Woman with celiac disease hunches in discomfort grasping stomach

5 Natural Gluten-Free Foods for Celiac Disease

September 13th marked Celiac Disease Awareness Day. 1 in 100 people worldwide have Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is a serious autoimmune disease that occurs in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. People with Celiac Disease will often experience discomfort, pain, and reactions to foods containing gluten. They could even become hospitalized if the reaction is extreme. Gluten Intolerance can also cause discomfort, nausea, bloating, and other symptoms. This indicates your body has a tough time digesting gluten and wheat products.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in most grains, especially those that are processed prior to arriving on the shelf for consumption. The most commonly known foods containing gluten include those made with wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). These can cause serious health problems or other sensitivities, especially in the digestive tract. So with gluten being in many common household pantry items, what can people with Celiac Disease count on as natural foods that do not contain gluten? The following list is a good starting point to build a pantry full of natural, gluten free foods.

Steel Cut Oats

Many people with Celiac Disease and a Gluten intolerance steer clear of breakfast staples like pancakes and french toasts. But luckily, your favorite oatmeal is still on the table. Dress this breakfast bowl up with cinnamon, apples, bananas, or strawberries, all naturally gluten free!

Brown Rice

For those who are missing their favorite starchy foods like bread and pasta due to gluten intolerance, Brown Rice is an excellent go-to to satisfy those cravings. This grain is a great source of vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese, phosphorus, and iron. This is an excellent carb source for active individuals and athletes who may not be able to cook up a batch of spaghetti before a big day of activity.

Quinoa

Quinoa is also known as a super grain. It may be confused as a gluten-containing food based on its category as a naturally grown grain. But Quinoa is safe to eat for those with Celiac as it does not contain gluten. Prepared much like rice, this grain is an excellent source of fiber and protein. Have with salt and pepper, or toss with your favorite shredded *gluten-free* cheese. 

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables are the golden child of a gluten free diet. Filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other naturally occurring ingredients that serve our bodies in all the right ways, feel safe reaching for that apple or banana. Another vitamin-packed snack is Broccoli. Dip in a gluten-free hummus for added flavor. Just be sure to check your labels to ensure any dipping sauces are marked “gluten free” or “wheat free”. Also, be sure to check any canned, frozen, or freeze dried fruit and vegetables, as these may contain additives that could contain traces of wheat or other forms of gluten.

Potatoes

Straight from the ground, these starchy power foods are an incredible way to satisfy hunger and provide you with vitamins. Dress them up with sour cream and chives for a decadent side dish. 

Other gluten free foods include most dairy products, nuts, and chickpeas. For any food you may have questions about, be sure to check the labels on your food before eating, or ask a healthcare professional. If you are having any symptoms or signs of Celiac Disease or develop allergies to common foods, contact your CCMH provider to discuss treatment options and nutritional advice.  

 

Disclaimer:

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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.

 

Sources:

Celiac Disease Foundation: https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/

Nuts.com/healthyeating: https://nuts.com/healthy-eating/gluten-free-foods?gclid=Cj0KCQjwtZH7BRDzARIsAGjbK2ay8nGkxExhZdYWIa-3CKOz4e4wGbKuqtslKhR-xCE76e4HVLu6YwsaAiRrEALw_wcB

The Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530

Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gluten-free-foods

Child with black hair receiving vaccine for immunization in shoulder

National Immunization Awareness Month

August marks National Immunization Month, a time when we spread awareness and emphasize the importance of vaccinations against communicable diseases between people of any age. In order to build immunization to a disease or virus, patients of any age receive vaccines to build up the antibodies to resist and fight the disease should it enter later. While it may seem counterintuitive to inject vaccines that contain the same germs that cause disease, the way the body creates antibodies to resist future contractions of the disease is what helps to protect you. These vaccines are filled with cells of the disease that have either been killed or weakened to the point that they don’t make you sick. Some vaccines contain only a part of the disease germ.

 

What makes up a vaccine?

