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Home-grown stories about fitness and healthy living published by pscommunications

We want your blood

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Carpal tunnel syndrome

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Seniors enjoy life at Countryside Village

The effects of too much screen time

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Beware of ticks

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Losing weight and feeling good

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The facts about diabetes


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Connected… or addicted? How spending too much time with technology can affect your social and physical well-being by Sarah Newell It was probably in your hands less than five minutes ago. Your phone.

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“When we want to watch our favorite TV show, we don’t have to rush home to watch it, we can watch it on our phone,” Sherri Williams, a communications faculty member at Wake Forest University, said. “It’s the nature of how we live and communicate.” But that method of communication can come at a cost. As we become more connected to our devices, they play a bigger role in our health and our relationships. Dr. David Gutterman, a clinical

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For many people, smartphones and tablets, computers and TVs have become vital to their existence.

Summer 2017

psychologist and director of behavioral medicine at LeBauer Behavioral Medicine in Greensboro, said spending too much time on our phones and tablets can impact our personal relationships. “It’s challenging to define social media addiction, because you can’t readily test it, but there are warning signs about addictive behaviors,” Gutterman said. Those signs can include documenting every aspect of your life on social media, checking your phone as soon as you wake up to see what was posted online or emailed to you overnight and being on your phone while in a crowd of people, rather than talking to those around you. “If people literally cannot go for a period without (being on) social media — kids can’t go to the dinner table, church, wherever they are,” then Gutterman said they’re likely addicted. The problem is not limited to children and teens, however. Adults can be just as technology-dependent.

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Headed down, and feeling good Three individuals share their journeys with weight gain… and loss by Patti Stokes When David Crutchfield and his siblings were growing up on a farm in Oak Ridge, there was always plenty of work to do. Unwanted weight gain wasn’t an issue, because calories were burned almost as quickly as they were consumed. Fast forward several decades and Crutchfield, now 70, has faced a series of health issues that have been compounded by obesity. One of those issues is diabetes, which has been thus far controlled with medication. “About three years ago I had a bout with cancer,” Crutchfield said. “When checking my glands, the doctor couldn’t feel them. He told me I needed to lose weight.” Unfortunately, that advice went unheeded at the time. “I had diabetes for years. The doctors had always told me I needed to lose weight, but it went in one ear and out the other,” Crutchfield admitted. And then about two years ago he started experiencing Photo by Patti Stokes/NWO

David Crutchfield, 70, had some physical warning signs before finally deciding to learn to eat healthier, exercise more and lose weight.

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shortness of breath. Doctors discovered he was having PVCs (premature ventricular contractions), which indicate a heart rhythm abnormality, and had him wear a heart monitor. From there he went to see an electrophysiologist. Included in his treatment program, once again, was a strong recommendation that he lose weight. Although that advice went largely unheeded, Crutchfield, who had become much more sedentary in his senior years, did start incorporating some exercise into his daily regime. With over 60 pounds of excess weight, doctors warned him last fall that without more exercise and less weight, he was at risk of having a stroke or heart attack. That was the final push that prompted Crutchfield to make some lifestyle changes. “That really hit me and made me decide I needed to lose weight,” he said. “I decided around Christmastime that I

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Be mindful of ticks when you venture outside Wearing insect repellent and checking yourself for ticks after being outdoors are two ways to prevent infection from bacteria passed on by ticks by Joe Gamm Ticks are everywhere. Anyone in North Carolina who spends time outside is going to cross paths with a tick or two. They can be found wherever there are grasses and trees, according to David Foust, Guilford County Environmental Health director. The little insects — some carrying bacteria that can lead to debilitating diseases — are searching for blood to feed their young. But when they bite, they can transfer health-threatening bacteria. In North Carolina, the most common illness spread by ticks is Rocky Mountain spotted fever, according to Graham Hickling, a University of Tennessee researcher

who studies wildlife diseases affecting humans. The bacterium is carried by two ticks, the lone star tick and the American dog tick. Symptoms of the infection include severe headache with high fever, followed by a rash that usually appears on wrists and ankles. It can fatally attack the nervous system, lungs, brain, liver and other organs.

Ticks can carry harmful bacteria which can lead to debilitating diseases. If you find a tick on you, remove it as close to the surface of your skin as possible.

The next most common infection spread by ticks in the state is ehrlichiosis. Also carried by the lone star tick, it causes fever, headaches, chills, pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

“Be mindful of the first symptoms after a tick bite,” Foust said. “They appear in about 14 days.”

Then comes Lyme disease, which is carried by the blacklegged tick. Lyme disease symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and the characteristic rash on wrists and ankles. A “bullseye” sometimes develops around the bite area. If left untreated, it can lead to infections of the joints, heart and nervous system.

Foust, who spends time in grassy areas, said he generally finds about 20 ticks on him through the course of the year. If they have bitten him, he pulls them off and puts them in a dated zip-lock

sandwich bag in the freezer. In about two weeks, if he hasn’t experienced cold-like symptoms, he throws them out.

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Lyme disease is moving south, but really hasn’t gotten far into Virginia yet, Hickling said. North Carolina is in line with the spread, though. All those bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, if found early enough.

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We want your blood About one hour every other month could make the difference of life or death for someone in need of blood by Patti Stokes Oak Ridge resident Jim Kinneman can spout off several good reasons to donate blood. First and foremost, it can help save lives.

