Health Briefs: What to Expect When You’re Expecting class Tuesday
If you’re expecting a baby, Memorial Regional Health offers a What to Expect presentation, along with Birthing Center Tours, each quarter — February, May, August and November. Future parents are both encouraged to attend. The next presentation is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 in The Memorial Hospital Conference Room, 750 Hospital Loop. The event is free, but RSVPs are requested at 970-824-9411.
New study shows fewer women visiting OB-GYNs
A study published in October in the journal “Obstetrics & Gynecology,” reveals that the percentage of U.S. women who saw an OB-GYN in the past year has declined steadily since 2000, while the percentage of U.S. women who saw a general doctor remained stable during the same time period.
Researchers used data from the 2000-2015 National Health Interview Surveys, cross-sectional nationally representative surveys, to identify the percentage of U.S. women who had visited an OB-GYN and the percentage who had visited a general physician during the preceding 12 months.
The study offered possible explanations for the decline in women having seen an OB-GYN, which included changes in the cervical cancer guidelines and an increased use of longer-acting contraceptive methods.
5 tips offered for for managing diabetes
November is National Diabetes Month, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued five tips for living with diabetes.
• Follow a healthy eating plan, including more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and salt.
• Be physically active; 10 to 20 minutes of exercise per day is better than an hour once per week.
• Take diabetes medication if prescribed by your health care provider.
• Check your blood sugar to understand and track the effects of food, activity and medicine.
• You’re not in this alone. Your health care team can help you manage the disease effectively, and better management helps make diabetes a part of life instead of life being all about diabetes. Learn more by visiting diabetes.org/in-my-community/american-diabetes-month
Know how to prevent an opioid overdose
Prescription opioids — such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine — and illicit opioids, such as heroin and illegally made fentanyl, are powerful drugs that carry a risk of a potentially fatal overdose. Anyone who uses opioids can experience an overdose, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain factors may increase risk, including, but not limited to, the following.
• Combining opioids with alcohol or certain other drugs.
• Taking high daily dosages of prescription opioids.
• Taking more opioids than prescribed.
• Taking illicit or illicit opioids, such as heroin or illegally-manufactured fentanyl, which could could possibly contain unknown or harmful substances.
• Certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea or reduced kidney or liver function
• Age greater than 65 years.
Death from an opioid overdose happens when too much of the drug overwhelms the brain and interrupts the body’s natural drive to breathe. Learn more about opioids at cdc.gov/drugoverdose.
CDC reports flu season mild so far
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that influenza activity has been low in the United States.
The most frequently identified influenza virus type reported by public health laboratories during week 42 was influenza A. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories is low. The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was below the system-specific epidemic threshold in the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System. One influenza-associated pediatric death was reported.
The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness was 1.3 percent, below the national baseline of 2.2 percent. While the CDC suggests everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine by the end of October, it’s not too late to be vaccinated.
Flu shots can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations among children, older adults and people with long-term health conditions. Getting vaccinated also protects people around you, according to the CDC.
Science knowledge can help with health decisions
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, it’s important to know the science of health, because there is a lot of misinformation out there — from anecdotes disguised as evidence to excessive claims made by supplement manufacturers to television doctors touting the latest “miracle cure.”
Accordingly, NCCIH has launched a new online program about the science of health, with interactive modules, quizzes, videos and other resources that can people understand potentially confusing words about complementary health, interpret health news, make sense of scientific journal articles, learn about interactions between dietary supplements and drugs, find out about placebos and more. For access to these resources, visit nccih.nih.gov/health/know-science?nav=govd.
The only common illness that affects children and requires an antibiotic every time is strep throat. Doctors won’t prescribe antibiotics if your child is sick with the flu or a cold because the treatment would be useless for those conditions.