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|Posted on September 6, 2016 at 4:26 PM||comments (263)|
Access the link below to read about Hepatitis A and Tropical Smoothie Café!!
|Posted on February 11, 2015 at 11:45 AM||comments (195)|
Greetings Take Care Community!
I have been very busy with a job transition and continuing education that I am grateful for!
I want to jump right back in the swing of our learning and discussion on health and preventive medicine with Take Care Community Outreach, Inc., which I'm am also grateful for!
This year our blog education will be focused on how we can all become HEART HEALTHY! Every small step has a big impact on your long term health and it is never too late to start....
Did you know?
* Every day your heart beats about 100,000 times and send 2,00 gallons of blood through your body.
* Your heart functions through 60,000 miles of blood vessels that feed your organs and tissues.
* A mans heart weighs about 10 ounces, while a woman's heart weighs about 8 ounces.
* A good belly laugh can send 20% more blood flowing through your entire body!
* Heart Disease is the biggest killer of both men and women! A woman's signs of trouble can be less obvious than a man, possibly due to size and hormones.
HEART HEALTHY TIPS
DIET: According to the National Institutes of Health, healthy diet and life style can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attacks, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and obesity.
Fruits and Veggies: Eat five or more servings a day! Fresh is best, they contain the most nutrients!
Grains: Eat low fat breads, cereals, rice, and pasta. The key in labeling is WHOLE grains to be sure servings are low in fat, calories, sodium and cholesterol. Brown grains are best.
Protein: Lean meats such as chicken and fish, Limit meat sources to no more than six a day. Avoid excessive red meats
they can be high in fat and cholesterol. Meats are best broiled, baked, or grilled.
Fats and Oil: Stick to Olive oils and unsaturated fats and oils. Key choosing...if it turns to a white thick waxy substance at room temperature, it will do the same in the body!
EXERCISE: According to the National Institutes of Health, maintaining an ideal body weight is important at staying heart healthy. This is achieved by balancing the number of calories consumed with the number you use each day. Its important to talk with a health care professional about your specific ideal body weight, as it is different for each person.
*Physical activity at least 20 minutes per day, every day should be desired.
*Reach your specific Target Heart Rate each time for calorie burning. Include weight lifting to maintain muscle tone, which burns more resting calories and prevents muscle wasting as we age. Remember, the heart is a MUSCLE, and work best when exercised!
OFFICE VISITS: You will need to be sure to have a Primary Care Physician to take baseline vitals signs and labs including:
*Blood pressure (120/80 is textbook norm)
*Heart Rate (80-100 is normal for average health)
LDL: Think L for LOUSY, or bad levels
HDL: Think H for HAPPY, or good levels
This number will vary and needs to be monitored by your practitioner!
*Fasting blood sugar levels
As always community, my blog serves as an overview of the health topic of the month. I like to think of it as a guideline of focus to get your interest sparked on what may be of need to you. Every human body is divinely different and needs will vary. I always urge a complete physical by a certified healthcare professional.
Happy 2015, and take care!I've missed you!
~Denise Starr, RN, CEN
We had a lot of FUN!
1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke each year. Join the movement and be proactive!
What it means to GO RED:
G- Get your numbers (BP & Cholesterol)
O-Own your lifestyle ...
R-Realize your risk
E-Educate your family
D-Don't be silent
Tell every woman you know heart disease is our No. 1 killer. Learn more at
|Posted on August 2, 2014 at 11:35 AM||comments (126)|
What is Myelofibrosis?
Fibrosis= Accumulation of scar tissue
Simply put, it is a blood condition in which the bone marrow is replaced by scar tissue.
The bone marrow is a soft fatty tissue inside of your bones. This tissue is replaced by scar tissue. Due to the accumulation of scar tissue, blood cells do not grow correctly. Blood cells are very important to the body. Red blood cells carry oxygen to your tissues and organs, white blood cells fight infection, and platelets help blood clot. Lack of healthy blood cells leads to anemia, bleeding problems, and high risk for infections. Due to the lack of fully developed blood cells, other organs such as the liver and spleen try to make some of the cells. This causes these organs to swell.
What is the cause?
Research suggests it may be due to abnormal blood stem cells in the bone marrow.
What are the risk factors?
Currently there are no known risk factors.
What are the symptoms?
-Fullness, discomfort of pain in the upper left side of the Stomach due to an enlarged spleen
-Bleeding or Bruising Easily
-Feeling tired and/or weak (Fatigue)
-Shortness of breath with exercise
-Pale mucus membranes (pale gums for example)
What are the treatments?
