Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Cough That Won't Go Away

We are at the end of September and I couldn't neglect Infant Mortality Awareness. There are many causes of infant mortality but there are also many ways to help prevent it...learn about some programs and what you might be able to do at National Healthy Start
One such cause is pertussis, better known as whooping cough. Many people don't consider whooping cough (pertussis) as a hazard because babies are generally immunized for it along with their other well baby shots, but unfortunately there has been a dramatic rise in the number of cases of pertussis in teens 10-19 years of age and babies less than five months of age.
How this is related to infant mortality is that often old children and especially adults, will have a milder case of the infection, often with a cough without the classic whooping sound. When they come into contact with an infant or younger child who is not fully protected the infection, which is highly contagious, can spread and for them be very serious and could lead to death.
There have been cases of adults having what originally they thought was a common cold but their persistent cough would not go away, sometimes lasting for months, thus termed the “100-day cough”. They have gone through series of test and their medical practitioners have been unable to pinpoint the reason. It turns out that the cause of the cough was pertussis. It is these individuals, undiagnosed and untreated, that pose a great risk to infants.
Because of this rise in adult cases, to help protect infants and younger children the CDC is recommending that every adult 19-64 receive a dose of the pertussis vaccine. Pertussis vaccine is given in combination with tetanus and diphtheria (Tdap) which should replace one of the Td (tetanus/diphtheria) 10 year boosters. Postpartum women should speak with their physicians about the recommendations to help protect their newborns.
Once fully immunized, the Tdap vaccine provides up to 85% protection against pertussis. So if during this upcoming season you have a cough that just won't go away, speak to your doctor about pertussis.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's One Day At A Time

September is the month to recognize and celebrate those walking the pathway of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Growing up in a home of a parent with alcohol addiction and a sibling with drug addiction, I know very well the struggles those in recovery face day by day...but that is what recovery is all about "one day at a time". So I just want to acknowledge and applaud all those who today are clean and sober and pray that each and every day that your Higher Power will grant you the serenity, courage, and wisdom required to make it one more day.
For resources or to learn more visit National Drug & Recovery

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Your Numbers....Know Them and What They Mean

September is also the month to focus on knowing and understanding your numbers...that is those numbers that are involved with your Cholesterol. You have probably hear people talk about "good and bad" cholesterol as well as the total cholesterol and triglycerides. All these numbers are important to know for you to strive for a healthier lifestyle. View the video and then read more about the numbers at What you Need to Know

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ovarian Cancer is among the deadliest of cancers that affect women. Approximately 21,880 women are diagnosed annually and in 2010 it is projected that 13,850 women in the US will lose their lives as a result. The reason for this high number of deaths from ovarian cancer is that many women either do not seek out medical help until it is in its late stage or it is can be misdiagnosed. If detected early the five year survival rate is more than 93%. Key for women is that they know the four classic symptoms that have been associated with ovarian cancer. These symptoms can be signs of other less life threatening health problems, which are bloating, pelvic/abdominal pain, difficulty in eating or feeling full faster than previous and urinary urgency, but they should not be avoided if they are persistent (more than 2-3 weeks). Other symptoms are nausea, gas, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, and backaches.
There are several diagnostic test to help evaluate your symptoms. An abdominal examination by your practitioner to check for discomfort, tenderness or abnormal fluid along with a pelvic examination is one of the first steps. Your practitioner can order a blood test called a CA-125, which if the level is high may also indicate ovarian cancer or other conditions. There are additional test that can be requested as well. Two other test an ultrasound and biopsy will also help in making a clear diagnosis for your symptoms.
There are several risk factors however you do not have to have any of these as it any woman of any race or age can have ovarian cancer. The risk factors are a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, a personal history of cancer, woman 55 or older, woman who have never been pregnant and women on hormone replacement therapy.
Woman can get genetic testing to see if you are at learn more visit the National Cancer Institute for more information. Most important...listen to your body and do not ignore symptoms that persist.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

