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National Diabetes Awareness Month

Make Managing Your Child’s Diabetes at School Easier

Make Managing Your Child's Diabetes at School Easier

Unmanaged diabetes at school may impair a child’s ability to learn by disrupting their attention, memory, processing speed, and perceptual abilities. A kid with diabetes needs help at school to succeed academically and live a healthy lifestyle. Mom & Dad need to be a team with their child’s teachers to ensure a successful school year.

Teaching a Child with Diabetes

Many diabetic children will miss more school than their peers. These absences require understanding on the part of their teachers and schools. Parents can help by making the school aware of their kid’s diabetes as promptly as possible. Make an appointment to talk to the school about its procedures for working with diabetic students.

In addition to instructing their classroom, teachers of students with diabetes are entrusted with paying attention to their student’s health and supplying make-up assignments for absences due to medical reasons. It’s a lot to ask of your child’s teacher, but by working together with a solid plan you can all ensure a successful school year.

Challenges Children With Diabetes Face at School

Knowing your child’s expected challenges and creating a plan to address those will make for an easier year for you, your child, and the school. Here are a few things to watch out for.

Simple school tasks may become complicated. Blood sugar spikes or drops might affect a child’s learning, memory, attention, and behavior. Stress, social activities, and hormones can complicate diabetes management. Parents should discuss their child’s diabetes care with their child and teachers before school events like field trips that might alter blood sugar levels. Also, work with your child to find effective ways to manage stress. Focus on goals like not waiting until the last minute to complete homework assignments or getting enough sleep.

Create a solid plan with your child’s school. Determine who should check your child’s glucose and inject insulin early in the school year. Discuss options for treating low-blood sugar with your child’s doctor, their teacher, and the school nurse. For instance, can your child treat it in class, or should they visit the nurse? Children may do several non-emergency diabetes self-care chores. Situations like age, developmental level, experience, and self-care adherence determine how much your child needs school staff to identify and manage high or low blood sugar. The diabetic health care team, including the certified diabetes educator, can enable self-care for children and families with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Important teaching themes include diabetes, variables that increase and reduce blood sugar, and techniques to address alterations.

Request exceptions to rules when needed. Many schools have rules around eating in the classroom and going to the bathroom for good reason. Multiple trips out of the classroom or constant snacking create distractions and interrupt everyone’s learning. Also, food can create a mess and invite pests, two things most teachers don’t have extra time to manage. Your child with diabetes, however, may need additional trips to the restroom. When their sugar is low, they may also need a snack outside the normal times. Discuss these additional needs with your child’s teacher. Make a plan to ensure your child’s health needs are met without as little disruption as possible.

Few schools have enough resources. No matter how caring your school staff is, they often have finite resources and may not have had a diabetic student in their classroom before. Staff members may have concerns and questions about providing safe and effective diabetes treatment, just like you do. Be patient with them and provide them all the tools and resources possible to help your child stay safe and healthy while in their classroom.

Learning to avoid temptation. While you are with your child, you can enforce limits on sugar and carbs, but while they are at school you’ll have less control. Schools are legally required to provide meal options that fit your child’s medical needs. Review the school lunch menu each day to discuss what options are best for your child to choose or send their lunch. Talk to your child’s doctor or a nutritionist about substitutes for sweets or when your child might be able to enjoy a sweet treat on a limited basis.

Adherence to Treatment. Adolescents present unique challenges for treatment adherence. When teens perceive their insulin pumps as a fashion blunder, it’s challenging to encourage them to comply with their recommended treatment regimen. Make sure your child’s school and teachers know he/she is wearing a insulin pump so it isn’t confused with other electronic devices. Also work with your doctor or nutritionist to help your child understand the importance of their insulin pump. Look for clothes that make disguising the pump easier.

Sickness and Cold Weather. The common cold is a part of growing up. However, a type 1 diabetic’s blood sugar levels may be severely disrupted by even mild illnesses. 

General diabetes challenges for parents

Learning to live with your kid’s illness.  A diabetes diagnosis for a young child is overwhelming for both children and parents. It sometimes comes as a tremendous shock, and parents often feel inadequate in managing their emotions and giving their children essential assistance. So, take a deep breath. And remember to take it one day at a time. Your mindset and emotions set the tone for your kids. Talk to parents of other children who have diabetes. Learn about the illness. You know your child. Use that insight to your advantage. 

