girl needing vitamin d

How to get More Vitamin D in the Winter

Getting sufficient vitamin D is important for your health. A simple blood test ordered by your doctor can confirm your body’s levels. According to a study referenced by U.S. News and World Report, as many as 91% of Americans working indoors are not receiving enough of this vitamin! 1

 

Depending on where you live in the world and what kind of lifestyle you lead, you may be at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency. Some of those at increased risk include people with dark skins, older adults who are housebound, pregnant and breastfeeding women and those with certain medical conditions including, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease.

 

Vitamin D levels drop in the winter 

 

Vitamin D aids in developing a healthy immune system, bones, and supports cognitive functioning. It is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the easiest method of obtaining it is to spend some time in the sun. Anyone who wears clothing that covers most of their skin when outdoors may not be getting enough sun exposure to make their own vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D is also an important steroid that functions like a hormone in the body. It regulates the functions of more than 200 genes.

 

Though using sunscreen is normally the safest way to enjoy the sunshine, going without it for short periods of time is the key to making your own vitamin D. Sunscreen with SPF 15 decreases the synthesis of Vitamin D by 99% when used as directed, so wait a moment or two before applying when outdoors.

 

Many of us avoid spending much time outdoors in the winter due to cooler temperatures, however. Thankfully, there are other ways to get this essential vitamin even when the sun isn’t shining. 

 

How can we obtain vitamin D without sunlight?

 

There are two main forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is from plant sources. Vitamin D3 is a more active form from animal sources. Both animals and plants receive vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D3 may be consumed by eating meat or other animal products such as milk and cheese.

 

Oily fish is a great source of vitamin D to add to your diet. Oily fish includes flounder, Sockeye salmon, sole, tuna, sardines, mackerel, swordfish, sturgeon, whitefish, and rainbow trout. Just a palm-sized serving of these fish may help get anywhere from 75%- 100% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin D. 

 

Though mushrooms are actually fungi, they are the only non-animal source of naturally occurring vitamin D. Wild mushrooms, especially those exposed to UV light have the greatest content of this essential vitamin.  Around 1 cup of raw UV-exposed mushrooms meets or exceeds your daily needs.

 

Many grocery store items have also been fortified in vitamin D. Such items include milk, orange juice, soy milk, and yogurt. 

 

Cod liver oil in liquid form or gel capsules is another great way to receive Vitamin D. Lastly, a supplement may also be needed to achieve healthy Vitamin D levels. Before taking supplements, always discuss them with your doctor. Find a list of our physicians at CCMHHealth.com/providers/.

 

Source 

 

1 Howley, Elaine K. U.S. News and World Report. What’s the Connection Between Vitamin D and Breast Cancer? 27 Jun. 2017.

 

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.

always sick child

Should I be Worried if my Child is Always Sick?

This time of the year, some parents may grow concerned that they are spending all their time at their pediatrician’s office or the pharmacy. Many young children seem to constantly battle colds, respiratory infections and every “bug” that goes around. Although any loving parents would worry, chances are there is little reason to be concerned. If you’re a parent fighting this battle, here are a few answers to the questions you have to ease your mind. 

 

Is it allergies or a cold?

 

Signs of allergies in a child over two include:

 

constant nose rubbing

clear mucus running from  nose for over a month

excessive sneezing 

 

These symptoms definitely point to allergies if they occur during the spring or fall when pollination occurs.  Depending on what the allergy is to, however, these symptoms may occur year-round. Your pediatrician can help you discover the cause of your child’s allergies. 

 

What is the cause of my child’s cold?

 

You may worry your child lacks vitamins or the cold outdoors is causing their illness. Colds do not occur due to a lack of vitamins or a poor diet. Weather conditions also do not affect illnesses as we discussed in our blog, 5 Winter Health Facts

 

Colds are an unavoidable part of growing up. You can’t prevent them other than avoiding coming in contact with cold germs. Although, you really shouldn’t hope to avoid colds completely. They help build up your child’s immune system. 

 

So although it is hard to see your child under the weather, be thankful they are getting this immunity boost at a young age. Most children, even those that seem to always struggle with illness, will greatly improve by mid-elementary school. So the “good news” is your child should miss more of their less academically challenging school days during their preschool and kindergarten years as opposed to their more academically advanced years.  

 

How many colds per year is normal for kids?

