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The Buzz About Bacteria

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The thought that bacteria are beneficial can be a tough concept to understand. We use antibacterial hand soaps, lotions and take antibiotics to kill harmful bacterial infections. But did you know that the right type of bacteria, in the right place, can have benefits?

Our bodies have “good” bacteria and “harmful” bacteria. To maintain optimal health, the correct balance between the two must be met. Growing scientific evidence suggests you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing probiotics. Did you know that 70-80 percent of your entire immune system is located in your gut!

So, what steps can you take to increase your probiotic intake? First of all, consume more probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and aged soft cheeses. Getting a good, high-quality fiber diet can facilitate and aid in maintaining a balance in gut health. Lastly, taking a quality probiotic supplement is a great way to improve your gut microflora.

Some of the benefits of consuming and taking probiotics supplements are: boosts immunity, corrects gastrointestinal issues, promotes proper nutrient absorption, and can facilitate in sustainable weight loss.

There are different types of strains of probiotics when choosing a supplement. Finding the right probiotic can be an overwhelming when reading the labels. It is important to talk to your family physician about which probiotic is right for you.

By Nicki Clayton, RN

Adair County Health System

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement.
Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.


 

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Should I Get My Flu Shot?

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Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older as the best way to protect against influenza.  By getting a yearly flu vaccine, you can protect yourself from illness, and protect those around you.  Adair County Health System will be offering the flu vaccine this fall following clinic appointments, scheduled clinics and in the schools, as vaccine becomes available. It is recommended to get the influenza vaccine early in the season, as it takes a couple weeks for your body to respond to the antigen in the vaccine, to build immunity.    Quadrivalent vaccine is available this season which covers 4 strains of influenza as well as the High Dose trivalent for those age 65 and older.  High Dose flu vaccine has a higher antigen count to help build a better response for weakened immune systems.  Those age 65 and older may also need pneumonia vaccine and this can be given at the same time.

Influenza is a respiratory illness that most often causes fever, headache, extreme tiredness, coughing, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose. Occasionally, nausea and diarrhea can accompany the respiratory symptoms, but is more likely in children. The flu virus is spread when people who are ill cough or sneeze without covering their mouths and noses, sending tiny droplets of saliva into the air for others to breathe in and get sick.  A person can also get the flu by touching a surface or object (such as a door handle) that has been touched by someone with the flu (who coughed into their hand), and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.  You cannot get influenza from getting the flu shot.

In addition to getting an annual flu vaccination, CDC recommends ways you can also protect yourself and others by practicing good health habits such as covering your mouth when you cough, washing your hands, getting plenty of rest and staying home when sick.  If you get the influenza and antivirals are prescribed as part of treatment, you should take them as instructed.

For more information about influenza, visit https://idph.iowa.gov/influenza or www.cdc.gov/flu For information about seasonal influenza clinics in Adair County, visit adaircountyhealthsystem.org or call Adair County Public Health at  641-743-6173.

By Stephanie Claussen

Adair County Health System

Community Health Coordinator

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement.
Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.

 

 

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Acid Reflux

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When should I see a provider:

  • Your symptoms are severe or last a long time
  • You cannot seem to control your symptoms
  • You have had symptoms for many years

 

You should also see a doctor or nurse right away if you:

  • Have trouble swallowing, or feel as though food gets “stuck” on the way down
  • Lose weight when you are not trying to
  • Have chest pain
  • Choke when you eat
  • Vomit blood or have bowel movements that are red, black, or look like tar

Acid reflux is when the acid that is normally in your stomach backs up into the esophagus which is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.  Another term for acid reflux is “gastroesophageal reflux disease,” or GERD.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

  • Burning in the chest, known as heartburn
  • Burning in the throat or an acid taste in the throat
  • Stomach or chest pain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Having a raspy voice or a sore throat
  • Unexplained cough

Things you can do on your own to improve symptoms:

  • Lose weight (if you are overweight)
  • Raise the head of your bed by 6 to 8 inches (for example, by putting blocks of wood or rubber under 2 legs of the bed or a Styrofoam wedge under the mattress)
  • Avoid foods that make your symptoms worse (examples include coffee, chocolate, alcohol, peppermint, and fatty foods)
  • Cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Stop smoking, if you smoke
  • Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal

 

** nonprescription medicines: antacids, surface acting agents, histamine blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (speak to your provider/pharmacist)

 

If a child or teenager has acid reflux:  take him or her to see a doctor or nurse. Do not give your child medicines to treat acid reflux without talking to a provider or nurse.