Providing support for the kid while they deal with their feelings. Diabetes is a lifelong disease that requires constant attention. Growing up with diabetes presents unique emotional problems for children because of the complexity of the disease, its possible consequences, and the daily grind of managing the disease. Reach out to counselors or therapists to provide additional mental health support for you and your child. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings on the good days and the bad days.

School presents its own challenges for your child with diabetes as if the disease itself wasn’t hard enough. Together with your child’s teacher, doctor, and school nurse you can create a plan that keeps your child healthy and learning which are both key to a successful school year.

7 Ideas to Help Your Kids Make New Friends This School Year

make new friends this school year

With the conclusion of summer break comes the “reset” button that throws children headfirst into the new school year. Which means new teachers, classes, locker combinations, peers, and difficulties. Moving to a new school magnifies these challenges along with learning to make new friends. Even kids who aren’t moving to a school may find themselves searching for a new friend group or in a class where they don’t know many of their classmates.

Making new friends while starting a new school year may seem stressful, but with the right amount of forethought and planning, your child will be able to breeze right into new friends and a great school year. We can’t guarantee our kids’ social success, but we can provide them with the resources, self-assurance, and creative thinking they need to succeed. 

Here are ways to held your child make new friends this school year. 

Participate in a group or club

Making new acquaintances at school might be challenging for some students, we see you introverts. A good way to ensure your child enjoys school and makes friends easily is to sign them up for a class or extracurricular activity they’re interested in. 

Small-group classes in physically demanding activities like soccer, cooking, or martial arts are excellent settings for making new friends. Other kids may get excited about socializing with their classmates by taking lessons like ballet or dance, which fosters creativity. 

Invite Children to Your Home

Your kid will have a lot easier time interacting with other children if you have a little party or get-together. This group of children may be from your school or neighborhood. This is one of the simplest ways to encourage sociability in your child. Shy or introverted children may be more comfortable in your own home. This familiar setting helps them to open up to new friends. The smaller setting removes distractions and stress for both your child and their friend.

Help them develop effective communication skills

You may help your kid become more social by teaching them important interpersonal skills.

Examples of skills:

  • Help your children learn to voice their thoughts in a manner that builds bridges rather than burns them.
  • Teach them to see the value each child in their class brings to the group.
  • Teach them to pay attention while hearing.
  • Teach them to respect other people’s experiences.

Make new friends at kid-friendly activities and playgrounds

Making friends at school might be difficult for some children, but it may be less of a challenge in a less structured environment like a playground or children’s museum. Your child is more likely to make friends with other kids who share their interests if you take them to activities that cater to their passions. Playgrounds, indoor play areas, and public pools are great places to meet other kids. Getting out and meeting new kids to connect with may also be accomplished by attending children’s activities hosted by libraries, churches, and other community organizations.

Set an example for healthy dialogue about feelings at home.

To ensure your kid develops healthy social skills, you can start by setting a good example at home. The greatest way to help a kid develop socially and emotionally is to model such traits yourself at home. No parent is perfect, but setting a good example with your family in terms of communication and caring can go a long way.

Don’t micromanage their social life.

Managing your child’s social life requires a balance. Parents must give their children many chances to interact with others to build friendships and social skills. When they are young, parents plan play dates, enroll children in schools, and transport them. Parents should watch their children during a playdate, but they shouldn’t exert too much control. Let your children decide what to play and how to manage disagreements. You’ll be amazed at your child’s creativity.

Maintain fair expectations

Every parent wants a happy, well-adjusted kid, but you must set fair expectations. Extraverted and outgoing parents naturally desire the same for their children. Some kids aren’t social butterflies. A quiet, introverted child may prefer a small group of close friends to a big one and a small playdate to a large party. 

When it comes to children socializing and making new friends, there is no one-size-fits-all solution; but with your support and encouragement, your child may just find their next friend is sitting right in their new classroom.