The biggest reason Kinneman encourages others to donate blood, however, is his dad. “Growing up, my dad would come home a few times a year with a bandage on his arm,” Kinneman recalled. “Coming from a large family, there was always one of us at that age where endless questions flowed.

Jim Kinneman

Human blood can’t be manufactured. One in three people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives. And the free cookies you get at blood drives are pretty tasty. Look for notices in the Northwest Observer throughout the year about upcoming blood drives in northwest Guilford County.  Oak Ridge United Methodist Church hosts Red Cross blood drives six times a year, on the second Monday of every even month (because of Vacation Bible School, the blood drive in June will be on June 19, which is the third Monday), from 2:30 to 7 p.m.  Stokesdale United Methodist Church

“’Why do you have a bandage on your arm, Dad?’ was a question someone would ask even before he sat down.

“He would answer, ‘I donated blood.’” “That would lead to more questions: ‘Why did you do that? How is it done – and does it hurt?’ “He would enthusiastically explain will host Red Cross blood drives on May 23, Sept. 26 and Nov. 28, 2:30 to 7 p.m.  Central Baptist Church in Oak Ridge hosts three Red Cross blood drives a year; the next two drives are scheduled for Wednesday, June 28, and Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2:30 to 6 p.m.  Northwest High School’s leadership class works with Community Blood Center of the Carolinas to host blood drives at the school each year.

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each and every time that he donated blood to help others, the process is very simple, and you only feel a pinch when the needle goes in,” Kinneman said. “He would talk about the need for blood during World War II and that some of my brothers and sisters needed blood at times in their lives. Like many kids, we wanted to be like our parents, so a common question after that would be ‘When can I donate?’ “The enthusiasm my dad showed about donating blood set it in me that giving blood was in the same category as voting or helping others – something that if you could do, you should do. So as soon as I was eligible I donated blood and I have donated blood or platelets as often as I can since,” Kinneman said. Robin Sparrow, regional manager for Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, wishes for more people like Kinneman. Sparrow has come full circle in her career, beginning as a registered nurse in an emergency room. “I was the one to call and say ‘I need this blood fast.’ From there, I saw what the blood did,” Sparrow said.

To donate blood, you must:  Be at least 17 years old (16-year-olds may donate with parental consent)  Weigh at least 110 pounds  Feel well on day of donation  Be free of major cold and flu symptoms  Present a photo ID with birth date  Not have a history of Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C at any age  Not have had any risk factors or behaviors associated with HIV/AIDS Her next job was as an occupational health nurse for a sweatshirt manufacturer. “I was the nurse who took care of all the employees in the mill,” she said. “These people sat at a sewing machine for eight hours a day. They were paid by the piece, they got in a rhythm and they didn’t want to do anything to get out of their rhythm.” Sparrow would talk to operators and encourage them to take a break from their machines and donate blood. That was her first opportunity to address the objections to donating blood, which most often

Photo by Patti Stokes/NWO

NWHS junior Nicolas Lemons donates blood for the first time at a CBCC blood drive the school’s leadership class helped organize on April 5. Students, staff and community members donated a combined 316 units of blood between three blood drives held at the school last year.

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Give blood. Save lives.

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Diabetes reaching epidemic level Twenty-one million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes and another 8.1 million people have undiagnosed diabetes by Bonnie Wrisley What do Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Mike Huckabee, Aretha Franklin, Larry King, Boomer Wells, Bret Michaels and Billie Jean King have in common? All of them are famous – and all have been diagnosed with diabetes, a chronic and potentially deadly disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.3 percent of the United States’ population has diabetes and it is the seventh leading cause of death in our country. In 2011, 788,000, or 10.9 percent of adults in North Carolina were diagnosed with diabetes. By 2014, the number of people in the state diagnosed with diabetes skyrocketed to approximately 1,075,855 people, or 13.1 percent of the adult population. Statistically speaking, that means in Guilford County alone, over 55,000 people could meet the diagnostic criteria for diabetes. Add to that another 2.6 million North Carolina residents who meet diagnostic criteria for pre-diabetes and it is clear the time has come for focused and effective education about lifestyle changes. Five percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have type 1, or juvenile diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in children or young adults. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin. Without insulin, glucose (the digestive product that comes from the starches and sugars we eat) is

unable to move out of the blood into cells throughout the body where it would be available to fuel the cells’ processes. About 90 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which means they do not use insulin properly or are insulin resistant. With insulin resistance, glucose builds up in the bloodstream and the body’s cells are unable to function properly. Although much less common, gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

The following symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes have symptoms so mild that they go unnoticed. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 247,000 individuals in North Carolina alone have diabetes and do not know it. Common symptoms of diabetes:  Frequent urination  Excessive thirst  Feeling very hungry, even though you are eating  Extreme fatigue  Blurry vision  Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal  Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)  Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

What causes diabetes?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. What is known is that your immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria or viruses — attacks and


destroys your insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin. Instead of being transported into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. In pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, and your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Instead of moving into your cells where it’s needed for energy, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. “Pre-diabetes and diabetes are at an epidemic level in our country,” said Dr. Kip Corrington of Novant Health’s Northwest Family Practice in Stokesdale. “It is becoming a larger health issue because of the large number of people in our country who are obese. Poor diet, excess calories and lack of exercise are the primary reasons for type 2 diabetes. “Type 1 diabetes has different causes, primarily genetic,” Corrington added.

How do race and ethnicity factor into diabetes?