 

Source: Up-To-Date

 

By David Black, PA-C

Family Practice Provider

Adair County Health System

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement.
Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.

 

 

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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 to at least wash your hands and face.  Mold and Pollen counts can be routinely monitored to help you determine  the risks of being outside on any given day at www.accuweather.com

If your allergies occur mostly in the winter, your allergens may be in your home.  Remember to use high effeciency filters and routinely change your furnace filters.  Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier, use a portable HEPA filter in your bedroom, and clean floors often with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.  Consider allergens that are not seasonal, such as animal dander – if your symptoms only occur in the winter and you have indoor pets.

Several types of nonprescription medications can help you ease the severity of your symptoms.  As with any medication, please be sure to check with your primary care provider prior to taking these medicatons and read the labels carefully.

Nasal Irrigations are a quick and inexpensive way to relieve nasal congestion.  One brand is called SinuMed.  It is an irrigation to your sinuses that directly flushes out mucus and allergens from your nose and is available over- the-counter, without a prescription.  Use water that is distilled or sterile with the included salt-packets.

Oral antihistamines can help to relieve your sneezing, itching, runny nose, waterly eyes, and nasal congestion.  Examples include Claritin (loratadine) , Zyrtec (certirizine) , and Allegra (fexofenadine).

Decongestants such as Sudafed or Afrin may provide TEMPORARY relief from nasal stuffiness, but use of nasal decongestants are only encouraged for a few days in a row.  Long-term use may actually worsen the symptoms and couse rebound congestion.

Nasal Sprays such as Flonase (fluticasone propionate), Nasocort (Triamcinolone Acetonide), or Cromolyn Sodium can ease allergy symptoms, but are most effective when you begin using them prior to or immediately at the onset of symptoms.

Combined medications such as those that contain an antihistamine with a decongestant are other options for short-term use.  These inlcude Claritin-D, and Allegra-D.

When home remedies aren’t enough, schedule an appointment to see your primary care provider.   Your PCP may recommend additional testing and or treatments  to find out exactly what allergens trigger your symptoms and a process to better control your symptoms.

By Rebecca McCann, ARNP

Adair County Medical Clinic

Urgent Care and Emergency Room Provider

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement.
Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.

 

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Healthy Recipe – BBQ Chopped Pork Salad

 

BBQ Chopped Pork Salad

Ingredients

1 – 6 inch corn tortilla

Cooking Spray

2 Cups – Chopped Romaine Lettuce

3 Ounces – chopped roasted lean boneless pork

¼ Cup Roasted whole kernel corn – thawed

¼ Cup – Thinly sliced red onion

1 Tablespoon – Light sour cream

1 Tablespoon – Fat free milk

1 Tablespoon – BBQ Sauce

 

Prep: 20 minutes   Ready: 8 hours 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.   Cut tortilla into strips and spread on a baking sheet.   Coat with cooking spray.   Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until brown and crisp.   Cool.   Place in an air tight container.

In medium container combine lettuce, meat, corn and onion.   Cover and chill overnight.

In a small container combine the remaining ingredients.   Cover and chill overnight.

To serve add sour cream mixture to lettuce mixture toss to coat.   Top with tortilla strips.   Serve and enjoy.

 

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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 them in the event of a power outage.

Paperwork– Collect important documents and medical records such as insurance cards, immunization records, vital records and advanced directives and personal ID’s such as driver’s license and passports. You may need to create a care plan for your child or family member if they have special needs.  Keep copies of manuals, serial numbers for special equipment such as glucometers and nebulizers.

Power Sources– Prepare for a power outage with back-up power sources and manual equipment such as flashlights, batteries, hearing-aid batteries, car chargers, jumper cables, radio and a generator.

Practical Skills– Learn basic how-to preparedness skills such as CPR and First-Aid to protect your health and safety until help arrives.  Always call 911 first in a life-threatening emergency.

