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In the News Dos and Don’ts Before Seeing the Doctor– Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Just like brushing your teeth before going to see the dentist, there are some things that you want to do before you see your doctor. But there are some things that you DON’T want to do, as well. Here we highlight a few of those dos and don’ts.

DON’T…

Drink coffee or any caffeinated drink prior to going to your appointment. You will likely have your blood pressure taken (at any medical appointment) and having coffee or caffeine can affect your results. The same goes for tobacco and over-the-counter medicines.

DON’T…

Eat a high fat meal before getting blood drawn. Your doctor is likely ordering bloodwork to get an accurate picture of your overall health. If you eat a high-fat meal prior to bloodwork, the results may not be an accurate depiction. Stick to your normal diet as much as possible.

DO…

Drink lots of water prior to your appointment. In general, it is a good idea to hydrate before seeing any doctor.  Being well-hydrated will make your pulse and blood pressure at their best. If you are giving a urine sample, even being slightly dehydrated can cause artificial abnormalities that could confuse the results.

 DO…

Eat as you normally would before any check-up. You don’t need to change your eating habits in an effort to seem healthier at your annual appointment. Your doctor wants to get the best overall picture of your health to provide you with the best care possible. Plus, changing your eating habits over a few days isn’t going to change your overall health.

(Continued in Part II…)

In the News: Disease Prevention through Immunization – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

(Continued from Part I…)

 

  • Hepatitis B - Hepatitis B is spread through blood or other bodily fluids. It’s especially dangerous for babies, since the hepatitis B virus can spread from an infected mother to child during birth. About nine out of every 10 infants who contract it from their mothers become chronically infected, which is why babies should get the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth.
  • Hepatitis A - The Hepatitis A vaccine was developed in 1995 and since then has cut the number of cases dramatically in the United States. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease and is transmitted through person-to-person contact or through contaminated food and water. Vaccinating against hepatitis A is a good way to help your baby stay healthy and hepatitis-free.
  • Rubella - Rubella is spread by coughing and sneezing. It is especially dangerous for a pregnant woman and her developing baby. If an unvaccinated pregnant woman gets infected with rubella, she can have a miscarriage, or her baby could die just after birth.
  • While these are just a few, it’s important to keep your regular yearly appointments to ensure that you and your family are up-to-date on all of your vaccinations.
  • Hib - Hib (or its official name, Haemophilus influenzaetype b) isn’t as well-known as some of the other diseases, thanks to vaccines. Hib can do some serious damage to a child’s immune systems and cause brain damage, hearing loss, or even death. Hib mostly affects kids under five years old.
  • Measles - Measles is very contagious, and it can be serious, especially for young children. Because measles is common in other parts of the world, unvaccinated people can get measles while traveling and bring it into the United States. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk, so make sure to stay up to date on your child’s vaccines.

 

In the News Disease Prevention through Immunization– Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Every August, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) observes the National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) to highlight the importance of routine vaccination for people of all ages.

This month, we highlight the diseases that have become obsolete (or nearly obsolete) due to vaccinations.

 

  • Polio - Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease that is caused by poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis. Polio was eliminated in the United States with vaccination, and continued use of polio vaccine has kept this country polio-free.
  • Tetanus – Tetanus causes painful muscle stiffness and and lockjaw. It can be fatal. Parents used to warn kids about tetanus every time we scratched, scraped, poked, or sliced ourselves on something metal. Nowadays, the tetanus vaccine is part of a disease-fighting vaccine called DTaP, which provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • The Flu (Influenza) - Flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu can affect people differently based on their immune system, age, and health. Every year in the United States, otherwise healthy children are hospitalized or die from flu complications. The best way to protect babies against flu is for the mother to get a flu vaccine during pregnancy and for all caregivers and close contacts of the infant to be vaccinated. Everyone 6 months and older needs a flu vaccine every year.

(Continued in Part II…)

 

Healthy Living: Five Ways Your Smart Phone Can Make You Healthier

Written by Lisa Jillanza

It is 2023 and nearly everyone has a smart phone nowadays. There are so many apps and programs that you can now download to your phone to help you reach your fitness and health goals. 

While this seems like an easy thing to do – just download an app – there is much more involved in getting the most out of your smart phone to become healthier. 

Here are five ways that your smart phone can make you healthier. 

 

  1. Set up healthy appointments on your phone. Use the remind or alarm function on your phone to help you set healthy reminders – like take your medication, get to spin class, go to bed early and take the stairs and not the elevator on your lunch break.
  2. Use your timer. We have learned since we were little that we should brush our teeth for 2 minutes, but do you? Use your timer to achieve these types of goals. You can use your timer to figure out how long tasks take so that you can also better prioritize your time, causing less stress.
  3. Track your progress. Sure, you downloaded that fitness tracker on your phone, but are you using it? Commit to a particular app and actually use it. Basic features include tracking your steps, counting your calories, and helping you to get a handle on your blood pressure.
  4. Eat Healthy. There are quite a few apps that you can download that can help you to be a better label reader and track your food intake.
  5. Motivate yourself. Customize your alarms to give you that gentle nudge that you need to motivate yourself. A “Get to the gym if you want to fit in that dress” message alarm is more motivating than a beeping alarm.

Prevention 101: Soothe Your Sunburn

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Let’s face it, no matter how lathered up you are or how cautious you are this summer, at some point you may slip up and end up with a pretty nasty (and painful) sunburn.  Here are some easy ways for you to soothe the painful effects of sunburn:

  • Take some aspirin to reduce redness and ease some pain.
  • Cortisone creams, if applied within 6 hours of the burn, provide some relief.
  • Pure aloe Vera gel can help cool down your skin and relieve discomfort.
  • Avoid additional sun exposure while your skin heals.
  • Chill and blend cucumber slices to create a cucumber paste to apply to your burned skin.
  • Apply an ice compress, but not directly to the burned area to help constrict your skin’s capillaries.