The rates of diagnosed diabetes by race/ethnic background are:  7.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites  9.0 percent of Asian Americans  12.8 percent of Hispanics

 13.2 percent of non-Hispanic blacks  15.9 percent of American Indians/ Alaskan Natives

What are the potential complications from diabetes?

 Dyslipidemia | In 2009–2012, of adults 18 or older with diagnosed diabetes, 65 percent had blood LDL cholesterol greater than or equal to 100 mg/dl or used cholesterol-lowering medications.  Cardiovascular disease death rates | In 2003–2006, after adjusting for population age differences, cardiovascular disease death rates were about 1.7 times higher among adults 18 or older with diagnosed diabetes than among adults without diagnosed diabetes.  Heart attack death rates | In 2010, after adjusting for population age differences, hospitalization rates for heart attack were 1.8 times higher among adults 20 or older with diagnosed diabetes than among adults without diagnosed diabetes.  Stroke | In 2010, after adjusting for population age differences, hospitalization rates for stroke were 1.5 times higher among adults 20 years or older with diagnosed diabetes compared to those without diagnosed diabetes.  Blindness and eye problems | In 2005–2008, of adults with diabetes aged 40 years or older, 4.2 million people (28.5 percent) had diabetic retinopathy, damage to the small blood vessels in the retina that may result in loss of vision.  Kidney disease | Diabetes was listed as the primary cause of kidney failure

in 44 percent of all new cases in 2011.  In 2011, 49,677 people of all ages began treatment for kidney failure due to diabetes.  In 2011, 228,924 people of all ages with kidney failure due to diabetes were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant.  Amputations: In 2010, about 73,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in adults aged 20 or older with diagnosed diabetes.  About 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations among people aged 20 years or older occur in people with diagnosed diabetes.

How can diabetes be treated?

People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin. This can be done through multiple injections or by an insulin pump, a small device that delivers insulin continuously throughout the day. If you have type 2 diabetes, eating healthy and engaging in physical activity with the possible addition of oral medication may help control your blood glucose levels. “We know that exercise is a very effective way to help bring blood sugars under control for someone with type 2 diabetes,” said Kenneth Snow, M.D., acting chief, Adult Diabetes, Joslin Clinic. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, daily.

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 Hypoglycemia | In 2011, about 282,000 emergency room visits for adults 18 or older had hypoglycemia as the first-listed diagnosis and diabetes as another diagnosis.

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Your partner in healthy living With six locations in the Greensboro area and two in Burlington, LeBauer HealthCare offers easy-access primary care by our team of 48 professional, dedicated family physicians and nurse practitioners.

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She wound up getting surgery in October.

Sports Medicine in High Point, said people in certain industries, such as poultry processing and meatpacking, are particularly susceptible to developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Contrary to what many believe, he said, computer use, while it can exacerbate the condition, is not a cause.

Roughly 3 percent of the working population in the United States suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The majority of cases, Warburton said, are idiopathic, which means “there’s no definite cause for it happening, just that it occurs.”

The carpal tunnel is a path in the wrist through which passes the median nerve, one of the main nerves in the arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is what’s known as a compression neuropathy, in which the nerve is being pushed in by a ligament, explained Dr. Michael Xu, a surgeon with Piedmont Orthopedics in Greensboro.

“Sometimes there’s no reason why a 40-year-old person working in an office doing little physical activity will present with it,” he said.

“Basically when that happens, there’s not enough room in your carpal tunnel,” he said. “And nerves don’t like to be compressed. It starts to affect the blood flow to the nerve, starts to affect function, and that’s when you start getting the symptoms, including numbness, weakness and pain.”

“So a lot of people think they’re sleeping on their hand wrong,” the Miamibased hand surgeon said in a telephone interview. “They think that maybe they’re rolling over and lying on their hand, which can happen, but that’s pretty uncommon. There’s more retention of fluid at night, though, which pools, and puts pressure on the nerve.”

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes, symptoms and treatment by Robert Lopez Oak Ridge resident Alina Simmons couldn’t hold a pen for more than two seconds. When she sat down to dinner, she couldn’t grasp a fork without her hand going numb. About five years ago, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome began creeping up on the 47-year-old 911 dispatcher. By last year a constant tingling and numbness had set in, and she became “pretty much helpless.” “I would wear a brace, and it wouldn’t help any,” Simmons said. “I couldn’t even open a bottle of water. If I typed too long, anything I would do for an extended period of time would just cause irritation and hurt.”

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Xu said those who perform a great deal of repetitive motions are prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome, but it can be caused by a variety of other factors, from wrist trauma to tumors. Swelling in the wrist during pregnancy can also cause the condition. Women between the ages of 45 and 64 are at the greatest risk, with a little over 6 percent suffering from the condition, according to the CDC. Dr. Mark Warburton, a surgeon with UNC Regional Physicians Orthopaedics &

Dr. Alejandro Badia, past president of the International Society for Sport Traumatology of the Hand, said people typically start feeling symptoms at night.

