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Mantachie School Students and Staff Benefit from School-Based Clinic

Mantachie School Students and Staff Benefit from School-Based Clinic

Mantachie School Based Clinic

The opening of a school-based health clinic in November at Mantachie schools represented more than a year’s worth of work. The clinic, staffed by Amy Floyd, FNP-C, and Casey Pounds, MA, sees both children and school staff. Hours of operation run from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. during school days.

School-based health centers started in 1970, but gained popularity in the 1990s. Today, more than 2000 SBHCs care for the health of more than two million students.

Students with access to school-based clinics miss fewer days of school due to illness. More days in the classroom along with better overall health means these students retain more knowledge and score better on tests.

Parents benefit from school-based clinics because they miss fewer days of work to attend appointments with their children. Increased work attendance and productivity improves a family’s financial outlook.

Our school-based clinic treats the usual urgent care illnesses such as colds, sinus infections, strep throat, and the flu, as well as managing health conditions like diabetes. Providers may also conduct vision and hearing screenings for students. Students experiencing depression or other mental illness may receive earlier intervention when a medical provider is on campus every day.

The benefits of consistent health care for students stretch into a lifetime of healthy choices, which benefits the entire family and community.

To be seen in the school-based clinic, parents and staff must complete the permission and insurance form available in the school office. The clinic bills visits to the student’s Medicaid or private insurance.   

Benefits and Dangers of Celebrity Endorsed Intermittent Fasting

Benefits and Dangers of Celebrity Endorsed Intermittent Fasting

Every year with the “New Year New You” announcements come new fad diets. One of the most popular new celebrity-touted trends is intermittent fasting. Most notably a 16:8 fast. Fasting has been around for centuries, but it’s not right for everyone.

What is fasting? 

Before you consider fasting as part of your diet and exercise plan, educate yourself on the different types of fasting. Religious fasts often include not eating for many days or even weeks at a time. This type of fasting can be particularly dangerous for people with diabetes. 

Intermittent fasts are broken down by when you restrict food intake. A 5:2 fast allows you to eat your regular diet five days a week and restricts calories to 600 calories a day for men and 500 calories for women on the two fasting days. The popular 16:8 fast means you fast for 16 hours a day and eat all your daily calories in the remaining 8 hours. 

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Some dieters find the freedom of eating regular meals five days a week makes up for two days of strict fasting, or that they aren’t really all that hungry when they eat three meals in eight hours instead of stretching out their meals and snacking over the entire day. The diet plan is easy to follow because it doesn’t include any measuring of food or counting of calories.

A few very limited studies have shown intermittent fasting to lower A1C levels and increase weight loss. 

Dangers of Intermittent Fasting

Every diet has pros and cons. Intermittent fasting may help prevent type 2 diabetes, but it’s not a good option for those who already have the disease. Fasting may cause lower blood sugar levels, which can have dangerous side effects.

Because intermittent fasting does not involve measuring serving sizes or counting calories, many people will gorge on the foods they love or eat unhealthy foods during their non-fasting days. 

Fasting may also be dangerous for people with a history of eating disorders or mental health disorders.

Good Eating Habits Haven’t Changed

Regardless of whether you try eating all your meals in one eight hour stint or not, what you put in your mouth matters. Filling your plate with fruits and vegetables, adding lean protein, substituting complex carbs in place of sugary carbs, and including a few healthy fats helps you lose weight and manage diabetes and other medical conditions. The limited studies show no greater weight loss in groups who fasted than from groups who ate regular, healthy meals.

Before You Try Any Diet

Always consult your medical provider before you start any new diet or exercise routine. Your personal health conditions and medications influence how exercise and diet affect your body. We have a nutritionist on staff who can help you find the best way to manage your diet so it has the most positive effect on your health. She hosts Witcher’s Weightloss Warriors every Monday evening. It’s a free program that teaches participants how to lose weight in healthy ways. Call our clinic to learn how you can join.

Pancreatic Cancer Not Answer Game Show Host Alex Trebek Expected

alex trebek pancreatic cancer
“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek at the 2016 USO Gala, Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2016. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill)

Earlier this year, Alex Trebek, the long-standing host of “Jeopardy!,” announced he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 79. Like his game show participants, this answer to what he assumed to be benign symptoms leaves us with a lot of questions.

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

In an interview, Trebek mentioned he’d experienced persistent stomach pain prior to his diagnosis. Similar pain is one of the most reported symptoms among pancreatic cancer patients. 