Good question! Vaccines are composed of different ingredients that aid in triggering the body to develop immunity against harmful diseases. These ingredients help ensure that the final immunization product is safe and effective. These include: 

  • Adjuvants help boost the body’s response to vaccines. (Also found in antacids, buffered aspirin, antiperspirants, etc.)
  • Stabilizers help keep vaccines effective after being manufactured (Also found in foods such as Jell-O® and resides in the body naturally.)
  • Formaldehyde is used to prevent contamination by bacteria during the vaccine manufacturing process. It resides in the body naturally (more in body than vaccines. It is also present in the environment, preservatives, and household products.)
  • Thimerosal is also used during the manufacturing process but is no longer an ingredient in any vaccine except multi-dose vials of the flu vaccine. Single-dose vials of the flu vaccine are available as an alternative. No reputable scientific studies have found an association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.

What Vaccines are Available in the United States?

According to the CDC, the current list of available immunizations in the United States for Adults include: 

 

  • Adenovirus
  • Anthrax
  • Cholera
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Seasonal Influenza (Flu) only
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • Rabies
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella
  • Shingles
  • Smallpox
  • Tetanus
  • Tuberculosis
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Varicella
  • Yellow Fever

 

The Impact of Vaccinations Worldwide

 

Immunizations currently save approximately 2-3 million deaths per year. Vaccines prevent deaths every year in all age groups from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), influenza, and measles. It is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions. 

 

One of the most well-known vaccine successes over the years is that of the Meningitis A vaccine. Since it’s introduction to healthcare facilities for administration in 2010, mass vaccination campaigns have led to the control and near elimination of the deadly meningitis A disease in 26 African “meningitis belt” countries. The vaccine is now being integrated into routine national immunization programs.

 

Side Effects of Immunizations

 

While vaccines are an option for many, some may choose to opt-out due to potential side effects. These side effects are truly dependent on each individual’s response to the administration and extreme, long-lasting side effects are noted to be extremely rare. Most commonly reported side effects include nausea, fatigue, or a rash at the site of injection. Patients may also experience muscle and joint aches, chills, or a mild fever soon after the injection. These do subside after a short period of time. These side effects typically indicate that your body is reacting to the vaccines positively and is beginning to build immunity against the disease.

 

If you Choose Not to Vaccinate…

 

While vaccines are always optional, the medical community highly recommends them. You should, however, know the potential risks of not vaccinating your child and learn about the possibilities of them catching diseases from people who may not have any symptoms. Remember! You can’t always tell who is contagious.

If you choose not to vaccinate any members of your family, know you are responsible to follow these guidelines:

  • Inform your child’s school, childcare facility, and other caregivers about your child’s vaccination status.
  • Notify the doctor’s office, urgent care facility, ambulance personnel, or emergency room staff that your child has not been fully vaccinated. They need to consider the possibility that your child may have a vaccine-preventable disease so that they can treat your child correctly as quickly as possible.
  • Isolate your child so disease during an outbreak does not spread to your child and others especially infants too young for some vaccines.
  • Look up the countries where you will travel on the CDC travelers’ website before traveling. Travelers are exposed to diseases during travel or by others returning to the U.S.

If your child is in need of immunizations, please make an appointment with Lawton Community Health Center.

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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 we frequently update our content, 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.

 

References:

The CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam/index.html

The WHO: https://www.who.int/news-room/facts-in-pictures/detail/immunization

The CDC Basics: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/vpd-vac-basics.html

Vaccines.gov: https://www.vaccines.gov/basics/safety/side_effects

young women ovarian cancer risk

This Common Symptom of Ovarian Cancer is Often Overlooked

A lack of awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms may have serious consequences for some women.

 

What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a type of female reproductive cancer that begins in the ovaries. Women typically have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. The ovaries are about the size of an almond. They produce eggs and important hormones- estrogen and progesterone.

 

Statistics about ovarian cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, each year in the U.S., over 21,000 women receive their diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Nearly 14,000 also die from the disease annually. The risk of developing the disease increases with age and is about 1 in 78. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women, accounting for the most deaths over any other cancer of the female reproductive system.

 

Why is ovarian cancer often overlooked?

According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the major concerns regarding ovarian cancer is that it often goes undetected until it reaches the belly and pelvis. At later stages, ovarian cancer is more difficult to treat and more likely fatal.

Ovarian cancer is also often asymptomatic in the early stages. Later stages have noticeable symptoms, but they can be non-specific, such as loss of appetite and weight loss.

 

Which symptom of ovarian cancer do women overlook?

