Your Health Strategy For 2018

Time To Organize

Start the new year by dedicating some time to record a health history for you and your family members. This will consist of major injuries, surgeries, and disease. Also include needed medical history from relatives. This is helpful with hereditary conditions. A thorough history can help your medical provider when treating you. Once this is started, updating is easy with current information.

Also, the new year is a perfect time to clean out and restock the medicine cabinet. Safely dispose of expired medication, both over-the-counter and prescriptions. Make sure all basic supplies are stocked for minor injuries and illness. This could include age appropriate restocking with growing children. And also consider your storage of medication by exploring kid safe options.

Checkups and Programs

The holiday season from October to December might have brought an unwanted weight gain. Start the new year with a focus on nutrition. Setting up a program to follow for the year can keep you on track. A program can be as extensive as meal planning or as simple as eliminating a few things from your diet, such as soda or fast food. Along with nutrition, add an exercise program for 2018. Fitness is nothing new, but setting a program will help to organize and achieve your goals.

Valuable checkups are also needed each year for optimal health. Schedule your appointments. You will want to add having your vitals checked and blood tested to such things as annual vision and dental checkups. Hormone regulation and blood pressure are important in maintaining overall health.

Write It Down

Besides recording a permanent medical history, adding a daily or weekly health journal will not only help your health providers, but help you understand yourself. For instance, when you journal your food consumption along with headaches, you may discover a sensitivity to a certain food or additive. Record sleep, all you consume, your activity, and how you feel physically.

Accountability is also included when you write it down. If 2018 is the year you focus on improving your health, recording what you ate and how you exercised is extremely helpful when it comes to losing weight or improving your health. Do you want to lower your blood pressure? Or is this the year to quit smoking? Whether you use an app, write on paper or your computer, accountability has been proven to help achieve goals.

Here’s to a healthy 2018!

The New Depression

We’ve come to know depression by certain signs of sadness, too much sleep, overeating or even severe lack of appetite. But what happens when depression is hidden?

How To Recognize

Just as there are varying degrees of depression, there are also varying signs. Hidden depression is exhibited in behavior that masks its appearance vs. the outwardly signs of sadness, excessive sleep, and extreme change in appetite.

One behavior to be aware of with yourself or others is a realism that is present instead of optimism. Not necessarily complete negativity, but a response that is void of hopeful thinking. An example would be instead of someone saying “I hope I get the job,” they would say “There were a lot of applicants so I know my chances are slim in getting the job.”

Besides this, topics of conversation and thought often turn philosophical with a person who normally doesn’t discuss such things. These could include the meaning of life, evaluation of your life or questioning your purpose.

Another sign is excuses always ready not to be social or attend an activity. Everyone has schedules, but repeated excuses from a once social person could be a signal.

Why It’s Happening

Depression is nothing new for the many who suffer from it. What IS new is our adapting to that depression. Work and home life schedules are more demanding than ever. Between a full day at the office and children’s activities after work, there is little time left.

This adaptation has originated from our current busy situations and produced a coping mechanism that helps us to function daily. This brief coping guards against triggers that are known to affect someone’s mood. But much like the functioning addict, this coping is only temporary.

The Dangers 

Most certainly, this adapting behavior can lead to an acceptance. This is dangerous when the brain is trained to accept a different quality of life.

And most importantly, because these ways of fending off masked depression are mostly unknown, there is a danger that the depression will not be addressed and treated. When left untreated, depression can worsen.

Visiting a healthcare professional to evaluate any concerns is necessary when signs are present of hidden depression.

