Tag Archive: Jennifer Bell


Valley Healthcare

February is National Senior Independence Month.  In April 1963, President John F. Kennedy met with the National Council of Senior Citizens to learn more about the needs and concerns of older Americans.   Following that meeting, President Kennedy issued a presidential proclamation designating May as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging the nation to pay tribute in some way to older people across the country.  In 1980, President Jimmy Carter changed the name to Older Americans Month. [1]

Today, more and more American’s are living to see their 100 birthday than ever before.  Here are the top 6 ways to make sure you reach that centennial year of life.

Physical Activity and Nutrition

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Check with your local churches or synagogues, senior centers, and shopping malls for exercise and walking programs. Studies show that your eating habits may not be as good as they should be if you live and eat alone. It’s important for successful aging to eat foods rich in nutrients and avoid the empty calories in sweets and processes snack foods. [1] Make an appointment with a nutritionist to discuss what you may be missing in your diet and how to develop a healthy eating plan for life.

Overweight and Obesity

Being overweight, even by 10 pounds may increase your chances of dying from hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers. [1] Call a doctor at Valley Health Care today to get the support you need to maintain a healthy weight and feel great!

Tobacco Cessation

It’s time to quit. Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of illness and premature death in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that smokers who try to quit are more successful when they have the support of their physician.

Mental Health

Feeling down lately?  The most common late-in-life disease is depression and can lead to suicide.  Knowing the early onset signs of Alzheimer’s disease, will arm you with the information you need to notice changes in your habits.  Your physician can offer valuable information to ward off the onset of symptoms.

Injury and Violence

Do you live alone?  Among seniors, falls are the leading cause of injuries, hospital admissions for trauma, and deaths due to injury. One in every three seniors (age 65 and older) will fall each year. Strategies to reduce injury include exercises to improve balance and strength and medication review. [1]

Immunizations

Are you up-to-date with you Influenza and pneumonia vaccines?  Emphasis on Influenza vaccination for seniors has helped. Pneumonia remains one of the most serious infections, especially among women and the very old. [1] There are many places that provide immunizations for seniors free of charge.  Check with your local pharmacy or senior center to find out when free clinics are available.

Maintaining a good relationship with your health care provider will keep you on the right track to preventing many health issues as you age and will go a long way to becoming a happy, healthy centinal!

[1] seniorliving.about.com

[2] urmc.rochester.edu


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Valley Healthcare

February is Cancer Prevention Month.  According to the American Cancer Society, each year more than one million people in the United States develop some form of cancer.  All cancers start when abnormal cells grow out of control. [1]  Knowing your risk factors and regular screenings are your first best defense against developing this disease.

PREVENTION TIPS

 

  • Stay away from tobacco products from the start. Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths each year, including approximately 49,000 deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke. [3]
  • Always wear sun protection even on cloudy days. Melanoma is a serious skin cancer that can develop at any age.  Have your children’s skin checked for changes in moles or freckles at their doctor’s visits.  It’s never too early to start screenings.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and being active is very important.  Your outward appearance is a direct effect of what’s going on inside your body.  If you notice any changes in appearance or just feeling not quite yourself lately, call to schedule a check-up. Keeping an open line of communication with your health care providers is essential in your over-all well-being.
  • Physical activity always counts!  Any amount of time dedicated to purposeful movement could lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.  For substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. [4]  Try combinations of cardiovascular exercises and weight training. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — make sure you always talk to your doctor before starting any type of workout program.
  • Eating a variety of fresh foods is key to keeping any disease away.  Here are some top nutrient-rich foods to add to your shopping cart.

a)    Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale all get high marks for containing many anti-cancer nutrients.

b)    Grapes and red wine for the resveratrol.

c)    Legumes for the saponins and protease inhibitors.

d)    Berries, for the ellagic acid and anthocyanosides.

e)    Garlic, onions, scallions, leeks and chives, for many anti-cancer substances including allicin.

f)    Green tea, for its anti-cancer catechins, a potent antioxidant.

g)    Tomatoes, for the famous flavenoid lycopene. [2]

 

SCREENINGS

At which age should you start getting regular cancer screenings?  Starting at about age twenty, having periodic canter-related checkups should include health counseling.  Providing young people with the knowledge necessary to take control of their life is powerful.  Your doctor will help you decide which tests you should have during different stages of life taking into consideration family history and lifestyle factors.