If you think your child’s struggles to make new friends this school year stem from anxiety or other mental or behavioral health concerns, request an appointment with one of our counselors.

4 Sure-Fire Ways to Support Your Teachers’ Mental Health

4 sure fire ways to support your teachers' mental health

Teachers return from summer break with mixed feelings. Excitement over a new school year and eagerness to meet your students mix with apprehension and stress about testing and expectations placed on you. All those emotions plus the extra work affects teachers’ mental health. We hope all of you have spent some time resting and being refreshed this summer. 

The start of a new school year is both an exciting and stressful time. It’s more important than ever that you take care of yourself during the exhausting first weeks of school. We encourage parents, friends, and family of teachers to support your teachers’ mental health during back to school as well. We’ve put together a few ideas about how we can all support teachers’ mental health during back to school.

Ways Parents May Support Teachers‘ Mental Health

Parents, you are an integral part of your child’s education and often provide the most help to teachers, especially during these first few weeks of school. Here are a few ways you can support your child’s teacher both during back-to-school and the rest of the school year.

  1. Prepare Your Child to Learn. Helping your kid be prepared to learn aids their teacher more than you realize. Ensure your kid enjoys a good night’s sleep, a nutritious meal, and weather-appropriate attire. Well-rested, well-fed, and comfortable students are better learners, listeners, and participants.
  2. Help your child with homework. Homework is typically assigned to reinforce classroom skills or assess a child’s comprehension. Homework teaches responsibility. Help your student establish a working and learning environment by setting aside time for homework. Never do your child’s schoolwork for them; provide support and check for comprehension. If your child is struggling with a concept, leave a note for the teacher on the homework or send them a message to share you concern.
  3. Classroom Volunteer. Classroom involvement may take various forms. Parents may escort field trips, interact with small groups, run an activity station, or help with special projects. Some parents may share a skill, collection, or cultural activity. Whether you can volunteer once or twice during the school year or every week, all participation is valuable. Most teachers welcome additional classroom help. 
  4. Volunteer to organize book orders, cut letters or shapes for projects, prepare art materials, staple, or assemble books. Most teachers do many things on their own time and are more than happy to welcome volunteers—this is critical behind-the-scenes assistance. It’s a perfect activity for parents who prefer not to interact with other children or who aren’t available during school hours.

How Teachers Can Take Care Of Themselves

Self-care is vital in times of severe stress. Teachers should practice self-care, especially during the first weeks of school. Try these ideas.

  • Turning off work. We know it’s hard to step away when you have so much work to finish in the few hours you are away from your students. Setting boundaries, however, protects your mental health and gives you valuable time with your family. Set aside a specific time for grading papers and responding to communications from parents. Be clear with parents about your availability outside of school hours. Give them a window of time throughout the day during which they may expect an email response from you.
  • Taking a break from social media. If you’re excessively affected by the news and social media, take a break, especially if the topic concerns your school, district’s administration, or coworkers.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself. Teachers wish they could improve the world by eradicating all of their students’ problems. Rest assured, you are improving the world one student at a time. You are people too; don’t forget that. Kindness to yourself means setting realistic goals. Consider both your ideal and realistic outcomes.
  • Ask for help. Every teacher has that one child or parent that you just can’t figure out. Talk to your co-workers or other teacher friends and brainstorm solutions. On the flip side, not all the issues teachers face directly relate to their students. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a  mental health expert when depression, anxiety, or stress become chronic and impair daily functioning.
  • Plan some physical activity into your schedule. Teachers spend hours on their feet, but maintaining physical and mental health may be done via activities such as walking, biking, running, and yoga. Physical activity improves your brain health too. A fifteen-minute walk may help you clear your mind or find innovative solutions for classroom or personal problems. It’s impossible to complete everything and self-care is essential. Be honest with yourself about what you can accomplish in a day, especially during the first few weeks of a new school year. Make physical activity a priority.
  • Check-in with co-workers. You’re probably already doing this whether it’s conscious or not. Daily or weekly check-inswith your coworkers provide an excellent opportunity for mutual support and to discuss solutions to problems you’re all facing, such as adjusting lesson plans or dealing with worried parents. Sharing your frustrations as well as funny moments with a trustworthy coworker can also provide a sense of stress-relief. 
  • Schedule your meals. This one you can do before school ever starts. Plan meals for the week beforehand so you can focus on schoolwork. Making and freezing meals before school makes the first week back less hectic.
  • Don’t schedule any significant events for the first weekend back to school. Put in some much-needed relaxation time or get caught up on some educational tasks over the weekend. Don’t plan on dinner out that first Friday night. Instead, order in and allow yourself time to decompress.

