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Sesonal Allergies

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Iowa’s four seasons each bring a myriad of symptoms for seasonal allergy suffers.  These symptoms can range from itchy eyes and throats, sinus headaches, a decreased sense of smell, fatigue, congested nasal passages, sneezing, wheezing or an increase in asthma, or  hives.

The key to managing these symptoms is to reduce your exposure to the allergy trigger, if it is known.  Often, you can attempt to correlate the onset of your symptoms with recent activities to try to come up with a possible trigger.

If your allergy is due to outdoor exposures to ragweed, which is prevalant in the fall, attempt to stay indoors, especially on windy days.  If mowing the lawn or working with weeds or gardening chores, where a mask.  When you come inside, remove your clothing and shower to rinse the allergens from your body and hair.  If you are unable to immediately shower, make sure [ ... ]

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Personal Health Preparedness – National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and Adair County Health System encourages everyone to prepare themselves for emergencies.  A large-scale disaster or emergency like a lengthy power outage can limit your access to supplies and services for several days or weeks. Still, nearly half do not have an emergency kit for their home.  The Centers for Disease Control lays out some basic guidelines to follow for personal health preparedness:

Personal Needs – Gather enough non-perishable food, water, personal care and hygiene, first aid and medical supplies to last at least 72 hours for everyone in your home.  Don’t forget about your pets!

Prescriptions – Prepare a 7-10 day supply of prescription medications in a waterproof container and over the counter meds such as ibuprofen or vitamins. Keep an updated list of all prescriptions and regular over the counter medications that are taken daily.   You may need a cooler or cold packs to store [ ... ]

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Mental Health in Rural Iowa

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Mental Health in Rural Iowa

Mental disorders/health concerns have been recognized as a major rural health priority.

At the least, 50% of the world’s population will be impacted by a mental disorder.

Mental Health…

involves effective functioning in daily activities resulting in

Productive activities (work, school, caregiving)
Healthy relationships
Ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity

Mental Illness…

refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders – health conditions involving:

Significant changes in thinking, emotion and/or behavior
Distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities

Mental health is the foundation for thinking, communication, learning, resilience and self-esteem. Mental health is also key to relationships, personal and emotional well-being and contributing to community or society.

Mental disorders include three major categories of mental illness:

1. Schizophrenia

2. [ ... ]

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Getting Care During and After Allergic Reaction

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What was that? Was that a bee? It just bit me!! I’m allergic. What do I do?

What would you do? Well, if you know you have an allergy to bees, then you have been bit before! The symptoms of an allergic reaction can be mild to severe. Starting with the most severe:

“ANAPHYLACTIC” reaction. This is a biggie! The most common causes of anaphylaxis are food, medications, chemicals, insects, or latex.  There are more, but these are the most common.  Symptoms of anaphylaxis are: shortness of breath, voice changing, making a “wheezing” sound from the lungs or throat, tongue swelling, itchy throat, vomiting, a feeling of losing consciousness, or swelling of the hands and/or face.

Remedies: If you see someone or you are experiencing these symptoms, please dial 911. You will be taken to an emergency room for emergency care, which would include reversing the symptoms with [ ... ]

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Outdoor Exercise – Starting Slow and Getting Ready

If you are like most of us in the Midwest, you are ready for spring to arrive!  Spring is the season where we end our months-long hibernation, see our neighbors again, and finally start the exercise program we have been thinking about all winter long.  We know the numerous physical and mental benefits of regular exercise, and even simple activities like walking for 20 to 30 minutes most days of the week can make a big difference.  But what about those aches and pains after the first week?  How much is too much?

Here are three tips for getting back in shape this spring and avoiding injuries:

Start slow and increase in moderation

Most experts recommend allowing a full day of rest between exercise sessions meaning Monday, Wednesday, and Friday would be a good place to start.  Each week your overall activity should only increase by 10-20%.  For example, if you start [ ... ]

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Small Changes Can Make Large Impacts – Healthy Cooking

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By changing a few simple things in your diet, you can see big rewards.  Here are a few hints:

·        Use oil to replace fat in cooking and baking.

·        Use applesauce to replace equal amounts of oil in recipes for quick breads and brownies.

