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Today’s Quality Health
Identifying Childhood Depression
Did you know that pre-schoolers are among the fastest-growing age bracket to which antidepressants are being marketed, according to studies published in “Psychiatric Services”? Researchers estimate that more than a million young children are clinically depressed. Depression is an illness that affects millions of adults but does not discriminate by age. Children can be just as likely to develop the condition, especially if there is a genetic component, meaning depression runs in the family. The symptoms of depression may be different in children than in adults. This coupled with a child’s inability to sometimes express what he or she is feeling can make diagnosing childhood depression more difficult. Signs include, but are not limited to, rage, irritability, bedwetting, and physical complaints, such as stomach aches, dizziness and headaches. Depression is a broad term that covers a few different clinical disorders. Children most often experience “reactive depression,” or the blues brought on by a change in circumstance or loss. Divorce, moving or attending a new school can induce this form of depression. Children also may experience dysthymia, also known as low-grade depression. Counseling and treatment with medication for the short-term can help. Major depression is less likely in children, but teenagers may suffer from it. In fact, research indicates that dabbling with drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin during the teen years is often a way to self-medicate and alleviate depression symptoms. However, it can simply make matters worse. Manic depression, also known as bi-polar disorder, can occur in children primarily if it runs in the family. If you or a relative has bi-polar disorder and your child is exhibiting symptoms of extreme highs and lows in behavior, see a doctor promptly for treatment. Depression is a treatable illness, provided steps are taken to promptly identify and treat the condition. Most psychiatric experts agree that a combination of medication and counseling is the key to dealing with depression.
Did You Know?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. Though it might be common for those in the Western hemisphere to assume malaria is not a major world health issue, an estimated 243 million malaria cases occurred in 2008. That same year, 863,000 people lost their lives to malaria. An overwhelming majority of those deaths, 89 percent, occurred in Africa. While malaria continues to be a health concern, particularly in Africa, the good news is that the world is beginning to realize the gravity of the problem. Whereas international funding commitments for malaria control were roughly $300 million as recently as 2003, by 2009 those commitments had risen to $1.7 billion. Much of that increase is due to the emergence of the Global Fund and increased commitments by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, the World Bank and a handful of other agencies. Those increased commitments have helped African households significantly whenit comes to fighting malaria. For example, while just 17 percent of African households owned at least one insecticide-treated net (ITN) in 2006, that figure had nearly doubled to 31 percent by 2008. Perhaps most beneficial, more children under the age of 5 in Africa (24 percent) are using ITNs, greatly reducing their risk of malaria. To learn more about malaria, visit the WHO Web site at www.who. int.
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Today’s Quality Health
Keeping Asthma Under Control
A new nationwide telephone survey of 1,001 asthma patients found that while most patients with asthma understand the risks associated with uncontrolled asthma, they don’t always act accordingly. “This finding demonstrates a serious disconnect between the perceived consequences of uncontrolled asthma and the necessary steps people should take to achieve better control,” explains Dr. Shailen Shah, an asthma expert with PA Allergy and Asthma Consultants. “Some people believe that asthma goes away when their symptoms do but asthma is a chronic disease. The good news is that with the appropriate treatment regimen, the inflammation that causes the symptoms may be properly managed.”
counts -- delivered right to your phone or e-mail -- at www.JoinMeasuresToday.com.” It’s important for patients to understand that when their asthma is under control with the help of their physicians, through lifestyle modifications and the proper use of appropriate controller medication, they should exhibit few asthma symptoms. Simple Steps to Asthma Control A physician can help create an asthma action plan and determine if a controller medication, in addition to a rescue medication, is appropriate.
Additionally, there are simple steps patients can take to avoid unnecessary complications, beginning with an open discussion with a physician and taking advantage of such free patient programs like My Measures For Success (www. JoinMeasuresToday.com), where patients choose the offerings they want, the way they want them, from a menu of free resources.
“To complement an asthma action plan, patient programs like My Measures for Success offer patients tools and resources to better help manage their disease,” says Dr. Shah. “I recommend patients utilize such features as the automated doctor appointment reminders and medication reminders, to help them stay on top of their treatment program.”
