All Posts By

Jordan Polk

Healthy Weight Week

By | General Information

Healthy Weight Week is going on now! It’s a time to celebrate healthy, diet-free living habits that last a lifetime. These habits are what produce weight loss, weight maintenance and good health. Methods like starvation diets, diet pills and low-calorie diets are often tried as a quick fix to a long-term problem, and usually, don’t work. Healthy weight differs from one person to another depending on several factors such as height, bone density, body type and body composition. We each have different body types and compositions that require a different approach for healthy weight loss. The following are activities and ideas to better your health.

Stop dieting. Diets are not individualized. Every single person has unique energy and nutrient needs, based on a number of factors – height, weight, activity level, hormonal health and stress levels. All of these factors contribute to how much and what you should be eating.

Be active. Physical activity is good for your body and your mind, as well as adding years to your life and life to your years. An active lifestyle has many benefits. Regular physical activity not only improves the quality of your daily life but also increases your lifespan by reducing the risk of chronic illness.

Relax. Take time for yourself to relax and relieve the stress in your life. Stress can lead to health problems that make maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle more difficult.

Eat well. Everything that you eat and drink matters and all five food groups should be incorporated into your daily meals. The right combination of these foods can help you be healthier now and in the future.

By incorporating these ideas and activities into your daily routine you have a better chance of getting healthy and staying healthy. Celebrate Healthy Weight Week by making a promise to yourself that you will make healthy choices that are realistic for your body type in 2018.

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

By | General Information

Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that more than 5.5 million Americans suffer from. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the biggest concerns many of us have as we get older, especially if you’ve witnessed a loved one affected by the disease. Researchers across the world are racing towards a cure, but unfortunately still do not have one. There are ways that we can prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias through a combination of healthy habits. By identifying and controlling your personal risk factors, you can maximize your chance of lifelong brain health and take steps to preserve your cognitive abilities.

  • Get regular exercise. Regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percent. Exercise protects against Alzheimer’s by stimulating the brain’s ability to maintain old connections as well as make new ones.
  • A healthy diet. Alzheimer’s is sometimes described as “diabetes of the brain,” and a growing body of research suggests a strong link between metabolic disorders and the signal processing systems. These healthy eating tips can help reduce inflammation and protect your brain. Cut down on sugar, avoid trans fats, get plenty of omega-3 fats and cook at home often.
  • Get quality sleep. It’s common for people with Alzheimer’s disease to suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems. If nightly sleep deprivation is slowing your thinking and affecting your mood, you may be at a greater risk of developing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The vast majority of adults need at least eight hours of sleep per night.
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Both high blood pressure and high total cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Improving those numbers are good for your brain as well as your heart.
  • Drink only in moderation.While there appear to be brain benefits in consuming red wine in moderation, heavy alcohol consumption can dramatically raise the risk of Alzheimer’s and accelerate brain aging.

There is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s. But there’s a lot you can do to lower your chance of getting it. By doing these things in your daily life, you increase your chance of having good brain health and preserving your cognitive abilities.

Backpack Safety Awareness Day

Backpack Safety Tips

By | General Information

A group of children holding hands while wearing backpacksWith school back in session the importance of backpack safety comes into consideration. Adults and children need to be aware of the consequences of carrying a backpack incorrectly. There are some basic guidelines to follow when wearing a backpack. Carrying a backpack incorrectly can cause back pain and damage to the spine. The guidelines below will help in preventing damage and pain from occurring.

Find a Backpack with Wide Padded Straps

Using a backpack with thin straps can cause the weight to dig into the shoulders. Chiropractors recommend selecting a bag with wide straps. Wide straps that are padded can help the weight distribute evenly and prevent future issues.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use More Than One Bag

By using more than one bag you can lighten and distribute the load more evenly. By using smaller bags it can help keep each bag light and prevent students from carrying too much in one bag.

Always Wear the Waist Belt

Wearing the waist belt can help distribute some of the load from the back to the pelvis. The bottom of the pack should rest right in the curve of the lower back; it should not be more than two to three inches below your waistline.