 

Most children start to get colds after about six months of age. This is when the immunity they received from their mom fades. After that, they have to build up their own immune system.

 

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers may get as many as seven to eight colds a year! At school age, they average five to six colds a year. Teenagers and adults may have as many as four colds a year.

 

If you’re a parent though, you know it isn’t the only illness your child has to deal with, unfortunately. Children may have a diarrheal illness, with or without vomiting, two to three times a year too! Some children get high fevers with their colds. They may also have a sensitive tummy and develop diarrhea with cold symptoms.

 

What about ear infections?

 

If your child gets a lot of ear infections it doesn’t mean that your child has a serious health problem. This only means that the tubes in the ear aren’t draining properly. And if your child has repeated ear infections, talk to your child’s pediatrician to see if they need to see an ears, nose, throat specialist. Ear tube surgery is a simple procedure that can help many children while others will outgrow this problem before age two. 

 

What is a sign I should be concerned about frequent child illnesses?

 

Consider your child’s overall health. If he is gaining weight and robust, you shouldn’t worry. Your child is no sicker than the average child of their age. Children get over colds by themselves. Although you can reduce the symptoms, you can’t shorten the course of each cold.

 

Many parents worry that their child has an underlying disease because they get a lot of colds. A child with health concerns does not look well in between illnesses, will experience hospitalizations and not gain weight.

 

 A child with an immune system disease doesn’t get more colds than the average child. They will, however, experience numerous serious infections every year such as pneumonia before they are even a year old. In addition, a child with a serious disease does not gain weight very well or look well between infections.

 

When can my child return to school after illness?

 

The first five days of a virus are the hardest.  Cold symptoms can often linger for two to three weeks. As long as your child is fever free for 24 hours, there is no reason she cannot attend the majority of her normal activities. Sports and gym activities may need to wait for a few additional days until he feels up to it. 

 

Parents, hang in there! Winter bugs will be gone before you know it! If you have concerns about your child’s health, however, please reach out to a CCMH Pediatrician 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 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.

woman with resolutions

Why We Can’t Keep Our Resolutions

A new year (and especially a new decade) causes many of us to find new resolve to make changes in our lives. Whether your New Year’s Resolution involves common resolutions such as weight loss, or reading more books, or something more unique and personal, you may be wondering if you’re really going to meet your goal. 

 

Well, research says that the majority of us won’t keep our resolutions. Somewhere between 8 and 20% of us will meet our goal based on past statistics. Although that number isn’t encouraging, this, of course, does not mean that it is impossible to succeed. 

 

We hope that by discussing why we can’t keep our New Year’s resolutions, you will be prepared and more likely to proudly enjoy your success in 2020!

 

Here are seven reasons why we can’t keep our New Year’s Resolutions:

 

We didn’t mentally prepare 

 

Changing ingrained habits is not a simple task. How often do we not give resolutions a second thought until December 31st? Often, we make very lofty goals under the influence of holiday cheer and the influence of others. 

 

It is important to step back and consider the possibility of achieving our resolution. We’re not saying you shouldn’t make big goals, but that focusing on smaller changes is a way to help you work up to bigger goals. If you want to save $200 extra every month but only managed to save about $20 each month this year, $200 might be a huge jump. Saving $40 may be more realistic. Next year you can increase the number or even mid-year if it is going well. 

 

We didn’t make specific goals 

 

“Exercise more” is not a good goal! You may be surprised to hear a healthcare organization make such a statement, but less specific goals are more commonly abandoned. 

 

When we don’t make specific goals, it is easier to back out and not achieve them. It is better to think of our bigger goal as the result of following smaller, more specific goals. 

 

For example, if we set a specific measurable goal of completing a certain workout for a certain number of minutes for a certain number of days per week, we’re more likely to reach our goal of exercising more. 

 

We didn’t think about what we truly want 

 

We can get hung up on other’s goals or what we feel society says we should do. We live in a world that lives on social media and the majority of us aren’t portraying life in a completely realistic way. This can leave us feeling depressed, inadequate and like we should be doing more or behaving differently. 

 

Don’t jump on the latest fad diet or take up the latest trend for fear of missing out. If you recognize that you’re struggling with the expectations of others, perhaps finding new ways to celebrate what you love about yourself is what you truly need to do. 

 

Practice self-care by treating yourself to a relaxing massage every month. Discover a deeper appreciation of your talents by cultivating new hobbies. Finding happiness in who you are will cause you to make better decisions and “grow” more efficiently into someone who is happy and better able to meet goals. 

