance on managing allergies during hurricane season. With the right strategies and precautions, you can navigate this challenging time with greater comfort and peace of mind.

Preventative Screenings Worth Scheduling

When it comes to your health, taking a proactive approach by taking preventative measures can give you the best quality of life. Preventative screenings can detect issues early on which gives you the best chance at treatment. Far too many Americans are dying from preventable diseases that can almost always be treated if found early. With the medical advancements today, we all have the ability to achieve more successful outcomes than ever before. 

Lung CT

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. The survival rate for lung cancer is 12% and has not changed in 40 years. However, if detected at stage I, the survival rate is 70-80%. Lung CT screening provides more detailed information than conventional X-rays making it possible to diagnose and manage lung cancer earlier and more effectively. Detection of cancers when they are much smaller are far more easily treated or cured. This test takes less than 15 minutes and requires no preparation.

Who should have this exam?

  • History of smoking
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Occupational exposure (Shipyard, military, asbestos, coal miners)
  • Unexplained cough or fever
  • As a substitute for annual chest x-ray after age 35
  • History of unexplained, recurrent pneumonias
  • History of multiple x-rays as a child, including multiple scoliosis surveys
  • Previous history of any cancer

Virtual Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the US and almost always begins with an abnormal growth, or polyp. If polyps are detected and removed before they become malignant, this deadly cancer may be escaped. Although the effectiveness of traditional colonoscopy for preventing and detecting colorectal cancer is unquestioned, many avoid them because of its invasiveness. Virtual colonoscopy is done with a CT scan and is non-invasive, quick, requires no sedation, allows patients to return to work, and is less expensive. It is also more comfortable and much faster than the traditional colonoscopy. The risks and the recovery from virtual colonoscopy are also much lower. Studies have shown this procedure was found to be just as effective, if not more effective than the traditional colonoscopy.

This test takes approximately 30 minutes and requires a preparation 48 hours prior to the exam. CO2 is placed in the colon through a small tube during the procedure so that it will evaporate and not expel.

Who should have this exam?

  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Family or patient history of polyps
  • Those who prefer to not have a regular colonoscopy
  • Men or women over age 45 with prior normal colonoscopy
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood in stool
  • Unexplained weight loss or change in appetite
  • Wellness screening every 5 years after age 40
  • Previous history of any cancer
  • History of multiple x-rays as a child, including multiple sclerosis

Breast Mammogram And Breast MRI

The survival rate of breast cancer directly correlates with the size of the cancer. The smaller the tumor, the greater the chance of survival. Finding cancer earlier can ultimately mean the difference between life and death. If you are an average risk patient, it is important to start getting annual mammograms at age 40. If you have a family history, it is recommended to start annual screenings 10 years before your first-degree relative had breast cancer.

Breast MRI is a highly sensitive tool for creating dynamic, three-dimensional images of breast tissue. It is a valuable tool in the assessment of dense breasts when used as an adjunct to traditional breast imaging modalities. A physician’s prescription is necessary for this test.

Who should have this exam?

  • Inconclusive mammogram
  • Breast or chest pain with inconclusive mammogram or ultrasound
  • Evaluation of breast implants for possible rupture or to exclude cancer
  • High risk breast patients under the age of 45
  • Any patient with small dense breasts

Full Body MRI

This exam is used to evaluate the soft tissues of the body. Since tumors and inflammation produce an increased amount of water and swelling, an MRI searches for areas of abnormal water accumulation and swelling throughout the entire body. Specialized brain sequences can be used to detect early dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease. Special sequences can also be added to evaluate high-risk areas including the bile duct, liver, pancreas, uterus, ovaries, prostate gland, and testicles. MRIs involve no radiation and are good for detecting soft tissue cancers at an early stage. A physician’s prescription is necessary for this test.

This exam takes approximately 1 hour, depending on the required views. It requires administration of one Bentyl tablet the night before the exam and one on the day of the exam. The patient must also fast 6 hours prior to the exam.

Who should have this exam?

  • History of neurological problems, such as atypical headache or family history of aneurysm
  • Family history of stroke
  • Any risk factor favoring early detection of cancer of the brain, bladder, liver, pancreas, prostate, gallbladder, bile ducts, liver, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, or neck
  • Joint or extremity problems or unexplained pain
  • Wellness evaluation, especially in patients under 50
  • Unexplained weight loss, malaise, fatigue
  • Previous history of cancer

Cardiac Score

This exam is a CT scan of the chest that measures calcium in the coronary arteries. The score that is generated helps to determine the patient’s cardiovascular risk when combined with the traditional cardiac risk factors. Coronary calcium scoring is highly predictive of obstructive coronary artery disease. This test takes less than 15 minutes and requires no preparation.

Who should have this exam? Those 40 years old or over with increased risk for heart disease from:

  • Family history of heart disease, particularly with family members with the onset of heart disease before the age of 50
  • Smoking
  • Elevated total or LDL cholesterol, decreased HDL cholesterol
  • Elevated C-reactive protein
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High stress job
  • Unexplained chest discomfort
  • Previous history of heart disease
  • Premature menopause
  • Abnormal lipoprotein A
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Schedule Your Preventative Screenings Today. 

Townsen Memorial Hospital Is Here For You

At Townsen Memorial, safe, effective, and affordable care is our top priority. Therefore, we strive to provide the best patient experience across all Townsen Memorial affiliated sites. The high-quality care starts at our Emergency Room and carries on through our Imaging Centers, Surgery Centers, and up through our Townsen Memorial Hospital. Our medical sites are located in Houston, TX, and the surrounding areas, to provide the best care to patients in and around Harris County. To learn more, visit our website or call 1-877-494-9487.


1. MIF, You’re Covered! The 4 Preventative Scans Worth Scheduling, accessed 12/20/2021

2. ProScan, Preventative Screenings, accessed 12/20/2021