The numbness, tingling and pain will actually wake some people up, Warburton said. “They have to shake their hand to get some relief and go back to sleep,” he

Options for treating carpal tunnel syndrome can include wearing a brace or splint at night, taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections or surgery.


said. “Or they’ll hang their arm over the edge of the bed, maybe run it under hot water to get a little relief.” Those who develop carpal tunnel syndrome often have a “dead feeling in their hand,” Xu said. “If they’re doing repetitive activities they can feel like they tire out easily,” he said. “Sometimes you can have some burning pain. It’ll feel hot. Or it’ll feel cold.” Xu advises anyone who feels like the pain is affecting their work or ability to perform simple tasks with their fingers to get it checked out. “Everybody’s different,” he said. “Some people have a much higher threshold. Some people say, ‘I’ll see how it does for the next couple of months.’ Some people get it checked out right away. There’s not a hard and fast rule. But when it starts becoming a constant thing and affecting your hand function, you should go see someone.” Physicians diagnosing the condition often use a nerve conduction test, which sends a slight electrical charge up the nerve. “They’re exciting the nerve in different locations in the forearm and hand, and checking not only the motor response, but also the sensory findings, which have to do with the specific areas of feeling that the median nerve supplies,” Warburton said. “With the electrical excitement of these nerves, you can determine if they are exhibiting a slowing.” Once a physician has determined a patient has carpal tunnel syndrome, they will suggest a non-operative treatment if the condition isn’t too serious. That usually consists of some braces or splints that a patient wears at night, as well as during the day when the person might be performing physical activities. Doctors will also tell patients to take an ibuprofen to help with pain, or might prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication like Celebrex. Sometimes, a physician will recommend a course of steroid injections, which reduce swelling of the tissues around the nerve. “The difficulty is you can’t give a lot of injections and you have to space them out,” Warburton said. “But they definitely

make a difference and produce symptomatic relief for the patient.” If the patient continues to have problems, then a physician will recommend surgery. Options include a mini-open procedure, which involves making an incision in the hand or wrist to alleviate pressure on the nerve. Physicians might also perform an endoscopic minimally invasive procedure in which one or two small incisions are made and the ligament is cut under video control. Doctors typically use a local or regional anesthetic for such procedures. “Basically, the nerve is being pinched, so, really, all you have to do is unpinch it,” Badia said. “People, when they hear the word surgery, they think it’s a big thing. But sometimes I can do a carpal tunnel release in about three minutes.” Ken Gibson, who works for Oak Ridge Fire Department, began feeling numbness in his right arm about 17 years ago. Eventually that numbness spread to both arms. Opening a jar became painful. He could not hold a pencil without his fingers going numb. He had to wear wrist splints to bed.

Choosing an eye doctor

is a crucial health care decision. Your eye doctor should be someone you can trust to give you personal attention and help you maintain a lifetime of healthy vision.

He had a mini-open procedure on both wrists in February, during which he was sedated. Immediately after the surgery, he said he had a little trouble opening jars, but had few problems doing almost anything else. “The surgery, it seemed to be a breeze,” he said. “The worst part was the big bulky dressings. There was no pain, though it was a little bit sore a few weeks after surgery.” Since then, he said, he’s felt “fantastic.” “The numbness and tingling were gone immediately,” he said. “I’m still a little sore, but there seem to be almost no limitations now.” Simmons said she still has some sensitivity in the palm of her hand, but overall, feels good. “They said that tenderness can last anywhere from six to eight months, or maybe never go away,” she said. “But I’d take that over having my hand numb and tingling and hurting all the time. I’m able to do other things now. It’s helped me at my work. I don’t regret having the surgery at all.”

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WEIGHT LOSS

continued from page 6 needed to get into better shape.” A member of Snap Fitness in Oak Ridge, Crutchfield had been talking with a physical trainer about his eating habits. “I grew up as a farmer, and we worked hard and ate what we wanted,” he said. “I had to start learning about what to eat versus what I wanted to eat,” he said. In February Crutchfield began a medically supervised weight loss program through Blue Sky MD. After combining his own commitment with the support of a team of medical professionals and counselors, he soon started seeing positive results. So far he has lost 20 pounds. “I’m not near to my goal yet, but I’m working on it,” he said. Crutchfield has replaced starchy foods like potatoes, corn, pasta and bread, highfat snacks, and sugary drinks with measured amounts of raw vegetables, fresh fruit and lean meats – and lots of water (96 ounces is

his recommended daily intake). Occasionally he misses the taste of Cokes and sweet tea, and at those times he’ll indulge himself by having a few sips, which is a far cry from the full glasses he used to drink. Sticking to 1,200 calories and 120 carbohydrates a day is not easy, but it’s getting easier. In fact, Crutchfield says sometimes his eating program of three meals and two snacks a day more than fills him up. Along the way he said he has learned much about healthy eating. “I knew nothing about it (calorie counting) when I started,” he said. “This is helping me understand more about what kinds of food to eat and how much.” One-on-one meetings with a nutritionist and writing down everything he eats have raised his awareness of the amount – and type – of calories and carbs found in the foods he consumes. Counting the steps he takes every day is made easier by a FitBit, and he takes pleasure in seeing those steps increase exponentially on the days he goes to

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Since Jan. 15, Jenna and Kirk Daniels, both 31, have each lost over 25 pounds by changing their eating and exercise habits.

the gym and walks on the treadmill – which he does faithfully five to six days a week. Many days he walks 60 to 75 minutes, which gives him about 9,000 of his recommended 10,000 steps per day. He also does two 30-minute strength training sessions each week with a personal trainer, and on those days still walks 30 to 45 minutes. When Crutchfield last saw his cardiologist on April 17, his doctor told him he liked the weight loss – and to keep at it. “I feel a whole lot better,” he said. “I have more energy and in general, it’s easier to move around, climb steps, etc.” Some days he doesn’t want to go to the gym, but those are the days he especially feels better after he’s done. “Diabetes and heart problems run in my family,” he said. “No one can change for me, I’ve got to do it myself. I’m blessed to be able to do what I’m doing. “This time I’ve made my mind up and I’m going to do it.”