 

We didn’t think of the goal as a true lifestyle change 

 

It’s ok to want to lose a certain number of pounds before bikini season. Sometimes focusing too much on a specific date can be detrimental, however. If we realize that we aren’t going to lose weight by a specific date, we may give up long before the date arrives. 

 

Consider if what you want is truly a change you can stick to long term. Make smaller goals that build on one another. Know you may have mess-ups along the way, but don’t ever lose sight of your goal. 

 

We didn’t give it a good shot 

 

According to an article in Psychology Today, it takes an average of sixty-six days to form a good habit, and much less repetition to form a negative one. How we begin also seems to have an effect on our habit forming outcome. 1 Commit to following through with your resolution at least every day for a month no matter what. If you truly want to ditch it after that, do. However, more likely than not, you will decide it is worth it and be on your way to forming a new habit soon. 

 

We didn’t make a positive goal 

 

Have you ever told yourself not to do or think about something? The next thing you know, it’s all you can think about! Instead of making a goal to “not blow your money on coffee from the coffee shop every morning”, make a goal of “drinking coffee at home.”

 

Do you see what happened? These are essentially the same goals. However, by thinking of it in a positive light, you’re more motivated to want to follow through. Instead of dwelling on your favorite overpriced drink, now you’re thinking of ways you can get your “fix” at home. 

 

We didn’t replace the bad habit with a good one 

 

As we have discussed, we are “creatures of habit.” Getting rid of a bad habit is even more challenging if we aren’t replacing it with something good.

 

 If we want to try to put an end to an unhealthy eating habit, we need to have a healthy alternative ready to grab when the urge hits us. If we are trying to give up soda, for example, we may want to have another beverage readily available like bottled tea or flavored water. 

 

In the end, remember that January 1st is simply a day on the calendar. You may have setbacks, but do not quit. You may need to modify your goals due to circumstances beyond your control, but do not quit. You may mess up horribly tomorrow, but do not quit. 

 

 If you are considering making a change, it’s never too late! Don’t let a date on the calendar dictate you living a healthier, happier life. Take the time to consider your goals, plan, and crush them in 2020! 

 

Happy New Year! 

 

Source 

1 Rubin, Gretchen. Psychology Today. Stop Expecting to Change Your Habit in 21 Days.  21 Oct. 2009.

 

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.

holiday arrangement

Bouncing Back After Holiday Eating

It takes a lot of discipline to control our holiday eating when there are sure to be multiple goodies around! If you gave up and overindulged, don’t beat yourself up about it! We’ve all been there! The start of a new year is always a great time to make a change. To help, here are eight tips to help you refocus on healthy eating. 

 

Get over the guilt

 

Continuing to dwell on it and punish your self does more harm than good. If negative emotions are a trigger for your unhealthy eating habits, this can start a tough to beat cycle. You may find yourself feeling guilty for overindulging, eating poorly to deal with the guilt, and then feeling guilty all over again. 

 

The best thing you can do is show yourself some grace. Acknowledging that you messed up and focusing on the reasons why you want to change are a great way to put your best foot forward. 

 

Stay busy 

 

Maybe you’re still enjoying some time off from work, or maybe the beginning of a new year just means a slower season for your particular career. Many of us overeat out of boredom. If this is the case for you, pay attention to what time of day this usually hits for you. Have some healthy snacks ready as well as a list of activities you can use to stay busy.

 

Plan for success

 

Finding time to plan out our meals is a struggle for many of us in our fast-paced world. However, meal prep can really add to your success. Planning your meals and grocery list will keep you from buying unhealthy snacks while in the store.  

 

Go easy on the social events 

 

If you find the temptation to overeat too great at events, now is a great time to say no to a few social events if you normally have a packed social calendar. If you can’t miss the event, plan out what you will eat if you know what’s on the menu. Is it something too caloric to take a chance on? Eat a good well-balanced meal beforehand and then practice saying, “No, thanks. I ate before I came” when offered something indulgent. 

 

Don’t let your hunger build 

 

 Starving yourself usually backfires! Don’t skip breakfast, and don’t go longer than 5 hours without eating. Beginning the day right with a healthy meal and well-spaced meals regulates your blood sugar, maximizes your metabolism, and evens out your appetite. 

