Tag Archives: healthy

Walking for World Diabetes Day

DHECDiabetesObservance 2018

Every year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes in the United States and many additional cases go undiagnosed. In South Carolina, the prevalence of diabetes is about 20 percent higher than the national average.

Diabetes can lead to other serious health conditions, including stroke, heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, swelling and edema. Women who had gestational diabetes and their children are more at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Aside from all of the health risks, diabetes is more expensive. In fact, the average medical expenses among those with diagnosed diabetes is over two times higher than those without diabetes. The good news is that diabetes can be delayed or prevented by eating healthy and staying active.

On Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, DHEC staff from the Mills Jarrett complex in Columbia walked together in observance of World Diabetes Day. (The walk was postponed from the actual date of observance — Nov. 14 — due to rain.) The first sunny day all week, it was a great opportunity to get outside and learn more about World Diabetes Day, which occurs during National Diabetes Month.

The World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on a theme that runs for one or more years and the theme for 2018-19 is Family and Diabetes, which fits in nicely with the theme for National Diabetes Month this year, Promoting Health After Gestational Diabetes.

Employees received different “did you know…” facts about diabetes. While the facts will not teach them everything they need to know about testing or warning signs, the information will at least get the conversation started and hopefully encourage employees to not only think about their health, but the health of their family. With the holiday season in full swing, it is a good time to think about ways to stay healthy during celebrations and have open conversations with family members about health.

For some tips on staying healthy over the holidays, consider the following:

  • Avoid overeating. You can eat a healthy meal before going to a party or practice self-control by only indulging in your favorite treats in moderation.
  • Stay active. Either keep up your normal routine or even try incorporating walks into your gatherings.
  • Keep your stress levels lower. Remember to take time for yourself and relax both your body and mind.

To learn more about World Diabetes Day, visit worlddiabetesday.org and for more information on American Diabetes Month, visit diabetes.org/in-my-community/american-diabetes-month.

Set Goals To Help You Become Healthier This Holiday Season

Many Americans do not get enough physical activity or eat a healthful diet. Let’s begin to change that during this holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges everyone to set goals aimed at improving their health and getting a new start on resolutions for the year to come.

The CDC suggests that you:

  1. Stay active. Being active can help make up for eating more than usual and has many other health benefits. Walking is a great way to be active. To incorporate more of walking into your routine park farther away from the store or office building and walk to your destination; take a few extra laps around the mall; or start your work day by taking the stairs.
  2. Eat healthy. Seek balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, saturated fat, or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while or in small portions and balancing them out with healthier foods.
  3. Engage in activities that don’t involve eating. In addition to enjoying a meal with friends and family around the table, take the party outside and try a seasonal activity such as ice skating or take a walk downtown. If the weather prevents you from being outside, try mall-walking or visit a museum or botanical garden.

Adding a few new healthy traditions to your schedule can make a world of difference for the remainder of this year and next.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information on tips to help you be your healthiest self this holiday season.

Tips for caregivers during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

It is not easy to care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Frankly, it can be challenging. People with dementias might stop recognizing their caregiver or even have trouble feeding themselves, using the restroom or bathing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are now the sixth leading cause of death overall and the fifth leading cause of death among those over age 65. The CDC says nearly 6 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s, a number predicted to nearly triple by 2060.

As the number of people with Alzheimer’s continues to increase so will the need for caregivers. And those caregivers will need guidance and resources to meet the challenge.

Tips for caregivers

With November being National Alzheimer’s Month, this is a good time to encourage caregivers and provide them with helpful tips. Here are some tips from the CDC website:

You might not be recognized. Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia may forget certain people while remembering others. Try not to take it personally if you aren’t recognized.

Try to meet the person where he or she is. It’s best not to correct an Alzheimer’s patient about what year it is, where they are, or other things. This can cause agitation and reduce trust.

Routine is important. Alzheimer’s patients are usually most comfortable with what they know and are familiar with. Try to avoid major changes.