Watch the Weight

The weight of the backpack should be 10 to 15 percent of your body weight, but many people carry a lot more than that. When a heavy backpack is incorrectly placed on the shoulders it can lead to many problems such as, back pain, bad posture and spine problems.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing back pain caused by backpacks these four tips can help reduce or alleviate the pain.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits & Veggies: Make Healthy Bodies

By | General Information

Pile of fruits and vegetables with a caption that reads "Fruits & Veggies: Make Healthy Bodies."A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can help improve your health in more ways than one. By getting the suggested amount of fruits and vegetables each day, you protect yourself from a wide range of health complications. Every fruit or vegetable provides some type of nutrients that our body needs to stay healthy. Below are some of the benefits that could come to you when you make room for fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Keeps you full longer

By eating fruits and vegetables, we provide ourselves with more nutrition. When you eat foods that have no nutritional value you get hungry faster. By putting fruits and vegetables in your diet it helps sustain your appetite.

Protects your health

Fruits and vegetables help reduce the risk of developing diseases. Eating your fruits and veggies helps prevent heart disease, cancer, stroke, digestive problems as well as many other health issues.

Boosts immune system

By eating fruits and vegetables, we provide ourselves with the nutrients we need to keep our immune system strong and healthy. When your immune system is strong it can fight any battle, but when it is weak it does not fight the battles you need it to. Help keep your immune system strong by feeding your body healthy greens and colorful fruits.

More energy

Nothing gives you lasting energy more than a healthy diet. Fruits and veggies can help improve your diet and give you more energy than you ever imagined possible.

A mother cradles her baby wrapped up in a blanket.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

By | Brinker

Breastfeeding offers many benefits to you and your baby. The benefits of breastfeeding go well beyond basic nutrition. Breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs and is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illness. Breastfeeding not only benefits your baby but is good for your health, too. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits that breastfeeding can offer you and your family.

Breastfed babies…

  • Have a reduced risk of infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), type 2 diabetes, leukemia, diarrhea and vomiting, and allergies and asthma
  • Have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor
  • Are at a lower risk for becoming overweight children
  • Develop unique and strong bonds with their mothers

Breastfeeding mothers…

  • Are at a lower risk for ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis
  • Heal faster in postpartum
  • Save approximately $2,000 to $4,000 annually
  • Sleep on average 45 minutes more a night, compared to those who formula feed
  • Burn extra calories, making it easier to lose weight after pregnancy
  • Have milk available for your baby whenever your baby needs it
  • Experience unique and emotional bonds from breast feeding their baby

As you can see, breastfeeding has many different benefits for mom and baby. A mother cradles her baby wrapped up in a blanket.Breastfeeding not only helps mothers and babies, but also gives economic and environmental benefits. Breastfeeding is environmental friendly because it does not waste scarce resources or create pollution. It is a naturally-renewable resource that does not require packaging, shipping or disposal. Breastfeeding also helps reduce truancy in the workplace due to children’s illness. Breastfeeding reduces the number of sick days that require families to miss work and care for their ill children. Getting ready for the birth of your child is a busy and exciting time. One of the most important decisions you will make as a parent is how to feed your baby. The decision to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is a personal one. By weighing the pros and cons of each method, you can help decide what is best for you and your child. Deciding to breastfeed can give your baby the best possible start in life and life long benefits.

National Arthritis Awareness Month

By | Vasandani

In early March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report showing that the number of Americans living with arthritis is at an all-time high. According to the report, 54 million Americans now live with arthritis and approximately 79 million will have arthritis by 2040.

There are many different types of arthritis and not just one. The most common type of arthritis in the population is known as osteoarthritis, and the one that most people are aware of for causing severe deformities (even though it is by no means the only one) is rheumatoid arthritis. It is best to find out correctly which arthritis you have as the treatments are very different depending on the diagnosis. Early diagnosis and initiation of right medicines at the right time can make a tremendous difference in the long-term outcome in preserving joint health and prognosis.

