Tag Archive: Kellee Gilliam


Valley Healthcare

Healthy Aging – Healthy Lifestyle

The key to healthy aging is a healthy lifestyle. You can reduce the impact of aging by following a health regimen that includes exercise, proper nutrition, stress reduction, sufficient sleep, and avoids excessive alcohol and smoking. Whether you’re concerned about weight gain or chronic diseases, your daily routine can go a long way toward promoting healthy aging.

Some key things for healthy aging is:

1.      Nutrition.

A diet low in salt and saturated fats that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and fiber can reduce aging related risks for chronic diseases, such as, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis.

2.      Physical Activity.

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do and there are many different ways including walking, swimming, biking, gardening or working out at the gym.

3.      Mental and Emotional Health.        

Keeping your mind sharp by learning something new, completing crossword puzzles, playing cards or strategy games will give your mind the exercise it needs. It is also important to minimize stress and stay connected with friends and family to maintain emotional health.

4.      Quit Smoking.

As soon as you stop smoking, your lungs, heart, and circulatory system begin to recover and your chance of heart attack, stroke, and other circulatory diseases begins to decrease. The sooner you quit, the greater your health will be.

5.      Restful Sleep.

As you age, the quality of your sleep greatly affects your overall health. Disruptive sleep can contribute to fatigue, depression, weight gain, mood swings and trouble performing daily activities such as driving and working.

6.      Prevention.

Medical prevention, through immunizations, regular screenings, checkups and prompt treatment plays a key role in your quality of life as you age. To live longer and healthier it is important to have preventative screenings.

For a preventative screening or a routine checkup, please schedule an appointment with one of our friendly physicians at 706-322-9599.

Be healthy at any age!

Valley Healthcare

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: Learn About Hepatitis

This year’s theme for World Hepatitis Day, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” was used in social media by world famous entertainers in hopes to have the largest involvement in the education of hepatitis.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.

In particular, types A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Types B, C and D usually occur as a result of contact with infected body fluids. Hepatitis B and C has led to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

Acute infection may occur without symptoms or may include symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and dark urine.

While all 5 types cause liver disease, they vary in important ways.

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is present in the feces of infected persons and is most often transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. Most people in areas of the world with poor sanitation have been infected with this virus. Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HAV.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted through exposure to infective blood, semen, and other body fluids. A safe and effective vaccine is available to prevent HBV.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is mostly also transmitted through exposure to infective blood. There is no vaccine for HCV.

Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections occur only in those who are infected with HBV. The dual infection of HDV and HBV can result in a more serious disease and worse outcome. Safe and effective hepatitis B vaccines provide protection from HDV infection.

Hepatitis E virus (HEV), like HAV, is mostly transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. HEV is a common cause of hepatitis outbreaks in developing parts of the world. Safe and effective vaccines to prevent HEV infection have been developed but are not widely available.

If you or a loved one are living with hepatitis, visit The Hepatitis Foundation website at http://www.hepatitisfoundation.org/HEPATITIS/Living.html for tips on how to cope and prevent the further spread of infection.

For more information on how to get involved in Hepatitis awareness in your communities, please visit http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/en/who-what-where-when-and-how.html to learn what you can do to prepare for the next World Hepatitis Day.
Check with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ before traveling abroad. And, most importantly, make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations by setting up an appointment with one of the caring physicians at Valley Healthcare by calling our main line at 706-322-9599.

What is Aphasia?

Valley Healthcare

National Aphasia Awareness Month

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month. Although aphasia affects approximately one million people – that’s about 1 in every 250 people- most people still don’t know what it is or how to deal with it. This post will attempt to answer some of the simpler questions.

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a condition that takes away a person’s ability to communicate. It can affect one’s ability to understand and express both written and verbal language.

How do people get Aphasia?

Aphasia typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury. However, it can also come on gradually from a slowly growing brain tumor or a degenerative disease. The amount of disability one endures depends on the location and the severity of the brain damage.

Can Aphasia be cured?

Yes. Once the underlying cause has been treated, the primary treatment for aphasia is speech therapy that focuses on relearning and practicing language skills and using alternative or supplementary communication methods. Family members often participate in the therapy process and function as communication partners. Look here for tips on socializing.

Where can I learn more or make a donation?

If you are interested in making a donation or simply learning more about the various types of aphasia please visit http://www.asha.org/

What can I do if my loved one has aphasia?

If you know or suspect that your loved one is suffering from aphasia, please contact Valley Healthcare at 706-322-9599 to schedule an appointment with one of our caring family physicians.

Valley Healthcare

Spring Flares-up Asthma and Allergy Awareness

Along with the sunshine and new life, spring has brought allergies and asthma flare-ups. So, it’s understandable why May would be Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.

