World Hepatitis Day

Today marks 2017’s World Hepatitis Day. Viral hepatitis ( A, B, and C) is a disease that attacks the liver. The most common symptoms of hepatitis include;

loss of appetite, fatigue, mild fever, muscle or joint aches, nausea and vomiting, and belly pain.

Other symptoms include;

dark urine, light-colored stools, jaundice, itchy feeling, and bleeding inside the body.

Hepatitis can be caused by the use of recreational drugs and prescription medications. The first step in diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis is completing a blood test. If you have any of these symptoms, please call Knott County Family Healthcare today to schedule an appointment.

For more information about Hepatitis click here.

Sunscreen or Sunblock?

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Many people do not realize that there is a difference between sunscreen and sun block. It is important to chose the right protection for you skin.There are two types of protective lotions; chemical and physical.

Sunblock (physical) contains organic and non-organic ingredients that remain on top of the skin to form a barrier between your skin and damaging UV rays by reflecting UVB light. Look for sunblock products with octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, and octocrylene.

Sunscreen (chemical) penetrates the skin and absorbs the UVA rays before they are able to damage your dermal layer. Look for sunscreen products with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and ecamsule.

Sunblocks are formulated to shield against UVB rays, while sunscreens protect against UVA. In order to fully protect your skin, choose a broad-spectrum protection formulated sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Formulas often contain a mixture of both sunblock and sunscreen.

Ideally, you should use a lotion with SPF of 30 or higher, apply 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply after each hour of sun exposure.

Dangers of Sun Exposure

Sunbathing and sun exposure can put you at risk for serious medical problems. Below are forms of skin damage that can result from overexposure to the sun.

  • Suntan

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Darkened skin that results from tanning is actually a sign of skin damage. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Always use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen when in the sun.

  • Sunburn (First-Degree Burn)

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Excessive sun exposure causes your skin to turn red. This redness is known as sunburn and is actually a thermal burn to the outer layer of the skin. Treatments for sunburn include over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, cold compresses, and moisturizing creams, all of which attempt to reduce pain and discomfort.

  • Sunburn (Second-Degree Burn)

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Severe sunburn can lead to blistered skin. This type of sunburn is considered to be a second-degree burn. Nerve endings found in deep tissues are damaged. The blisters that form should not be broken, as they are the body’s natural protection for the damaged skin. You should seek medical care if blisters develop on your sunburned skin.

  • Wrinkles

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The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light can damage the layers of the skin. Over time, this damage shows up as sagging, stretched, wrinkled skin.

  • Uneven Skin Tone

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The UV light from the sun can also cause irregular pigmentation of the skin. This causes the skin tone to appear uneven or discolored.

  • Freckles

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Freckles may become more prominent after sun exposure. Most of the time, freckles are normal and do not pose any health risk. However, some early stage cancers may resemble freckles. See a doctor if a freckle has an unusual size, shape, or color, or becomes painful.

  • Melsma (Pregnancy Mask)

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Melasma (chloasma) is an abnormal patch of brown skin on the cheeks, nose, or forehead, usually developing during pregnancy. Always use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, as if you have melasma, sun exposure may cause the condition to worsen.

  • Age Spots (Solar Lentigines)

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Age spots (solar lentigines) are harmless spots that appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin, most commonly on hands, face, and neck. They occur after repeated  sun exposure. Consult your doctor or dermatologist to monitor any abnormal skin discoloration you may have

  • Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)

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Small, scaly red or brown papules, known as actinic keratosis, are the result of excessive sun exposure. They are more common in people with fair skin, blonde or red hair, and blue or green eyes. They may progress to a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

  • Actinic Cheilitis (Farmer’s Lip)

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Actinic cheilitis is related to actinic keratosis, and appears on the lower lips. This precancerous condition includes the symptoms of scaly patches or dry, cracked lips. It can become squamous cell carcinoma, so see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that can appear as a firm red nodule, or a crusted, scaly wound that does not heal. It is not usually brown-pigmented like melanoma. It often occurs in sun-exposed areas of the body such as the head, face, lips, ears, and hands. It is curable in its early stages.