Other symptoms include:

  • Jaundice
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • New diagnosis of diabetes (the vast majority of people with a new diabetes diagnosis do not have pancreatic cancer)

If these symptoms sound similar to the symptoms of many other illnesses, you’re right. Which is one of the reasons pancreatic cancer is rarely diagnosed during the early stages. The other obstacle to early diagnosis is that by the time these symptoms do appear, the cancer has usually grown beyond the pancreas.

Who’s at risk of pancreatic cancer?

Like many other cancers, lifestyle choices can increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. The risks increase for people who:

  • Smoke
  • Are Obese
  • Have long-standing, uncontrolled diabetes
  • Have a poor diet

You can’t control all the risk factors though. Some like chronic inflammation of the pancreas, a family history of pancreatic cancer, family history of genetic syndrome such as BRCA2 gene mutation, Lynch syndrome and familial atypical mole-malignant melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome, and age can’t be changed.

How do you treat pancreatic cancer?

Alex Trebek reported success with early chemotherapy treatment of his cancer. After a short remission, however, he experienced regrowth of the tumors and has begun chemotherapy treatment again. 

While chemo is often a part of a treatment plan, other treatments may include surgery, radiation or clinical trials. Your cancer’s stage when it’s discovered determines exactly how your doctor treats your disease. 

We talk a lot about diabetes diagnosis and management here on our website and on our social media. Although the vast majority of our diabetes patients will never receive a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, we know this disease elevates their risk. It’s one more reason we’re determined to help all our patients live healthier, longer lives.

If you need help controlling your diabetes or discovering what’s causing you to feel bad more days than not make an appointment with one of our providers by calling (662) 282-4226.

Celebrating Mantachie’s Nurse Practitioners

nurse practitioners; Amanda Martin, FNP; Donna Cannon, FNP; and Crystal Nichols, FNP

Amanda Martin, FNP; Donna Cannon, FNP; and Crystal Nichols, FNP

The second week in November we celebrate our clinic’s Nurse Practitioners. And we’re pretty lucky to have some of the best.

These mid-level providers have become our go-to providers over the last twenty years, but the profession started in 1965. It began in response to a dearth in primary care providers. In 1989 Congress provided limited reimbursement for these nurses and the profession experienced tremendous growth in the 1990s. By 2000 Nurse Practitioners were able to practice in all 50 states.

Our NPs provide excellent primary care services for our patients, and we are fortunate to have highly trained providers in our facility.

Miley Cyrus, Larry Bird, and Joe Biden Share This Common Medical Condition

Miley Cyrus, Larry Bird, and Joe Biden Share This Common Medical Condition: Afib; atrial fibrillation
Larry Bird Photo Credit Nick Antonini; Joe Biden Photo Credit Marc Nozell

What does Miley Cyrus have in common with a late former president, a former vice president and a member of the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team”? Not much as it turns out. But the former Disney star does have an irregular heart rhythm, a condition she shares with the late President George H.W. Bush, former Vice President Joe Biden and Larry Bird, a former NBA standout and member of the lauded 1992 U.S. Olympic Basketball team, better known as the Dream Team. 

Although Cyrus was unclear on the cause of her irregular heartbeat when she discussed the condition in her 2009 memoir Miles To Go, most speculate it’s due to atrial fibrillation, or AFib, the same condition that causes heart rhythm problems for Bush, Biden, and Bird. 

What is AFib and Who’s at Risk?

AFib is one of the most common heart conditions in the world most often characterized by an irregular heart rhythm and it affects an estimated 2.7 – 6.1 million people in the United States each year. The estimated range of people affected is wide. Many people living with AFib are unaware they have the condition because they experience little to no signs or symptoms.

 AFib is often mistaken as a mild condition due to its commonality and seemingly manageable symptoms. However, untreated AFib can lead to heart failure, stroke, blood clots, and other heat-related illnesses.

The CDC reports about 9% of people over age 65 to have AFib while just 2% of people under 65 have the condition. Although anyone is at risk for AFib, Caucasian women over 65 are more likely to have AFib than any other group. 

Signs and Symptoms

The most common sign of atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat. However, it is often accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • General fatigue
  • Chest pressure or pain
  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Dizziness, anxiety, and shortness of breath
  • Faintness or confusion
  • Sweating

How to Treat It and Reduce Your Risk

Atrial fibrillation is a medical condition in itself, but it’s also often a sign of an underlying problem or illness. AFib could be the result of something as simple as consuming too much caffeine or as serious as a condition like high blood pressure or another more serious heart problem. Successful treatment of AFib begins with a proper diagnosis. To get this diagnosis, patients may undergo in-depth exams and a series of tests such as an echocardiogram.

In many cases, AFib can be treated with certain lifestyle changes such as saying no to a second cup of coffee in the mornings if your AFib is related to too much caffeine consumption. In other cases, treating the underlying condition stops AFib symptoms. 

