Category: Health Facts

September is National Aging Awareness Month!

National Aging® Awareness Month focuses on practical ways for adults, ages 45-plus, to improve their physical and mental well-being and take control of their health!

 

Get the Facts

  • Falls are very common in older adults. Many falls cause only minor injuries, but some can be life-changing and cause older adults to restrict their activities.
  • Memory concerns often cause anxiety for older adults and families. They may — or may not — reflect substantial decreases in thinking abilities.
  • Although healthy older adults have lower rates of depression than the general public, depression is still a common problem that is easily missed. It’s more common in those who are struggling with illness, involved in caregiving, or socially isolated.
  • About 50% of all adults aged 65+ experience bothersome pain every month, often in multiple parts of the body. Persisting pain is linked with decreased social and physical activity, depression, and taking worse care of one’s own health. Pain can also be a sign of a new health problem that needs attention or a chronic problem that’s being poorly managed.
  • Both isolation (not having a lot of social contact with others) and loneliness (the feeling of lacking social connection) have been linked to declines in physical health. A 2012 study found that 43% of older adults reported feeling lonely; over the next 6 years, they were more likely to lose physical abilities or die. Loneliness and isolation have also been linked to decreased immune function and a greater risk of depression.
  • Polypharmacy means taking multiple medications. It’s a problem mainly because as people get older, they become especially at risk for harm from medication side-effects or interactions.
  • According to the CDC, every year 177,000 older adults visit the emergency room due to medication problems.

Take Action.

  • Exercise can be as simple as walking just ten or fifteen minutes, three to four times a week, and increasing as you go.
  • For those who are more active, try taking up tennis or joining a club where you can swim or use the exercise equipment.  Even just taking a dance class or senior yoga, gardening, or mowing the lawn.
  • Consider proper portion sizes when eating.  Eating larger portions than recommended leads to obesity, diabetes, and/or heart disease.
  • Keeping your mind active and engaged may ward changes that could lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Be pos­i­tive in your con­ver­sa­tions and your actions every day.
  • Stay Social. Don’t be afraid to make new friends, and make an effort to see your old friends, too. A sedentary lifestyle devoid of interaction with friends and family leads to health issues and isolation can lead to depression.
  • Maintain regularly scheduled visits to your healthcare provider.
  • If you feel pains or symptoms, do not ignore them.  See your provider immediately.

 

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

July is National UV Safety Awareness Month!

Sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, and UV exposure can raise skin cancer risk even without causing sunburn.

Get the Facts.

  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is electromagnetic radiation from the sun and manufactured sources like tanning beds and welding torches.
  • Everyone’s skin and eyes can be affected by the sun and other forms of ultraviolet (UV) rays.
  • People with light skin are much more likely to have their skin damaged by UV rays (and to get skin cancer), but darker-skinned people, including people of any ethnicity, can also be affected.
  • You don’t need x-rays or blood tests to find skin cancer early – just your eyes and a mirror.
  • Both IARC and NTP classify the use of UV-emitting tanning devices, including sunlamps and tanning beds, as carcinogenic (or having the potential to cause cancer to humans.)

Take Action.

  • Protect your skin with clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • If you’re going to be outside, simply staying in the shade, especially during midday hours, is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure to sunlight.
  • Wear sunglasses that block UV rays to protect your eyes and the skin around them.
  • Use sunscreen to help protect skin that isn’t covered with clothing.

You need to be especially careful in the sun if you:

  • Have had skin cancer before.
  • Have a family history of skin cancer, especially melanoma.
  • Have many moles, irregular moles, or large moles.
  • Have freckles and burn before tanning.
  • Have fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond, red, or light brown hair.
  • Have certain autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus).
  • Have had an organ transplant.
  • Take medicines that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

June is National Men’s Health Month

Most of the factors that contribute to men’s shorter lives are preventable. This month let’s encourage early detection and treatment among men!

Get the Facts.

  • Nearly three-quarters of men prefer to scrub the toilet or do other chores than see a doctor for preventive care, such as annual checkups.
  • The leading causes of death for men in the United States are heart disease, cancer, and accidents.
  • Men are less likely to recognize and seek help for depression.
  • As a male, you are more likely to get type 2 diabetes at a lower weight than women.
  • One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.