In addition to these unique tools offered through My Measures For Success, members also receive Success Points, awarded for regular participation in the program that can be redeemed for various health-related items.
People with asthma suffer from chronic lung inflammation, with symptoms ranging from coughing and wheezing to chest tightness and shortness of breath. Additionally, asthma triggers such as air pollution, smoke, pet dander, pollen and mold can set off an asthma episode. “Some asthma triggers that people may not initially think of are seasonal weather changes and air pollution,” says Shah. “If allergens like pollen or mold trigger your asthma, or you live in an area with smog, take simple steps to limit your exposure by signing up to receive daily air quality alerts or pollen
“Using an asthma action plan in conjunction with a patient program can help patients stay in the know and in control of their asthma,” Shah stresses. “By understanding proper asthma management and appropriate use of medications, patients can help maintain control over their asthma symptoms and minimize the risks associated with uncontrolled asthma.” To help make living with asthma easier, sign up for free resources at: www. JoinMeasuresToday.com.
Many people equate “exercise” with doing a workout video or heading to the gym. This doesn’t have to be the case at all. Regular daily activities provide a lot of the exercise a person needs and can be tweaked to provide even more. * Move while watching TV or playing video games: There are several video games today that make physical activity part of the fun. Even if your gaming system doesn’t feature getting up and being active, do so on your own. While watching a television show, dance, walk in place, do jumping jacks, or any other activity during commercials. * Go outdoors: Instead of recreational activities inside of the house where space is limited, play games, go on walks, or organize a pick-up sports game in the neighborhood. You’ll burn calories, get exercise, and enjoy fresh air, too. * Leave the car at home: Whenever possible, bike, walk, rollerblade, or get to your destination another way. Suburban life tends to create the car-to-store-tocar-to-house pattern, which doesn’t make for much physical activity. * Keep moving: If you simply must sit, such as in school or at the office, tap or kick your legs. A little movement is better than none at all. * Park further away: When in store parking lots, park furthest from the entrance so you’re forced to walk a bit more to and from the car. * Take a walking tour: Sightseeing during a vacation? Many big cities are perfect for strolling. With so much to see, you won’t even realize how much walking you’re doing.
Today’s Quality Health
Foot Pain? Do you have sore heels or arches in the morning or when you’re on your feet a lot?
Foot pain is not something you have to live with. It is usually caused by poor arch support and stability.
Key risk factors for heel and arch pain include: HOOSIER UPLANDS HOME HEALTH CARE & HOSPICE 500 West Main Street, Mitchell, IN 47446 Phone (812) 849-4447 or 1-800-827-2219 www.hoosieruplands.org
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Poor Arch Support Strains the Plantar Fascia
• Imperfect foot structure or mechanics... without sufficient support, even a little flattening can cause painful plantar fasciitis. • Too much time on your feet, especially on hard surfaces. • Insufficient exercise or stretching. • The effects of aging, which cause muscles to become less flexible.
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National Volunteer Appreciation Week For more information about becoming a volunteer, you may contact Lee Grimes, Hoosier Uplands Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, at 1-800-827-2219
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Health care costs continue to spiral out of control! Talk to your Pekin Life Insurance Company Agent about a Consumer-Driven Health Savings Plan A health savings account can be paired with a lower premium, qualied high-deductible health plan to help people meet their deductible and pay their share of medical expenses with tax-free funds. Some of the many advantages are affordability, security, exibility, control, portability, and tax savings.
