Category: Health Facts

December is National Influenza Awareness Month

The Flu is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system. It can result in serious health complications that could lead to hospitalization and even death.  

Get the Facts

  • The Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and – sometimes – the lungs. 
  • People with influenza can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away.  
  • People with the Flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins.
  • The Flu is different from a cold. Unlike a cold, it usually comes on suddenly.
  • Flu viruses are spread mainly by tiny droplets made when infected people cough, sneeze or talk.
  • Flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter.

People at higher risk of developing flu complications include:

  • Young children under age 5, and especially those under six months.
  • Adults older than age 65.
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
  • Pregnant women and women up to two weeks after giving birth.
  • People with weakened immune systems.
  • Native Americans.
  • People who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and diabetes.
  • People who are very obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher.

Take Action

  • The best way to prevent the Flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
  • Where a mask.
  • Practice social distancing.

Call your medical provider if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever.
  • Aching muscles.
  • Chills and sweats.
  • Headache.
  • Dry, persistent cough.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Tiredness and weakness.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Sore throat.
  • Eye pain.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults).

Seek immediate medical attention if you have the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Ongoing dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Worsening of existing medical conditions
  • Severe weakness or muscle pain

Emergency signs and symptoms in children can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blue lips
  • Chest pain
  • Dehydration
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Seizures
  • Worsening of existing medical condition

 

Call Community Health Net to schedule your flu shot today!  Call (814) 455-7222. 

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 COPD Awareness Month

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects millions of Americans. It is the third leading cause of disease-related death in the U.S. The good news is that COPD is often preventable and treatable. If you or a loved one has COPD, there are steps to take to cope with the lifestyle changes this disease brings.

Get the Facts

  • COPD is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe.
  • COPD is almost always caused by smoking.
  • COPD gets worse over time. You cannot undo the damage to your lungs.
  • Many people don’t recognize the symptoms of COPD until the later stages of the disease.
  • Some think they are short of breath or less able to go about their normal activities because they are “just getting older.”
  • COPD is most common in people who are older than 60.
  • People who have COPD are more likely to get lung infections.

Take Action

If you experience any of the following symptoms or think you might be at risk for COPD, it is essential to discuss this with your doctor:

  • Chronic cough.
  • Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities (dyspnea).
  • Frequent respiratory infections.
  • Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis).
  • Fatigue.
  • Producing a lot of mucus (also called phlegm or sputum).
  • Wheezing.

The best way to slow COPD is to quit smoking. It is never too late to quit. No matter how long you have smoked or how severe your COPD is, quitting smoking can help stop the damage to your lungs. Also, consider the following:

  • Avoid things that can irritate your lungs, such as smoke and air pollution.
  • Use an air filter in your home.
  • Get regular exercise to stay as strong as you can.
  • Eat well so you can keep up your strength.
  • Maintain good mental health.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222.

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.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Although over 10 million U.S. adults experience domestic violence annually, it can affect everyone regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality.

 

Get the Facts

  • Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, economic, and emotional/psychological abuse.
  • Every year millions of children are exposed to domestic violence.
  • Domestic violence is prevalent in every community and affects all people regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality.
  • Physical violence is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior as part of a much larger, systematic pattern of dominance and control.
  • Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and even death.
  • An average of 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually.
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner, and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been severely physically abused by an intimate partner.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying lock-downs, social distancing, and other mitigation measures have only exacerbated domestic violence.

Take Action

Know the Warning Signs of Partner Abuse in a Relationship

  • Telling you that you never do anything right.
  • Showing extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away from them.
  • Preventing or discouraging you from spending time with friends, family members, or peers.
  • Insulting, demeaning, or shaming you, especially in front of other people.
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions, including about working or attending school.
  • Controlling finances in the household without discussion, including taking your money or refusing to provide money for necessary expenses.
  • Pressuring you to have sex or perform sexual acts you’re not comfortable with.
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol.
  • Intimidating you through threatening looks or actions.
  • Insulting your parenting or threatening to harm or take away your children or pets.
  • Intimidating you with weapons like guns, knives, bats, or mace.
  • Destroying your belongings or your home.

Know the Warning Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect

  • Child abuse and neglect is any harm to a child that is not an accident.
  • Child abuse and neglect are also called child maltreatment.
  • Neglect is when parents or caregivers fail to ensure a child’s health and well-being.
  • Neglect may result from not providing a child with appropriate shelter, schooling, clothing, medical care, or protection from hazards.
  • Physical abuse causes bodily injuries, such as bruises, burns, fractures, cuts, punctures, or organ damage.
  • Physical abuse includes harming a fetus, such as when a pregnant woman has substance use disorder or is purposefully injured.
  • Emotional (psychological) abuse is a repeated pattern of intentional verbal or behavioral actions or lack of actions toward a child that give the message that he or she is worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value to meet someone else’s needs.
  • Withholding emotional support, isolating, or terrorizing a child are forms of emotional abuse.
  • Intimate partner (domestic) violence that is witnessed by a child is also considered a form of emotional abuse.
  • Sexual abuse is any act with a child that is intended to sexually gratify an older child or adult. It includes any sexual activity that a child does not comprehend or consent to, or that is against the law. Exhibitionism, voyeurism, and exposing a child to pornography are also types of sexual abuse.
  • You suspect child abuse. Call your local child or adult protective agency, police, or a health professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor.

What should you do if you’re being abused?

  • It’s important to get help. Talk with someone you trust, such as a friend, a help center, or your doctor. Talking with someone can help you make the changes you need.
  • Your first step is to contact a local advocacy group for support, information, and advice on how to stay safe. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) for the nearest program. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English, Spanish, and other languages.
  • You can also see the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website at https://ncadv.org/resources to find programs that offer shelter and legal support.
  • Know your legal rights. Consider asking the police for help.
  • Make sure that you know phone numbers you can call and places you can go in an emergency.
  • Teach your children not to get in the middle of a fight.
  • If you think you may leave, make a plan to help keep you safe. This will help when you are getting ready to leave. Your plan might include:
  • Putting together and hiding a suitcase of clothing, copies of your car and house keys, money or credit cards, and important papers, such as Social Security cards and birth certificates for you and your children. Keep the suitcase hidden in your home or leave it with friends or family or at work if possible.
  • Open a savings account or get a credit card, if you can do so in secret.
  • If you are a teen, talk to a trusted adult, such as your parents, family friend, or school counselor. You can also call the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline toll-free: 1-866-331-9474.

What should you do if you know someone who is being abused?

  • Be a good listener and a caring friend.
  • Remind the person that no one deserves to be treated this way.
  • Let the person know that the abuse is against the law and that help is available.
  • Help the person make a plan to stay safe.
  • You can also suggest that the person call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) to find a local domestic violence support group.
  • Keep in mind that the person may not want or be ready to leave. He or she probably knows the abuser best and knows what options are safest. But it is important for victims of abuse to know where they can get help.

Why do victims stay?

People who are not abused might find it hard to understand why anyone would stay in a violent relationship. Some people think that if a person stays in an abusive relationship, she or he must be weak or needy. This is not true. There is more to this issue than simply leaving or staying. A woman may fear that the abuser will hurt her and her children or take her children away. She may have limited financial options. She may blame herself. She may stay for religious reasons or because she does not want to break up the family. Also, she may still love her abuser and hope that things will get better. The abuser may threaten self-harm or suicide. Men who are being abused may have similar feelings.

 

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.

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.

Call (814) 455-7222