The Buzz About Bacteria


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 [ ]

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Should I Get My Flu Shot?


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 [ ]

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Acid Reflux


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 [ ]

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Sesonal Allergies


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 [ ]

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Healthy Recipe – BBQ Chopped Pork Salad


BBQ Chopped Pork Salad


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 [ ]

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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 [ ]

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Aminal Bites and Rabies Exposures


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 [ ]

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Vitamins – What You Need To Know


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 [ ]

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Importance of Prenatal Care


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 [ ]

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