Each case is different but common treatments include:
-Removal of the Spleen
What if treatments don’t work?
Many people diagnosed with life-threatening blood conditions will eventually need a bone marrow transplant.
What is a bone marrow transplant?
A bone marrow transplant is when a donor’s healthy blood forming cells are put into the bloodstream of a patient such as Syreeta. These cells then begin to grow and make healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
There are two types of bone marrow transplant procedures. To learn more about the bone marrow transplant procedure visit “Be the Match”.
Want to "Be the Match"?
Come out on August 10, 2014 and join the registry
Donate to "Be Syreeta's Match"!
|Posted on June 11, 2014 at 4:34 PM||comments (84)|
MEN'S HEALTH AWARENESS
MEN'S HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK
JUNE 9-15, 2014
(photo cited via: www.sharecare.com)
Greetings Take Care Community! I hope this blog ﬁnds everyone
in good health and excited about continuing of journey of health
education and wellness. I'm excited to share with you!
This month is Men's Health Awareness Month. I want to focus on your preventative screenings and treatments! For the sake of time I'll focus on the health group of 20 and up using the Center for Disease Controls recommendations.
With that being said....its June, have you scheduled your yearly health check up with a primary care provider?
If not, lets get started!
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT: For starters to plan for your visit you will need to fast. This means nothing solid to eat or drink after midnight of your scheduled appointment. This is important because it serves to clear your system for a more accurate clinical picture of blood work. Common baseline NONINVASIVE (or external) exams will be:
• Blood Pressure and Heart Rate- This measurement gives a good clinical picture of cardiovascular health. Norms vary from person to person but should be 120/80 as a good reference point. Heart rate can vary 80-100 resting. Higher numbers can alert physicians to things such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and cardiac arrhythmias.
• Body Mass Index- this number includes an equation of your body weight and height. This number measures obesity which is a precursor to many health ailments, such as diabetes. It's true that body weight and BMI don't always give an accurate clinical picture of health, as they vary greatly from person to person.
(photo cited: www.webmd.com)
• Urinalysis- this test is most helpful to determine diabetes, hydration, kidney function and even sexual health. It only requires you collecting a clean specimen in a sterile cup!
• EKG or electrocardiogram- This heart tracing measures the hearts rhythm and rate to detect issues early. Many people may ﬁnd they have an irregular heart rate but you need a baseline EKG to detect changes later.
(photo cited via: www.childrenheartclinic.org)
Common INVASIVE testing (testing internal organs and body ﬂuid for clinical pictures. May involve discomfort but not PAIN) including blood testing and manual exams with the physician using the hand to detect abnormalities. These test include:
• Cholesterol- this is a simple blood test that basically measure the levels of "fat" clogging cells in our arteries that lead to heart disease and diabetes. Cholesterol can be controlled by diet, exercise and or medications so it's important to know where you stand. Numbers range and can be difﬁcult to understand, so remember to ask questions and be involved.
• Blood Glucose- better known as "blood sugar," this number measures the amount of sugar in the blood improperly controlled by the pancreas. This test can be falsely elevated by eating the morning of your exam so be sure to follow doctors instructions. Early indications of high blood glucose can be resolved by diet modiﬁcation and/or medications so start early!
• PSA Blood Test- this is the Prostate Speciﬁc Antigen. This test can measure abnormal prostate cells and hormones of the prostate as a cancer screening, much like women with breast cancer. Refer to last years June topic of "Prostate Awareness" for more detailed information. Click here to view the Prostate Awareness Blog from June 2013.
• Thyroid Function- this test is most commonly in the form of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone.) This hormone is produced by the Thyroid which works in conjunction of the pituitary and changes as we age. Commonly this hormone becomes abnormal due to normal hormone variants in men and women. Basically this organ serves as your metabolism and energy center, so its important to know the chemical changes of your body to adjust your habits. Again, these levels can be controlled but we need to know the why behind the changes our bodies make.
This serves as a basic overview, some things can be added or omitted depending on your family history and medical exam. These common things are imperative to YOU taking charge of your health.
Remember to be well from the inside out...exercise, prayer or meditation are wonderful outlets to your bodies natural
Remember to be present during your physician visit, participate and ASK QUESTIONS.
In need of a place to schedule your physical? Contact us at Take Care Community Outreach, Inc.
I'm in prayer for any audience I may have.
