red meat hamburger

Swapping Red Meat for Chicken May Lower Cancer Risk 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women aside from skin cancer. It affects around 1 in 8 women in the United States during their lifetime. 1

 

However, many factors influence the chance of a woman developing breast cancer. Due to the variety of these factors, some which are environmental and lifestyle choices, causes can be difficult to pinpoint. 

 

That is to say, recent research often focuses on factors that lead to cancer which we can control such as nutrition. 

 

A recent study in The International Journal of Cancer reports that consuming poultry instead of red meat may lower breast cancer risk after gathering data from over 40,000 women. 2

 

Red meat and breast cancer?

 

The data, derived from the Sister Study, included participants from the U.S. and Puerto Rico who were 35–74 years old. Participants also provided information that included their lifestyle factors, medical history, height, weight, diet, and other demographic information.

 

The participants also reported details about their food consumption, including type of meat consumption, portion sizes and level of “doneness” of meat. 

 

Throughout the study, the research team reported 1,536 cases of breast cancer.

 

At the end of the study, the scientists concluded that women who ate more red meat had a 23% higher chance of developing breast cancer. 2

 

However, previous studies have not produced similar results. Some researchers have found no association, whereas others have shown a weak relationship between meat consumption and cancer. 

 

Poultry and breast cancer risk?

 

The scientists calculated that those who ate the most poultry had a 15% lower risk of developing breast cancer compared with those who ate little poultry. 

 

The scientists also controlled for a range of factors, including level of physical activity, household income, family history of cancer, race,  vegetable consumption, dairy consumption, body mass index (BMI), birth control usage, and also alcohol consumption. Even with these factors considered, the results were still significant.

 

The effects of cooking methods on cancer risk 

 

An earlier study discovered high consumptions of fried chicken increased breast cancer risk while intake of skinless chicken reduced risk.

 

A further study concluded that chicken cooked by any method was “significantly protective” against breast cancer. 3 The researchers in the latest study, however, found no link between the way people cooked meat and breast cancer risk.

 

However, other researchers report no links between meat consumption and breast cancer. 

 

As always, research must continue before we reach a solid conclusion about the role of meat in breast cancer.

 

 

 

Limitations of the study

 

Although the study had a large number of participants, limitations, of course, exist. For example, the study was observational. It cannot easily explain cause and effect.

 

Furthermore, dietary information was only recorded at the beginning of the study. Participants may have had dietary changes throughout the nearly seven years of the study. 

 

CCMH is proud to offer cancer care right here on our campus at the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma. To learn more, visit their website at ccswok.com

 

Sources 

1 American Cancer Society. How Common is Breast Cancer? 18 September 2019.

2 International Journal of Cancer. Jamie J. Lo, Yong-Moon Mark Park, Rashmi Sinha and Dale P. Sandler. Association Between Meat Consumption and Risk of Breast Cancer: Findings from the Sister Study. 2019.

3 Science Direct. Alacro L. Ronco, Eduardo De Stefani, Alicia Fabra.White meat intake and the risk of breast cancer: a case-control study in Montevideo, Uruguay. 20 May 2oo2.

 

Disclaimer 

 The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital also does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

Content is frequently updated, however, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

mom and daughter on bench

Your Breast Cancer Risk as You Age

The American Cancer Society has named  breast cancer as the most common type of cancer among American women other than non-melanoma skin cancer. Approximately 1 in 8 women in the United States battle breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. 

 

Typically, we think of diseases such as breast cancer a problem experienced among older women.  It is true that as you age, your chance of developing breast cancer also increases. However, women may develop breast cancer at any age. 

 

In this article, we will examine the impact age has on breast cancer. 

 

At what age do most women receive their breast cancer diagnosis? 

 

Women over the age of 50 are more likely to receive a breast cancer diagnosis. In fact, the median age for this diagnosis is 62 years 1 old with most doctors giving a breast cancer diagnosis to women between the age of 55 and 64.  As we age, abnormal changes in cells are more likely to occur.

 

What is the risk for each age group? 

 

The SEER Cancer Statistics Review annually assess the risk of a woman developing breast cancer during her lifetime. According to the SEER, the risk that an American  female develops breast cancer within the next 10 years is:

 

0.44% at age 30

1.47% at age 40

2.38% at age 50

3.56% at age 60

3.82% at age 70 2

 

What age were women who received a breast cancer diagnosis in recent years? 

