Woman with celiac disease hunches in discomfort grasping stomach

5 Natural Gluten-Free Foods for Celiac Disease

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

What is Gluten?

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

Steel Cut Oats

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

Brown Rice

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

Quinoa

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

Fruits and Vegetables

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

Potatoes

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

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

 

Disclaimer:

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

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

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

 

Sources:

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

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

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

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

Blue graphic with a white DNA strand behind human head with red frontal lobe of brain indicating dementia

Dementia or Alzheimer’s? What’s the difference?

We’ve all heard of the terms Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Unfortunately, they are all too prevalent words in the human vocabulary as we begin to talk about aging and signs of cognitive deterioration, but the distinction between the two can sometimes be a difficult subject to understand. They are most common in aging Individuals 65 or older. People with Dementia experience a decrease in cognitive functions such as reasoning, memory and critical thinking.
Alzheimers is a degenerative brain disease in which cells in the brain break down and can impact memory and behavior. While these sound similar, there is a difference between Dementia and Alzehimer’s.

What is Dementia?

People with Dementia experience a progressive decrease in cognitive functions such as reasoning, memory and critical thinking. Dementia describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, reasoning or other thinking skills. Many different types of dementia exist and many conditions cause it, meaning that Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Dementia is a result of damage to brain cells that affects peoples’ ability to communicate, which can affect thinking, behavior and feelings.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that is caused by complex brain changes following cell damage.” In addition, Alzheimer’s is actually a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease experience a great deal of difficulty due to confusion and inability to complete thoughts. Alzheimer’s impacts the ability to draw memories together in a complete sequence.

Early onset Alzheimer’s and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Alzehimer’s is most commonly seen in adults aged 65 years or older, however, it can also impact younger individuals. These individuals may experience Mild Cognitive Impairment early on in life that leads to a full diagnosis of Alzheimer’s later in life. Because it is so common for older men and women to be diagnosed with Alzehimer’s, a younger person with early onset is more likely to be misdiagnosed, therefore leading to a mistreatment and lack of support for the condition. Because of this. it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment and monitor its
progression.

If you are concerned about you or a loved one experiencing any signs of cognitive impairment at any age, visit your trusted CCMH Provider. For more  information about CCMH Silver Lining Geriatric Psychiatric Care, call us today.

Disclaimer:

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

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

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

Sources:
Identify Alzheimer’s Disease Earlier: https://www.identifyalz.com/
Alzheimer’s Association: https://www.alz.org/alzheimer_s_dementia
Alzheimer’s Association: https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers
The Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-
depth/alzheimers/art-20048356

psoriasis

Do You Have Psoriasis?

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

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

 

Risk factors

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

Smoking

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

Family history

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

Stress

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

 

What causes psoriasis? 

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

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

 

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

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

Stiff and swollen joints

Small scaling spots (more common in children)

Cracked, dry skin that may bleed or itch

Soreness, burning, and itching

Nails that are pitted, thickened, or ridged

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

 

Disclaimer

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

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

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

 

smiling girl outside

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

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

 

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

 

 

What is the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke?

 

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

 

Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke:

 

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

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

 

How to Treat Heat Stroke:

 

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

 

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

 

Who is Most At Risk of Heat Stroke?

 

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

 

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

 

How to Prevent Heat Stroke:

 

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

 

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

 

 

Disclaimer

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

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

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

woman in sun

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

MYTH: Higher SPF means less Vitamin D absorption.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

MYTH: Sunscreen won’t protect you from melanoma.

 

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

 

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

 

MYTH: All SPF is the same

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Disclaimer

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

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

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

summer sunglasses

Summer Habits to Establish and Continue All Year

We have had some incredible weather so far this spring! The official first day of summer will be here before you know it! As you are participating in all the outdoor activities of summer, there are many things to remember to help keep you healthier and enjoying during these warmer months. 

 

Here are our 7 summer health tips to implement this summer and the rest of the year as well. Some of us are better at remembering to do these tasks during the summer, but truly these are great tips to remember year-round!