•••••

Life goes by at a fast pace for Jenna and Kirk Daniels, both 31. Besides caring for their home and two children, a 4-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son, they each work full-time – Jenna as captain of administration for Summerfield Fire District and Kirk full-time as a senior firefighter with Greensboro Fire Department and part-time as a training coordinator for SFD.

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Summer 2017

with the habits came about 25 pounds of extra weight for each of them. “After having two kids, it was hard for me to lose the weight,” Jenna said. “I was still exercising, but I wasn’t eating great. I wasn’t comfortable with the weight I was at, my clothes weren’t fitting and I couldn’t see buying all new clothes. I wanted to change.” Kirk, who is 5 feet 10, had also been gradually gaining weight over the last few years. He had once told Jenna that if he ever got to 200 pounds, it would be time to do something different. “I crossed that threshold,” he said. “I wasn’t working out or eating the way I should and I wasn’t able to burn many calories with the work I was doing.” Chris Johnson, SFD chief, had also gained back much of the weight he had worked hard to lose a few years ago, so the three of them set out on a journey to lose weight. After doing some research, Jenna came upon the Earheart 12-week weight loss program and was intrigued. “What I liked about it was that they said you could lose 20 or more pounds


in six weeks,” Jenna said, knowing she needed to see some results fast, while she was 100 percent motivated.

what kind of fruits,” Jenna said. “Besides the three meals, you get two snacks during the day.”

“We knew we didn’t want to do a diet and starve ourselves, then gain all of our weight back,” Kirk said.

To replace some of their starches from pasta, which was restricted on their program, Jenna bought a spiralizer and made noodles out of zucchini. Bread is okay in small amounts and sweet potatoes are a good substitute for white potatoes.

Johnson and the Daniels went together to the Earheart office in Winston-Salem to learn more. “They went through the whole plan and we talked about it,” Jenna said. “Kirk and I had some money saved up so we decided to go for it.” Johnson also committed to the program. The program involves an initial 6-week transformation period, which entails following a set meal plan. “The plan specifies how many ounces and what kind of meats you eat, and

TICKS

continued from page 7 If symptoms develop, go to a doctor, he said. To remove a tick that is biting, grab it with a pair of tweezers as close to the surface of your skin as possible and pull it free.

A. ticks Color version print or Burning the with afor match cigarette may not work. Some ticks have backward-pointing barbs on their mouths and some glue themselves into the skin. In both instances, the tick couldn’t back out of the skin.

1

The Daniels admitted it was hard to make such drastic changes to their eating, especially during the first few weeks. Kirk confessed he might not have stuck with it had it not been for Jenna – but it got easier as they adapted, and especially after they started seeing results. After the first six weeks they underwent a 3-week stabilization phase followed by a 3-week phase of re-introducing – in moderation – some of the foods

manager of Tractor Supply in Oak Ridge. Permethrin is an insecticide and one of the World Health Organization’s “essential medicines.” It is used to treat clothing and hiking gear, Jaquish said. An overthe-counter product found at the retailer warns that it should not be used directly on skin. Repellents that use DEET can also be effective in keeping ticks off people, Jaquish said.

2

If possible, don’t walk in tall grasses. Ticks tend to wait on grass for deer to pass by and grab onto them when they brush through. They then walk up the SERVICE MEET host until they find a soft spot to bite.

they had steered clear of completely during the initial phase of the program. Besides becoming much more focused on their eating habits, Jenna and Kirk also made more time to exercise. “I had really slacked off on my exercising,” Kirk said. “Now I’ve gotten a lot better.” And the results? Jenna met her 25-pound weight loss goal, Kirk lost 28 pounds and so far Chief Johnson has lost over 30 pounds. For cardio exercise they run, and they use the fitness equipment at the fire station for strength training. “Running has gotten easier,” Kirk said. “My pace has improved and it doesn’t hurt my knees as much now.”

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Jenna is a fan of Pinterest, where she has found several healthy recipes and new ways to prepare food. The difference in their bodies, inside and outside, is dramatic. “It has taught us how to eat better, and it’s easier to run around and play with the kids,” the Daniels agree.

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Mike Waldvogel, a N.C. State bitingpests expert, said to screen yourself and your children for ticks after outdoor activities. Even if a tick has bitten someone, it takes six to 10 hours for the Rocky S EMountain R V I C E M Espotted ET fever bacteria to transfer from a tick to a host. It takes at least 24 hours for the Lyme disease bacteria to transfer.

