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.

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.

morning person drinking cofee

Sleep Habits Affect Breast Cancer?

Sleep is important for the immune system to work and prevent or overcome illness, but how important? Important enough to prevent cancer?  A recent study published in The BMJ suggests this may be so. In fact, women who are morning people may have a lower chance of developing breast cancer. 

 

The study analyzed 180,216 women from the UK Biobank and 228,951 women from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. The researchers reported that morning persons seem to have a protection from breast cancer. Furthermore, sleeping more than 7-8 hours per night could even have an “adverse effect” on the risk of breast cancer. 1

 

The facts of the study

 

Although lifestyle factors which may have a positive effect on breast cancer prevention,  the effects of sleep are small, compared with other risk factors for breast cancer, such as alcohol consumption, smoking, and BMI. In fact, the research showed that women with a morning preference had a less than 1% lower risk of developing breast cancer when compared with women with an evening preference. 

 

A factor that has a less than 1% effect on women’s breast cancer risk seems so minimal. This means less than 10 women out of 1,000 may develop breast cancer due to their sleep preference. Yet when it comes to preventing a major killer of women, we can’t help but wonder the significance this factor may play. 

 

Also, the researchers noted that attempting to modify sleep habits does not seem to eventually lead to a decrease in the risk of breast cancer. For example, there is no association between sleep issues as insomnia and breast cancer risk. 

 

Following sleep schedule likely benefits metabolic health

 

Even though the link between sleep and breast cancer in this particular study were minimal, the results are probably not surprising to most health professionals. Prior research has demonstrated that those with a regular pattern of waking up and going to bed are less likely to be obese, have high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. A future exploration of the stresses on our biological clock is needed.

 

For women age forty and older, the first line of defense against breast cancer is annual mammograms. To learn more, visit ccmhhealth.com/womens-health/womens-imaging/mammogram/.

 

Source

 

1 Rebecca C Richmond,  Emma L Anderson, Hassan S Dashti, et al. The BMJ. Investigating causal relations between sleep traits and risk of breast cancer in women: mendelian randomisation study. 26 Jun. 2019. 

 

Disclaimer 

 

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

 

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

 

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

red meat hamburger

Swapping Red Meat for Chicken May Lower Cancer Risk 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Red meat and breast cancer?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Poultry and breast cancer risk?

 

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

 

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

 

The effects of cooking methods on cancer risk 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Limitations of the study

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sources 

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

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

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

 

Disclaimer 

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

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

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

mom and daughter on bench

Your Breast Cancer Risk as You Age

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What is the risk for each age group? 

 

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

 

0.44% at age 30

1.47% at age 40

2.38% at age 50

3.56% at age 60

3.82% at age 70 2

 

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

 

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

 

1.9% were  20–34 years old

8.4% were 35–44 years old

20.1% were 44–55 years old

25.6% were 55–64 years old

24.8% were 65–74 years old

13.7% were 75–84 years old

5.6% were 84 years and older 

 

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

 

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

 

Resources 

 

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

 

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

 

Disclaimer 

 

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

 

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

 

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

cooking with onion and garlic

Garlic and Onion Consumption May Prevent Breast Cancer

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

 

About the study 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

How the researchers gathered data

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Astounding findings 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Resource

 

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

 

Disclaimer 

 

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

 

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

 

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

sugary drinks

Sugary Drinks May Increase Risk of Cancer

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

 

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

 

Details of the study

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

An increased risk of breast cancer 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

An analysis of the study

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Source 

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

 

Disclaimer 

 

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

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

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

hand on vape

Vaping: Myths and Truths

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Myth #2: Nicotine causes cancer. 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Source

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

 

Disclaimer  

 

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

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

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

couple cooking

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

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

 

Details of the study 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Red meat, white meat, or non-meat? 

 

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

 

Conclusion of the study 

 

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

 

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

 

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