Be Informed! Follow your local emergency management and weather stations on their website or social media.  Sign up for emergency notifications for severe weather, or emergencies. Most counties have an automated alert system.   You can sign up for alerts in Adair and Guthrie County at http://entry.inspironlogistics.com/ag_ia/wens.cfm

Social Media for Adair and Guthrie County Emergency Management:

Facebook: Adair & Guthrie County EMAs

Twitter: @AdairGuthrieEMA

YouTube: Adair Guthrie EMA

Find more information:  https://www.cdc.gov/phpr/prepareyourhealth/PersonalHealth.htm

Find emergency plan templates and guides for your business or home at:  www.ready.gov

By Stephanie Claussen

ACHS Community Health Coordinator

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement.
Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.

 

 

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What is a Clinic Referral Nurse?

When patients receive a referral from their provider for testing at another facility or to see a specialist, the referral nurse at Adair County Medical Clinics will help set up those appointments for our patients.

When necessary, the referral nurse will contact the patient’s insurance provider to ensure that the specialist is “In Network” prior to making the official referral.  This includes contacting the insurance company to get prior authorization or verifying by website before scheduling with the specialist or testing facility.  In some cases, it can take up to 16 business days for the insurance company to grant a prior authorization.  If the prior authorization for the referral is denied by the insurance company, the referral nurse will contact the insurance company again and provide further documentation or conduct a peer-to-peer phone call.  In some cases, the insurance company requests other testing before prior authorization can be granted.  An example of this would be an order for an MRI, but the insurance company requests x-rays prior to giving authorization for the MRI.

The referral nurse will also fill out any referral forms the specialist requires and send supporting records to the specialist or testing facility.  After reviewing the patient’s records, the specialist or testing facility will contact the patient to set up their appointment.

We do our best to get testing or referrals done as quickly as possible to accommodate every patient.

 

Michelle Schlicte, LPN

Referral Nurse

Adair County Medical Clinics

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider. Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement. Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.

 

 

 

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Aminal Bites and Rabies Exposures

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Rabies is a viral disease that can affect all warm‐blooded animals (skunks, dogs, bats, cats, cattle and even humans) and some more likely than others. In Iowa, rabies is most commonly found in skunks and bats.  Rodents, such as squirrels and mice, and rabbits very rarely get rabies. In addition, people that wake up to find a bat in the room or children that are alone with a bat in a room may have been exposed to rabies.  Bat’s teeth are so small you may not have known you were bitten.  The virus is spread when saliva containing rabies virus gets into an opening in the skin, usually by the bite of a rabid animal or if saliva from a rabid animal gets into your mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth) or any open wounds.  The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.

What should you do if an animal bites you or have a possibly exposure to rabies?

Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. See a doctor about the wounds as soon as possible. Your doctor, possibly in consultation with the state health department, will help decide if you need treatment to prevent rabies. In addition, bite wounds can become infected and a physician will decide if you need antibiotics. You should also check with a physician about the possible need for a tetanus shot.

It is important to confirm whether or not the animal could have been rabid at the time of the bite. Detain or hold the animal ONLY if it can be done safely.  Note what the animal looks like and the location of the animal. Call for help and report this information to your local county health department, an animal control officer or local law enforcement.   A 10-day confinement might be ordered for domestic healthy animals to observe for rabies symptoms.  If the animal is not vaccinated it may be required to be kenneled at a vet or shelter so it can be closely monitored.  Rabies testing cannot be done on a live animal.  Wild or unhealthy animals suspected of rabies may be euthanized and sent on for brain matter testing by a vet.

What can you do to prevent rabies exposures?

  • · Vaccinate your dogs and cats, as well as valuable livestock and keep them up to date.  Rabies vaccines can last up to three years depending on the vaccine used. Vaccinating our pets creates a barrier between rabies in the wild and people.

  • · Spay and neuter your pets.  This helps keep the unwanted and stray animal population down.  Stray animals are at higher risk for rabies exposures from wild animals.

  • · Rabies exposures can lead to thousands of dollars in medical care and follow up treatment. Not to mention the physical and emotional toll that can result from animal bites. It is well worth the cost of rabies vaccines to prevent this from happening to someone.

Bite Prevention

  • · Do not approach or try to handle animals, including dogs and cats that you do not know.  Animal bites increase in the warmer months as animals and people are more likely to be outside.
  • · Do not touch sick or injured animals. Call and report them to an animal control officer or local law enforcement.
  • · Do not let your pets roam; keep them restrained. Train and socialize them so they are calm around people.
  • · Educate children about bite prevention. Children are the most common victims of severe dog bites.