A study led by researchers in the U.K. of a non-profit organization, Target Research, discovered that many women are likely to miss a common ovarian cancer symptom and change their diet other than visit their doctor. Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include always feeling full, persistent bloating, stomach pain, and needing to urinate more.

The organization surveyed more than 1,100 women. How did women respond to hypothetically experiencing bloating?

  • 34% said they would visit their doctor if regularly experiencing bloating.
  • 50% said they would consider dietary changes. These changes include removing dairy or gluten or adding probiotic yogurt.
  • 43% said they would Google their symptoms.
  • 23%  said they would purchase over-the-counter medications.
  • 22% said they would exercise more.

A previous survey by Target Research found that only 20% of women identified bloating as a symptom of ovarian cancer.

 

Other common symptoms of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer was once thought of as a “silent killer.” That changed in the 1990s however when research revealed catching early symptoms and beginning treatment can greatly improve a patient’s outcome. Besides the mentioned symptoms, other potential symptoms include nausea, fatigue,  menstrual changes, pain during sex, back pain, and constipation.

 

If you experience any of the symptoms above, do not delay in reaching out to your CCMH Provider.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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 we frequently update content, 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.

children covid

Mitigating the Mental Health Consequences to Children During COVID-19

If we are all honest with ourselves, we have all probably struggled mentally at one point or another throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Problems such as anxiety, suicide, and depression are on the rise. Sadly, over 47,000 individuals have lost their lives to suicide since the beginning of the pandemic

 

The feelings of uncertainty, changes in routine, social distancing, concern over the virus, and loss of income are all issues that can create a mental storm for anyone. Many times, we shelter our children from the news and think they are not affected by all that has gone on in the world. These times present new challenges and things we don’t know how to handle for all of us. Children are not exempt from these struggles. 

 

Quarantine, the sudden stop of the school year, missed activities and milestones are all possible reasons for dealing with mental stress for children. It is also common for children to internalize feelings they don’t understand or are not mature enough to deal with.

 

What changes may indicate a child is struggling mentally?

 

Children often react differently to mental distress than adults, making it more difficult for adults to recognize issues promptly. Here are some warning signs to be aware of: 

 

Unexplained body pain and headaches. 

Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting).

Excessive irritation or crying in younger children.

Unhealthy sleep or eating habits. 

Excessive sadness or worry. 

Acting out and irritability in teens.

Decreased school performance and / or avoiding school.

Difficulty concentrating.

Use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. 

Avoiding activities enjoyed in the past.

 

How can I positively impact my child’s mental health during COVID-19? 

 

Have a positive attitude about school 

 

How you react to the school year changes greatly impacts your own child’s attitude and anxiety level. If you remain positive, he or she will have less reluctance about returning to school. 

 

Spend time preparing your child for the changes that will take place this school year, whether online, on campus, or homeschooling.

 

If he or she will be wearing a mask to school, let them pick out masks that reflect their personality and interests. Have him or her practice wearing their mask, slowly increasing the amount of time each day to become accustomed to wearing it for the school day. Let him or her have extra screen time or do another enjoyable activity while mask-wearing. 

 

Have something to look forward to

 

With so many of our calendars cleared of events, life can feel a little monotonous. Make sure there is always something in the distant future to look forward to. 

 

Even if it is as simple as planning to watch a new movie with your child over the weekend, having “plans” makes us focus less on all the difficulty in the world right now and give some normalcy to our lives.

 

Spend time outdoors 

 

Fresh air and sunlight do the body good. Being in the sun increases your level of vitamin D, the vitamin which regulates calcium and phosphorus and leads to healthier teeth, bones, and muscles. It may also impact mental health by increasing the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin boosts the mood and helps you feel focused and calm. 

 

If your child isn’t big on the outdoors, now is a good time to work to find an outdoor activity he or she will enjoy.  It may be a great time to find an activity that the whole family may enjoy as well. From swimming to hiking, to fishing, to practicing a sport- there are many great options! 

 

Promote a mental health-friendly diet 

 

In 2010, a study found that women who ate unhealthy diets common to our culture had more psychological symptoms. These food include:

 

processed and fried foods

sugary products

refined grains (such as white bread)

beer

 

Some diets may, on the other hand, lessen anxiety and depression. Some of the diets include the Mediterranean diet, lower-calorie diets, and intermittent fasting. 

