Author Archives: Amy Smith

Vitamins – What You Need To Know

Vitamins are regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a dietary supplement. However, the FDA does not require that manufacturers of the vitamins prove safety and effectiveness before marketing a dietary supplement the way they do for a prescription medication. In addition, the FDA does not evaluate dietary supplements for the treatment of medical conditions. Due to the lack of oversight of vitamins and dietary supplements, there are many things to be careful with. Just because a product is available as over the counter, meaning no prescription is needed, it is not necessarily safe for everyone to use.

Multivitamins and specific vitamin containing products do provide benefit for certain individuals, but many healthy, non-pregnant adults get all of the nutrients they need from a well-balanced diet. Vitamin supplements are not intended for use by everyone. Some people that specifically benefit from multivitamins are vegetarians or vegans, those [ ]

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Colorectal Cancer RARELY Causes Symptoms

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is the out of control growth of cells in the colon or rectum. These cells grow into masses, or tumors.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women in the USA and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths.

Did you know…?

Abdominal cancers include adrenocortical tumors, carcinomas of the stomach, cancer of the pancreas, colorectal carcinomas, carcinoid tumors, and gastrointestinal stoma tumors.
Early screening can be lifesaving. Everyone 50 and over with Medicare are covered. If you are 40 and have a family history, ask your doctor.
Men and women alike get colon cancer; however, people at higher risk for developing colon cancer include those with a history of inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) and those with a family history of colon cancer.
The two most common inherited syndromes linked with colorectal cancer are familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis [ ]

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Wise Health Care Consumer Month

February is Wise Health Care Consumer Month!   The primary goal of Wise Health Consumer Month is to teach people how to be more involved in their own health care. Here are some examples of how you can be a wise health care consumer and be proactive in your own health outcomes:


10 Tips for Being a Wise Health Care Consumer

Take the time to carefully select a primary doctor or health care provider. Ask friends or relatives for recommendations. Investigate whether or not the doctor participates with your health insurance plan.
Prepare for visits to your health care provider by compiling lists of questions or concerns you wish to discuss during your appointment. It is also important to let the scheduler know what you wish to talk about when you schedule your visit, so they can make sure they schedule enough time to address the issue.
Get regular physical exams. The single best [ ]

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Season Affective Disorder (SAD)


Could you be experiencing SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or “The Winter Blues” is a real phenomenon. During the gray, cold days of a midwestern winter, there are those who may have no mental health issues at other times of the year, but during the winter season develop a depressed mood. There are symptoms outlined here that you or someone you know may be facing. If so, there are steps you can take to prevent those symptoms from worsening as the gray days of winter persist as the sun is in hiding. If you are having a sleep disturbance, change in appetite, social isolation, irritability, crying spells or sadness speak with your health care provider or contact the Senior Life Solutions team at 641-743-7202 for additional information and resources. Take steps to battle the Winter Blues today!


By Deb Theisen-Chenchar RN, BSN
Program Director of Senior Life Solutions
The information [ ]

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Shopping Local and Using Resources

I’ve always lived in this same small town.  Maybe that makes my world a little narrow but I don’t think so.  I think it makes me a conscientious member of an elite group, with concern for one another and our environment.  We see evidence of this every time something happens in our small communities, be it tragic or joyous.  We band together and help one another or celebrate together whichever the case may be.  In our everyday lives we also have the opportunity to exercise our choice to live in these wonderful communities by supporting the local businesses and services provided here.

Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses

Community well-being

Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining town centers and social relationships.

Personal Connection

Local business owners know you, and you know them.

Support for non-profits

Studies have shown that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of [ ]

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Holiday Food Safety Tips

Practice food safety this holiday season as well as throughout the year.

Have a plan. Consider oven space, refrigerator space and your menu. Keep hot foods 141° or higher and cold foods at 41° or below.
Remember to defrost your meat in the refrigerator, under cool running water or in the microwave.
Keep foods separated. Keep meats, poultry, seafood and eggs separate from all other foods in the refrigerator. This will help keep juices from the meats from dripping onto other foods.
Wash your hands before, during and after food preparation.
Wash all produce before using.
Do not eat raw dough or batter, unless you use pasteurized eggs for dishes containing raw eggs.
Cook foods to proper temperatures. Remember to reheat food to 165° or higher.
Use ice to keep cold foods cold and heated elements such as a crock pot to keep hot foods hot.
Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of preparation.

Remember to cool hot items properly. If [ ]

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Everyone Has Something To Give


One of my favorite quotes is from Barbara Bush, “Some people give time, some money, some skills and connections, some literally their life’s blood.   But everyone has something to give.”

My entire life I have always believed this.   From a young age, I went with my Grandma and Mom to a lot of volunteer things.   At the time, I was not thrilled about spending my Saturday cooking for the Pork Producers, cleaning up at the Fairgrounds, being in the parade for the hospital and countless other things.   But looking back, I am blessed I had this opportunity.    It made me into the person I am today, and I truly believe everyone has something to give.    You don’t have to be rich to give back to the community you are in.    Even giving a smile to someone you know is having a bad day, taking time to visit your elderly [ ]

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Developing a rash that doesn’t go away? Consider contacting your provider.

Psoriasis causes red, scaly, raised patches on the skin – most commonly on the outside of elbows, knees, and scalp. The exact cause is unknown; however, the immune system and genetics play a key role in developing this disease. Psoriasis is not contagious, and the skin lesions are not infectious. While you can manage symptoms of Psoriasis, there is no cure.

Signs & Symptoms:

·         Red patches of skin with thick, silvery scales

·         Itching, soreness, or burning

·         Swollen and stiff joints

·         Dry, cracked skin

·         Thickened, ridged or pitted nails

Diagnosis is made from an examination by your provider or dermatologist, sometimes a biopsy may be taken.

Treatments include:

·         Topicals – Applied to skin. Usually the first treatment option.

·         Phototherapy – Exposing the skin to ultraviolet light in a Psoriasis clinic, doctor’s office, or at home with phototherapy unit.

·         Systemics – Taken orally [ ]

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Halloween Safety


Halloween Tips

The spooky time of Halloween is just around the corner!  Here at ACMH we want our community to have a safe and fun holiday. So, here are some tips for your trick-or-treaters.

Costume safety is important. Such as, wearing appropriate fitting clothing, make sure they are the right length and size.  Another safety tip is to wear bright, reflective clothing. This is to make it easier to see drivers to see pedestrians. Masks can obstruct someone’s vision making it harder to see crossing a street, or going up a porch. Try using non-toxic face paint.

The most popular times for trick-or-treating are between the times of 5:30pm-9:30pm. If your child is under the age of 12, it is recommended that they have adult supervision. Traveling in groups is also a good idea. Also, only go to houses with the porch light that are on. If you are [ ]

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Things To Do At Home For Common Cold

The common cold affects numerous people each year, and even the same person multiple times per year. Most colds are due to a viral infection, but the term “cold” was coined as most of these viruses occur during cold weather seasons. There are multiple strains of viruses, but Rhinovirus is the most common. You can catch these viral illnesses via air droplets. For example, if someone who is infected with a virus coughs and does not cover their mouth, you could be at risk for inhaling those infected respiratory droplets. It can also be spread by hand-to-hand contact; this is why washing your hands is the number one way to prevent viral illnesses.

Common symptoms of colds or viral illnesses include cough, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, headache, earache and even low-grade fever. Because these symptoms are viral, they are usually self-limiting but it may not always feel like that. [ ]

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