 

The SEER report showed 437,722 women received their breast cancer diagnosis in between 2012 and 2016. Of these women: 

 

1.9% were  20–34 years old

8.4% were 35–44 years old

20.1% were 44–55 years old

25.6% were 55–64 years old

24.8% were 65–74 years old

13.7% were 75–84 years old

5.6% were 84 years and older 

 

Certain lifestyle choices may help prevent breast cancer such as your physical activity level and alcohol consumption. However, many factors can affect a person’s risk of developing breast cancer cannot be controlled, such as family history and age. 

 

Early diagnosis is key to treating breast cancer and keeping it from spreading to surrounding tissue and other parts of the body. If you are a woman age 40 or older, it is important to undergo a mammogram annually. Learn more at ccmhhealth.com/womens-health/womens-imaging/mammogram/

 

Resources 

 

1 Susan G. Komen. Breast cancer in women. 13 May 2019. 

 

2 National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2016. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. (eds). April 2019. 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

cooking with onion and garlic

Garlic and Onion Consumption May Prevent Breast Cancer

A recent study held in Puerto Rico took a look at onion and garlic consumption and the effect these vegetables have on breast cancer. The results may be very positive for some women.

 

About the study 

 

Onions and garlic are part of the same plant family as chives, leeks and other species. Not only are they well-loved by many due to their rich flavor, but these vegetables may have disease-fighting characteristics.  Some evidence also links them to curing diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

 

In regards to cancer, multiple studies have examined diet and breast cancer risk. In summary, these studies discovered that the more of these vegetables individuals consumed, the lower their risk of developing various cancers became.

 

A team of researchers decided to look at the diets of women in Puerto Rico and compare their breast cancer risk. The team chose Puerto Rico for two reasons. Puerto Rico has lower breast cancer rates in comparison with the mainland U.S. A largely consumed condiment of Puerto Rico, “sofrito,” is also made mainly of onion and garlic.

 

The researchers published the results of the study in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.

 

How the researchers gathered data

 

Using clinical and hospital records, the team discovered 314 women who were breast cancer patients between 2008 and 2014. The women were between the ages of 30 and 79.  The study also included 346 control participants.

 

To join the control group, participants could not have had cancer with the exception of nonmelanoma skin cancer.  A  food frequency questionnaire told the researchers about dietary habits including onion and garlic consumption, and specifically the sofrito consumption of each participant.

 

The team adjusted their findings for factors such as body mass index, education, age, history, and smoking status to name a few.

 

Astounding findings 

 

The research team discovered that Sofrito consumers who ate it twice or more daily had a 67% lower breast cancer risk. The research team suspects that the flavonols and organosulfur compounds in onions and garlic may help prevent cancer. Specifically, the diallyl disulfide, S-allylcysteine, and diallyl sulfide in garlic and the alk(en)yl cysteine sulphoxides in onions have shown anticarcinogenic properties in studies involving humans and animals.

 

Although encouraging, the study did have the limitations of a small group of participants. The group of non-onion and garlic consumers was too small for comparison. Also, no standard Sofrito recipe exists. Sofrito is often homemade and includes additional ingredients such as tomatoes, bell peppers, black pepper, and cilantro.

 

Regardless, these results are encouraging to onion and garlic consumers hoping to eat a diet that may help prevent breast cancer.

 

Interested in learning about cancer care available right here in Lawton? Check out The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma!

 

Resource

 

1 Taylor & Francis Online. Gauri Desai, Michelle Schelske-Santos, Cruz M. Nazario, et al. Onion and Garlic Intake and Breast Cancer, a Case-Control Study in Puerto Rico.  12 August 2019.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital also does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

sugary drinks

Sugary Drinks May Increase Risk of Cancer

Linking sugary drinks to health problems is not new. The list of conditions sugary drinks may contribute to includes type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

 

Previous studies have observed that the added sugar in soft drinks may fuel tumor growth and spread cancer in rodents. New research explores this relationship between sugar and cancer.

 

Details of the study

 

The research team observed various forms of cancer in 101,257 French adults. The average age of the patients was 42.

 

The types of drinks consumed included milk-based sugary drinks, syrups, soft drinks,  100% fruit juices and fruit drinks,   sports drinks, and energy drinks.