 

Discern when to talk about it and when to shelter them 

 

Don’t assume because your child isn’t saying anything about the virus that he or she is not bothered by it. 

 

Focus on making age-appropriate questions without confusing your child or adding to their fears. Begin by asking questions such as, “What have you heard about the virus?” “What questions do you have about it?”

 

Your child may be worried about getting sick or you getting sick, especially if he or she knows someone who has been seriously ill or died from the virus. 

 

Kids of all ages can be taught the importance of handwashing and how germs are spread. Knowing there are healthy habits that can prevent the spread will help him or her feel more confident that he or she will be ok. 

 

Take time every day to build them up

 

Some days during a pandemic are just survival mode. Take a few moments every evening to discuss the good and bad of the day. Focus on asking specific questions instead of just “How was your day?” The linked article has a great list of questions to help get the conversation going with your child. 

 

No matter what, remind your child they are surviving something none of us have ever navigated before. Celebrate the small victories and strategize plans for conquering the challenges. 

 

Make them unplug

 

Social media can be a great source of entertainment and a way to stay connected with friends and family. Especially during a pandemic, many of us have been spending time online. However, too much time online can lead to unhealthy physical habits as well as emotional ones. Not only does the bad news make us anxious, but many teens and even adults also struggle with comparing themselves to others which can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression. 

 

According to the BBC, unplugging, even for small periods of time can decrease anxiety. So, it may be a good idea to implement a time when your whole family unplugs. Especially consider unplugging in the evenings as we know screen time can affect sleep quality

 

If you suspect your child is struggling at this time with problems such as anxiety or depression, please reach out. Your CCMH Providers are here to help as we all navigate these challenging times. 

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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.

psoriasis

Do You Have Psoriasis?

Red, itchy scaly patches- anyone with psoriasis knows how uncomfortable the condition can make you feel. This non-contagious skin disease occurs mostly on the scalp, trunk, elbows, and knees.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition with no cure. It may subside for periods of time or even go into remission. However, cycles of the disease may occur for a few weeks or months. Your doctor may recommend certain medications or lifestyle changes to manage the disease.

 

Risk factors

Anyone may develop psoriasis. According to the Mayo Clinic, around 1/3 of cases  begin in the pediatric years. The following factors can increase your risk:

Smoking

Tobacco increases not only the risk and plays a role in disease development, but it increases the severity of psoriasis. Smoking may also play a role in the initial development of the disease.

Family history

Having a parent with psoriasis increases your risk of getting psoriasis yourself. Having two parents with psoriasis increases your risk even more.

Stress

Stress impacts your immune system. High levels of stress may increase your risk of psoriasis.

 

What causes psoriasis? 

Research demonstrates that psoriasis may cause the skin to regenerate at faster than normal rates. The rapid growth of cells causes the red patches of skin. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis.

We do not know what causes this abnormality in the immune system.

 

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

All psoriasis patients are affected differently by the disease. The following are common symptoms:

Stiff and swollen joints

Small scaling spots (more common in children)

Cracked, dry skin that may bleed or itch

Soreness, burning, and itching

Nails that are pitted, thickened, or ridged

If you suspect you have psoriasis or your condition worsens, reach out to a CCMH Provider today!

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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.

 

breastfeeding mom

Help the Environment by Breastfeeding Your Baby

August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week!  Over 120 countries recognize this impactful week for moms and babies.

It is widely recommended by physicians and health care authorities that mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first six months of life and continue to breastfeed while introducing solids during the second half of the first year of life.

Breastfeeding has incredible health benefits for both moms and babies. However, an often-overlooked benefit is breastfeeding’s positive impact on the environment. There’s no better time than now to discuss it though. The theme of World Breastfeeding Week for 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet!”

 

How does breastfeeding impact the environment? 

Breastmilk is the most nutritionally balanced food for your baby. Breastmilk contains no preservatives, processing, or risk of contaminants.

In a way, breast milk is a renewable resource and saves energy! When feeding directly from the breast, there is no need to warm milk. You supply the perfect ingredients for your baby at just the right temperature!

