mother holding baby

Flying With Breast Milk

August 1-7  is World Breastfeeding Week! A common concern many moms have is flying with breast milk either due to exclusively pumping or not having their child with them. Flying with breast milk for the first time can be nerve wracking. How much can you bring? What can you do to ensure your milk is allowed to pass security checkpoints? Before you travel this summer, take a look at this list of things to things to know about flying with breast milk to ensure you are able to fly without any added stress.

 

Know what you are allowed to carry

 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that you may pass the security checkpoint with formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers ”in reasonable quantities.” You do not have to ensure that your milk fits into quart sized bags or meets the 3 oz rule that applies to other liquids.  Remove these items from your carry-on bag so the agent may screen them separately from the rest of your belongings. 

 

A breast pump is a medical device and therefore does not count as your carryon luggage.  The cooler you bring to store your milk in however, does count if carried separately from your other carryon luggage. Many times little attention is given to how many bags a passenger is actually bringing onto the plane, but be prepared to explain why you have an extra carryon item when carrying a pump if needed. 

 

You may also bring gel or liquid-filled teethers and canned and processed baby food in carry-on luggage. Additional screening may occur with these items.  

 

How TSA screens breast milk 

 

When going through security, always declare your breast milk. Kindly ask the TSA agent to change into clean gloves before he inspects your milk. TSA typically screens breast milk by x-ray. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that there are no known adverse effects from consuming items screened by x-ray. 1

 

If your milk is frozen solid, the TSA agents will not perform special tests. If thawed, the TSA officers may ask you to open the container and even transfer a small quantity of the liquid to a separate empty container for visual inspection. Kindly request that the TSA agent put on clean gloves before touching your cooler. If the agent conducts a test, he or she wipes the bottle with a piece of paper and puts the paper in a machine that tests for explosives.

 

How to store your milk 

 

To store your milk, you need a water-tight cooler with plenty of ice packs. If you can do without bottles, breast milk storage bags will pack easier and lighter than bottles. After security, consider sealing your cooler with duct tape to keep it cool and prevent leaking. 

 

If booking lodging, try to find a hotel that has rooms with a refrigerator/ freezer. If you do not have a freezer in your room, or it doesn’t cool enough to freeze your milk, ask to keep your breast milk cooler in the hotel freezer. 

 

Pumping while traveling 

 

Many airports offer a breastfeeding lounge or baby care area. If one is not available, search for a family restroom with an outlet.

 

For your convenience, it is possible to mail/ship breast milk. This can be helpful if you are gone for an extended period and need to send milk home for your baby. However, shipping breast milk is costly. There are services that ship breast milk exclusively or you can ship via services such as FedEx. In order to do this, you must purchase dry ice, a styrofoam cooler, and a box for shipping. 

 

Dry ice is cold enough that it can make plastic breast milk storage bags or bottles brittle and break. To prevent this, seal your breast milk bottles in zip-lock bags and pad them with crumpled up newspaper inside your cooler.

 

The US Postal Service does not permit dry ice in the mail. You can however ship milk with regular ice packs overnight. This is much cheaper but of course has the added risk of milk thawing en route.

 

For international travel, contact the consulate of your destination country to determine their individual shipping regulations.

 

 

 

Comanche County Memorial Hospital is proud to be recognized as a Baby Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

 

Do you have questions about breastfeeding? For travel questions, always check the latest TSA guidelines. For general questions, our Infant Feeding Resource Center would love to meet with you and discuss any breastfeeding concerns you may have. 

 

Resource

1 U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Frequently Asked Questions on Cabinet X-ray Systems. 9 March. 2018.

 

Disclaimer 

 

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

 

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

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

older couple at park

Health Risks of Excessive Vitamin D Levels

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

 

How do we receive vitamin D?

 

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

 

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

 

What are the risks of low vitamin D levels?

 

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

 

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

 

How much vitamin D do I need at each age? 