We love supporting our teachers! Our school-based clinic provides medical care for both students and faculty at Mantachie schools. And our mental health counselors are available for appointments Monday-Friday

The Danger Of Tick-Borne Alpha-Gal Allergy

Alpha-Gal Allergy: The Lesser Known Tick Borne Illness

When it comes to tick-borne illnesses, Lyme disease is usually the first to come to mind. But today we’re shedding light on a lesser-known tick-borne illness known as Alpha-gal Allergy. 

What is Alpha-gal Allergy?

Alpha-gal is a sugar molecule found in most mammals. It is not found in fish, reptiles, birds, or humans. Alpha-gal allergy also known as alpha-gal syndrome, or AGS, is commonly called a red meat allergy or a tick bite meat allergy. AGS is a serious, potentially deadly allergic reaction. Contrary to popular belief, infections do not cause AGS. The symptoms present after someone with the allergy consumes red meat or been exposed to other products containing alpha-gal. 

The most common symptoms of AGS include:

  • Hives or itchy rash
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough or shortness of breath
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, tongue, or eyelids. 

Allergy symptoms vary from person to person and symptoms typically appear within two to six hours after eating red meat. Reactions can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening. However, some people with AGS will not experience a reaction after every exposure to alpha-gal. 

Alpha-gal and Tick Bites

More and more evidence suggests a bite from the lone star tick found in the United States triggers alpha-gal allergy. However, much research is still needed to determine if other US-found ticks could carry the allergy. Other tick species in other countries carry AGS.

What Should I Do if I Think I Have AGS from a Tick Bite?

The first step to take is to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. They will perform a physical exam and a blood test to look for specific antibodies to alpha-gal. If you receive a positive diagnosis, your healthcare provider will work with you to treat and manage your condition. Your provider may refer you to an allergy specialist for further care if your case is severe. 

Your provider will also work with you to learn what foods and products contain alpha-gal so you know what to avoid. Take steps to prevent further tick bites as they can reactivate an allergic reaction to alpha-gal. If you have pets, make sure they are on a flea and tick preventative. Deep clean your carpet and floors and wash your bedding and clothes and dry them in your dryer so the heat will help kill any bugs that may have survived the wash. 

If you need to see your Mantachie Rural Health Care provider about a possible tick bite, click here to request an appointment today.

4 Ways to Support Your Child’s Mental Health This Summer

Support Your Child's Mental Health This Summer

Many kids breathe a sigh of relief when the last bell rings on the final day of school. But for those who struggle with mental health disorders, that bell could signal a wave of new anxiety and depression. Many of these children thrive on the routine of the school year. The more relaxed days of summer throw them for a loop. Even children who don’t typically struggle with mental health may experience the summer blues from being separated from their friends. Thankfully, parents can help. Here’s a look at how to support your child’s mental health during this summer break. 

Keep a Daily Routine

Sure, you can adjust their school sleep routine to fit summer activities, but set a bedtime and wake-up time and stick to it. All children thrive on routine, but it’s especially important for kids struggling with their mental health. Have them follow their usual morning routine of getting dressed for the day, showering or scrubbing faces, and brushing teeth. They might even perhaps knock out a morning chore or two after breakfast. One idea for a daily morning chore is to straighten up their room if they don’t do it before bedtime at night. They could also clean up the kitchen after breakfast or load the dishwasher. 

Another way to support your child’s mental health this summer is to add exercise or activity to their daily routine. It doesn’t have to be something difficult or boring. It can be a walk with the dogs around the neighborhood, a few laps around the pool, a fun online family yoga video, or a round of Just Dance together on the Nintendo Switch. Getting your kids moving each morning helps them establish an exercise routine and it will help their day go better. Exercise is proven to improve mental health in people of all ages.