 

The research also included artificially-sweetened drinks such as sugar-free syrups, diet soft drinks, and diet milk-based beverages.

 

The study also included data gathered from food questionnaires, recording around 3,300 different kinds of foods and drinks. The participants were also observed for up to 9 years.

 

Other factors associated with cancer were considered such as sex, age, hereditary risk of cancer, education, smoking, and exercise.

 

An increased risk of breast cancer 

 

Throughout the follow-up period of the study, 2,193 people developed cancer for the first time.  693 of the cases involved breast cancer, 291 cases were prostate cancer and 166 involved colorectal cancer.

 

The study revealed that with a daily increase of 100 milliliters in sugary drink consumption, the risk of cancer rose by 18%, and the risk of breast cancer increased by 22%.

 

Diet drinks did not increase cancer risk. The participants who consumed diet drinks did so in small quantities, so researchers recommended interpreting this information with caution.

 

An analysis of the study

 

The researchers believe that sugary drinks can raise cancer risk because the sugar affects blood sugar, visceral fat, and inflammatory markers. All of these which previously correlated with higher cancer risk.

 

The number of participants is a strength of the study as well as the information that the researchers gathered.

 

However, the findings may not be well-representative of the general population, as the study did not represent the wider population well. There were more women with health-conscious behaviors and higher educational levels than the general population. This could have resulted in an even lower cancer incidence in comparison with national estimates.

 

 

CCMH is proud to offer cancer care right here at home. To learn about the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma, visit their website at www.ccswok.com.

 

Source 

Thebmj. Sugary drink consumption and risk of cancer: results from NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort. 10 July 2019.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

hand on vape

Vaping: Myths and Truths

There is an outbreak of lung injury from e-cigarette use or vaping. As of Septemeber 17th, the CDC reports 530 cases of lung injury due to the use of e-cigarette or vaping products across the US and its territories. The CDC also reports seven deaths from complications due to vaping across six different states. 1

The CDC said, “No consistent e-cigarette or vaping product, substance, or additive has been identified in all cases, nor has any one product or substance been conclusively linked to lung disease in patients.” 1

There is much we do not yet know about the effects of vaping, and that unknown causes much fear nationwide. Let’s shed some light on what we do know at this time. 

 

Myth #1: Nicotine is the only chemical in vapes.

There is more to vaping than just nicotine. Vaping is a very popular method of marijuana use. Some individuals even vape herbs. 

This is especially dangerous because there is not a standard among the types and amounts of chemicals in vaping products. This has also made it difficult to discover the exact harms of vaping. Each user’s experience is different due to different flavors, nicotine levels, and devices. 

 

Myth #2: Nicotine causes cancer. 

Nicotine is not a carcinogen. The other chemicals in tobacco products such as formaldehyde and lead, for example, cause cancer. Vape products don’t have these additives which has lead to the false belief that vaping is perfectly safe. 

Nicotine is highly addictive, raises blood pressure, and can harm developing adolescent brains. 

 

Myth #3: Vape products are safe because they don’t burn tobacco.

Clearly nicotine itself is not safe, nor is vaping harmless. There are all kinds of things you consume when you vape, many which are not regulated or well understood. 

So just what do you inhale while vaping? You get nicotine. Nicotine comes from tobacco, and this is why e-cigarettes are a tobacco product. You also get the solvents, the flavors and heavy traces of metal exposure from the heating coil, as well as other tobacco metabolites. 

 Secondary concerns include the potential for harder drug use and the mental effects of addiction and dependence. Addiction and nicotine use are closely associated with other health disorders such as depression, stress, and anxiety. Depressions individuals may be more likely to abuse substances. These substances may lead to additional feelings of depression. 

 

Truth #1: Vaping is an epidemic among our youth. 

Although not everyone who vapes is a young person, there is a strong culture of vaping among teens and the slightly older Gen-Z adults. Vaping is cleverly marketed as the new thing in smoking, it’s new technology, and it is customizable with trendy colors, flavors, and sleek devices. There is an obvious appeal to it among the younger crowd, complete with the lie for parents that it’s safer than cigarettes. 

 

Truth #2: Not everyone is aware of the dangers of vaping. 