 

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

 

Infants 400 IU

Children age 1-13 600 IU

Teens age 14-18 600 IU

Adults age 19-70 600 IU

Adults 71 and older 800 IU

Pregnant and breastfeeding moms 600 IU

 

What are the risks of excessive vitamin D levels?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sources 

 

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

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

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

 

Disclaimer 

 

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

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

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

school desk

Back-to-School Checkups for Children

School supplies, backpacks, new clothes and shoes may be on parents’ to-do list to get kids ready for the first day of school, but also important is scheduling a wellness checkup with a primary care provider to make sure kids are healthy and ready to learn.

 

Lawton Community Health Centers (LCHC) located in Lawton, Comanche, Elgin, Marlow and now Cache communities are available to help with back-to-school and sports physicals, verify immunizations are current and discuss any other medical or nutrition concerns with parents.

 

LCHC clinics provide convenient hours and locations to meet your family’s needs.  Some of our services include…

  • Primary Health Care
  • Dental Services with referral
  • Mental Health Services – Counseling (Child/Adolescent/Adult)
  • Diabetes and Nutrition Services with referral

 

LCHC provides family practice and pediatric services to individuals with Medicaid (SoonerCare), Medicare, and private insurance.  LCHC also provides healthcare to those residents who do not have health insurance on a sliding fee schedule. Patients are required to provide proof of income to ensure they receive discounts for which they are eligible.

 

For more information or to make an appointment with one of our LCHC clinics please call our Provider Referral Line at 580.510.7030.

 

The following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). 

 

Here are some things to think about before the school year starts.  Being prepared and ready-to-go can help get the new school year off to a good start.

 

MAKING THE FIRST DAY EASIER

  • Parents should remember that they need not wait until the first day of class to ask for help. Schools are open to address any concerns a parent or child might have, including the specific needs of a child, over the summer. The best time to get help might be one to two weeks before school opens.
  • Point out the positive aspects of starting school to create positive anticipation about the first day of class. They will see old friends and meet new ones. Talk with them about positive experiences they may have had in the past at school or with other groups of children.
  • Consider starting your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week or so ahead of time so that time change is not a factor on their first couple of days at school.
  • Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school or ride on the bus.
  • Many children become nervous about new situations, including changing to a new school, classroom or teacher.  This may occur at any age. If your child seems nervous, it can be helpful to rehearse entry into the new situation. Take them to visit the new school or classroom before the first day of school. Remind them that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible. If your child seems nervous, ask them what they are worried about and help them problem solve ways to master the new situation.
  • If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day. Bring the child to school a few days prior to class to play on the playground and get comfortable in the new environment.
  • If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day, and get there early on the first day to cut down on unnecessary stress.
  • Make sure to touch base with your child’s new teacher at the beginning or end of the day so the teacher knows how much you want to be supportive of your child’s school experience.

 

BACKPACK SAFETY

  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.  Go through the pack with your child weekly and remove unneeded items to keep it light.
  • Remind your child to always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
  • Adjust the pack so that the bottom sits at your child’s waist.
  • If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried upstairs, they may be difficult to roll in the snow, and they may not fit in some lockers.

 

 

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.

swimmer in pool

The Facts About Sunscreen

With over 7,000 Americans expected to die from melanoma this year alone 1, protecting your skin from skin cancer is so important! However, there are many options out there for sunscreens, and there are ways you can maximize its effectiveness. To help you protect your skin every day, here are answers to some of the most common questions patients have for doctors when it comes to choosing sunscreen. 

 

Are the chemicals in sunscreen safe?

 

The Journal of the American Medical Association released a new study raising concerns about how we protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Researchers took blood samples of 24 people who used sunscreen four times a day. In only four days, they discovered levels of four chemical ingredients that exceed the FDA’s recommended limits. These chemicals are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule. 2 Researchers have discovered oxybenzone in particular  in human breast milk, urine, amniotic fluid and blood. Further research is expected to arise after this study to show the true effects of these findings. 

 

So how do you choose safe sunscreen? 

 

If you are concerned about the safety of chemical sunscreens, use a mineral based one which relies on zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect sunlight from the skin instead of absorbing it like chemical sunscreens.