The goal of cancer screening is to reduce the number of people who develop and die from cancer. [1]  Talk with your doctor about which screening tests are right for you and the benefits and risks of these tests.  Call Valley Health Care today and make an appointment to talk with a physician about your cancer screening!

[1] Cancer.net [2] care2.com [3] cancer.gov [4] mayoclinic.org


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

1. Know Your Risk – Those baby blues may not be the only trait you inherited from your mom’s side of the family.  Tracking your family health history plays a vital role in knowing your health risks.  Having this vital information could prevent you from being blindsided by heart problems in the future.

2. Get Moving! – Getting up and doing purposeful, moderate exercise at least 30 minutes a day will go a long way in keeping your heart working properly.

3. Check out your local gym or join a local fitness meet-up group and take a friend along.
Cholesterol Control – Do you understand the difference between LDL and HDL levels?

High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL)

Think of HDL as a vacuum cleaner sucking up as much extra cholesterol as it can.  This action is thought to explain why high levels of HDL are associated with low risk for heart disease.

Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL)

LDL particles take cholesterol to the parts of the body that need it at any given time. Unfortunately, if you have too much LDL in the bloodstream, it deposits the cholesterol into the arteries, which can cause blockages and lead to heart attacks. This is why LDL is also known as “bad cholesterol”. [1]

4. Perk Up Your Diet – Studies show that eating fish 3 times per week can significantly lower the risk of heart failure.  Also adding more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed food will most certainly give you a healthy edge against many diseases.

5. Just Quit – Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a person can do for their heart.  From the moment you stop smoking, the risk of heart attack starts to reduce. [2]Giving up this killer habit now, may give you years of your life back.  That seems like a fair trade to me.

6. Recognize Warning Signs – According to the American Heart Association, too many American’s ignore the initial warning signs of a possible heart attack.  Waiting for symptoms to “go away” is not something you should do.  Here are some key warning signs;

a. Chest Discomfort.  Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

b. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

c. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort

d. Nausea, lightheadedness or breaking out in a cold sweat[3]

Remember minutes matter!  Do not wait more than 5 minutes of onset of symptoms before calling 911 or your local EMS service.  Although you can regain your life after a heart attack, prevention is a far better choice.  By following the AHA’s recommended guidelines and making small, healthy changes now, your risk of heart failure can be greatly reduced and you will have given yourself the greatest gift of all, more quality time with the ones who love you most.

 

[1] www.health.harvard.edu

[2]Theguardian.com

[3] Laheyclinic.org


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Thyroid hormones directly affect how most of your organs function.  If your thyroid isn’t operating properly, then you can have problems in other parts of your body.

 

Where Is My Thyroid?

The thyroid is a small gland located at the front of the neck, just at the spot where a bow tie would rest.  It has left, and right halves that look like a butterfly’s wings called lobes. [1]

What Can Go Wrong?

Structural problems could be either an enlarged thyroid gland (goiters) or a small thyroid gland (atrophic).

Functional problems are usually detected with a thyroid function test.  Hypothyroid or Hyperthyroid conditions are then addressed. [2]

What Is a Nodule?

A nodule is a group of cells within the gland that causes a lump. Sometimes the lump is large enough to feel through the skin.

What is Graves’ Disease?

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of hormones. This causes the immune system to make an antibody called TSH.  In some patients, swelling of the muscles and other tissues around the eyes may develop, causing discomfort or double vision.  This condition is called Graves’ Ophthalmopathy (GO).  A small number of people with Graves’ disease also experience thickening and reddening of the skin on their shins or tops of feet. [3]  Paying attention to subtle changes in your body could prevent a rapid onset of symptoms.

Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) is a condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland.

Symptoms Include fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, overly dry skin and brittle hair, heavy menstrual periods, constipation, slowed thinking or low sex drive.

Treatment will often be a prescription hormone pill along with routine blood test to check TSH levels.

Hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid) is when the thyroid produces too much hormone causing your metabolism to speed up, therefore, making your body’s organs to work harder than needed.  That can take a toll on your organs including your brain and therefore greatly affect your mood.