If you have symptoms of joint pain, stiffness, swelling, changes or deformities in joints or difficulty with day-to-day functions, then discuss further with your physician for proper evaluation. Other symptoms, which may also be relevant to arthritis, can include: fevers, fatigue or feeling tired, weight loss, rashes, muscle pain or weakness, neuropathy, dry eyes or mouth, and nose and mouth ulcers to name a few. Family history and travel history, dietary habits, other medical conditions and use of medications can be relevant in making a diagnosis.

Rheumatologist is a specialist for arthritis that can help with management if needed.  A good history and exam, along with certain blood tests and imaging studies such as XR’s, MRI, CT or ultrasound are often utilized in making proper diagnosis.

There are many advanced therapies available for managing arthritis. A good rule to follow is to always exercise as tolerated on a regular basis. If obesity is present, then diet modification and weight loss, even if it is moderate, can make a tremendous impact in the long run to help slow the progression of arthritis.

For more valuable information, please visit rheumatology.org and arthritis.org.

Heat Illness (Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion) Interview

By | Hannel

Definition of Heat Illness

Hyperthermia is defined as elevation of core body temperature above the normal diurnal range of 36 to 37.5ºC due to failure of thermoregulation. Hyperthermia is not synonymous with the more common sign of fever, which is induced by cytokine activation during inflammation and regulated at the level of the hypothalamus. A temperature above 40ºC (or 104ºF) is generally considered to be consistent with severe hyperthermia.

 Body Temperatures

Body temperature is a balance of heat created by the body and the heat dissipated through many processes (sweating, environment, etc). Sweating (evaporation) becomes ineffective with a relative humidity over 75% and/or when the temperature outside exceeds the temperature of the body (approximately 98.6ºF average). Temperatures over 104ºF are considered severe hyperthermia and temperatures over 108ºF can cause multiorgan system failure.

The Severity of Heat Stroke

The most common types of heat stoke in adults is usually nonexertional from medication side effects, lack of available fluids, or environmental temperatures without ability to change locations in adequate time. However, the most common type of heat stroke in children and adolescents is exertional from exercising during high relative humidity and temperature. A lack of available fluids is also a contributing factor, so be sure to drink, drink, drink.

Treatment

Evaporative and Convective Cooling treatments are the preferred methods of quick cooling if heat illness is suspected. The patient is sprayed with a mist of lukewarm water while fans are used to blow air over the moist skin and most importantly. Most importantly, get inside to a cooler environment.

Determining the Difference

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can be defined as overheating of the body. This overheating is usually brought on by weather or intense physical activity.

The most obvious signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Sweating (more than normal)
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling confused
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Intense thirst
  • Dark urine
Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is similar to heat exhaustion, except it is far worse. When the internal temperature of the body reaches 104ºF, it means you are suffering from heat stroke. Similar to heat exhaustion, heat stroke occurs when temperatures are high or from intense physical exercise. One difference is that heat stroke can actually occur if heat exhaustion isn’t properly treated.

The other difference with heat stroke is that it can cause far more damage to your body and your health compared to heat exhaustion. The onset of heat stroke can actually lead to organ failure, brain damage, and in the very worst of cases, it can actually be fatal.

The most obvious signs of heat stroke include:

  • Minimal sweating
  • Extreme headaches
  • High fever (104ºF)
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Pulse racing
  • Fast breathing
  • Seizures

Tips to Prevent Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

  1. Stay Cool: Figure out what the weather is going to be like on a particular day. Watch out for extreme heat alerts, humidity alerts, or any other indication that the heat will be warmer than usual. If it is expected to be extremely hot, make sure you dress accordingly (short sleeves that allow your body to sweat, hats, etc.)
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drink less coffee and alcoholic beverages during periods of extreme heat. Instead, drink plenty of water and other non-carbonated fluids to stay hydrated.
  3. Stay Inside: The heat is usually at its worst between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you can avoid going outdoors between that timeframe, that could help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you are someone who is physically active, try pushing your activities to later in the evening or earlier in the morning to avoid extreme heat.