The best way to reduce your risk of AFib is to visit your medical provider regularly for checkups and to contact them at the first symptoms of AFib. All cases of AFib have the potential to become serious which is why an early diagnosis is essential.

Are you concerned about your risk of developing AFib? Mantachie Rural Health Care can help ease your concerns and begin the diagnosis process. Contact us today to request an appointment. 

Your BMI’s Role in a Healthy Future

calculating your BMI

If you need to lose weight to manage your diabetes or simply get healthier and reduce your risks of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high bad cholesterol, start by calculating your body mass index (BMI).

What is the BMI scale and How Do I Use It?

The body mass index uses weight x’s height to calculate your BMI number. The number, measured on a scale, indicates if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. 

BMI Scale

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal Weight = 18.5 – 24.9
  • Overweight = 25 – 29.9
  • Obese = 30 or greater

You can calculate your BMI at home. Luckily, you don’t have to be great at math to do it, thanks to handy online calculators. Try this one from the National Blood Heart and Lung Institute. You’ll find other links here including the BMI table, which shows you where your weight lies on the scale and the ideal weight number for your height. You’ll also find information on how to get started controlling your weight and recipes to help you eat healthier. 

The keys to weight loss are support and an organized plan to not only lose weight but keep it off for good. Our Witcher’s Weightloss Warriors meet every Monday to support one another and learn healthy habits. The best news? The program is free! Contact Mantachie Rural Healthcare today to schedule an appointment to discuss your results and learn how to sign up for our Witcher’s Weightloss Warriors!

How To Handle Raw Chicken

It’s safe to say that chicken is America’s favorite meat. However, each year around 1.2 million people in America contract a foodborne illness like salmonella from cross-contamination with items including raw chicken and eggs. 

As tailgating season heats up and the holidays continue to creep around the corner, knowing how to properly handle uncooked chicken protects your dinner guests safe from foodborne illnesses. Check out our quick guide to handling raw chicken.

  • If you plan to pick up a pack of chicken at the grocery store, place it in a disposable bag to prevent it from cross-contaminating other items in your cart.
  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw chicken. Want an easy tip for making sure you’ve washed your hands for the proper amount of time? Sing the happy birthday song to yourself as you wash! 
  • Never, ever wash uncooked chicken. The juices can spread across the kitchen and contaminate countertops, the sink and other items present.
  • Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken.
  • Never, ever place foods or anything else on a surface that contained raw chicken. 
  • Wash countertops, cutting boards, dishes, utensils and any other item touched by raw chicken in warm, soapy water.
  • Always use a food thermometer to ensure you cook chicken at a safe temperature of at least 165℉.
  • Never eat undercooked chicken.
  • Store leftover cooked chicken within two hours of serving, or one hour if the temperature outdoors is over 90 degrees. 
  • Don’t forget to clean your grill after cooking chicken. This piece of cooking equipment often gets looked over during cleanup which often leads to heavy consequences later.

Are Hand Sanitizers Safe?

are hand sanitizers safe?
SONY DSC

During the last twenty years, hand sanitizers have emerged as a staple in schools, clinics, hospitals, and many businesses. Hand sanitizer manufacturers advertise it as a safe alternative to hand-washing, but the Food and Drug Administration still recommends washing with plain soap and warm water for the safest and most effective cleaning. They suggest using sanitizer only when soap and water are unavailable.

Like other chemical-based products, critics accuse hand sanitizers of being harmful to our health. In 2016, triclosan, an ingredient in hand sanitizer, was banned from further use in the product. Additional claims charge that regular use of the product lowers the body’s natural defense against germs and bacteria. But are any of these allegations true? In a recent interview with WebMD, an FDA expert weighed in on current thoughts about hand sanitizers and the steps the FDA is taking to further investigate this product’s safety. Check out the interview here

Ariana Grande Develops Sudden Food Allergy to Tomatoes

Ariana Grande food allergy

In May Ariana Grande announced on Instagram that a sudden illness caused her to cancel scheduled performances in Orlando and Tampa. A day later she revealed a sudden allergy to tomatoes had caused her throat to close and that she still felt as though she were “swallowing a cactus”.

Most of us associate food allergies with children and babies, not twenty-five-year-olds who have been eating tomatoes all their lives. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s (JAMA) Open Network revealed 10% of adult Americans reported having developed a food allergy in adulthood. Less than 25% of those, however, did not have any allergies as a child.

Interestingly, only half of those adults who reported a food allergy had mentioned it to their medical provider. Most simply avoided the offending food.

What’s your risk?