 

Drink more water 

 

Water supports optimal metabolism. Some research shows it may naturally curb your appetite. It may also help you feel better faster. Drinking more water flushes out excess sodium. This quickly helps you de-bloat and gets your digestive system moving to relieve constipation. You should drink approximately half your weight in ounces of water. 

 

Don’t cut out carbs completely 

 

Carbs alone aren’t bad. It’s what you are getting your carbs from that matters. Not sure where to start? Start by pairing vegetables and lean proteins with a small amount of whole grains and a healthy fat. Avoid refined carbs such as sugar-sweetened beverages,  pastries, fruit juices, white pasta, white rice and white bread.

 

Make it part of your lifestyle 

 

Good intentions alone won’t cut it. A resolution alone won’t cut it. Healthy living happens when it is a habit. Take that new class at the gym you have been curious about, carry around that big cup full of water, and read up daily on some of your favorite fitness sites to keep your focus on healthy living. 

 

We wish you a very healthy and happy 2020! Have questions on how to meet your new health goals for the year? Reach out to a 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 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 outside in winter

5 Winter Health Facts

From the cold to the flu- we all do our best to avoid winter illnesses. Being cautious and taking measures to avoid these illnesses is always a good practice, but are some of the common steps we take unnecessary? Let’s sort out fact from fiction with these 5 winter health facts! 

 

You don’t get sick because it is cold 

 

The cold itself is not the reason for illness. How soon the temperature changes also has little effect on the spread of illness.  Therefore, habits your mother warned you against such as sleeping with wet hair won’t bring on an illness. 

In the colder months, we spend more time indoors and in close quarters with others and their viruses. This is what causes you to be under the weather.

 

You can’t get the flu from the flu shot 

 

There is no virus in the injection, so it won’t give you the flu. The nasal spray vaccine may cause mild flu symptoms, however. Although receiving the flu shot does not guarantee that you won’t get the flu, it will protect you from the most common strains of flu. Your symptoms won’t be as severe if you do get sick also.

 

You lose little heat through your head 

 

Any uncovered body part is going to lose heat, and you only lose about 10% from your head. Wearing a hat in the cold is always a good idea, but a hat alone is not enough to protect you from the elements. Be sure to appropriately clothe your entire body when out in the elements.  

 

Green mucus is not a sign of a bacterial infection

 

People often think when they cough up green mucus that they have an infection. This actually means that whatever illness you have is coming to an end, however.

Yellow mucus indicates that your body is still fighting whatever is making you sick. Clear mucus is often present at the beginning stages of illness.

 

Shoveling snow increases your risk of heart attack 

 

Although it sounds crazy, this is true! Thankfully, we don’t have to shovel snow very often around here, but this is how it happens: cold constricts your arteries, increasing the demands on your heart. Shoveling then adds to that demand. Shoveling is more stressful on the heart than most winter sports! In a matter of minutes, your heart rate reaches a dangerous point. 

If you are healthy and active, you should not be concerned. Many don’t know they have health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, however, so it is best to exercise caution if you need to shovel snow by using a small shovel and taking breaks. 

If you are 60 or older, discuss your winter activities with your doctor. 

 

Has a winter health issue got you down? Reach out to our CCMH Physician Referral Line to find an appointment 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 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.

grieving

Complicated Grief: When You Just Can’t Move On

Last week we discussed surviving your first holiday without a loved one. Getting through all the “firsts” without your loved one can be particularly hard. What if you cannot seem to move on though? Did you know there is actually a medical diagnosis for that? It is known as complicated grief syndrome or persistent complex bereavement disorder. 

 

Grief is different for everyone and how they progress through the stages varies. For most, grief looks something like this:

 

Accepting the loss

Experiencing the pain of loss

Adjusting to a new reality without a loved one 

Building other relationships

 

For those struggling with complicated grief, however, resuming normal daily activities is difficult. If you cannot seem to pass through these stages and resume a happy life after more than a year,  you may have complicated grief. 

 

Complicated grief symptoms 

 

The symptoms of complicated grief are similar to the normal grieving process. However, normal grief symptoms fade over time while complicated grief may worsen. 

 

During the first few months after a loss, many signs and symptoms of normal grief are the same as those of complicated grief. However, while normal grief symptoms gradually start to fade over time, those of complicated grief linger or get worse. Complicated grief is like being in an ongoing, heightened state of mourning that keeps you from healing.