 

Your sunscreen should also have the following characteristics: 

 

Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays)

SPF 30 or higher

Water resistance

 

Are high SPFs better?

 

Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun’s UVB rays. However, no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s UVB rays.

 

Many incorrectly believe that higher number SPFs last longer. A high-number SPF does not allow you to go longer in between applications. You should reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours while outdoors according to the directions on the bottle.

 

Do I need sunscreen if I am sitting in the shade?

 

Yes, even if you are sitting under a beach umbrella for example, you cannot be completely protected. You don’t know exactly how much protection the umbrella gives from the sun’s rays. 

 

Do I need sunscreen if the sun isn’t out?

 

Yes, you should apply it every day that you go outside. The sun emits harmful UV rays year-round; it doesn’t matter what season it is. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin.

 

Furthermore, sand, water and snow increase the need for protection from the sun because they reflect the sun’s rays.

 

Are spray sunscreens effective? 

 

The challenge with spray sunscreens is that it is difficult to know if you are effectively covering your skin. If using, spray and ample amount, and rub it in to ensure even coverage.

 

How much sunscreen should I apply?

 

Most people do not use the recommended amount. As a rule of thumb, adults need about 1 ounce to fully cover their body, enough to fill a shot glass.

 

How should I store sunscreen?

 

Keep your sunscreen in good condition by avoiding exposing it to excessive heat or direct sun. Many keep sunscreen in their car. Although this may compromise the effectiveness, it is better to have sunscreen in your car than to find yourself without!  Keep sunscreen containers in the shade or wrap them in a towel. Discard it when you notice changes in color or consistency. Sunscreen that is kept out of the heat and sun should last three years before expiring.

 

 

Have questions about protecting yourself from the sun? Our CCMH Providers would love to visit with you. Find your new Physician today by visiting CCMHealth.com/Providers.

 

Sources 

 

1 CBS. Sunscreen facts and fictions: What you need to know about protecting your skin. 7 May 2019.

 

2 Murali K. Matta, PhD1; Robbert Zusterzeel, MD, PhD, MPH1; Nageswara R. Pilli, PhD1; et al. American Medical Association. Effects of Sunscreen Application Under Maximal Use Conditions on Plasma Concentration of Sunscreen Active Ingredients. 6 May 2019.

 

Disclaimer 

 

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

 

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

 

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

couple holding hands

Prediabetes and Infertility in Men

A couple typically receives their infertility diagnosis after not conceiving for one year of unprotected sex. When it comes to infertility, women often feel societal pressure to conceive. However, 40-50% of infertility is due to male factors. 1 New research released in 2018 may also give new insight into why some men are unable to impregnate their partners. This condition, prediabetes, is often undetected and underdiagnosed.

 

What is prediabetes?

 

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal. However, these levels are not as high as when type 1 or type 2 diabetes is present. These levels indicate that the body isn’t using its own supply of insulin efficiently.  

 

What does the research show?

 

In the study, researchers checked the glucose levels of 744 men who had not impregnated their partners after 12 months. 15.4% of the participants had fasting and after-meal blood glucose levels in the prediabetes category. 2 This is between 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) and 125 mg/dl at fasting. At two hours after drinking 75 grams of glucose, it is between 140 and 199 mg/dl. It can also be measured by having an average blood glucose reading, known as a hemoglobin A1C reading, of at least 5.7%.

 

What is the link between prediabetes and infertility?

 

Without treatment or positive lifestyle changes, prediabetes can become type 2 diabetes. Diabetes affects overall sperm quality. Sperm motility also decreases. Sperm DNA integration is affected and semen volume decreases as well.

 

What factors increase the risk of prediabetes?

 

Always take prediabetes seriously. It’s a warning sign that you may develop type 2 diabetes. Those who meet any of the following criteria are more likely to have prediabetes according to the Center for Disease Control:

 

Having a close family member with type 2 diabetes

Age in the mid-forties or older

Exercising less than three times a week

Weighing over the recommendation for your height

Being of certain ethnicities: Hispanic/Latino, African-American, Pacific Islander, Native American, and some Asian American ethnicities

 

How can men combat prediabetes?