Discuss behavioral changes with the doctor. Some behaviors, such as aggression, can be related to undertreated pain, or may be side effects of various medications.

Above all, practice self-care. Your loved one needs you to be healthy to provide the best possible care.

More information and resources

The CDC provides various resources for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, including Dementia Dialogues — a program that began with the University of South Carolina’s Prevention Research Center.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information and resources for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s.

Great American Smokeout: Commit To A Healthy, Smoke-free Life

Catherine Warner
Outreach Coordinator
Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control

Public health advocates will observe the 43rd annual Great American Smokeout (GASO) on Thursday, Nov. 15. GASO is an opportunity for everyone to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives — not just for a day — but year-round.

Quitting is difficult. It takes commitment and a plan; and it often takes more than one try.  This is why GASO shouldn’t necessarily be considered the day to quit smoking for good, but rather the day to start the journey toward a smoke-free life. Support from friends and family is helpful, as is getting advice from your healthcare provider.

Free support is also available from the certified quit coaches at the SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW). Personalized for each registered caller, the tips and support offered through the SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) can help smokers succeed when they are ready to quit. Most callers are eligible to receive free over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gum, patch, or lozenge — regardless of insurance coverage.

GASO gives us all a great opportunity to promote tobacco-free lifestyles to co-workers, clients, friends, and family. It’s important to our work at DHEC because tobacco prevention touches on nearly every public health program area. From flu prevention to family planning, diabetes to heart disease and stroke, tobacco users are more likely to experience negative health consequences impacting nearly every organ in the body.  Lower rates of tobacco use can decrease incidence of respiratory infections, infertility, pre-term births and low birth weight babies, Type II diabetes, periodontal disease, many cancers, heart attacks, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and tobacco-related health disparities.

If you would like to encourage smokers to participate in GASO, materials from the American Cancer Society are also available on their website. Free posters, brochures, and other print items are also available through the DHEC Educational Materials Library. You can also call 898-2287 to place an order over the phone.  Getting the word out about GASO is not only a solid investment in public health, it could truly save the life of someone you love. Support, encourage, and promote smoke-free lives.  And if you smoke, call the SC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) for free help. Para recibir ayuda de la línea estatal para dejar de fumar: 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).

Have A Healthy, Enjoyable Trip To The SC State Fair

scstatefair - fair gate 2

Photo courtesy of the SC State Fair.

The 149th annual S.C. State Fair will soon be open (October 10-21) and attendees of all ages will once again enjoy funnel cakes, live music, and amusement rides. To help ensure you enjoy your time at the fair, listed below are a few health tips to keep in mind while strolling beneath the neon lights of the Midway.

Always Wash Your Hands

When

  • Before eating and drinking
  • Before and after visiting animal exhibits
  • After using the restroom
  • After playing a carnival game
  • After going on a ride

How

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if running water is not available.

“Keeping hands clean is one of the most important things we can do to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy.” (CDC, 2017)

Things to Avoid

  • Don’t take food or drinks into animal exhibits.
  • Don’t eat, drink, or place anything in your mouth while visiting animal exhibits.
  • Don’t take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, or strollers into animal exhibits.
  • Don’t enter animal exhibits if you are experiencing any type of illness, particularly flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat).
  • Avoid close contact with any animals who appear ill.

Things to Remember

  • Eat ‘hot’ foods while they are still hot and eat ‘cold’ foods while they are still cold.
  • Take extra care to observe these health tips when visiting animal exhibits to prevent diarrheal illness and other infections that animals may carry. This is particularly important for certain groups, including:
  • Children younger than 5 years of age
  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with long-term health conditions such as, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, weakened immune systems, and neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Seek medical attention if you develop a fever accompanied with cough and/or sore throat, diarrhea, and/or vomiting within several days after visiting the fair.

Following these tips will help prevent infections.  Have fun!

 Resources

Center for Disease Control Food Safety at Fairs and Festivals

KNOW How to be Safe Around Animals

Take Action to Prevent the Spread of Flu Between Pigs and People

Wash Your Hands