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September is National Cholesterol Education Month

Understanding cholesterol (blood fats):

  • BLOOD CHOLESTEROL: This fat-like substance is critical for good health. The problem occurs when you have TOO MUCH of it in your blood.
  • HIGH DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN: Also called "HDL" or "good cholesterol."  It is thought that HDL carries cholesterol away from the artery walls to the liver, where it can be removed from the bloodstream.  A high HDL level seems to protect against heart attack. Warning note for body-builders: taking anabolic steroids will lower your "HDL" level.
  • LOW DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN: Also called "LDL" or "bad cholesterol."  When a person has too much "LDL" cholesterol in the blood, cholesterol deposits build up within the walls of the arteries that lead to the heart, brain, and legs.This process narrows the inside channel of the arteries. The ideal total blood cholesterol level is anything below 200. This number doesn't take into account a person's age and many other revelant factors.

Here are some GREAT WAYS to get your cholesterol (blood fats) under control:

  1. REDUCE excess body fat so that you reach your ideal body weight.
  2. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in MODERATION.  Alcohol is high in calories, it increases one's risk of high blood pressure, and it increases triglycerides.
  3. DON'T smoke, and avoid second-hand smoke.
  4. EAT more fiberfruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cereals
  5. EXERCISE! Walk, run, bike, swim, or otherwise get yourself moving for at least 30-45 minutes a day.  Your exercise pace, by the way, should make you sweat a little, but should not cause you to become breathless.  Get your doctor's OK if you haven't had a check up in a while.
  6. LIMIT your dietary cholesterol intake.  Restrict fatty animal foods such as fatty meats, poultry skin, whole-milk products and egg yolks.
  7. LIMIT the saturated fat in your diet.  Your liver makes cholesterol out of the saturated fat you eat.
  8. TAKE medication, if you must.  Cholesterol - lowering medication is very expensive and often carries burdensome side effects, so try lifestyle changes first.
  9. SEE your doctor.  If you give 100% of your effort to changing your daily habits, you may not have to take medication.

Information provided by the ~ The Hope Heart Institute ~

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in the United States. Invest in Your Health. Checkups on time pay great dividends; early detection is often the key to more treatment options.

Schedule your recommended mammogram and clinical breast exam, and other needed tests. These may include physicals, gynecological exams, bone density tests, colorectal screenings and more.

Healthcare professionals also advise monthly self breast exams.  Men are not excluded from getting breast cancer.  Promptly report any changes or irregularities to your healthcare professional. 

Information provided by:  Positive Promotions 2003
For more information visit http://www.healthywomen.org/content.cfm?L1=3&L2=10&L3=6.0&SS=0

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

There are over 17 million people in the United States who have diabetes. Each day more than 2700 people are diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.  The cause of diabetes is a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

There are two types of diabetes:

  • TYPE I : an autoimmune disease in which the body does not produce any insulin, mostly occurring in children and young adults. Daily insulin is required.  Risks factors include autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors.  Warning signs of TYPE I: frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, extreme fatigue, and irritability.
  • TYPE 2. a metabolic disorder resulting from the body's inability to make, or properly use, insulin. This is the most common form ( 90-95% of diabetes).  This form of diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. Warning signs of TYPE 2: any of type I symptoms, frequent infections, blurred vision, cuts/bruises that are slow to heal, tingling/numbness in the hands or feet, and recurring skin, gum or bladder infections. If you have any of these symptoms please see your physician. TYPE 2 diabetes is nearing epidemic proportions, due to an increased number of older Americans and a greater prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

For more information, contact the American Diabetes

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