 

According to the American Diabetes Association, weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes can help lower blood glucose levels into the nondiabetic range. This range is less than 100 mg/dl at fasting and not higher than 126 mg/dl two hours after eating.

 

Some recommended lifestyle changes include:

 

Losing 5 to 7% of your current body weight

Cooking foods with less fat by roasting, broiling, grilling, steaming or baking rather than frying

Exercising for at least 30 minutes at least five days a week

 

 

Are you diabetic? Learn about diabetic care at CCMH by visiting CcmhHealth.com/Diabetes-Services.

 

Sources

 

1 Naina Kumar and Amit Kant Singh. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Trends of male factor infertility, an important cause of infertility: A review of literature. 2015 October.

 

2 Luca Boeri, Paolo Capogrosso,  Eugenio Ventimiglia, et al.  BJUI International. Undiagnosed prediabetes is highly prevalent in primary infertile men – results from a cross‐sectional study. 16 October 2018.

 

Disclaimer

 

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

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

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

Older man and woman looking out window and smiling

Conversations Older Men Should Have with Their Doctor

No matter your age, there is no time like the present to make your health a priority! June is Men’s Health Month. So men, why not make it your goal to take care of any health needs or concerns you have this month?

 

For older men, health needs are unique. We know that navigating your health in your older years can be challenging. Here are six conversations we recommend you discuss with your doctor to help you live out your best life in your older years.

 

How can you prevent illnesses?

 

Although there is no way to prevent most serious illnesses completely, there are many simple things you can do to protect yourself.

 

Ask your doctor if you need to:

 

Use sunscreen to protect against skin cancer.

 

Get any immunizations such as the flu shot, tetanus and whooping cough vaccines. Depending on your age, your doctor may also recommend the shingles and pneumonia vaccinations.

 

Take aspirin to lower your risk for heart attack or stroke.

 

Undergo a prostate exam to test for prostate cancer.

 

Are you at risk for depression?

 

Depression is common in older years and is nothing to be ashamed about. You may wish to speak to your doctor if you feel sad, hopeless, or down for a couple of weeks or longer. If you find you aren’t enjoying things you used to, this is another sign you need help also. Your doctor can set up a depression screening for you and, if needed, assist you in getting additional help. Your doctor might also suggest activities for you to avoid isolation and keep your mind active.

 

Do you exercise enough?

 

Exercise is great for even an aging body in numerous ways. It strengthens your muscles and reduces the risk for broken bones. Therefore, discuss with your doctor about a comprehensive exercise program that includes strength training, aerobic exercise, and exercises for balance and flexibility. The right exercise improves your heart strength and keeps your weight down also. This wards off diabetes and other obesity-related health issues.

 

What should you eat?

 

Men have different nutritional needs at different stages of life. For many, eating the right nutrients to lower the risk of heart disease is important. You now may need more calcium, fiber, potassium and Vitamin D. You may also need less sodium and saturated fat. Your doctor will work with you to discover what is best at your age and for your lifestyle.

 

Which vitamins are right for you?

 

Multivitamins and other supplements are important to help you get the nutrients you need. However, some interact with medications your doctor may prescribe. Take a complete list of all of the vitamins and supplements you take to your doctor for a quick review.

 

Should you see a Specialist?

 

A few specialist checkups are often necessary in your older years. You may need to visit an ophthalmologist to get a vision screening, and an otolaryngologist to have your hearing checked. You might want to get your skin evaluated, head to toe, by a dermatologist to look for possible signs of skin cancer if you have been outdoors a lot over the years as well.

 

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

 

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 sitting on beach with child

Prostate Cancer Prevention

June is Men’s Health Month! The second leading cause of cancer death in American men behind lung cancer is prostate cancer, and about 1 man in 41 will die from this disease. 1 Although some men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than others, there are certain lifestyle choices that may lower the risk.

