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  • February Awareness: Don't Gamble with your heart

                                                                                  American Heart Month

    The month of February is recognized as “American Heart month”. American Heart Month is a nationally designed event created in 1964 to help remind Americans to focus on heart health. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease, with more than 17.9 million deaths each year. That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Although cardiovascular disease is so prevalent and the cause of many deaths among Americans, it is also very preventable by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

    Cardiovascular disease symptoms include:

            - pain in the chest,

            - swelling in feet, shortness of breath,

            - feeling weak/lack of energy,

            - palpitations

            - cyanosis (bluish color to the skin due to lack of oxygen in the blood)


    When these symptoms are ignored or kept untreated, cardiovascular issues can progress into heart attacks, strokes, and other heart diseases that can lead to death. 

    A heart attack is a sudden and sometimes fatal occurrence of coronary thrombosis (blockage of the flow of blood to the heart). A heart attack occurs when one or more coronary arteries are blocked.

    Heart attack symptoms can differ between men and women, but the most common symptom include: pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in the chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back.

    A stroke is a medical condition in which poor blood flow to the brain results in cell death. This occurs when blood flow to an area in the brain is cut off. The brain cells, deprived of the oxygen and glucose that are needed to survive, die. If a stroke is not caught early, permanent brain damage or death can result.

    Stoke symptoms include:

            - headache,

            - weakness/numbness (on one side),

            - loss of balance,

            - slurred speech,

            - face drooping,

            - blur vision,

            - unconsciousness.


    Preventing cardiovascular disease is an easy life discussion and can be completed simply by maintaining a healthy diet of all of the food groups and exercising regularly.

    Ways to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease include:

    • Healthy Diet: limiting your intake of junk foods and sugary snacks/drinks can lower your blood pressure
    • Exercise: 2.5 hrs. a week is the recommendation to maintain a healthy weight
    • Quit Smoking: 1 of every 5 heart disease-related deaths are connected to smoking
    • Limit Alcohol: excessive drinking increases your risk of blood clots and can weaken the heart
    • Decrease Stress: prolonged exposure to stress can damage your artery linings


  • January Awareness

                                                                     Thyroid Awareness Month

    The Clark County Health Department recognizes January as thyroid awareness month. The thyroid is a gland in the front of the neck. This gland produces hormones that control metabolism, the system that breaks down nutrients into energy. Thyroid disorders or cancer can affect the production of these hormones and in return change the speed of your metabolism. Abnormal growth in the thyroid includes the formation of nodules that can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). These growths in the thyroid gland are common and do not usually cause serious health problems. The exact cause of nodules is unknown, but some factors include: overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue and fluid-filled cavities or cysts in thyroid, or a deficiency of iodine within the body. Nodules can occasionally put pressure on the neck and cause trouble with swallowing, breathing or speaking if they are too large. Thyroid cancers are much less common than benign nodules. With treatment, the cure rate for thyroid cancer is more than 90 percent. A healthy and balanced diet can help treat non-cancerous thyroid disorders. Thyroids can function normally even when nodules are present, which is why it is important if you notice any of the symptoms you check with your doctor.


    Symptoms of Abnormal Thyroid Function:


           * Depression or feeling blue

           * Trouble concentrating

           * Tiredness

           * Dry skin and hair

           * Weight gain

           * Feeling cold all the time



           * Nervousness and anxiety

           * Weight loss

           * Tremor (shaking)

           * Fast, irregular pulse

           * Tiredness

           * Feeling hot all the time


    Thyroid Neck Check

    Using a mirror may help you spot an enlarged thyroid that needs a doctor's attention.

           * Tip your head back, take a drink of water, and as you swallow, examine your neck below the Adam's apple and above the collarbone. Look for bulges or protrusions, then repeat the process a few times.

           -See a doctor promptly if you see a bulge or lump.


    Treatment of Thyroid Disease

    The treatment of thyroid disease depends on many factors, including the type and severity of the thyroid disorder and the age and overall health of the patient. Treatment must be specific to each individual.

           * Thyroid cancer is initially treated with thyroid surgery. Many patients also receive further treatment with iodine-131. Patients treated for thyroid cancer require lifelong thyroid hormone replacement.

           * The majority of benign nodules does not require treatment. Patients with benign nodules are usually advised to have periodic follow-up examinations.

           * Hypothyroidism usually requires only replacement of thyroid hormone by taking a single daily tablet at a dose adjusted to produce normal thyroid hormone levels.