Find Fun Activities/Camps

You don’t have to send your child off to sleepover camp if that’s not their thing. Most communities offer fun day camps focused on various interests. From nature camps to art camps to sports camps, you’ll discover something that fits your children’s interests. 

The entire calendar doesn’t need to be filled with camps in order for you to support your child’s mental health this summer. You can plan plenty of fun, and often free, activities at home or around your town. Pinterest is filled with fun and easy art and craft projects, as well as other great educational yet entertaining activities. Some of our favorites include kid-friendly cooking ideas and summer reading lists for all age groups, including you! Your kids will be encouraged to read more when they see you reading. Make weekly or biweekly trips to the library a must during the summer and continue this routine throughout the school year. Watch how it makes a positive difference in your children’s reading!

Other fun free or inexpensive activities include trips to the local parks with splash pads! Make an afternoon of it by packing a picnic and maybe your summer reading book along with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a towel so you feel free to stay awhile. Most parks provide shaded seating areas near the splash pads for parents to keep a close eye on their kiddos. You can also buy an inexpensive backyard sprinkler, fire up the grill, and enjoy a fun family cookout.  If you have older kids or teens, consider going kayaking for a day on the old Tombigbee River in Amory or at Bear Creek near Tishomingo State Park. Speaking of Tishomingo State Park, this state park is one of the most beautiful in Mississippi and offers gorgeous hiking and camping opportunities. 

Don’t forget to plan for the rainy days and nights when everyone just wants to stay in. Family game nights and movie nights are the perfect way to bond with your kids and get to know their interests. 

Let There Be Balance

Kids with anxiety and depression need plenty of routines and things to keep them busy. But many of them also find relief in the quiet. Downtime is just as important as regular activities. It’s okay if your preteen or teen needs to take a breather in their room alone after a day or week of activities. Don’t overwhelm their schedule and don’t get upset when they tell you they want to skip family movie night to hang out in their room and watch TikTok. Check on them to be sure they aren’t in a depressive or anxious state, but give them their space otherwise. That’s their way of letting you know they just need some time to themselves to rest and recharge. 

Pay Attention to Changes in Behavior, Routine, and Friend Groups

The summer is a great time for kids to make new friends. But kids who are at risk for mental health struggles sometimes seek out the wrong new crowd. This often comes simply in looking for acceptance among peers and finding it with a group of kids that may not have the same values as you have taught your children. Keep up with what your preteens and teens are doing when they are out with friends or at a summer activity. Be sure to meet their new acquaintances. Let them know you are involved in your child’s social life (in a friendly way.) If you’re unsure about your child’s new friends, invite them to out for pizza or another activity so you can get to know them. 

We mentioned giving your child breathing room for breaks and not to be alarmed if they occasionally want to retreat to their room over spending time with the family. This is normal. But if your child suddenly wants to spend all of their time in their room alone, it’s time to look further into what’s happening. This could be especially concerning if your child never appears to talk to or hang out with friends. It’s one sign that your child could be struggling with their mental health. 

Does your child struggle with anxiety or depression and you think they could benefit from behavioral health counseling? You can get them the help they need right here at Mantachie Rural Health Care. Click here to request an appointment now.

Can Coffee Make You Live Longer?

Can Coffee Make You Live Longer?

You already know that first cup of coffee is like a little burst of sunshine to start your day. As it turns out, a cup of coffee with a splash of cream and sugar, not only brightens your morning, it could give you more mornings to enjoy. 

How Your Morning Cup of Coffee Could Prolong Your Life

We’ve seen lots of studies in recent years that indicate how beneficial a cup of unsweetened coffee is to your health. But a new study revealed that those health benefits persist even when a dash of sugar is added. The British study of more than 171,000 participants found that those who drank 1.5 to 3.5 cups of sweetened coffee per day were still 29% to 31% less likely to die in the next seven years than those who did not drink coffee.

Hold Off on Ordering That Triple Mocha

Noticed that we said cups of coffee with a dash of sugar. Most participants in the study had only a moderate amount of sugar in their cup. Experts recommend no more than one teaspoon of sugar per cup. So while those specialty coffees are delicious…they’re not exactly a cup of health. 