 

About prostate cancer

 

All men have a prostate. This small, muscular gland produces some of the ingredients of semen. It is situated  just in front of the rectum and below the bladder.

 

Prostate Cancer is the second most common type of cancer affecting men after skin cancer. About one man in nine will receive this diagnosis  during his lifetime. 1

 

Older men and African-American men are most likely to develop prostate cancer. Around 60% of cases are men aged 65 or older; rarely does a diagnosis occur before age 40. The average age when diagnosis occurs is about age 66. 1

 

Who has an increased risk of prostate cancer?

 

Age is the most common risk of prostate cancer. However, African American men are at an increased risk. Those that have a family history of prostate cancer are also more likely to develop the disease.

 

How can prostate cancer be prevented?

 

Diet

 

One way men can lower their prostate cancer risk is through a healthy, low fat diet. Diets high in saturated fats such as those found in meat and dairy are associated with a higher risk for prostate cancer.

 

Other good dietary choices for prevention include eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day.

 

Although no one diet is typically recommended for prostate cancer prevention, the Mediterranean Diet is a good choice and has proven to lower a man’s risk of prostate cancer development. 2

 

Exercise

 

Men who are obese (a body mass index of 30 or higher) may have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

 

Men who exercise regularly may have reduced prostate cancer risk. Always discuss a new exercise program with your primary care physician. In general, a well-rounded exercise program including a half-hour of physical activity most or all days of the week delivers many health benefits.

 

If you are a man who struggles to fit exercise into your day-to-day routine, you needn’t perform this activity all at once. You can break daily exercise into 10-minute segments.

 

 

For those with an increased risk of prostate cancer, medications may also be necessary for risk reduction. You can discuss this possibility with your doctor. If you think you have a high risk of prostate cancer, a CCMH Provider would be happy to review these concerns with you. To learn about cancer care available on the CCMH campus at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center, visit Ccmchealth.com/Cancer-Care

 

Sources 

1 The American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer. 2018.

2 Relevant, Julie. Fox News. 10 foods that can help prevent prostate cancer. 12 September 2016.

 

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.

mushrooms on table

Mushrooms May Affect Cognitive Health

Love them or hate them, mushrooms are a wonderful addition to your diet. Recent research has shown that mushrooms may have even more health benefits than we previously realized!

 

Why are mushrooms good for you?

 

Many edible varieties of mushrooms are found in the vegetable section of your local grocery store. However, mushrooms are not vegetables. Mushrooms are actually fungi. Edible varieties contain a high amount of antioxidants, protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and also minerals.

According to recent research, eating mushrooms may also reduce the risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

 

What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

 

MCI is a type of memory impairment which is often a precursor of Alzheimer’s disease. It is the stage between the normal cognitive decline of aging and the more serious decline of dementia. MCI involves problems with language, thinking, memory and judgment that are beyond normal changes as a person ages.

Patients with mild cognitive impairment may be aware that their memory or mental functioning is “off”. Others may also notice a change. MCI is not severe enough to interfere with normal day-to-day functioning, however.

Mild cognitive impairment may increase someone’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other neurological conditions later in life.

 

What is the relationship between mushrooms and MCI?

 

Researchers in Singapore gathered data on 663 Chinese men and women. All of the participants in the study were over the age of 60. Researchers recorded diet information, including data about the participant’s mushroom consumption. The investigators focused on the consumption of some of the most common mushrooms that people in Singapore eat. These varieties include:

 

oyster mushrooms
golden mushrooms
shiitake mushrooms
dried mushrooms
canned button mushrooms
white button mushrooms

 

They also interviewed each participant and conducted various cognitive tests.

This controlled study accounted for various factors including socioeconomic factors, health and other behaviors. Researchers also considered each participant’s consumption of vegetables, meat, and green fruits and nuts. The participants who ate one to two 5- ounce portions had a 43 percent reduced risk for MCI in comparison to those who had one portion or less. Participants that consumed more than two portions, however, had a 52 percent reduced risk. 1

 

Why do mushrooms help ward off Alzheimer’s?