           * Autoimmune thyroiditis is a disorder that may cause hypothyroidism. It usually does not cause symptoms that require treatment unless hypothyroidism develops. In such cases, thyroid hormone replacement is required.

           * Treatment of hyperthyroidism may include antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine-131 or in rare cases, thyroid surgery.

           * Healthy/Balanced diet.

                  * Eat more foods that contain:

                  * Iodine: seafood and dairy

                  * Selenium: meats

                  * Zinc: meats, Nuts & seeds     

           * Stay away from:

                  * Foods that contain Goitrogens: Certain Vegetables, fruits, and nuts


  • November Awareness!

                                                                                             November is Diabetes Awareness Month!

    November is recognized as diabetes awareness month. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems, such as heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease. 30.3 million of the population has diabetes. 1 in 4 people have diabetes and have not been diagnosed. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the united states. In 2015 there was a reported 79,535 death cases due to diabetes. There are 4 main types of diabetes, prediabetes, gestational, type 1, and type 2.


    Prediabetes: Prediabetes means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes are very likely to progress to type 2 diabetes.

    Risk Factors:

            * Family history

            * Genetics

            * Sedentary lifestyle

            * Overweight/Excess fat

            * Diet: eating processed meat and drinking sweetened beverages are associated with higher risk

            * Race: African- Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian- Americans are at higher risk

    Type 1: Occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.

    Risk Factors:

            * Race/ethnicity

            * Geography

            * Family history

            * Early diet

            * Autoimmune conditions

    Type 2: Occurs when your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.

    Risk Factors:

            * Overweight

            * 45 yrs. or older

            * Family history

            * Race/ethnicity: African Americans and Hispanic Americans are more susceptible.

            * Insulin Resistance: a condition in which muscle, liver, and fat cells do not use insulin well.

            * High blood pressure

            * History of heart disease or stroke

            * Depression

            * History of gestational diabetes

    Gestational diabetes: Occurs only during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can cause health problems in both mother and baby.

    Risk Factors:

            * Family history

            * Overweight/obese before becoming pregnant

            * Gaining too much weight during pregnancy


    Symptoms of Diabetes:

            * Increased thirst and urination

            * Increased hunger

            * Fatigue

            * Blurred vision

            * Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands

            * Sores that do not heal

            * Unexplained weight loss


    Screening for Diabetes:


            * Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test

                  - This test measures your blood glucose at a single point in time. This test is best done in the morning because you must be fasting from food and drink for 8 hours before the test.

            * A1C

                  - Blood test that provides your average levels of blood glucose over the past 3 months. WARNING this test is not accurate for people with anemia.

            * Random plasma glucose (RPG) test

                  - Used when diabetes symptoms are present, and they do not want to wait until you have fasted. You do not need to fast overnight for the RPG test.

    * Pregnant women may have the glucose challenge test, the oral glucose tolerance test, or both. These tests are performed only for gestational diabetes.

  • SIDS Awareness

                                                                                  October is SIDS Awareness Month

    October is recognized as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) awareness month. SIDS is defined as a sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than 1 year of age that remains unexplained after a complete investigation is conducted. In 2016, 1,500 infant deaths were due to SIDS. SIDS was the leading cause of deaths in infants 1 month to 1 year of age. 90% of SIDS cases occur during the first 6 months of an infant’s life. The cause of SIDS is still unknown, but there are ways to lower the risk of SIDS.

    Risk Factors

           * Preterm Birth: Infants born before 37 weeks gestation.

           * Smoking: Infants whose mother smoked during pregnancy or live within a non-Smoke free home.

           * Race/Ethnic origin: Rates are higher for African American and American Indians than for Caucasians, Hispanic, and Asian Americans. 

    How to Prevent SIDS:

           * Do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby

           * Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy.

           * Breastfeed your baby.

           * Visit your baby’s health care provider for regular checkups. Your baby will receive important shots to prevent disease.

           * Practice SAFE SLEEP

                  * Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times—naps and at night.

                  * Use a firm, flat sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.

                  * Keep your baby’s sleep area (for example, a crib or bassinet) in the same room where you sleep until your baby is at least 6 months old, or ideally, until your baby is one year old.

                  * Keep soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys out of your baby’s sleep area.

                  * Do not cover your baby’s head or allow your baby to get too hot. Signs your baby may be getting too hot include sweating or his or her chest feels hot.