 

Protect your skin

 

The sun’s rays are strongest during the summer months. Your skin is your largest organ and the first line of defense against the elements, so treat it well! However, summer is not the only time to remember sunscreen!  Your skin is still exposed every day. You probably don’t need to apply sunscreen as frequently as a summer day at the beach, but it is still a good idea to remember a little sunscreen daily, no matter the season or weather. 

 

Stay hydrated 

 

 With heat exhaustion and heatstroke serious summer threats, we tend to be more mindful of thirst in the summer. It’s important to stay hydrated, not just when you feel parched in the heat. Once summer passes, you may not feel as parched. Staying hydrated is still crucial to keeping your body at its best, however.

If you struggle with drinking enough water, buy a big jug you can fill up and keep near you all day. You need to drink approximately half of your weight in ounces of water every day.

 

Protect your eyes

 

Sunglasses are more than shade for your eyes and a fashion statement. Without them, you’re at the mercy of harmful UV rays and “blue light.”  This exposure puts you at risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, and eyelid cancer. Furthermore, sunglasses aid with more comfortable and improved vision from not having to squint. Sunglasses just might keep more than just your eyes safe as well. Good vision is especially important when you’re participating in outdoor sports. 

 

Get moving more 

 

Sunny summer days and evenings beckon us outdoors to soak up the sun, but don’t let dreary days in the fall, winter, or spring keep you from getting some exercise. If you have an office job on top of that, it can seem difficult to get moving. Get a fitness tracker to help you make sure you’re getting your steps in around the office or consider getting a standing desk to get you on your feet to keep exercise in focus year-round. 

 

 

Don’t leave swimming to the kids 

 

Swimming is excellent exercise for the entire family. As a low-impact exercise, anyone can do it. Just thirty minutes of light to moderate lap swimming may burn over 230 calories! Unless you are fortunate enough to live in a very temperate climate though, swimming is not enjoyable for much of the year. However, you may have a good indoor swimming pool available. Many gyms do, such as our local Family YMCA

 

Protect yourself from mosquitoes 

 

West Nile and Zika viruses are mosquito bite spread conditions and are no joke! Insect repellants can help. Also, cover exposed skin whenever possible and avoid going outside during dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are active. Remember not to scratch when you do get a bite! It will only make the itch worse! 

 

Eat seasonal foods

 

When you think of eating fresh, seasonal veggies and fruits, you probably think of summertime. In summer months, we tend to eat more fruits and veggies because they’re fresh. This can help us stay away from unhealthy snacks. Strawberries and tomatoes may not always be in season, but don’t forget fall superfoods around the corner. Brussels sprouts, pumpkins, and apples can be just as delicious and are also excellently healthy! 

 

If you are in need of a checkup or to find a new provider, summer is a great time to plan to do so when winter cold germs and the flu are lingering. Check out our list of providers at 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.

men in kitchen

Stroke: a Great Concern for Men’s Health

According to the CDC, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for men. It kills almost the same number of men each year as Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer combined. It is also a leading cause of long-term disability, being more common in men under age 44 than in younger women. Since June is Men’s Health Month, what better time to discuss stroke prevention for men than now!  

 

Although these facts seem concerning, did you know about 4 in 5 strokes are preventable? This prevention starts by knowing your risk for stroke. You can take a self assessment on the National Institute of Health website.

 

What is a stroke?

 

A stroke is a brain attack. It occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off. Brain cells that are starved of oxygen die. Stroke is a medical emergency. It’s important to seek care for someone experiencing the signs of stroke right away. Seconds truly do count when a stroke occurs, and the damage to the brain is decreased by quick intervention. 

 

What are the signs of a stroke?

 

Signs of stroke include a drooping face, arm weakness, and slurred speech. Other sudden changes that may indicate stroke include sudden numbness, confusion, difficulty walking, and difficulty seeing. 

 

What risk factors should men know about?

 

Hypertension (high blood pressure)  is a main risk factor for stroke, with about 1 in 3 men having stage 2 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is having a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg). More than half of men with stage 2 hypertension do not have it under control.