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Countryside Retirement Village A hidden treasure in Stokesdale awaits seniors who enjoy planned activities, companionship and a peaceful country setting by Annette Joyce The retirement years are a period when most people hope to enjoy the fruits of 40-plus years of labor. Unfortunately, while working full-time might be a thing of the past, many retirees still face big responsibilities. Household chores, yard work and simply maintaining a house that’s become too large can take a toll. Keeping

everything going isn’t as physically easy as it once was. Nor, for that matter, do most retirees find that it’s worth the effort – especially when they could spend their time with family and friends and doing more activities they enjoy. At Countryside Retirement Village, a growing number of retirees have found a way to maintain their independence while letting someone else worry about the smaller things in life. Located in Stokesdale and marked by a large teapot that sits by the facility’s sign on U.S. 158, Countryside is well known in the area for its assisted living, skilled nursing and rehab rooms. However, most people aren’t aware that an independent living retirement community exists just past the front building. Those who live in the 16 cottages and

44 apartments have discovered a lifestyle that gives them a sense of comfort, contentment and community. Betty Compton, 83, originally came to the Manor at Countryside for rehabilitation. During that time, she and her husband Lewis, 86, decided taking care of themselves and their home was becoming more of a burden than they wanted to handle. “Betty felt like we didn’t need to take care of a house any more, and our daughter wanted us to be in a place where we could get good care,” Lewis said. Countryside Retirement Village was the logical choice. So the Summerfield-based couple sold their home and set up housekeeping in one of Countryside’s spacious twobedroom, two-bath apartments last July.

Betty said their move to Countryside was “the best move we ever made.” They enjoy the sense of community and being surrounded by other people in their same phase of life. “We’re all in the same age group,” Lewis said. “We understand each other’s feelings.” That sense of community is something Marvin and Lorraine Veto were seeking when they started looking at retirement homes and ended up at Countryside. “We know more people here than we did in our old neighborhood,” Marvin said. “This (place) is not a business. It’s a family.” Both 91, Marvin and Lorraine have been married 69 years. They moved from Kernersville to the two-bedroom, two-bath home that sits at the end of the independent living complex. Like

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Summer 2017


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Betty and Lewis Compton have found a lot of satisfaction in participating in the various activities offered at Countryside.

the Comptons, they decided to make a change partly due to the headache of keeping up a house. “We found it was getting harder and harder for us to maintain,” Marvin said, noting that Countryside takes care of all that upkeep, both inside and outside. “We were happy where we were, but it was time for a place like this,” Lorraine added. “Our kids came and looked at it and they loved it.” At least once a year the couple manages to get most of their family, which includes four children, seven grandchildren, spouses and two greatgrandchildren, together in their home. The large sunroom surrounded by tranquil woods is a popular gathering spot for the clan. “We’re very happy here and would recommend this place to anyone,” Marvin said. Steve and Catchie Huntley live just up the street from the Vetos. The couple relocated from Germantown, Tennessee, just over a year ago to be near their daughter, Marian Hogan, who lives in Summerfield. Catchie, 78, said she and Marian spent a week searching the area for a new home for her and Steve.

Free from the burden of maintaining a house, Lorraine and Marvin Veto enjoy spending their days together.

Steve and Catchie Huntley appreciate the sense of community and friendships they’ve found at Countryside.

Nothing seemed quite right.

program at Countryside.

been here.”

On a whim, the two drove through Countryside and Catchie instantly fell in love with the community.

“That’s very important to us,” Marvin said. “If we weren’t doing that three days a week, we’d probably be sitting in wheelchairs.”

Lewis enjoys planting flowers in the area outside the couple’s screened-in porch and helping with the community garden near their apartment.

“I really, really liked the ambiance. It’s so serene and peaceful,” she said. “We’ve never had a doubt that we made the right decision. “It was hard to leave our friends behind, but we’ve made so many new friends,” she added. “We felt like we were immediately part of things and felt right at home.” Most of the residents take full advantage of the many activities Countryside offers and the activity roster provides exactly what these vibrant seniors desire. “We’re very active here,” Steve, 81, said. “We go every morning to coffee hour and we both have responsibilities with the resident association. I love to walk and go a couple of times a day. There’s plenty of space for that.” Catchie enjoys serving on the resident association’s planning committee, which recently hosted an Easter egg hunt for area children. Now they’re busy planning a resident cookout for late May and a trip to a local winery. The Vetos especially enjoy the exercise

The Comptons also enjoy the full lineup of activities. “There are loads and loads of things to do,” Betty said. “I simply don’t have time to do everything I want to do.” Some of Betty’s favorite activities include the weekly Bible study, the everyother-month cocktail parties, the shopping trips and the breakfast outings. “My favorite thing is the pool and the water aerobics classes,” she added. “I’ve missed very few times since we’ve

For these couples, Countryside Retirement Village offers a way of life that’s fun, comfortable and physically and socially fulfilling. “I can’t think of enough good to say about this place,” Catchie said. “I know one size doesn’t fit all, but I can’t imagine someone not liking it here.” Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Countryside Retirement Village is familyowned. For a tour of the facility, contact Mary Miles Hooper at (336) 643-6301.

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Summer 2017

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CONNECTED OR ADDICTED? continued from page 4

“You can go to any store, park or place with a gathering of people, and people are together but are all on their phones talking to other people, rather than interacting with those around them,” Gutterman noted. One problem with spending so much time conversing with one another on phones rather than in person is that you miss picking up on non-verbal cues. “Human interaction is very complex,” Gutterman said. “You miss so much through only electronic communication. There are so many ways to read a word that you need a tone or facial expression.” The problem began about five years ago, as smartphones became more

20

widely used and replaced other forms of technology. To teens and children who have grown up with smartphones and tablets, spending hours a day on their devices is a way of life. Gutterman believes it has impacted their attention spans, although the extent of the impact is unclear – and it also isn’t necessarily all negative. “There are benefits to being able to multitask, and the younger generation can do it better,” he said. He attributes this to 20-somethings and younger being used to having multiple screens open on a computer, talking to friends online, watching videos and doing several other tasks simultaneously. “But they have to have multiple inputs. Having five conversations simultaneously, you’re not really deeply engaged with any of them,” Gutterman noted. Some of the negative effects of excessive technology use can be found in the lack of quality family time, he added.