GOD Bless and TAKE CARE!
|Posted on January 16, 2014 at 2:08 PM||comments (135)|
(photo cited via blisstree.com)
CERVICAL HEALTH AWARENESS
Happy New Year Take Care Community. I trust this months blog finds you well and excited about this years health initiative!
I will be discussing Cervical Health Awareness for all women, races, and ages. Cervical health ranges from STD's or sexual health to cancers. These are all monitored and screened in the form of Pelvic Exams and Pap Smear Exams by your primary care provider or gynecologist.
It's dreaded procedure for some and occasionally uncomfortable. However,research supports early diagnostics for optimal health throughout the ages. Lets be educated and powerful TOGETHER!
1.Whats is a Pap Smear or Pap Exam?
This abbreviation "Pap" stands for Papanicolaou exam. Papanicolaou is named after the physician George Papanicolauo who pioneered the technique of sampling a females cervical cells for abnormalities.
This technique involves using a speculum to open the vagina to insert a swab to collect cervical cells from the cervix for analysis/cancer. The cervix is the opening to a women's uterus or womb. (www.nih.gov/womenshealth.gov)
Testing for sexually transmitted diseases are also done during this time, but are separate from Pap exams, so be sure to express your need for STD screenings with your doctor. The swabs are then sent to a laboratory to examine for abnormal cells that can identify disease.
The exam itself takes about 5 minutes to complete in office, and result are usually called within 1-2 weeks.
(photo cited via www.babymed.com)
2. Who needs a Pap Smear?
Research shows that in most cases, women ages 21 to 65 should get annual Pap exams as a part of preventative healthcare. The frequency of exams vary from patient to patient according to family and sexual history. Obviously any sexually active women should have annual gynecological exams performed. Women who have reached menopause and are younger than 65 should still have the testing done to monitor cervical changes.
In general, women who have undergone hysterectomy, meaning they no longer have a cervix, do not need regular Pap exams, however they are still at risk for STD's. Women ages 65 and over who have had 3 normal Pap exams consecutively, and no history of abnormal cell results or family history are considered no longer at risk for cervical cancers and can discontinue annual testing at the physicians discretion. (www.womenshealth.gov) Your physician may recommend testing every 2-3 years.
(photo cited via www.examinar.com)
3. How can I reduce my chances of getting Cervical Cancer?
The first and most obvious way is to have regular Pap testing done and know your family history. This assists your physician in finding, monitoring for, and treating any abnormal cells before they progress and spread. Early detection is key.
Young women aged 26 and under can also reduce their risk by obtaining the HPV vaccine. HPV can sometimes go away on its own but if left undetected and untreated, it can change cervical cells and lead to disease.
Limiting the amount of sexual partners limits your chances of having cervical disease as well. Many STD infections can change cervical cells, some being untreatable; leading to the final step of prevention which is using protection barriers methods with any sexual activity. (www.womenshealth.gov)
Many times test result may be reported as "abnormal" but usually do not mean you have cancer. If you have a family history of abnormal cells, don't be afraid to be screened on a regular basis. Cells can be different depending on where you are in your period cycle, collection techniques, and even douching the vagina.
The most important thing is open communication with your healthcare provider about needs and preparation. Encourage your family and friends to take charge of their reproductive health.
As a Registered Nurse of 11 years, as always Take Care Community, I support prevention and early detection. All county Health Departments offer reproductive screenings at little to no charge, so we cant neglect our health for any reason. Visit Take Care Community Outreach Inc.'s website and view the Health Issue of the Month page for resources in your area.
I wish you all a prosperous year, TAKE CARE!
~Denise, RN, CEN
|Posted on December 19, 2013 at 4:19 PM||comments (138)|
Happy Holidays TAKE CARE COMMUNITY! This month I'll be talking about Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Its a very taboo subject but very important to educate our youth.
Testing and prevention of STD's can be effective tools in preventing the spread and long term complications. Currently there are over 10 documented STD's throughout the world, the most deadly of them being HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which leads to AIDS. Any sexually active person that participates in high risk behaviors are at risk.
High risk behaviors can include:
According to the Centers for Disease Control there are 20 million new STD infections occurring each year, most are in people ages 15-24. (www.cdc.gov) STD's affect men and women of all backgrounds and economic levels.
Complications can include but are not limited to:
(photo cited via picasca.blogspot.com)
The top 5 most common STD's as of 2013 include (and are not limited to):
Visit the "Health Issue of The Month" page and click on each STD listed to learn more about signs, symptoms and treatment of each disease.
PREVENTION:The number one way to prevent the spread of STD's is abstinence. This is primarily important for those not in committed relationships.