Take Action

  • Get regular check-ups, and don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about the uncomfortable stuff.
  • If you have chest pain, lightheadedness, back pain, or arm pain, go to the doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor about how often you should get a prostate exam.
  • Regular exercise and healthy eating can help prevent diabetes.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Feeling withdrawn.
  • Acting aggressive, irritable, and hostile.
  • Depression can also be seen in physical symptoms such as a racing heart, headaches, tightening chest, and digestive issues.
  • Deal with feelings by drinking, abusing drugs, or pursuing risky behavior.

In many cultures, it isn’t okay for men to be depressed because it is seen as “feminine.” But that isn’t true. Depression is a real problem that can affect any sex. Depression affects men in different ways than women. Having depression is nothing to be ashamed of. Talk to your doctor or trusted friend about how you have been feeling. If it is an emergency, do not hesitate to call 800-273-8255 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

 

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month

High blood pressure is a common condition that is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and vascular dementia.

Get The Facts.

  • Certain factors increase your risk for high blood pressure, such as:
    • Being overweight
    • Having a family history of high blood pressure
    • Eating too much salt
    • Drinking too much alcohol
    • Increasing age

Take Action.

  • Get regular check-ups and talk to your doctor about any of your concerns
  • Stay at a healthy weight or lose extra weight.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods and limit sodium.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.

What is High Blood Pressure?

Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension. Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of your arteries as it moves through your body. Your blood pressure naturally goes up and down throughout the day. When blood pressure is high, it causes damage to your blood vessel walls that worsen over time. High blood pressure is serious, but the good news is that there are many ways to manage blood pressure.

 

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

 

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month

Excessive alcohol use is responsible for approximately 95,000 deaths in the United States each year. This month, let’s increase the awareness of alcohol abuse.

 

Get the Facts.

  • People who drink alcohol are more likely to have job performance issues.
  • Drinking too much alcohol may cause health problems, such as:
    • high blood pressure
    • brain, liver, heart, nervous system problems
    • cancer
    • learning and memory problems, including dementia
    • mental health problems, including depression and anxiety

Take Action.

  • Identify your reasons. Make a list of the reasons you want to cut down on or stop drinking alcohol. You might want to ask a trusted friend or family member to help you make a complete list.
  • Make a plan. Set a date to stop drinking. Post the list in places where you can see it often.
  • Avoid stumbling blocks. Many things can interfere with meeting your goal to cut down on or stop drinking. If your current life revolves around alcohol use, you might need to choose new friends or a new lifestyle.
  • Reward yourself. Use the money that you are no longer spending on drinking to do something fun with your family or friends. Go out to eat, see a movie, or play sports or a game.

Getting Help

  • Some people can stop drinking on their own; others need medical help to manage the physical withdrawal process.
  • Many people attend self-help groups to help them stick to their plan to cut down or stop drinking. If you are not sure whether a self-help group is for you but would like to try, go to a group at least 3 times before you make your decision.
  • If you drank after successfully stopping (relapse), it does not mean that you have failed. Relapse is common. Begin again, using your experience to help you learn how to stick with your plan this time.
  • Alcoholism is a disease. Never feel ashamed for getting help.

 

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

March is National Nutrition Awareness Month!

This month, all are encouraged to make informed food choices and develop sound eating habits they can follow all year.

Get the Facts.

Malnutrition occurs with too much or too little of certain nutrients. Undernutrition is a lack of vitamins, minerals, and other essential substances in their body.

Some signs and symptoms of malnutrition include:

  • a lack of appetite or interest in food or drink
  • tiredness and irritability, an inability to concentrate always feeling cold
  • loss of fat, muscle mass, and body tissue
  • a higher risk of getting sick
  • longer healing time for wounds

Take Action.

  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products are healthy choices.
  • Include a variety of protein foods such as seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
  • Choose fresh foods when possible or low-sodium packaged foods.
  • Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.
  • As you age, manage your calories to stay healthy.

What Does Healthy Eating Prevent?

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some types of cancer
  • It can also help you feel your best and have plenty of energy.
  • It can help you handle stress better.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information. Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is preventable with healthy choices, such as maintaining a healthy weight, getting moderate-intensity physical activity, and regular checkups.

Get The Facts.

  • Heart disease kills more people than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Heart attacks affect more people every year than the population of Dallas, Texas.
  • 83% believe that heart attacks can be prevented but aren’t motivated to do anything.
  • 72% of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease.
  • And 58% put no effort into improving their heart health.

Take Action.