The US government, schools, and health organizations do an amazing job of informing our youth about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Facts and media to inform youth of the harms of the vaping trend, however, are still catching up. 

The medical community is fighting to catch up to this fast-growing trend. Research takes time.  Until we have evidence which provides clear results for specific vaping regulations, the real dangers of vaping and e-cigarette remain concerningly unknown. 

 

If you need help to break an addiction to nicotine or tobacco products, please reach out to one of our providers. You can find them on our CCMH Provider Directory.

 

Source

1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping.19. Sept. 2019.

 

Disclaimer  

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

couple cooking

Is White Meat Just as Bad for Cholesterol as Red Meat?

Many of us avoid red meat to maintain our low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol level. LDL is can increase your risk of heart disease risk. However, a newly published study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that red and white meat have similar effects on LDL. Before you give up and order steak and cheeseburgers at every meal, let’s take a look at the facts. 

 

Details of the study 

 

Led by scientists at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, the study examined whether cholesterol levels differed after consuming diets high in red meat compared with diets with similar protein levels from white meat or non-meat sources. Non-meat sources high in protein include foods such as nuts, legumes, grains, and soy products. The researchers also examined to see if the saturated fat in each diet affected each participant.

 

The study’s participants were one hundred and thirteen healthy men and women, ranging from ages 21 to 65. The group participated for four weeks by consuming either a randomly assigned high or low saturated fat diet. They also consumed either red meat, white meat, or non-meat food sources. 

 

To reduce the chances that other factors would affect cholesterol levels, participants maintained their typical activity level and abstained from alcohol. They also worked to maintain their weight during the study period and adjusted their calorie intake if their weight changed.

 

Red meat, white meat, or non-meat? 

 

After consuming both the red and white meat diets, LDL cholesterol was significantly higher compared with the non-meat diet, regardless of whether the diet was high or low in saturated fat. The high-saturated fat diets had a larger harmful effect on LDL cholesterol levels than the low-saturated fat diets, however. High-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol was unaffected by the protein source.

 

Conclusion of the study 

 

Further research will surely ensue as the study had a number of limitations. The number of participants and the duration of the study was small. The study also excluded processed meats such as cold cuts, sausage, or bacon. 

 

It is always best to consult with your physician about what diet is best for you. If you need a physician, please refer to our provider directory. When seeking protein sources yet maintaining a healthy LDL, there are a number of vegetables and legumes such as peas, beans, lentils, nuts and chickpeas to consider. Meat, as with all things, should be consumed in moderation. 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

young football player

Football Safety Tips

Many parents have mixed feelings about their children playing contact sports such as football and rightfully so. Injuries in these sports are common. There is nothing you can do to prevent 100% of football injuries from happening. However, from wearing the proper gear to ensuring your child follows certain techniques during practice and on game day, there are many great tips you can follow to prevent a good number of football-related incidents. 

 

Football gear for safety 

If you have the option to purchase your child’s helmet yourself, familiarize yourself with the helmet safety guidelines determined by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE)

Helmets should have a thick layer of padding surrounded by a hard plastic outer shell. They should also have facemasks produced from coated carbon steel that are secured to the helmet. Depending on the position your child plays, his or her coach may recommend a particular type of facemask. Lastly, helmets should be secured with a chin strap and protective chin cup. 

Additionally, all players should have shoulder pads with a hard plastic shell and thick padding. Pants should have padding on the knees, hips, tailbone, and thighs, and all players should wear a mouthguard. Male players should wear an athletic supporter with a cup to prevent testicular injuries.

Each league has its own rules regarding the types of shoes and cleats players can use. 

Other items that you might want to consider include “flak jackets” to protect the abdomen and rib cage, forearm pads, padded neck rolls, and padded or non-padded gloves.

If your child must wear glasses during football, be sure that they’re shatterproof. 

 

Football training tips

During practice, the coach should emphasize safe and fair practices among players. Physical contact should be less during practice including helmet-to-helmet and helmet-to-body contact. He or she should insist on all players wearing the correct protective gear as well. Coaches should teach players proper techniques including how to tackle, how to absorb a tackle, and how to fall safely to the ground when tackled. 

To prevent injuries, take your child for a sports physical before starting a new sport. Remind him to stretch and warm up before playing. Overuse injuries can be avoided by playing different sports throughout the year. 

Ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids before and after games and practices, especially on hot days. 

 

Safe Game Tips 

Discuss the safety rules implemented during practice with your child and following them during games. Encourage your child to not argue with referees and be respectful to everyone. Encourage him to stay calm and let his coach and referee know if another player attempts to injure him on purpose. 

 

 

Lawton Community Health Centers (LCHC) located in Lawton, Comanche, Elgin, Marlow, and Cache communities are available to help with school and sports physicals, verify immunizations are current and discuss any other medical or nutrition concerns with parents. For more information or to make an appointment with one of our LCHC clinics please call our Provider Referral Line at 580.510.7030.

 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

girl wearing contact lenses

Is Your Child Ready for Contact Lenses?

August 19-23 is Contact Lens Health Week! One concern you may have regarding contact lenses is knowing when it is safe for your child to ditch their glasses and begin wearing contacts. There is no perfect age when it comes to your child being contact ready; it is more a matter of maturity. Even babies can wear contacts for certain conditions such as cataracts. If your child is begging to give contacts a try, here are five signs he may be ready. 

 

She brought the idea up

 

This may seem like an obvious reason for readiness. However, a child who asks to get contacts should be more motivated to take care of them himself than a child who did not have the idea until it was mentioned. 

 

He plays sports

 

Contact lenses are a great option for children who participate in sports. Good vision is especially important during sports and children have more options for protective eyewear than with glasses. Additionally, they don’t have to worry about their glasses slipping due to sweat or getting broken glass in their face by accidental impact.

 

She is hygienic and clean 

 

If your child has a love for getting dirty, this is ok. However, it may not be the right time to begin wearing contacts. Unclean contacts add risk for eye infections. 

 

He does chores without constant reminders 

 

No one wants to nag their children to do chores. If you constantly must remind your child to do things, taking proper care of their contacts will be one more thing on this list. If they’re simply not mature enough, contacts can be a great accomplishment in years to come. Contacts may also be a great incentive to mature in the coming months if they’re not acting mature as you know they could.

 

She takes good care of her glasses

 

Don’t assume a child that takes poor care of his glasses will take better care of his contacts. Although there are more opportunities to misplace glasses throughout the day, improper contact care has added health concerns. 

 

One consideration to make is how much easier it is now to take care of contact lenses with daily disposables. Disposables allow you to put in a fresh pair of contacts every day without the need for cleaning regimens or contact solutions. 

Have questions about contacts for your child? Find a CCMH Physician by visiting our provider directory.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

school aged child with backpack

Back-to-School Illnesses

Back to school means back to the doctor for many children. It can be very stressful for many families to deal with what seems to be never ending illnesses. School is, unfortunately, a hot spot for viruses and bacteria to flourish including common childhood illnesses that attack immature immune systems of young children. You may already be very familiar with some of the illnesses that commonly spread at school such as the cold or flu. What about other school illnesses like lice or pink eye? Here are 4 common illnesses you may encounter this school year. 

 

Lice 

 

Lice are tiny parasites that feed on your blood. They spread especially easily from schoolchildren through close personal contact and by sharing belongings. It is difficult to completely prevent lice among school children because  they commonly store their items so closely together. 

 

To prevent the spread of lice, encourage your children not to share items. Lice spread through items such as brushes, clothing, headphones, hair decorations, combs, towels, pillows, stuffed toys and blankets.

 

Symptoms of lice include seeing nits in the hair. Nits are the eggs or young form of a louse that attach to human hair. Many  mistake them as dandruff, but unlike dandruff, lice do not brush off easily. Your child may complain of intense itching and have small bumps on the neck, scalp and shoulders. 

 

Nonprescription shampoo that’s specifically formulated to kill lice will usually take care of a lice problem, but you should see your doctor if the shampoo doesn’t kill the lice. 

 

Pink eye 

 

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva). This membrane covers the white part of your eyeball and lines your eyelid. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva are inflamed, they are  more visible. This causes the whites of your eyes to be pink or reddish. Pink eye is usually the cause of a viral or bacterial infection.

 

Symptoms of pink eye include a gritty feeling in one or both eyes, itchiness in one or both eyes redness in one or both eyes, tearing and discharge that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning. 

 

If your symptoms don’t begin to improve within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious eye infection.