The second most effective way of prevention is making sure you and any new committed sexual partners have an STD screening prior to engaging in intercourse. Visit the "Health Issue of The Month" page to locate a testing site near you!
The third most effective and probably most popular way of preventing the spread is the use of a barrier method or Condoms.
(photo cited via: www.stdtestexpress.com)
Condoms are fairly inexpensive, accessible, and even free at many Health Departments and Clinics. There are male and female condoms, there are also Dental Dams used to protect yourself from STD transmission through oral sex. (YEAH, thats possible!)
TREATMENT: Treatments vary depending on the particular STD. Its important to note that with the use and overuse of antibiotics, some STD's are becoming resistant to traditional therapies. (www.cdc.gov) Of higher importance to note is that there are several STD's without a current cure.
These can include:
It is of utmost importance for any sexually active person to have a primary care provider and be screened at least once yearly for any STD exposure.
For a more in depth look at the many STD's the Center for Disease Control is an awesome place to start. Also see links previously posted in the "Health Issue of the Month" section for further reading. Help spread the word on prevention.
It's important to be comfortable with dialogue between your partners, children, loved ones and Physicians. What you don't know, most certainly can hurt you! Its YOUR responsibility to take care of
yourself, never leave it up to anyone else! Educate yourself, and TAKE CARE!
Happy Holidays, Talk with you guys in the NEW YEAR!!
~Denise, RN, CEN
|Posted on November 20, 2013 at 10:41 PM||comments (92)|
Hello Take Care Community! Hope this months blog finds you all in good health! Just in time for the holidays, and all the goodies, this months blog is about:
(Photo via www.southboromedical.com)
To begin, Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar levels or blood glucose, are too high. Glucose comes from the foods we eat. In healthy individuals, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin to get the glucose into cells to be used as energy. There are two types:
(Photo via: www.medicinenet.com)
This form is much more common, and can be controlled by diet and insulin as needed. (NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages, which is about 8.3 percent of the US population. About 7.0 million persons are undiagnosed (NDIC Diabetes Statistics)
(Photo via www.diabetes.org)
Over time, having too much insulin in the blood causes damage to major organs and body systems such as the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Risk for associated heart disease and stroke are higher in diabetics. (nlm.nih.gov/MedlinePlus : National
Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
(Photo via: blog.myotcstore.com)
As with many other diseases you may be more at risk if you have a strong family history of the disease. Per the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), other risk factors include:
• Sedentary lifestyle
• African American decent
• High caloric/ sugar diet
• High blood pressure
• Abnormal cholesterol levels
Symptoms may go ignored or masked by other ailments but remain the same for many individuals.
(Photo via: diabetesinformation1.blogspot.com)
Any persons with risk factors or symptoms are encouraged to see a primary care provider. A simple blood test called a Hemoglobin A1C can show if you have diabetes or at strong risk. Early recognition can prevent extensive complications.
As always, prevention is the key. Be well community and Happy Thanksgiving!
|Posted on October 21, 2013 at 12:16 PM||comments (65)|
|Posted on September 17, 2013 at 8:49 AM||comments (65)|
Fall is upon us Take Care community! I hope this months blog finds you all in good health!
(photo cited via www.emel.com)
This month I am writing about Sickle Cell Awareness. Now obviously if you, or someone close to you suffers from this disease you are most likely well educated. On the other hand, if you have never been personally affected by it, it can be hard to understand. I have a brother in law whose father suffered and ultimately lost his life from complications of sickle cell, therefore its important to me to share what I've learned.
What is Sickle Cell?
For starters, there are many forms of sickle cell disease. To keep things simple I'll focus on the most common form being Sickle Cell Anemia (also know by medical term of Hemoglobin SS or SCD).
This is a disorder in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. This means the cells are crescent shaped, unlike the smooth edged round red blood cells of a non-afflicted person. (MedlinePlus www.nlm.nih.gov)
Normal red blood cells have a very important job of carrying oxygen throughout the body to vital organs and tissues via hemoglobin. Sickled cells are often stiff and sticky. Because of their shape, they tend to block blood flow in blood vessels of the limbs and organs. This blocked blood flow causes pain, laboratory abnormalities and even organ damage. When this happens it is called a "crisis".(www.micromedexsolutions.com/carenotes)
(photo cited via personalhealthcart.com)
How is Sickle Cell Acquired?
This question in itself can be complicated to answer. SCD is inherited from BOTH parents. This means both parents carry the sickle cell trait and in turn pass the actual disease on to their children.