Breastfeeding also reduces waste. It only requires the mom and baby’s body to make it happen! Bottles and formulas require a lot of packaging to produce, promote, and recycle. Therefore, breastfeeding is most efficient to reduce waste and save energy.

 

How does pumping breast milk affect the environment? 

Some moms prefer to pump instead of feed directly on the breast. This may be so others can feed baby while mom is away or due to issues with baby’s latch on the breast. A breast pump requires additional gear and storage products. However, it’s still more friendly to mother earth than formula feeding. Many products needed to pump are also reusable.

Upon the completion of a breastfeeding journey, some manufacturers also have a recycling program for their breast pumps.

 

If you are a mom who was able to breastfeed and did, we thank you! You have played a part to positively impact our planet and create a healthier society.

 

Learn about CCMH’s breastfeeding support provided to moms and babies through our “baby-friendly” designation.

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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.

woman in mask

Why the Bubonic Plague Is Not a Great Concern

China reported a case of the bubonic plague in a herdsman living in the northern city of Bayannur earlier this month. This morning, ABC News reported a squirrel testing positive for the disease in Colorado.

Hearing of recent cases of the bubonic plague naturally might make you feel uneasy as we continue to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic. After all, the disease did trigger the “Black Death” Pandemic in the mid-1300s. Black Death killed around 50 million in Europe alone. The pandemic continued for centuries, making it one of the deadliest diseases in history.

 

What is plague?

Plague is an infectious disease.  In 1894, Alexandre Yersin discovered Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for plague, under a microscope. The most common carriers of Yersinia pestis are small mammals and their fleas. Fleas transmit the disease to mammals including humans. Therefore, transmission can take place from direct contact with a flea, or from an animal infected by the flea. There are three forms of plague: bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic.

 

How does plague spread?

Many mammals are hosts of Yersinia pestis. These mammals include mice, rats, prairie dogs, rabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels. Rats are often associated with the plague. They were once a common catalyst for plague spread due to their close proximity to humans in crowded, unsanitary urban areas.

Recently, scientists discovered that Xenopsylla cheopis, a flea that lives on rats, is in fact the main cause of human cases of plague. After a rodent dies from plague, fleas jump to a new host, infecting the new host. Transmission also occurs through handling tissue or blood from a plague-infected animal, or inhalation of infected droplets.

 

What are the symptoms of plague?

Initial symptoms of the early stages of bubonic plague include vomiting, nausea, and fever. Bubonic plague’s name derives from buboes—swollen, painful lymph nodes which are also a symptom of plague. They occur around the armpit, neck, or groin.  These skin sores turn black, giving it its nickname “Black Death.”

Pneumonic plague is the most infectious type. This advanced stage of plague moves into the lungs. Pneumonic plague passes directly from person to person via airborne particles coughed from an infected person’s lungs.

Untreated, bubonic and pneumonic plague may progress to septicemic plague. Septicemic plague infects the bloodstream. Nearly all humans infected with pneumonic and septicemic plague die.

 

The beginning of plague in the United States

The first known cases of plague in the  United States occurred in 1900. Cases arrived in the U.S.  by rat-infested steamships, mainly those arriving from Asia. Epidemics in port cities were not uncommon.  In 1924-1925, the last U.S. urban plague epidemic occurred in Los Angeles. Plague then spread from urban rats to rural rodents, causing the disease to occur in more rural areas of the Western U.S.

 

Is plague common today?

Plague spread today is mostly sporadic. It pops up in countries all around the world each year including the United States. The World Health Organization reports 1,000 to 3,000 new cases of the disease every year. Plague is present on all continents with the exception of Oceania. Most human cases, however, have occurred in Africa since the 1990s. The top three countries that experience plague are Peru, Madagascar, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with DRC having the highest number of cases.

Scientists link the prevalence of plague in DRC to the mountainous terrain and tropical climate.  The most recent outbreak of plague happened in Madagascar in 2017 with more than 2,300 cases.

The United States, China, India, Vietnam, and Mongolia are common countries that report human plague cases. In the U.S., seven human cases of plague appear each year on average, emerging primarily in California and the southwestern states.

 

Is plague still deadly?

