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Healthy Lifestyle – June

Lucky Summer Lifesaver will win new Highlander

The need for blood doesn’t take a vacation. Accidents, surgeries, cancer therapies and disease treatments continue year round. Unfortunately, vacations and more relaxed summer schedules often lead to a dip in blood donations.

To help ensure a strong summer blood supply, Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) is inviting everyone to roll up their sleeves and be a summer lifesaver.

As a thank you, everyone (18 years and older) who registers to give blood will be automatically entered to win a 2017 Toyota Highlander. The Summer Lifesaver Highlander Giveaway will run June 1-Sept. 8.

Area donors are invited to be summer lifesavers at the upcoming Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) blood drive:

McCreary County Community

Tues., July 11 from 1 – 6 pm

at the RECC in the Community Room

at 51 Center Ave. in Whitley City.

All donors will be entered to win tickets to Red, White and Boom!

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can be made by visiting and clicking on the Donor Login button at the bottom of the page or by calling 800.775-2522, ext. 3758.

Blood donors must be 17-years-old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Donors must also show a photo I.D. with first and last name, like a state-issued driver’s license.  Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at

June Is Scoliosis Awareness Month

Scoliosis is a musculoskeletal disorder in which there is a sideways curvature of the spine, or back. People of all ages can have scoliosis, but adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (scoliosis of unknown cause) is the most common type and typically occurs after the age of 10. Girls are more likely than boys to have this type of scoliosis. Because scoliosis can run in families, a child who has a parent, brother, or sister with idiopathic scoliosis should be checked regularly for scoliosis by the family doctor. An x ray of the spine can confirm the diagnosis of scoliosis.

Many children who are sent to the doctor by a school scoliosis screening program have very mild spinal curves that do not need treatment. When treatment is needed, the doctor may send the child to an orthopedic spine specialist. The doctor will suggest the best treatment for each patient based on the patient’s age, how much more he or she is likely to grow, the degree and pattern of the curve, and the type of scoliosis.

The doctor may recommend observation, bracing, or surgery.

•  Observation. Doctors typically follow patients without treatment and re-examine them every few months when the patient is still growing (is skeletally immature) and the curve is mild.

•  Bracing. Doctors may advise patients to wear a brace to stop a curve from getting any worse in patients who are still growing with moderate spinal curvature.

•  Surgery. Doctors may advise patients to have surgery to correct a curve or stop it from worsening when the patient is still growing, has a curve that is severe, and has a curve that is getting worse.

Although exercise programs have not been shown to affect the natural history of scoliosis, exercise is encouraged in patients with scoliosis to minimize any potential decrease in functional ability over time. It is very important for all people, including those with scoliosis, to exercise and remain physically fit. Girls have a higher risk than boys of developing osteoporosis (a disorder that results in weak bones that can break easily) later in life. The risk of osteoporosis can be reduced in women who exercise regularly all their lives. For both boys and girls, exercising and participating in sports can also improve their general sense of well-being.

On a separate note, it is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place. Visit our website at and click the “52 Weeks to Health” banner to learn more about each of these areas.

While at our website fill out the Health Calculator & Wellness Profile to take the first step toward personal wellness AND to be entered for a chance to win $1,000.00.


Did you know?

Ticks spread Lyme disease to people and other animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, in humans, untreated Lyme disease can create an array of symptoms,

depending on the stage of infection. Anyone who has spent time outdoors should be aware of the potential symptoms, which can include fever, rash (classic erethema migrans rash, also called ‘bull’s-eye rash’), facial paralysis, and arthritis. Some people with later stage Lyme disease may have rashes on other areas of their bodies; intermittent pain in tendons, muscles and bones; and experience heart palpitations. states that not every person suffering from Lyme disease will develop the same symptoms. The distinctive rash occurs in less than 10 percent of those who contact Lyme. If a tick bite is verified, promptly contact a physician.

Why dental hygiene is essential  for overall health

The importance of maintaining clean teeth and healthy gums goes beyond having fresh breath and a white smile. Many people are surprised to discover that oral hygiene plays an integral role in overall health.

Research indicates that oral health mirrors the condition of the body as a whole. Also, regular dental visits can alert dentists about overall health and pinpoint if a person is at a risk for chronic disease. An oral health check-up also may be the first indication of a potential health issue not yet evident to a general medical doctor.

Heart disease

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a distinct relationship between periodontal disease and conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Joint teams at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, found that people with bleeding gums from poor dental hygiene could have an increased risk of heart disease. Bacteria from the mouth is able to enter the bloodstream when bleeding gums are present. That bacteria can stick to platelets and subsequently form blood clots. This interrupts the flow of blood to the heart and may trigger a heart attack. Brushing and flossing twice daily and rinsing with mouthwash can remove bacteria and keep gums healthy.

Facial pain

The Office of the Surgeon General says infections of the gums that support the teeth can lead to facial and oral pain. Gingivitis, which is an early stage of gum disease, as well as advanced gum disease, affects more than 75 percent of the American population.

Dental decay can lead to its own share of pain. Maintaining a healthy mouth can fend off decay and infections, thereby preventing pain.

Pancreatic cancer

In 2007, the Harvard School of Public Health reported a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer. In the ongoing study, 51,000 men were followed and data was collected beginning in 1986. The Harvard researchers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 64 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with men who had never had gum disease. The greatest risk for pancreatic cancer among this group was in men with recent tooth loss. However, the study was unable to find links between other types of oral health problems, such as tooth decay, and pancreatic cancer.

Alzheimer’s disease

Various health ailments, including poor oral health, have been linked to a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In 2010, after reviewing 20 years’ worth of data, researchers from New York University concluded that there is a link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease. Follow-up studies from researchers at the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom compared brain samples from 10 living patients with Alzheimer’s to samples from 10 people who did not have the disease. Data indicated that a bacterium — Porphyromonas gingivalis — was present in the Alzheimer’s brain samples but not in the samples from the brains of people who did not have Alzheimer’s. P. gingivalis is usually associated with chronic gum disease. As a result of the study, experts think that the bacteria can move via nerves in the roots of teeth that connect directly with the brain or through bleeding gums.

These health conditions are just a sampling of the relationship between oral health and overall health. Additional connections also have been made and continue to be studied.

Practice medication safety … especially around children

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 160 percent increase in poisonings in children from 1999 to 2009, 91 of which are the result of a drug overdose. The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital says that kids ages five and younger are the most likely victims of prescription drug poisoning. In homes where there is an abundance of medications being used to treat cancer or other illnesses, diligence is needed on the part of adults.

Childproof bottles are seldom enough. Very often adults forget to close the lids properly. Tenacious children can sometimes figure out how to get lids off of bottles even if they are touted as childproof.

Cancer patients taking medication might want to employ some additional safety measures in order to protect young children.

•  Do not advertise medication use to your children. Take pills away from curious eyes so that youngsters are not tempted to try Mom or Dad’s medicine, which for all intents and purposes, looks like candy to a child.

• Store medications high up, ideally in a locked cabinet. Remain careful when returning pill containers to these locked cabinets after use.

• Use individual-dose cases, many of which can be locked with a key or a combination code. This can protect against spills should the case fall on the floor.

• Ask for medications to be prescribed in blister packs that are more difficult to open.

• Dispose of any expired medication or pills you no longer need so there are no extras lying around the house.

• Dispose of pills in an outside garbage receptacle so that children or pets cannot find them and swallow them.

• Never store pills in a container other than the prescription container or a medication dispenser.


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