Summer 2017

More and more, families are allowing children to have mobile devices at the dinner table and on long car rides, leading to a disconnect in relationships. “Parents just aren’t interacting with kids in the car. It’s always been an issue, but it’s even more so now,” Gutterman said. “Collect the phones and actually have conversations on the way to Asheville,” he recommends. “It’s a wonderful time to find out what’s going on in your children’s lives.” Gutterman said technology use can also become a problem in the bedroom, where partners can share a bed but be on their own electronic devices, and thus in two different worlds. “The paradox is that we’re more connected to the world and we have it at our fingertips, yet the quality of our relationships is at risk,” Gutterman said. “We need to learn to manage it, like everything else in life.” In addition to affecting our social interactions, spending extended periods of time on smartphones, tablets and computers is causing some health problems.

Dr. Timothy Koop, optometrist at Vision Source Eye Center of the Triad, has been practicing for more than 20 years. In recent years he’s seen an increase in problems with eye strain, dry eyes and nearsightedness in pre-teens, teens and young adults. He attributes much of that to the amount of time they spend using smartphones and electronic devices. “We’ve been picking up on problems the last three or four years,” he said. “It may have been going on longer ago than that, but we didn’t put it all together.” Koop explained that electronic devices have blue screens which can damage the pigment in the macula, near the retina of the eye. “The pigment is there to protect the retinal fibers of the eye,” he said. “The blue light (from screens) is a shorter wave length and places fatigue and strain on the visual system.” A relatively new way to combat blue light from screens is Eyezen lenses, which are designed to reduce the visual strain.


“The lenses filter blue light and relax your eyes,” Koop said.

also seen nearsightedness in children as young as 5 and 6 years old.

Eyezen lenses are used most often for adults approaching 40.

He encourages parents to get their children outside more while also limiting their time on electronic devices.

The increased staring at screens has also led to more dry eyes, even in children as young as 7, 8 and 9 years old, Koop said. “When you’re staring at a screen, your blink rate goes down to a third,” he said. Depending on how long you’re looking at a screen, your vision can be impacted over the long term, causing dry eyes. Symptoms include gritty, scratchy eyes, Koop said, noting most patients with this problem are pre-teens, teens and 20-somethings. Koop advises his patients to follow the 20/20 rule: for every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break. And blink regularly. Moisturizing drops also help. He’s also seeing an increase in nearsightedness progression in children, something that has surprised the eye care community. “It’s exacerbated by digital strain,” Koop said. “The lack of time outside has also had a big impact, because sunlight helps.” Although traditionally corrective lenses have been used to correct nearsightedness, there are now new therapies, including corneal molding therapy, Koop said. Patients wear the molds as they sleep to reshape the cornea and slow down the progression. However, nothing will reverse it. The problems are not limited to the Triad. Dr. Albert Pang, an optometrist at Trinity Eye Care in Plano, Texas, said he’s

“Playing under the sun helps keep the eye from developing nearsightedness,” Pang said. “The Vitamin D helps.” He said adults also experience tired eyes. “Spending eight to 10 hours at a computer with the blue light is tiring,” Pang said. “It’s so harsh on the retina, and it can have a funny effect on the melatonin, inhibiting a body’s effect so you can’t sleep as well or as deep.” To help their eyes and their sleep, he advises people not to get on their devices before bed. And limiting screen time in general has been recommended by most doctors, to improve overall health and physical activity. Eric Bonner, 37, of Apex, took a big step when he decided to quit Facebook for the first time in 2009. He only got back on in 2014 to help with a few projects outside of work.

blood glucose levels and trigger rapid release of insulin into the blood stream in response to high glucose.

DIABETES

continued from page 11

What’s new in diabetes treatment?

Along with the meteoric rise in diagnoses of diabetes come new discoveries and treatments that could have the power to reduce the prevalence of diabetes for all of those who suffer with it. An article published by the National Academy of Scientists in 2012 reports that “scientists have discovered a key protein that regulates insulin resistance... This breakthrough points to a new way to potentially treat or forestall type 2 diabetes, a rapidly growing global health problem.” In 2016, a “smart patch” was developed by Zhen Gu, Ph.D., a professor in the Joint University of North Carolina/ N.C. State University Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Gu’s silicon patch, about the size of a penny, includes more than 100 microneedles – each the size of an eyelash. The microneedles are loaded with enzymes that can sense

He quit using Facebook for the second time about nine months ago after realizing how happy he was without it.

We noted earlier that with type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Dr. Thomas Delong is on the cusp of identifying ways to turn off this “misguided immune attack,” thus moving us closer to finding a cure for this illness. When Dr. Delong was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12, his life’s mission began to take shape, even though he didn’t know it yet. Flash forward 30 years, and he’s now making headlines as the University of Colorado researcher on a personal mission to find a cure. For more information about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association’s website at www.diabetes.org. The ADA has two offices to serve North Carolina residents:  1300 Baxter Street, Suite 150, Charlotte; (704) 373-9111  2418 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 206, Raleigh; (919) 743-5400

Novant Health Forsyth Pediatrics Oak Ridge

“The few years I quit Facebook were the best of my life,” he said. “Now I’m more productive in my career, I’m getting stuff done around the house and I’m doing things other than social media.” Bonner still has an Instagram account, but he uses it only to post photos so his extended family can see what he’s up to. “I don’t miss it,” he said of Facebook.