Passage Rate Fact:1 in 4 children born to parents that both have a sickle cell trait will get the disease. (MedlinePlus www.nlm.nih.gov).
If you inherit the sickle cell gene from only one parent you will have the Sickle Cell Trait (SCT). People with only the sickle cell trait do not have the symptoms of the disease, but must be cautious in having children with another person who also carries the trait. (MedlinePlus www.nlm.nih.gov).
(photo cited via www.katzcriticalminds.com)
Sickle cell is most prominent in the African American community, but also seen in those of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern decent. Caucasians are rarely affected.
Symptoms as with any disease can vary greatly from patient to patient. As said before when symptoms appear this is referred as a crisis. Patients may experience: pain, swelling, fatigue, shortness of breath rapid heart rate, and pale yellow looking skin also known as jaundice.
(photo cited www.emel.com)
Most symptoms come from the blockage of blood cells and inability of the sickle shaped cells to carry hemoglobin (oxygen) to vital tissues appropriately. Most people affected start to show signs and symptoms of the disease around the age of 4 months and older. (MedlinePlus www.nlm.nih.gov)
Treatments for crisis include:
A thorough medical screening and history by a medical professional is encouraged for anyone at risk. There are special genetic test that can be performed for "carrier" parents to prevent passing the disease to their children.
Patients with the disease must take care to stay hydrated with a healthy immune system including all vaccinations and routine medical exams. Family and caregivers are encouraged to stay educated, supportive and vigilant about disease and crisis.
TAKE CARE COMMUNITY. BE WELL!
In loving memory of Mr. Pender Madyun, gone but not forgotten!
(photo cited www.zazzle.com)
Take Care Community Outreach Volunteer
~Nurse Denise S., RN, CEN
|Posted on August 18, 2013 at 9:18 PM||comments (125)|
Nurse Denise's Notes
(photo site: www.vbparents.com)
Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! This month at Take Care Community Outreach, Inc. we are focusing on the topic of Immunizations/ vaccinations. I know, I know...after checking our prostates, not something we want to discuss, but important just the same.
There are many personal and religious beliefs that lead people to decide to immunize or not to immunize. This blog will only serve as an educational tool at making that choice, not to change anyones views or beliefs. And as always, I'm using my Nursing knowledge
along with the help of credited sources to spread the word!
WHAT IS A VACCINE?
A vaccine contains weakened or dead versions of diseases or
"antigens". When these antigens are introduced in low doses in a person with a healthy immune system, they help to create a resistance, or "antibodies" to that particular disease.
Said differently, the immune system then produces the right antibodies to ﬁght the antigen and in turn, a person will not experience the signs and symptoms of a disease when later exposed and properly vaccinated (FamilyDoctor.org).
(photo site: trailx.org)
Vaccines are most commonly given as injections, or shots in a large muscle (arm, or buttocks, thigh muscle in infants and toddlers) Some vaccines can be given as a nasal mist you inhale or a nasal swab, but are less common.
WHAT ARE THE RISK?
In general vaccines are quite safe. The protection they provide outweigh the the small risk of any side effects. Now there are some people as with certain foods who may develop an allergy to certain vaccinations and can not receive them.
Many older diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella are no longer seen today due to childhood vaccinations and adult booster shots. (familydoctor.org)
Common side effects may include:
Many states require school age children be vaccinated prior to
attending public schools, but as stated before, religious preference can override these rules, in turn exposing children to certain diseases that can make them ill.
WHAT DO I NEED?
The Center for Disease Control has recommended vaccination
schedules according to age and developmental stages for children 0-18 years, and then adult "boosters."
Below are examples of previous vaccine schedules for children, teens and adults.
To view updated vaccine schedules for 2013, please click on the schedule below to be directed to the CDC site. On the site you can view and print easy to read schedules. Schedules are also available in Spanish.
Click the chart above to visit the CDC site to print vaccine schedules for 2013
Many childhood vaccinations will occur at birth while the neonate is still in the hospital, and continue throughout the the first few months. Adults will need certain boosters, or smaller doses to boost immunity as we age. Many adult ailments such as Diabetes, or Immune disorders many require extra boosters and vaccinations be given. It's very important to talk with your doctor about your specific needs. Adult charts for 2013 can be found on the CDC site as well. Just click below.
(photo cited: CDC.org)
In conclusion, Take Care Community, its important to be educated on the healthcare options and choices available to us. It's the start of a new school year, and I encourage us all to do our homework!
Be WELL, and TAKE CARE!
Volunteer Take Care Community Outreach Nurse