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Today’s Quality Health
Women’s Health Issues Doctors May Miss While many women are comfortable with their family practice or women’s health office and find they get good care, many more women are dissatisfied. Experts say that many women complain that their doctors aren’t taking their symptoms seriously. They’re told symptoms could be psychosomatic or the result of over-worrying. As a result, many walk out of medical offices without answers and could face further complications down the line. Oftentimes, women are suffering from an autoimmune disease, in which the body is attacking itself. Doctors could miss the symptoms and rule it out as “something in your head.” However, generally women know when something is amiss with their bodies. Therefore, it is important for women to educate themselves about common diseases that often go undiagnosed. Learning about the risk factors and the symptoms of diseases can help you to get help and feel better faster by broaching the subject with your doctor. Fibromyalgia This is often unexplainable widespread pain, extreme tiredness and sometimes numbness that lasts for months or more. There are no lab tests to test for fibromyalgia; therefore, doctors generally go through a few questions and do a tender point test. If various points on the body are tender without obvious sign of bruising or redness, it could be fibromyalgia. There is no cure, only pain medication to alleviate symptoms. Light exercise with stretching can help. Lupus Each year, more than 16,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lupus -- 90 percent of them are women. Doctors think that hormones play a role in lupus, seeing as many women are diagnosed right after pregnancy. Lupus affects many areas of the body, including the blood, kidneys, skin, joints
and lungs. Generally, the body becomes its own worst nightmare. Lupus is diagnosed if you have at least four of the symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medication is used to treat the pain of lupus, but there is no cure. Rheumatoid Arthritis This is another debilitating disease that can impact quality of life. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) attacks the linings of the joints (called synovium) due to the immune system. Swelling, aching, and potential deformity in hands, wrists, hips, knees, and feet can occur. RA can be difficult to diagnose because many different types of arthritis have the same symptoms. However, an antibody called rheumatoid factor is present in 80 percent of RA patients. A blood test can detect this antibody. Tests that measure inflammation also may be ordered. For a visual, X-rays are taken over time to plot the level of joint deterioration. High doses of omega fatty acids can help with swelling and pain, as can certain medications. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome This is caused by high levels of androgens --male hormones -- in a woman’s body. The androgens form when there is too much insulin present. The insulin infiltrates the ovaries and causes them to produce more testosterone. Cysts form as a result. Half of all women with PCOS end up with diabetes. Symptoms of PCOS include excessive weight gain, more hair growth on the chest, face, back and limbs, irregular or nonexistent periods, and baldness. When other diseases are ruled out, such as hyperthyroidism, an ultrasound to see if abnormal growths are present on the ovaries could be ordered. Treatment includes birth control pills to regulate menstruation and medicine to reduce blood glucose.
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Today’s Quality Health
Spring is Ideal Time to Get Moving for 20 minutes. The following week, add an additional 10 minutes and change up your activities. After two weeks, you will have developed the habit of taking time to move, which is essential to making any exercise routine stick.
After hibernating in your den or on your couch all winter, let those first warm breezes of spring be a call to action. There’s no better time of year to stretch your mind and muscles -- and launch an exercise routine that will take you through the summer and into the fall. The key to developing a fitness routine that will help you reach your health and weight goals is simpler than you may have thought. There are only two firm rules: Keep it simple and keep it up.
Consistency gets results The bottom line is this: Once you are in the habit of exercising, it’s much more likely that you will stay with it. What you do during your exercise time isn’t nearly as important as simply doing it -- and making it fun. If exercising outdoors with friends will help keep you moving on a regular basis, build an exercise routine that includes walking with others a few times each week. If it’s solitude you seek, search out two or three walking routes that are quiet and serene. Building in variety is another key to keep your exercise plan going strong.
Simplicity is key Often, the hardest part of an exercise program is getting started -- particularly after a long and sedentary winter. So priority number one is to simply get moving by setting aside 20 minutes every day for some kind of physical activity. Spring days are great times to take a walk, go for a bike ride in the neighborhood or rake those leftover leaves from your lawn. If there’s still a bit of winter in the air, stay inside and dance to your favorite tunes or do some chores to fast-paced music. Mopping, vacuuming, dusting can be good exercise if you do them continuously and at a moderately fast pace.
Ask for help Building new habits is hard, and you don’t have to do it alone. There are fitness resources galore both in your public library and on the Internet. It’s also a good idea to consult your physician for any exercise tips or suggestions.
