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What is Sarcoidosis?

04-19-2018
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that affects one or more organs in your body, but most commonly affects the lungs and lymph glands. As a result causing inflammation, abnormal lumps or nodules (otherwise known as granulomas) form in one or more organs of the body. These granulomas may change the normal structure and possibly the function of the affected organ(s).   What-is-Sarcoidosis   How does one get Sarcoidosis? Some clues as to whether you have this disease include patient symptoms, findings from physical and laboratory studies, and patient race. General onset of sudden symptoms can mean that the illness will be short lived mild in severity. Some of these symptoms include:

  • weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • just an overall feeling of ill health
  Symptoms of shortness of breath and some types of skin involvement mean that sarcoidosis will be more long-lasting and severe. In Caucasians, the disease often appears suddenly, which usually indicates a more mild form of the disease that is of short duration. African-Americans and Puerto Ricans, on the other hand, tend to develop the more long-term and severe form of the disease. According to the CDC, the Most common initial symptoms include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic cough
  • Reddish bumps or patches on the skin or under the skin
  • Enlarged lymph glands in the chest and around the lungs that produces cough and shortness of breath
  • Fever, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, general feeling of ill health
Other disease characteristics include:
  • Red and teary eyes or blurred vision
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Enlarged lymph glands in the neck, armpits, and groin
  • Nasal stuffiness and hoarse voice
  • Pain in the hands, feet, or other bony areas due to the formation of cysts in bones
  • Kidney stone formation
  • Development of abnormal or missed beats, inflammation of the covering of the heart, or heart failure
  • Nervous system effects include hearing loss, meningitis, seizures or psychiatric disorders (for example, dementia, depression, psychosis)
  What causes sarcoidosis? Unfortunately the exact cause of sarcoidosis is unknown at this time. The disease can appear suddenly and then disappear, or it can develop gradually and produce symptoms that come and go for a lifetime. Some studies have shown that the disease is caused by an abnormal immune response, especially in those that have an already weak immune system. Other researchers suggest that fungi, viruses, or bacteria are likely triggers. According to the CDC, some cases of sarcoidosis have occurred in groups of people who had close contact with each other, as well as in recipients of heart, lung and bone marrow transplants.   Still have questions about Sarcoidosis? Ask your doctor.

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Donate Your Life

04-10-2018
Donate Your Life donate your organs Donate you life is an interesting concept. A lot of you may even question, what exactly does it mean to “donate your life”? This blog post is intended to help inform you of how you can help through registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor. We will start by saying that we understand that becoming a donor is not for everyone, and we respect that. For those that are interested in registering to become a donor, you are opening the door to bridge the gap between one family’s mourning and another’s healing.   According to OrganDonor.gov:

  • There were over 116,000 men, women and children on the national transplant waiting list as of August 2017
  • 33,611 Transplants were performed in 2016
  • 20 People die each day waiting for a transplant
  • Every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list
  • 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation, but only 54% are actually signed up as donors.
  Your tissue can do so much for someone in need. By donating your tissues, ligaments, and bones your donation can give the gift of movement back to a person. By donating live organs such as kidneys or even lobes of your liver, you are able to donate while still alive due to the ability for the human body regenerate liver lobes and live with only one kidney. And when you’re gone, your eyes, organs and even your skin can be transplanted to someone in need.   Someday, it could be you or one of your family members in need. Life is unpredictable and you never know when an emergency or health condition will arise.   Interest in donating? You can register to become an organ donor at https://www.organdonor.gov/register.html. You never know what one tiny donation could do to save a life.  

