National Health Observances

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week - Nov 20 - 26

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week – Nov 20 – 26

Your esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.GERD2

 Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) happens when a muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close properly. This allows stomach contents to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it.

You may feel a burning in the chest or throat called heartburn. Sometimes, you can taste stomach fluid in the back of the mouth. If you have these symptoms more than twice a week, you may have GERD. You can also have GERD without having heartburn. Your symptoms could include a dry cough, asthma symptoms, or trouble swallowing.

 Anyone, including infants and children, can have GERD. If not treated, it can lead to more serious health problems. In some cases, you might need medicines or surgery. However, many people can improve their symptoms by:

  • Avoiding alcohol and spicy, fatty or acidic foods that trigger heartburn
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Not eating close to bedtime
  • Losing weight if needed
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothes

 

Risk factors

 Conditions that can increase your risk of GERD include:

  • Obesity
  • Bulging of the top of the stomach up into the diaphragm (hiatal hernia)
  • Pregnancy
  • Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma
  • Delayed stomach emptying

Factors that can aggravate acid reflux include:

  • Smoking
  • Eating large meals or eating late at night
  • Eating certain foods (triggers) such as fatty or fried foods
  • Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol or coffee
  • Taking certain medications, such as aspirin

 

Source  medlineplus.gov | mayoclinic.org


Medical stethoscope and red heart with cardiogram isolated on white. Cardiac therapeutics assistance, pulse beat measure document, arrhythmia pacemaker medical healthcare concept

Understand Your Risk for Cardiac Arrest

Medical stethoscope and red heart with cardiogram isolated on white. Cardiac therapeutics assistance, pulse beat measure document, arrhythmia pacemaker medical healthcare concept

Cardiac arrest may be caused by almost any known heart condition. Most cardiac arrests occur when the diseased heart’s electrical system malfunctions, producing an abnormal rhythm such as ventricular tachycardiaor ventricular fibrillation. Some cardiac arrests are caused by extreme slowing of the heart’s rhythm.  All of these events are called life-threatening arrhythmias. Below is a list of other causes of cardiac arrest:

  • Scarring from a prior heart attack or other causes: A heart that’s scarred or enlarged from any cause is prone to develop life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. The first six months after a heart attack is a particularly high-risk period for sudden cardiac arrest in patients with atherosclerotic heart disease.
  • A thickened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) from any cause (typically high blood pressure or valvular heart disease) — especially if you also have heart failure — can make you more prone to sudden cardiac arrest. Read more about cardiomyopathy
  • Heart medications: Under certain conditions, various heart medications can set the stage for arrhythmias that cause sudden cardiac arrest. Paradoxically, antiarrhythmic drugs used to treat arrhythmias can sometimes produce lethal ventricular arrhythmias even at normally prescribed doses. This is called a “proarrhythmic” effect. Regardless of whether there’s organic heart disease, significant changes in blood levels of potassium and magnesium (from using diuretics, for example) also can cause life-threatening arrhythmias and cardiac arrest.
  • Electrical abnormalities: Certain electrical abnormalities such as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and Long QT syndrome may cause sudden cardiac arrest in children and young people. Read more about Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome Read more about Long QT syndrome
  • Blood vessel abnormalities: Less often, inborn blood vessel abnormalities, particularly in the coronary arteries and aorta, may be present in young sudden death victims. Adrenaline released during intense physical or athletic activity often acts as a trigger for sudden cardiac arrest when these abnormalities are present.
  • Recreational drug use: In people without organic heart disease, recreational drug use is a cause of sudden cardiac arrest.

 

Source http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiacArrest/Understand-Your-Risk-for-Cardiac-Arrest_UCM_307909_Article.jsp#.WdFmLmhSzIU


Mental Health Conditions

Mental Health Conditions

A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.

Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process.

A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too.

Recovery and Wellness

One in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person’s directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.

Half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery. 

Source https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions


Oral health: A window to your overall health

Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Protect yourself by learning more about the connection between your oral health and overall health.

What’s the connection between oral health and overall health?

Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria — most of them harmless. Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

In addition, certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.

Studies also suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease — might play a role in some diseases. In addition, certain diseases, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe.

What conditions may be linked to oral health?

Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

  • Endocarditis.Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
  • Cardiovascular disease.Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
  • Pregnancy and birth.Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

 

Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:

  • Diabetes.Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, and that regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.
  • HIV/AIDS.Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
  • Osteoporosis.Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, head and neck cancers, and Sjogren’s syndrome — an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth.

Because of these potential links, tell your dentist if you’re taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall health — especially if you’ve had any recent illnesses or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes.