For more information visit https://www.idph.iowa.gov/rabies or https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/

By Stephanie Claussen

ACHS Community Health Coordinator

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement.
Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.


 

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Vitamins – What You Need To Know

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By Tamara Thorpe, PharmD, MBA

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 with poor nutritional status, and people with nonhealing wounds. Many children and adults living in Iowa do not get enough vitamin D and may require this vitamin supplement. Folic acid supplementation is beneficial for pregnancy and preconception.

Many vitamins and dietary supplements interact with prescription medications. Sometimes, this interaction can lead to increased levels of prescription medications in your body and harmful side effects. On the flip side, vitamins can also reduce levels of other prescription medications in your body and cause that medication to not work as it should.

Scientific research is lacking on many vitamins and therefore it is hard to conclude either way if a vitamin is beneficial to your health. Some have even been shown to cause harm.

Because of these things, it is important to talk with your primary care provider and/or trusted pharmacist prior to beginning any new vitamins or dietary supplements. In addition, it is a good habit to add any vitamins and herbal supplements you take to your medication list at your doctor’s office.

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider. Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement. Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.


 

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Importance of Prenatal Care

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Pregnancy can be filled with joy and wonder as well as concerns and fears. It is important for the mother to take care of herself and her baby with prenatal care.

Most pregnant women are otherwise healthy and prenatal care is intended to monitor the baby’s growth and the mother’s well-being. Any concerns or prior health conditions will be carefully managed with both the mother’s and the baby’s health in mind.

Prenatal visits

After becoming pregnant, the initial prenatal visit should be schedule between the 10th and 12th week.  If you are unsure of date of conception, see you doctor to confirm pregnancy. The first initial prenatal visit covers medical history, how the mother is feeling, basic information such as weight and blood pressure, a physical exam including a pelvic exam to check the size and shape of the uterus, and a Pap smear to check for any abnormalities of the cervix.

Urine and blood tests will be taken during the first visit.  Discussion about genetic screening options typically take place at this visit also.  Future visits include tests to check for diabetes of pregnancy, anemia, preeclampsia, high blood pressure (gestational hypertension), and vaginal group B strep infection.   Recommended immunizations will also be discussed.   Urine tests are typically performed at each visit to check for sugar and protein.

5 Benefits of Prenatal Care

1. Mom’s and Baby’s health depends on it. While most pregnancies proceed normally, (after all, women’s bodies were designed to be pregnant and give birth), prenatal visits can detect potential health concerns and pregnancy complications, such as anemia, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or pre-eclampsia.  These are best managed when caught early.

2. Receive accurate nutritional information. Your diet may have to go through some changes in order to meet the nutritional needs of your baby. You will be given specific information about the recommended daily intake for the next nine months, including what you should not eat. Some of the most common foods, like lunch meats and hot dogs, will have to be avoided or thoroughly heated before consuming. Contrary to popular belief, pregnancy doesn’t mean you get to eat for two (sorry!). In fact, for a single baby you only need about 300 extra calories per day.  All of this information – and more – will be provided at your prenatal appointments.

3. Monitor baby’s development. Your baby’s growth is a major indicator of how well he or she is doing.  Growth is measured by palpating, or feeling, for the top of the uterus and then measuring from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus.  Fetal heart rate is also obtained at every visit.  Modern technology will assist as well. Ultrasounds will be strategically timed to verify your baby’s development and can identify gender.

4. Schedule appropriate testing. Depending on your age, medical history, and family history certain tests may be recommended. For example, genetic screening can be obtained by blood work to look for genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome.  This helps your care team have more information and be best prepared at delivery.  Other tests will be to determine your blood type and if you would need Rhogam to prevent possible complications.  Other testing will be matched to your specific needs based on medical history.

5. Learn about pregnancy, labor and delivery. Prenatal visits offer you the chance to discuss labor and delivery, potential scenarios, questions and concerns with your doctor. This includes learning about the risks and benefits of every intervention or treatment available.  This information will help you and your partner develop a birthing plan that is the right fit.

By Jessica Kennedy, DO
Family Practice Provider
Adair County Health System
The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider. Any references to products, services, or health care providers on this web site are not a recommendation or endorsement of products, services or providers. Links to other Web sites from this site are provided for convenience and do not constitute or imply endorsement. Effort is taken to insure accurate information, however we cannot guarantee completeness or timeliness.


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