Researchers from the study say the “sweet spot” in the number of cups to drink per day is between 2.5 and 3.5 cups. Anything over four cups increases your risk of early death.

In addition to increasing the lifespan of healthy adults, the study found that coffee lowered the early death risk associated with specific illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

Why Coffee Has Health Benefits

Coffee is filled with thousands of compounds, most of which have not been studied. We know it contains nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, riboflavin, and various anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce our risk of cancer. Additionally, coffee contains chlorogenic acids, which have an anti-clotting effect on blood thus lowering the risk of blood clots.

Coffee also improves our mental sharpness and alertness, which helps us be more aware and make fewer mistakes. As you can see, coffee is beneficial for our bodies and our minds!

Your morning cup isn’t the only way to prolong your life and lower your health risks. An annual health check-up with your primary care provider can also save your life with early detection of life-threatening diseases through routine screenings. Click here to schedule an appointment with your Mantachie Rural Health Care provider.

Surprising Diabetes Effect on Your Brain

diabetes effect on your brain

If you are living with diabetes, you’re probably very aware of the physical effects of this disease on the body. Symptoms like non-healing or slow-healing wounds and conditions like glaucoma and heart disease all commonly affect people with diabetes. But how does diabetes affect brain function? A recent study revealed diabetes’ surprising effect on the brain. 

The Aging Effect of Diabetes on the Brain

Researchers compared data compiled from 20,000 middle and older age adults with past studies to determine what, if any, effect type 2 diabetes had on brain function. Data from the present and past studies consistently revealed a connection between type 2 diabetes and increased aging in the brain. 

Type 2 diabetes patients in the study had poorer results in tests on memory and thinking. MRI scans revealed the same group also experienced brain tissue shrinkage in the parts of the brain responsible for memory and thinking. A professor at Stony Brook School of Medicine in New York said that the brains of patients with type 2 diabetes aged about 10 years faster than others.

One reason type 2 diabetes affects the brain so much is that the brain is a major consumer of glucose. When the body isn’t producing enough insulin, the brain is in trouble. The findings in the new study join a body of other research dedicated to studying the effects of diabetes on the brain. Multiple studies have also indicated a link between diabetes and a faster decline in mental sharpness in older age, as well as a higher risk of dementia. 

What Diabetes Patients Can Do to Fight the Effects

The point of medical research is to find the cause of problems and develop solutions. As medical experts continue to develop new studies and treatments, diabetes patients can do their part by following their provider’s treatment plan. Those plans typically include diet and exercise as well as a medication regimen. Proper treatment helps keep your glucose levels normal more often and slows the effects of diabetes on the overall body. 

Properly following your provider’s treatment plan includes not skipping checkups with your diabetes care provider. At each visit, your provider checks for signs of concern and can make changes to your treatment if needed. They’ll also screen for other conditions that diabetes patients are at a higher risk for. 

Need a checkup with your diabetes care provider at Mantachie Rural Healthcare? Click here to request a visit today!

Six PTSD Myth Busters

Six PTSD Myth Busters

Let’s talk about post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, as it’s better known. Like other mental health illnesses, PTSD has gained some myths since it was first discovered. We’re here to bust those myths wide open so you can understand the truth about PTSD. Check out our six PTSD myth busters.

PTSD Myth #1: PTSD only affects veterans.

Formerly referred to as “shell shock”, doctors initially associated PTSD with soldiers returning from war. However, the term changed when “post-traumatic stress disorder” first appeared in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980. This change reflected a new understanding of PTSD. As mental health studies progressed, experts recognized common symptoms of shell shock in civilian patients who had experienced other types of physical and psychological trauma in their lifetime. PTSD better represented the broader circle of patients suffering from the same disorder. 

PTSD Myth #2: PTSD develops immediately after trauma.

The truth is, PTSD can take weeks, months, or even years for symptoms to appear. Researchers have determined this is due to how the mind processes trauma and develops responses to fear. The typical time it takes for PTSD to manifest is three months but it’s not unusual for symptoms to appear years later. 

PTSD Myth #3: PTSD only affects certain types of trauma victims.