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Protect your skin

04-10-2018
protect your skin Protect your skin April showers, bring May flowers. And also bring skin damage if you’re outside enjoying the wonderful spring weather when it’s not raining.   As spring arrives, outdoor activities spike in Colorado. With the wonderful spring weather, it’s important to remember to keep your skin protected. You may often fall to the allure of getting a little more sun than you received all winter. But it’s always very important to make sure you have applied your sunscreen prior to getting sun.   Do you understand SPF? Sun Protection Factor, otherwise known as SPF refers to the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. In theory, an SPF of 15 would allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without protection. A product with an SPF of 15 will filter out approximately 93 percent of UVB rays; SPF 30 filters out about 97 percent. It is always recommended that you start with an SPF of 30 but other factors such as skin tone, history of skin cancer, and more can affect how your skin will react in the sun.   Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind the following tips.   Select Sunscreen with UVA and UVB. Choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB. Look for products containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they protect against the full spectrum of rays and keep you covered more than other sunscreens.   Lotion Up Often Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. And more often  if you swim or exercise. Water, sweat, and clothing can remove sunscreen from your skin. Apply liberally and often.   Consider Sun-Protective Clothing Choose clothing that covers you up before going into the sun. Dark cothing can block nearly all UV radiation and tightly woven fabrics are more protective than looser weaves. If you’re wondering how well your clothing will protect you, just hold it up to the sun. If you can see light passing through it, UV rays can get through, too.   Check your skin regularly Keep an eye on your skin even when you’re not in the sun. Look for new moles or changes in older ones. If you have concerns, report them to your primary care provider or dermatologist. Your doctor can take a look, and, if needed, refer you to a specialist.   Still have questions about sunblock and skin damage? Talk to your doctor and have them screen you for any possible signs of skin damage.

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National Minority Health Month

04-05-2018
minorityhealth_456px April is National Minority Health Month! It’s time for you to show your support and celebrate the health of your friends, family, neighbors and community members. Partnering for health equity means stronger, safer and healthier communities - including ours here in Pueblo.   We can all play a role in reducing disparities and improving the health of our communities. Many organizations at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels are partnering to achieve healthier communities.   Health Disparities Among Children Health disparities, or differences, in health outcomes and their causes among groups of people. For example, African American children are more likely to die from asthma compared to non-Hispanic White children. And according to a recent article published by Salud America, Latino children are not only more likely to suffer from depression, they're also less likely to receive treatment. Similar statistics have been found for children with diabetes and other illnesses that are becoming far to common among minorities.   Health Disparities Among Minority Adults It’s not just children that are being affected by health disparities. According to the Center for American Progress:

  • 79% of African American and  Hispanic adults had health coverage in 2009 compared to 88 percent of white Americans
  • A 16.6%of African American and Hispanic adults aged 18 years and over do not have a regular source of health care
  • Nearly half (46%) of nonelderly black adults who do not have insurance report having one or more chronic health conditions and report they are in fair or poor health
  Reducing Health Disparities Reducing health disparities creates better health for all Americans. April is National Minority Health Month. Become aware of the disparities and together we can achieve health equity.  

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Quit Smoking - We can help!

03-29-2018
quit smoking Quit Smoking - We can help! You are more than likely to develop a disease or die earlier if you smoke or use tobacco. Tobacco is a killer. But we are here to help you quit smoking or using tobacco. If you smoke, you may worry about what it's doing to your health. You probably worry, too, about how hard it might be to stop smoking. Nicotine is highly addictive, and to quit smoking — especially without help — can be difficult. In fact, most people don't succeed the first time they try to quit. It may take more than one try, but you can stop smoking. Take that first step. Decide to stop smoking. Set a quit date. And then take advantage of the multitude of resources we have available to help you successfully quit smoking.   Once you’ve decided to stop smoking. You’ll want to create quit-smoking action plan and map out how you’re going to do it.   Get Support. Getting support should be one of the first steps in your plan. Support can come from family, friends, your doctor, a counselor, a support group or a telephone quit hotline. Support can also come from use of one or more of the medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for smoking cessation.   Plan for challenges. When creating your quit-smoking action plan, make sure to consider and plan for your challenges. Work stress, family stress, any areas that trigger your urge to smoke, make sure to think about all of these obstacles and create a plan to avoid high-risk challenges along the way. Think of other places to go where smoking isn't allowed, such as a shopping mall, a museum or movie theater, and make a habit of going to them when you feel the urge to smoke.   Live smoke free. Once you’ve started your quit-smoking action plan, make a pact with yourself, friends and family that you will live smoke free.   Those are only the first steps to help you stop smoking or using tobacco. We have so many resources to help you succeed. Make an appointment today and we will help you reach your goals.  

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