The important thing is to keep yourself moving
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I want to give credit where credit is due. So perhaps a confession can help clear the air so there’s no misunderstanding. Before I talk about my confession, though, let me say a few things first. Let me start by explaining the photo in this letter. I’m the guy on the left. When I was 13 years old, I was riding in the back of a truck on our farm when we hit a ditch. I was thrown into the air, and landed directly onto my tailbone. I had a lot of soreness afterwards, but it went away after a few days. After that time, I began having back pain with everything I did. Farm work, football, weight lifting, and standing all gave me pain. I remember in high school having to get down on one knee in the morning to turn on the shower because it hurt too much to bend over. After a long summer of physical labor, I was in pretty bad shape entering my first year of college. I began to have pain into the back of my legs that wouldn’t go away. Sitting in class made it extremely worse. Many thoughts went through my head. Why was I hurting so bad, I’m only 18 years old? So I broke down and went to see a medical doctor. After
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Today’s Quality Health
s people age, certain ailments or conditions are considered part of the territory. For example, athletes understand the need to start pulling back as they age, altering their training in an effort to ease the toll exercise can take on their bodies. Also, many seniors make sure to drink enough milk as they age to keep their bones strong. Another ailment or condition adults often expect as they age is a gradual loss of hearing. While hearing loss is widely considered a product of old age, young people -- adults and children included -- actually can take steps to protect their hearing long before they’re considering retirement. And it’s important young people do just that. According to the House Ear Institute (HEI), roughly 32.5 million people in the United States alone have a hearing loss, approximately 30 percent of which is a direct result of exposure to excessive noises.
Thought it might seem early for young people to start protecting their hearing, it’s never too early to do just that. The following means to protecting hearing can help bury the misconception that hearing loss is a fact of life when reaching older adulthood. * Take “quiet” breaks. Much like professionals who work at computers all day must take periodic breaks to give their eyes a break, it’s ideal for everyone to take periodic “quiet” breaks to give ears a rest as well. It’s also important to note that ears can be safely exposed to 85 decibels (dB) for up to 8 hours per day. However, the maximum time of safe exposure to 100 dB is just 15 minutes. Though it might not seem much higher, the effects are enormous. When purchasing headphones or other audio products, be sure to research the maximum decibel level. * Don’t purchase front row seats. Concertgoers no doubt love getting as close as possible to their favorite bands. However, doing so can prove very harmful
to hearing, even if it’s only done every so often. When near on-stage monitors or amplifiers, position yourself a safe distance away from amplifiers and other speakers. Musicians can even take steps to protect their hearing by practicing below performance levels whenever possible. * Stop going places where raised voices are the norm. Hazardous sound environments are all around us, and should be avoided whenever possible. Loud music concerts, construction zones where loud power tools are used regularly and even vehicles traveling at high speeds with the windows rolled down are all hazardous sound environments. A good rule of thumb is to avoid locales where you routinely need to raise your voice to be heard. If you must raise your voice, chances are you’re hurting your ears the longer you are there. * Protect your ears regularly. Ear protection might not be the coolest thing a person can do in terms of looks, but it’s as effective as anything when it comes to protecting your ears. Foam, silicone or pre-molded earplugs are all effective at protecting the ears when in an extreme sound environment. Ear protection products should have a noise-reduction rating (NRR) of at least 9 dB. This should not be a problem, as most products have a minimum NRRof 22 dB. What’s more, technology has helped hearing protection products a great deal. High fidelity ear hearing protection reduce all sound frequencies equally, and many people feel wearing such products make listening to music more enjoyable. * Don’t be patient if you suspect hearing loss. Sudden changes in hearing or suspected hearing loss should immediately report their suspicions or concerns to an otolaryngologist (ENT). Even if it ends up being a passing problem, it’s better to be safe than sorry. For more information on protecting your ears, visit www.hei.org.
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Todayâ€™s Quality Health
Food Guidelines for Good Health
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that individuals use the food pyramid for a balanced diet. For a 2,000-calorie diet, follow the recommendations below from each category. -courtesy of the USDA GRAINS: 6 ounces (3 ounces whole grains) daily VEGETABLES: 21/2 cups daily FRUITS: 2 cups daily MILK: 3 cups low-fat milk products daily MEAT & BEANS: 51/2 ounces daily FATS, SUGARS AND SALT: Go sparingly
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Encourage your children to take good care of their teeth with proper brushing and help them understand the importance of visiting their dentist twice a year. Call Dr. Woolbrightâ€™s ofÂżce today for their check up appointment.
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