Regular checkups are important. You aren’t feeling sick, your energy levels are up, you’re diet is great. You feel you don’t need for a regular checkup. If that’s your thought process, you may be wrong. Regular checkups are extremely important to everyone’s health. You provider will do screenings and exams that you need and when you need them. You may not even consider some of the screenings they do that can help avoid future illness or injury. Below are resources to help you and your health care provider determine what health services and screenings are best for you. Why Get Regular checkups? By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (i.e. what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other important factors impact what and how often you need healthcare. Start with your UFMC doctor. The best place to go for health services is your regular health care provider. We are here to help you stay healthy and strong. Your doctor is a great sounding board whether you have illness or not, make sure to use them as your best resource. Encourage others to get a checkup. You may also want to start a campaign in your community to encourage others to make an appointment for a check-up or health screening. It’s important that everyone gets a checkup to make sure they are on track to great health. Make an appointment for your checkup today!
Child Passenger Safety Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. According to the CDC, in 2016, 723 children ages 12 years and younger died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and more than 128,000 were injured. But parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference. Whenever you’re on the road, make sure children are buckled in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, or seat belts. Children under age 13 should ride properly buckled in the back seat on every trip. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an airbag. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. Data shows that:
- In 2016, restraint use saved the lives of 328 children ages 4 years and younger.
- Car seat use reduces the risk for injury in a crashes by 71–82 percent for children when compared with seat belt use alone.
- Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45 percent for children ages 4 to 8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.
Your Family Health History Have you ever thought about your family health history? It’s something that doctors generally ask about, but have you ever thought about what it can result in for you? What is your family health history? You and your family members share genes. You may also have behaviors in common, such as exercise habits and what you like to eat. You may live in the same area and come into contact with similar things in the environment. Family history includes all of these factors, any of which can affect your health. Why is knowing family health history good for your health? Most people have a family member that has a health history of at least one chronic disease, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. If you have a close family member with a chronic disease, you may be more likely to develop that disease yourself, especially if more than one close relative has (or had) the disease or a family member got the disease at a younger age than usual. Collect your family health history information before visiting the doctor, and take it with you. Even if you don’t know all of your family health history information, share what you do know. Family health history information, even if incomplete, can help your doctor decide which screening tests you need and when those tests should start. How can I improve my health using our family health history? You can’t change your genes, but you can change unhealthy behaviors. Be active, improve your eating habits, stop smoking. You may have the most to gain from lifestyle changes and screening tests. Worried about your family health history? Make an appointment and discuss it with your doctor.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month November is lung cancer awareness month and we’re spreading the word. Lung cancer in many cases is a preventable disease often caused by smoking or other inhalants or toxins into the lungs. It’s a complex disease to understand and treat. According to the American Lung Association, Lung cancer happens when cells in the lung change. They grow uncontrollably and cluster together to form a tumor. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells grow without order or control, destroying the healthy lung tissue around them. These types of tumors are called malignant tumors. When the cancer cells spread, they prevent organs of the body from functioning properly. Lung cells most often change because they are exposed to dangerous chemicals that we breathe. There are two main types of lung cancer, small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is more common. Lung cancer symptoms usually do not appear until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. At this point, it is harder to treat lung cancer. Malignant tumors are dangerous and can grow uncontrollably. When the cancer cells grow too fast, they prevent your organs from working normally. For example, if cancer affects the lungs, the tumor may grow so large it blocks a major airway so that part of the lung is not usable for breathing or an infection may develop because of the blockage. There are two main types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. A third less common type of lung cancer is called carcinoid. Small cell lung cancer There are two different types of small cell lung cancer: small cell carcinoma and mixed small cell/large cell cancer or combined small cell lung cancer. The types of small cell lung cancer are named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer and how the cells look when viewed under a microscope. Small cell lung cancer is almost always associated with cigarette smoking. Small cell lung cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy. Non-small cell lung cancer Non-small cell lung cancer is more common. It makes up about 80 percent of lung cancer cases. This type of cancer usually grows and spreads to other parts of the body more slowly than small cell lung cancer does. Carcinoid Lung carcinoid tumors are uncommon and tend to grow slower than other types of lung cancers. They are made up of special kinds of cells called neuroendocrine cells. They are usually classified as typical or atypical carcinoids. Carcinoids are very rare, slow-growing and most commonly treated with surgery. Just as each person is unique, each type of lung cancer is different. It is important to know the type of lung cancer you have, sometimes called “your lung cancer profile” because it helps determine what lung cancer treatment options are available. If you’re interested in learning more about lung cancer, or if you have any concerns about your lung health, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Take steps to avoid the flu. It’s fall. Fall not only brings beautiful colorful Colorado leaves, but it also brings cooler temperatures. And even more so, fall means the flu season is upon us. Last year’s flu season was the worst on record. According to the CDC, 2017-2018 was classified as a high severity season with high levels of outpatient clinic and emergency department visits for influenza-like illness, high influenza-related hospitalization rates, and widespread influenza activity across the United States for an extended period. The CDC estimates the flu caused between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually in the U.S. since 2010. While estimates for last season won’t be available until later in the fall, it’s likely that last season was record-breaking across both of these key indicators used to track severity. It’s not possible to predict how severe the upcoming season will be, but we know that the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is a flu vaccine. Flu viruses make you feel like every part of your body is sick, but infect nose, throat, and lungs and can cause a wide range of complications. Sinus and ear infections, as well as in moderate to severe cases pneumonia are examples of moderate complications from flu. Flu virus infections can also cause serious complications like inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis) or muscle (myositis, rhabdomyolysis), and multi-organ failure (for example, respiratory and kidney failure). Flu can also trigger an extreme inflammatory response in the body and can lead to sepsis, the body’s life-threatening response to infection. The U.S. experienced high rates of hospitalization and severe disease during the past seven flu seasons. Flu vaccination can help keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also helps protect the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness. Make an appointment today to get your flu vaccination before the flu season is in full swing.
How too much sugar can affect your child’s health. It’s no surprise that too much sugar can cause problems for your kids. From tooth decay, hyperactivity and an increased risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Parents can avoid these issues if they watch their kids sugar intake. Some of the common health problems that too sugar can cause include: Croup and acid reflux Some children have recurrent episodes of what looks like croup. These children go to bed seemingly healthy, but wake up during the night with a barking cough and trouble breathing. Generally we find that most of these children have a high sugar intake and are often chocolate milk drinkers. The combination of dairy and sugar takes longer to digest and is highly acidic, causing acid reflux-like symptoms and other problems with the esophagus and even the vocal cords. The key is moderation, not sugar every day. Weakened immunity Good bacteria found in your gut helps you digest food, produce vitamins and protect it from germs and disease. But when kids consume too much sugar, it can alter the balance between good and bad bacteria and weaken their immune systems.. So although your children may still get frequent colds, their symptoms may be reduced if their sugar intake is also reduced. Poor Diet Children who snub fruits, vegetables and other healthy fare may not be picky eaters after all. They might just be loading up on too much sugar which can cause stomach aches and poor appetite. Reducing the amount of sugar your child consumes is important. Whether they have symptoms or not, it’s important to keep track of your child’s sugar intake and make sure they are staying healthy.