  • Quit Smoking. No matter how old you are, you will decrease your heart attack risk, stroke, and many other health problems.
  • Eat Healthy Foods. Eating healthy is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control many heart diseases.
  • Be Active. Improving your fitness is beneficial for your heart and blood vessels, as well as the rest of your body.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight. Staying at a healthy weight is also part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Heart Healthy Diet

  • Eat more fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables.
  • Buy plenty of spinach and broccoli.
  • Watch your sodium intake.
  • Eat whole grains likes oats, whole wheat pasta and bread, and brown rice.
  • Choose healthy fats like olive, sunflower, and canola oils.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

 

Beat the odds and win! Cervical Cancer is preventable with an annual exam and HPV vaccination. 13,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer each year.

Get the Facts.

  • The cervix is the lower part of the uterus. Cervical Cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control.
  • Most cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV.
  • HPV is contracted through intercourse with someone who has it.

Symptoms may include but are not limited to bleeding between menstrual periods, after intercourse or after menopause, pain in the lower belly/pelvis, pain during intercourse, or a discharge that isn’t normal.

Take Action.

  • Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it’s found early.
  • A screening test (Pap) can find changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer.
  • If you are age 26 or younger, you can get the HPV vaccine, which protects against types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer.
  • The best way to avoid getting an STI is to not have intercourse. If you do, be safe by using prophylactics and limiting the number of partners you have.

How is it Treated?

  • Surgery, such as a hysterectomy and removal of pelvic lymph nodes with or without removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy.

Finding out that you have cancer can change your life. You may feel like your world has turned upside down and you have lost all control. Talking with family, friends, or a counselor can really help. Ask your doctor about support groups. Or call the American Cancer Society (1-800-227-2345) or visit its website at www.cancer.org.

 

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

December is National Influenza Awareness Month

The flu isn’t a “bad cold.” It can result in serious health complications that could lead to hospitalization. The flu can sometimes even lead to death. Now is the time to consider the flu vaccination.

Get the Facts.

  • The flu comes from influenza viruses A and B. There are different strands of the flu virus every year.
  • The flu causes fever, body aches, a headache, a dry cough, and a sore or dry throat. You will probably feel tired and less hungry than usual.
  • For people with higher risk, the flu is more likely to lead to severe complications resulting in hospitalization or even death.
  • Most people will recover in several days to less than two weeks. Some people will develop serious flu complications.

Take Action.

  • You can help prevent the flu by getting a flu vaccine each year. It’s best to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available.
  • See a medical provider immediately at the onset of symptoms.
  • Stay home, keep your distance from others, cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask if you must leave home.
  • Flu symptoms can be treated at home by getting rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking medicine to lower your fever.

Why Get the Flu Shot?

Many people don’t get the flu shot because they think that it doesn’t work. Indeed, you can still get the flu because the flu is constantly evolving, but getting a vaccine can lower your chances of getting the flu and make the symptoms less severe. The flu can be very dangerous to people with health issues. Get the flu shot to protect the people you love.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public in learning more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

November is American Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems.

Get the Facts.

  • One in 10 Americans – more than 30 million people have diabetes. Another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetes occurs at every age, in people of every race, and in every shape and size.
  • In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys the cells that release insulin so that over time the body can’t produce insulin at all.
  • The most common form of diabetes – type 2 – happens when your body can’t use insulin the right way. Over time, the pancreas can’t make enough.
  • High blood sugar can harm many parts of the body, such as the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys.

Take Action.

  • Learn as much as you can about diabetes, working closely with your provider.
  • With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, anyone can learn to manage diabetes and live healthy lives.
  • Stay Fit and Eat Healthily! Having excess body fat and a poor diet contributes to risk factors.
  • Quit Smoking! This can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • See Your Medical Provider! Regular checkups are important to monitor your health.

Additional Information

Visit Community Health Net’s free Patient Education Center for more information on Diabetes.

Start here:

Diabetes
Education on type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Includes info on juvenile diabetes and prediabetes. Discusses symptoms and treatment. Also looks at how to manage blood sugar levels, diet, and medicines, including insulin.

Diabetes and Exercise
Find out how exercise helps you control your blood sugar and feel better in other ways too.

Diabetes and Infections
High blood sugar from diabetes can affect the body’s immune system, impairing the ability of white blood cells to come to the site of infection, stay in the infected area, and kill microorganisms. Because of the buildup of plaque in blood vessels associated with diabetes, areas of infection may receive poor blood…

Find a Doctor

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

Call us at (814) 455-7222