L to R: Deepa Nayak, MD; Chase Michaels, MHS-PAC; Steve Kearns, MD; Laurie MacDonald, MD

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BLOOD

continued from page 8 include a fear of needles, a fear of passing out (it rarely happens, she said), and the time it will take (it typically takes no more than one hour to donate a unit of blood). Most people have no issues with donating blood if they prepare well, Sparrow pointed out. Good preparation includes eating healthy and drinking extra water before and after giving blood, and refraining from vigorous activity immediately after giving blood.

“A single car accident victim can need as many as 100 units of blood,” said Maya Franklin, external communications manager, Carolinas Red Cross Blood Services. “In trauma situations, when there’s no time to check a patient’s blood type, emergency personnel reach for type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma.” “We’ve never had a disaster in the United States that required more blood than is required every single day in this country. We always need it,” Sparrow emphasized.

Working for a manufacturer was also Sparrow’s first opportunity to share her experience as an emergency room nurse and explain how powerful a donation of blood can be and the difference it can make in a life.

In her position with CBCC, a non-profit which is the primary blood supplier to 27 regional hospitals, including all the hospitals within the Cone Health system, Sparrow works with churches, schools and many other organizations to organize blood drives in their communities.

“You just have to keep reassuring people about the difference it can make,” Sparrow said. “We try to put a face to the need and find someone in the room who has had, or knows someone who has had surgery or an accident and received blood.

“We work closely with the teams involved in recruiting the donors and make sure to provide a great experience,” she said, emphasizing the blood donated at a CBCC blood drive stays in the regions that CBCC serves.

Sparrow said she finds it especially rewarding to see high school students donate blood because it shows they “get it” at such a young age.

 About 1 in every 7 people entering a hospital needs blood.

“About 20 to 25 percent of the blood that we collect comes from high school donors,” she said. “It’s incredible to see teenagers who have already donated blood. They are our first-time donors and we want them to be donors for life.”

 O negative red blood cells and AB plasma can be transfused into any patient, regardless of blood type.

At Northwest Guilford High School, Paul Egleston’s leadership class helps organize blood drives each year. The most recent blood drive in April yielded 100 units of blood donations from staff and students. “Students are so proud to be a part of the blood drive,” Sparrow said. “They work so hard at it. It’s incredible to see their leadership and commitment.” “It’s an easy thing for people to do to give back,” she pointed out. “To give blood and help somebody somewhere have another day or another hour with their loved ones – I can’t think of anything more rewarding.”

 There are four blood types: A, B, AB and O

 Less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood.  Donors can donate whole blood every 8 weeks.  It usually takes no more than one hour to donate a unit (pint) of whole blood; it takes about two hours to donate blood platelets.  You can donate platelets (apheresis donation) every two weeks – up to 24 times in 12 months.  Platelets, sometimes called “liquid gold” by those in the medical field, are specifically used to stop or prevent bleeding and are frequently needed by cancer patients, transplant patients and cardiac patients.

Better scan. Better fit. Better smile. With our new iTero scanners, our Invisalign patients start their journey to a better smile quickly and comfortably! Because the scanner allows for greater precision, aligners fit 7 times better with digital scans. So, say goodbye to the gooey impressions of the past and know that you are in excellent hands. Dr. Mark Reynolds is the only dental provider in the state of North Carolina invited to participate in the InvisalignTeen Edge program. This yearlong training program utilizes his orthodontic expertise to provide a more desirable option for our teen patients. After all, the plastic aligners are only as good as the hands they are in! Schedule a time to sit down with Dr. Reynolds and see how he can change your smile the easy way!

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Summer 2017


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GYNECOLOGISTS Green Valley OB/GYN ........................................................3

BLOOD DONATION CENTER Community Blood Center of the Carolinas .........................9

PET HEALTH Best 4K9 .......................................................................... 11 King’s Crossing Animal Hospital ....................................... 16

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The Northwest Observer reaches over 26,600 readers in northwest Guilford County each week.

PEDIATRICS Northwest Pediatrics......................................................... 14 Novant Health Forsyth Pediatrics Oak Ridge....................21 PERFORMANCE ARTS CENTERS Destination Arts ...............................................................21 PHARMACY Crossroads Pharmacy....................................................... 17 PHYSICAL THERAPY Oak Ridge Physical Therapy.............................................20 SENIOR LIVING Countryside Village Retirement Community .....................24 URGENT CARE Carolina Priority Care .........................................................5 WEIGHT LOSS Central Carolina Surgery ....................................................6

Want to be part of next year’s edition of To Your Health?

Come along with us! Contact us today to learn about advertising in any of our pubications. advertising@nwobserver.com (336) 644-7035, ext. 10

Summer 2017

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Independent Living | Rehabilitation Services | Assisted Living | Skilled Nursing

336-643-6301

RetireAtCountryside.com 7700 U.S. Highway 158 | Stokesdale, NC 27357

To Your Health | Summer 2017  

Home-grown articles about facing health-related challenges, fitness trends, the benefits of healthy lifestyles and more in northwest Guilfor...

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