Is It Depression?

All of us feel blue, sad, hopeless, or listless at times.  When these feelings become a major aspect of our lives, and consume our thinking and behavior, help is needed.

Depression is a very common mental health disorder, affecting all age groups and genders.  Willpower alone will neither prevent depression, nor will it “cure” depression.
Causes of depression range from low levels of brain chemicals, poor coping skills, overwhelming life situations, substance abuse, chronic pain, to possibly an inherited predisposition to the disease.
A healthy life style can build a foundation for mental health.  Measures like healthy nutrition, adequate sleep and rest combined with exercise can help ward off depression.
Speak with your healthcare provider if you persistently feel down or are poorly functioning.  Some physical causes can mimic the symptoms of depression.  Together with your healthcare provider you can decide on the best treatment options to once again return you to your best [ ]

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It is a new year…

By: Emily Simmons, Adair County Medical Clinic Manager

Having a yearly physical and doing health screenings are vital to an individual’s wellbeing.  A yearly physical, screens for diseases, assesses the risk for future medical problems, encourages a healthy lifestyle, allows you to update vaccines, and fosters a good standing relationship with your provider in cases of future illness.  Things to consider when you are getting ready for your yearly checkup are reviewing your family history, writing down a list of questions you may have for you medical provider, checking to see if you need any vaccines or are due for any screenings.
Your medical provider can assess your need for medical screening at your yearly physical.  Screenings refer to a test or exam done before any symptoms may be present and can also help to detect conditions or diseases in early stages when treatment is ideal.  There are many different health screenings [ ]

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Safe Celebrations with Food Safety

by: Staci Jones-MS, RD, LD       

It’s officially that food and celebration time of year. People often ask me, what are the most important things to keep in mind when trying to keep food safe this time of year? I have come up with a list of things to keep in mind.
1.   Have a plan. Consider refrigerator, freezer and oven space. Keep hot foods at 140° or higher and cold foods at 40° or below. If you need to use coolers, have plenty of ice and check to make sure the ice hasn’t melted.
2.   Cook to proper temperature and use a thermometer. Turkeys, stuffing, and side dishes should  be cooked to at least 165° and kept above 140° during serving to be sure that any bacteria is destroyed.
 3.  Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of preparation
4.   Properly defrost your turkey. If you choose a frozen turkey, allow 24 hours per 5 pounds to [ ]

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Should your child get the HPV Vaccine?

 As parents, you do everything you can to protect your children’s health for now and for the future. Today, there is a strong weapon to prevent several types of cancer in our kids: the HPV vaccine.
HPV is short for Human Papillomavirus, a common virus. In the United States each year, there are about 15,000 women and 7,000 men affected by HPV-related cancers. These cancers could be prevented with vaccination. In both women and men, HPV can cause anal cancer and mouth/throat (oropharyngeal) cancer. It can also cause cancers of the cervix, vulva and vagina in women; and cancer of the penis in men.  HPV is a virus passed from one person to another during skin-to-skin sexual contact, including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. HPV is most common in people in their late teens and early 20s. 

HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years. [ ]

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Safe Toys For The Holidays

By Amy O’Rourke, RN, BSN

Christmas is a time for giving, however during this holiday season consumers should be thinking about what types of gifts they are giving to children. 50 percent of toy related injuries result in an ER visit. Many toy-related deaths are caused by choking or strangulation. Riding toys including non-motorized scooters and tricycles are associated with more injuries than any other toy group.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) works to protect consumers from products that could cause harm such as toys, cribs, and power tools. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 required the CPSC to issue labeling requirements for toys and games. The Child Safety Protection Act requires choking hazard warning labels. This act also bans any toys that could pose a choking, aspiration or ingestion hazard for children under 3 years of age.  When purchasing toys for your children it is very [ ]

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Snorting and Sneezing… Does My Child Need an Antibiotic?

By Mary Jo Ytzen, ARNP

Most illnesses are caused by two kinds of germs: bacteria or viruses.  Antibiotics can cure a bacterial infection but not a viral infection.  Bacteria cause strep throat, some pneumonia and sinus infections; viruses cause the common cold, most coughs and the flu.  Yellow or green mucus from the nose may not mean your child has a bacterial infection. During a viral cold it is normal for mucus to get thick and change color.

Antibiotics should not be used to treat the common cold, runny noses and most coughs.  Children fight off these viral illnesses on their own.  Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can cause some bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotic. Resistant bacteria are stronger and harder to kill and can stay in your child’s body and can cause severe illnesses which may require stronger treatment and a possible stay in the hospital.

If your [ ]

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November is Diabetes Education Month

By: Marvel Blazek, ARNP

When a person has diabetes, the food he or she eats cannot be used for energy because
the body is not making enough of the hormone, insulin, OR the insulin the person has is
not working the way it should. Insulin is made in the pancreas, an organ that lies behind
the stomach.

Most food is broken down into a form of sugar called glucose. Sugar is the body’s main
source of energy. As sugar enters the bloodstream, the amount of sugar in the blood
rises. Normally the body reacts to the rise in blood sugar by signaling the pancreas to
send insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin helps sugar leave the bloodstream and enter
the cells. To understand how insulin works, think of a cell as a house with many locked
doors. Insulin is the key that unlocks the doors and lets sugar leave the bloodstream and
enter the cells.

When a person has diabetes, the pancreas makes [ ]

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Child Passenger Safety Practices in the U.S.

A recent article in American Journal of Preventive Medicine examines how kids are riding on our nation’s roadways. The study’s primary objective was to analyze three years of NSUBS data to evaluate for racial/ethnic disparities in the types of child safety seats in use across childhood.  The secondary objective was to identify child, driver, and vehicle characteristics associated with child passengers being unrestrained and sitting in the front seat.
RESTRAINT USE: It is not surprising that this publication found a decline in child safety seat use and an increase in being unrestrained were observed with increasing child age.
DRIVER BUCKLED: Our work on making sure everyone rides buckled up is essential. Children with an unrestrained driver had a 23 times more likely to be unrestrained.
FRONT SEAT: The message of kids in the back seat is being heard with fewer than 5 percent of children younger than 4 years observed as front seat [ ]

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By: Tara Erickson – ACHS Radiology Department

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with this being said I would like to remind all women that it is important to have a yearly screening mammogram. 

What is a Mammogram?  A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast.  Screening mammograms are used to look for breast disease in women who are asymptomatic: that is, those who appear to have no breast problems.  The goal of screening mammograms is to detection breast cancer early, before the start of symptoms.  Breast cancers that are found because they are causing symptoms tend to be larger and are more likely to have already spread beyond the breast.  In contrast, breast cancers found during screening exams are more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast.  The size of a breast cancer and how far it has spread are some of the most important factors prediction [ ]

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Disposal Option for Unwanted Medications

Last month an article published by the American Chemical Society noted that during 2011 roughly 4 billion prescriptions were written in the United States.  With so many prescriptions generated, you probably have unwanted, unused or outdated medication lurking in your medicine cabinet.  So, how can you safely dispose of these medications?  Do you flush them, throw them away or just keep them in your cabinet forever?  The most responsible choice would be none of these. 
Prescription medications, even in small doses, can be very dangerous if accidentally consumed by humans or animals.  An additional concern is that these unwanted prescription drugs get in the wrong hands, a growing problem in the United States, especially among teenagers.  Medications that are put in the trash can be picked out by drug abusers, leftover medications in your home can be tempting to others, and medications flushed down the toilet can end up in our [ ]

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