National Diabetes Month

November 3rd, 2014

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We hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!! As we gear up to prepare for two of the most favorite eating holidays of the year: Thanksgiving and Christmas, we at Wellness Express would like to take a moment to recognize November as National Diabetes Month and remind people to stay active through the holiday season. Because while there’s nothing wrong with a second helping of grandma’s famous Honey glazed turkey and cornbread stuffing if you’re exercising regularly, the holidays are the number one time of year when people get off track from their diet and exercise regiments.

Prevention

The easiest way to prevent type two diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Being even a little overweight can increase your chances for getting type 2 diabetes. If you think you may be at risk, the American Diabetes Association has a quick Risk test you can take that measures factors like family history, lifestyle, weight, and height, among other things. It takes about two minutes and rates you on a scale from 1 to 10. But keep in mind that only your doctor can truly assess your actual risk.

Foe those of you who have already been diagnosed, or who are looking to lower your risk, the American Diabetes Association has a link on their website to MyFoodAdvisor, which supplies healthy recipes in a free newsletter. All you have to do is sign up. The first recipe, a Cilantro Lime Roasted Chicken has 130 calories per serving, with 18 grams of protein and only 4.5 grams of fat. The entire meal costs 9.89, and the recipe can be found here http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/log-in/recipes-for-healthy-living.html?loc=rr-eng_rfhl_nov2014.

So as you look to enjoy your holiday season, eat smart and continue to exercise in order to reduce the risk of type two diabetes for yourself or your family.

For further information, check out the American Diabetes Association Website: http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/american-diabetes-month.html

 

 

National Mental Health Awareness Week

October 13th, 2014

mental healthOctober 6-10th is National Mental Illness Awareness Week. Mental illness in the media is often portrayed as people who are “off their rocker” as the word “crazy” often has a negative stigma. But National Mental Health Awareness week is trying to change all that with research, advocacy, and activities that can be done in your community to promote a healthier view on mental illness and how it impacts our nation.

 

In 2012, the National Institute of Mental Health did a study and found that 18.6 percent of adults (43.7 million) in America had some kind of mental illness. The groups with the highest risk were found the be females, people from 26-49, and those of American Indian heritage and Alaskan natives. A further study found that 20% of adolescents from the age of 13-17 have also been diagnosed with a serious mental illness. With mental illness affecting a fifth of both or adult and adolescent population, it is crucial to fight the stigma and get more help for those struggling with mental illness.

 

It is easy to get involved during National Mental Health week. The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests any of the following: run feature stories in the local newspapers of those willing to share their experience with mental illness, hold a depression screening event, donate mental health books to libraries, create bookstore displays, or have a benefit concert.

 

One of the most popular events is the NAMIWalk in support of raising money for mental illness. Lafayette held it’s most recent walk on October 4th, and New Orleans is sponsoring one on October 11th. It’s the perfect opportunity to get fit for a good cause. For more information, go to their website, http://www.namiwalks.org/.

 

Whether you’re supporting a friend, family member, or just peoples’ human right to not be judged by their illness, make sure you get involved in National Mental Health Awareness week.

 

October: Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 8th, 2014

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For the last 29 years, October has been recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. But beyond wearing pink and donating to the cause, the best thing to do is keep yourself protected by reducing your risk and using self exams for early detection.

Risk Factors

Breast cancer is likely to be diagnosed in women. Race and age also contribute to risk, as most affected women tend to be white and over the age of 55. While these factors are unavoidable, there are ways to decrease your risk through environmental factors. These things include eating a healthy diet, maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy weight, being (or becoming) a non smoker, and reducing your intake of alcohol. But even if you are adhering to all these things, they do not replace self checks and doctors appointments, as 60-70% of breast cancer patients do not have any connection to environmental risk factors.

Early Detection

The easiest form of early detection is a self check breast exam. 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are discovered through self exams. It is recommended that women perform these exams once a month. There are three recommended ways to perform a breast exam: in the shower, in front of a mirror, and laying down. Starting from the outside of the breast and moving toward the center, use the pads of your fingers to inspect the breast and armpit area for changes and lumps. When performing the check in a mirror, also physically look at your breasts for any changes.

If you do find a lump, the best course of action is to make an appointment with your doctor and schedule a mammogram. But stay calm, as 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous.

Be safe, be well, be smart. Early detection could save your life.

Celebrate World Heart Day

September 29th, 2014

1010876_798867366791884_5133800719580175805_nCelebrate World Heart Day with Wellness Express!
September 29, 2014 is World Heart Day. Started by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day looks to garner support and recognition for Cardiovascular disease (CVD) on both national and international agendas. They promote making “heart choices NOT hard choices, “ and promote the implementation of heart health environments in school, workplaces, and homes.

