GRACE HEALTH SYSTEM NEWS & MEDIA

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Great News for Dog Owners

By | Beals

Dog Ownership Linked to Lower Mortality Rate

In this register-based nationwide prospective study including 3+ million individuals, dog ownership was associated with a lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in single-person households and with lower cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in the general population. Ownership of hunting dog breeds was associated with a decreased risk of CVD, and ownership of all purebred breeds was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality. Although further investigation in the Twin Cohort did not show any association between dog ownership and CVD and mortality likely due to the smaller sample size, additional adjustment for detailed lifestyle and socioeconomic factors only marginally altered these estimates (The Finnish Twin Cohort was first established in 1974 to investigate genetic and environmental risk factors for chronic disorders).

In conclusion, in a nationwide population-based study with 12 years of follow-up, we show that dog ownership is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in single households and with a reduced risk of cardiovascular and all-cause death in the general population.

Celebrate your furry friend with a walk. You both will be happier you did.

Fall Sport Injuries

By | Beals

It is November and no matter where you look there is a sporting event around every corner, whether it is local, state, or national. Many of us will be participating in one or more of these sports. Why is *insert your favorite sport here* America’s favorite pastime? The endorphins have us all hooked. Competition feeds your adrenals to excrete hormones culminating in the increase in testosterone. Yes, men and women can benefit from active and passive participation and all ages apply. There is an increase in socialization and community surrounding these events. These areas lead to the same thing: youth or cellular regeneration. The more cortisol and testosterone rejuvenate, the more it heals and repairs your body!

Whether you are competing against other teams or just competing with yourself, sports have been known to cause injuries. What can you do to help yourself? Train, train, train. Elite athletes are always working to keep their body in shape, and they should. It is their full-time job. Weekend warriors still need to train. The good news is even other types of physical activity will benefit your game. The stronger your body is in both types of muscle tissue, the more resilient you will be if and when you get injured.

No one wants to be hurt. Just like planning for success, you can plan for your injury. How do you do this? If you consider a problem and have a plan to manage that problem, your outcomes will be better. It has been proven in multiple disciplines, especially when it comes to sports and physical activities.

The most common injuries are soft tissue trauma: skin, muscle, fat, lymphatics and tendons can all be torn. They can also be repaired. A simple petrolatum product or bandage on your skin will heal in days. If you bleed, you quite possibly need stitches. Your body can repair torn muscles as well. Muscle training keeps the tissue engaged to handle that rapid repair. Tendons are tougher to heal because of the lack the same blood supply that the first to have. Injury involving this is classified as the first stage: a stretch with microscopic tears but overall intact. You will experience swelling and tenderness, but there is no limitation. The second a more extensive injury involving an incomplete tear of the ligament and you can have moderate pain, swelling tenderness and bruising. A grade 3 sprain involves a complete tear of the ligament. Severe pain, swelling, tenderness and bruising can all occur because of the torn ligament. However, this time there is instability of the joint with loss of function. These unfortunate individuals cannot even bear weight.

You may not be able to control the situation that caused the injury, but you can condition yourself. It has been shown in all types of literature that muscle and bone strength training limit the severity of the injury.

Consistent muscle training, both white and red muscle fibers, limit the trauma and restore functioning faster.

Regardless of the type of injury, it is frustrating. You have to stop what you are doing. Your hormones decline and the emotions change. The process… seeing the physician… wearing a splint, or worse, having to have surgery. This puts limitations on your lifestyle. Loss of patience with yourself or others while your body repairs itself. This time is important. Complete restoration of this tissue is important. It may not be the first injury that is a problem. If you have a second or third injury, it can be life-altering. Moral of the story: Don’t rush back too soon. Take time and heal right the first time. Then, you can come back strong.

What you can do is supplement. Remember the trifecta: Vitamin C, Green Tea and Vitamin E are the key ingredients to tissue repair while mitigating the inflammation in the skin. For the rest: Co Q10 every other day, Vitamin C daily, Glucosamine daily or twice a day will all help other areas. Don’t forget the fats. Steric acid and linoleic acid are found in butter, olive oil, flax oil and canola oil.

Please see me if you have any more questions.

Dyshidrotic Eczema AKA Itchy Hands and Feet

By | Beals

Acute palmoplantar eczema (more popularly known as dyshidrotic eczema) has an intense itch, small to large bubbles under the skin affecting the palms, soles, or both [1,2]. It is characterized by deep-seated lesions. Recurrence is common and patients typically experience frequent episodes for months or years. It occurs in younger individuals with equal distribution in men and women. This condition will resolve on its own, however, there is a strong association to contact dermatitis that increases with age.

Why do I mention this now? There is a significant association with allergies. Here in Lubbock, the first freeze and defoliation result in the startup of the cotton gin. This is a significant source of both intrinsic and extrinsic allergies.

First line treatment is avoidance of irritants or exacerbating factors is beneficial for most patients with dyshidrotic eczema. General skin care measures aimed at reducing skin irritation and restoring the skin barrier include:

  • Using lukewarm water and soap-free cleansers to wash hands.
  • Drying hands thoroughly after washing.
  • Applying emollients (eg, petroleum jelly) immediately after hand drying and as often as possible.
  • Wearing cotton gloves under vinyl or other nonlatex gloves when performing wet work. Powder free gloves may be of use as well.
  • Removing rings and watches and bracelets before wet work.
  • Wearing protective gloves in cold weather.
  • Wearing task-specific gloves for frictional exposures (eg, gardening, carpentry).
  • Avoiding exposure to irritants (eg, detergents, solvents, hair lotions or dyes, acidic foods [eg, citrus fruit]). It has been noted in other literature that antibacterial gels can be a common trigger. It is the preservative used or the fragrance.

Elta MD has a non-inflammatory Body Lotion or Body Moisturizer that is a good first line treatment. Topical steroids and allergy control are second and available by your doctor. This condition is commonly mistaken for other infections or inflammatory conditions. This problem should improve with the above measures but can also recur.

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.

Support Cancer Awareness and Prevention

By | Beals

What is No-Shave November?

No-Shave November is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness. Learn more about how you can get involved and start getting hairy! It is a way to bring awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.

Participate by growing a beard, cultivating a mustache, letting those legs go natural, and skipping that waxing appointment. Then donate those dollars.

Register at www.no-shave.org. This year $570,815 has been raised by 14,122 members, 1,288 teams and 244 organizations.