It is virtually impossible that the plague could become a pandemic due to modern medicine. Untreated, the plague still progresses to a deadly stage, but today, most people survive with rapid diagnosis and antibiotic treatment.  Antibiotics work best if given within 24 hours of symptoms. In severe cases, patients can receive oxygen, intravenous fluids, and breathing support. Those who have come into contact with an animal or person who has the plague may also take preventative antibiotics.

 

How do we prevent the spread of plague?

To prevent plague outbreaks, practice good sanitation, hygiene and pest control, and; minimize contact with wild animals that may carry infected fleas.

 

Sources 

1 Yes the Bubonic Plague Is Still Around, Why You Don’t Need to Worry. Healthline. Ries, Julia. 7 July 2020.

2 Plague was one of history’s deadliest diseases—then we found a cure. National Geographic. Howard, Jenny.

3 PlagueWorld Health Organization.

4 Maps and Statistics, Plagues in the United States. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

5 Squirrel tests positive for the bubonic plague in Colorado. ABC News. Haworth, Jon. 14 July 2020.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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 with asthma allergies

New Study Shows Link Between Sleep and Asthma, Allergies in Teens

According to a study published in ERJ Open Research, teens that are prone to staying up and waking later are more likely to suffer from allergies and asthma compared to those who go to sleep and wake earlier.

Researchers have seen a strong link in the past between asthma symptoms and the body’s internal clock. However, this is the first study that considers how sleep preferences influence asthma risk in teens.

Researchers consider this study to be another piece of research that demonstrates the importance of sleep timing. They hope the study encourages new research into the effects of sleep on respiratory health.

The team chose to study the relationship between sleep and respiratory health because of the increasing worldwide prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in children and adolescents. Tobacco smoke and pollution definitely account for this increase, but the team still feels there is more to learn.

 

Details of the study

The study took place in India among  1,684 adolescents, ages 13-14. Each participant reported symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, wheezing, or an asthma diagnosis. The teens answered questions about day/nighttime preferences and when they are typically sleepy. They also noted how tired they feel first thing in the morning and when they prefer to get up.

Researchers considered not only the symptoms and sleep preferences but other factors that affect allergies and asthma. These factors included whether their family members smoke and where the participants live.

 

Results of the study

The team discovered allergic rhinitis to be twice as high in late-sleepers and asthma was around three times higher.

The researchers noted that staying up late may not necessarily cause asthma, but we do know that the sleep hormone melatonin is many times out of sync for late-sleepers. This could influence the allergic response for teens.

The team hopes other researchers will be encouraged to join them in their efforts, and wonders if encouraging teens to unplug from screens which often keep them up later could help decrease asthma and allergy risk.

 

Plans for future research into the link between allergies, asthma and sleep

In 2028-29, the research team plans to begin a second phase of the study. The study will repeat with a new group of teenagers to see if there has been any changes in teen sleeping habits and respiratory health.

 

We know sleep is vitally important for many of the body’s functions and organs including the heart. To learn healthy sleep tips, visit ccmhhealth.com/center-for-sleep-medicine/sleep-tips.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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.

smiling girl outside

The Difference Between Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke: When to Sweat It and Seek Care

Overheating is common for those who seek more time in the sun. However, heat exhaustion is a serious concern. If left untreated, it could result in a life-threatening situation known as a Heat Stroke. Heat Strokes occur when your body temperature rises to 103 degrees F or higher. The condition is most commonly experienced during the summer months. This is due to humidity and the sun being high when we spend more time outdoors.

 

Unsure of how to differentiate between heat exhaustion and a heat stroke? Read more to learn about the signs and symptoms of each and how to treat them fast! This action could help save your life or the life of someone you love.

 

 

What is the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke?

 

Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious conditions. Heat exhaustion begins with general muscle weakness, sudden excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, and possible fainting. A heat stroke is when your body’s internal temperature reaches over 103 degrees. You begin experiencing a loss or change of consciousness, agitated, unexplained behavior changes, hot, red, and dry skin.  All of these symptoms should be taken seriously. Call your medical professionals immediately upon onset. According to Healthline, If you experience heat exhaustion for an extended period of time, heatstroke may occur. While many experience heat exhaustion symptoms before heat stroke, it’s not always the case.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke:

 

There are many symptoms of a heat stroke. Be mindful if you or someone you know experiences the following while spending large amounts of time outdoors in the summer:

  • Sudden Severe Headache: It may be a migraine or just “any other headache.”  Be aware of any sudden headache onset, however. If you are spending time in the heat and high humidity, this could be a signal that our body is overheating fast.
  • Unexplained confusion or odd behavior. If someone suddenly shows signs of dizziness, confusion or agitation, loss of consciousness or disorientation, call 911. These are all beginning signs of a heat stroke.
  • Sudden rush of feeling cold and chills while sweating: When your body can’t regulate your temperature, it may send chills down your spine, literally. If you’re hot and sweating yet experiencing chills and a feeling of being cold, seek emergency care and take steps to cool down your body temperature fast.
  • Alteration in sweating. The Mayo Clinic states, “In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in a heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.” Pay attention to your skin and how you feel during strenuous activities while in a warm climate.
  • Racing Heart Rate, Rapid Breathing, Nausea, and vomiting. You could feel your heart rate increase rapidly without doing any strenuous activity and the culprit is a heat stroke. You may begin to feel sick to your stomach or physically vomit. If you experience any of these signs, it’s your body telling you to cool down, stat.

 

How to Treat Heat Stroke:

 

If you experience any of the symptoms above and suspect a heat stroke, call 911 and seek help from your local emergency care facility immediately. If you know someone who is experiencing heat exhaustion or who is beginning to show signs of a heat stroke, be sure to take them to a shaded area and apply cool compresses to their head, chest, neck, and/or back. You may also spray them with cool water from a nearby hose or use a sponge to apply cool water directly over their skin. Remove excess clothing.

 

Be careful not to cool off yourself or others too quickly by offering them ice water to drink.  Santosh Sinha, MD at Dignity Health Medical Group – Bakersfield warns that by digesting ice cold water during a heat stroke will actually “constrict the capillaries, cause stomach cramps, and decrease the absorption rate”. The sudden rush of coldness in your body could cause more damage than good with a state similar to “shock”.

 

Who is Most At Risk of Heat Stroke?

 

According to the CDC, the following individuals are most at-risk for a heat stroke:

 

  • Infants and young children
  • People 65 years of age or older
  • People who are overweight
  • Individuals who overexert during work or exercise
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation
  • People traveling from cooler climates to drastically warmer climates

 

How to Prevent Heat Stroke:

 

If you know you will be spending more time outside, be sure to dress in loose clothing made of lighter fabric. Avoid darker colors to prevent heat absorption. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. If you feel as though heat exhaustion is coming on fast, grab a sports drink with electrolytes to replenish what has been lost through sweat. Drink plenty of water every day and avoid excessive amounts of alcohol especially when you know you will be spending most of your day out in the heat.

 

If you or someone you know shows signs of extreme heat exhaustion or heat stroke, be sure to call 911 immediately. The Drewry Family Emergency Center at Comanche County Memorial Hospital is ready to help you through any emergency you or a loved one are experiencing.

 

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any 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.

woman in sun

How to choose the best sunscreen for your Summer Fun in the sun

Summer is in full swing! The sun is higher, hotter, and bound to bring on a surge of UV rays.  More and more activities also shift to the outdoors. While Vitamin D is a good thing, too much leads to cellular damage in the deeper layers of your epidermis. In fact, according to the University of Berkeley, we only need 15 minutes in the sun to absorb the necessary amount of Vitamin D. Just 15 minutes satisfies our daily needs! Any more than that may lead to long term damage without proper steps to protect ourselves.

 

So go to the store and snatch the first bottle of sunscreen off the shelf with the highest SPF, right? Wrong! Read on to sort through the many myths surrounding SPF and sunscreen options to ensure you get the best protection for you and your loved ones.

 

MYTH: The higher the SPF, the better the protection.

 

You rummage through your cabinets and find a sunscreen marked “SPF 100”. The squeeze bottle beside it is labeled as “SPF 30.” This means you should grab the SPF 100, right? Not exactly.

 

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD), people who chose to lather up in 100 SPF did report fewer sunburns. However, those who chose aerosol sprays or non-certified water-resistant lotions showed less protection than those covered in lower SPF full-coverage lotions. Evaluate the factors that make a sunscreen effective, such as application and water/sweat resistance. Then, add in your SPF. Now, you’ve got an equation for the perfect amount of protection.