 

Other risk factors that are common health problems for men include diabetes, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and obesity.

 

How can stroke be prevented?

 

Healthy lifestyles and keeping health conditions under control are the best methods for preventing stroke. Controlled blood pressure, cholesterol and giving up smoking are all steps in the right direction. Discuss other health conditions or family history with your doctor such as diabetes or heart disease. 

Incorporate healthy foods into your diet such as foods low in salt, or sodium, fruits, vegetables, and foods that are rich in fiber and whole grains. 

 

Learn more about Comanche County Memorial Hospital’s excellence in stroke care at ccmhhealth.com/stroke-care.

 

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.

hiking

Take a Hike for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. There’s no better time to get moving than now! Many of us do not get 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise that the Department of Health and Human Services recommends we participate in weekly. If sports are not for you, this is not an excuse to be inactive. You may not be competitive or like the organization of team sports; there are still many great activities to partake in that benefit your health.

One activity that is easy to do in our area is hiking. Hiking is a great stress-relieving activity. You can hike alone or with family and friends. You can obtain maps to hiking trails in our beloved Wichita Mountains from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Visitors’ Center.

 

What are the dangers of inactivity?

Inactivity may lead to a variety of health issues. Some of these problems include obesity, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease,  coronary heart disease,  diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

 

What are the benefits of hiking?

Besides being a stress-relieving activity, hiking has many other amazing health benefits such as

enhanced mental wellbeing
improved mood
lower blood pressure
reduced risk for heart disease
a healthier weight
lower cholesterol levels
improved bone density
lower body fat
increased flexibility and coordination
improved osteoarthritis outcomes
better quality of life
enhanced relationships with friends and family

Furthermore, during this time of social distancing due to COVID-19, hiking is a great activity that allows you to get some exercise and responsibly distance from others while enjoying the outdoors.

 

How to get started hiking

Before you hit the trail, make sure you study the trail and choose one that will meet your ability level. Also, consider the following questions:

How much time you have?

What is the elevation gain of the hike? For reference, a gain of 1,000 feet in one mile is considered steep.

What type of weather is expected during your trip?

Do you need to make transportation arrangements if your hike ends in a different place than it began?

 

What to take hiking

Here some items you should consider to keep your hike safe and enjoyable:

Think about wearing layers if the weather is changing throughout the hike. You may need warmer or cooler clothing as well as rain gear.

Consider taking a First Aid kit in case of small injuries such as scrapes or insect bites.

Make sure you have proper footwear. This article has some great tips on choosing a good hiking boot type and fit.

Pack healthy, energy-boosting snacks and plenty of water.

Last, but not least, a good hiking backpack is a great help in storing all your needed gear and leaving your hands free to aid in safely moving you along.

 

John Burroughs, American naturalist said, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put together.” We hope you find the same benefits and improved health from hiking in the great outdoors around this beautiful land we call home!

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

women with covid-19

Do I Need to be Tested for COVID-19?

As new information emerges during the evolving COVID-19 Pandemic, it seems you can find an article with just about any possible symptom pointing to COVID-19. You may begin to wonder, “Do I have COVID-19?” Information you gather from reliable, medically-based sources may be useful. However, research should never replace the assessment of a physician. These are unusual circumstances though. During the time of social distancing when seeking medical treatment may put you more at risk for coming in contact with this novel coronavirus, there are a few questions you can use to self-assess.

 

 

Here are the questions to consider:

 

Do you have any of the following emergency symptoms?

If you have emergency COVID-19 signs and symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure, confusion, trouble breathing, or blue lips or face, seek medical care immediately! A trip to the ER or call to 911 sounds necessary. Let the emergency operator know your symptoms and wear a face covering over your mouth and nose if being transported by ambulance. The phone number for our emergency department is (580) 355-8620.

 

Do you have any of the following symptoms?

New trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing may all be symptoms that point to COVID-19. Other symptoms include muscle aches, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of smell, change in taste, a cough, and a fever. Generally, patients suffering from COVID-19 have a fever of 100.5 or greater.

 

Consider your contact with others

Have you been within 6 feet of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19? Did you see him or her for at least 5 minutes, or have direct contact with their saliva or mucus at any point in the past 14 days? Does the person with COVID-19 live with you?

According to the CDC, although we are still learning about how the virus transmits, it is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. These droplets reach others when the infected person coughs or sneezes. When these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or the person inhales them into their lungs, they may also become infected.

The incubation period is the time someone comes in contact with the virus until symptoms are present. For COVID-19, the incubation period is typically 2-11 days. To be safe, health professionals are asking patients to consider who he or she has come in contact with within a two week period.

 

If you feel it is possible you may have COVID-19, self isolate if you are not in need of immediate care, and reach out to your medical provider by phone. He or she will advise you how it is best to act.

 

 

Do you have other questions about COVID-19? Check out or resources at ccmhhealth.com/covid-19-resources.

 

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.

 

COVID-19 travel

Traveling During A Pandemic

Traveling during a pandemic is an unnerving thought. There may be instances that make it unavoidable for you such as going to care for a sick loved one or traveling for an essential work trip. What if you have to enter an area where the virus is spreading rampantly? What if you are in the middle of the spread and don’t even know it? Many concerns probably enter your mind at this time. Having a plan to make your travel as safe as possible will help you feel more in control, decrease any anxiety, and accomplish whatever you need to do.

 

Before travel 

Prepare your immune system. Travel is often stressful under good circumstances, making illnesses possible. Take as good of care of yourself as possible in days before leaving. Take your vitamins, eat well, and get adequate sleep.

Traveling internationally? Ensure you are up-to-date on all vaccines. Research any common health concerns for travel within your destination and have over the counter medications in case these illnesses arise. Know the country’s travel recommendations.

Take hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and sanitizing spray. Pack as many changes of clothes and essentials in a carryon bag as possible if you are traveling by plane including snacks. This helps limit your need to wander within the airport. In fact, if you can avoid checking a bag, this is even better as it helps limit your time within the airport and the germs you come into contact with.

Also, pack items you would be handed in a drive-thru if you plan on purchasing a meal. Having your own utensils, napkins, kleenex, even toilet paper limits your contact with items others have touched.

Have a plan for what you will do if you get sick. Do you have telemedicine available through health insurance? Do you know which clinics are offering care in your destination area? What is the COVID-19 screening protocol for the area?

Research the latest expectations within your destination city as far as shelter in place orders or expectations while being in public.

 

Driving tips

Take as many items as you can with you to limit your need for stops:

Pack meals, snacks, and bottled water.

Frequently clean often touched areas such as your steering wheel, stereo buttons, and door handles.

 

Flying tips

If you can print your boarding pass and check-in at home, do!

Arrive on time, but try not to spend more time in the airport than necessary.

Avoid sitting in crowded areas at the airport. As departure time draws near, consider moving to a nearby, but less busy gate as people tend to crowd near the gate.

Expect your travel to be interrupted. Have contingency plans in case flights are canceled.

Some good news is that because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily. However, still, remember to practice good hygiene and avoid sitting near those who are coughing or appear sick.

 

When you reach your destination 

Shower as soon as possible. Place the clothes you wore during travel into a sealed plastic bag.

If you’re staying in a hotel, wipe down items that are often skipped by cleaning crews such as door handles, light switches, and TV remotes.

You may be in a less affected area with looser restrictions than your home. However, be considerate. You may be unknowingly bringing the virus to that community!

 

After returning home 

Consider quarantining yourself for 14 days if possible. If you know for sure you have come into contact with those who have COVID-19, DO quarantine yourself for sure!

Take your temperature a couple times a day.

If you need to seek medical care, let the medical provider know you have traveled before arriving at the facility.

 

If you have other questions related to COVID-19, check out our COVID-19 resources page.

 

Source 

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease (NCIRD)

Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

 

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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