 

What some people may not know is Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer. In 2014, 17.3 million people will die from CVD, and the number will only keep rising. While people can sabotage their own health through smoking, drinking, and poor eating and exercise choices, The World Heart Federation recognizes that environments play a role in heart disease. Often the harmful environments we are interacting in are the ones we cannot control. Some of the factors that contribute to unhealthy heart environments include unhealthy school meals, displays of tobacco and fast food products, and second hand smoke in parks and public place. They are leading a campaign for change because everyone deserves to live heart healthy if they so choose.

 

You can Click here for the official web page of World Heart Day. You can simply pledge your support or become a voice for heart health through social media. They have over 1600 supporters already, and you could be next. Social media makes it easy to be an advocate for heart health. You can add a badge to your facebook or twitter, or use one of their hashtags to join the growing community talking about heart health. #heartchoices #worldheartday

 

Prevention is our best ally in the fight against Cardiovascular Disease. Don’t wait until it affects someone you love to become an advocate. Make the pledge today and start making #heartchoices, not hard choices, for yourself and your family.

 

All information and statistics provided by http://www.worldheartday2014.com/ and the World Heart Federation.

 

Back To School: Backpack Awareness

September 22nd, 2014

backpack-kids-22115499September 17th the American Occupational Therapy Association observed National Backpack Awareness Day. In light of this event we wanted to share a few tips to keep your kids safe this school year.

The Weight of Education

That cool one-strap backpack look comes at a cost for students who are often carrying 20 to 30 lbs of school work on their backs. While medical professionals recommend that a backpack should never weigh more than 10% of a child’s weight, a study found that at least 55% of kids were carrying around more than the recommended weight.

Survey Says…

In 2007, there were more than 2,000 backpack related injuries treated at hospitals. Due to the strain, many students begin to develop lower back pain that affects them into adulthood. 85% of university students surveyed in a study by Boston University, self reported back pain due to the weight of their bags. Thankfully, there are preventative measures that can be taken to ensure your child wears their backpack safely with less risk of back strain or injury.

Dress for Success

While you can’t always control what goes in to your child’s backpack, you can control how it is worn and packed to put the least strain on their back. The American Occupational Therapy Association recommends that when the backpack is packed, all big heavy items like text books should go closest to the back; Notebooks and items of a medium weight should go in the middle; and light items like pencils, eraser, and tissue should go in the front pockets.

Remind kids to lift their bags by bending their knees, not their backs. When they put it on it should at least be worn level with the shoulders, using both straps, and not below the hips. If the backpack is especially heavy, the sternum strap and waist belt should also be used to help distribute weight.

Don’t let homework weigh them down for the rest of their life. Practice safe backpack wear!!

 

All information was sourced from the American Occupational Therapy website. You can find more information here: http://www.aota.org/en/Conference-Events/Backpack-Safety-Awareness-Day/Handouts.aspx

Flu Season and You

September 15th, 2014

Welcome to our blog! We at Wellness Express hope to keep you up to date with important information from the medical world that every patient should be aware of for the health and safety of themselves and their families.

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#flu #vaccine

This week, as we get into September and the new school year, it is especially important to remember a flu vaccination as part of your back-to-school routine. And don’t think it’s just for the kids, everyone benefits from a vaccination against the flu.

The flu is a contagious virus that affects the nose, throat and lungs and can be spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact sometimes before the carrier even knows they’re sick (CDC). So even people who are careful about keeping their children home from school, or staying home from work when are sick, have the chance to spread the disease up to one day before symptoms develop and 5 to 7 days after (CDC).

The best way to avoid the flu for yourself and your family is through a yearly vaccine. The vaccine is injected as a “flu shot” and does not actually contain a live flu virus. There is a second option where a weakened version of the influenza virus is sprayed into the nose for those who are queasy or scared of needles (CDC). The benefit of going yearly is receiving protection for new strains of the flu, as the shot does change each year. While the shot cannot combat every single strain of flu, it will protect against 3 or 4 that are likely to cause disease that year (CDC).

Many people choose to avoid vaccines because they may come with their own set of potential side effects, such as soreness, redness, or swelling at injection site, sore itchy eyes, cough, fever, aches, headaches, or fatigue. But when you weigh the risks of suffering mild side effects for one or two days,as opposed to getting a virus that could become pneumonia or something more serious, the small risks associated with the vaccine are worth the peace of mind you’ll get knowing you’ve taken the right steps to keeping your family healthy.

Don’t wait until you’re sick to make the choice to protect yourself and those you love. Contact us today so we can answer all your questions and get you and your family vaccinated.

Call us at (337)-988-1138 or visit our website to sign up for our on-site clinic today!