 

MYTH: If my sunscreen says “Waterproof”, I don’t have to reapply after getting in the water.

 

If you know you will be spending a day in the water, be sure to snag sunscreen that is marked “water-resistant.” Steer clear of those labeled “waterproof”. Why? The FDA confirms “There’s no such thing as waterproof sunscreen”. In fact, as soon as any application on the upper layer of your skin becomes wet, be ready to reapply within the hour.

 

The FDA claims, “All bottles  are required to state whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes after swimming or sweating, and all sunscreens must provide directions on when to reapply.” So be sure to read your bottle’s instructions after you take a refreshing dip in the deep end.

 

MYTH: Higher SPF means less Vitamin D absorption.

 

Taking a 15-minute walk during lunch? Chances are you’ve reached your Vitamin D quota for the day. Absorbing vitamin D through sunlight is one of the most wonderful feelings. It increases your natural serotonin level as well as activates your endorphins. But it’s not the only way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Many different kinds of fish and vegetables can also provide your daily dose of this sought after vitamin.

 

After 15 minutes of sun exposure within a day, however, your body stops absorbing and producing vitamin D. So more time than that in the sun, with or without SPF protection, won’t increase your body’s ability to absorb vitamin D through sunlight. And remember, your body has quite a bit of surface area for the sun to reach, so even if you have 90% of your body coated in sunscreen lotion or heavy clothes, that other 10% will still be catching those rays and accumulating vitamin D. 

 

MYTH: SPF is the most important factor when purchasing sunscreen.

 

While it may seem superfluous to look beyond the SPF number when choosing your block of choice, remember that many different factors will decide its effectiveness. Is it water-resistant? Is it being applied as an aerosol or lotion? Does it contain chemicals or minerals? Is it “broad spectrum”?

 

Like knowing what is in your food and how you prepare it, so is the importance of knowing what is in your sunscreen and how you apply it. Look at the labels to ensure it will guarantee you the protection you are seeking.

 

MYTH: A base tan prevents me from burning more later.

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a tan is nothing more than a tell-tale sign that skin damage has already begun. As soon as our skin absorbs an overwhelming amount of UV rays, it begins to break down on the cellular level and produce more melanin to prevent even further damage. This breakdown will help you achieve that temporary bronze look but lead to permanent skin damage down the road such as fine lines and wrinkles.

 

So while the base tan may seem to help you from getting “burnt” later, just remember- your skin has already been damaged, and more sun exposure on top of these hurting cells will only cause greater damage, leading to a more intense burn if you neglect your sunscreen applications.

 

MYTH: Sunscreen won’t protect you from melanoma.

 

While it is true that melanoma can pop-up unexpectedly due to other factors, the main culprit of melanoma is overexposure to the sun. The Skin Cancer Foundation confirms that 86% of all skin cancers are caused by overexposure to the sun. Much like the correlation of smoking cigarettes to lung cancer, sun exposure is the leading cause of Melanoma in humans.

 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, rare cases have occurred where patients developed skin cancer due to XRay or chemical exposure. But the cause of cancer (UVA rays) can be prevented by using broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapplication throughout the day. The Skin Cancer Foundation also states, “Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.” So lather up and protect that skin you’re in!

 

MYTH: All SPF is the same

 

If someone told you that sugar-free vanilla ice cream and a hefty scoop of Fudge Ripple from Ben and Jerry’s tastes the same, you’d be fast to call their bluff! Much like our favorite sweet summer treat, all SPF’s are not created equal. SPF can protect against UVA and UVB rays. But unless your bottle specifically states “broad spectrum”, don’t be surprised if you come home a little more toasty than your friends.

 

UVB rays and UVA rays are shining down on your precious skin while you are out in the sun. As both of these are detrimental to our health in many ways, be sure to be mindful of your sunblock labels and find a sunscreen that offers “Broad Spectrum” coverage to block both of those bad boys. 

 

Being out in the sun is one of our favorite summertime hobbies. Whether we are hiking the trails or playing by the pool, pick the best sun protection you can. Your skin will most surely thank you in the long run!

 

If you notice any suspicious spots on your body, you may need an evaluation for skin cancer. To find a CCMH Provider, visit 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 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.

1 2 3 9