100 years - Sickle Cell Awareness

September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness month and this year marks the 100th year anniversary. In 1910 the first research paper on sickle cell disease in Western medical literature was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Dr. James B. Herrick. In this paper he described the irregular shape of a patients red blood cell which is “the hallmark of the disease”.
While much has been done over these 100 years to improve the quality of life for those with sickle cell disease much more needs to be done since there is no “cure” for the disease. Better treatments are needed to help those living with the disease and the chronic anemia and pain associated with it.
Learn more about sickle cell disease and what you can do by visiting the website of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Eating an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables help you attain/maintain better health. Daily requirements are age determined. Eating fruits and vegetables can protect you from a variety of health challenges such as heart diseases, Type 2 Diabetes and some forms of cancer. Check out 13 Ways to Eat Moew Fruits & Vegetables...September is Fruit & Veggies Awareness Month.
Learning alternative ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meals will have you eating more than you imagined.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coming together - The Mind & Body

Yoga is a combination of exercise and meditation rooted in Hindu religious practices. Yoga has been practiced in Eastern cultures for about 5,000 years and is becoming increasingly popular in Western society. Yoga means "to bring together or merge" — joining the mind and body into a single harmonious unit. The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness, and harmony. There are more than one hundred different schools of yoga with most sessions typically comprised of breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures poses that stretch and flex various muscle groups.
Relaxation techniques, such as those praticed in yoga can help in many areas some:
•lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis,headaches, and carpal
tunnel syndrome
•lower blood pressure, slows down the heart and breathing rates
•aid with sleeping problems (insomnia)

Some of the benefits of yoga are:
•higher levels of energy
•decreased levels of stress and anxiety
•increased feelings of general well-being

Because there are many kinds of yoga practices, people with movement restrictions or other physical challenges can find one that can meet their needs and abilities. If you are under the care of physicial for any health challenge you should consult them before your first yoga session.
There are lots of yoga classes being offer around the country. To find a class that will be suited to your needs try locating one at Yoga Class Search
Local to the DMV area check out Spiritual Essence Yoga & Wellness Studio. Dana is gifted in the art. In addition to yoga you can enjoy Belly Dancing & Reiki at the studio.
Don’t let the excuse of no time, too cold, too hot, etc be the reason you can’t fit yoga it in your daily routine. My Yoga Online provides a selection of classes you view and participate in via computer.
September is National Yoga Awareness Month so take time out to explore.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Awareness is Key - Prostate Cancer

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and there are many locations that offer FREE screening for those who are not insured or are underinsured. Other than some forms of skin cancer, in the US, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer for men. Following lung cancer, prostate cancer is the seconding leading cause of cancer deaths and the seventh leading cause of death overall for men in this country. Prostate cancer is diagnosed every two minutes and fifteen seconds, and more than 217,730 new cases are expected in 2010. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in America among men.

There are several factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer.

• As men age there risk for prostate cancer increases.
• A family history of a father, brother, or son who has had
prostate cancer increases a mans risk two to three times of
developing prostate cancer.
• Prostate cancer is more common in African American men
and less common among Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander,
and Native American men.

There are several easy screening for prostate cancer.

The most common screening screening for prostate cancer is a blood test known as the PSA (prostate specific antigen). The test measures the enzyme produced only by the prostate to see if it is within normal limits. This test is monitored yearly to see if there are any changes to previous levels.

The other test is known as the DRE (digital rectal exam). The doctor is able to reach the back portion of the prostate (the area where most cancers of the prostate begin) by inserting a finger through the mans rectum, to feel for size and irregularities.
Check out this site:
Zero - The Project to End Porstate Cancer
The National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) partners with the Drive Against Prostate Cancer, LLC, to provide mobile screening program for prostate cancer. Check out the schedule on the website..screening is offered not only during the month of September.

Remember...prevention helps to maintain wellness

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Septembers Awareness and Resources

September Health Awareness recognitions are many. To name a few Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, National Infant Mortality Awareness, Ovarian Cancer Awareness , and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. To get more information on the health observances for the month of September visit the National Health Information Center. Along with a great source of education about public health risk, the site will help you to organize events and campaigns and gain new ideas and information.

Be sure to visit back for articles throughout the month dealing with specific topics.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just how do you wash?

Proper handwashing is the best defense for prevention of the spreading of disease and illness. The use of soap and water is always the best thing but when it is not available a hand sanitizer, not anti-bacterial soap, can be used. Follow these steps in this CDC video to learn how and when to wash.

CDC Video Player.  Flash Player 9 is required.
CDC Video Player.
Flash Player 9 is required.