Sugar and The Body

The recommended daily amount of sugar is 6 tablespoons for women and 9 tablespoons for
men. Unfortunately, Americans are averaging around 20 tablespoons of added sugar per day.
This number does not include the natural sugars found in such things as fruits and milk. The
high daily consumption of sugar is detrimental to our daily wellbeing and is proving to be
dangerous for our systems.
In The Brain
The effects of sugar start with the first bite, sending signals to the brain that raise dopamine
levels. And like with other addictions, more and more sugar is needed to achieve the satisfied
feeling. This increased need is what leads to over consumption.
And a study showed the brain can take glucose and change it into fructose. Fructose is the
sugar that will tell the brain, the body is not full. This also leads to over consumption.
The raised dopamine must eventually come down to be regulated. It is suggested this process
is leading to depression, beyond the sugar ‘crash’ because of the messages sent to the brain.
When not regulated, a dangerous cycle with the brain leads to impairment of function.
With Weight
In small amounts, sugar does not lead to weight gain, especially when there is plenty of
exercise. However, sugar in all its forms, when consumed in higher amounts, will lead to
considerable weight gain. And unfortunately, having a ‘sweet tooth’ is not the only issue with
weight and sugar. Sugar is present in more than just desserts and sweets. Sugar is also added
to savory items such as BBQ sauce and ketchup. It can also be found in canned soup! And just
when you think low fat yogurt and protein bars are a healthy option, you find added sugar.
Much like with the brain, there is an unfavorable cycle with sugar and weight. The pancreas
produces insulin every time you eat, and too much sugar builds an insulin resistance. Insulin is
the hormone to transfer the glucose to cells to convert into energy. The resistance makes it
harder to be active and weight gain harder to lose.
Precursor to Disease
These effects on the brain and weight are leading to diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. Also,
because of the fat accumulation around it, the liver cannot function properly. And since sugar
raises uric acid levels, kidney and heart disease development are a concern.
But these concerns can be alleviated. To avoid short term effects and long term danger, sugar
must be decreased to safer amounts. Since the added sugars are sometimes disguised, care
must be taken with all food and drinks by reading labels and keeping track of daily amounts.
And then these lowered amounts of sugar will help overall health.

Aging Parents-Concerns and Care

One stage along life’s path may be the opportunity to care for aging family members, primarily parents. Loved ones might not trouble anyone for needs they have, so these are the signs to look for and the care to provide.

Concern

Recognizing certain physical and behavioral changes can assist in knowing when to be concerned for a loved one. Physical changes to keep aware of are weight loss, difficulty getting up from a seated position or difficulty with balance and walking, bruising and other unexplained injuries.

Also, there may be signs that a little help is needed when certain tasks are forgotten or left undone. Mail may stack up, spoiled food isn’t thrown away, or laundry is not done. Hiring help or scheduling time to assist with these tasks can make parents still independent.

Observing behavioral changes is very important too. Are there extreme mood changes? Are they ignoring personal hygiene? Is there confusion with daily tasks? Are they forgetting appointments or medications? These noticeable changes may indicate dementia, but always should be discussed with their medical provider for possible care options.

Sometimes too, there may be depression. Do they sleep most of the day? Are they not as involved with family? Or with friends? Again, recognizing differences in personality or behavior are important to discuss with their medical provider for treatment.

Care

This time comes with many decisions and preparation. Assessing a parent’s needs is the first step. Will the parent require professional aid? Is there equipment needed for their physical care?

Unfortunately there are situations when a loved one suffers a medical event leading to a need for 24 hour assistance. Medical professionals will help during these times by suggesting facilities or in-home nursing.

Other times, parents may just need adjustments in their own homes to make daily tasks easier and safer. Bringing items down, to eliminate reaching, is a great help in preventing falls. Walking devices also serve well preventing falls, as will bathroom equipment for bathing.

Whether parents stay in their own homes, move in with their children or facility, the many advancements with care are improving daily life and even extending it, thankfully bettering this transition.

Focused Exercise For Every Age

Exercise aids in good health, lengthens life span, and increases quality of life. In every stage of aging, exercise can be done to achieve those results. This exercise guide, that is focused for each stage, will maximize those results.

20s

In our twenties, metabolism is high and we are more physically active, so exercise might be considered unnecessary. But, this is the perfect time to create habits for the future and also to build a strong foundation.

First, lifting weights and doing resistance exercises 3 times a week will build strength. This strength is important to counteract the bone and muscle loss in the future. Next, cardio should also be added to a regimen, with the goal of 3-5 hours, weekly.

30s

Our thirties is the ideal time to implement different exercises into the routine. If you have been a runner, introducing other types of cardio such as swimming or aerobics will work areas you haven’t worked on in the past.

An overall physically healthy approach should be the goal with adding flexibility and balance exercises at this stage. Not only will these help with performance, but they also help to maintain range of motion. Yoga and even dancing are great options.

40s

The forties can be a more difficult stage to find the time to exercise. Most importantly, now is not the time to stop lifting weights. Muscle loss is in the beginning stages and a good program will help the core, leg, arm, and back muscles, fighting that loss.

Also important is fat that may accumulate in areas unseen. As we age, hormone levels decrease and fat is redistributed. This fat can build around organs and not be noticed on the scale. Lean muscle will combat this unhealthy fat.

