Healthy Focus – January 2022

Self Defense: Top 5 Things You Can Do Today to Stay Well

Taking care of yourself has never been more important. Chronic diseases such as heart diseasecancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, and make you more vulnerable to other health concerns. Taking action by partnering with your primary care physician on staying well is about feeling healthier now—to defend yourself against disease and illness in the future.

1. See Your Doctor Regularly

The consistency of having a primary care provider who knows you, your potential health risks, and your family medical history will help you stay well.

A family medical history is a record of health information about your close relatives. Knowing your family health history is an important way to protect your health. A complete record includes information from three generations of relatives. Health screenings allow your healthcare provider to detect a specific disease or condition early, even when there have been no symptoms or signs of the disease.

When a health problem is detected early, you can get the right treatment at the right time, and it gives you better control over your health.

Getting recommended screening tests and vaccines is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Ask your healthcare provider which of these screenings may be right for you, based on your personal health history, age, sex, and genetics:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis or weak bones
  • STDs
  • Mental health conditions, like depression

2. Eat Healthy

Eating healthfully and choosing alcohol in moderation (1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men) helps you get all the essential nutrients, boosts your energy, and can help you to prevent disease.

Poor nutrition can increase your risk of:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

Did you know?

  • 10% of children and adults who eat recommended daily amount of vegetables
  • 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended
  • 50% of Americans will be considered obese by 2030

3. Don’t Smoke

Smoking is the leading causes of preventable death. It increases your risk of serious health problems, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Lung disease
  • Premature death

Did you know?

  • 16+ million Americans living with a disease caused by smoking
  • 480,000+ deaths are caused by smoking annually
  • Smokers’ lives are reduced by 10 years compared to nonsmokers

4. Exercise Regularly

Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age or physical ability. Your goal should be to exercise at least 150 minutes per week. You should also do strength training two days per week.

5 Ways Exercise Can Make You Healthier

1. Fights disease

2. Controls weight

3. Improves mood

4. Boosts energy

5. Helps you sleep better                      

Did you know?

  • Only 1 in 3 children who get daily physical exercise
  • Less than 5% of adults exercise for 30 minutes each day
  • Children spend an average of 7 ½ hours per day in front of a screen

5. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep affects your mental and physical health. Sleeping less than seven hours per day can increase your risk of developing the following chronic conditions:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Frequent mental distress

Did you know?

  • 1 in 3 adults do not regularly get the recommended amount of uninterrupted sleep they need to protect their health
  • Sleep deprivation is common and afflicts almost a quarter of the U.S. population
  • About 70 million Americans have sleep disorders
  • 10-15% of the population suffers from chronic insomnia

Take Action in 2022!
Fortunately, you can take charge of your health to keep yourself well. By making healthy choices, you can reduce your risk of chronic disease and improve your quality of life. Take action in 2022 to make healthy lifestyle choices now to decrease your risk of chronic diseases in the future. Be sure to have a discussion with your healthcare provider about what you can do to stay well, and share your family history of disease in this conversation. One of the best ways to stay well and improve your health this year is to eat healthy. At HCMC, we make it easy for you to meet with a dietician to get on the right track in 2022. We even offer telehealth visits from the comfort of your own home! GrowWell has partnered with HCMC and Dietician Associates, Inc. to provide telehealth nutrition services to individuals regardless of insurance coverage. Accessing services is simple, requiring only a referral from your physician. Get more info and schedule an appointment.

When to Use a Walk-In Clinic vs. the ER

With so many wellness clinics that now offer walk-in appointments for various health services, sometimes it can be tricky to decide where to go for what.

Referrals from people you trust, such as your own doctor or friends who have used a clinic already, can be a good way to get started, and often, finding a wellness center is going to be from word of mouth in the community.

Know What You Need

The first step in looking at any wellness clinic is to think carefully about what kind of care you or a family member is looking for. Clinics can provide routine preventive care like yearly cholesterol and prostate checks, colonoscopies, and screenings and immunizations for tetanus and shingles. They may also offer acute care for common, non-life-threatening conditions such as poison ivy, insect bites and stings, possible scrapes and lacerations, low-level sprains and fractures from sports activities, ear discomfort and upper respiratory colds and sinuses.

It’s important to come in knowing what you want to have evaluated and ensure the clinic has the capability to handle that condition.

Proper Credentials

For example, many walk-in services or “convenient care” centers in hospitals or drug chains like Walgreens and CVS are staffed by certified registered nurse practitioners, who have limited authority to write prescriptions for acute conditions, such as anti-inflammatories for pain or antibiotics for bacterial infections.

Different state boards have different requirements, but you don’t necessarily find MDs on site. Rather, there are coordinating physicians who can be available to discuss specific cases or situations. Understand a clinic’s capabilities and the potential limitations of what they’re able to help you with. You may not want to go to a walk-in clinic necessarily looking for help with chronic conditions.

Take a Medical History   

You’ll also want to make sure you are prepared to provide details about your own medical background and the medications or procedures others have prescribed or performed.

Because this is often not an ongoing relationship, clinics have to be diligent to make sure they don’t compromise another provider’s plan of care, especially these days when many ads on TV or the Internet encourage consumers to use specific prescriptions to manage pain or other conditions.

Insurance Matters

As you would with any medical care provider, you’ll want to ask about billing up front. Walk-in clinics usually have the same co-pay requirements as specialty providers, with insurance billed for the remainder, but it pays to double check rather than finding out after the visit that you’re not covered, or that immediate payment is expected.

It also makes sense to check the clinic’s pricing to determine how far you might want to investigate your problem there, or whether you’d be better off just waiting to visit your regular health care provider. Some clinics have price lists for specific easy walk-in services, like handling urinary tract infections.

Wellness Clinic or ER?

Wellness clinic

  • Cold or flu
  • Earache
  • Sore throat
  • Migraine
  • Low-grade fever
  • Limited rash
  • Minor sprains, back pain, cuts and burns, broken bones, or eye injuries

Emergency room or call 911

  • Choking
  • Stopped breathing or trouble breathing
  • Passing out, fainting
  • Severe burn
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe chest pain or pressure
  • Deep wound
  • High fever that doesn’t get better with medicine
  • Possible broken bone, loss of movement, especially if the bone is pushing through the skin
  • Coughing or throwing up blood
  • Severe allergic reaction with trouble breathing, swelling, hives 

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Info

CDC Guidelines:
Steps to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 If You Are Sick

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.

Stay Home Except to Get Medical Care

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

For Non-Emergencies:

Eagle Creek Clinic 

Now there is no need to drive to a clinic and sit in a waiting room to be seen!  Eagle Creek Clinic now offers full telehealth services. Schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. by calling 731-407-7013.

Transitions Health

Always looking for a way to make transition easier, HCMC wants to offer an unique care experience for our patients as they transition from hospital to home or from hospital to Henry County Health Care/Plumley Rehab Center.  Transitions Health is now available to assist patients’ needs as they journey through their healthcare experiences. To make an appointment, call 731-641-2707.