Category Archives: Health

Handwashing for a Healthy Life and Community

December 14th, 2020
When it comes to staying healthy, it helps to remember your mom’s advice to, “Wash your hands.” And the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backs up your mom. They maintain that, “Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.” Let’s explore why the CDC’s statement is true. First, consider these germ facts, courtesy of Tri-County Health Care in Minnesota: • There are between 2…

Bolstering Bladder Health

November 9th, 2020
November is Bladder Health Awareness Month. Your bladder is a hollow, muscular sac located in your lower abdomen. It temporarily stores the urine made by your kidneys until it is released into a tube called the urethra, which transports the urine out of your body. When empty, the bladder is about the size and shape of a pear. The muscles of the bladder enable it to stretch to hold urine. A healthy bladder can hold one and a half to…

Brushing Up on Dental Hygiene

October 26th, 2020
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 69 percent of Americans ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one of their permanent teeth. The CDC also notes that by age 50, Americans have typically lost an average of 12 teeth, including their wisdom teeth. Further, among adults ages 65 to 74, 26 percent have lost all their teeth. You don’t have to be one of those statistics. You can keep your teeth – and your…

Highlighting Health Literacy

October 5th, 2020
One of the biggest problems that health care providers have to deal with pertains to health literacy, which is a person’s ability to understand health care information and navigate the health care system. Currently, health literacy in the United States is woefully deficient. So what exactly is health literacy? There are many definitions out there, but the concept behind them is essentially the same. An example comes from the American Medical Association Foundation, which defines health literacy as: “the ability…

AFib: Hurried Heartbeats

September 21st, 2020
Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia. With AFib, your heart beats much faster than the normal 60 to 100 beats per minute. To create a normal heart rhythm, or sinus rhythm, your heart’s upper and lower chambers must work in concert. But with AFib, the activity of those chambers is out of sync. The heart pumps blood to the rest of the body, and the pumping is controlled by the heart’s own…

Addiction Recovery Month 2020

August 31st, 2020
National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month was created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. With SAMHSA, we observe Recovery Month every September to increase awareness of substance use disorders and celebrate individuals in recovery. Alcohol and drug addiction are also referred to as substance use disorders. Whether the substance is alcohol, opioids, stimulants or sedatives, substance abuse has a widespread impact on life…

Stomach Stillness

August 10th, 2020
How well do you know your digestive system? Your stomach is an important part of it. The stomach is a hollow organ made up mainly of muscle. It takes in food that is eaten, mixes it up and breaks it down into smaller pieces. What’s left is passed from the stomach to the small intestine, where digestion continues. But sometimes, the muscles in the stomach or the nerves that control those muscles don’t work correctly. That slows the movement of…

It’s a SMAall World

August 4th, 2020
August is typically one of the hottest months of the year, so today is an excellent time to stay indoors in the air conditioning and read a blog. The topic of this one is a genetic disorder called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) that primarily affects infants and children and, more rarely, adults. August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month.  SMA is a neuromuscular disorder. It is a progressive disease that destroys motor neurons, the nerve cells that control muscle movement.…

Safe Under the Sun

July 8th, 2020
A few precautions can keep your skin safe this summer. Summer is here and with it comes an increased desire to get out of the house and do something outdoors. That desire may be even stronger this year, what with so many isolating themselves at home in an effort to avoid contracting the coronavirus. Before venturing outside, though, it’s always smart to take into account the risks associated with exposure to the sun and its potentially harmful ultraviolet rays. That’s…

Sounding Off on Scleroderma

June 9th, 2020
Scleroderma is a chronic autoimmune disorder that replaces your body’s healthy connective tissue with thick, hard tissue that’s full of extra collagen, a protein that serves as a building block for connective tissue. Connective tissue is fibrous tissue that supports, protects or gives structure to other tissues and organs in the body. Scleroderma is an unpredictable disease. Sometimes, it’s mild and affects only your skin, which is made up of connective tissue. But other times, scleroderma involves multiple organs and…