At Health Choice Generations, your health is our priority. Here are some Health & Wellness tips.
Did you know that diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the U.S.?
According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010. Diabetes affects heart health and can also cause blindness, kidney failure, and amputations of feet and/or legs not related to accidents or injury.
Symptoms of diabetes include:
- Frequent urination.
- Increased thirst or hunger.
- Weight loss.
- Blurred vision.
- Slowed healing of wounds.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent diabetes, or if you already have diabetes, to manage it so that you can lead a healthier life.
Ways to prevent diabetes include:
- Losing weight.
- Eating healthier.
- Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Quitting smoking if you are a smoker.
If you have an increased risk of diabetes due to family history or if you’re overweight, you need to make diabetes prevention a priority. Fortunately, this can be as simple as eating healthier foods, and it’s easier than you think.
Take the first steps towards a healthier diet by adding more fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and leaner meats to your shopping list and try and include them in most meals. In time it’ll get easier to eat more healthy foods, plus eating healthy foods will help you lose weight.
For more information about diabetes, visit these websites:
If you are a woman, you could be one of the one in eight women in the U.S. to get breast cancer.
There are many risk factors for breast cancer, but really the most common risk is simply being a woman. Fortunately, current treatment can be very effective. In fact, the 5-year survival rate can be as high as 98% if breast cancer is detected early and confined to the breast.
The American Cancer Society recommends the following methods to help detect breast cancer early:
- Women age 50 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
- Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of a regular health exam by a health professional preferably every 3 years. Starting at age 40, women should have a clinical breast exam by a health professional every year.
- Breast self-examination is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should learn about the benefits and limitations of breast self-examination. Women should report any breast changes to their health professional right away.
Learn more about what you can do to help detect breast cancer early. For more information about breast cancer and the importance of mammography, visit these websites
High Blood Pressure
Do you know why high blood pressure is also called “The Silent Killer”?
Approximately one in three people in the U.S. have high blood pressure (or hypertension), that can lead to stroke, heart attack, or kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with high blood pressure may have no symptoms. You may feel fine and not be aware that high blood pressure is damaging your arteries, heart and other organs. This is why high blood pressure is sometimes called “The Silent Killer.”
Because high blood pressure is such a dangerous condition, it’s vital to follow your physician’s course of treatment. This can include a variety of prescriptions and over the counter products, but also requires special attention to diet, sleeping habits, and of course, exercise.
The key is consistency. Get a plan from a doctor to manage your blood pressure, and stick to it.
In addition to your doctor’s recommendations, here are some ways to lower your blood pressure:
- Eat healthy foods.
- Eat foods that are low in sodium
- Stay active.
- Lose weight.
For more information about high blood pressure, visit these websites:
Your risk of getting skin cancer is real. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer.
While some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable, too much is dangerous, causing immediate effects like blistering sunburns, as well as longer-term problems like eye damage (such as age-related macular degeneration) and skin disorders/skin cancer.
Part of the sun’s energy that reaches us on earth is composed of rays of invisible ultraviolet (UV) light. When ultraviolet light rays (UVA and UVB) enter the skin or eye, they damage skin cells and can cause burns resulting in visible and invisible injuries.
When outdoors follow these simple tips:
- Avoid long exposure times to the sun.
- Schedule play and outdoor activities before 10 am and after 4 pm. Sit or play in the shade as much as possible.
- Use SPF 30 or higher sunscreen.
- Cover up – Wear a T-shirt, long pants and a hat.
- Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.
- When swimming wear swimming goggles to protect your eyes from the sun, chlorine and/or bacteria from ponds or lakes.
- Talk to family and friends about sun protection.
For more information about UV safety visit this website:
Safe Swimming Tips
Swimming is a great summer exercise activity, but along with it comes risks.
Chances are you and your loved ones will enjoy some water/pool time this summer so it’s important to learn how to protect yourself, your family and your friends from germs found in contaminated water and also to prevent accidental drowning.
By keeping these basic precautions in mind, you can make swimming as safe as it is fun this summer!
- Never take your eyes of small children near pools, streams or waterways.
- Don’t swallow pool water; it can contain bacteria that can make you ill.
- Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. This is especially important for kids in diapers. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
- Practice good hygiene. Take a shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
- Children or inexperienced swimmers should take precautions, such as wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (PFD) when around the water.
- Watch out for the dangerous “too’s” – too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
- Set water safety rules for the whole family based on swimming abilities (for example, inexperienced swimmers should stay in water less than chest deep).
- Learn CPR and insist that babysitters, grandparents, and others who care for your child know CPR.
These are only a few tips. For more information, visit:
Have you tried to quit smoking in the past but could not? The State of Arizona has a free helpline dedicated to helping you in living a tobacco free lifestyle.
The Arizona Smokers Helpline (ASHLine) is staffed with certified tobacco cessation counselors who can coach you through the quitting process. These coaches are trained professionals who will help customize and follow a quit plan. They act as your personal trainer to help you quit smoking. They also help you set goals, work toward a quit date and provide support.
As a Health Choice Arizona member, you have FREE smoking cessation products available to you. The Arizona Smokers Helpline (ASHLine) will work with your provider to determine which products will work best for you.