Stretching should also be an increased focus at this stage, continuing into later stages.

50s

Our fifties bring about the time we need to start listening to our bodies. Aches and pains tell us to rest certain areas. Shoulders may need a break after a tennis match, making for a perfect opportunity to walk instead. But it is still important to do 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 times a week during this age.

Besides stretching, aerobic exercise and lighter weight lifting, now is the time to incorporate more yoga or pilates for strong posture.

60s

With decades of healthy exercise, the sixties stage is a time to maintain.

While weight lifting in our routine has decreased, it should not cease. Two to three times a week is suggested for using weights, alternating upper and lower body regions.

Because bones become more frail, caution should be taken with all activity, being mindful of falls and fractures. But this is a great chance to join group classes and have fun with exercise. Zumba and water aerobics are great examples.

70s+

We must focus on sustaining our strength, flexibility, and balance in our seventies.

At this stage, workouts are much safer and effective guided by a certified trainer.

Balance can be worked on with the help of a chair. Resistance bands can be used for strength.

Walking is also good at this time, along with water exercise. These both are terrific for heart health but easier on joints.

Susceptibility for injury is higher at this age, so never over extend and give your body a chance to rest between workouts.

Your Vitamin Benefits and Sources Guide

There are 13 vitamins that help our bodies function properly. The best way to stay healthy with There are 13 vitamins that help our bodies function properly. The best way to stay healthy with development and function is to eat a balanced diet through a variety of foods. Here is your guide to know the benefits and what source foods to consume for these vitamins. Vitamin A (Retinol, Beta Carotene) helps with vision, reproduction, immunity, cell growth and cell communication. Also it assists in formation and the maintaining of bones, teeth, soft tissue, mucous membranes and skin. The best sources for Vitamin A are carrots, squash, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, and cantaloupe. Other sources include liver and fish oils, tomato products, milk and eggs.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) aids in cell development and function. It also converts food into energy. Your sources for Vitamin B1 can be found in whole grains, pasta, and rice. Also Vitamin B1 is in meat (especially pork), fish, seeds, nuts, and legumes such as black beans and soybeans.Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) promotes body growth and production of red blood cells. The best sources for Riboflavin are lean and organ meats, low fat milk, eggs, broccoli, spinach, and asparagus.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps maintain healthy skin and nerves. It also helps the digestive system. Niacin can be consumed with fish, lean meats, poultry, milk, eggs, legumes, and peanuts.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is needed to metabolize food and helps produce hormones and cholesterol. Your sources for B5 include chicken liver, salmon, sunflower seeds, avocados, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, egg yolks, and yogurt.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) helps to form red blood cells, maintain brain function, and supports protein synthesis. B6 is in fish, organ meats, poultry, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin) is needed to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates. Also, it helps to produces cholesterol and hormones. Sources for B7 include sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, carrots, nuts, eggs, and oatmeal.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) is needed to produce DNA, which controls cell function and tissue growth. It also helps red blood cell formation. Legumes are a great source for B9, as well as citrus fruits and their juices. Spinach, asparagus, dark leafy greens, carrots, cauliflower, and beets are also good sources.

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) assists in maintaining the central nervous system, aids in metabolism and the forming of red blood cells. B12 is found in beef liver, clams, fish, meat, poultry, milk, eggs, and other dairy products.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) helps the immune system, healing wounds, and absorption of iron. Sources for Vitamin C include citrus fruits and their juices, strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, red and green peppers.

Vitamin D (D2 Ergocalciferol, D3 Cholecalciferol) helps maintain proper blood levels of phosphorous and calcium for healthy teeth, gums, and bones. The best sources for Vitamin D aresalmon, mackerel, and tuna. There are also small amounts in egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver. Milk is also fortified with Vitamin D.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol) boosts the immune system and helps with cell communication. It also helps widen blood vessels to prohibit clotting. Wheat germ, vegetable, sunflower and safflower oils, nuts and seeds, are the best sources for Vitamin E. There also small amounts in broccoli, spinach, corn and soybean oils.

Vitamin K (Phylloquinone) is important for blood clotting and healthy bones. The best sources are green leafy vegetables, blueberries, figs, meat, cheese, eggs, soybeans and vegetable oils. Also note, some food products are fortified with vitamins and can be added to the natural sources!

Fun, Safe Summertime

The days are longer and the temperatures are warmer. It’s summertime in Oklahoma. From the newest technology in clothing to great guides for all ages in sun protection, we have many tips to safely enjoy these summer months!