Grace Medical Center® Now Accepts FirstCare

By | General Information

As of March 24, 2017, Grace Medical Center® is officially in network with FirstCare Insurance. This offer excludes FirstCare Select Covenant Employee and Individual Exchange Plan members. There are numerous positives with this announcement, such as the continuity of care for patients at Grace Medical Center®. If you have questions regarding the addition of FirstCare insurance, please contact us.

Cervical Health Awareness Month

By | Reedy

Cervical Health Awareness 
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year.

If diagnosed, the next step should be to see a gynecologic oncologist. Several studies have shown a patient’s life span increases if they are treated by this type of specialist.

A distinct advantage is having one doctor who can manage all treatment for a patient – from surgery, to radiation and chemotherapy. Gynecologic oncologists are board-certified, trained as both a surgeon and a specialty oncologist. Additionally, they are able to perform surgery on all organs of the pelvic and abdominal areas, which is important if the cancer has spread.

Gynecologic Oncologists are also involved in clinical trials and research studies that are aimed at finding effective treatments to further advance the treatment of these cancers and to improve cure rates.

If a woman has recurrent severe dysplasia and a hysterectomy has been recommended, she may want to seek a second opinion from a gynecologic oncologist. Removing the uterus may not be her only option.

Headache

5 Types Of Headaches And What May Be Causing Them

By | Nejat

35932521_s-300x200Headaches are one of the most common types of afflictions among people in the workplace. They can be caused by too much pressure, such as too many deadlines, expectations, stress and other feelings of being stretched too thin.

And headaches can strike at any time, from a minor pounding, ringing, or feeling of pressure from your sinuses to a major attack or migraine.  Did you know there are five types of headaches?

At least 80% of people experience headaches without showing signs of a sinus infection. These can turn into more severe problems, such as migraines. Tame your pain with these tips.

What type of headache do you have?

  • Migraine headache: This type of massive pounding can last for four to 72 hours and often feel like a serious throbbing or one-sided pain. Some migraine sufferers also experience nausea and light/sound sensitivity. This can be hereditary and can cause eye damage. You might need a doctor for persistent migraines.
  • Sinus headache: If your sinuses become inflamed by infection from a cold or flu, it can be majorly annoying and painful. You can either get doctor-prescribed antibiotics or try an over-the-counter decongestant or antihistamine to treat sinus infections.
  • Tension headache:  These are the most common and feel like aching or pressure through the temples to the back of your head and neck. Although they are less severe than migraines, they can put a damper on your day.  Tension headaches can be treated with over-the-counter remedies, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  These types of headaches could be due to changes in brain chemicals or contraction of the neck.
  • Rebound headache: These headaches imply a frequent use of painkillers, alcohol or drugs that once taken out of the equation may bring on massive headaches.  Even common over-the-counter medications and prescriptions can cause these from the overstimulation of the brain. You have to wait for the withdrawals to subside.
  • Cluster headache: This is a headache often characterized by pain on one side of the head and may be in conjunction with watery eyes, runny noses and reoccurring headaches that affect one side of the face. Some think genetics have something to do with it and there is no cure, although certain medications can taper the frequency of occurrences.

Other common headache causes may include obesity, having an all-too-serious personality (you need to laugh and smile more!), overtraining at the gym, painting, dehydration, starvation, drinking too many cups of coffee, work overload, sleep deprivation, or even sex. However, you should not let a headache deter you from doing things you enjoy.

Research indicates that some types of headaches can be treated through spinal manipulation. A good massage or visit to the chiropractor can help to ease tension in your temples, as well as other benefits throughout your neck and back. The relief may last longer and have fewer side effects than medications.

This is because neck and spinal therapy hits the trigger points that may be causing a headache. Stress, loud noise, bright light, too much exercise, poor diet or bad posture; and insomnia are also common triggers of headaches. Prolonged headaches may be pointing to something more serious, such as having a disease.

Exercising and eating healthy can decrease your chances of getting frequent headaches. Sometimes this can also help your headache to go away on its own.