·        Substitute fat free milk for whole milk in cooking and baking.

·        Trim all visible fat from meat.  Bake, broil, roast or stew meat.  Drain and discard the fat.

·        Use spray oil (Pam) for frying.

·        Use coated skillets which require less fat.

·        Substitute fat free milk cheese for regular cheese.

·        Baking cocoa can replace baking chocolate.

·        Substitute plain low-fat yogurt for sour cream.

·        Use salt substitutes such as Mrs. Dash, Tones, etc.

Fats and sweets should be used sparingly in your diet.  These foods include salad dressings, cream, butter, margarine, sugars, soft drinks, candies and sweet desserts. Alcoholic beverages provide only calories and few vitamins and minerals.  [ ... ]

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Gluten Free Recipe – Chicken with Creamy Parmesan and Spaghetti Squash

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Since becoming gluten free 7 years ago, the meal I long for is fettucine alfredo.  Of course, I have tried many kinds of the gluten free pasta (Barilla is my favorite) – but I have recently discovered that I prefer spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta.  Not only is better for you – it tastes great too!

Below is one of my favorite NEW recipes.

Chicken with Creamy Parmesan and Spaghetti Squash – Serves 4

Ingredients
What you will need:

· 3/12 pounds spaghetti squash
· Olive Oil
· 6 chicken thighs
· Salt
· ¼ teaspoon dried basil
· Black Pepper
· ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
· Aluminum Foil
· ⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary
· 2 baking sheets
· ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
· 12” large high-side pan
· 8 ounces spinach

· 1 tablespoon minced garlic

· 3 packets unsalted butter

· ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

· 3 tablespoons white wine

· ⅓ [ ... ]

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Why Use a Pain Clinic?

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Chronic pain is, unfortunately, part of many people’s everyday lives and how best to treat it can be challenging. Pain clinics have become more common and have been getting a lot of press but with this comes questions: What exactly is a pain clinic and what do they do there? What types of providers do they have? What can I expect if I go there? How can I be referred to one? We’ll look at these questions as we explore the benefits of using a pain clinic.

What exactly is a Pain Clinic and what do they do there?
Typically pain management clinics are clinics where pain management specialists offer evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of diverse types of pain. Pain encompasses a wide spectrum of disorders, both acute and chronic. Arthritis, back pain, and cancer related pain are common diseases that are treated. Pain can also occur due to a reason like surgery, injury, damage to a nerve, or other medical problems like a migraine and diabetic neuropathy (nerve pain most commonly affecting the feet). At times, pain can arise and no source can be found, which can be frustrating for patients. Pain clinics offer a variety of ways to help treat pain. Oral medications, nerve blocks, spinal injections, and other interventional techniques may be used. The treatment of pain is complex, and the modalities available [ ... ]

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Help Great Childhoods Happen

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and I encourage everyone in to join us this month and stand up for the future of children in our community. We all have a role to play in healthy child development, and our goal this April is to help others recognize that role and the ways in which we can maximize our impact.

While 87% of adults across America believe that child abuse and neglect is a preventable problem, most don’t know how they can help. In fact, only one in four reported that they engage in child abuse prevention, when nearly 3x as many actually had in practice. You might be helping without even knowing it. From donating time or money to organizations that support children and families, to volunteering and mentoring, to helping babysit for an overburdened family – activities that support the overall well-being of families [ ... ]

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Depression – Not a Normal Part of Aging

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Many do not realize the signs and symptoms of depression.  Often they are thought to be a normal part of aging, but there not! The following are signs and symptoms which may indicate its time to talk to someone:

Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
Feelings of sadness or grief lasting more than two weeks
Loss of energy, feeling tired all the time
Physical symptoms that can’t otherwise be explained (headaches, stomach aches, constipation, etc.)
Feelings of worthlessness
Feelings of hopelessness
Feelings of guilt
Not able to concentrate or think clearly
Changes in appetite (either eating too much or too little)
Changes in sleeping patterns (sleeping too much or too little)

Quality of life does not have to stop as you age, there is help! Call 641-743-7202 for more information.

Written By Tarrah Holliday, RN – Senior [ ... ]

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