  • Bowen Disease

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Bowen disease is referred to as squamous cell carcinoma “in situ.” It is a noninvasive skin cancer that remains on surface of the skin. It typically appears as reddish-brown, scaly, or crusty plaque.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma

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Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It is the most easily treated because it grows very slowly. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a lump or an irregular ulcerated area on the skin. It can also appear as a flat, scaly, scab or a white, waxy scar-like lesion on some skin-damaged areas.

  • Melanoma

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Melanoma causes the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Melanomas usually appear on the skin as irregularly shaped moles or freckles. Their irregular shape, size, and coloration are indicators that they are cancerous. Consult your doctor or dermatologist if you are concerned about any moles or lesions on your skin.

  • Cataract

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Cataracts can develop in the lens of the eye due to overexposure from UV sunlight. Cataracts are not painful, but can cause cloudy vision, double vision, and glare from lights. You can help prevent cataracts by wearing sunglasses and hats to shield the eyes from the sun.

  • Five Steps Towards Prevention
  1. The best way to avoid skin damage from the sun is to avoid sun exposure.
  2. Stay out of the sun midday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  3. Wear SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen when outdoors.
  4. Wear protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses.
  5. See a doctor to check any skin changes.

 

Defeat Diabetes Month

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As April wraps up, Defeat Diabetes Month comes to a close.  Diabetes is a metabolism disorder that has three main forms; type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.  One can be more susceptible to diabetes depending on family history, weight, and ethnicity. Common symptoms include hunger, fatigue, urinating more often and being thirstier, dry mouth, itchy skin, and blurred vision.  If you’re older than 45 or have other risks for diabetes it’s important to get tested.  When you spot the condition early, you can avoid nerve damage, heart trouble, and other complications.  Call Knott County Family Healthcare today to schedule your appointment to get tested for diabetes.

KCFHC Phone: (606)785-9440

For additional information about diabetes please visit the link below.

http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/

 

Allergy Season

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Spring is upon us! As the temperature increases so does the amount of pollen, mold, and mildew. Many people are triggered by specific allergens such as Ragweed, Bermuda grass, and Cypress trees. The best way to manage your allergies is to know your triggers. At Knott County Family Healthcare we offer in office blood testing for allergies. Call (606)-785-9440 to schedule an appointment to learn your triggers and how to keep your symptoms at a minimum.

February is American Heart Month

This month is American Heart Month. We all wish that our family and friends will live a long and healthy life. Living a long life begins with taking care of your health. The best way to prevent cardiovascular disease is by knowing  and managing your personal risk factors. Risk factors include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, and/or high blood glucose. Call Knott County Family Healthcare (606-785-9440) to schedule a screening test to learn about your potential risk factors.

Great Home Exercises

During the winter months, it is harder to get out and exercise at the gym. Don’t let snowy days, negative temperatures, and icey roads prevent you from getting the daily exercise your body needs. Below are three great exercises that can improve health from home.

  1. Front Plank 

Starting Position: Lie on your stomach  with your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders. Engage your abdominal muscles. Contract your thigh muscles to straighten your legs strongly and flex your ankles.

Upward Phase. Slowly lift your torso and thighs off the floor. Keep your torso and legs rigid. Do not allow any sagging in your ribcage or low back. Avoid hiking your hips into the air or bending the knees. The shoulders should be directly over your elbows through the entire exercise. Try holding this position for 5 seconds or more.

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Downward Phase: Keep the torso and legs stiff as you slowly lower your body back towards the floor.

2. Forward Lunge

Starting Position: Stand with your feet together

In preparation to step forward, slowly lift one foot off the floor and find your balance on the standing leg. Hold this position briefly before stepping forward. The raised foot should land on the heel first. Slowly shift your body weight onto the lead foot, placing it firmly on the floor. As you shift your body weight to the lead foot/leg, avoid tilting/swaying the upper body.

As you step forward into the lunge, focus on a downward movement of your hips toward the floor. Lower your body to a comfortable position or until your front thigh becomes parallel with the floor and your shinbone is in a slight forward lean. During the movement, slightly bend forward at your hips. Keep the back straight.