 

It is unclear why this relationship exists between mushrooms and a reduced risk of MCI. Mushrooms do contain various antioxidants that may inhibit the buildup in the brain of amyloid beta and tau. These are proteins that are present during Alzheimer’s disease.

 

What are the signs of Alzheimer’s?

 

Some of the top signs of Alzheimer’s include:

difficulty remembering what just happened
struggling to manage bills or finances
misplacing things
vision problems
inability to follow conversations
difficulty completing day-to-day tasks
losing track of dates and times
poor decision making
inability to plan or problem solve
withdrawing from work or social activities
getting easily lost in their normal environment
mood/ personality changes
uncommon feelings of depression, suspicion, anxiety or confusion

 

If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, reach out to a CCMH Provider for an appointment. You can find a list of our providers at Ccmhhealth.com/Directory.

 

Resources

1 L Feng, Irwin K-M Cheah, Maisie MX Ng, J Li, SM Chan, SL Lim, R Mahendran, E-H Kua, B Halliwell. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. NUS Study: Eating Mushrooms May Reduce the Risk of Cognitive Decline. 13 March 2019.

 

Disclaimer

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

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

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

woman smoking cigarette while looking at phone

How Smoking Affects the Lungs

Each organ in your body plays an important role in keeping your body healthy. If you have healthy lungs, you probably don’t think much about them. Damage to your lungs, however; can quickly cause a noticeable difference in your ability to breathe easily.

 

The primary role of the lungs is delivering oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. You breathe in air and breathe out carbon dioxide as waste exhaling.  No tobacco product is safe. However, combustible products—those that you burn to smoke—are exceptionally harmful to the lungs.

 

How does smoking hurt your lungs?

 

When you smoke, the tissue of the lungs receive damage, impeding them from functioning properly. Smoking also increases your risk of serious health issues. Some examples include: lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.

 

Upon your very first puff, immediate damage to the lungs begins. Every puff of cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals.1 When you inhale, the smoke hits your lungs almost instantly. The blood then carries these toxic chemicals throughout the body. Tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that then displaces the oxygen in your blood. This deprives all your organs of needed oxygen.

 

What chemicals are found in cigarettes?

 

Cigarettes also include acrolein. This chemical causes lung damage and a sore throat. Cigarettes may also contain bronchodilators. These chemicals are meant to open up the airways of the lungs. They also can increase the amount of dangerous chemicals absorbed by the lungs.

 

What are the consequences of smoking?

 

Cigarette smoke has negative consequences for individuals of all ages. Babies born to mothers that smoked during pregnancy may have abnormal lung development. Teens who smoke may develop weaker lungs which never operate at full capacity or develop to their full, adult size.

 

Additionally, smoking can destroy the cilia. These tiny hairs in the airway keep dirt and mucus out of your lungs. This may then lead to the development of “smoker’s cough,” a chronic cough common for long-term smokers.

 

Smokers are also at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD). 80% of cases of COPD are due to smoking. 2  People with COPD have difficulty breathing and eventually die because of the lack of oxygen.

 

COPD has no cure. Moreover, nearly all lung cancer—the top cause of cancer death— is due to smoking. Smokers are 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers. 3  Lung cancer may also lead to other respiratory cancers.

 

Are e-cigarettes also harmful?

 

Because e-cigarettes are still relatively new tobacco products, many do not realize the harm they cause. We discussed this in a recent article “Juuling Much More Dangerous than Teens Realize”.

 

Some e-cigarette aerosols contain some of the same chemicals as cigarettes. This includes the lung irritant acrolein, and formaldehyde. Some chemicals that create flavor could be harmful when inhaled too.  Furthermore, fruit flavored e-cigarettes often large amounts of acrylonitrile, a known respiratory irritant.

 

Can I reverse the damage of smoking to my lungs?

 

When you stop smoking, you have overall better health. Lung cancer risk drops drastically in the years after quitting. Furthermore, only 12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. This, of course, allows more oxygen to circulate to your organs.