Almost all of us knows someone who has asthma or have seen the geeks on TV with their inhaler taking puffs, but asthma is not a nerd disease. This chronic lung disease affects 20 million Americans. Knowing which type of asthma you or your loved one has, allergic (extrinsic) asthma or non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma, is important for identifying symptoms and getting proper treatment.

With an effective asthma management plan, you can still live a healthy active live. Four important steps to take in your management plan for you or your loved one are:

  • Identifying and minimizing contact with your specific asthma triggers.
  • Taking your medications as prescribed.
  • Monitoring your asthma and recognizing early signs that it may be worsening.
  • Knowing what to do in case of an asthma episode or an emergency.

Allergies, unlike asthma, are grouped together by the kind of trigger, time of year, and where the symptoms appear on the body.

For example, there are:

  • indoor and outdoor allergies ( called “hay fever”, “seasonal”, “perennial”, or “nasal” allergies),
  • food allergies,
  • latex allergies,
  • insect allergies,
  • skin allergies,
  • eye allergies, etc.

These diseases of the immune system, aka. Allergies, are extremely common and can be prevented by taking a few simple steps like:

  • dusting to control mites
  • vacuuming as often as possible
  • reducing contact to pet dander
  • shutting window to keep pollen outside
  • avoiding mold spores

To learn more, please visit The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website at http://www.aafa.org/
If you or your loved one is suffering from severe allergy or asthma symptoms, please call (706)322-9599 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians at Valley Healthcare System.

Valley Healthcare

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may be affecting the quality of your life and some of you may not even know it. At least 23% of the world’s population is affected by the “brain-gut” disorder and live in silence about its pain and discomfort. Although April, IBS Awareness Month, is coming to a close, it is never too late to learn how it affects you or your loved ones.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, and altered bowel habit (chronic or recurrent diarrhea, constipation, or both – either mixed or in alternation).

Here are a few facts about IBS:

  • IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States (10 to 15% of the population). About 2 in 3 IBS sufferers are female. IBS affects people of all ages, even children.
  • The exact cause of IBS is not known. Symptoms may result from a disturbance in the way the gut, brain, and nervous system interact. This can cause changes in normal bowel movement and sensation.
  • Stress does not cause IBS. However, because of the connection between the brain and the gut, stress can worsen or trigger symptoms.
  • The impact of IBS can range from mild inconvenience to severe debilitation. It can control many aspects of a person’s emotional, social and professional life. Persons with moderate to severe IBS must struggle with symptoms that often impair their physical, emotional, economic, educational and social well-being.
  • IBS is unpredictable. Symptoms vary and are sometimes contradictory. Diarrhea can alternate with constipation. Long-term symptoms can disrupt personal and professional activities, and limit individual potential.
  • IBS can only be diagnosed by a medical professional.

For more facts and information about IBS, you can check out the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) website. You can learn some practical tips for living with IBS as well as ways to get involved or make a donation. And as always, Valley Healthcare is here to provide any answers you need or services you’d like to schedule – just call our main help line at 706-322-9599 to get more information on care providers who can help answer your personal questions about IBS.

Valley Healthcare

Spring is finally here! You may have already been spring cleaning around your home, but what about your kidneys?

Your kidneys – the body’s filters – play an important role in maintaining your overall health. These two fist-sized organs located in your lower back are responsible for the following functions:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day.
  • Regulating the body’s salt, potassium and acid content.
  • Removing drugs from the body.
  • Balancing the body’s fluids.
  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure.
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones.
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells.

Quick Facts on Kidney Disease:

  • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
  • More than 26 million Americans – 1 in 9 adults- have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
  • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
  • More than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the US today.

Now, you may be thinking, “How do I keep my ‘filters’ clean and functioning well?”
You can give your kidneys a spring cleaning with these 3 items:

  1. 1. Water. 6 to 8 cups of water will ensure that your blood volume stays high and the active ingredients in your kidney cleanse are rapidly delivered to your kidneys.
  2. 2. Cranberries. 1 to 2 cups of unsweetened cranberry juice or cranberry juice extract will support kidney function and improve the cleansing effect.
  3. 3. Tea. 1 cup of green tea or taking a green tea supplement will also increase the effects of the cleansing process.  If you can get your hands on some milk thistle, this is also known to make an effective cleansing tea.

While you are in the kitchen looking for items to spring clean your kidneys, you may want to toss (or at least cut back on) the salt, red meat, soda, processed foods (like crackers and potato chips), and sugar. Removing these 5 things from your daily diet can drastically reduce your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity which all put you at risk for kidney disease.

Be kind to your kidneys! Visit the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) website to learn more about your kidneys. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease, you are at increased risk for kidney disease and should speak with a Valley Healthcare physician. Call our main line at 706-322-9599 and schedule your appointment today.

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)

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