People often associate PTSD with war veterans and those who have experienced traumatic events like abuse, serious accidents, or have been witnesses or victims of crime. However, trauma of any kind, including trauma from an illness, can cause PTSD. People who have been traumatized by an illness or injury may have anxiety related to healthcare because they associate doctor’s visits and hospitals with their ailment. 

PTSD Myth #4: PTSD is not related to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Although the two conditions are not the same–Traumatic Brain Injury is an actual physical injury to the brain, commonly known as a concussion–they are, in some cases, related. Post-traumatic stress disorder can develop from TBI and symptoms of these conditions often overlap. When a possible TBI is involved in a PTSD case, diagnosis can prove difficult because evidence of physical trauma isn’t always apparent in diagnostic tests. 

PTSD Myth #5: PTSD affects everyone who experiences trauma.

Actually, PTSD affects a relatively small group of trauma victims. PTSD rates are higher in women and other factors can make certain people more vulnerable to mental disorders. Risk factors include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Low social support
  • Multiple traumatic events 
  • More negative life events than usual

PTSD Myth #5: PTSD is for the weak.

The responses and behaviors of PTSD are of no fault of the person experiencing it, nor is the development of PTSD. PTSD is the brain’s way of trying to protect the person from more trauma. Hence, why responses like flight or fight are common. However, nothing about PTSD indicates the person is somehow “weaker” than others.

PTSD Myth #6: Symptoms of PTSD are the same in everyone.

PTSD can manifest in a number of ways. Some people experience intrusive thoughts about their trauma. Others may actively avoid thoughts, people, and places that remind them of their experiences. Arousal symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping or concentrating and being easily startled, are also common. Negative thoughts and moods are also other symptoms. 

Are you concerned that you or someone you love is experiencing PTSD? Our behavioral health specialists can help. Contact Mantachie Rural Healthcare at 662-282-4226.

How does Testosterone Affect Your Health?

How Testosterone Affect Your Health

Testosterone is a hormone found in both males and females. The production of testosterone speeds up during puberty and slows down around age thirty. Most people understand that men have more testosterone than women, but have little understanding of how testosterone affects their health. We’re going to shed a little light on this important hormone and how testosterone affects your health.

How Testosterone is Produced in Men and Women

Testosterone develops in the testicles in men and in the ovaries in women. However, women produce a much smaller level of testosterone than men. This is why it’s often referred to as the male hormone. Testosterone is typically associated with sex drive and sperm production in men. It can also affect bone and muscle mass and red blood cell production. 

How Testosterone Affects Men’s Health

We just mentioned a few ways testosterone affects men’s health, such as red blood cell production and bone and muscle mass. It also affects the way fat is stored in a man’s body and his mood. Low testosterone levels in men may result in:

  • Weight gain
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Less body hair
  • Low self-esteem
  • Thinner bones
  • Less energy
  • Lower mood and feelings of depression
  • Lower energy levels

Although testosterone levels naturally taper off as men age, other factors can lower it more. Injury to the testicles as well as testicular cancer can result in lower testosterone. Chronic health conditions such as AIDS, liver disease, kidney disease, and alcoholism also decrease testosterone. Stress can also be a factor.

How Testosterone Affects Women’s Health

Like men, women see testosterone levels decrease as they age. Lower testosterone levels in women may result in low libido, reduced bone strength, poor concentration, and depression. Low testosterone in women can be caused by the removal of the ovaries and diseases of the pituitary, hypothalamus, and adrenal glands. Therapy is available, but its effects on sexual and cognitive function is unclear in post-menopausal women. 

Testosterone Facts

Testosterone in men is often a sign of a problem with the pituitary gland. However, in teenage boys, low testosterone is a sign of delayed puberty. On the other hand, boys with high testosterone levels will develop puberty early. Women with high testosterone may develop masculine features. Abnormally high levels of testosterone could be a sign of an adrenal gland problem or cancer of the testes. 

The takeaway: Your testosterone levels are a tell-tale sign of your health. If you are experiencing testosterone-related issues, it’s time for a visit with your primary care provider. Schedule a visit with your Mantachie Rural Healthcare provider at 662-282-4226.


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