 

Symptoms include:

 

Feeling numb and detached 

Intense pain and sorrow over the loss 

Inability to accept the loss

Excessive avoidance of reminders of the loved one

Inability to focus on anything but your loss 

Feeling unnecessarily responsible for the death

Intense longing for the deceased

Feeling that life lacks purpose or meaning 

Inability to reflect on positive memories with the loved one

Feeling bitter about the loss 

Isolating yourself from activities 

Inability to trust others 

Wishing you had also died 

 

Complicated grief also may be indicated if you continue to:

 

Have trouble carrying out normal routines

Isolate yourself from others and withdraw from social activities

Experience depression, deep sadness, guilt or self-blame

Believe that you did something wrong or could have prevented the death

Feel life isn’t worth living without your loved one

Wish you had died along with your loved one

 

Causes and risk factors 

 

Medical professionals do not know what causes some to be more likely to develop complicated grief than others. We do know the condition occurs more often in females and with older age. Factors such as your personality, environment, and inherited traits and your natural chemical makeup make be risk factors. 

 

Risk factors include: 

 

Death of a child

An unexpected or violent death

Traumatic childhood experiences

Social isolation or loss of a support system or friendships

Close or dependent relationship to the deceased person

Past history of separation anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Other major life stressors

 

Complications

 

If you have symptoms of complicated grief, we urge you to seek help. Without appropriate treatment, complications may develop such as:

 

Alcohol or substance abuse 

Anxiety, including PTSD

Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

Depression

Sleep disturbances

Increased risk of physical illness

Long-term difficulty with daily living

 

Treatment 

 

Your doctor will determine which treatment is best for you. A typical treatment plan may include the use of antidepressant medications, counseling or psychotherapy. If you need a physician, one of our CCMH providers would love to meet with you. 

 

If you have thoughts about suicide, talk to someone you trust. If you think you may act on these feelings, call 911 or your local emergency services number right away. You can also reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).

 

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 surviving holiday without loved one

Surviving Your First Holiday Without A Loved One

The holidays are often referred to as “the most wonderful time of the year.” Surviving your first holiday without a loved one, however, is a difficulty that seems unimaginable to get through. Holiday traditions which once brought us much cheer, suddenly intensify our pain when we experience the gaping hole of loss. 

 

Sometimes, there is truly nothing that makes grief better. Unfortunately, it is something we just have to pass through. Will all of these tips to surviving your first holiday without a loved one help? Perhaps, or perhaps not. However, our loved ones lost wouldn’t expect us to continue on in suffering. You should not feel guilty for attempting to cope or even find renewed joy in this season. 

 

Here are five tips for surviving your first holiday after loss:

 

Celebrate or don’t

 

Don’t feel forced or obligated to do anything as far as the holidays are concerned. Although others have the best intentions and just want you to feel better, there is nothing wrong with saying “no.” You don’t have to attend any festivities you don’t feel up to, and you don’t have to rush through the holidays due to the date on a calendar. 

 

Don’t let anyone tell you that being alone is not good for you. Everyone handles grief differently, especially when surviving your first holiday without a loved one. Sometimes ignoring grief by surrounding ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the holidays may cause you to need longer to work through it. 

 

If your loss is fairly new, you may wish to simply delay a family gathering. This is ok. There is no rule that you must celebrate on a specific date. 

 

Carry on with old traditions or discover new ones 

 

Life after loss is a great time to find comfort in traditions that reminded us of our loved one. We may watch their favorite holiday films or prepare their favorite holiday dishes just like always. We may feel strange about carrying on like “normal” after loss how we did before. That is ok. There is nothing wrong with creating new traditions. 

 

Sometimes, you may find great comfort in finding new holiday traditions. You may wish to light a candle or still set a place for them at the table. You may wish to continue to give to their favorite charity or volunteer in their honor. The possibilities are endless. This could lead to you creating traditions you actually look forward to experiencing in the future. 

 

Ask for help when you need it 

 

Grief is draining and exhausting. You may feel a variety of feelings while trying to get through the normal day to day things as well as holiday events. If you need to cut back on some activities, ask for help! If you need help even doing little things like running personal errands, ask for help! 

 

Those who love you will surely love the opportunity to help. Shutting others out and just trying to push through as you always did before your loss may actually set you back and make it harder to process your grief. 

