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Health Tips

Stay Cool, Arizona

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To say, “It’s a little hot in Arizona right now,” is an understatement. It’s not just a little hot–it’s A LOT hot. It’s a feeling-the-full-force-of-the-sun kind of hot; a sweltering heat that starts early in the day and  remains even after the sun has gone to bed.

With the extra hot days of Summer, it’s more important than ever to take the necessary steps to avoid the complications that hot weather brings.  Without the proper safety precautions, extreme heat can bring a whole host of problems.

To stay safe, follow these hot weather tips:

  • Hot cars can be deadly. Even at a cool 70 degrees outside, the interior of a vehicle on a sunny day can easily reach 104 degrees. Never leave children or pets inside your vehicle.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Stay inside as much as possible and avoid strenuous activity, especially during the hottest part of the day. If you must be outdoors, take frequent breaks.
  • Check in on family, friends or neighbors who live alone and who may be affected by the heat.
  • Remember your pets to be sure they aren’t suffering from the effects of heat. Be sure to provide them with plenty of shade and cool water.
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, choose places to go during the hottest part of the day for relief from the heat: school, theaters, malls, libraries, etc…

If, however, the body overheats, and body temperatures rises causing muscle cramps and profuse sweating,  the risk for heat stroke is high. Heat stroke brings with it hallucinations, confusion, loss of consciousness, and eventually organ damage, coma and death if not treated quickly. If you experience any signs or symptoms of heat stroke call 911 immediately.

Stay cool, Arizona.

Do Less; Enjoy More

By | Health Tips, Mental Health, Motivation | No Comments

 

its-the-day-after-halloween-so-happy-holidays-2

You knew it was coming; you saw the Christmas decorations pop onto the store shelves a few months ago. Like many, you might have groaned and said, “Not yet!” But it didn’t matter, because as we waved goodbye to Labor Day, more and more shelves began to sparkle with the colors of the season.

And now it’s November 1st, which means the holidays are fully upon us, bringing with them their own, unique, holiday stress.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

As you prepare for the months ahead: the shopping, the cooking, the events, the wondering “How the heck am I going to get it all done?” there’s a simple answer…don’t even try. This year, adopt a simple motto that will help ease stress and increase happiness:

Do Less; Enjoy More.

Many times, the items on our to-do list don’t really have to be done. We often put them there year after year because of tradition. Or guilt. Or both. We go overboard with all of the things we convince ourselves we have to do, and not just do, but do well. And the more we try to squeeze into the holidays, the less we actually enjoy them.

This holiday season, do away with having to do it all. It’s okay if dinner is late or the house is messy. It’s a very small price to pay for a calm spirit. Say “no” to those things that bring stress instead of enjoyment. Prioritize your daily routine to focus on enjoying the people around you. Take time out of your day for a walk or a quiet cup of tea.

Remember, the best way to enjoy the months ahead is to exit the Holiday Freeway and take a quiet side street. They’ll both get you where you want to go, but without the madness of the freeway, you’ll enjoy the ride so much more.

 

©2016 Spectrum Healthcare

 

When the Toilet is Cleaner than your Cell Phone

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One of these thing carries more germs...and it's not the toilet

Germs. They are everywhere.

A healthy human body is designed to fight off germs when it encounters them. If you could see inside your body, you’d witness a battle raging everyday, as your immune system seeks to protect you from the harm these invisible little critters seek to inflict.

So why not help your body by giving it a few less battles to fight?

One of the easiest ways to keep those pesky germs at bay is actually as simple as soap and water: it’s hand washing. But it’s not just necessary after using the restroom, for germs lurk on common household items you might not even think of:

Cell Phones and Tablets: According to a 2013 British study, researchers analyzed 30 tablets and phones and compared them to a toilet seat. The tablets had up to 600 units of staphylococcus ( a big word for bacteria that causes severe stomach sickness) the phones resulted in up to 140 units, but the toilet? Less than 20 units.
Solution: clean your screen regularly and keep it out of the bathroom. You can play “Candy Crush” some other time. And wash your hands often.

Carpet: The average human sheds approximately 1.5 million dead skin cells every hour. (That fact alone sounds like the making of a horror movie, doesn’t it?) Bacteria thrives on dead skin cells. Those cells find their way to the carpet, where they mingle with things like pet dander, pollen, and tiny food particles. Approximately 200,000 bacteria live in each sq. inch of your toilet which is almost 700 times more than a toilet seat.
Solution: Carpets require a deep cleaning at least once a year to reach the base of the carpet and  get that which a vacuum misses. And wash your hands often.

Keyboard: After swabbing only 33 keyboards in a London office, researchers found that that a computer laptop carries up to 5 times the germs of a toilet seat.
Solution: Clean surfaces and wash your hands often.

Purses and Backbacks: A purse or backpack is…wait for it…three times dirtier than a toilet seat. With regular use, a handbag is up to 10 times dirtier, especially the handles.
Solution: Keep all bags up and off the floor. Wash cloth bags regularly and use disinfectant wipes for plastic, vinyl or leather bags.

Oh and, you guessed it, wash your hands often.

spectrum healthcare ©2016

 

The Very Unglamorous Life-Saving Screening: the Colonoscopy

By | Health Tips, Primary Care | No Comments

Excuses. They are SO easy to find, aren’t they? We can come up with an excuse for just about anything we don’t want to do, including getting a colonoscopy:

“I’m too busy.”
“Now is just not a good time.”
“I won’t like it.”
“I think it’s going to be difficult.”
“There are other things I’d rather be doing.”

But when the alternative is colon cancer, none of those excuses really seem to matter, do they? According to statistics, colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States. That’s huge. But the good news is that colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers if caught early, which is exactly why a colonoscopy is so important. Through a standard colonoscopy screening, doctors can locate polyps, pre-cancerous growths, and remove them before cancer develops. Studies show that these polyps are found in 25 percent of men and 15 percent of women, aged 50 and older. In fact, research by The New England Journal of Medicine found that removing polyps via a colonoscopy can reduce the death rate from colorectal cancer by 53%.

Now, we know that talking about colonoscopies is not glamorous or exciting, and many people tend to put them off because the procedure is viewed as, well, embarrassing. But thanks to today’s advancements in medicine, the procedure has never been easier: easy preparation and a very gentle procedure performed under light sedation. Many patients awake with no recollection of the procedure at all.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, so get your behind in to see a physician for this most invaluable cancer screening tool. It could save your life.

Colon Cancer

spectrum healthcare ©2016