Firmly push off with the front leg, activating both your thighs and butt muscles to return to your upright, starting position.

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3. Push- Up 

Starting Position: Come to a hands and knees position on the floor with your hands directly under your shoulders; fingers facing forward, and knees under your hips.Reach one leg out and away followed by the other leg, bringing you to plank position (position A). Keep the abdominals/core engaged to brace the torso. Your head should be aligned with your spine and your feet should be together.

Downward Phase: Slowly bend the elbows, lowering your body toward the floor. Keep the torso rigid. Do not allow your low back or ribcage to sag or your hips to hike upward. Try to lower yourself until your chest or chin touch the mat or floor. Your elbows should stay close to the sides of your body.

Upward Phase: Press upward through your arms, straightening the elbows. Keep the torso rigid. Do not allow your low back to sag or your hips to hike upward.

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For additional home exercises please visit https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-programs-article/2863/Top-25-At-Home-Exercises/

To join Knott County Family Healthcare’s weight loss program please visit http://www.kcfh.net/?page_id=104

New Year, New You

 

As 2016 comes to an end, many New Year’s resolutions are being formed. It is estimated that 38% of all American New Year’s resolutions concern weight loss. Achieve your weight loss goals for 2017 by joining Knott County Family Healthcare’s weight loss program, New You.800x800

The New You program includes:

  • Weekly Diet Plans
  • Weekly Workout Regimen

 

Start off 2017 the right way by enrolling in New You,  Knott County Family Healthcare’s  weight loss program. To sign up, check out the following link: http://www.kcfh.net/?page_id=104

How to stay Heathy During the Holiday Season.

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Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas is approaching quickly.  Social, celebratory occasions are one of the most common places where people overeat. Instead of packing on a few pounds, make this holiday season a healthy one. Below are three key areas to focus on in order to combat the typical negative holiday health habits and maintain your weight.

1.) Body

Your body is an energy processing machine. Make sure your body is operating at full capacity by getting at least 7 hours of sleep, drinking plenty of water, and exercising at least 30 minutes per day. Staying hydrated can prevent thirst that can be confused with hunger. Getting 30 minutes of exercise each day will not only help you fight off weight this holiday season, it will reduce your risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome.

2.) Diet

Half the battle with eating healthy is being conscious of what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat. This holiday season, be mindful of what type of “fuel” you are putting into your body. During meals, eat slowly to let your body respond to becoming full. While growing up, many people were taught not to be wasteful and “clean their plate”. Use smaller serving plates to reduce the amount food that you might feel obligated to eat. Lastly, resist the urge for a second serving. Skipping seconds is a key to success.

3.) Mindset

Don’t restrict yourself from certain types of foods. If you see something on the dessert table that you want, go get some! You have to be realistic with how you mentally approach eating healthy. The holidays are a time for celebration and relaxation, just remember to eat in moderation.  Eating one serving of a particularly unhealthy food will not be detrimental to your health.

If you are looking to improve your health and lose weight, please call our office to enroll in our New You customized weight loss program.

 

Common Fall and Winter Illnesses to Be Aware of

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As the temperatures drop, our immune systems have to adjust. Immune responses become less efficient as the temperatures decline, leading to a higher frequency in illnesses.  Below are a few of the most common viruses and illnesses that arise during the fall and winter months.

  • Rhinovirus 
    • Better known as the common cold, the rhinovirus is one of the main reasons children miss school and adults miss work.  The usual symptoms consist of runny nose, sore throat, coughing, and sneezing.  Recovery time ranges from 7 to 10 days.
    • http://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/
  • Bronchitis 
  • Norovirus
    • Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can be contracted by coming in contact with an infected persons, eating/drinking contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. This virus causes inflammation of the stomach and/or intestines. Common symptoms consist of diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain.
    • http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/about/symptoms.htmlv

The best methods of prevention are to wash hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  For more information, check out the links listed with each illness.

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, please do not hesitate to call and schedule an appointment with Knott County Family Healthcare.