Source http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475


Oral health: Brush up on dental care basics

Your smile depends on simple dental care habits, such as brushing and flossing. But are you using the right techniques? Follow these steps to protect your oral health.

Brushing for oral health

Oral health begins with clean teeth. Keeping the area where your teeth meet your gums clean can prevent gum disease, while keeping your tooth surfaces clean can help you stave off cavities. Consider these brushing basics from the American Dental Association:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day. When you brush, don’t rush. Take time to do a thorough job.
  • Use the proper equipment. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which can reduce plaque and a mild form of gum disease (gingivitis) more than does manual brushing. These devices are also helpful if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush effectively.
  • Practice good technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue.
  • Keep your equipment clean. Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing. Store your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air-dry until using it again. Try to keep it separate from other toothbrushes in the same holder to prevent cross-contamination. Don’t routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers, which can encourage the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast.
  • Know when to replace your toothbrush. Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush every three to four months — or sooner if the bristles become irregular or frayed.

 

Flossing for oral health

You can’t reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gumline with a toothbrush. That’s why daily flossing is important. When you floss:

  • Don’t skimp. Break off about 18 inches (46 centimeters) of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand. Grip the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
  • Be gentle. Guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion. Don’t snap the floss into your gums. When the floss reaches your gumline, curve it against one tooth.
  • Take it one tooth at a time. Slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwind fresh floss as you progress to the rest of your teeth.
  • Keep it up. If you find it hard to handle floss, use an interdental cleaner — such as a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between teeth, a water flosser or wooden or silicone plaque remover.

 

As long as you do a thorough job, it doesn’t matter if you brush or floss first.

Source http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20045536?pg=1


Eye Injury Facts and Myths

Eye Injury Facts and Myths

  • Men are more likely to sustain an eye injury than women.
  • Most people believe that eye injuries are most common on the job — especially in the course of work at factories and construction sites. But, in fact, nearly half (44.7 percent) of all eye injuries occurred in the home, as reported during the fifth-annual Eye Injury Snapshot (conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma).
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot were caused by projects and activities such as home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. More than a third (34.2 percent) of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities.
  • Eyes can be damaged by sun exposure, not just chemicals, dust or objects.
  • Among all eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury. Of those reported to be wearing eyewear of some sort at the time of injury (including glasses or contact lenses), only 5.3 percent were wearing safety or sports glasses.

Source https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/preventing-injuries


Eye Safety at Home

Believe it or not, the average home is full of dangers that often go unnoticed.

In fact, accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.

Ninety percent of these eye injures can be prevented through understanding, safety practices and the use of proper eye protection.

You can reduce the risks of eye injuries for yourself and other family members by using this simple checklist for different areas of your home:

Indoor Safety

·         Provide lights and handrails to improve safety on stairs.

Outdoor Safety

·         Inspect and remove debris from lawns before mowing.

·         Keep paints, pesticides, fertilizers, and similar products properly stored in a secure area.

·         Keep your tools in good condition; damaged tools should be repaired or replaced.

·         Wear safety glasses or dust goggles to protect against flying particles, and chemical goggles to guard against exposure to fertilizers and pesticides.

Chemical Safety

·         Wear chemical safety goggles when using hazardous solvents and detergents.

·         Read and follow all manufacturer instructions and warning labels.

·         Do not mix cleaning agents.

·         Know that regular eyeglasses don’t always provide enough protection.

Source https://www.preventblindness.org/eye-safety-home 


What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer?

Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You can’t change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways—

·         Keep a healthy weight.

·         Exercise regularly (at least four hours a week).

·         Research shows that lack of nighttime sleep can be a risk factor.

·         Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day.

·         Avoid exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer (carcinogens)and chemicals that interfere with the normal function of the body.

·         Limit exposure to radiation from medical imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans if not medically necessary.

·         If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives(birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.

·         Breastfeed any children you may have, if possible.

If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, you may be at high risk for getting breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about more ways to lower your risk.

Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm


What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer?

Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You can’t change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways—

·         Keep a healthy weight.

·         Exercise regularly (at least four hours a week).

·         Research shows that lack of nighttime sleep can be a risk factor.

·         Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day.

·         Avoid exposure to chemicals that can cause cancer (carcinogens)and chemicals that interfere with the normal function of the body.

·         Limit exposure to radiation from medical imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans if not medically necessary.

·         If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives(birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.

·         Breastfeed any children you may have, if possible.

If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, you may be at high risk for getting breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about more ways to lower your risk.

Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/prevention.htm