 

If you’re struggling to stop smoking, reach out to a CCMH Provider by visiting CCMHHealth.com/Directory. We would love to help!

 

Sources

 

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You (Consumer Booklet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2010.

 

2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General (Fact Sheet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2014.

 

3 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents in Tobacco Products and Tobacco Smoke.

 

Disclaimer

 

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

 

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

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

couple sitting outside together laughing

Prioritize Your Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Few would argue that your personal, mental health and wellbeing are not a priority. However, we all know that life gets busy. Between work or school deadlines, caregiving responsibilities and day- to-day activities, our wellbeing often gets “put on a shelf.”

 

Oftentimes, we do not consider how low our mental health has fallen in our priorities until it manifests itself in signs of physical illness. In fact, The World Health Organization reports that by 2030, stress-related illness will surpass communicable disease. 1

 

We cannot avoid many of the stressors of life. However, there are various ways to prioritize your mental health that research proves helpful.

 

Practice self-care

 

Proper sleep, exercise and nutrition are a must to maximize your mental health. These activities should be things we engage in every day. Therefore, do not get into the bad habit of only fitting them in when you have time.

 

Consider mindful living

 

Combat stress through activities such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation. These mindful activities are proven ways to elevate brain chemistry.  They also  lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone in our bodies.

 

Avoid the lure of consumerism

 

The pressure to wear the latest fashions, participate in retail therapy, or seek status, puts mental and economic pressure on us. Focusing on the important things in life such as relationships, activities we love, faith, etc., brings more happiness and less stress to our lives.

 

Consider therapy

 

Sometimes we have mixed feelings about seeing a therapist. Just keep in mind that many times we seek services to prevent problems. Just as you take your car to a mechanic for preventative service, seeking the care of a trusted, licensed therapist, can greatly prevent problems that occur from day-to-day mental stress.

 

Not sure how to find a therapist that will meet your unique needs? Ask your CCMH primary care physician or search the internet for referrals from reputable organizations like the American Psychological Association.

 

Take breaks everyday

 

What renews and refreshes your soul? A good book? Some music? A long walk? A hot bath? Commit to finding time for such activities every day! Even if it is just 15 minutes, this time will help you “reset”, refocus and clear your mind of negative thoughts.

 

Cultivate friendships

 

If you’re struggling with mental health or even just feeling a little “down,” loneliness can quickly erode mental health. Our society is more connected yet disconnected than ever before.

 

Surround yourself with positive, caring individuals and cultivate these friendships. There is nothing like sharing some laughs and a cup of coffee with a friend to push away negative, destructive thoughts that creep into our heads in times of loneliness.

 

Learn to say “no”

 

Saying “yes” to everything is saying “no” to your mental health. It seems as if we are addicted to being busy in our society. Sometimes we also feel like our success is driven by the number of activities we participate in.

 

Practice saying “no”. Say it in the mirror and practice it with a friend if you must. Learn to always consider your list of priorities. Practice delegating, renegotiating and making changes in your best interest when the demands of life become too much.

 

Ditch perfectionism

 

Being goal driven can be good for our careers yet hard on our minds. Expecting perfection and keeping a jam-packed schedule in pursuit of our goals can also be damaging in the long run. You do not have to accomplish everything right now. Make realistic goals, celebrate small achievements and laugh and learn from your mistakes.

 

Find humor in life

 

Speaking of laughing, as the old Proverb says, laughter often is the best “medicine.”  Humor contributes towards resilience. When we take life too seriously, we become hypercritical, easily frustrated and often just want to give up. Say “no” to tension and strife inside your mind, say “yes” to enjoying and laughing through the journey.

 

Your mental health is most important. It’s more important than any metrics of success- your job, your status, likes on social media, and your grades. Without good mental health, everything else suffers.

 

Struggling with the stress of daily life? Reach out to a CCMH Provider if you need help. Find a list of them at ccmhhealth.com/directory.

 

Sources

 

1 World Health Organization. DEPRESSION: A Global Crisis. 10 Oct. 2102. 

 

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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