 

Pink eye can happen along with colds or respiratory infections such as a sore throat. Wearing contact lenses that aren’t cleaned properly or belong to someone else cause bacterial conjunctivitis.

 

To control the spread, teach your children to wash their hands often, use clean towels and washcloths daily and change pillow cases often. They should avoid sharing these items as well as eye cosmetic and eye care items. During a pink eye episode, be sure to throw away eye cosmetics such as mascara too. 

 

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease 

 

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection. It is spread through bodily fluids. Young children often spread this illness by touching their diaper area during diaper changes or bathroom breaks. 

 

Symptoms include a rash on the hands and feet and sometimes buttocks, fever and painful sores in the front of the throat or mouth. 

 

Practice proper hand-washing and avoid close contact with people who are infected with hand-foot-and-mouth disease to reduce your child’s risk of infection and disinfect common areas often.

 

Contact your child’s doctor if the discomfort keeps your child from properly hydrating or if symptoms worsen after a few days. 

 

Mono 

 

Mononucleosis (mono) carries the nickname of the “kissing disease.” The virus that causes mono transmits through saliva, so you can get it through kissing, but exposure also occurs through a cough or sneeze, or food or drink sharing. Adolescent or young adults most commonly contract mono. Young children usually have few symptoms, however, and the infection often goes unrecognized.

 

Symptoms of mono include sore throat, fatigue, fever, headache, rash and swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits as well as swollen tonsils. 

 

If your symptoms don’t get better on their own in a week or two, see your doctor. It’s important to be careful of certain complications such as an enlarged spleen. Rest and adequate fluids are vital to recovery.

 

Is your child in need of pediatric care? Find a pediatrician in our online directory!

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

older couple at park

Health Risks of Excessive Vitamin D Levels

Without Vitamin D, the body cannot absorb calcium. Therefore, the body cannot then create healthy teeth and bones. Another benefit of this essential nutrient is warding off cancer as well as diabetes. New research shows negative effects for receiving too much vitamin D, however. 

 

How do we receive vitamin D?

 

When sunlight reaches the skin, our bodies synthesize vitamin D. We can also receive it from sardines, salmon, canned tuna, shrimp and oysters. Non-fish sources include mushrooms, egg yolks, and fortified food products such as cereal, soy milk and oatmeal.

 

Skin pigmentation, where we live and season are all factors that affect the amount of this nutrient our bodies produce. During winter, vitamin D levels can drop drastically if not be missing from the body completely. 

 

What are the risks of low vitamin D levels?

 

Besides those already mentioned, deficiency of this vitamin may play a part in conditions such as dementia, depression and schizophrenia. 

 

Older adults may especially be at risk of developing some conditions when vitamin D levels are not up to par. Some older adults struggle to absorb the nutrient due to lack of sun exposure.  When this is the case, a supplement or a multivitamin can improve memory and boost bone health.

 

How much vitamin D do I need at each age? 

 

These are the recommended daily amounts  according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH): 1

 

Infants 400 IU

Children age 1-13 600 IU

Teens age 14-18 600 IU

Adults age 19-70 600 IU

Adults 71 and older 800 IU

Pregnant and breastfeeding moms 600 IU

 

What are the risks of excessive vitamin D levels?

 

While vitamin D is crucial to good health, risks exists for excessive exposure as well. Researchers at Rutgers University found that older women who took more than three times the recommended daily dose who were also overweight showed slower reaction times. 2 Slower reaction times can lead to serious injuries for the elderly from falls. 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 1 out of 4 elderly adults fall each year. 3 Scientists at Rutgers University studied the risk factors for falls. After analyzing the effects of vitamin D on three groups of women from ages 50–70 in a randomized controlled trial, they found improvement in memory and learning in those that took more than the recommended daily dose. However, these women also showed slower reaction times.

 

Examining various doses in people of various ages and different races over a longer period is the next step in investigating this issue. 

 

CCMH is proud to have a variety of general practitioners and specialists to meet your health needs as you age. To find a list of them, visit CcmhHealth.com/Directory.

 

Sources 

 

1 National Institute of Health. Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Consumers. 15 April 2016. 

2 Rutgers Today. More Vitamin D May Improve Memory but Too Much May Slow Reaction Time. 13 March 2019. 

3 Center of Disease Control (CDC).  Important Facts about Falls.

 

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