 

Make your mental health a priority 

 

To go along with asking for help, you may find comfort in talking about your grief with others in a support group, attending therapy sessions, or finding religious support through a faith-based organization. To find recommendations of local support groups, reach out to our pastoral care team by visiting ccmhhealth.com/pastoral-care

 

Watch out for unhealthy coping patterns 

 

If it’s been a while since your loss and you find yourself feeling apathetic, hopeless, or exhausted, grief experts warn this could be signs of depression. This may lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as withdrawing from social situations, excessive alcohol consumption or self-harm.

 

Taking care of yourself while grieving, both emotionally and physically, is so important! Get plenty of rest, eat healthy meals, and exercise. Dealing with grief alone is difficult. Don’t let it take a toll on your physical health too. 

 

For some, grief is even debilitating and doesn’t improve with time. If more than a year has passed since your loss and you are experiencing symptoms such as intensified sadness, inability to enjoy life and can focus on little besides your loss, please reach out to a CCMH provider. We want to help you restore your life to one of joy, meaning, and purpose. 

 

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.

boy playing with toys

Most Dangerous Toys of 2019

There is nothing quite like the joy of the holidays. The gatherings, the decorations, the gifts- these are just a few of the many things we all enjoy. However, that joy can quickly dissipate if a toy your child was eager to unwrap causes an injury! Every year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (WATCH) releases its list of most dangerous toys. We hope this information helps you to have a happy and safe holiday season.

 

The Top Ten Most Dangerous Toys of 2019

 

Note: The toys on the list are not the only hazardous toys on the market. Please use them as examples of hazards you should be aware of when making toy purchases. 

 

Viga Pull Along Caterpillar

 

Even though “crib toys” must adhere to the industry’s standard of strings with less than 12 “, pull toys are allowed to use cords of up to 24”. This makes this pull toy as well as others a strangulation and entanglement hazard for young children.

 

Learning Resource’s Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

 

This toy comes with 3.5″ removable, plastic quills for children 18 months+ to practice fine motor skills as they remove and replace the pieces. Children at this age are, of course, very prone to putting small items in their mouths. The plastic pieces can create a choking hazard.

 

Nickelodeon Frozen Treats Slime

 

Slime is one of the most popular toys among young children this year. However, many slime kits, including this one, come with a warning that it contains chemicals that can be harmful when misused. Marketing slime kits to appear as food items adds to the danger. Young children may be tempted to eat these tasty “treats”, but they should not be ingested.

 

Spin Master’s Bunchems Bunch’n Build 

 

This toy includes small balls designed to stick together so children can build whatever their imagination creates. However, not only are these small parts a choking hazard, but they also may cause entanglement issues in hair. If you allow your child to play with this toy, be sure to keep hair pulled back and pets away.

 

Hasbro’s Power Rangers Electronic Cheetah Claw

 

This toy may not be hazardous for your child but is for anyone else around them! The claw is inserted over the arm and is made of hard plastic. Discuss playing safely with this toy with your child, away from others, pets and breakable items.

 

Schylling’s Diecast School Bus

 

This toy does come with a choking hazard warning for small children. However, at first glance, it may seem harmless. The problem lies with the removable, firm rubber tires. This type of manufacturing is very common with toy vehicles and poses a serious choking threat.

 

Anstoy’s Electronic Toy Gun

 

This toy gun looks very real at first glance. Replicas of guns have sadly led to numerous, tragic deaths over the years. Please use extreme caution if allowing your children to play with toy weaponry.

 

Flybar’s Pogo Trick Board

 

This “pogo board” includes a large, high bouncing ball for children to stand on either side of while causing the board to bounce. Protective gear including knee and elbow pads, and helmets are a must with this toy!

 

Douglas Company’s Yeti Plush

 

This adorable stuffed animal includes long hair which may be ingested leading to aspiration. This toy is a great example that age recommendations are not always well thought out. This toy is labeled with a recommendation of 24 months and up.

 

 

Even if none of these exact toys are on your list, we hope these examples help you think twice before you assume all toys labeled as “safe” for your child’s age actually are. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

 

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.

woman smiling bladder health

Six Steps to a Healthier Bladder

There is nothing like the uncomfortable burning sensation of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Bladder health changes as we get older, and sometimes bladder problems such as UTIs or incontinence are unavoidable. 

November is Bladder Health Month! Since bladder health is important for everyone, make sure you review these six steps to a healthier bladder:

 

Mind your liquids. 