    Questions to ask your doctor

           * Is my child at risk for SIDS?

           * Once my child is old enough to roll over, is he or she still at risk for SIDS?

           * Should I wake my child up throughout the night when he or she is a newborn?

           * Is there a test to determine how well my baby is breathing?

           * Can allergies or asthma at a young age cause SIDS?

           * What devises are good to use to catch SIDS symptoms?

    Get more information about SIDS:


  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month

                                                                                        October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

                October is recognized as Breast Cancer awareness month. Breast Cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissue of the breast. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and although rare in men 2,470 men will be diagnosed yearly, with a mortality rate of 18%. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Yearly 252710 women are diagnosed with breast cancer with a mortality rate of 16%. Breast cancer is caused by damage to a cell’s DNA, although doctors rarely know how the cell was damaged or why one person will develop breast cancer and other does not.

    Risk Factors:


         * Gender: Women develop breast cancer more often than men.

         * Age: ¾ of women diagnosed are over 55.

         * Race: Caucasian women are diagnosed more often than any other races.

         * Family History: If anyone on your maternal side has been diagnosed with breast cancer you’re at a higher risk.

         * Personal Health History: If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast you are more likely to develop cancer in the other.

         * Menstrual & Reproductive History: early menstruation (before age 12), and late menopause (after 55).

         * Genome Changes: such as BRCA1 or BRCA2

         * Dense Breast Tissue: Breast tissue that contains high amounts of glandular tissue and fibrous tissue and low amounts of fatty tissues. This causes lumps to be harder to detect.


         * Lack of physical activity

         * Poor diet

         * Being overweight

         * Drinking alcohol

         * Radiation to the chest

         * Combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

    * Having these risk factors does not determine if you will develop breast cancer. 60-70% of people with breast cancer have no connection with any of these risk factors, but they do increase your odds of developing breast cancer.

    What to look for?

    Some warning signs of breast cancer are:

         * New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).

         * Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.

         * Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.

         * Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.

         * Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.

         * Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.

         * Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.

         * Pain in any area of the breast.

    MYTH: Breast cancer is caused by wearing underwire bras, implants, deodorants, antiperspirants, mammograms, caffeine, plastic food serving items, microwaves, or cell phones


    • Benign Tumors: When a tumor is diagnosed as benign, doctors will usually leave it alone rather than remove it. Even though these tumors are not generally aggressive toward surrounding tissue, occasionally they may continue to grow, pressing on organs and causing pain or other problems. In these situations, the tumor is removed, allowing pain or complications to subside.
    • Malignant tumors: Malignant tumors are cancerous and aggressive because they invade and damage surrounding tissue. When a tumor is suspected to be malignant, the doctor will perform a biopsy to determine the severity or aggressiveness of the tumor.
    • Metastatic cancer: Metastatic cancer is when cancer cells of a malignant tumor spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymph system, and form a secondary tumor.

     When dealing with breast cancer, tumors are often graded based on a scale of one to three indicating how aggressive the cancerous cells are:

           * Low grade (1) - Well-diffentiated

           * Intermediate grade (2) - Moderately differentiated

           * High grade (3) - Poorly differentiated


    Screenings for breast cancer

    * Breast ultrasound: A machine that uses sound waves to make detailed pictures, called sonograms, of areas inside the breast.

    * Diagnostic mammogram: If you have a problem in your breast, such as lumps, or if an area of the breast looks abnormal on a screening mammogram, doctors may have you get a diagnostic mammogram. This is a more detailed X-ray of the breast.

    * Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A kind of body scan that uses a magnet linked to a computer. The MRI scan will make detailed pictures of areas inside the breast.

    * Biopsy: This is a test that removes tissue or fluid from the breast to be looked at under a microscope and do more testing. There are different kinds of biopsies (for example, fine-needle aspiration, core biopsy, or open biopsy).


    Support all those who are affected by Breast Cancer and participate in Sarah Bush’s “Paint the Town” Oct. 13. For more information visit:

  • February Awareness: Don't Gamble with your heart

    • 02/05/2019 - 10:04
  • January Awareness

    • 01/09/2019 - 13:41
  • November Awareness!

    • 10/29/2018 - 10:36
  • SIDS Awareness

    • 10/18/2018 - 14:52
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    • 10/04/2018 - 14:29

Emergency Contact Information

In the case of an emergency after business hours, please call the Clark County Sheriff's Department at 217-826-6393 or 9-1-1.