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The esophagus is a hollow tube that carries food and liquids from your throat to your stomach. Early esophageal cancer usually does not cause symptoms. Later, you may have symptoms such as:
- Painful or difficult swallowing
- Weight loss
- A hoarse voice or cough that doesn't go away
You're at greater risk for getting esophageal cancer if you smoke, drink heavily, or have acid reflux. Your risk also goes up as you age
Your doctor uses imaging tests and a biopsy to diagnose esophageal cancer. Treatments include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. You might also need nutritional support, since the cancer or treatment may make it hard to swallow.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
Exercise and Physical Fitness
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. It has many benefits, including improving your overall health and fitness, and reducing your risk for many chronic diseases. There are many different types of exercise; it is important that you pick the right types for you. Most people benefit from a combination of them:
- Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. Examples include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and biking.
- Strength, or resistance training, exercises make your muscles stronger. Some examples are lifting weights and using a resistance band.
- Balance exercises can make it easier to walk on uneven surfaces and help prevent falls. To improve your balance, try tai chi or exercises like standing on one leg.
- Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber. Yoga and doing various stretches can make you more flexible.
Fitting regular exercise into your daily schedule may seem difficult at first. But you can start slowly, and break your exercise time into chunks. Even doing ten minutes at a time is fine. You can work your way up to doing the recommended amount of exercise. How much exercise you need depends on your age and health.
Other things that you can do to make the most of your workouts include:
- Choosing activities that work all the different parts of the body, including your core (muscles around your back, abdomen, and pelvis). Good core strength improves balance and stability and helps to prevent lower back injury.
- Choosing activities that you enjoy. It's easier to make exercise a regular part of your life if you have fun doing it.
- Exercising safely, with proper equipment, to prevent injuries. Also, listen to your body and don't overdo it.
- Giving yourself goals. The goals should challenge you, but also be realistic. It's also helpful to reward yourself when you reach your goals. The rewards could be something big, like new workout gear, or something smaller, such as movie tickets.
Exercise for Older Adults
Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. There are four main types and each type is different. Doing them all will give you more benefits.:
- Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. Brisk walking or jogging, dancing, swimming, and biking are examples.
- Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. Lifting weights or using a resistance band can build strength.
- Balance exercises help prevent falls
- Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber
If you have not been active, you can start slowly and work up to your goal. How much exercise you need depends on your age and health. Check with your health care provider on what is right for you.
NIH: National Institute on Aging
A fistula is an abnormal connection between two parts inside of the body. Fistulas may develop between different organs, such as between the esophagus and the windpipe or the bowel and the vagina. They can also develop between two blood vessels, such as between an artery and a vein or between two arteries.
Some people are born with a fistula. Other common causes of fistulas include:
- Complications from surgery
- Diseases, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
Treatment depends on the cause of the fistula, where it is, and how bad it is. Some fistulas will close on their own. In some cases, you may need antibiotics and/or surgery.
All packaged foods and beverages in the U.S. have food labels. These "Nutrition Facts" labels can help you make smarter food choices and eat a healthy diet.
Before you read the food label, you should know a few things:
- Serving size is based on how much people usually eat and drink at one time
- Number of servings tells you how many servings are in the container. Some labels will give you information about calories and nutrients for both the whole package and each serving size. But many labels just tell you that information for each serving size. You need to think about the serving size when you decide how much to eat or drink. For example, if a bottle of juice has two servings and you drink the whole bottle, then you are getting twice the amount of sugar that is listed on the label.
- Percent daily value (%DV) is a number that helps you understand how much of a nutrient is in one serving. Experts recommend that you get certain amount of different nutrients daily. %DV tells you what percentage of the daily recommendation you get from one serving of a food. With this, you can figure out if a food is high or low in a nutrient: 5% or less is low, 20% or more is high.
The information on a food label can help you see how a certain food or drink fits into your overall diet. The label lists, per serving,:
- The number of calories
- Fats, including total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat
- Carbohydrates, including fiber, total sugar, and added sugar
- Vitamins and Minerals
Food and Drug Administration