It’s hard to pinpoint the risk of a specific person to develop a food allergy in adulthood. Allergies often develop after repeated exposure to a substance, which means you might have eaten that shrimp pasta without any problems a week ago but you could experience a reaction to it today. As mentioned above, only 10% of adults report a food allergy so don’t let this fear keep you up at night.

What are the symptoms?

Food allergies almost always include some type of skin reaction which could include swelling, itching, and hives. Other reactions may include one or more of these symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Repetitive cough
  • Shock
  • A weak pulse
  • Dizziness

Most reactions to food happen within 30-60 minutes of having ingested the substance.

How do we treat it?

Obviously avoiding the offending food is first on the list, but you should also contact your doctor. You may need to carry an Epi-pen.

Another reason to contact your provider and see an allergist is your allergy may not be to the food you suspect. Medications can lower the immune system allowing your body to overreact to normal substances or your allergy could be to the medication and not the food at all. It’s also possible you have an “oral allergy syndrome” where your body mistakes the proteins in the food you’ve eaten to pollen like grass to which you are allergic.

What are the most common food allergies?

Never heard of a tomato allergy? That’s probably because it’s not on the list of the top 9 most common food allergies, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t a real allergy. Most food allergies in adults, however, are related to one of these:

  • Shellfish
  • Milk
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Tree Nuts
  • Sesame
  • Finfish
  • Eggs

Ariana Grande is back on her concert tour now, which is a reminder that food allergies may alter some of what you can eat, but it doesn’t have to limit your activity.

Beyond Skin Cancer: Dangers of Excess Sun Exposure

heat stroke; heat exhaustion; sun poisoning

It’s July in Mississippi. The month where no one wants to touch their steering wheel until the air conditioner has blown on it for several minutes and swimming pools begin to feel like warm baths. The heat also brings heat and sun-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and sun poisoning. 

Heat Stroke

We’ll jump right in with the worst of the worst. Heat stroke, or sunstroke, is the most dangerous form of heat-related illness. Classic heat stroke tends to affect the very young, senior adults or those with chronic illness while exertional heat stroke occurs when a person is extremely active when it’s really hot. Without treatment either can lead to permanent organ damage and even death.

If you believe you or someone around you is having a heat stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Symptoms of a heat stroke include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • High body temperature (104 degrees F)
  • Lack of sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion, disorientation, staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Treatment:

While calling 9-1-1 and waiting for emergency personnel, cool the person by whatever means you have available: ice pack, water hose, cool bath or shower, wet towels, etc. Remove excess clothing and move the person inside or into the shade.

For more details on treating heat stroke, check out this article by Mayo Clinic.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if not treated promptly. It generally begins with muscle cramps. It’s important to treat heat exhaustion as soon as the sign appears to prevent a heat stroke and permanent damage.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Sweating with goosebumps even in the heat
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Treatment:

If you or someone near you is showing signs of heat exhaustion, stop all activity and move out of the heat indoors or into the shade. Drink cool water or sports drinks, but not sodas, alcohol or anything with caffeine. Remove unnecessary clothing. Apply cooling measures such as cool cloths, fans or ice packs.

If symptoms do not improve in fifteen minutes, seek emergency care.

For more details on treating heat exhaustion, and how to care for yourself after you’ve become overheated, check out this article from Webmd.

Sun Poisoning

Although not actually poisoning, sun poisoning can increase your body temperature and contribute to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Sun poisoning is an extreme form of sunburn. Skin can burn in the sun after just 15 minutes of exposure without sunscreen or sunblock. Fair skinned and fair-haired people are more likely to experience sunburn and sun poisoning although it can happen to anyone.

Symptoms of sun poisoning include:

  • Redness and blistering of the skin
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swelling
  • Pain and tingling
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration

Treatment:

First, get out of the sun. A cool, but not cold, shower or bath may provide some relief as will over the counter pain medications. An aloe gel or moisturizer generally provides relief as well. And make sure to completely cover the sunburned area when going outside again.

If your blisters cover a large area, you have facial swelling, signs of dehydration, fever, chills or faintness, it’s time to call your medical provider.

Prevention

All these heat and sun-related illnesses can be prevented with some of the same general steps.

  • Drink lots of water (unless you have a chronic illness which limits your liquid consumption, then consult with your provider).
  • Avoid caffeine, sodas, and alcohol.
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Use a sunscreen with SPF 30+.
  • Avoid exercise and outdoor activities in the direct sun during the heat of the day.
  • Know if your medications put you at higher risk of heat stroke or sunburn.
  • Never leave anyone in a parked car.
  • If you are unaccustomed to hot weather, allow your body to acclimate during heatwaves or when traveling to warmer climates.

Enjoy your summer, but take it easy out there, especially during the hottest parts of the day.


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