Alcohol and caffeine are hard on your bladder. Cut down on items like chocolate, sodas, tea, and coffee. Most individuals need to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. It is also best to drink at least half of your liquid consumption in water each day. Nothing is better for your bladder health than water! 

 

Dress in a way that promotes bladder good health.

Wear loose-fitting clothes and cotton underwear. Loose-fitting, cotton clothing allows air to keep the area around the urethra dry. Nylon underwear and tight-fitting jeans may trap moisture, helping bacteria grow.

 

Eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight.

High fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables help your body to avoid constipation. Over-full bowels due to constipation can press on the bladder. This reduces the amount of urine it can hold, making you feel you need to pass urine urgently. Constipation can also affect your pelvic floor muscles.

 

Quit smoking. 

Not only does smoking increase your risk of bladder cancer, but it also can lead to incontinence. This happens when a chronic cough that develops from smoking puts extra pressure on the bladder.

 

Be mindful when urinating.

Fully empty the bladder each time you urinate by taking the time to relax and not rush urination. For women, it is best to sit on the toilet seat as hovering over the seat may make relaxing more difficult.

Women should always wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra. 

 

Urinate after sex. 

Men and women alike should urinate following sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during intercourse.

 

Exercise. 

Physical activity not only helps you maintain or lose weight, but it helps prevent constipation. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, in particular, help hold urine in the bladder. Performing these exercises daily strengthens these muscles and prevents urine from leaking when you cough, sneeze, lift, or have a sudden urge to urinate or laugh.

 

 

Need a urologist? Call our Physician Referral Line 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 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.

man with GERD cooking

8 Steps to Living a Happier Life with GERD

Heartburn is such a common condition that it is often ignored as caused by poor lifestyle decisions. Occasional heartburn may not be anything to be concerned about, but gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is characterized by chronic, recurring heartburn. Without proper care, it may lead to more serious complications. 

 

When a patient has GERD, damage results from repeated or prolonged exposure of the lining of the esophagus to acidic contents from the stomach. This occurs as acidic stomach contents flow backward (reflux) into the esophagus.

 

Although patients should not self-treat this condition, certain lifestyle changes may help and lessen the need for medication. Here are  eight tips to help you live a healthy life with lessened GERD symptoms:

 

Change your eating habits

 

Eat smaller meals. For example, six small meals may be beneficial as opposed to three larger meals. Keeping your stomach from becoming too full reduces gastric pressure. 

 

Similarly, eating slower helps by putting less food in your stomach at one time. 

 

It is also important to know what foods may trigger reflux. Some of the foods more likely to cause reflux include tea, carbonated beverages, coffee, alcohol, mint, spicy foods, fatty foods, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and chocolate. If you regularly consume these foods, try eliminating them from your diet and slowly reintroduce them one by one to determine which foods increase your GERD symptoms. 

 

Lose weight if you need to

 

Eating slower may also help lose weight if this is something you need to do. Excessive weight causes the muscular structure that supports the lower esophageal sphincter to spread. This then decreases the pressure which keeps the sphincter closed, leading to reflux and heartburn. 

 

Limit activity after eating

 

Avoiding strenuous workouts for a couple hours after eating may keep symptoms at bay. Any exercises that involve bending over should especially be avoided as it sends acid into the esophagus. 

 

Stop smoking

 

Nicotine can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, increasing heartburn. 

 

Change your sleep habits 

 

Staying awake for 2-3 hours after eating can help as gravity and food digestion works together to alleviate symptoms. Sleeping with your head and shoulder elevated- either by pillows or in a chair- also helps reduce pressure and keep stomach contents where they belong. 

 

Review your medications

 

Some medications can relax the sphincter, while others can irritate the esophagus. Over the counter antacids can greatly reduce heartburn, but should not be used constantly. Consult with your physician to discuss which prescriptions you may need to begin or change to lessen your symptoms. 

 

Check your wardrobe

 

Tight-fitting clothes around the abdomen should be avoided. This includes tight belts, pants, and slenderizing undergarments. 

 

Relax 

 

Learning relaxation techniques may help alleviate stress. Although stress has not been linked to heartburn, it can lead to heartburn triggering behaviors. 

 

 

If you’re struggling with living with GERD day to day, our CCMH Physicians want to help improve your quality of life! Make an appointment today: ccmhhealth.com/providers.

 

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.

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