Symptoms may Include jitteriness, rapid heartbeat, feeling hot, weight loss, fatigue, more frequent bowel movements and shorter/lighter menstrual periods.

Treatment often will be radioactive iodine. This is a radiation treatment that will destroy some of the thyroid.  Surgery to remove part of the thyroid is usually recommended as a last resort.

Neck Check

Nearly 15 million Americans with thyroid problems are undiagnosed. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends doing a regular self-exam to look for any changes in your thyroid gland. [3]   Click here for a step-by-step guide.

The More You Know
The thyroid collar is a small, led-lined collar that looks a bit like a turtleneck.  It protects you from unnecessary radiation caused by x-rays.
Cigarette smokers also are more likely to develop thyroid complications.
There has been some evidence between gluten-sensitivity and poor thyroid function. Restricting your intake of gluten could help.
Healthy amounts of coconut oil, seafood, and eggs have great thyroid-nourishing properties.

[1] www.kidshealth.org

[2] www.checkyourneck.com

[3] www.thyroidawareness.com


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

A diagnosis of glaucoma can be scary, and you may have more questions than answers.  The more you learn about the prevention, treatment and causes of glaucoma, the better able you will be to decide which direction to go first.  Although there is no cure for glaucoma, there are ways to manage your symptoms so you can lead a normal life.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a term used to identify a group of diseases that irreversibly damage the optic nerve causing vision loss and if left untreated, blindness. [1] Often referred to as the silent thief of sight, this disease affects over 4 million Americans currently many of whom are not aware they have it at all.

Common Types of Glaucoma

          1. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common type of glaucoma. Loss of side-vision or peripheral vision is usually one of the first recognizable signs that something is wrong.[1]

          2. Primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) is the most common childhood glaucoma affecting children from birth to age 3 and is a major cause of blindness in this young population. Signs to watch for in children include usually large eyes, excessive tearing, cloudy eyes and sensitivity to light. [1]

Who Is At Risk?

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma.  However, there are certain groups who are at higher risk.

  • Glaucoma is eight times more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians. The Hispanic and Latino populations are also considered high-risk.
  • Anyone over 40-years-old.
  • Diabetics, people with high blood pressure, heart disease and hypothyroidism or nearsightedness are all at risk of developing this disease.
  • A family history of glaucoma may increase your risk.
  • Eye injuries such as retinal detachment, eye tumors, eye inflammations and eye surgery.
  • People with a history of prolonged use of corticosteroids. [2]

Better Nutrition for Better Sight

 

Remember when your mom used to tell you to eat all your carrots because they’re good for your eyesight?  Well, she was right!  Carrots contain beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the liver and helps to protect vision, especially night vision.

Adding leafy, green foods to your diet such as kale, collard greens and spinach are excellent sources of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These two key nutrients are found in high quantities in the eye.

Think zinc!  Lean meats and seafood are great sources of zinc.

Dark-colored berries such as blueberries and blackberries contain bioflavonoids which work by strengthening the capillaries that carry nutrients to eye muscles.  NOTE: Berries contain natural sugars; therefore eat in moderation to avoid increasing your insulin levels.

Foods to Avoid

If you already have glaucoma, it’s good to avoid caffeine since too much may elevate eye pressure.  Stay away from trans-fats which are found in many pre-packaged foods as well as highly-refined foods, such as white rice and white bread.

You Are Not Alone!

Check out these resources for support.

          1. This Glaucoma Facebook Group lets members exchange stories, websites and resources to offer each other support.

          2. Call your local hospital to find out if there is a local support group near you.  If not, consider starting one.

Living mindfully by choosing nutrient-rich foods and finding activities you enjoy for exercise, goes a long way in the prevention of glaucoma and other diseases.

Schedule an appointment for your or your loved one with our Vision Center
today by calling (706) 322-9599 extension 1500.

 

[1] www.glaucoma.org

[2] www.mercola.com


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Valley Healthcare System, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit, Charitable Organization.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in accordance with the Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act, as amended, sections 224(g)-(n) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n), deems Valley Healthcare System, Inc. to be an employee of the PHS which provides liability protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

Animated Social Media Icons by Acurax Responsive Web Designing Company

Now offering COVID-19 testing and telehealth.

X myStickymenu
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Facebook