Sun Protection

First things first, check the expiration date on your sunblock. DO NOT use if expired. If you are needing to purchase sunscreen, make sure it has UVA/UVB protection and is at least SPF 30. This applies to adults, children are different. Children aged 0-6 months should avoid sun exposure and sunblocks are not made for them because of their skin’s sensitivity. For children older than 6 months, a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is suggested. And EVERYONE should reapply sunblock every hour, being extra careful when exposed to water.

Remember the times between 10am and 4pm the sun is at its strongest. For further protection, there is great clothing now that has built-in technology, helping to block the sun. Also add sunglasses and hats for overall protection. And don’t be fooled by cloud cover. In fact, sun protection should be a year round, everyday routine!

Water Safety

Whether you own a pool, visit the lake, or have a vacation planned for the beach, there are important guidelines for enjoying water activities safely.

-Start swim lessons at an early age.
-Consider becoming CPR certified.
-Never swim alone.
-Swim in designated areas.
-Wear life jackets on all watercraft.
-Know and set limits with time in water.
-Avoid water activities after drinking alcohol.
-Whenever possible, have an accessible phone close by.

Heat Warnings

When temps are 90 degrees or higher, our bodies can become susceptible for heat illness if they are unable to cool down. Your chances increase when humidity is present.

It is crucial to stay hydrated during hot days. Water is the best choice and also drinks that contain electrolytes, helping salt depletion. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol will dehydrate you and should be avoided. Also, wear light-colored, lightweight clothing, during summer days, that doesn’t restrict.

Importantly, certain medications can inhibit the body from normal heat protection. These can include diuretics, blood thinners, antibiotics, allergy medications, medicine for seizures, and some antidepressants. We will be happy to discuss all your medications with you for your peace of mind.

There are two events with overheating…heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion are heavy sweating, pale or cold skin, muscle cramping, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, weakness, confusion, and rapid heartbeat. In addition to those, heatstroke signs are fainting, flushed skin, lack of sweating, difficulty breathing, and seizures. Both events require immediate attention. Move to a shaded or cooler spot. Lie with feet elevated slightly to move blood to heart. Apply cool towels and rehydrate by sipping water. If symptoms do not improve within 30 minutes, or if seizures and/or fainting occurs, call 9-1-1.

Always safety first, then you can FULLY enjoy your summer activities! And if you have any questions regarding summer safety, do not hesitate to give us a call.

Women’s Health – Healthy You, Happy You

May is Women’s Health Care Month. While men and women have the same overall health concerns, women have their own health issues. Deer Creek Family Healthcare and Wellness Clinic is dedicated to providing this specialized care for women.

Reproductive and Sexual

Puberty for girls usually begins between the ages of 8-13, with menstruation starting at 10-15. This can be an exciting, yet confusing change. We ease this transition with education and services. Schedule an appointment for well woman exams, pap smears, PMS symptoms, and birth control consultation and management. Also, we give STD evaluation and treatment. We conduct pregnancy tests and also offer the HPV vaccine, when needed.

These are sensitive topics and we approach your wellness with the utmost attention. We welcome discussion so you will feel comfortable expressing any concern.

Hormone Evaluation and Treatment

Hormones are crucial in regulating the behavior of our bodily functions including: digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sensory perception, sleep, excretion, lactation, stress, growth and development, movement, reproduction, and mood. They are the body’s communicators. With any imbalance in levels, the communication is faulty, leading to dysfunction.

If you have felt sluggish or are experiencing unexplained weight gain, hormones might be the reason. A look into your levels is simple and we strive to get you back to your healthy self.

And naturally, changes occur with different stages in life. Help is needed to balance this adjustment. Pregnancy and advancing into menopause present these imbalanced situations. We are here for every stage of women’s health.

General Health

Because some medical events happen more with women than with men, women must be aware of changes to their bodies and symptoms. Migraines, for example, affect 18% of women as compared to 6% of men. Gallstones are something else that happens 3-4 times more in women. Other conditions are irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract and kidney infections. In fact, kidney disease is a cause for hypertension and after the age of 50, hypertension is more prevalent in women than men. Women’s bodies may also process medication differently than men. One size DOES NOT fit all and we understand that.

We also realize many women are busy taking care of others, often putting their own health aside. Deer Creek Family Healthcare has convenient appointment times, working around those busy schedules, and we are here to be your helpful provider for women’s health. ??